Split from APOD: Hurricane Paths (2012 Sep 04)

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owlice
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Split from APOD: Hurricane Paths (2012 Sep 04)

Post by owlice » Tue Sep 04, 2012 7:09 pm

A bit of thread-scrubbing was in order and has been done.

Please if referring to another site, make sure it is a reliable site and does not deal in pseudoscience. Thanks for your cooperation.

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Re: APOD: Hurricane Paths on Planet Earth (2012 Sep 04)

Post by Beyond » Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:21 am

owlice wrote:A bit of thread-scrubbing was in order and has been done.

Please if referring to another site, make sure it is a reliable site and does not deal in pseudoscience. Thanks for your cooperation.

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AHOY, owlice. Is your admin hat like one of those British officer's hats we see in old movies, that look like their being worn sideway's??
But being a bit more serious, just how are most of us supposed to be able to tell what here is called a -pseudoscience site-, from what is called here, a reliable science site??
I took a look at some of what got scrubbed, and i wouldn't have been able to label it one way or the other. But then I've also seen what are called -reliable- sites posted here, that i couldn't say if they were or not.
So it would seem that for a lot of us, the determination of a -reliable- site, falls on the experience of the administrators and how 'they' see it.
I don't have a problem with that, but 'some' may. So to all the administrators i say, keep a stiff upper lip... and your scrub-brush handy, and don't forget to wear your admin hat sideways. This is, after all, The Starship Asterisk*. Cheerio!
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Ann
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Re: APOD: Hurricane Paths on Planet Earth (2012 Sep 04)

Post by Ann » Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:52 am

But being a bit more serious, just how are most of us supposed to be able to tell what here is called a -pseudoscience site-, from what is called here, a reliable science site??
Beyond made a good point.

Usually, if a site tells you that established science is crap, or that mainstream scientific ideas are baloney, that site is probably not reliable. After all, real science is all about continually testing one's ideas and getting a better and better understanding of how well they describe reality. It is not likely that one "rebel" site will have obtained knowledge of a whole lot of observations that the scientists themselves were not aware of, and that disprove established ideas.

However, merely saying that anything that disagrees with established science is pseudoscience is not likely to make the critics of established science respect you. After all, if you don't have any other rebuttal than your power to delete posts, why should those that are uncertain think that you are right and not merely powerful?

APOD is a site hosted by NASA. I understand, I really do, that NASA doesn't want APOD to turn into a discussion club for flat-earthers and others who are "religiously devoted to unscientific ideas". But maybe, just maybe, there should be a forum here where people who are honestly curious can ask questions about what separates science from pseudoscience.

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Chris Peterson
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Re: APOD: Hurricane Paths on Planet Earth (2012 Sep 04)

Post by Chris Peterson » Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:20 am

Beyond wrote:But being a bit more serious, just how are most of us supposed to be able to tell what here is called a -pseudoscience site-, from what is called here, a reliable science site?
It's usually not hard to tell. First and foremost, if you see a site promoting a view that is contrary to mainstream science, it's probably a poor source: unreliable at best, pseudoscience at worst. So things that have no scientific consensus, and stand against strong consensuses are very suspect: sites that argue against global warming, against the Big Bang, against General Relativity.

The important point is that scientists don't present their work primarily on websites. They do it in peer reviewed publications. Any site that challenges this process is immediately suspect. Any person who claims to be a scientist presenting original research on a website rather than through publication is almost certainly a crank. Also, qualifications matter. Be skeptical of people who don't have a publication history relevant to the discussion. You wouldn't trust a TV meteorologist with little or no peer reviewed publication record to present accurate information about climate science if it deviated from the mainstream view.

For the most part, the best general place to look first is Wikipedia. Science articles there are very good, and will usually distinguish between scientific dissent (for instance, different models for dark matter), and non-scientific dissent (for instance, global warming deniers). From Wikipedia, you can further explore primary sources if you wish by following the references. You'll note that they are generally published sources when the articles are about scientific topics.

Another good source of information, almost guaranteed to accurately represent consensus views (or different views when there is no consensus) are sites that represent groups of scientists: NASA, NOAA, university sites, etc.

Of course, if a reference to a flaky site slips through, you can be sure there are enough scientists participating here that it will be quickly pointed out. You can usually tell a flaky poster easily enough: they'll be the one that keeps defending a crank site even after it has been identified out as such.
Chris

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Re: APOD: Hurricane Paths on Planet Earth (2012 Sep 04)

Post by Chris Peterson » Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:24 am

Ann wrote:But maybe, just maybe, there should be a forum here where people who are honestly curious can ask questions about what separates science from pseudoscience.
I think you can do that here. Asking a question that offers the opportunity to distinguish good science from bad is very much within the charter of this forum. Where there is little toleration is with people who actively defend views that go strongly against the mainstream or scientific consensus (frequently arguing that consensus isn't important- another crank flag).
Chris

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Re: APOD: Hurricane Paths on Planet Earth (2012 Sep 04)

Post by owlice » Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:58 am

Beyond, the admin hat ruffles the feathers on my head, but not nearly as much as repeated offenses of the rules do.

Ann, it's not an admin's job to rebut certain arguments, including those involving pseudoscience; an admin's job is to make sure those arguments don't appear here at all.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

How to protest or question administrator actions is also covered by the rules and can be summarized as "take it to PM; don't do it on the board."

I suggest discussion return to the day's APOD.
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Re: APOD: Hurricane Paths on Planet Earth (2012 Sep 04)

Post by Ann » Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:41 am

Ann, it's not an admin's job to rebut certain arguments, including those involving pseudoscience; an admin's job is to make sure those arguments don't appear here at all.
Owlice, for the record: I wasn't discussing the admins on this site, but rather discussing certain policies and rules - which I believe are made by others than the administrators - here at Starship Asterisk*.

However, I think Chris made it perfectly clear that you can discuss the difference between science and pseudoscience here, and Chris himself made an excellent job of clarifying the difference. Thanks, Chris.

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Re: APOD: Hurricane Paths on Planet Earth (2012 Sep 04)

Post by owlice » Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:43 am

Ann wrote: Owlice, for the record: I wasn't discussing the admins on this site, but rather discussing certain policies and rules - which I believe are made by others than the administrators - here at Starship Asterisk*.
You wanted to know why admins don't rebut pseudoscience posts:
Ann wrote:After all, if you don't have any other rebuttal than your power to delete posts, why should those that are uncertain think that you are right and not merely powerful?
You questioned why admins take certain actions. Well, now you know: they enforce the rules. Personally, I don't care if "the critics of established science respect" me; they don't have to, but they do need to respect the rules of the board to participate.

For the record, Starship Asterisk is not a NASA site, as is stated in the Welcome and Rules thread: "Please note that this is not a NASA site and that anything said here by anyone does not imply a statement by NASA or an endorsement from NASA."

No one ever suggested you couldn't discuss the difference between science and pseudoscience, and I think Chris did an excellent job of answering Beyond's question.
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Re: Split from APOD: Hurricane Paths (2012 Sep 04)

Post by geckzilla » Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:32 pm

Owlice is too fast. I went to split the pseudoscience posts off the thread but by the time I had made it to the moderation screen the posts were already gone. A fearsome predator.
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Re: Split from APOD: Hurricane Paths (2012 Sep 04)

Post by neufer » Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:02 pm

Image
geckzilla wrote:
Owlice is too fast. I went to split the pseudoscience posts off the thread but by the time I had made it to the moderation screen the posts were already gone. A fearsome predator.
`And that's the jury-box,' thought Owlice, `and those twelve creatures,' (she was obliged to say `creatures,' you see, because some of them were animals, and some were birds,) `I suppose they are the jurors.' She said this last word two or three times over to herself, being rather proud of it: for she thought, and rightly too, that very few little girls of her age knew the meaning of it at all. However, `jury-men' would have done just as well.

The twelve jurors were all writing very busily on slates. `What are they doing?' Owlice whispered to the Gryphon. `They can't have anything to put down yet, before the trial's begun.'

`They're putting down their names,' the Gryphon whispered in reply, `for fear they should forget them before the end of the trial.'

`Stupid things!' Owlice began in a loud, indignant voice, but she stopped hastily, for the White Rabbit cried out, `Silence in the court!' and the King put on his spectacles and looked anxiously round, to make out who was talking.

Owlice could see, as well as if she were looking over their shoulders, that all the jurors were writing down `stupid things!' on their slates, and she could even make out that one of them didn't know how to spell `stupid,' and that he had to ask his neighbour to tell him. `A nice muddle their slates'll be in before the trial's over!' thought Owlice.

One of the jurors had a pencil that squeaked. This of course, Owlice could not stand, and she went round the court and got behind her, and very soon found an opportunity of taking it away. She did it so quickly that the poor little juror (it was Judy, the geckzilla) could not make out at all what had become of it; so, after hunting all about for it, she was obliged to write with one finger for the rest of the day; and this was of very little use, as it left no mark on the slate.>>
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Re: Split from APOD: Hurricane Paths (2012 Sep 04)

Post by Beyond » Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:02 pm

Pseudofairytales. Terrific!! The pseudoJury requests the pseudowriter for more pseudoings.
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