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Thread: All True Theories are Boring

  1. #1 All True Theories are Boring 
    Time Lord
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    Mar 2007
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    It's something I think we should add along side Occam's Razor. Not only is the least complex theory most likely to be true, but also the least fascinating/most boring. So a couple theories that I highly doubt, according to this rule:

    Big Bang. --- Can't be true because it captures too many peoples' imaginations.

    Einstein Field Equations. --- Perfect solutions are very hard to obtain in most cases. Examining them closely fills your mind with wonder.

    On the other hand, boring theories that are probably true:

    Minoa was Atlantis. --- It fits Plato's story, but not quite perfectly, and describes just another civilization that was ahead of its time like so many others. So.... it's boring enough to be true.

    Heliocentric Solar system ---- Compared with its predecessor, the Ptolemaic geocentric model - one of the most boring theories ever. Given the choice, I think most scholars of the time would have preferred to keep plotting out their epicycles, deferents, equants... and etc, forever satisfied that everyone who doubted them just plain didn't understand what they were saying.


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  3. #2  
    Forum Professor jrmonroe's Avatar
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    By the time people accept a theory as a fact, they've tested and prodded and kicked it around so much that, yeah, they're anticlimactic and boring. I think that obviousness makes things boring.

    And the public usually doesn't see all the nitty gritty details of the controversies surrounding theories. Most of the public receives third-rate schlocky info about the actual research being conducted. The media dumbs it down and wraps it up in a convenient package that 6th graders can understand (newspapers write to this level). In reality, research typically involves oddities and prickly points.


    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
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  4. #3  
    Time Lord
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    hmmm.. Maybe the rule should be that all proven theories are boring, then, and true theories can remain interesting so long as they have some controversy around them?
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