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Thread: Biologista's moderation in New Hypotheses

  1. #1 Biologista's moderation in New Hypotheses 
    Moderator Moderator TheBiologista's Avatar
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    We create a natural, personalised projection of colour and light. It is projected all around us all the time. From the information I've gathered our retinas can "fire off" colour and light, without the stimulation of any external light at all. Our brains are constantly creating a projection of colour and light, and colour and light are forms of energy. This self projected colour and light can be noticed when you close your eyes. Even in complete dark, if aware enough of it, you can notice a 'colourful static' projected all around you with your eyes open. When in meditative states with closed eyes you do not see complete dark stillness. You see an array of colourful patterning which intensifies the more you 'let go' and relax. This colour and light is not only there with your eyes closed, it is all around you all the time. And can be noticed, and can possibley be used towards further human development.
    I'm not sure what your main point is here. Something about our eyes producing light which we can perceive when they are closed?

    I'm going to give you exactly one more post to present us with some empirical evidence in support of this assertion. Your own data, peer-reviewed research or a peer-reviewed literature review would be acceptable. Links to hand-wavey new age websites or more anecdotes will result in this thread being moved to Pseudoscience.


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  3. #2  
    Forum Masters Degree Numsgil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    I'm not sure what your main point is here. Something about our eyes producing light which we can perceive when they are closed?

    I'm going to give you exactly one more post to present us with some empirical evidence in support of this assertion. Your own data, peer-reviewed research or a peer-reviewed literature review would be acceptable. Links to hand-wavey new age websites or more anecdotes will result in this thread being moved to Pseudoscience.
    I think you're over reacting Biologista. Perhaps a knee-jerk reaction? The OP has observed something during meditation and presented an hypothesis to explain it. I see nothing pseudo scientific about any of it. No untestable claims. No persecution complex. No hand wavy new age websites.


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  4. #3  
    Moderator Moderator TheBiologista's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Numsgil
    I think you're over reacting Biologista. Perhaps a knee-jerk reaction?
    If you think that I am over-reacting then by all means point this out to me in a PM, bring it to Feedback or speak to an Admin. Please do not question my moderating decisions in an open thread like this. Please read the forum posting guidelines point 6.

    Quote Originally Posted by Numsgil
    The OP has observed something during meditation and presented an hypothesis to explain it. I see nothing pseudo scientific about any of it. No untestable claims. No persecution complex. No hand wavy new age websites.
    The OP makes a number of assertion which, if I am understanding them correctly, I view as implausible. Although they may in fact be testable, they don't appear to have been based on established evidence. Example:

    From the information I've gathered our retinas "fire off" colour and light, without the stimulation of any external light at all.
    I've been studying biology for quite some time and have never heard of anything like this. Without clarifying what evidence this is based upon, the OP then builds on that first assumption:

    This means our brains create a projection of colour and light, and colour and light are forms of energy.
    This jump would be a stretch even if the first point were backed up with evidence. If all of this is based on some evidence that the OP has actually gathered, or which is common knowledge, then I am happy hold up my hands and to allow the discussion to continue here. But right now a lot of this seems to be based on evidence-free assumption. This forum is for scientific hypotheses, assertions which are both based on some evidence and which themselves has the capacity to be objectively and reproducibly tested by experimentation or observation. If it looks like science but does not conform to those criteria, then it is pseudoscience.

    I will not be entertaining any further discussion on the categorisation of this thread in the thread itself
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  5. #4  
    Forum Masters Degree Numsgil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Quote Originally Posted by Numsgil
    I think you're over reacting Biologista. Perhaps a knee-jerk reaction?
    If you think that I am over-reacting then by all means point this out to me in a PM, bring it to Feedback or speak to an Admin. Please do not question my moderating decisions in an open thread like this. Please read the forum posting guidelines point 6.
    Perhaps a PM to the OP would likewise have been the appropriate move?

    Ah, but I've said too much already, haven't I.
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  6. #5  
    Moderator Moderator TheBiologista's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Numsgil
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Quote Originally Posted by Numsgil
    I think you're over reacting Biologista. Perhaps a knee-jerk reaction?
    If you think that I am over-reacting then by all means point this out to me in a PM, bring it to Feedback or speak to an Admin. Please do not question my moderating decisions in an open thread like this. Please read the forum posting guidelines point 6.
    Perhaps a PM to the OP would likewise have been the appropriate move?

    Ah, but I've said too much already, haven't I.
    The standard practice on most forums and the policy here is for moderators to openly state and explain their intended actions so that there is transparency and so that all users are aware of how and why certain decisions are being made. We're not bound by the policy but it is one that I prefer to follow so that everyone is on the same page. Would you like me to split these posts into Feedback so that we can continue this discussion without derailing the OPs thread?
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  7. #6  
    Forum Masters Degree Numsgil's Avatar
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    Sure. So long as I am free to openly discuss my feelings on the matter and you're not going to pull down the ban hammer or something similar.
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  8. #7  
    Moderator Moderator TheBiologista's Avatar
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    Okay, moved to Feedback. The "Ban Hammer" is not one of my powers, that's for Admins only.
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  9. #8  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    I agree that Biologista's warning was precipitate, but I suspect it will turn out to be justified.

    Perhaps a more succesful approach would have been to have asked, as a poster not a moderator, 'what evidence do you have to support these contentions, in particular your statement that..............'.

    This would have given the OP an opportunity to offer up that evidence, in whatever form it took. If the OP had failed to address that request by waffling, ignoring it, arguing it was unnecessary, relying upon personal anecdote, etc, then Biologista could have donned his moderator hat.

    I understand the rationale behind the prohibition on discussing moderator decisions within the thread. However, the downside is that this removes the transparency of the process.
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  10. #9  
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    I don't think he's over reacting. If a hypothesis is not given already scientific information and knowledge to back it up a little then the hypothesis isn't founded in any way. And must become pseudoscience.

    I understand that spaceman1 has a good point, but he must realise that his theory is going to require a lot of investigation and pursuit to try and proove his hypothesis.

    I would suggest spaceman that you find a way to explain how we are the reason for seeing the universe as it is. But to do that you are going to need to abandon all science to date and come up from scratch. Perhaps you could thereby classify science we have to day as:

    External self science. The universe interacts with the universe and then me.

    and your new science:

    Internal self science. I interact with the universe to make it interact with itself and then me.

    I may be totally wrong, but the whole reason that the new theories and hypothesis thread was created came from a debate so many months ago where I suggested a new thread for this exactly. There were interesting theories that were being created and just thrown in pseudoscience. Some of those did not belong there and some did. I believe that TheBiologista is giving you a fair trail to prove that there may be some value to your theory and if not then it will go to pseudoscience.

    I think thats all fair and square. Or am I wrong?

    PS. The phenomena of spirits, ghosts, souls, precognition and psychic abilites are interesting. There is definatley something unknown that 'external science' has never investigated. And no conclusive results found. But that is perhaps because they hold 'external' approaches. Maybe you with the 'internal' approach can be a hallmark for a new science. The science within.

    I myself now am totally in theory, but as you can see, all you need to do is make it logical and show that there is phenomena to explain that cannot already be explained. I believe you should start there instead of trying to explain something that has already been explained and is satisfactorily accepted, even by myself. Once you have done so. Then you can try and re-explain something that exists using a new model, just in the same way Quantum physcis had to do with classical physics. Its hard but in highnsight it was worth it...
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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  11. #10  
    Forum Masters Degree Numsgil's Avatar
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    In my mind the primary difference between new hypothesis and pseudoscience is that pseudoscience isn't falsifiable. All sorts of things in new hypothesis can be wrong or contradict established laws. That's half the fun. That's also why it's its own forum. Likewise I think anecdotal evidence is worth discussing. It's not the basis of good science, but it often gets the mind working and wondering and forming hypothesis which can then be tested.

    It's when the poster starts ignoring evidence, ranting about the short comings of "established science", and displaying paranoia that fruitful discussion breaks down and it needs to be moved.

    I especially think puting the OP on the defensive is counter productive. Especially from someone in a position of authority. A poster in new hypothesis shouldn't have to demonstrate that what they're talking about is true. It's entirely acceptable, even desirable, to encourage wild speculation. Then discuss it and work out how it would work using established laws, and determine its plausibility. Again, that's half the fun.

    That is, getting moved to pseudoscience should be a last resort which happens when a discussion derails far away from the scientific method. It shouldn't be something a civil and open minded poster needs to worry about.

    And I don't mind if moderators are just some force of nature that normal posters have to just accept. You don't like a thread you can move it to pseudoscience or wherever. But when a moderator posts in the thread itself, whatever they say should be subject to discussion. Just like any other poster. Positions of authority carry a lot of weight, and people expect moderators and admins, etc. to be fair and balanced and dispassionate. So if you're a new member having a discussion and a moderator pops in and essentially gives an ultimatum, and other members don't defend your case (because they can't by forum rules)...

    Well it can lead to hurt feelings.
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  12. #11  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    I could go into a lengthy diatribe, with elegant phrases, expansive vocabulary and in-your-face metaphors, but it's so much more appropriate to say - Seconded.
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  13. #12  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    I realize I'm a little late to the party, but I'd like to add that pseudoscience is not meant to just be a free-for-all. That's what it used to be and several members voiced a great unhappiness with it. The whole idea behind giving it a mod was to clean it up. Most certainly it's standards are far more lenient than those of the rest of the forum, but it still needs standards.
    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.
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  14. #13  
    Moderator Moderator TheBiologista's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Numsgil
    In my mind the primary difference between new hypothesis and pseudoscience is that pseudoscience isn't falsifiable. All sorts of things in new hypothesis can be wrong or contradict established laws. That's half the fun. That's also why it's its own forum. Likewise I think anecdotal evidence is worth discussing. It's not the basis of good science, but it often gets the mind working and wondering and forming hypothesis which can then be tested.
    Sure, and if the hypothesis is based on the foundation of verifiable empirical evidence then there's no problem. If it starts with "I see things" and immediately progresses to auras and human development, then that's not any kind of science.

    Quote Originally Posted by Numsgil
    It's when the poster starts ignoring evidence, ranting about the short comings of "established science", and displaying paranoia that fruitful discussion breaks down and it needs to be moved.
    Whilst these are traits of some pseudoscience, this is not always the case.

    Quote Originally Posted by Numsgil
    I especially think puting the OP on the defensive is counter productive. Especially from someone in a position of authority.
    After what was essentially a full page of posts of speculation, I figured a formal request for evidence was due.

    Quote Originally Posted by Numsgil
    A poster in new hypothesis shouldn't have to demonstrate that what they're talking about is true.
    I disagree completely and I will certainly not be moderating New Hypotheses in that spirit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Numsgil
    It's entirely acceptable, even desirable, to encourage wild speculation. Then discuss it and work out how it would work using established laws, and determine its plausibility. Again, that's half the fun.
    I'll allow most posts in NH a fair amount of latitude, but there has to be some element of reality in there and frankly I struggle to see it in the discussion in question.

    Quote Originally Posted by Numsgil
    That is, getting moved to pseudoscience should be a last resort which happens when a discussion derails far away from the scientific method. It shouldn't be something a civil and open minded poster needs to worry about.
    Where exactly was the scientific method in that post?

    Quote Originally Posted by Numsgil
    And I don't mind if moderators are just some force of nature that normal posters have to just accept. You don't like a thread you can move it to pseudoscience or wherever. But when a moderator posts in the thread itself, whatever they say should be subject to discussion. Just like any other poster. Positions of authority carry a lot of weight, and people expect moderators and admins, etc. to be fair and balanced and dispassionate. So if you're a new member having a discussion and a moderator pops in and essentially gives an ultimatum, and other members don't defend your case (because they can't by forum rules)...

    Well it can lead to hurt feelings.
    We're discussing it now. When I cited the posting guidelines my issue was not with the discussion over whether the post constituted pseudo science or not, although that was off-topic. My issue was that you suggested that I was over-reacting.
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  15. #14  
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    Well let me sum up what I saw as the thread's progress, and you tell me if you took something different away from it.

    OP: People emit light that you can see during meditation
    Me: People do emit light in the low frequency band from our black body radiation. What you're seeing could be this light, or it could be a mental "hallucination".
    OP: Even if it's an hallucination, it still means people are emitting light
    Me: It's entirely possible to see light that isn't there during an hallucination from nerves "misfiring". And yes, people do emit light.
    OP: Nerves don't misfire, our bodies don't do random things
    Me; Yes they do

    That's about when you popped in. What precisely about this discussion did you find pseudoscientific? The OP claimed that people emit light, and that you can see this light during meditation. Clearly people do emit light, since we don't live at absolute 0, so that part of the hypothesis was spot on. Whether you can see this light or not during meditation, or if you're seeing something else (a manifestation of some artifact of how vision works) was pretty much the rest of the thread. I presented several ideas about how to go about testing which it was.

    So the whole discussion seemed extremely scientific method-y to me. Started with a basic observation, then expanded to hypothesizing about various explanations, then moved to proposing experiments to confirm/deny several of these hypothesis.

    So please tell me where your view of the thread differed from mine.
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Numsgil
    Well let me sum up what I saw as the thread's progress, and you tell me if you took something different away from it.

    OP: People emit light that you can see during meditation
    Me: People do emit light in the low frequency band from our black body radiation. What you're seeing could be this light, or it could be a mental "hallucination".
    OP: Even if it's an hallucination, it still means people are emitting light
    Me: It's entirely possible to see light that isn't there during an hallucination from nerves "misfiring". And yes, people do emit light.
    OP: Nerves don't misfire, our bodies don't do random things
    Me; Yes they do

    That's about when you popped in. What precisely about this discussion did you find pseudoscientific?
    The parts where the OP denied that hallucinations or visual artefacts are plausible explanations. The part where you suggested that humans might be capable of seeing such infra-red.

    Quote Originally Posted by Numsgil
    The OP claimed that people emit light, and that you can see this light during meditation. Clearly people do emit light, since we don't live at absolute 0, so that part of the hypothesis was spot on.
    Sure, but it's a significant leap to suggest a person could see that light without technological aid.

    Quote Originally Posted by Numsgil
    Whether you can see this light or not during meditation, or if you're seeing something else (a manifestation of some artifact of how vision works) was pretty much the rest of the thread. I presented several ideas about how to go about testing which it was.
    And did the OP show any particular interest in doing such testing? He responded to my suggestion that he test his ability by saying that whilst he was interested in helping other people to see what he sees he isn't interested in testing what the ability actually represents.

    Quote Originally Posted by spaceman1
    I don't need to test whether I can see this colour and light-- I can see it
    Quote Originally Posted by Numsgil
    So the whole discussion seemed extremely scientific method-y to me. Started with a basic observation, then expanded to hypothesizing about various explanations, then moved to proposing experiments to confirm/deny several of these hypothesis.

    So please tell me where your view of the thread differed from mine.
    Well there were the above comments denying hallucination/involuntary nerve impulse etc. The suggestion that seeing IR is plausible for humans when really it is not. The rejection of the need to do testing. You've also omitted a number of other spurious assertions such as the jump from the OP seeing things to projection of light, some bizarre metaphysical comments about meditation (inner flow?) thrown in for good measure. So we have the pretence of science, the indication of a desire for evidence but all torpedoed by massive logical leaps, poorly-defined assertions scepticism of the most plausible explanations (when it should be the other way around) and a rejection of actual practical testing. That to me smacks of pseudo science. I decided to give the OP a chance to demonstrate that it was not.

    I appreciate that you were attempting to keep the discussion scientific, but the OP clearly wasn't playing ball in that regard.
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  17. #16  
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    Dismissing an idea out of hand is not good science. You were free to come into the discussion as a poster and state why you believe that humans seeing IR is impossible. Presumably we could then construct a theoretical experiment to test if the OP was seeing IR (say, with a heat lamp like I had already suggested).

    Instead you came into the thread with your moderator's hat on and demanded that the discussion conform to your preconceived (though probably factual) views of reality or get moved to pseudo.

    You're entirely free to moderate like that, but I can and will voice my opinion that it's counterproductive to good discussion. And I can and will point out when I think you're knee-jerk reacting to things.

    Pseudoscience isn't about being right or wrong. It's entirely possible for pseudoscience to be factual. It's about the attitude you approach it with. Likewise it's entirely possible for good science to not be factual. It's about the scientific method. While the OP was beginning to head away from the proper science direction, he wasn't there yet. And offensively insinuating that he was gave the entire discussion a cold shower.
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Numsgil
    What precisely about this discussion did you find pseudoscientific?
    my first impression was that it sounds like pseudo-science as the OP uses the language but not the methods of science
    he is also quick to deny the validity of evidence that might test his proposition, another feature of pseudo-science, which depends on moving the goalposts into areas where the initial proposition can no longer be challenged
    my impression was that the discussion, short as it may have been, was already veering in that direction
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  19. #18  
    Moderator Moderator TheBiologista's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Numsgil
    Dismissing an idea out of hand is not good science. You were free to come into the discussion as a poster and state why you believe that humans seeing IR is impossible. Presumably we could then construct a theoretical experiment to test if the OP was seeing IR (say, with a heat lamp like I had already suggested).
    If that alone were the topic then I would certainly have entertained the discussion. It wasn't though, the thread had ranged pretty far in topics by the time I made my first post, and there was no sign of the OP being open to either reading the established data or doing fair tests of his own.

    Quote Originally Posted by Numsgil
    Instead you came into the thread with your moderator's hat on and demanded that the discussion conform to your preconceived (though probably factual) views of reality or get moved to pseudo.
    I asked that evidence be provided, not that the thread conform to what I understand. Evidence is what would have made the topic science.

    Quote Originally Posted by Numsgil
    You're entirely free to moderate like that, but I can and will voice my opinion that it's counterproductive to good discussion. And I can and will point out when I think you're knee-jerk reacting to things.
    That's fine, but if you need to do so then please do it here in feedback, or in a PM to me or to an admin.

    Quote Originally Posted by Numsgil
    Pseudoscience isn't about being right or wrong. It's entirely possible for pseudoscience to be factual.
    I agree. But we're talking about the categorisation of the post into pseudoscience or NH, not whether the post is correct or factual. That categorisation is made on the basis of the assumptions being made (are they tested) and the assertions being made (are they testable). Whilst I'm inclined to assume the OP is wrong, which is appropriate scepticism, that assumption on my part is not the basis of my inclination towards putting the thread in pseudo, nor the basis of my demand for evidence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Numsgil
    It's about the attitude you approach it with. Likewise it's entirely possible for good science to not be factual. It's about the scientific method. While the OP was beginning to head away from the proper science direction, he wasn't there yet. And offensively insinuating that he was gave the entire discussion a cold shower.
    Offence was not intended and I'm not sure it could reasonably be taken, unless you take "pseudoscience" as a pejorative rather than a description. You seem to be simultaneously defending the concept of pseudoscience as worthy of note (which it is) whilst taking offence at the definition of that thread as pseudoscience. I'm not sure I understand where you're coming from with that.

    The purpose of NH is to present new scientific hypotheses. It is not the purpose of the NH forum to bring pseudoscientific threads up to a standard acceptable for NH or elsewhere. That is the function of the pseudoscience forum, which is where I wish to move the thread.

    It's not a dustbin for bad ideas, nor a means of "dismissing" anyone. I moderate pseudo more than I do NH, because I'd like to think that the posters there can learn to make contributions that will fit elsewhere. That is and has been the stated purpose of pseudoscience since I started moderating there.
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Quote Originally Posted by Numsgil
    Instead you came into the thread with your moderator's hat on and demanded that the discussion conform to your preconceived (though probably factual) views of reality or get moved to pseudo.
    I asked that evidence be provided, not that the thread conform to what I understand. Evidence is what would have made the topic science.
    If it's in New Hypothesis it probably doesn't have evidence for it. It's an unrealistically high standard for the threads in there. Go through some of the others and see if how many of them could possibly provide peer reviewed articles to back up their hypothesis.

    You seem to be simultaneously defending the concept of pseudoscience as worthy of note (which it is) whilst taking offence at the definition of that thread as pseudoscience. I'm not sure I understand where you're coming from with that.
    Most scientifically minded people I know have an immediate, unpleasant reaction to certain buzzwords like meditation, aura, and New Age. My concern was that the content of the discussion had bypassed the rational part of your mind and had headed straight for the "this is trash" part of your brain.

    The purpose of NH is to present new scientific hypotheses. It is not the purpose of the NH forum to bring pseudoscientific threads up to a standard acceptable for NH or elsewhere. That is the function of the pseudoscience forum, which is where I wish to move the thread.
    Just so we're clear, what do you consider the distinction between NH and pseudo? Is it the subject matter or the methodology? Is it impossible for the hypothesis "humans emit light and we can see it during meditation" to be treated scientifically?
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  21. #20  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    Numsgil, I'll let Biologista answer what counts as pseudo or NH, but I'd like to point out that there is a difference between saying X is true and not providing any evidence in support, and saying X could be true but admitting that there is no currently existing evidence on X. The OP was making claims that he said were facts; that is very different from making suggestions that have admittedly not been tested yet.
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  22. #21  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    And as the thread has advanced there has been no indication that spaceman1 is willing to entertain the possibility that this is wrong. This makes it pseudoscience. I just think the presumption that this would turn out to be the case was made too early.

    (And pseudoscience is a perjorative, not simply a descriptive.)
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  23. #22  
    Moderator Moderator TheBiologista's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Numsgil
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Quote Originally Posted by Numsgil
    Instead you came into the thread with your moderator's hat on and demanded that the discussion conform to your preconceived (though probably factual) views of reality or get moved to pseudo.
    I asked that evidence be provided, not that the thread conform to what I understand. Evidence is what would have made the topic science.
    If it's in New Hypothesis it probably doesn't have evidence for it. It's an unrealistically high standard for the threads in there. Go through some of the others and see if how many of them could possibly provide peer reviewed articles to back up their hypothesis.
    Of course an hypothesis will not have evidence for it, or at least not conclusive evidence. But it must arise from already established evidence. "Bull horns are made of ivory" is an hypothesis, because all of the elements in it are based on established knowledge and the hypothesis is testable. I would allow it to be presented even though this were only on the basis of inadvertent ignorance. "Unicorn horns are made of ivory" is not an hypothesis despite being hypothetically testable, because it relies on a prior assumption that has not been tested.


    Quote Originally Posted by Numsgil
    You seem to be simultaneously defending the concept of pseudoscience as worthy of note (which it is) whilst taking offence at the definition of that thread as pseudoscience. I'm not sure I understand where you're coming from with that.
    Most scientifically minded people I know have an immediate, unpleasant reaction to certain buzzwords like meditation, aura, and New Age. My concern was that the content of the discussion had bypassed the rational part of your mind and had headed straight for the "this is trash" part of your brain.
    I asked for evidence in my capacity as moderator of NH and Pseudo so that I could decide if the thread was misplaced. There had already been some more gentle efforts to make the discussion scientific before I posted and it didn't appear that the OP was playing ball. I wasn't particularly interested in getting involved in the discussion but figured I'd make the request for evidence clear an unambiguous before making that call.

    There's certainly negative connotations attached to a move to pseudo, but I'm not responsible for that reality. If anything, I'm trying to get people to see past that and figure out why their ideas are not being given credence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Numsgil
    The purpose of NH is to present new scientific hypotheses. It is not the purpose of the NH forum to bring pseudoscientific threads up to a standard acceptable for NH or elsewhere. That is the function of the pseudoscience forum, which is where I wish to move the thread.
    Just so we're clear, what do you consider the distinction between NH and pseudo? Is it the subject matter or the methodology?
    It can be either or both.

    If the subject matter is assumed true when untested and a new testable assertion is based upon that prior assumption, then it is pseudoscience. Example would be that Creationists conduct palaeontological, geological, astronomical and biological studies, but their underlying assumption is untested and indeed already falsified. That is pseudoscience.

    If a non-testable assertion is made based on well-established science then we're in the same place again. Example of this would be in some forms of alternative medicine where evidence from cell culture, animal studies or small scale human trials is used as justification for assertions which cannot be tested- such as vague "detox" claims which lack the specificity to be tested in a meaningful manner.

    And you can have both together too, of course.

    Quote Originally Posted by Numsgil
    Is it impossible for the hypothesis "humans emit light and we can see it during meditation" to be treated scientifically?
    Again, by the time I posted this was not the only assertion on the table. If it were, then I'd probably have waited longer before intervening. The topic of the thread was rapidly broadening without any sign that the OP was interested in talking about evidence beyond the subjective. Indeed, his responses to suggestions of mundane explanations was simple denial of the existence of phenomena which are well-known to exist.

    No, it's not impossible for it to be treated scientifically. The assertion is testable, though the terms would need to be well-defined (what exactly is meant by meditation for example?). Had I wanted to treat the subject unscientifically I would have dismissed the assertion as impossible outright or accepted it without question. I did neither. Instead I made a demand for first for clarification of the assertion (it was difficult to figure out what his actual claim was) and then for evidence, which is the manner in which an unusual assertion is treated scientifically.
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