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NS is a bit weird in this respect though, with its insistence on posing threads as questions, as though it were just offering an answering service. It doesn't of course, as this thread shows.
Quote from: LeeENS is a bit weird in this respect though, with its insistence on posing threads as questions, as though it were just offering an answering service. It doesn't of course, as this thread shows.Posing thread titles as questions simply makes them more attractive to search engines. If you will notice, most threads on this forum will get listings close to the top on most search engines.
I see two possibilities, firstly we should offer an answer from our own accumulated knowledge or we should hunt through the literature on the subject and try a give a definitive answer.I think the first course makes for the more interesting forum, we should not try to emulate Google, Wiki or Bing Our answers may well be wrong initially but more informed correspondents will correct us and we will learn.Even those who have the more correct answers will find it interesting how we formed our eccentric opinions.
On the original topic of how people should answer questions, I don't think the important point is whether you check your facts or speculate wildly, but that you must make clear in your post when it is you are speculating and when it is you are sure of your ground.
That, of course, depends on your being fully up to date with the latest research & discoveries. What was accepted as fact just a few years ago may now have been refuted by more recent experiments/discoveries. Unless you have an RSS feed from all the research institutes, every post should begin "As far as I am aware..." or "To the best of my knowledge...". Maybe we should ask Dave to alter the forum code to stick that on the front of each reply.
There are many topics which are not really 'matters of opinion', though
People who don't know a lot of Science are not always aware of just how firmly based a lot of Scientific knowledge is and they lump it all in with Quantum Entanglement and Parallel Universes. I see no harm in the occasional forceful assertion. (If that's OK with you guys, that is)
As soon as we get an urge to demonstrate our vastly superior knowledge of a subject by pointing out what we consider to be another poster's pathetic lack of knowledge, we should count to ten before we hit the Post button. It's just possible the poster knows a lot more about a subject that we are too scared to even ask about.
if you ask a question, then it is opinions you will get
I think people do realise how entrenched science can be
surely this is a *discussion* forum and forums have been around long enough for people to understand they are not reference points. *insert latin phrase for taking responsibility for your own research*
*insert latin phrase for taking responsibility for your own research*
How about:"TIGREM IN LACU HABEO"
People are not sponges, they don't need molly coddling and having everything explained to them or pointed out just how vastly wrong another forum member is.
Are you saying that there should be no disagreement within a forum (because someone may become upset)?Would there be any point at all in discussing the outcome of 2+3? Would we just take a survey of the various opinions about the answer? A vast amount of what is 'discussed' in these Forums is along these lines. Fair enough, but it is 'Just Chat'.
You are wrong, for the following reasons . . . coherent argument based on some established knowledge" is not being rude. It's not attacking someone. It's a reply, made to a post which may be full of absolute rubbish.
Why was the statement / question posted in the first place? There are various motives and some of them actually require some help with common conception problems. There are many posts which are away with the fairies (I think we would all agree) and many which, in a very gauche way, attack some 'good Science' and make out the whole Science establishment to be like the Taliban. Are we not to make any assertions in order to put them right?
he TNS broad/pod casts are as rigorous as they can be (the disclaimers have to be there, of course). Why shouldn't a Forum with the title "Physics, Astronomy and Cosmology" contain as much rigour as possible? How will an uninformed visitor stand a chance of becoming better informed if all it contains is subjective opinions along the lines of a Fashion Forum?
QuoteI think people do realise how entrenched science can beThe word "entrenched" is a bit loaded, is it not? Buildings can be relied upon to stand up because their foundations are laid in "trenches". One man's "entrenchment" is another man's "foundation". (Or person's, if you like)
Q. When does an 'opinion' become an 'attack'?A. When we're losing the argument.
Quote from: sophiecentaur on 23/08/2009 23:47:43QuoteI think people do realise how entrenched science can beThe word "entrenched" is a bit loaded, is it not? Buildings can be relied upon to stand up because their foundations are laid in "trenches". One man's "entrenchment" is another man's "foundation". (Or person's, if you like)I think entrenched is the right word considering how vehemently certain theories are defended by their advocates. But do we really want to get into semantic arguments?
Newton's laws of motion are actually being called into question now, are they not? I've read a lot of articles where the new theory is dismissed out of hand simply because the existing laws have apparently passed the test of time. I call that entrenchment.