# Science theories and all that:

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Not sure if this is in the right section or not, so perhaps a mod can move it if required?

Some people that frequent science forums, [obviously the best type] will inevitably say they have a new theory about some aspect of the universe/life etc.They put there ideas in various forcefull ways full of confidence and much bravado, seemingly ignorant of the fact that professional scientists are forever testing and retesting incumbent theories: Afterall that's there job....sometimes they are in error, sometimes they may make mistakes [BICEP2] but surely that is part of the human makeup and should be expected from time to time. Anyway I believe that all those that believe they have something better then the incumbent theory/model should first be required to tick off all the following points.

Anyone with alternative theories they wish to discuss should follow a few simple procedures:

[1] Don't present the theory as fact...don't present it as something that is "faite compli" It most certainly isn't:

[2] Gather all the experimental and Observational evidence to support your claims...

[3] Whatever you have at the very least, must be able to explain and predict better then the incumbent model:

[4] Your theory almost certainly is going to be challenged, and will need to run the gauntlet:

[5] You will be told you are incorrect and your theory is wrong in most cases:

[6] Throwing a tantrum will not win you any support:

[7] You’re going to be asked tough questions. When someone asks you a question answer it.

[8] When someone demonstrates a point you made is wrong, acknowledge that it is wrong and accept it:

[9] Peer review may not be perfect, but it is absolutely necessary. The participants of any forum one sets out his alternative theory on, are your peers. Accept that:

[10] If you think you have accomplished a theory over riding Evolution, SR, GR the BB QM or Newton, you most certainly have not: 100 years and more of past giants, and the 100's of books and papers since, means that you will not invalidate such overwhelmingly supported ideas in a few words or posts: Accept that from the word go:

[11] In all likelyhood you are not Einstein, Newton, Hawking Bohr or Feynman: Don't pretend to be.

[12] And finally always be prepared to modify your ideas/model/theories, and of course make sure you know the incumbent model you are thinking of over throwing perfectly.

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Also it would help describing the system you came up with if it were accompanied by a mathematical model to show how the behaviour of the system was predicted.

If you don't have a model for your theory it is probably just a waste of time.

I am not sure that I fully agree with point [3].  For example relativity and QM are "better" at describing some phenomena than Newton's laws.

I doubt anyone who has a model that is "able to explain and predict better then the incumbent model" would post it here for peer review.

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2 hours ago, Silvestru said:

I am not sure that I fully agree with point [3].  For example relativity and QM are "better" at describing some phenomena than Newton's laws.

At low enough velocities Special Relativity kinetic energy equation is indistinguishable from classical one:

$m_0c^2\gamma - m_0c^2 \approx \frac{1}{2}m_0v^2$

The same with relativistic-momentum and non-relativistic one:

$m_0 v \gamma \approx m_0 v$

($\gamma \approx 1.0$ )

Edited by Sensei
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1 hour ago, Sensei said:

At low enough velocities Special Relativity kinetic energy equation is indistinguishable from classical one:
0c2γm0c212m0v2

The same with relativistic-momentum and non-relativistic one:

True, that's why I said "some phenomena" cannot be explained with classical physics.

The Photoelectric Effect

The Hydrogen Atom

My point was that If you post your own model, you can't expect it to be able to predict something better then the incumbent model. It's just too much to ask.   I doubt (and no offence here) that there were many (I'm sure there were some) contributions to the field of science that started off as a thread on this forum and were peer reviewed by the members before being officialy posted.

Edited by Silvestru
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41 minutes ago, Silvestru said:

True, that's why I said "some phenomena" cannot be explained with classical physics.

The Photoelectric Effect

The Hydrogen Atom

But the example Sensei gave shows that SR agrees with Newtonian physics at low speeds, but applies over a wider range or speeds, because Newtonian physics fails at high speeds. So it explains and predicts better, just as beecee stated in item 3.

41 minutes ago, Silvestru said:

My point was that If you post your own model, you can't expect it to be able to predict something better then the incumbent model. It's just too much to ask.

This is one reason why every speculation has thus far failed. It's just not reasonable to expect that an amateur effort will improve on well-tested mainstream physics. But that's where the bar is that one must hurdle.

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6 minutes ago, swansont said:

But the example Sensei gave shows that SR agrees with Newtonian physics at low speeds, but applies over a wider range or speeds, because Newtonian physics fails at high speeds. So it explains and predicts better, just as beecee stated in item 3.

Yes, my point is that we can still use and are using Newtonian physics even though we have better models.

7 minutes ago, swansont said:

This is one reason why every speculation has thus far failed. It's just not reasonable to expect that an amateur effort will improve on well-tested mainstream physics. But that's where the bar is that one must hurdle.

True true, and I understand. It will be just impossible to enforce this potential "forum rule".

Reminds me of how Marvel once owned the rights to the word "zombie". It was impossible to enforce this as the term became very popular so they just dropped it.

The same how it is recently very popular to post zero theorem speculations.

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beecee, It seems a good list, but why would anyone bent on disproving the conventional rules of Physics bother to obey your list?

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If I'm bent to advertise my website or my youtube video, I will post it disregarding the rules but the admins will take action.

Beecee's idea could be one day included in the rules.

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3 hours ago, Silvestru said:

Yes, my point is that we can still use and are using Newtonian physics even though we have better models.

This is beside the point of beecee's item #3

3 hours ago, Silvestru said:

True true, and I understand. It will be just impossible to enforce this potential "forum rule".

We enforce it all the time.

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7 hours ago, studiot said:

beecee, It seems a good list, but why would anyone bent on disproving the conventional rules of Physics bother to obey your list?

Thanks.  I see the points as I have listed them, just plain common sense,  aligning with the goal of the scientific methodology. A small percentage of the many "amateurs" that frequent science forums, seem to suffer from delusions of grandeur and other baggage that I won't go into at this time, and just as obviously, what they are proposing in essence actually fail at the first two points.

8 hours ago, Silvestru said:

Yes, my point is that we can still use and are using Newtonian physics even though we have better models.

In my opinion Newtonian mechanics is not wrong per se: GR is simply a more accurate method of measuring things....much as a tape measure is sufficient in measuring a window frame say, without the need to use Vernier calipers. Whatever replaces GR will not invalidate GR, just extend the parameters at which GR is confined to.

7 hours ago, Silvestru said:

Beecee's idea could be one day included in the rules.

I believe this forum out of the three I have over the years been a part of, enforce sensible rules aligning with the scientific method better then the other two.

7 hours ago, studiot said:

beecee, It seems a good list, but why would anyone bent on disproving the conventional rules of Physics bother to obey your list?

To add to my other comment on what you have said, most of course do not pass the first two points, particularly re evidence. And just to digress for a moment, it's nothing short of amazing, how some with religious baggage out to invalidate or deflate science in general, will often use science itself, to supposedly in their minds achieve their goal.

Edited by beecee
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13 hours ago, Silvestru said:

I doubt anyone who has a model that is "able to explain and predict better then the incumbent model" would post it here for peer review.

Bingo! My point exactly!

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18 hours ago, beecee said:

Not sure if this is in the right section or not, so perhaps a mod can move it if required?

Some people that frequent science forums, [obviously the best type] will inevitably say they have a new theory about some aspect of the universe/life etc.They put there ideas in various forcefull ways full of confidence and much bravado, seemingly ignorant of the fact that professional scientists are forever testing and retesting incumbent theories: Afterall that's there job....sometimes they are in error, sometimes they may make mistakes [BICEP2] but surely that is part of the human makeup and should be expected from time to time. Anyway I believe that all those that believe they have something better then the incumbent theory/model should first be required to tick off all the following points.

Anyone with alternative theories they wish to discuss should follow a few simple procedures:

[1] Don't present the theory as fact...don't present it as something that is "faite compli" It most certainly isn't:

[2] Gather all the experimental and Observational evidence to support your claims...

[3] Whatever you have at the very least, must be able to explain and predict better then the incumbent model:

[4] Your theory almost certainly is going to be challenged, and will need to run the gauntlet:

[5] You will be told you are incorrect and your theory is wrong in most cases:

[6] Throwing a tantrum will not win you any support:

[7] You’re going to be asked tough questions. When someone asks you a question answer it.

[8] When someone demonstrates a point you made is wrong, acknowledge that it is wrong and accept it:

[9] Peer review may not be perfect, but it is absolutely necessary. The participants of any forum one sets out his alternative theory on, are your peers. Accept that:

[10] If you think you have accomplished a theory over riding Evolution, SR, GR the BB QM or Newton, you most certainly have not: 100 years and more of past giants, and the 100's of books and papers since, means that you will not invalidate such overwhelmingly supported ideas in a few words or posts: Accept that from the word go:

[11] In all likelyhood you are not Einstein, Newton, Hawking Bohr or Feynman: Don't pretend to be.

[12] And finally always be prepared to modify your ideas/model/theories, and of course make sure you know the incumbent model you are thinking of over throwing perfectly.

Well said.

I would like to add that having good reference material to support one's assertions also helps.  New ideas are always more palatable when others have had similar ideas that can be referenced.  At the very least the reference material may demonstrate where this new theory originates or whether it has merit or is fundamentally flawed.  One's references can either strengthen or weaken a theory.

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On 6/13/2018 at 7:43 AM, T. McGrath said:

Well said.

I would like to add that having good reference material to support one's assertions also helps.  New ideas are always more palatable when others have had similar ideas that can be referenced.  At the very least the reference material may demonstrate where this new theory originates or whether it has merit or is fundamentally flawed.  One's references can either strengthen or weaken a theory.

Of course! One can never really doubt the words of Issac Newton...."I see as far as I do because I stand on the shoulders of giants" [or words to that effect]

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