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#1 sanctus

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 01:57 AM

This forum is intended to be a forum for scientific theories even if there is the addition "alternative". As a fellow staff member put it:

Alternative theory threads should consist of or be about scientific theories that are alternative to established ones, not ideas proposing an alternative to scientific theories in general. They need to pass the test of making predictions (or proposing a method of making predictions), differing from those of an established theory, that can at least in principle be tested with objective, repeatable experiments.

All threads not satisfying this will be moved elsewhere (usually strange claims)!

#2 Brinnie

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 04:02 AM

so evolution would be an established theory and Xenu would be an alt, right?

just have 2 ask... im sure some ppl might not welcome scientologists here


#3 sanctus

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 06:13 AM

I do not know what Xenu is (I'm not much into Biology). But for example creationism is not an alt even if it may look like an alt simply because we have the theology forum for such things and it is not scientific.

#4 freeztar

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 12:53 PM

Sanctus,
Xenu is, according to wiki, the...

dictator of the "Galactic Confederacy" who, 75 million years ago, brought billions[1] of his people to Earth in DC-8-like spacecraft, stacked them around volcanoes and killed them using hydrogen bombs. Scientology holds that their essences remained, and that they form around people in modern times, causing them spiritual harm.


Sounds reasonable right? :)

So, to answer your question Brinnie, Xenu would be a strange claim. There is no way to test for Xenu.

#5 sanctus

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 01:50 AM

There is no way known yet, freez; how can you say that something is impossible? But Brinnie do not get me wrong Xenu would be strange claims! Anyway if you found a say a time machine to test this then you should send it Nature and nnot èpost it here...

#6 HydrogenBond

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 08:13 PM

Alternate theories should be a place where one can present alternate theories even if they are still on the drawing table. At the very least, discussion can help individuals come to an understanding. Some young thinker could spend months working his or her theory. A little direction could be helpful. The way it is set up is, if the staff does not agree, you are called strange. Instead of helping, one gets a strange slap for the effort.

Sometimes alternate theories may not be valid, but they may have points that can open the mind to other possibilities. This is constructive. When Copernicus posed his theories of the solar system it went from alternate directly to the strange-land. One may never know at first glance.

I will present an alternate theory by first posing it as a question? Is human consciousness restricted to the cerebral matter? Or can consciousness move or center itself in other parts of the brain beyond the cerebral. The example, that comes to mind are certain Yoga masters who can slow the heart to the point where the heart almost stops. The heart, at that level is controlled much closer to the brain stem. Is this action simply the development of conscious wiring from the cerebral to the brain stem, or can consciousness migrate to the brain stem and affect a change more directly?

#7 freeztar

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 10:19 PM

There is no way known yet, freez; how can you say that something is impossible?


I didn't say it was impossible, but I certainly implied that with my poor phrasing. Let me re-word my statement.

"According to current scientific knowledge, there is no way to test for Xenu."

:phones:

#8 Brinnie

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 05:56 AM

There is no way known yet, freez; how can you say that something is impossible? But Brinnie do not get me wrong Xenu would be strange claims! Anyway if you found a say a time machine to test this then you should send it Nature and nnot èpost it here...

in that case, i guess i'll place my flag in this sub-forum. :phones:



#9 C1ay

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 07:00 AM

so evolution would be an established theory and Xenu would be an alt, right?


No. Evolution is a valid "scientific theory", Xenu is not. A scientific theory requires the hypothesis of a theory that fits an observable phenomenon which can be used to make testable predictions where the empirical observation of the results of those tests can be used to further refine the theory. Xenu is not a theory which is a mathematical or logical explanation, or a testable model of a set of natural phenomena, capable of predicting future occurrences or observations of the same kind, and capable of being tested through experiment or otherwise falsified through empirical observation. Like all other alleged Gods or deities, Xenu is not a valid scientific hypothesis.

#10 HydrogenBond

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 05:21 PM

Based on evolutionary theory what is the future of humans. To be a valid scientific theory one should be able to use that theory to predict the future with a reasonable degree of accuracy. I like evolutionary theory, in a general sense, but in its current form it is useless for predicting the future other than saying things will evolve. It works only after the fact.

An analogy to existing evolutionary theory is a theory of gravity that can only correlate what we have observed but can't predict new events. If someone is going to throw the ball differently, the theory is stumped, until after the fact. Picture sending a rocket into orbit with this level of theoretical sophistication. We would all cross our fingers and randomly shoot rockets off until one works. Then the theory would step in and explain this success with all this brimming confidence. But next time, we will again need to cross our fingers.

#11 jedaisoul

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 04:10 AM

Alternate theories should be a place where one can present alternate theories even if they are still on the drawing table. At the very least, discussion can help individuals come to an understanding. Some young thinker could spend months working his or her theory. A little direction could be helpful. The way it is set up is, if the staff does not agree, you are called strange. Instead of helping, one gets a strange slap for the effort.

I agree, but I don't see that as an objection to the policy in this forum. This forum is for alternative science and the standards for inclusion should be high.

On the other hand, just because a thread does not come up to those standards, does not mean it should be labelled as a "strange claim". So really, it is the name of the "Strange Claims" forum that is the problem, and possibly where it sits on the site.

I have suggested this to the moderators, but perhaps an open discussion would help...

#12 HydrogenBond

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 12:05 PM

The last point I was making is that evolutionary theory can not be used to predict the future. Because of that it is not fully scientific. Don't get me wrong there are many good scientists doing good science associated with the various details of evolution. But the current version of the full theory still can't can be used to predict the future. It is almost like evolutionary theory is given special treatment and held to a looser standard.

The Age of Enlightenment was important, since it shifted how we viewed nature from empirical correlation into a rational view of the world. With evolutionary theory so dependant on statistics, which is not cause and affect, it sort of uses a sophisticated version of pre-Age of Enlightenment empiricism. In other words, give me rational reasons apart from empirical statistics to demonstrate that the current version of evolutionary theory is based on post Age of enlightenment philosophy. It can't predict the future because it is not fully rational or based on cause and affect. Instead it uses something similar to a gambling system based on odds. But in the end the house always seems to win, so nobody tries to make predictions.

If you look at middle ages Alchemy, their understanding of chemistry was not rational or based on cause and affect. But it was based on careful observation allowing their mystical theories to correlate the data within a margin of error. To them the beaker was in the hands of chaos but with careful observation they learned how to predict the chaos. Evolutionary theory is cut from the same cloth and makes use of the empirical schema that the age of enlightenment worked so hard to overcome. This throw back to the past is why religion has stepped. One will not see religion trying to challenge gravity or chemistry since these are rational.

#13 Brinnie

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 09:05 PM

The last point I was making is that evolutionary theory can not be used to predict the future. Because of that it is not fully scientific.

sure it can. one can use any tool they please. might not be a "fully scientific" prediction, but a prediction indeed.

everything is relevant, even irrelevance.


#14 freeztar

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 01:28 PM

The last point I was making is that evolutionary theory can not be used to predict the future. Because of that it is not fully scientific. Don't get me wrong there are many good scientists doing good science associated with the various details of evolution. But the current version of the full theory still can't can be used to predict the future. It is almost like evolutionary theory is given special treatment and held to a looser standard.


Evolutionary theory IS scientific. It doesn't have to predict the future to be science.

#15 HydrogenBond

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 08:31 PM

One doesn't have to predict to the future to be called science, but science would have to be rational to be able to predict the future. If a=b and b=c, then a=c. In the case of evolution, a has a finite probability of being b, and b has finite probability of being c, therefore the odds of a=c is getting worse. They may be equal, but there is also a chance they won't. Anyone with rational skills would think this sounds like it is coming from an irrational person. Yet this is considered valid science? Nobody even tries to predict because it would make the system look at lame as it is. As long as the current theory can avoid a test of credibility, it can pretend all is well with this approach.

Again, I am not challenging evolution but its current state. Statistics is very useful to explain complex systems where there are often too many variables and unknowns to be able to reason. What this tells me is there is a need to simplify so there are fewer variables. For example, life will evolve into the environment it lives in. One will not find polar bears at the equator, unless they are in a zoo. But even then, they are kept cold. Instead of worrying about a bunch of random spontaneous genetic mutations, if one knows the environment, one also knows the basic direction the DNA is going to evolve.

For example, the new super bacteria are evolving due to the blood environment. They did not mutate until we altered the blood. The current theory tends to put the cart before the horse so it can't predict. It is using an illogical approach therefore it it stuck using irrational math.

#16 freeztar

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 09:16 PM

One doesn't have to predict to the future to be called science


I'm glad you agree.

but science would have to be rational to be able to predict the future. If a=b and b=c, then a=c. In the case of evolution, a has a finite probability of being b, and b has finite probability of being c, therefore the odds of a=c is getting worse. They may be equal, but there is also a chance they won't. Anyone with rational skills would think this sounds like it is coming from an irrational person.


Anyone with rational skills might notice this as a syllogism.

It seems to me that you are discounting the vast amount of research (phenotypes, genotypes, fossil records, etc.) regarding evolutionary theory.

Yet this is considered valid science? Nobody even tries to predict because it would make the system look at lame as it is. As long as the current theory can avoid a test of credibility, it can pretend all is well with this approach.


Here's a prediction for the theory of evolution.
I predict that birds evolved from dinosaurs.
Can I test this?
Yes.
I can test bird bones against dinosaur bones and look for similarities and differences in the coding.
Hence, evolutionary theory allows for testable predictions. It is science.

Evolution discussions are kept in the appropriate forum: Biology.
A potentially viable theory that suggests an alternative explanation for evolution, which allows for testable predictions, belongs in the Alternative Theories forum.
A theory that speculates alien-guided evolution, without any way to prove this, belongs in the strange claims forum.

:hihi: