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Spotting Pseudoscience

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He observed the effect of gravity but then he described it with maths (this is a standard process for mathematical modelling). He didn't go to the universities and said:

 

I've got this theory right something is pulling it down yeah.

 

Newton made one of the biggest contributions to maths. He pioneered the mathematical descriptions of forces. People who usually try and denounce maths in physics are usually too stupid or lazy to learn it. Now our maths and knowledge of physics has advanced any science claiming to be physics without maths is simply trash. You'd have to be very arrogant to ignore all the years of mathematical proof in physics and think you've come up with something new.

Edited by physica

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not always because newton made his maths after he made ideas about gravity

 

Did he publish his idea without maths? (Hint: no).

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Math helps to define an idea, Math is built upon ideas, Just because there is no math yet for an idea does not make that idea any less worthy,

Because someone does not know math does not make them "lazy or stupid", there life may have took a different route or they may not have been privileged to carry on schooling due to "money or commitments to feed a family.

 

No one knocks Faraday even though it was James clerk Maxwell, Who a "generation later", cast Faraday’s nebulous field conception in rigorous mathematical form.

http://www.aetherczar.com/?p=3044

 

Most here seem to forget or ignore everything first starts with a thought/idea, then comes the math which is built upon improved and defined over time.

 

"THOUGHTS" on ray vibrations, by Michael Faraday.

http://books.google.com/books?id=VoKOnXRXqQAC&lpg=PA345&ots=UM-yVq_foI&dq=faraday%20thoughts%20on%20ray%20vibrations&pg=PA345#v=onepage&q=faraday%20thoughts%20on%20ray%20vibrations&f=false

 

Instead of knocking people who come to these forums with no math but a willingness to learn, Those with math could/should see if they can help to find math with them. Perhaps then we can move past this elitist mentality.

 

Scientists/Mathematicians are not the only ones able/allowed to define our world.

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Sunshaker, it is no longer the tail end of the eighteenth century, so Faraday's example is not exactly relevant any more.

 

It's possible to come up with valid theories that don't involve maths. The last Big One was evolution.

 

However, in science we expect that any new theory that is proposed should be able to make testable predictions.

It's not impossible to do that without maths, but in most of science it's very difficult.

 

There are, I think, two reasons why people ask to see the maths here.

Providing the maths to back up an idea shows that you have thought it through and understand it yourself..

Also it's unambiguous; not only does it make clear what you mean, it makes it clear what should follow logically from a theory. That in turn makes it easy for people to test the theory.

 

So, this assertion
"Something else that makes something likely to be pseudoscience is if it's in the field of physics and has no maths."
is broadly true.

 

BTW, Swansont, yes he did publish stuff without a mathematical basis.

He wrote about religion and mysticism.

But nobody remembers that because (in part) it turned out not to be real science- it was pseudoscience.

 

(N.B. that last point was sneaked in to stop this post being entirely off-topic. If anyone wants to discuss the importance of maths in science and the construction of scientific theories , perhaps they would like to start a thread on that subject)

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Most here seem to forget or ignore everything first starts with a thought/idea, then comes the math which is built upon improved and defined over time.

Occasionally a member posts something along these lines:

 

I have a rough idea about how A may arise. There is some evidence to support this. (X and Y). If I am correct we should also find that M occurs in circumstances where N preceded it. Can anyone see any immediate flaws in this speculation, or sugges thow we might test it?

 

That is a rational, sensible scientific approach.

 

Unfortunately, it is an approach that is all to rare. Instead what we get is more like this.

 

I don't like current theory. It is obviously wrong. I think W is far more likely and this is obviously supported by what I think would happen if C and D occurred. (Science hasn't recognised their importance yet.) I expect the usual dogmatic diehards will reject this because they lack the imagination to think outside the box.

 

This is illogical, arrogant and stupid.

 

Are you really suggesting we should encourage faulty logic, egotism and deluded ignorance?

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Faraday was documenting a force that he had observed that hadn't been mathematically described yet. It would be nothing short of retarded to regress back and not use that maths to look into electromagnetism now. Science is like geography. Someone discovering a new island has claim to document it without knowing too much about it, however, it's just plain arrogance to visit that island 100 years after it's discovery to find new places on it whilst refusing to read or understand any of the maps drawn up about the island.

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Instead of knocking people who come to these forums with no math but a willingness to learn, Those with math could/should see if they can help to find math with them. Perhaps then we can move past this elitist mentality.

 

People?! I see a single poster who thinks he can form a TOE without math, has claimed that no teacher can teach him anything (so much for "willingness to learn"), and now wants to corrupt the history of a great mathematician to justify it.

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Scientists/Mathematicians are not the only ones able/allowed to define our world.

They are, in fact, unable to define our world, but they are not the only ones lacking that ability.

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Occasionally a member posts something along these lines:

 

I have a rough idea about how A may arise. There is some evidence to support this. (X and Y). If I am correct we should also find that M occurs in circumstances where N preceded it. Can anyone see any immediate flaws in this speculation, or sugges thow we might test it?

 

That is a rational, sensible scientific approach.

 

Unfortunately, it is an approach that is all to rare. Instead what we get is more like this.

 

I don't like current theory. It is obviously wrong. I think W is far more likely and this is obviously supported by what I think would happen if C and D occurred. (Science hasn't recognised their importance yet.) I expect the usual dogmatic diehards will reject this because they lack the imagination to think outside the box.

 

This is illogical, arrogant and stupid.

 

Are you really suggesting we should encourage faulty logic, egotism and deluded ignorance?

I completely agree with you, Without all the science that as gone before, Myself and many others would still be looking at the stars thinking "Gods", I can only think what i think now, By looking at the live works of many great scientists, But this as only been able since the "internet" For most of us,

We as a species are great at finding patterns in almost anything, Sometimes this will lead to a new discovery or in most cases just a interesting similarity.

 

One example where the power of the internet/"Pattern recognition". Allows anyone without any real knowledge of a subject to help advance a particular science.

DESIGNING RNA molecules

http://eterna.cmu.edu/web/

 

I am afraid i have very little math, but i do understand most of the math i read(to a degree), I know this restricts me in many areas of conversation in these forums, So many of my ideas never will see the light of day, Which i expect most will say good :).

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well, I think that forums should be what they're named after: FORUM, which in latin it is referred to as a public place open to all people to discuss freely of all matters with the end point of opening to new commerce or ideas, or confronting. Forums are where you look for alternative inspirations, a place for the public to express their people's views. If the policy of this forum is to discuss only ideas that are old or already scientifically accepted, then it is obvious the limitations that are put on the members minds. it would not be a public place giving the freedom of expanding the imagination of the members.

If I needed to look for information on an already accepted theory, then I would look it up on wikipedia, and not on a forum.

 

As a matter of fact that is what I always did, until I came across a new theory that struck my attention. For this reason, because it is a new idea, I wanted to confront my views and inform those who are into the mysteries of life and science like me, about it.

 

2 of my posts have been "blocked", when I genuinely wanted to get the feedback on one new theory which I believe being brilliant and unheard of. I feel mistreated and oppressed. it is also frustrating being part of a forum, where I cannot reply to the questions with an answer that I deem pertinent to the matter. (then why doesn't the forum directly hand me a list of answers and theories that I am allowed to post and mention?)

If the post on a forum is for example, "how did the world begin", since there are no accepted theories to that, on what basis does the Forum ban one theory over the other? On the basis that one is new and others are old???? No, if the reason for covering posts is that some "new speculative theory" is mentioned, then I am sorry but even anything regarding the Big Bang theory should be pulled down, or anything regarding even the theory of Gravity or Evolution, because it is still under debate!

 

Hoping to receive a kind reply by someone

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2 of my posts have been "blocked", when I genuinely wanted to get the feedback on one new theory which I believe being brilliant and unheard of. I feel mistreated and oppressed. it is also frustrating being part of a forum, where I cannot reply to the questions with an answer that I deem pertinent to the matter. (then why doesn't the forum directly hand me a list of answers and theories that I am allowed to post and mention?)

If the post on a forum is for example, "how did the world begin", since there are no accepted theories to that, on what basis does the Forum ban one theory over the other? On the basis that one is new and others are old???? No, if the reason for covering posts is that some "new speculative theory" is mentioned, then I am sorry but even anything regarding the Big Bang theory should be pulled down, or anything regarding even the theory of Gravity or Evolution, because it is still under debate!

 

Hoping to receive a kind reply by someone

 

!

Moderator Note

That "oppression" was done my me, in the role of moderator. So, I will explain one last time.

 

Your posts simply violated our rules, section 2.7. Did you bother reading the text of that rule? In both threads I invited you to introduce that "theory" or new idea by writing it down in our forum. The problem is not the contents of the video. The problem is that we must visit another website (youtube) to get to the contents. Contents must be put on our forum, so we can participate without clicking on any external links.

 

At no point did I tell you it is illegal to introduce whatever new theory. However, if your intention is only to generate views to a Youtube channel (or sell viagra for that matter), then you violate our rules.

 

And as I mentioned in at least on of the other moderator notes, we have a special Speculations forum where you can post speculative theories.

 

The discussion about the rules ends here. Do not reply to this mod tip.

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Genuine scientific findings are often streched well beyond their limits by the popular press to create news.

So an advance in cancer treatment becomes a new cure. When it comes to diet the slightest suggestion of benifit becomes a miracle food.Science is the magic word anything with science attached must be true.

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Genuine scientific findings are often streched well beyond their limits by the popular press to create news.

So an advance in cancer treatment becomes a new cure. When it comes to diet the slightest suggestion of benifit becomes a miracle food.Science is the magic word anything with science attached must be true.

 

Solution: more in-depth science education, so people aren't ignorant and gullible when it comes to pseudoscientific claims.

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Solution: more in-depth science education, so people aren't ignorant and gullible when it comes to pseudoscientific claims.

 

And significant public funding for online science fora!

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And significant public funding for online science fora!

 

Yes! We could finally get one of those make-your-own Cheese Nip stations....

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That sounds fine but many don't want a scientific education. The most popular press are those that entertain.We must never forget that many are glad to leave school and go to work.

One way would a much more vocal science community making it more difficult for them to be misrepresented. Experts must come down to earth as far as possible.

The press must be tackled along with dishonest profiteers.

I need help with dishonest car mechanics.

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That sounds fine but many don't want a scientific education. The most popular press are those that entertain.We must never forget that many are glad to leave school and go to work.

One way would a much more vocal science community making it more difficult for them to be misrepresented. Experts must come down to earth as far as possible.

The press must be tackled along with dishonest profiteers.

I need help with dishonest car mechanics.

 

The problem is self-perpetuating. The science community is plenty vocal, it's just that the people who should be listening to them don't have the science education to understand them. Explanations from scientists tend to be much more nuanced and deep, so the average person tunes out science in favor of some easy-to-understand but ultimately wrong sound byte ("If we evolved from monkeys, why do we still have monkeys?").

 

And frankly, if they only taught the scientific method, and critical thinking skills, I think that's all it might take. If everyone understood how to think rationally for themselves, I think it would foster a desire to learn more.

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Come come you've seen the IQ bell curve 50% below 100. My own IQ is about 105 and I have quite a lot of difficulty with some subjects and I'm a persistent applicator. I tried to get to the bottom of the 'five .a day' nonsense merely to be told it was government policy.

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Critical thinking isn't a subject. It's a process for analyzing and synthesizing information rationally. You learn it when you learn the scientific method, but it can be applied virtually anywhere.

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A process that some cannot grasp or a process that some may not want to grasp since they are involved in other pursuits. In this complex technical world we are at the mercy of experts like it or not.

Experts and communicators have to tell us in ways we can understand the truth.

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A process that some cannot grasp or a process that some may not want to grasp since they are involved in other pursuits. In this complex technical world we are at the mercy of experts like it or not.

Experts and communicators have to tell us in ways we can understand the truth.

I agree with this.

 

I always find it amazing that some people think they fully understand a topic after watching a couple of YouTube videos that takes very clever their while life to try and understand. Part of my education was certainly appreciating just how little I fully understood but that that is not something to be ashamed and is the base position of everyone. I'm an expert in a couple of very specific things but again I know that there is a massive amount I don't know even in those areas (else what would be the point of my research?).

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A process that some cannot grasp or a process that some may not want to grasp since they are involved in other pursuits. In this complex technical world we are at the mercy of experts like it or not.

Experts and communicators have to tell us in ways we can understand the truth.

 

And the audience has to make an effort to be literate in the topic under discussion.

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If I cannot tell whether I'm being deceived or not through lack of expert knowledge or understanding I cannot be blamed. We live in an unscrupulous world and science is wide open to abuse for many reasons. Lets stop critising the ordinary and unlearned citizen and get to grips with the guilty. I fear behind much of this is financial gain.

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If I cannot tell whether I'm being deceived or not through lack of expert knowledge or understanding I cannot be blamed. We live in an unscrupulous world and science is wide open to abuse for many reasons. Lets stop critising the ordinary and unlearned citizen and get to grips with the guilty. I fear behind much of this is financial gain.

 

You can make an effort to reasonably educate yourself. If you have not done that, then you are not blameless if you get misled.

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If I cannot tell whether I'm being deceived or not through lack of expert knowledge or understanding I cannot be blamed. We live in an unscrupulous world and science is wide open to abuse for many reasons. Lets stop critising the ordinary and unlearned citizen and get to grips with the guilty. I fear behind much of this is financial gain.

 

This is part of the problem. Specialization has taken over everything and even experts in a field might not be able to see pseudo-science in a closely related field. There is far more bad science out there than most people realize and the media is not even trying to separate the wheat from the chaffe. They don't care if what they publish is real or not because the public is starved for news in science and will lap up anything they publish.

 

Much of what passes for "science" now days is really layers upon layers of speculation which never goes back and tries to test the original speculation with state of the art science and technology. I could tell stories that would curl your hair. There is probably nowhere that more speculative science happens than in dietary concerns. There's a lot that goes on with computer modeling and in fields that are too complex to duplicate parts in the lab.

 

The most common hallmarks of pseudo science is that they are forever contradicting themselves and can't show real evidence of either experiment or real world observation for support. Some people seem to think that anything that doesn't contradict theory must be correct.

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