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Thread: Pseudoscience: How to spot a Crackpot

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    Cart-mod 2.0 Global Moderator Cartesiantheater's Avatar
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    Pseudoscience: How to spot a Crackpot

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    Crackpots are everywhere. They tend to claim to be victims of conspiratorial censorship. They often believe that their "revolutionary" theory will unify science with some other field of study. They see themselves as the brave pioneer fighting against the old Establishment, the latter being too entrenched in their ways to see the Truth. They feel that fear alone, or perhaps some power conspiracy, is what stops real scientists from accepting their theory, and that if only they were given a fair chance they could revolutionize science and more.

    They are also sadly mistaken. And I do mean sadly.




    So how can you tell if you're being bewitched by a crackpot? That's what this thread is about.



    Here is an entertaining article:

    http://www.cognitionandculture.net/i...blog&Itemid=34


    From the above:

    Features of crackpot science
    To get further, let me list some common aspects of the phenomenon:

    1 All crackpottery is foundational. Crackpots do not go for the small problems, for what Kuhn called the puzzle-solving of normal science, they invariably shake the foundations of modern physics. They provide a new structure for the atom, a new unified theory of field and energy, a complete alternative to general relativity, an entirely novel cosmology, etc.

    2 Most physics crackpots are engineers. More than 95% of my sample boast engineering degrees, or combine an undergraduate maths/physics degree followed by an engineering PhD or equivalent. This is not too surprising, as this may be the only kind of courses that provides one with enough math background to understand the equations and formulae in the textbooks without actually studying maths and physics - which would show the crackpot why he’s misguided.

    3 All crackpots are male. There used to be the one lady valiantly posting ‘quantum physics disproved’ webpages but she recently died. Perhaps this extraordinary sex-ratio is explained by point [2] above.

    4 Crackpots ignore other crackpots. For a long time, physicists pursued by cranks used the time-honored strategy of forwarding those messages to other ones, in the hope that the cooks would exhaust their energies in reciprocal refutations. In fact, practically none of the websites in my collection makes any mention of any other one. In the crackpot’s worldview, there is ego (with an enormously important discovery) vs. the monolithic community of “establishment physics”, and that’s it.

    5 The crackpot theory is invariably more intuitive than the standard one. The alternatives to special relativity (which is a favourite crackpot target - about 4/5 of my sample are about that) are invariably “better”, at least in the eyes of the authors, in that they do not result in deeply non-intuituive notions, eg time-dilation. Similarly, alternatives to general relativity eschew the notion of time-space distortion as an account of gravitation. Alternative to the standard model of elementary particles are generally fonded on material particles with known or knowable position and velocity, rather than the standard uncertainty picture.

    6 In the same way, the crackpot alternative is, almost universally, less mathematically challenging than the standard account. For instance, tensors and other complicated tools of SR are replaced with college-level calculus, and in many cases with high-school algebra.

    7 The crackpot theory is based on textbooks. Most of my cranks cite virtually no recent publications in physics. Almost all of them rely, for their understanding of modern physics, on what is in the textbooks. This explains some quaint, often comical aspects of their prose. For instance, the sites I observed contain extensive and meticulous analyses of the famous Michelson-Morley experiment, demonstrating identical speed of light in all directions, often cited as the princeps refutation of the notion of ether and vindication of relativistic models. The cranks go on and on about possible aspects of that particular study that standard physics may have neglected. Or they fill pages with the 1919 eclipse and the demonstration of Einsteinian “light-bending” by gravity, trying to show that the observation was not so conclusive, etc. The reason for this obsession with particular studies is that those are invariably cited by textbooks - and that is where the cranks get their scientific training.




    Here is a quick list:
    http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/crackpot.html


    The Crackpot Index

    John Baez



    A simple method for rating potentially revolutionary contributions to physics:


    1. A -5 point starting credit.

    2. 1 point for every statement that is widely agreed on to be false.

    3. 2 points for every statement that is clearly vacuous.

    4. 3 points for every statement that is logically inconsistent.

    5. 5 points for each such statement that is adhered to despite careful correction.

    6. 5 points for using a thought experiment that contradicts the results of a widely accepted real experiment.

    7. 5 points for each word in all capital letters (except for those with defective keyboards).

    8. 5 points for each mention of "Einstien", "Hawkins" or "Feynmann".

    9. 10 points for each claim that quantum mechanics is fundamentally misguided (without good evidence).

    10. 10 points for pointing out that you have gone to school, as if this were evidence of sanity.

    11. 10 points for beginning the description of your theory by saying how long you have been working on it. (10 more for emphasizing that you worked on your own.)

    12. 10 points for mailing your theory to someone you don't know personally and asking them not to tell anyone else about it, for fear that your ideas will be stolen.

    13. 10 points for offering prize money to anyone who proves and/or finds any flaws in your theory.

    14. 10 points for each new term you invent and use without properly defining it.

    15. 10 points for each statement along the lines of "I'm not good at math, but my theory is conceptually right, so all I need is for someone to express it in terms of equations".

    16. 10 points for arguing that a current well-established theory is "only a theory", as if this were somehow a point against it.

    17. 10 points for arguing that while a current well-established theory predicts phenomena correctly, it doesn't explain "why" they occur, or fails to provide a "mechanism".

    18. 10 points for each favorable comparison of yourself to Einstein, or claim that special or general relativity are fundamentally misguided (without good evidence).

    19. 10 points for claiming that your work is on the cutting edge of a "paradigm shift".

    20. 20 points for emailing me and complaining about the crackpot index. (E.g., saying that it "suppresses original thinkers" or saying that I misspelled "Einstein" in item 8.)

    21. 20 points for suggesting that you deserve a Nobel prize.

    22. 20 points for each favorable comparison of yourself to Newton or claim that classical mechanics is fundamentally misguided (without good evidence).

    23. 20 points for every use of science fiction works or myths as if they were fact.

    24. 20 points for defending yourself by bringing up (real or imagined) ridicule accorded to your past theories.

    25. 20 points for naming something after yourself. (E.g., talking about the "The Evans Field Equation" when your name happens to be Evans.)

    26. 20 points for talking about how great your theory is, but never actually explaining it.

    27. 20 points for each use of the phrase "hidebound reactionary".

    28. 20 points for each use of the phrase "self-appointed defender of the orthodoxy".

    29. 30 points for suggesting that a famous figure secretly disbelieved in a theory which he or she publicly supported. (E.g., that Feynman was a closet opponent of special relativity, as deduced by reading between the lines in his freshman physics textbooks.)

    30. 30 points for suggesting that Einstein, in his later years, was groping his way towards the ideas you now advocate.

    31. 30 points for claiming that your theories were developed by an extraterrestrial civilization (without good evidence).

    32. 30 points for allusions to a delay in your work while you spent time in an asylum, or references to the psychiatrist who tried to talk you out of your theory.

    33. 40 points for comparing those who argue against your ideas to Nazis, stormtroopers, or brownshirts.

    34. 40 points for claiming that the "scientific establishment" is engaged in a "conspiracy" to prevent your work from gaining its well-deserved fame, or suchlike.

    35. 40 points for comparing yourself to Galileo, suggesting that a modern-day Inquisition is hard at work on your case, and so on.

    36. 40 points for claiming that when your theory is finally appreciated, present-day science will be seen for the sham it truly is. (30 more points for fantasizing about show trials in which scientists who mocked your theories will be forced to recant.)

    37. 50 points for claiming you have a revolutionary theory but giving no concrete testable predictions.









    Beware of crank theories...
    "I was put on trial twice near Y2K for acting like Jesus and claiming to be the Messiah. Its not everyday that a man parks a Chariot of Fire in front of a tomb and stands against the US government with a bow and razor tipped arrows over his shoulder. I wore a suit of armor and was protected by an invisible bubble and my sharp tongue was more than the judicial system could handle."Jake
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    Prepared survivor Seasoned Member equestrian's Avatar
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    Pseudoscience doesn't exist

    There is no such thing as pseudoscience - that is simply a term used to browbeat and force compliance to someone's else's will

    All science starts out as theory or collective observations - some do not work out - others become fully developed. While on the sidelines there are those who are unwilling to let the processes go to fruition while (in order to satisfy their own egos) they habitually bellow pseudoscience pseudoscience

    So when one observes this sideline behavior - keep it in mind that it's an eqo trip

    eq
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    Iam puppy, hear me yap. Global Moderator lycanox's Avatar
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    Other signs I noticed are:

    - Boasting a high acceptance of their theories among the scientific community.
    (More and more scientists come to realize my special theory of special specialty is correct. Etc)

    - An unusual amount of mentioned unnamed research groups. Think tanks or scientists that supplied data or evidence for your claim.
    (Using the groundbreaking data from research groups in Wakita. I successfully managed to prove my theories. As confirmed by the scientist in think tank from quasita city.)

    - Boasting to solve a complex question, while only discussing one specific aspect while neglecting all other factors.
    (Because the bomb in the building did not produce any visible flames. Its impossible that the bomb could have burned the support wall. And the building thus could not have collapsed.)

    -Claiming to solve an controversial moral problem. With one scientific fact alone.
    (Food production is to low to sustain the world population. I recommend thus killing people. )

    -Emotionally leading on the audience.
    (And so the abortion of those poor innocent cute babies must stop becouse of these claims I discovered.)

    - Obvious ideological, political preference for outcome.
    (And unlike those dishonest members of the apple party are claiming. My research shows the problem is not solvable with their research. So we can only hope that people will vote for the banana party next election.)

    - Bullshit terms driven in from other sources. Being either incorrect on their own. Or serve only an emotional response purpose.
    (Words like Mandatory evacuation. Apocalypse.)

    - Pulling things out of context
    (These research papers claim that water is lethal when ingested to much of it.
    So drinking any drip of water is poisoners.)

    -Hoping nobody checks the little facts.
    That the Nazi's used dihydrogen monooxide to kill their victims clearly demonstrates its dangers to public health. And serves as an testament to the dangers I discovered with using...)

    -Playing up completely irrelevant jobs or studies to claim expertise.
    (And due to my to my expertise as dentist, I recommend people not to undergo this operation on their hearth valve.)

    -Playing up minor schools as top eduction.
    (And after studying 4 years at manure school in Butfuck Kansas..
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    Cart-mod 2.0 Global Moderator Cartesiantheater's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by equestrian View Post
    There is no such thing as pseudoscience - that is simply a term used to browbeat and force compliance to someone's else's will
    That's exactly what a crackpot would say.

    Quote Originally Posted by equestrian View Post
    All science starts out as theory or collective observations - some do not work out - others become fully developed. While on the sidelines there are those who are unwilling to let the processes go to fruition while (in order to satisfy their own egos) they habitually bellow pseudoscience pseudoscience

    So when one observes this sideline behavior - keep it in mind that it's an eqo trip

    eq
    /
    Again, exactly what a crackpot would say.


    This is being moved to the pseudoscience thread. There is no reason to clutter the forums with duplicate topics.
    "I was put on trial twice near Y2K for acting like Jesus and claiming to be the Messiah. Its not everyday that a man parks a Chariot of Fire in front of a tomb and stands against the US government with a bow and razor tipped arrows over his shoulder. I wore a suit of armor and was protected by an invisible bubble and my sharp tongue was more than the judicial system could handle."Jake
    "The toilet is more than a throne. It is a sacred chamber."-Anton LaVey, High Priest of Satanism

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    One must wonder if people like Archimedes or Tesla would of been labeled "crackpot" by these standards?

    At least the article is up front about being entertainment.
    Jim Crow America relegated Blacks to the back of buses. Israel wants Arabs excluded from the bus entirely.

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    Prepared survivor Seasoned Member equestrian's Avatar
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    I fail to see any science in this post of Cartesiantheater's - rather it seems to be an attempt to subjugate

    It should be moved out of the serious Discussuion section

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    A little reinforcement to crackpottery
    Read this on the oildrum and it seems to fit nicely here

    Arrogance and Scientific Rules of Thumb

    Posted by Gail the Actuary on July 5, 2010 - 10:16am
    Topic: Miscellaneous
    Tags: thermodynamics. [list all tags]

    This is a guest post by Cheryl Rofer. Cheryl worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory for 37 years on topics including the nuclear fuel cycle, fossil fuels, lasers, technologies for destruction of hazardous wastes and decommissioning of nuclear weapons, and management of environmental cleanups. Cheryl has been a visitor to The OIl Drum for a long time, but has only recently registered. Her blog is Phronesisaical.

    I often get irritated when I read poorly informed discussions of scientific and engineering issues. Why? I think itís the arrogance. That arrogance comes in several forms:

    Hey, you science guys! Youíve got something wrong!

    Iíve figured out a solution for a problem that other people seem to find difficult.

    No, I didnít have to check whatís been done before.

    And there are more.

    These assertions are indicators that the person behind them doesnít know what s/he is talking about.

    Thatís one of my rules of thumb. Scientists have a lot of rules of thumb, which sometimes makes them seem arrogant.

    ďIíve found a way to run your car on water instead of gasoline.Ē

    ďBosh.Ē

    One of my favorite sources of rules of thumb is thermodynamics. It doesnít tell you how to do things, or how fast you can do them, but it tells you whether something, like running your car on water, is impossible.

    Most people know that there are three laws of thermodynamics: energy can neither be created nor destroyed; you canít break even except at absolute zero, but you canít reach absolute zero. Adding some chemical specifics gives very useful rules of thumb. Engineers have other rules of thumb, from thermodynamics and practical experience.

    Iíll give a few examples of those rules. They become so engrained if you do science or engineering for a while that you donít think of them--they become a sort of common sense, different from everyday common sense. So when someone says something that contravenes them, a scientist is likely to reply sharply that thatís wrong.

    Rule #1 (no significance to the numbers): If itís an obvious idea, chances are that someoneís thought of it before, and thereís a good reason why it wonít work. This is not a reason to give up, but rather a guide to checking the idea out.

    This rule doesnít flow directly from thermodynamics. Itís more in the realm of how science works. One of the most basic things that a scientist learns is that his/her own mind is the first place that mistakes will be made. Itís too easy to bend facts in your mind toward what you want, to determine a conclusion and then figure out how it has to be done. So when a scientist has a great idea, the first reaction is to ask whether it fits with the rules of thumb and whether itís been done before. If it goes against any of these, a scientistís reaction is, ďWhat did I get wrong?Ē not ďThatís the way it ought to be.Ē

    I had a boss once Ė a physicist in a project that was mostly chemistry Ė who believed that creativity depended on not knowing too much about a subject. This is a view taken by many physicists and too many of those proffering solutions to the Deepwater Horizon blowout. My boss would come around with a great idea; we would tell him what was wrong with it; and then heíd let it go. It wasted time, which is why I prefer some base of subject knowledge as a takeoff point for creativity, but he put the process of science into play and lived by it: peer review. There are a lot of ways to check out a new idea: ask other people; repeat the experiment; check the literature. You canít get creative if you stick with a loser idea. The important thing is to give it up once someone shows you itís foolish.

    BPís blowout at Deepwater Horizon is particularly difficult to comprehend because of its scale. Most of us are not accustomed to thinking of the pressures under a mile of water, nor gases flashing out of the liquid as the petroleum bursts from the pipe, the enormous pressure behind it, the five-story blowout preventer. The construction of the well is not easily visualized, particularly if youíve never learned how a well is constructed, now with an unknown degree of damage. Iíve dealt with drillers, had the business of mud described to me, and I canít describe it now in any detail myself.

    So extrapolations from experience in watering the garden are unlikely to provide solutions. Heck, if you think that the well can just be buried, plant a hose in the ground shooting full force upward and try to cover it with dirt. Nor are computer games or action movies a good guide to what can be done.

    Rule #2: Input for a product should be water and air; other things cost more. KISS: Keep it simple, stupid. Also: Occamís razor. Basically, the simplest explanations and the cheapest inputs, are usually best.

    These are three statements of a similar principle. I learned the first from a chemical engineer. The others are more general. They are nice tests of an idea: how cheap and easy is it? How could it be cheaper and easier? This can lead to cutting corners, but it doesnít have to.

    Those rules are directly applicable to the solutions being offered for the BP blowout, but there are other rules that have more general application.

    Rule #3: Carbon dioxide and water are products, not reactants. The system hydrocarbon plus oxygen has more energy (enthalpy) in it than water plus carbon dioxide. This is mostly a consequence of thermodynamicsí First Law. If you get energy out of a system, as in an automobile engine, you canít get much more energy out of the products. So all the schemes to run your car on water are bosh. No, you canít use a catalyst to turn it around; catalysts only speed up reactions that are allowed thermodynamically. You have to add energy to do anything chemically with carbon dioxide and water.

    Rule #4: Stuff mixes. Iíve recently been engaged in a discussion with a person who has convinced himself that the science on the CFC ban was wrong. His reasoning is that you can pour out gaseous CFCs in a stream because they are heavier than air; therefore they must fall out of the atmosphere and never reach the ozone layer. The Second Law says that things tend toward maximum disorder, which means they mix. Once mixed, stuff doesnít unmix. Have you ever seen the sugar jump out of a cup of tea and form one of those nice little cubes? Gases mix even more easily.

    Rule #5: Everything takes more energy than you think. Iíve seen, far too many times, the lament that our current electrical generating plants ďwasteĒ one-third of the energy in their fuels. Welcome to the Carnot cycle! Itís one of the first things thermodynamics students calculate, a sequence of energy generation and use. And the result that those students get, largely a consequence of the Second Law, is that about a third of the input energy goes to entropy, not usable. There are other cycles and other ways to use energy that are more efficient, but if youíve got a Carnot cycle, the most common cycle for power plants, youíre stuck with that one-third entropy. The Second Law says that thereís always going to be some left-over, not-usable energy, and that there will be even more when you try to reverse a process, like turning carbon dioxide into something else.

    There are more. Maybe the ongoing nature of the BP blowout, leading to repeated rebuffs of all those suggestions that arenít likely to work, will teach some of the public that such rules of thumb exist and are useful.
    Link to post
    http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6681

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    Prepared survivor Seasoned Member equestrian's Avatar
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    This post should be moved out of the serious Discussuion section
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    Prepared survivor Seasoned Member equestrian's Avatar
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    This post by CT should be moved out of the serious Discussion section

    It's all just ego trip
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    Survivalist! MaximumPain's Avatar
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    Guess this thread kind of stings doesn't it EQ?

    Edit ~ Looks like I hurt EQ,s feelings to get a "do not reply" PM and an ignore.
    Last edited by MaximumPain; Jul 6th, 2010 at 1:18 PM.
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    Lepton Boson Muon Guy Contributor Mezurashi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaximumPain View Post
    Edit ~ Looks like I hurt EQ,s feelings to get a "do not reply" PM and an ignore.
    EQ sent you a PM telling you Not to Reply?

    jeebus wept, what a ... a ...

    *roflmao*
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    AIZUMNO1 ZA5O5UUM dedanoe's Avatar
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    every one has to have equal right to offer their own solutions. no one is to be disregarded physically or mentally or anyhow cause we all want our problems solved. making crack pot indexes or other forms of black lists of unwanted types of persons (terrorists, lunatics, trolls etc) is but a way of the dominant to secure their monopole on the market so they can be the only to take credits for it. if i let you prevent me from trying, for my behavior was crack-potistic then i will never be able advance on a personal level. i think that every one of us is equally smart. we only differ by what we select we are gonna do and in our effort invested in doing it so.
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    Cart-mod 2.0 Global Moderator Cartesiantheater's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by equestrian View Post
    This post by CT should be moved out of the serious Discussion section

    It's all just ego trip
    No it's to help posters who don't spend a lot of time studying science how to tell when they're being fed bullsh*t.



    EDIT- to add

    Eco, in this forum, when we say "science section" we mean legitimate peer reviewed science.

    When something doesn't fit that category, it isn't science for the purposes of this forum.


    As far as THIS thread, it is stickied in the science section to help clarify to posters what constitutes science for this forum and what doesn't.


    If you do not like how this forum is run, no one is forcing you to be here. There are other forums where people have opened their minds so much that their brains have fallen out, if you prefer that standard. Armageddon Online is not one of them.
    Last edited by Cartesiantheater; Jul 11th, 2010 at 9:47 PM.
    "I was put on trial twice near Y2K for acting like Jesus and claiming to be the Messiah. Its not everyday that a man parks a Chariot of Fire in front of a tomb and stands against the US government with a bow and razor tipped arrows over his shoulder. I wore a suit of armor and was protected by an invisible bubble and my sharp tongue was more than the judicial system could handle."Jake
    "The toilet is more than a throne. It is a sacred chamber."-Anton LaVey, High Priest of Satanism

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    . Global Moderator Fut004's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by equestrian View Post
    This post by CT should be moved out of the serious Discussion section

    It's all just ego trip
    Quote Originally Posted by equestrian View Post
    This post should be moved out of the serious Discussuion section
    Quote Originally Posted by equestrian View Post
    It should be moved out of the serious Discussuion section
    /

    Try the "Report Post" function, it works much better than the "Cry Baby Spam" function.

    This thread was very informative, it will help readers who are interested in science and it should probably stay in an easily found location. Also, it turned out to be extremely funny (see the 4th post).

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    AIZUMNO1 ZA5O5UUM dedanoe's Avatar
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    if "troll = out of con troll" then i am proud to be one.
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    The premise of this thread is crackpottery at its worst — attempting to shoehorn dissenters (who are "all males," according to the OP) into some dim cubbyhole of scientific irrelevance. In short, this is another of those "don't dare question Science unless you are a scientist" threads, which are arrogant at best and mind-numbingly oppressive at worst.

    Fuck Science. How's that for a "crackpot" statement? If Science ever did anything that made the world a better place, I might stand up in its defense. But everything wrong in the world today is directly attributable to Science. So fuck it.

    — Doc Velocity

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    Iam puppy, hear me yap. Global Moderator lycanox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Velocity View Post
    The premise of this thread is crackpottery at its worst ó attempting to shoehorn dissenters (who are "all males," according to the OP) into some dim cubbyhole of scientific irrelevance. In short, this is another of those "don't dare question Science unless you are a scientist" threads, which are arrogant at best and mind-numbingly oppressive at worst.
    Science has rules to weed out the crackpots. Which are based on transparency and reliablitity in an atmosphere of open constructive critism.

    Just saying stuff without backing it up. Or yelling conspiracy over contradicting science is thus not science.

    Fuck Science. How's that for a "crackpot" statement? If Science ever did anything that made the world a better place, I might stand up in its defense. But everything wrong in the world today is directly attributable to Science. So fuck it.

    ó Doc Velocity
    How about modern medicine.
    Electricity.
    The space program.
    Internet.
    And practically everything else you are currently using each day.

    Infact the fact that you typed that statement on the internet, an product that is the result of a long chain of scientic discoveries is already hypocrite.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lycanox View Post
    How about modern medicine.
    Electricity.
    The space program.
    Internet.
    And practically everything else you are currently using each day.


    Infact the fact that you typed that statement on the internet, an product that is the result of a long chain of scientic discoveries is already hypocrite.
    Oh, you clueless retards walk into the mind-trap again and again.

    But it gives me something to do... So, here goes... AGAIN:

    Modern medicine. How glorious. How thrilling to know that modern medicine is methodically attempting to make us Immortal. It's extending our lives, making us more productive into our 70s and 80s; and, thanks to Modern Medicine, we may see an end to all disease in this century!

    Reality Check. The entire world population before 1900 was just over 900 MILLION.

    Thanks to Modern Medicine, particularly Modern Medicine in the Third World, the human population has exploded in just one century to over 6 BILLION.

    Poverty, Hunger, Disease have all increased exponentially because MORE of us are surviving thanks to medicine when perhaps we shouldn't be surviving, by Nature's call.

    We have only escalated the battle against viruses. See, we inoculated the masses, vaccinated them, made them live a bit longer, and now the virus has more opportunity to mutate into something grander.

    Do you follow? SuperVirus. SuperDisease. It's already happening.

    As an animal species, we're not particularly successful. We exploit resources to the point of depletion, we reproduce year-round, we do not "fit in" to any ecological cycle — more often, we destroy ecological cycles.

    So, do you perceive our bloated, burgeoning overpopulation as a GOOD THING?

    It is not. Modern Medicine is turning the Human species into the cancer of Planet Earth.

    You mention Electricity... LOL... Well, of course, we intelligent apes didn't invent the effect of electricity, but we have learned to control certain aspects of electricity. The great majority of electrical activity in the world is not under the control of humans. Thank God.

    But what have humans done with Electricity? Well, we've wrapped it up, packaged it, and surrounded ourselves with it. We've laid down these enormous grids of electricity that are radiating EMF like fucking crazy, all over the globe. We're disturbing the natural balance, screwing up the innate compasses of animals and insects and microbes and every fucking thing else with our electrical fascination.

    AND we've been broadcasting all of our weaknesses out into the void using electrical transmitters for about a hundred years... So, if anybody out there within a hundred lightyears is inclined to come invade us, all they have to do is follow the radio beacon. Beep Beep Beep.

    The Space Program hasn't given us a whole hell of a lot of anything, realistically speaking. It's always been a sort of fringe-entertainment, more like a morale booster. Yeah, we got microwave ovens out of it, which just saturated us with more toxic EMF (careful, you pacemaker patients, LOL); and yeah, we have some pretty advanced space-borne weapons systems. For killing people.

    You consider this good, right?

    As for the Internet, it speaks for itself. Does ANYBODY think the Internet is an environment of righteous transparency? Well, to a degree, but it's largely just a reflection of the muddled mind of Man. "Here we are on planet Earth, and we're fallible, and we know we're fallible, and we're broadcasting our failures back and forth to one another"... I mean, Wikileaks is HOW the fucking INTERNET should WORK.

    Are any of you satisfied with your Internet service? My Internet service SUX

    So, don't try to pull that lame fucking game — How dare you criticize the very science that has made these words possible BULLSHIT

    Science did not make it possible. The Human Brain made it possible.

    Anything that comes through the Human Brain must be taken with a grain of salt, okay?

    — Doc Velocity

  19. #19
    Iam puppy, hear me yap. Global Moderator lycanox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Velocity View Post
    Oh, you clueless retards walk into the mind-trap again and again.

    But it gives me something to do... So, here goes... AGAIN:

    Modern medicine. How glorious. How thrilling to know that modern medicine is methodically attempting to make us Immortal. It's extending our lives, making us more productive into our 70s and 80s; and, thanks to Modern Medicine, we may see an end to all disease in this century!

    Reality Check. The entire world population before 1900 was just over 900 MILLION.

    Thanks to Modern Medicine, particularly Modern Medicine in the Third World, the human population has exploded in just one century to over 6 BILLION.

    Poverty, Hunger, Disease have all increased exponentially because MORE of us are surviving thanks to medicine when perhaps we shouldn't be surviving, by Nature's call.
    This is why we have invented stuff like condoms, birth control medicines and sexual education.

    Afterall, it are only the population of poor nations that are exploding. Not those of the richers. Which are already slowly shrinking.

    We have only escalated the battle against viruses. See, we inoculated the masses, vaccinated them, made them live a bit longer, and now the virus has more opportunity to mutate into something grander.
    Not really. There is no link between vaccinations and mutations.
    And small pocks. One of the most devestating deceases in the world. Really has an hard time adapting now it is extinct in the wild.

    Do you follow? SuperVirus. SuperDisease. It's already happening.
    Pandemics and the like are natural occuring disasters. And would thus also occur without modern medicine.

    As an animal species, we're not particularly successful. We exploit resources to the point of depletion, we reproduce year-round, we do not "fit in" to any ecological cycle ó more often, we destroy ecological cycles.
    On the otherhand, we are also now the only species capable of protecting wildlife. And species went also extinct due to our actions before our technological advancement.

    So, do you perceive our bloated, burgeoning overpopulation as a GOOD THING?

    It is not. Modern Medicine is turning the Human species into the cancer of Planet Earth.
    Again, population is actually shrinking in technological advanced countries.

    You mention Electricity... LOL... Well, of course, we intelligent apes didn't invent the effect of electricity, but we have learned to control certain aspects of electricity. The great majority of electrical activity in the world is not under the control of humans. Thank God.
    Yet we use it to power the most complex machines.

    But what have humans done with Electricity? Well, we've wrapped it up, packaged it, and surrounded ourselves with it. We've laid down these enormous grids of electricity that are radiating EMF like fucking crazy, all over the globe. We're disturbing the natural balance, screwing up the innate compasses of animals and insects and microbes and every fucking thing else with our electrical fascination.
    Yet electricity is a lot better for the enviroment than placing steam engines and such everywhere. Or doing everything by hand.

    AND we've been broadcasting all of our weaknesses out into the void using electrical transmitters for about a hundred years... So, if anybody out there within a hundred lightyears is inclined to come invade us, all they have to do is follow the radio beacon. Beep Beep Beep.
    The chance of our species comming in contact with an species capable of crossing interstellar space is so remote it is laughable to use it as an argument against science.

    Besides, we dont use solely radiowaves and such to find life.
    We also look for water rich planets and such. And since alliens would do the same, they would have found us anyway. Wheter we are technological advanced or not.

    The Space Program hasn't given us a whole hell of a lot of anything, realistically speaking. It's always been a sort of fringe-entertainment, more like a morale booster. Yeah, we got microwave ovens out of it, which just saturated us with more toxic EMF (careful, you pacemaker patients, LOL); and yeah, we have some pretty advanced space-borne weapons systems. For killing people.

    You consider this good, right?
    Actually there are plenty of inventions NASA has made that we use today.
    Like smoke detectors, water filters, construction standards. That save a milion times more people every day than there die of microwave poisoning in a year.

    Besides, without technology, those pacemaker patients would be dead anyway.

    As for the Internet, it speaks for itself. Does ANYBODY think the Internet is an environment of righteous transparency? Well, to a degree, but it's largely just a reflection of the muddled mind of Man. "Here we are on planet Earth, and we're fallible, and we know we're fallible, and we're broadcasting our failures back and forth to one another"... I mean, Wikileaks is HOW the fucking INTERNET should WORK.
    Then you are first of all ignoring all the big things internet has brought us. Like art, near instant communications and information.

    And secondary, that Wikileaks requires internet to survive.
    So no science, no wikileaks.

    Are any of you satisfied with your Internet service? My Internet service SUX

    So, don't try to pull that lame fucking game ó How dare you criticize the very science that has made these words possible BULLSHIT

    Science did not make it possible. The Human Brain made it possible.


    Anything that comes through the Human Brain must be taken with a grain of salt, okay?

    ó Doc Velocity
    And science is using the human brain at a grain of salt be demanding evidendence and such for claims.

    It are actually the Quaks and crackpots that demand of you to believe their claims without taking them with a grain of salt.
    http://fc01.deviantart.com/fs27/f/2008/139/8/a/logo_by_lycanox.png

  20. #20
    . Global Moderator Fut004's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Velocity View Post
    Fuck Science. How's that for a "crackpot" statement? If Science ever did anything that made the world a better place, I might stand up in its defense. But everything wrong in the world today is directly attributable to Science. So fuck it.
    Says the guy who doesn't have SmallPox or Polio, while typing on his computer to talk to people around the world.

  21. #21
    Cart-mod 2.0 Global Moderator Cartesiantheater's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Velocity View Post
    The premise of this thread is crackpottery at its worst —
    The thread defines crackpottery, thus in and of itself it can be neither crackpottery nor the opposite of crackpottery.

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Velocity View Post

    attempting to shoehorn dissenters
    Not about distension. It's about definitions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Velocity View Post
    (who are "all males," according to the OP)
    Humor fail.

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Velocity View Post
    into some dim cubbyhole of scientific irrelevance. In short, this is another of those "don't dare question Science unless you are a scientist" threads, which are arrogant at best and mind-numbingly oppressive at worst.
    Someone lacks reading comprehension...

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Velocity View Post
    Fuck Science. How's that for a "crackpot" statement?
    It completely fails to constitute a "crackpot statement."

    An example of a crackpot statement would be:


    "The world is flat, but the governments are conspiring to convince the world that it is roughly spherical, using the scientific community as a front to do so."

    More here:

    http://forums.armageddononline.org/w...at-t14300.html

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Velocity View Post

    If Science ever did anything that made the world a better place, I might stand up in its defense. But everything wrong in the world today is directly attributable to Science. So fuck it.

    — Doc Velocity
    Except none of that has any relevance whatsoever to either the thread, what constitutes pseudoscience (which has it's own definition), and what constitutes science.


    The premise of the thread is to highlight common features of people who promote non-science under the claim that it is science.


    Since what constitutes science is well defined, there is no gray or middle ground.





    Your only recourse, if you want to actually post something relevant, is to attack the dictionary now.


    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/pseudo-science

    A system of theories or assertions about the natural world that claim or appear to be scientific but that, in fact, are not. For example, astronomy is a science, but astrology is generally viewed as a pseudoscience.
    "I was put on trial twice near Y2K for acting like Jesus and claiming to be the Messiah. Its not everyday that a man parks a Chariot of Fire in front of a tomb and stands against the US government with a bow and razor tipped arrows over his shoulder. I wore a suit of armor and was protected by an invisible bubble and my sharp tongue was more than the judicial system could handle."Jake
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    i rule, u serve dinner tahn1000's Avatar
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    errr... weren't you the one that went blue in the face trying to explain how time travel - an impossibility - is real, with all your magic formulas?
    "your god is not mine (john 8:37-40)"
    knowledge is wasted on the ignorant

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    Cart-mod 2.0 Global Moderator Cartesiantheater's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tahn1000 View Post
    errr... weren't you the one that went blue in the face trying to explain how time travel - an impossibility - is real, with all your magic formulas?
    (a) Not necessarily "time travel" in the popular sense of the word. More like "traveling less distance through time and more through space, thereby cutting the amount of time experienced by the moving observer significantly."


    (b) "Magic formulas" which have been shown through experiment to be correct representations of reality.

    Once again (since last time you missed it):

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/sc...e-2088195.html

    Quote Originally Posted by article

    The world's most accurate clock has neatly shown how right Albert Einstein was 100 years ago, when he proposed that time is a relative concept and the higher you live above sea level the faster you should age.


    Einstein's theory of relativity states that time and space are not as constant as everyday life would suggest. He suggested that the only true constant, the speed of light, meant that time can run faster or slower depending on how high you are, and how fast you are travelling.


    This is OBSERVED REALITY, and it follows VERY easily from the assumption (which is also observed) that there is a velocity with which all inertial observers agree on regardless of their respective velocities, we call c, which seems to be the speed of light. It's as easy as using the pythagorean theorem on triangles like you did in 10th grade...


    As for why I discussed the experimental results of how fast you are moving, but neglected the one about altitude, I already told you why: the altitude one is a result of gravitation, and requires GENERAL relativity, while the "velocity" one requires only special relativity, which is mathematically MUCH easier to work with.




    So let's run through these "magic formulas," shall we?




    They were derived from the experimental results relating to Maxwell's equations and the various experimental discoveries about electromagnetic waves.

    They were derived with the intent of explaining observed facts in a scientific theory.

    These equations made falsifiable predictions.

    These predictions were tested over and over and over and over again in labs by scores and scores of scientists, including this past year (again!). Each time these equations were shown to be accurate, and their predictions were shown to be true.




    THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT CONSTITUTES SCIENCE!

    Taking observed facts, forming a hypothesis that explains them, testing the hypothesis and it's predictions (over and over), forming a theory that fits in line with known facts and withstands peer review.

    Testing on Einstein's relativity continues EVEN NOW, and even this past year he was shown to be right AGAIN.
    "I was put on trial twice near Y2K for acting like Jesus and claiming to be the Messiah. Its not everyday that a man parks a Chariot of Fire in front of a tomb and stands against the US government with a bow and razor tipped arrows over his shoulder. I wore a suit of armor and was protected by an invisible bubble and my sharp tongue was more than the judicial system could handle."Jake
    "The toilet is more than a throne. It is a sacred chamber."-Anton LaVey, High Priest of Satanism

  24. #24
    הלראות Contributor Beatnik Bob's Avatar
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    I have one bone to pick with one of the bullets on this thread. Einstein is proof that mathematical genius is not required to be a scientific genius. Einstein was not particularly good with math, and he actually struggled with devising the equations that expressed the scientific concepts that his mind was rich with.

    Many scientists close to him had to explain some of the more subtle implications of his discoveries.

    In truth, Einstein probably had more thoughts on the universe and light than he could even begin to mathematically express. Many of his more complex theories may be unknown today because he didn't know how to express them in mathematical terms.

    So, I thought it was fair to point out that you don't have to be a mathematician to be a scientific genius. Obviously, math is the language of science--buts its a language that some of the biggest brains may not have easily grasped, yet they understood the universe on a whole other level, no doubt better than the brightest mathematicians (in the case of Einstein)--and their mathematical disadvantages did not make them any less of a scientific genius or revolutionary to the field.

    Quote Originally Posted by tahn1000 View Post
    errr... weren't you the one that went blue in the face trying to explain how time travel - an impossibility - is real, with all your magic formulas?
    Types of time travel can be mathematically explained. Somewhat.

    Even structures like "wormholes" theoretically and mathematically could exist.

    7. 5 points for each word in all capital letters (except for those with defective keyboards).
    Minus five for CT!
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    Cart-mod 2.0 Global Moderator Cartesiantheater's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beatnik Bob View Post
    I have one bone to pick with one of the bullets on this thread. Einstein is proof that mathematical genius is not required to be a scientific genius. Einstein was not particularly good with math, and he actually struggled with devising the equations that expressed the scientific concepts that his mind was rich with.
    That's really not true, at least not in the way that most people understand it. Einstein was great at math. He just wasn't great at math compared to mathematicians. He had some help from a friend in deriving his equations for general relativity, but that is mathematically about as difficult as anything ever gets. They don't even teach it in most undergraduate physics programs because of that. He had some help with his wife double checking his work in special relativity, sure, but he did better than her at the school they attended.

    The guy mastered integral and differential calculus by the time he was 16 and taught himself geometry at 12.


    But the gist is right. His genius was his imagination, his ability to see connections, and cut through excess crap (which is why his contributions to science span so much more than what most people are aware of- relativity, sure, but the existence of atoms, statistical mechanics, quantum mechanics, photons, you name it).


    Quote Originally Posted by Beatnik Bob View Post
    Many scientists close to him had to explain some of the more subtle implications of his discoveries.
    I don't know about that either. I've heard that from a few outside Einstein critics, but the majority of what I have read was more along the lines of other scientists got a hold of his theories and expanded them (as always happens in science).

    There was one time when Einstein was fighting quantum mechanics where his own work on relativity was thrown back at him to refute one of his many thought experiments challenging quantum mechanics, but many of those attempts by him resulted in improving quantum theory (against his intentions, of course).

    And as for the more subtle aspects of general relativity, that continued even after he had died. It's not really a testament to a weakness Einstein had, but more a testament to the scope of the theory.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beatnik Bob View Post
    In truth, Einstein probably had more thoughts on the universe and light than he could even begin to mathematically express. Many of his more complex theories may be unknown today because he didn't know how to express them in mathematical terms.
    During the last couple of decades of his life his work was almost entirely in abstract math, where he tried to take the method he used with general relativity to find a unifying theory.

    I mean, I kid you not, the stuff he was doing at the end of his career were highly mathematical- the very cutting edge of math at the time.



    The sad truth about this aspect is that his own uncanny intuition that had brought him so much success early in his career failed him at this later stage, even though the mathematical sophistication of his work remained at the level of what he did with general relativity.

    (what happened with general relativity is that he and his friend had used differential geometry derived as a purely mathematical curiosity some years earlier to help them model the theory- this was the method he favored in his last years. Taking purely mathematical notions, often highly abstract, and trying to find where they fit to observed reality. This is actually similar to what is going on with string/M-theory today).


    Quote Originally Posted by Beatnik Bob View Post
    So, I thought it was fair to point out that you don't have to be a mathematician to be a scientific genius. Obviously, math is the language of science--buts its a language that some of the biggest brains may not have easily grasped, yet they understood the universe on a whole other level, no doubt better than the brightest mathematicians (in the case of Einstein)--and their mathematical disadvantages did not make them any less of a scientific genius or revolutionary to the field.
    Einstien did not have a disadvantage at math, at least not in the way most people understand it. He was FAR better at it than most people in the world.

    Again, Einstien's "failings" at math were with respect to the best mathematicians on the planet.




    Quote Originally Posted by Beatnik Bob View Post

    Minus five for CT!
    Fair enough, but you lose points for inadvertently adding fire to the Einstein math myth.


    http://www.andyborne.com/math/downlo...r-einstein.pdf

    http://physics.about.com/b/2007/09/1...athematics.htm

    http://www.amnh.org/learn/pd/physica...aeinstein.html

    Quote Originally Posted by above link
    Einstein was fortunate to have people around him who encouraged his interest in math and science. His uncle Jakob Einstein, an electrical engineer, and Max Talmey, a medical student who was a regular guest at family dinners, often loaned him science books. When Einstein was 12, he taught himself geometry from one of these books.

    Legend has it that Einstein was a poor student who flunked out of school, but this was not the case. He excelled at math and science, though he often got only mediocre grades in other classes.

    When people in the fields say Einstein "struggled" in mathematics, they mean he had difficulty compared to the best mathematicians in the world, not that math was difficult for him or that he had trouble understanding it.





    He taught himself geometry, and mastered calculus before he escaped his teenage years (stuff taught in college). Einstein was definitely NOT handicapped in math. He just couldn't hold a candle to the likes of Kurt GŲdel, David Hilbert, Marcel Grossmann (the friend and mathematician who helped him with general relativity, particularly in his suggestion of where Einstein should look for the non-Euclidean geometry he needed) and other mathematicians of the time.


    I would wager Einstein's mathematical competence was a little better than the average of today's physicists. He wasn't the best, but he was certainly not bad at it.






    Anyway, in general, here is a wonderful source on him:

    http://www.amazon.com/Einstein-Life-.../dp/0743264738
    "I was put on trial twice near Y2K for acting like Jesus and claiming to be the Messiah. Its not everyday that a man parks a Chariot of Fire in front of a tomb and stands against the US government with a bow and razor tipped arrows over his shoulder. I wore a suit of armor and was protected by an invisible bubble and my sharp tongue was more than the judicial system could handle."Jake
    "The toilet is more than a throne. It is a sacred chamber."-Anton LaVey, High Priest of Satanism

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