Author Topic: A disproportionate knowledge of 'fringe' theories  (Read 7439 times)

Offline Corybobory

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A disproportionate knowledge of 'fringe' theories
« on: January 26, 2014, 08:08:00 AM »
I'm taking a MOOC on human origins that is turning out quite fun so far!  One of the best things about it is a really active discussion forum where loads of people with varying knowledge on the subject are discussing human evolution.  The topics are therefore very different than those between specialists down at the pub!

Anyways, the course coordinator posted on Twitter that he noticed how much disproportionate knowledge lay-people seem to have about fringe threories of a subject, and that immediately made me agree and think about linguistics...!

For instance on the forum people are able to recount the aquatic ape theory, European origins for Clovis culture in America, cave bear or female goddess cults etc etc...

But, as the coordinator noted, "But they don't likewise remember the details of Ardipithecus, or skin pigmentation, or any number of “normal” science!"

On further discussion he made the point that "I suspect (fear) that the narrative of the “lone genius fighting the establishment” actually converts people."

In linguistics too, you'll have people tell you that they head Japanese and Turkish might be related, that click languages go back 60,000 years and it's back up by archaeological evidence, or that devilish idea that phonemes carry inherent semantic meaning and they've cleverly broken the code... yet, basic linguistic knowledge and reading is, of course, unaccompanied.


It's an interesting thought... I think it also has to do with access to a point, I mean theories about "OMG the Palaeolithic language of Europe, I discovered it!!" will be on someone's blog, while peer-reviewed journal articles are under lock and key to a lot of people.

But it's nice (or is it???) to know that linguistics isn't the only place dealing with a large number of eccentric views...!
« Last Edit: January 26, 2014, 08:10:21 AM by Corybobory »
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Offline freknu

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Re: A disproportionate knowledge of 'fringe' theories
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2014, 08:36:33 AM »
Scientific journals not being open to the public is something that I truly lament. Secrecy only begets ignorance and misinformation. "Global warming" is the quintessential example. Where scientists are not presenting their ideas to the general population, quacks take over.

Particularly in the US, there seems to be a disproportionate disbelief and even loathing of science :( This means that quacks gain even more ground.

Some scientists and researchers might find it irrelevant and annoying, but science is not meant to be a closed system, in fact, in hinges on the very notion that all of science is open and made available to the public, that the coming generation learns what the previous has done and moves to improve and progress beyond that.

All fields of science certainly have their quacks, no exceptions.

However, the central issue is probably more one of a lack of scepticism and scientific reasoning, rather than just ignorance or "indoctrination". Without this even the most basic questions can become muddled.

The big wheel of science never stops turning.



PS. I'm still a little unsure of the wording of the left box: "consensus verifies"; doesn't sit quite right, as well as the top one: "information observes". The other two are just right — "facts interpret, theories describe".

PPS. "Review verifies", that's it :) Now it's just the top one.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2014, 08:42:09 AM by freknu »

Offline Guijarro

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Re: A disproportionate knowledge of 'fringe' theories
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2014, 09:47:33 AM »
EDGE.ORG. has asked scientists:  WHAT SCIENTIFIC IDEA IS READY FOR RETIREMENT?

Here is one of the answers:
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"by Kate Mills
Doctoral student, UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience

Only "Scientists" Can Do Science

Currently, the majority of individuals funded or employed to conduct scientific experiments have been trained in traditional academic settings. This includes not only the 12 years of compulsory education, but also another 6 to 10 years of university education—which are often followed by years of post-doctoral training. While this formal academic training undoubtedly equips individuals with the tools and resources to become successful scientists, informally trained individuals of all ages are just as able to contribute to our knowledge of the world through science.

These "citizen scientists" are often lauded for lightening the load on academic researchers engaged in big data projects. Citizen scientists have contributed to these projects by identifying galaxies or tracing neural processes, and typically without traditional incentives or rewards like payment or authorship. However, limiting the potential contributions of informally trained individuals to the roles of data-collector or data-processor discounts the abilities of citizen scientists to inform study design, as well as data analysis and interpretation. Soliciting the opinions of individuals who are participants in scientific studies (e.g., children, patients) can help traditional scientists design ecologically valid and engaging studies. Equally, these populations might have their own scientific questions, or provide new and diverse perspectives to the interpretation of results.

Importantly, science is not limited to adults. Children as young as eight have co-authored scientific reports. Teenagers have made important health discoveries with tangible outcomes. Unfortunately, these young scientists face many obstacles that institutionally funded individuals often take for granted, such as access to previously published scientific findings. The rise of open access publication, as well as many open science initiatives, make the scientific environment friendlier for citizen scientists. Unfortunately, many traditional science practices remain out of reach for those without sufficient funds.

What we think we know about ourselves through science could be skewed, since the majority of psychology studies sample individuals who do not represent the population on a whole. These WEIRD (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, Democratic) samples make up the majority of non-clinical neuroimaging studies as well. Increased awareness of this bias has prompted researchers to actively seek out more representative samples. However, there is less discussion or awareness around the potential biases introduced by WEIRD scientists.

If most funded and published scientific research is conducted by a sample of individuals that have been trained to be successful in academia, then we are potentially biasing scientific questions and interpretations. Individuals who might not fit into an academic mould, but nevertheless are curious to know the world through the scientific method, face many barriers. Crowd funded projects (and even scientists) are beginning to receive recognition from fellow scientists dependent on dwindling numbers of grants and academic positions. However, certain scientific experiments are more difficult, if not impossible, to conduct without institutional support, e.g., studies involving human participants. Community-supported checks and balances remain essential for scientific projects, but perhaps they too can become unbound from traditional academic settings.

The means for collecting and analyzing data are becoming more accessible to the public each day. New ethical issues will need to be discussed and infrastructures built to accommodate those conducting research outside of traditional settings. With this, we will see an increase in the number of scientific discoveries made by informally trained "citizen scientists" of all ages and backgrounds. These previously unheard voices will add valuable contributions to our knowledge of the world.

You may have a look at the other ready for retirement concepts in:

http://www.edge.org/responses/what-scientific-idea-is-ready-for-retirement

I don't agree with many of them, but the link is mighty interesting all the same

Offline dublin

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Re: A disproportionate knowledge of 'fringe' theories
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2014, 09:33:21 AM »
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For instance on the forum people are able to recount the aquatic ape theory, European origins for Clovis culture in America, cave bear or female goddess cults etc etc...

But, as the coordinator noted, "But they don't likewise remember the details of Ardipithecus, or skin pigmentation, or any number of “normal” science!"

On further discussion he made the point that "I suspect (fear) that the narrative of the “lone genius fighting the establishment” actually converts people."

No. The point is that people who are not in academia, don't have to prove anything by complying or doing expected things. They are not obliged to learn things you were. They are not afraid to follow their instincts and make mistakes. They are not afraid to imagine and ask publicly "what if"? Einstein said the in science "imagination is more important than knowledge". It is the opposite in  academia. In academia you don't get commended for rocking the boat. You get your funding removed. People from the fringes don't have those problems. They have fun. Do you have fun?


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Some scientists and researchers might find it irrelevant and annoying, but science is not meant to be a closed system, in fact, in hinges on the very notion that all of science is open and made available to the public, that the coming generation learns what the previous has done and moves to improve and progress beyond that.

No it is not. But people like you are making it closed by dividing people in scientists (people who think like you) and quacks (people who don't think like you)

This is the main problem in science, and it is so obvious that even you have managed to see it:

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PS. I'm still a little unsure of the wording of the left box: "consensus verifies"; doesn't sit quite right, as well as the top one: "information observes". The other two are just right — "facts interpret, theories describe".

Consensus. Whose consensus? How is consensus reached? What if the theory is controversial and currently practically unprovable like lots of theories were and still are, particularly in the most advanced areas of science. Like string theory, chaos theory, holographic universe theory....Who decides which of these theories are scientific and which are quack?

And you think that there is something wrong with observe step? Why? How are you going to start the wheel of science if you are unable or unwilling to observe?
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Offline Guijarro

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Re: A disproportionate knowledge of 'fringe' theories
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2014, 10:38:44 AM »
@ dublin: you are quite right in much of what you say above, I have no doubt about that. However, you show an angry attitude that seems to be absolutely unnecessary. Not that scientists don't get mad at each other; they have contradictory arguments which they defend with passion.

In this thread, there are no such arguments. All the people that have written in it seem to accept that fringe theories might have a point, although they have to prove it in one way or another. So, why do you get so worked up?

You might want to consider that your "timing" may not be all that accurate.

Or will you?



Offline dublin

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Re: A disproportionate knowledge of 'fringe' theories
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2014, 11:27:11 AM »
Guijarro

I am not angry and I am sorry if I come across like that.

I am trying to point to people's blind spots. You say:

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All the people that have written in it seem to accept that fringe theories might have a point

I accept that they do. But how do you reconcile that with this:

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All fields of science certainly have their quacks, no exceptions.

This is in complete contradiction with the above. It is not an issue that there are unfounded theories our there. But if you really "accept that fringe theories might have a point" then the above sentence should have been: "All fields of science certainly have many many unfounded, wrong theories, no exceptions."

This is scientific approach. This is what a scientist would say, or at least this is what i would hope scientist to say. Every theory is valid until proven invalid. Every mistake helps us all learn more. This would give everyone a chance to think, to imagine, to question, to propose without fear that he will rubbished just because his theory was proven wrong.

The quack attitude is hindering science. If we have 100 ideas, and one is good we have one good idea. Id we have no ideas, we have no ideas. Which is better?

But if you are afraid to open your mouth and say what you think, there will be no new ideas, no discussion. You will have back slapping clubs, where everyone does "projects" which are designed to add one more proof that what we all believe in is true. This makes all of us look good. What about those things that we can't explain using what we believe in? We'll leave them to quacks....

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Offline Daniel

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Re: A disproportionate knowledge of 'fringe' theories
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2014, 11:32:17 AM »
Some ideas are truly a waste of time. It's hard to know which ideas, of course. In general, though, most fringe ideas are incorrect and a waste of time. Some may be useful. But you seem to be suggesting that weirder ideas are better, which is not necessarily true.

As a general question, what would you do if someone tells you a new idea that seems wrong to you in many ways? Would you accept it, simply because it is creative?

For our own work, we want our weird and creative ideas to be accepted. For the work of others, it's much harder to do that.
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Offline dublin

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Re: A disproportionate knowledge of 'fringe' theories
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2014, 12:57:08 PM »
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Some ideas are truly a waste of time. It's hard to know which ideas, of course. In general, though, most fringe ideas are incorrect and a waste of time.

You are not even aware what you are saying.

Some ideas are bad.
Its hard to know which one.
In general, though, most fringe ideas are incorrect and a waste of time...

The only logic that can connect these three sentences is "Every fringe idea is bad because i say so".


Do you have any original idea? Have you ever had any? Can you present them here so we can judge them?

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As a general question, what would you do if someone tells you a new idea that seems wrong to you in many ways? Would you accept it, simply because it is creative?

Just because something "seems" wrong, it doesn't mean that it is. Einstein who said that imagination is more important than knowledge completely rejected quantum mechanics as crazy.

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Albert_Einstein

A lot of times what seems wrong seem wrong because of our lack of knowledge. If you don't know anything about latest epigenetic research data, you would consider statement that language is influenced by experience as strange.

My approach is that there are gems in everything. Someone spent a lot of time gathering data and correlating it. He might have drawn completely wrong conclusion from it, but there is all this data, which is so difficult to find if you are working by yourself. And that data is gold. It can point you to directions you wouldn't dream of being possible, because you just did not know about them. If I didn't have a long discussion with a man who completely rejected my Serbian - Irish link, and who believed that every connection was due to common PIE link, I would have never gone down to comparing Serbian, Irish and Sanskrit. I went into it to prove him wrong, but I discovered links which are even older and more important, which no one saw before because they did not have the cross referenced Serbian Irish data.

But I could have said, what that man is saying is all rubbish because it is not what I believe in. And that would have been it. I would not have learned anything new.

I recommend that same approach to you. You obviously believe that anything that is outside of what you know is fringe and waste of time. That is very arrogant, and will leave you behind. There is so much out there that we don't know. But it has never been easier to acquire that knowledge, if you want to...
« Last Edit: February 20, 2014, 01:10:23 PM by dublin »
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Offline Daniel

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Re: A disproportionate knowledge of 'fringe' theories
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2014, 01:06:26 PM »
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The only logic that can connect these three sentences is "Every fringe idea is bad".
No, that's ridiculous. What I said is correct. Some fringe ideas may be useful, but we don't know which ones. What do YOU suggest to do to fix that? Should we consider all infinitely-many fringe ideas, no matter how absurd?

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Do you have any original idea? Have you ever had any? Can you present them here so we can judge them?
Certainly. We all have new and creative ideas, and we all have trouble making progress with them. If you took some time to look beyond your own ideas, you'd see that is the case. For example, I have a thread posted here on one of my out-there ideas:
http://linguistforum.com/wild-ideas/is-language-really-rule-based-(details-inside)/
You're welcome to judge my idea there-- that's the point of academic discussion/debate. (But no, please don't judge me based on it-- theories are not the same as the scientist. We aren't judging you personally, except to the degree that you appear closed-minded to us.)

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Just because something "seems" wrong, it doesn't mean that it is. Einstein who said that imagination is more important than knowledge completely rejected quantum mechanics as crazy.
That's an exception. There is no reason to assume that your ideas or any others are also exceptions.

Science is hard.

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A lot of times what seems wrong seem wrong because of our lack of knowledge. If you don't know anything about latest epigenetic research data, you would consider statement that language is influenced by experience as strange.
Do you really want to enter into an ad hominem argument about ignorance?

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But I could have said, what that man is saying is all rubbish because it is not what I believe in. And that would have been it. I would not have learned anything new.
And most of the time that would be the most practical thing to do.

The reason Einstein was an exception is because he spent his life making convincing arguments for why he should be correct. He would laugh at you if you claimed that what he was saying is that every crazy idea should be taken seriously. There's just not time for that. There must be some additional reason to take an idea seriously!

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I recommend that same approach to you. You obviously believe that anything that is outside of what you know is fringe and waste of time. That is very arrogant, and will leave you behind. There is so much out there that we don't know. But it has never been easier to acquire that knowledge, if you want to...
Not at all. I'm skeptical of everything. If you present me with an even remotely compelling argument, I'll happily consider your theory.


You are confused about something. Let me explain:
1. I'm open to new ideas that appear to be good ideas.
2. I'm not going to blindly accept new ideas that appear to be bad ideas.
3. It's your job to create a compelling argument that your idea is a good one.
Einstein did that. Now, rather than relying on his breakthroughs as if yours are the same, why don't you show us (in the other thread of course) a convincing argument for why you're right.
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Offline dublin

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Re: A disproportionate knowledge of 'fringe' theories
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2014, 01:34:05 PM »
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No, that's ridiculous. What I said is correct. Some fringe ideas may be useful, but we don't know which ones.


To reject idea in a scientific, not religious way, you need to prove that it is wrong. You can not reject ideas because they feel wrong, or because they seem wrong or because everyone says so. Think for yourself. That is hard and requires courage. And this is why most people follow the authority. Like you do, as you said so yourself.

Another thing. What is fringe? Is it something that does not comply with what you believe in, or something does is outside of what you know? Some people call it fringe, some call it leading edge of science. In humanities, where no money can be made by new inventions, and a lot of respect and funding can be lost if you are deemed to be rocking the boat, people with new ideas are treated like weirdos on the fringe. In natural sciences where new ideas are gold,  people with new ideas are treated as leading edge scientists, who are expanding our knowledge and reshaping our future. Think about this.


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You're welcome to judge my idea there

I will.

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But no, please don't judge me based on it

I never do.

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That's an exception. There is no reason to assume that your ideas or any others are also exceptions.

But it also does not mean that my ideas are any worse just because they are mine and not Einstein's. Why would they be perceived as different? Because he is reputable and i am not? You are judging the quality of ideas based on how  famous people who presented them are. That is bad.

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Do you really want to enter into an ad hominem argument about ignorance?

I said "A lot of times what seems wrong seem wrong because of our lack of knowledge. If you don't know anything about latest epigenetic research data, you would consider statement that language is influenced by experience as strange.". And you took that as an insult? Are you so full of yourself that even a suggestion that you might not know everything sounds like an insult to you? You have a lot to learn then my boy. Start with "no one knows everything" and a bit of humility.

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I'm skeptical of everything. If you present me with an even remotely compelling argument, I'll happily consider your theory.

So am i skeptical of everything. But i don't reject everything based on feelings. I reject ideas based on proof that they are wrong. You have not shown me that you have obtained that proof when you rejected outright my theory. I don't want you to instead outright accept it. Or even to be interested in it. But you keep coming and you keep repeating that my theory is rubbish without even, as you just said, considering it, let alone analyzing it or disproving it.

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1. I'm open to new ideas that appear to be good ideas.

What does that mean? How and why does one idea appear good? What do you do when that happens with that idea? I see that you do when the idea does not appear god. You rubbish it on appearance, without actually even understanding it properly, or giving it a try.

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2. I'm not going to blindly accept new ideas that appear to be bad ideas.

Appearance again. No counter argument, no proof that the idea is wrong, just "I don't like it so it's bad.". Or are you so full of yourself that your feeling is enough? Very scientific.

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3. It's your job to create a compelling argument that your idea is a good one.

And is your job to first prove that my idea is bad before you say it. You can say that my idea is just an idea and that it requires more proof. You can say that you don't agree with my idea because (insert here non coincidence based arguments). You can say that my idea is boring and not interesting and you can go and do something else. But you can'd just come and rubbish someones ideas because they seem wrong to you.

Well you can if you are a bigot or a priest, but not if you are a scientist.

I said:

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But I could have said, what that man is saying is all rubbish because it is not what I believe in. And that would have been it. I would not have learned anything new.

And you said:

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And most of the time that would be the most practical thing to do.

This is the difference between you and me.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2014, 01:43:54 PM by dublin »
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Offline Daniel

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Re: A disproportionate knowledge of 'fringe' theories
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2014, 01:49:27 PM »
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To reject idea in a scientific, not religious way, you need to prove that it is wrong.
That's actually not possible. Falsification is possible, but it relies on assumptions of what is expected. The broad idea could still potentially be correct if properly modified/articulated so that the falsification no longer applies.
We can certainly show that a theory never/rarely makes accurate predictions and thereby falsify the claim that the theory explains what data will appear, but with enough clever rhetoric the "idea" can be rescued.
Science is about logic and testing, but we never actually know anything. (I know, it's annoying, isn't it?)

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Another thing. What is fringe?
I agree with your point here: I don't care what "kind" of idea it is. The question is whether it is convincing. Mainstream ideas are mainstream because people are convinced by them. You seem to think there is some inherent advantage in new/fringe/creative ideas, and that's not true. Innovations are important, but lots of non-mainstream ideas are wrong. In short, this is all entirely irrelevant, as long as everyone is open-minded about good ideas! What matters then is whether they are good ideas, and the only reasonable way to judge that is whether a convincing argument can be made in support of them.

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But it also does not mean that my ideas are any worse just because they are mine and not Einstein's. Why would they be perceived as different? Because he is reputable and i am not? You are judging the quality of ideas based on how  famous people who presented them are. That is bad.
No, I'm not. Your implication was that Einstein is a good scientist. Given that, we don't also need to assume that you are. You *might* be. He is. Your analogy stops there. If you're correct, then you're correct. But that's an uninteresting line of reasoning.

Let me try to rephrase this:
If you and 10 other people like you proposed theories like yours, we'd be dealing with at least 10 incorrect theories. Why should we assume yours is an exception?
The same applied to Einstein, but he actually was able to convince people by showing supporting data and communicating his ideas well.

Exceptions exist. That does NOT mean yours is an exception. What criteria do you suggest for which theory is an exception?

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So am i skeptical of everything. But i don't reject everything based on feelings. I reject ideas based on proof that they are wrong. You have not shown me that you have obtained that proof when you rejected outright my theory. I don't want you to instead outright accept it. Or even to be interested in it. But you keep coming and you keep repeating that my theory is rubbish without even, as you just said, considering it, let alone analyzing it or disproving it.
I haven't ever claimed that your idea has been proven to be false. I've claimed that it is not convincing and seems incorrect. How else should I judge it?
You are welcome to support it better and convince us. But how long should we keep that up?

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What does that mean? How and why does one idea appear good? What do you do when that happens with that idea? I see that you do when the idea does not appear god. You rubbish it on appearance, without actually even understanding it properly, or giving it a try.
There are infinitely-many ideas out there. I don't spent a lot of time thinking about whether the universe was created by a flying spaghetti monster. I also don't spend much time thinking about pigs flying.
There must be some REASON to consider an idea to be a good one.

It's perfectly reasonable, for example, to ask "is phonosemantics real?", and from everything I have seen it appears not to be. It's your job, if you care, to present compelling evidence otherwise.

Why one crazy theory and not another?

What makes Einstein exceptional? And how long did it take him to make a convincing argument? Did he have blind support along the way?

If someone else posted the exact opposite theory (compared to yours), why would you be right and they be wrong?

Very important questions to ask yourself.


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Appearance again. No counter argument, no proof that the idea is wrong, just "I don't like it so it's bad.". Or are you so full of yourself that your feeling is enough? Very scientific.
So should I follow every idea presented?
Here's an idea: language is controlled by evil robots from Mars.
Now, how much time will you spend on that? Seriously... is that your argument?

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And is your job to first prove that my idea is bad before you say it.
No, it's not. It's not my job to do anything, really. You're very self-centered in your argumentation.
What I have done is supplied my opinion. I haven't created a new official scientific rule that states that you are inherently incorrect.

Rather than whining about what I've done, why not actually present compelling evidence? If you cannot do this, then why do you think that is? I'd say that it is probably because the theory is wrong. No one is stopping you from being convincing.


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Well you can if you are a bigot or a priest, but not if you are a scientist.
The exact same thing applies to everything you have said: it's not convincing or supported scientifically. You haven't even done the experiments. Therefore, you are not operating scientifically. You are just making things up. In the future, after you have approached the theory/questions scientifically, you might be able to make a scientific and convincing argument. Until then, you're the "bigot or priest".
You see, it's a two-way street here: if we can't reject your theory, then you can't support it either!

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And you said:
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And most of the time that would be the most practical thing to do.
This is the difference between you and me.
You're not practical? Silly thing to say.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2014, 01:54:01 PM by djr33 »
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Offline freknu

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Re: A disproportionate knowledge of 'fringe' theories
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2014, 02:54:37 PM »
To reject idea in a scientific, not religious way, you need to prove that it is wrong. You can not reject ideas because they feel wrong, or because they seem wrong or because everyone says so. Think for yourself. That is hard and requires courage. And this is why most people follow the authority. Like you do, as you said so yourself.

And is your job to first prove that my idea is bad before you say it.

It doesn't matter how many times you try and shift the burden of proof, it will always lay fairly and squarely on the one making the claim, not the one rejecting it.

If you make a claim and fail to provide convincing and sound evidence for it, I will reject your claim. As simple as that.

A hypothesis is scientifically false until proven scientifically true.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2014, 02:56:45 PM by freknu »

Offline Daniel

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Re: A disproportionate knowledge of 'fringe' theories
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2014, 03:12:55 PM »
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A hypothesis is scientifically false until proven scientifically true.
It's a little harder than that, even. It's never proven true. It's simply supported, perhaps "beyond a reasonable doubt" based on available evidence. In short: it's convincing.

Why does everyone accept the theory of gravity? It's convincing.
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Offline freknu

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Re: A disproportionate knowledge of 'fringe' theories
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2014, 03:19:11 PM »
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A hypothesis is scientifically false until proven scientifically true.
It's a little harder than that, even. It's never proven true. It's simply supported, perhaps "beyond a reasonable doubt" based on available evidence. In short: it's convincing.

Why does everyone accept the theory of gravity? It's convincing.

That's why I said scientifically true, not absolutely true.

Gravity is scientifically true, but that doesn't mean it's absolutely true.

Although I will admit that it's an unfortunate wording, since one can never fully know what is true, one can only know what is proven to be reasonable. It's similar to how laymen usually get "theory" wrong: "oh, it's just a theory, not a fact."
« Last Edit: February 20, 2014, 03:20:55 PM by freknu »

Offline Daniel

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Re: A disproportionate knowledge of 'fringe' theories
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2014, 03:22:52 PM »
Ah. So "scientifically true" in the sense of accepted/supported-- it's the working hypothesis. Alright :)
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