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Thread: The difference between definitions and insults

  1. #1
    Moderator Neverfly's Avatar
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    Default The difference between definitions and insults

    There is more than one definition of the term, "ATM."
    One definition is "Against The Mainstream" which could mean an idea that is outside of the generally accepted Mainstream Models, but is still a good idea, unverifiable or unfalsifiable idea or a generally well accepted idea that is unscientific.
    Examples of these might include models that are outdated, models about conditions outside of our universe or scope of time, like pre-big bang models or even, creationist religion.
    Another definition of "ATM" is "dumbass."
    This includes ideas that are verifiable, falsifiable, generally unsupported by evidence or countered by evidence. Often, they qualify as just "Wrong."
    Examples include Aquatic Apes, Electric Universe, Bigfoot/Yeti/Sasquatch or even, creationist religion.

    I was inspired by a members comment here:
    Quote Originally Posted by David M W View Post
    The whole point of this thread is to encourage discussions, throw in a few ideas (within mainstream science) and maybe answer a few questions regarding the creation of the universe.
    The problem with these two definitions is in differentiating when you mean, "That model is not the generally accepted model, but still worthy of discussion and a valid questioning of the current model." and "No, that's just plain wrong, dumbass."
    An example off the first might be the "X-Particle" hypothesis, which may be falsifiable as technology improves, shows a lot of promise, and turns some Mainstream Models on their head but currently is not verifiable.
    String and Brane Hypothesis are in this category, too. Super-symmetry is currently not testable.
    Both of these are valid proposals and questioning of ideas and both are ATM. It is healthy for science, ensuring that ideas are not accepted merely because of authority. It ensures we question our evidence, assumptions and our bias. It ensures we always test our theories regularly and validate them often. These are even University supported and funded ATM ideas.

    An example of the latter might be Aquatic Apes a la Mermaids, which is in complete contradiction of an enormous amount of Fossil record Evidence, has only the vaguest hints as support (you call our fingers webbed?), has no valid support or merit and does not make anyone question their assumptions but instead, requires you to spend long hours drinking away brain cells so you can feel better about yourself when you wake up in the morning in a pool of vomit on the laundry room floor.
    These ideas do nothing to better science or humanity and in fact, require ignorance to be embraced, rejection of authority merely for the sake of doing it and often reject education or better understanding that might otherwise expose the "claims" as being just "dumbass."

    How to differentiate the two?
    --Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges--
    “Science needs the light of free expression to flourish. It depends on the fearless questioning of authority, and the open exchange of ideas.” ― Neil deGrasse Tyson

    "When photons interact with electrons, they are interacting with the charge around a "bare" mass, and thus the interaction is electromagnetic, hence light. This light slows the photon down." - BuleriaChk

  2. #2
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    Default Re: The difference between definitions and insults

    I can only see one way of differentiating between a crackpot idea and a plausible one. A plausible idea is one that can be currently tested, or at least possibly tested with future technology.
    "Testing" used a s a general term, as not only using current accepted data to verify an idea but the use of plausible thought experiments based on our current understanding of the laws of nature.
    I don't have a problem with ATM ideas provided they have some substance based on current accepted scientific models. In fact I openly prefer folk to suggest such ideas over those that profusely accept nothing more than what they consider as mainstream "fact". Science and thus our understanding will never progress unless those that dare to pioneer are allowed to speak.

    I think there is, for the most part, a clear distinct definition between the down right whacky and the wild but plausible.


    Usually those that make either claim either have substantiated evidence to back up their ideas, or just beliefs with absolutely no merit whatsoever.

    Maybe my statement should have read - Ideas which are plausible within our current understanding of the laws of nature?
    Neverfly and emperorzelos like this.

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    Default Re: The difference between definitions and insults

    Quote Originally Posted by David M W View Post
    I can only see one way of differentiating between a crackpot idea and a plausible one. A plausible idea is one that can be currently tested, or at least possibly tested with future technology.
    "Testing" used a s a general term, as not only using current accepted data to verify an idea but the use of plausible thought experiments based on our current understanding of the laws of nature.
    I don't have a problem with ATM ideas provided they have some substance based on current accepted scientific models. In fact I openly prefer folk to suggest such ideas over those that profusely accept nothing more than what they consider as mainstream "fact". Science and thus our understanding will never progress unless those that dare to pioneer are allowed to speak.

    I think there is, for the most part, a clear distinct definition between the down right whacky and the wild but plausible.


    Usually those that make either claim either have substantiated evidence to back up their ideas, or just beliefs with absolutely no merit whatsoever.

    Maybe my statement should have read - Ideas which are plausible within our current understanding of the laws of nature?
    I agree with this, one of my favourite hypotheses that is ATM is one that proposes that gravity is not a fundamental force but rather the result of entrop and the holographic principle.

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    Default Re: The difference between definitions and insults

    I think it would be wise to consider, that in the midst of a whole lot of "dumb-assed" statements there could lye a diamond in the ruff that might inspire the reader toward a major discovery. Its worth tolerating...find comfort in that you at least, have a superior understanding of such things.....

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    Default Re: The difference between definitions and insults

    Keeps me warm at night

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    Default Re: The difference between definitions and insults

    Keeps me awake ��

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