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Spotting Pseudoscience

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SR was initially beyond the limit of detection. It wasn't confirmed until years later. "Worked in isolation" does not mean "never published". He did not derive the postulate that the speed of light is invariant; he invented it. He proposed a new law of nature.

 

SR wasn't an explanation of an observed phenomenon, it was a prediction. Publication requires peer-review, which is feedback, and Einstein worked at a university, for crying out loud. He collaborated. The constancy of the speed of light comes from Maxwell's equations. It was not actually new, it's just that nobody had looked at the application to mechanical systems before.

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Then I would change the description of #2 to "That is, its predictions must be derivable via logic and, if applicable, mathematics". Otherwise people might get the mistaken impression that the premises need be derived.

 

OK, change "claim" to "prediction" if you like. I don't see a difference, but whatever.

 

I'd say that well over 90% of people on these forums think that a theory's predictive equations must be derived.

 

Well, if that's true then that's pretty bad. It should be common knowledge that a theory has to start with someone making a conjecture that has empirical content.

 

An illogical theory (e.g. one that is self-inconsistent) can make predictions that are derivable via logic and, if applicable, mathematics. I think you need a separate point that says the theory must be logical.

 

I did make that a separate point. It's #1 on the list.

 

1. It must be consistent.

That is' date=' for no statement X should it be possible to deduce both X and NOT X from the axioms of the theory.

[/quote']

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SR wasn't an explanation of an observed phenomenon, it was a prediction. Publication requires peer-review, which is feedback, and Einstein worked at a university, for crying out loud. He collaborated. The constancy of the speed of light comes from Maxwell's equations. It was not actually new, it's just that nobody had looked at the application to mechanical systems before.

Einstein did not work at a university when he wrote his 1905 "miracle year" papers. He worked as a patent clerk then. He was the only author. He collaborated only with a friend he bounced ideas off of. He didn't get a job at a university until later; his 1905 papers helped him get that job.

 

Treating the act of submitting a paper for peer review as not working in isolation is ridiculous IMO. We’d never see pseudoscience in that case, because “worked in isolation” would mean that the person never showed it to anybody. But “worked in isolation” means exactly what the dictionary says it does, and Einstein did exactly that. So did Dirac and Newton to a large degree.

 

Einstein did propose a new law of nature with his postulate that the speed of light is invariant. It doesn't matter if it was obvious from pre-existing sources. Einstein proposed a new law of nature with his equivalence principle as well.

 

I did make that a separate point. It's #1 on the list.

So you did. My bad, sorry.

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Treating the act of submitting a paper for peer review as not working in isolation is ridiculous IMO. We’d never see pseudoscience in that case, because “worked in isolation” would mean that the person never showed it to anybody.

 

No, it means they would never modify their results based on feedback from people who know what they're talking about. Like they'd have a website, or just post crap to bulletin boards, proudly proclaiming their grand discoveries, and ignoring all who disagree. Oh, wait ...

 

Anyway, since Dr. Park actually clarified what he meant in his article "Scientific breakthroughs nowadays are almost always syntheses of the work of many scientists" (emphasis added) it's hard to defend applying this to science done 100+ years ago, when there were a lot more opportunities for even amateurs to make significant contributions in many areas.

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No, it means they would never modify their results based on feedback from people who know what they're talking about. Like they'd have a website, or just post crap to bulletin boards, proudly proclaiming their grand discoveries, and ignoring all who disagree. Oh, wait ...

Sorry, I’m going to have to go with the dictionary on this one. I’d like to see the proof that a scientific claim posted on a website is invalid.

 

Anyway, since Dr. Park actually clarified what he meant in his article "Scientific breakthroughs nowadays are almost always syntheses of the work of many scientists" (emphasis added) it's hard to defend applying this to science done 100+ years ago, when there were a lot more opportunities for even amateurs to make significant contributions in many areas.

It’s hard to defend applying this nowadays. Scientific breakthroughs nowadays are usually the work of men, so I guess we should suspect all women’s work as pseudoscience. Dr. Park is clearly trying to throw the babies out with the bathwater with his ironically pseudoscientific list. Tom Mattson’s list above is scientific—it’s the one that should be favored by this site.

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I’d like to see the proof that a scientific claim posted on a website is invalid.

 

Why would you think one existed? It's an observation, not a physical law. Nothing is there to prevent valid science from going that route, yet it never seems to. Do you have any counter-examples?

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A counter-example is here or here. Rather than those who disagree being ignored, they have been soundly refuted. Nevertheless it must be pseudoscience. We don’t need science to tell us what pseudoscience is nowadays. We need only look at the odds, at least at this site.

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Ah, silly me. I should have seen that one coming. And yet, I think I covered this a few posts back.

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Don’t worry, yours is a common knee-jerk reaction in the face of proof that even an amateur can revolutionize physics.

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To revolutionize physics, physicists must know about a discovery, and posting it on a forum won't really do that well enough. That's what peer-reviewed journals are for: publishing discoveries and "revolutionary" ideas.

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Er, "in the face of proof?" Odd use of the term, that.

 

Generally, when someone points out a potential shortcoming of an argument, and the response is "When you are ready to have an all-scientific discussion, let me know." and also refuses to do math to support their argument, I think that falls under the "burden of proof" fallacy and fits in the "post crap to bulletin boards, proudly proclaiming their grand discoveries, and ignoring all who disagree" category. In your two links, basically all you do in response is tell every person who points out a problem that that you don't accept their objection. But without the math, it's way to easy to get caught up in semantics and interpretations and hand-waving. Quoting Einstein just to use argument from authority doesn't help things. "Einstein said X" ignores the fact that a lot of GR development is due to other people. (pssst. Einstein wasn't always right, nor is his work the final word)

 

As far as "you amply showed that you are unscientific," I have to wonder, what science was present that could have possibly shown this?

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To revolutionize physics, physicists must know about a discovery, and posting it on a forum won't really do that well enough. That's what peer-reviewed journals are for: publishing discoveries and "revolutionary" ideas.

It’s a second revolution when physicists realize that physics has been revolutionized. The same unscientific thinking that this site uses for detecting pseudoscience is prevalent at the “reputable” journals too. For example, by editorial policy at Annalen der Physik, which originally published special relativity, no paper that challenges Einstein is eligible for consideration. A formal peer review from a reputable journal is not an option for my idea, even assuming it’s valid. You can ask them yourself to confirm.

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In your two links, basically all you do in response is tell every person who points out a problem that that you don't accept their objection.

You’re not only unscientific, you’re also a liar.

 

But without the math, it's way to easy to get caught up in semantics and interpretations and hand-waving.

The math has already been done in spades. I refer to the widely accepted predictions of GR, as put forth by several noted physicists. Math can mislead too. For example, no one in 90+ years has noticed that GR’s widely accepted predictions clearly contradict each other.

 

Quoting Einstein just to use argument from authority doesn't help things.

Whatever. You can call any reference a paper makes just an “argument from authority”. My references to Einstein are no different than other papers’ references in general.

 

As far as "you amply showed that you are unscientific," I have to wonder, what science was present that could have possibly shown this?

By your logic, women’s work should be suspected as pseudoscience just because most scientific breakthroughs have been made by men. You think that works should be judged by historical odds and other criteria having no basis in scientific principles.

 

There is no need to examine the theorist's actions or career to determine if his work is pseudoscience.

 

And you are unscientific if you do so.

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It’s a second revolution when physicists realize that physics has been revolutionized. The same unscientific thinking that this site uses for detecting pseudoscience is prevalent at the “reputable” journals too. For example, by editorial policy at Annalen der Physik, which originally published special relativity, no paper that challenges Einstein is eligible for consideration. A formal peer review from a reputable journal is not an option for my idea, even assuming it’s valid. You can ask them yourself to confirm.

 

And the US patent office won't accept patents for pertpetual motion devices. O M G ! Relativity has been challenged and tested for 100/90 years (SR/GR); who wants to waste time reviewing yet another paper from someone who doesn't understand relativity? If the journal pestered the community with such requests, they would get fewer reviewers for other topics.

 

The same unscientific thinking that this site uses for detecting pseudoscience

 

The site isn't sentient, so "the site" can't detect pseudoscience. These are guidelines to use. The more attributes you can find that are on the list, the more likely the material is pseudoscience.

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Relativity has been challenged and tested for 100/90 years (SR/GR); who wants to waste time reviewing yet another paper from someone who doesn't understand relativity? If the journal pestered the community with such requests, they would get fewer reviewers for other topics.

Thanks for helping make my case. GR has barely been tested, but of course I must be wrong about that because you are the King of Physics.

 

The more attributes you can find that are on the list, the more likely the material is pseudoscience.

The list itself is pseudoscience, so it doesn’t help to spot it. The list is just dogma for your ilk.

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Thanks for helping make my case. GR has barely been tested, but of course I must be wrong about that because you are the King of Physics.

 

i think you don't know what the ban is about. If the paper spots a hole in the relativity(either version) and provides the tweaks and amendments necessary to the relevant theory then it would be accepted.

 

if however, it went along the lines of 'Relativity is completely wrong. here's what i think it is.' without first explaining where and why relativity is inadequate. then it will be rejected as it is not science.

 

I honestly don't know where you get the idea that relativity hasn't been tested much. IIRC it is tested every time someone uses GPS every time physicists turn on a particle accelerator or free electron laser. every time we look at the stars an orbits of planets as well. especially if it is a highgravity/high speed condition. this is where GR and SR are being tested and they haven't had major holes poked in them yet. If you still think they have barelybeen tested then i'm sure other members will swamp you with examples of tests and retests

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If the paper spots a hole in the relativity(either version) and provides the tweaks and amendments necessary to the relevant theory then it would be accepted.

No, it would not even be read. The odds against validity are considered too high to even consider such work. If they were scientific, showing a flaw of a widely accepted theory would be enough.

 

I honestly don't know where you get the idea that relativity hasn't been tested much. IIRC it is tested every time someone uses GPS every time physicists turn on a particle accelerator or free electron laser. every time we look at the stars an orbits of planets as well. especially if it is a highgravity/high speed condition. this is where GR and SR are being tested and they haven't had major holes poked in them yet. If you still think they have barelybeen tested then i'm sure other members will swamp you with examples of tests and retests

There are no “high gravity” tests of GR. The theory has been experimentally confirmed in only the weakest-gravity 0.0005% of the region above a theorized event horizon of a black hole. It doesn’t matter how often you test the same teeny tiny part of a theory’s range of applicability, you’re still not comprehensively testing the theory. And no, black holes do not confirm GR; those “discoveries” rely on the validity of GR. Nobody here could show a single example that proves otherwise. But never fear, in our Dim Age we can simply lock theories in stone and declare any doubters wrong regardless of the evidence they have.

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Right. So instead of arguing on and on about relativity and tests and all sorts of fun stuff, I think we can instead agree on a simple statement: Relativity works for most things we've tried it on. The trouble is when you apply relativity to things like individual particles or high-gravity environments (hence the search for a "final theory"). So it's fair enough to say, "relativity works, to a point."

 

The real question is whether Zanket's rebuttal of relativity is right or wrong, and this discussion is not relevant to that at all. We know relativity could be improved upon (to say the least), but is Zanket headed in the right direction?

 

 

note: correct me if I'm wrong here, because I probably got bits wrong. But you get my point.

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The real question is whether Zanket's rebuttal of relativity is right or wrong, and this discussion is not relevant to that at all.

Yes, this thread is about spotting pseudoscience, which the OP shows is done here with pseudoscientific criteria. Some sites are more scientific than others. I’d say that sciforums is the most scientific, and physicsforums the least. I’d rank this site as 2nd-least scientific. Here the King of Physics can be a barefaced liar with impunity, science be damned.

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Quote:

 

Something is probably bull if:

 

1. The discoverer pitches the claim directly to the media.

 

Many, (most?) 'discoverers' do this, in order to 'raise the profile'.

The short news item always concludes with "more study is needed".

 

The group is simply advertising (for more money.

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no, a proper researcher submits it to a peer reveiw journal which both raises the profile among those people who matter and gains the additional study and determines whether he might be onto something or not.

 

media does none of these things.

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Well most researchers are not what you define as 'proper' then.

 

The study quote above is interesting, and may have major impacts

on society. But needs More Study to confirm it's results.

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