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Thread: Am I Too Dumb to Be Here?

  1. #1 Am I Too Dumb to Be Here? 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    I won't be insulted either way and smart-ass replies are welcome.

    Don't get me wrong, I think the concept of a science forum is wonderful. However I don't think serious scientists give it much of a thought. Sure, the resident forum scientists are here but there is only so much they can offer and besides if someone wanted to take the time to understand something then Google is just a few keys away.

    I'm no scientist, a wannabe perhaps, but I don't think I'm the dumbest guy here. In fact there are many just as dumb as I. Some claim to be scientists at first and then digress to their real purpose, to promote their quackery. I guess anything can be a science....ergo asshology. I believe science is such a passion that serious scientists can't waste time extolling on their fields of study with a bunch of pseudo-scientists. I have to ask what percentage of serious scientists would consider joining an internet forum?

    The forum is a place for some of the very knowledgeable to strut their stuff. No problem, but that only goes so far and is in some cases is so transparent that respect for the person wanes. Basically this is a debate forum with a science flavor. I don't think we should expect every member to be a bonafide scientist, but everyone has an opinion. Very difficult for the unitiated to back up their science claims and theories with their own research. If this is what is expected of us then I think more than half of us should quit now.

    I've been around long enough to know that even sage words are not
    always gospel. The internet is a universe of varying stances and positions on subjects and we may only hear one view. Take everything with a grain of salt. Science changes faster than Madonna changes underwear.

    So here's a toast to our mods. The flock can be frustrating at times but overall they keep their cool. I think they know the situation and if anything, they are interested in having science at the forefront of people's lives and in their minds.


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  3. #2  
    Forum Ph.D. Wolf's Avatar
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    Ha! When I saw the thread topic, I laughed. Thanks.


    Anyway, don't get discouraged. Being here, the same as anywhere else, is a balancing act. You balance the viewpoints of all the posters.

    The problem is that science is a highly-interpretable subject. There's always going to be someone with another viewpoint.

    Too dumb? That's relative, isn't it? Is the student "too dumb?" This is a discussion forum, and in a small way, a classroom, too. Those with knowledge mingle with those who seek it. The trick is to keep the attitudes under control, as well as to avoid carrying oneself in a way that is counterproductive.

    There are some who believe the ability to argue and discuss are innate qualities, and they're not. Just like speaking or writing, they have to be learned. A big part of that is learning to view opposite viewpoints, and also remembering to consider one's own actions and how they effect the opposite.

    That all said, I generally give more consideration to those who both make an effort to "present" themselves well, and who try to post with some level of maturity. The former is easy. If you can't take the time to capitalize your first letter in a sentence, and add some periods and minor grammar, I'm not likely to give you much attention. This really isn't a tinnie-bopper chatroom. There's no excuse. Even those to which English is not their primary language, know the basics.

    As for the later, well, if you want to be taken seriously, you should probably act seriously. Not so much straight-tie serious, but you probably get the picture.

    Too dumb? Trust me, you've got a long way to go before you reach the levels of "dumb" that have been revealed around this place.


    Wolf
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  4. #3 Re: Am I Too Dumb to Be Here? 
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    I have to ask what percentage of serious scientists would consider joining an internet forum?
    Roughly 0%.

    Or more precisely 0,03%.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

    - Arnaud Amalric

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  5. #4 Re: Am I Too Dumb to Be Here? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos

    I'm no scientist, a wannabe perhaps, but I don't think I'm the dumbest guy here. In fact there are many just as dumb as I.
    It's ok to be dumb because one can learn. It's not ok to be stupid because one has already learned. Big difference.
    Religious Fundamentalist Club - Member #1.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    I like it here because I enjoy the opportunity to teach other people what I know, and I enjoy the opportunity to learn from other people and to hear their viewpoints. And, as I'm currently just a research assistant, I have the time. It's looking like I'll be heading off to grad school in the fall, and so in the future I may have less time.

    Like you said, much of this forum is debate-oriented, and if nothing else I've definitely become a better debater by posting here.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
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  7. #6  
    Forum Ph.D. Wolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    ...and if nothing else I've definitely become a better debater by posting here.
    No you haven't. (heeheehee jk)
    Wolf
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  8. #7  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf
    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    ...and if nothing else I've definitely become a better debater by posting here.
    No you haven't. (heeheehee jk)
    hahaha. Well, it feels like I have, anyway. Or maybe I'm just less afraid of arguments. =p
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
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  9. #8 Re: Am I Too Dumb to Be Here? 
    Forum Professor Pendragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    I'm no scientist, a wannabe perhaps, but I don't think I'm the dumbest guy here. In fact there are many just as dumb as I.
    It may be a horrible cliche, but I do think it has relevance and value: the old saying that a wise man knows what he doesn't know (wasn't that Sokrates? I can't remember). There are a lot of people out there who may have a lot of (often specialized) knowledge, but who are unable to learn from others because they fail to recognize the limits of their knowledge. You're a step ahead of them :wink:

    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Basically this is a debate forum with a science flavor. I don't think we should expect every member to be a bonafide scientist, but everyone has an opinion. Very difficult for the unitiated to back up their science claims and theories with their own research. If this is what is expected of us then I think more than half of us should quit now.
    In practise very few claims are backed up here, mostly because it's just a lot of work but also because people make claims about things they don't know much about. And that doesn't have to be a problem as long as people accept the consequence, that what they propose here are not theories but highly uncertain claims or just interesting ideas.

    That said I do hope the ratio of quality discussions to junk will improve a bit. Some people post more new threads than replies, investing no time in each thread to make sure it can grow into an interesting discussion. They may have the best intentions, but the result is that the 'gems' sink away in the 'mud'.
    There are very few science forums on the net (or I just fail to find them), so it would be a pity if we can't push this one beyond the level of 'sciency debate'.
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  10. #9  
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    I like it here for three reasons

    1) I learn a little bit

    2) I see questions i can answer or should be able to answer hence brush up on my knowledge.

    3) Its a place where there are some experienced minds, both in science and the university of life! The people i respect/have had good interactions with are peopling that give good advice. And i have asked for advice here and it was good. =)

    There are other reasons too such that it passes some free time i sometimes have, and gives me a sense of belonging.

    As of late I haven’t had the internet connection at home or the time at college to do anything here.

    I suppose real smart professors of high calibre wouldn’t join quickly. But is that what the forum is really for?
    Stumble on through life.
    Feel free to correct any false information, which unknown to me, may be included in my posts. (also - let this be a disclaimer)
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