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View Full Version : People who know what they're talking about vs those who don't



EDG
2007-Jul-04, 05:32 AM
Long subject line, sorry :)

One thing that strikes me here is that it's sometimes not easy to tell someone who knows what they're talking about from someone who doesn't. There's basically three types of people who answer questions here, as far as I can see:

1) Someone who actually knows the (mainstream) answer.
2) Someone who doesn't know the answer but just wants to say what his opinion is. Or who think they're right but don't actually know.
3) Someone who answers with an ATM idea.

Generally a question ought to be answered by the first type of person. But the problem is that all three can sound equally authoritative and that can make it hard for the person asking the question to recognise which is actually the right answer or who is giving them a scientifically valid explanation.

Would it be worth having some kind of mechanism in place to make at least the mainstreamers recognisable from the woo-woos? Like, another label in the user ID - personally I'd like to "brand" the woo-woos as such so they can be suitably ignored ;), but I'd be happy with just a single label that says someone's a mainstreamer and should be listened to. Maybe this could be a peer-reviewed thing where the mainstream part of the community (or even the mods/admins) periodically judge who makes scientifically valid contributions to the board.

Half Wit
2007-Jul-04, 05:40 AM
It's painfully obvious that very few people here have a clue as to what is mainstream and what is woo-woo in my field, but they don't in any way let this prevent them from voicing their authoritative opinions on the matter.

EDG
2007-Jul-04, 06:10 AM
It's painfully obvious that very few people here have a clue as to what is mainstream and what is woo-woo in my field, but they don't in any way let this prevent them from voicing their authoritative opinions on the matter.

Well I don't know what your field is, but this is the sort of problem I'm wondering if we can avoid. If someone is a bona fide (mainstream) expert in something then they could present their qualifications/publication list to someone and get marked as such.

transreality
2007-Jul-04, 07:08 AM
we're all bad astronomers here, you have to operate under the assumption that is what you are listening too.

Nicolas
2007-Jul-04, 07:13 AM
This kind of labeling doesn't work. You can't be -or at least, more likely are not- "mainstream" or "authorative" about everything, and even if you would be, you're still not perfect.

Even somebody who is authorative on a subject can make a mistake or misinterpret a question. There's enough traffic on this board to correct errors. I don't see a real problem, and more specifically I don't see a solution that's better than the problem. We need to stay skeptic about what's being written here, that's what science is about.

To name just one example: the fact that JayUtah knows an awful lot about Apollo and hardly ever makes a mistake doesn't man that other shouldn't check what he says about Apollo.

Occam
2007-Jul-04, 07:17 AM
It's painfully obvious that very few people here have a clue as to what is mainstream and what is woo-woo in my field, but they don't in any way let this prevent them from voicing their authoritative opinions on the matter.

..and that answer puts you firmly into category 2, Half Wit
It feels so good to be able to say that and not be admonished for using an ad hominem

EDG
2007-Jul-04, 07:29 AM
This kind of labeling doesn't work. You can't be -or at least, more likely are not- "mainstream" or "authorative" about everything, and even if you would be, you're still not perfect.

Even somebody who is authorative on a subject can make a mistake or misinterpret a question. There's enough traffic on this board to correct errors. I don't see a real problem, and more specifically I don't see a solution that's better than the problem. We need to stay skeptic about what's being written here, that's what science is about.

To name just one example: the fact that JayUtah knows an awful lot about Apollo and hardly ever makes a mistake doesn't man that other shouldn't check what he says about Apollo.

I'm not saying "believe everything that someone with the relevant label says", I'm just suggesting that if someone had that label then people would be more inclined to assume that they did actually know something about the subject.

I don't pretend to know everything about orbital dynamics or the satellites of Jupiter or planetary evolution myself, but I know a lot about those subjects. But someone who doesn't have a clue about those subjects who asks a question about them doesn't know that I know all that, and may not recognise that that some random woo-woo who answers his question first might be totally wrong, or that some guy just spouting his opinion in an authorative manner actually is on the wrong track.

We're not all "bad astronomers" here. Some of us are very good astronomers and astrophysicists and scientists. Sure, we're not perfect and we don't know everything, but it'd be nice if there was a way that those of us who did know about a subject could be recognised more easily as such.

I mean, if someone new to the forum asked about some electromagnetic phenomemon in space and got immediately answered by an Electric Universe adherent, they may not know enough to realise they're being told about a nonsensical ATM idea - and that is not a good thing. Sure, someone who knows more may come along later but then the poor questioner is going to get confused by two people telling him different things in an authoritative manner. He shouldn't be forced to decide who to believe when only one person is actually and proveably correct.

Tog
2007-Jul-04, 07:41 AM
How about this:

Have a list of the members with the fields in which they can be reliably trusted to be accurate, run their posts past a group on BAUT peers, then have Fraser or the BA post it as a sticky in the about BAUT section. Members who are listed there can link to that post in their signature.

I think this will just about do what you're asking. The downside though is the potential for arguments over who gets to be on the list. Some of the more cut and dried topics, like Apollo, would be easy, but some of the other topics (global warming) have a very wide gray area, with people on both sides. In these cases it may be too difficult to decide who the 'expert' is without appearing to play favorites.

Maybe some one else can take this idea and knock the gunk out to make it work. I'd just hate to see the mods/admins buried under a torrent of PM's all saying, "Pick me, you know I'm right."

Josh
2007-Jul-04, 08:03 AM
I like the idea but, unfortunately, I don't think there's a workable solution that would keep everyone happy. And we don't want to create some sort of hierarchy. The knowledgeable among us usually rise to the top and stand out like beacons of light.

In the end, stopping this is a job for the mods. If someone answers a Q&A forum question with an ATM answer then that is against the rules and (with lightning speed usually) the post would be reported.

In any case there are more mainstreamers here than ATMers and they back each other up so that the ATM answer (assuming a mod hasn't stepped in) gets drowned out.

Of course, if Tog's idea can be refined then I'm sure the powers that be will take a look at it.

edited to add: EDG, have you seen instances when this has actually been a problem?

EDG
2007-Jul-04, 08:03 AM
well the experts should be decided by hard evidence. People with PhDs, or who've worked in that field or done a lot of verifiable research that's been published, and so on. Or even who just have a good track record of answering questions correctly and knowledgeably here, though that'd have to be verified by others. You're obviously not going to have experts in everything though - but for something like global warming I'd expect experts in physics and meteorology and environmental science to show up.

It's a matter of indicating who to trust really. Even if you have an expert in a different field contributing to a thread, it's more likely that they know enough about how science works to avoid making a claim that isn't verifiable, and to acknowledge when they don't know for certain about something.

Tobin Dax
2007-Jul-04, 08:14 AM
I know that this idea has come up before. There are numerous reasons not to do it, many of which have been mentioned upthread.

Gillianren
2007-Jul-04, 08:18 AM
You know, I don't have a PhD in my chosen field. If all I had to do in order to acquire one at this point was write a dissertation, I could be quite easily. However, as it stands, I have many years of (formal) schooling to go. I don't think the piece of paper should be the main requirement. The piece of paper is singificant, and I don't want to claim it isn't, but my best friend, for example, cannot have a PhD in her chosen field, because there's no PhD program for it in this country, and she doesn't really want to move to another continent to get it.

Paracelsus
2007-Jul-04, 09:33 AM
well the experts should be decided by hard evidence. People with PhDs, or who've worked in that field or done a lot of verifiable research that's been published, and so on. Or even who just have a good track record of answering questions correctly and knowledgeably here, though that'd have to be verified by others. You're obviously not going to have experts in everything though - but for something like global warming I'd expect experts in physics and meteorology and environmental science to show up.

It's a matter of indicating who to trust really. Even if you have an expert in a different field contributing to a thread, it's more likely that they know enough about how science works to avoid making a claim that isn't verifiable, and to acknowledge when they don't know for certain about something.

I agree with your first criterion for defining an expert. A 'good track record answering questions' does not necessarily make an 'expert', IMHO. This does not mean that an expert in one field cannot have quite a bit of knowledge of another field or discuss it intelligently at a very high level.

It all depends on the question asked, I suppose. Some questions may be answered by an amateur in a given field who possesses the necessary degree of sophistication through self-study, etc. Some questions require an expert to answer them.

Tog
2007-Jul-04, 09:39 AM
It's a matter of indicating who to trust really. Even if you have an expert in a different field contributing to a thread, it's more likely that they know enough about how science works to avoid making a claim that isn't verifiable, and to acknowledge when they don't know for certain about something.

But see, this is the start of the bickering. Take Stephen Jones. He has a PhD, but I doubt there are many on here that are familiar with him and would be willing to accept his word about something based on that degree alone. Likewise, being an expert in a field, and being recognized as such does not mean that the person is going to be honest, or admit when they are wrong. It's true that they might well do it, but it's not a guarantee any more than it is for a dock worker, or pay phone sanitizer.

On the other side of the coin are those who are not a recognized expert in a given field. I would hardly class myself as an expert, but on those times I answer a Q and A post that do happen to know about, I will give the best answer I can, and close with something along the lines of, "As I understand it. See below for corrections." A few times, I have gotten bits of it wrong, but I did my best to make it clear that my answer might not be completely correct.

From they way I read your post above, it sounds like any person not a recognized expert in some field is simply not to be trusted in any field.

This seems to be similar to the type of discussion Jay and Brumsen had last year about experience vs. academic recognition.

Anyway, I do like the idea of having a recognized list of "go-to" people for different areas (and in truth I have one in my head), but I just don't see a way to set it up that doesn't end up an Us/Them type situation.

cran
2007-Jul-04, 10:06 AM
And then there is the not uncommon situation of finding well qualified and dedicated authorities (experts) on both sides of the debate ...

and this is more frequent on the fringes, or on the cutting edge, of any field of study ...

Tog_ mentioned the global warming debate - one field that has many highly qualified climate scientists arguing all sorts of evidence and models ...

in my own field of study, recent topics of vigorous debate were (and are still) whether and how plate tectonics manifested in the early Archaean ...
when and where and how life (on Earth) began ...
and what is happening (physically and chemically) above and below the D" layer ...

And, even university professors are not all immune to the lure of ATM ideas ... as some of us might recall ... ?

So, recognised credentials are not always a guarantee of reliability, especially where the science is exciting ... on the edge ...

grant hutchison
2007-Jul-04, 10:43 AM
It seems to me that any such a system would be a way of writing the "argument from authority" fallacy into BAUT law, which would be a shame.
One of the reasons I like this forum is because people are generally judged by what they write, and how well they can support their contentions with logic and references, rather than by their academic background. Another reason I like this place is that it is customary to challenge everything and everybody: if someone makes a post that doesn't seem to make sense, or which contains an error, someone else will be along in a second to say "Hang, how can that work?"
That seems a better, healthier, more informative and above all more fun way of conducting affairs.

But then maybe I might be expected to make such an argument ...

Grant (no PhD) Hutchison

trinitree88
2007-Jul-04, 11:23 AM
It seems to me that any such a system would be a way of writing the "argument from authority" fallacy into BAUT law, which would be a shame.
One of the reasons I like this forum is because people are generally judged by what they write, and how well they can support their contentions with logic and references, rather than by their academic background. Another reason I like this place is that it is customary to challenge everything and everybody: if someone makes a post that doesn't seem to make sense, or which contains an error, someone else will be along in a second to say "Hang, how can that work?"
That seems a better, healthier, more informative and above all more fun was of conducting affairs.

But then maybe I might be expected to make such an argument ...

Grant (no PhD) Hutchison

Grant. Agreed. Pete (no Phd, no Masters, no B.S in physics)...my dad was a high school dropout.

Michael Noonan
2007-Jul-04, 12:31 PM
And then there is the not uncommon situation of finding well qualified and dedicated authorities (experts) on both sides of the debate ...

and this is more frequent on the fringes, or on the cutting edge, of any field of study ...


Alright I know I slip in somewhere between category 2 and 3 but some of the questions are also based on what has been presented here in both the mainstream and ATM forums.

Some people may just want to know that everything is still going well. Some of what is posted gets into the downright scary and maybe it does take people from either side of the fence to say short of the earth hitting something big and solid this universe is not assumed to be in any current known danger.

That just leaves 'man' as the single most likely cause for global disaster.

Argos
2007-Jul-04, 01:37 PM
It doesnt matter, as long as the answer is right. Both Stephen Hawking and me have some knowledge in common. So, if the subject falls within that common domain, the answer could be given by any of us.

Unless you only accept authority arguments...

Anyway, I refrain from giving answers to subjects Im not comfortable with.

hhEb09'1
2007-Jul-04, 01:48 PM
Grant. Agreed. Pete (no Phd, no Masters, no B.S in physics)...my dad was a high school dropout.Agreed. Pace (ABD in geology/geophysics--passed writtens and orals and coursework--and MS in math and ** in math) and my dad was a civil engineer and my mom a nurse.

Paracelsus
2007-Jul-04, 02:25 PM
Agreed. Pace (ABD in geology/geophysics--passed writtens and orals and coursework--and MS in math and ** in math) and my dad was a civil engineer and my mom a nurse.

What's an ABD?? Hey, now I know where to go for advanced math questions and geophysics questions! Awesome! Do you do paleoclimatology also?

I only have a Ph.D. in toxicology, M.S. and B.S. in physics. My degrees in physics were completed 14+ years ago.

I will answer any questions relating to toxicology (my degree subject and current occupation), infectious disease, and immunology (I have published in the latter two fields).

For other areas in the biological sciences and some areas in chemistry (biochemistry and a little polymer chemistry), I will take a stab at a question, if I think I know the answer. ;)

All other subjects, I will ask more questions than I will answer. :D

hhEb09'1
2007-Jul-04, 03:05 PM
What's an ABD??All But Dissertation:)

It's a common designator. I even see it on resumes.
Do you do paleoclimatology also?
Not really. My advisor was big into big picture paleoclimatology, so I absorbed a little.

Nicolas
2007-Jul-04, 05:26 PM
I'm finishing my MSc thesis in aerospace, yet I can't correctly answer even many basic questions on the subject without looking them up. When you don't use something, it sinks just below that readily available knowledge level :). But anyway, when I do look it up, in most cases it takes only 5 minutes of "scanning" some sources before I remember and in many cases can give an informed answer. (example: no, I don't know Tsiolkowski by heart, but if I look it up I understand it and can apply it immediately. IMO more relevant than knowing by heart. I reserve knowing things by heart for those things that I need often in the recent future. Tsiolkowski is not one of them, and hasn't been for 2 years. When I learn something of importance, I do try to study it hard enough such that it doesn't cost a lot of effort to bring it back to active knowledge when looking it up though.)

My specialities are simulation & man machine interaction (my MSc speciality), human perception (my thesis subject and an important part of my MSc) and an extra bonus for scramjets (I worked on them (:cool:)). Through hobbies I know quite a lot about music synthesizers and audio.

But please don't take my word in replies on any of these or other subjects. Just like when Jay says something about apollo it is very, very likely to correct, but we may not simply assume it is. Stay critical! On the other hand, somebody who only ever read a wikipedia article on a subject may well answer a question correctly.

Gillianren
2007-Jul-04, 05:42 PM
Anyway, I refrain from giving answers to subjects I'm not comfortable with.

Which I think is a good plan, and it's certainly something I try to stick to myself. The issue here, and I don't think the solution offered will work, is people who think they're right and aren't. After all, if you asked Michael Mozina (do a search, and you'll find more than you wanted to know!) what the surface of the sun was made of, he's know. He'd be wrong, but he'd know he knew.

Moose
2007-Jul-04, 05:45 PM
Exactly. (Intended to comment to Nicolas's third paragraph, but it seems to apply to Gillianren's post as well.)

A common debunking of HB and CT arguments involves pointing out the argument by authority fallacy where some random PhD says something well outside of his field and is plain wrong. Others can be drastically wrong within their own field.

And if we start tagging credentials, we won't be able to point out that fallacy to HBers or CTers without accepting the obvious (and deserved) "hypocrisy" criticism.

Another concern is that doing so may open a sense of obligation to post on the part of those thus tagged, and may have a separate chilling effect on those not tagged. Neither would bode well, I think, for the forum.

This has been kicked around before. None of these arguments are especially new.

Argos
2007-Jul-04, 06:13 PM
In fact, Concretely, the QA section tends to an equilibrium; the posts tend to give the right answers by selection. There are penty of mainstreamers who will balance and clarify the discussion. Something like the Wikipedia. So, I´d say the OP is proposing an abstract discussion.

Argos
2007-Jul-04, 06:16 PM
Would it be worth having some kind of mechanism in place to make at least the mainstreamers recognisable from the woo-woos? Like, another label in the user ID - personally I'd like to "brand" the woo-woos as such so they can be suitably ignored ;), but I'd be happy with just a single label that says someone's a mainstreamer and should be listened to.

Id say a mainstreamer is the one with the simplest [not necessarily the shortest] answer.

Nicolas
2007-Jul-04, 08:09 PM
That's not necessarily true.

For example: it is simpler to assume there were 2 bullets in the kennedy murder than the mainstream explanation that one bullet had a complex path.

Even more abstract: it is simpler to explain why people in Australia and Norway are able to stand on the earth when assuming a flat earth than when assuming the earth is a huge ball with a mass so large that it forcefully attracts our mass.

in both cases, the correct mainstream explanation is not the most simple explanation.

hhEb09'1
2007-Jul-04, 08:30 PM
in both cases, the correct mainstream explanation is not the most simple explanation.It is the most simple explanation that explains all the data. That last part is an important caveat.

Disinfo Agent
2007-Jul-04, 08:52 PM
Replying with ATM material outside the ATM forum is against the rules, I believe. So in principle this problem shouldn't exist. Unfortunately, the Q&A forum has a lot of traffic, and I suppose the moderators don't catch every infraction. A pragmatic solution seems to be: "Report any post you see that is blatantly promoting ATM views".

But I would also like to remind everyone that being wrong and being ATM are not the same thing. People can make mistakes or be misinformed, etc., without having an alternative agenda.

Gillianren
2007-Jul-04, 09:03 PM
And indeed, I have reported ATM posts in Q&A. Not often, but I've done it. I suggest it to be the simplest solution to the problem.

R.A.F.
2007-Jul-04, 09:17 PM
...I have reported ATM posts in Q&A...

There have also been ATM posts in Astronomy, Life in Space and the General Science forums.

Gillianren
2007-Jul-04, 10:21 PM
There have also been ATM posts in Astronomy, Life in Space and the General Science forums.

Of those, I only read General Science; I don't remember reporting anything in it, but I may well have. That little red button's there for a reason, after all.

Lurker
2007-Jul-04, 10:35 PM
And then there is the not uncommon situation of finding well qualified and dedicated authorities (experts) on both sides of the debate ...

and this is more frequent on the fringes, or on the cutting edge, of any field of study ...

Tog_ mentioned the global warming debate - one field that has many highly qualified climate scientists arguing all sorts of evidence and models ...

in my own field of study, recent topics of vigorous debate were (and are still) whether and how plate tectonics manifested in the early Archaean ...
when and where and how life (on Earth) began ...
and what is happening (physically and chemically) above and below the D" layer ...

And, even university professors are not all immune to the lure of ATM ideas ... as some of us might recall ... ?

So, recognised credentials are not always a guarantee of reliability, especially where the science is exciting ... on the edge ...
In a field that I am very familiar with, I might point out that there was a time when plate tectonics was extremely ATM... to even suggest it could ruin a budding career in the geosciences...

Argos
2007-Jul-05, 12:48 PM
It is the most simple explanation that explains all the data. That last part is an important caveat.

Well, yeah. Thanks. :)

I really think nobody here {I mean, the mainstreamers] will let a poster get away with misconceptions when trying to answer a question in the QA section.

John Mendenhall
2007-Jul-05, 12:52 PM
Anyway, I refrain from giving answers to subjects Im not comfortable with.

Right on! Unfortunately, the number of people competent in GR that are willing to answer on this forum seems to be limited. And I'm not one of them, especially the tensor math competent part.

How about this for a guiding principle of good answering?

A person who knows what he or she doesn't know . . . and doesn't hesitate to say so.

Certainly BAUT is a learning experience. Answer questions for a while off the top of your head, without quailifying, and eventually you'll get nailed. Dr. Asimov took great pride in writing most of his books from memory, but in doing so he would occasionally make a howler.

This thread is a good argument for a thread summarizing current cosmology, which was discussed elsewhere in BAUT this week.

Michael Noonan
2007-Jul-05, 02:43 PM
How about this for a guiding principle of good answering?

A person who knows what he or she doesn't know . . . and doesn't hesitate to say so.

Certainly BAUT is a learning experience. Answer questions for a while off the top of your head, without qualifying, and eventually you'll get nailed. Dr. Asimov took great pride in writing most of his books from memory, but in doing so he would occasionally make a howler.


If mainstream would answer with respect to ATM questions with the same dignity that ATM should afford to mainstream then there wouldn't be a problem.

Each camp could try to respect the position of the other side.

It is a tall ask as mainstream is clearly going by what they have observed and theorised and provided excellent mathematics for. It is based on hundreds of years of cumulative research.

That is a very solid base.

The ATM (against the mainstream) is more usually someone explaining their observations as best they can, sometimes without the formal training and definitely without the same access to hundreds of years of research base to build on.

You are the experts in all your fields and I will respect your ideas as that is what you can see and have explained so very well. I try to explain what I have seen and why the various encounters I am aware of require a time medium and therefore require a different relativity.

This medium is one that requires light received to be treated as a shadow of reality as Plato put it. We see the shadows (or in this case the stars) of the universe and assume that is exactly where they are. We laugh that the American Indians couldn't see the sailing ships on their first encounter with Columbus.

What a cosmic joke it would be if the stars that we see are not where or when that we see them.

I respect mainstream science and all those who work, teach and research for humanity and those who have dedicated their careers to it. I also respect my own observations and solid attempts to define a universe that supports what I know.

Provided mainstream is exactly right and knows the explanation for everything then they are the recognised authority to teach and answer questions.

Bottom line I will respect you and what you know but I value more what I have seen for myself.

John Mendenhall
2007-Jul-05, 03:12 PM
What a cosmic joke it would be if the stars that we see are not where or when that we see them.


They're not, see excellent Wiki article on 'Speed of Gravity'.

Michael Noonan
2007-Jul-05, 03:31 PM
Originally Posted by Michael Noonan
What a cosmic joke it would be if the stars that we see are not where or when that we see them.
They're not, see excellent Wiki article on 'Speed of Gravity'.

Another speed test would be the propagation of a signal. What is the speed of a beam from a coil that produces a larger magnetic field than even the best neodymium-iron-boron magnets can sustain?

Could it transmit a signal faster than light speed, sure the beam would be received at the speed of light but what of the speed of the signal?

As I have spent my $Au650 allocated for research for this year, about $Us500I won't be trying this experiment myself.

John Mendenhall
2007-Jul-05, 04:23 PM
Another speed test would be the propagation of a signal. What is the speed of a beam from a coil that produces a larger magnetic field than even the best neodymium-iron-boron magnets can sustain?

Could it transmit a signal faster than light speed, sure the beam would be received at the speed of light but what of the speed of the signal?

As I understand it, information cannot be transmitted at more the the speed of light. The problem is causality. This leads to the peculiar situation that unlike SR, GR does not prohibit FTL travel, as long as causality is not violated. But since you can't do anything useful with it, who cares?

(I'm going to have to plow through all that tensor math yet. Maybe when I retire . . .)

CJSF
2007-Jul-05, 05:08 PM
...and another thread drifts into ATM...

TAKE THIS ELSEWHERE, GENTLEMEN.

CJSF

Michael Noonan
2007-Jul-05, 05:59 PM
...and another thread drifts into ATM...

TAKE THIS ELSEWHERE, GENTLEMEN.

CJSF

The thread is about who has the authority to answer a question

1. What is the speed of a beam from a coil that produces a larger magnetic field than even the best neodymium-iron-boron magnets can sustain?

This is a question not an ATM theory therefore not a provocation.
I expect the answer to be the speed of light.

2. Could it transmit a signal faster than light speed?
Again a question. All be it a bit provocative maybe inspired by an ATM idea but not stating an ATM assumption.

Therefore it is a valid question does mainstream science know the answer to something that could be easily tested with a few precision class instruments?

If not does that mean we built multi billion dollar instruments to look for unknown as yet propulsion but refuse to look at cheap tests because science isn't interested?

If science mainstream is determined to be the arbiter in all question answering then it had best be able to know the answers and not just the ones it selectively narrows the field down to.

Otherwise those who graduate with the flat hats are just as stale and bound by doctrine as those who aspire to wear pointy hats.

This may seem harsh but it is very objective as for one I do not suggest that the answer is known or not and so it is neither ATM or mainstream, just a question.

Tobin Dax
2007-Jul-05, 07:52 PM
The thread is about who has the authority to answer a question
Exactly. So actual answering (or argueing over the answer to) a question is off-topic, and should be handled in a different thread.

CJSF
2007-Jul-05, 09:35 PM
CJSF stares at Michael Noonan, blinks in disbelief, then leaves.

The Backroad Astronomer
2007-Jul-05, 10:29 PM
Here is question who is more qualified A person who tried twice to get B.Sc. and failed but during the first time worked as observatory tour guide for 2 years. Second time worked for astromony professor for a summer measuring photographic plates,then working in small observatory for the school year taking images for students in a couple of first year courses then a year marking assignments for one of the courses. Or some who has a Ph.d in let say the Arts and has no experience in the field trying to sell their theory and books here.

Byrd
2007-Jul-06, 02:04 AM
I think the best option is to teach people how to recognize "woo woo" references and "good" references. In order to do this, we have to teach them that the answers in science change every time our ability to see/measure changes (so the "answers" that we had with instruments like Newton's telescopes change vastly with data received from Aricebo or Palomar type telescopes.)

Good references should have a source and year of publication (so you know how recent the info is) and should point to some original data (cuneiform tablets in Sumerian, for instance) that could be read or at least read about from more than one source.

And anything that starts out with "mainstream scientists" should probably be kicked out. The more I see of these arguments, the more solidly I'm convinced that these people a) never met ANY scientist of any stripe and b) never actually took anything more than public school science.

Teach them how to tell the difference between a reference that has data to back it up and a reference (like Von Danniken) that is making up material.

Celestial Mechanic
2007-Jul-06, 04:19 AM
[Snip!] What a cosmic joke it would be if the stars that we see are not where or when that we see them. [Snip!]
Actually nothing we see in the sky is where we see it. Read my essays in this thread, Things Aren't Where They Seem ... (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?t=7606) .

Michael Noonan
2007-Jul-06, 07:52 AM
CJSF stares at Michael Noonan, blinks in disbelief, then leaves.

Now I am curious.

Maybe this helps to make it a bit clearer.

This is what I wanted to get at. Because people read many things here they are possibly wanting to ask questions over a range of ideas. Not necessarily wrong questions but maybe based on an unsound or as yet an unproven idea.

Both parties should agree that if they can they must provide mainstream answers. Especially for a newcomer who may not know the difference between ideas trying to get up and the accepted science, they are not ATM just because of their question.

However if a question is fielded to someone particularly on what relevance does their ATM topic have to x, y, z set of circumstances that too should be answered but with reference to the ATM idea, with the caveat that this particular question is not currently being considered by mainstream science.

The particular reason I fielded the question here in this post is a Tesla coils or at least one variant of his coils here (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/technology/technology.html?) is proposed for charging portable electronic equipment with a room. The advantage is no wiring to a power socket.

I follow a pattern (a very regular pattern actually) but a lawyer is the most dangerous of all creatures when it comes to extracting "facts and opinions" for a living. A reporter can be held accountable for the articles published.

If you think my logic is hard to follow then consider a "legal" position. What knowledge should science have reasonably been expected to have investigated of a "new" product before "said product" is released for domestic consumption? For a start what sort of "world headlines" could a media type exploit if the action of the magnetic field was not fully known? If you think media can be harsh they are only the second most vile group who use "facts and opinions" to earn a living.

A lawyer is trained to turn words around skillfully to make "tables" appear more like "dangerous car chasing biting dogs" and therefore a public hazard. "Chairs" made to look like "hissing scratching private property damaging cats" a real menace and the scientist is held accountable in the lawyers boxing chambers and forced to abide by legalistic rules.

If you have ever been there it is not a friendly atmosphere. Given that we know light travels at 40% the speed of light in a diamond and the largest diamond is smaller than all but the most undetectable magnetic field. Before any product goes on the shelves, just like the Food and Drug Administration codes every aspect should be known to the greatest degree of accuracy if at all possible. What has the cancer scare from cell phones cost in lawsuits?

Now consider a full body electromagnetic field that gets not just between the ears but to the pets and the children as well. If there is a profit to be had there is a legal representative willing to make it and there may even be a bit in it for the client as well.

I need to ask the question to show that it is topical, I do not need the answer but the question needs an answer before product placement. Even the Great Sir Isaac Asimov has been said to have been occasionally flustered without verifiable references in this very thread.

Who knows there may even be an overall health benefit found like magnetic therapy which would add to sales rather that stop them

trinitree88
2007-Jul-06, 11:10 AM
[QUOTE=Michael Noonan;1024715]SNIPPET....If you think my logic is hard to follow then consider a "legal" position. What knowledge should science have reasonably been expected to have investigated of a "new" product before "said product" is released for domestic consumption?


Michael Noonan. There was little testing, (none on primates), before genetically modified foods were introduced to your local supermarket. The presence of lectins in your potatoes, a cousin to ricin chemically, has effects totally unknown. See; "Trust us We're Experts" Chapter on Attack of the Killer Potatoes"the paperback book.
You might try asking your produce manager, "which of these foods were genetically modified, and are labeled as such?"...or your local fast food restaurant the same.
supersize your fries, Sir?:shifty:

Michael Noonan
2007-Jul-06, 04:50 PM
(snip)
Michael Noonan. There was little testing, (none on primates), before genetically modified foods were introduced to your local supermarket. The presence of lectins in your potatoes, a cousin to ricin chemically, has effects totally unknown. See; "Trust us We're Experts" Chapter on Attack of the Killer Potatoes"the paperback book.
You might try asking your produce manager, "which of these foods were genetically modified, and are labeled as such?"...or your local fast food restaurant the same.
supersize your fries, Sir?:shifty:

Thank you for this trinitree88. In a world of so many noble hopes and aspirations, see here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gettysburg_Address) if there was anything more that could be said, perhaps he said it best.

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter, and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."
Abraham Lincoln