Methodology

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Introduction

When looking to validate a fringe theory such as Curvity, there are a number of pitfalls to be avoided. Foremost, the desire to believe it is true should not override the evidence it is false. Curvity presents extra challenges because its source is historically unprecedented. Although aliens may have interfered with our civilization's development in the past, as giving us Curvity would today, there is no accepted record of such an event.

How can we know that Curvity is a real working model of the universe? The answer is that we use the same method that has propelled our western civilization for hundreds of years - the scientific method. Most fringe researchers attempt to use the scientific method but fail miserably in its implementation. The typical method of a fringe researcher, if they haven't resorted to a conspiracy theory, is to ignore modern scientific data and attempt to draw correlations between fringe theories and data. For example, comparing the "Hutchinson Effect" with the story released by Bob Lazar and coming to a conclusion. The problem is that either, or more likely, both of the stories are false and the end result is garbage in, garbage out.

In contrast, this wiki attempts to compare Curvity against "validated" science, i.e. the data and theories generated by modern science. If Curvity is really an advanced theory then our modern day physics should be converging on it from multiple paths. The driving idea is to validate Curvity to a degree that, if it is true, it can provide a method to control gravity. If Curvity is false, then the wiki will document it as such in all it's useless ways for future generations. It is clear by measuring Curvity against the Crack Pot Index, that is doesn't rank very high[1].

The most powerful method of determining validity is to build a reproducible experiment that cannot be explained by existing theories. To a lesser degree, another method is to suggest results which are novel and provide logical explanations for problems that have, up until the new theory came along, been a mystery. Until Relativity came along, nobody thought of looking for light bending as it went past stars. Until Curvity came along, nobody thought to look for negative gravity.

Common Pitfalls

Some common pitfalls of fringe researchers are:

  • Self-delusion 
    This includes resorting to conspiracy theories.
  • Logical fallacies 
    A good place to start is here on wikipedia.
  • Ideas must be set free 
    Real science doesn't hide behind a price.

Seven Warning Signs of Bogus Science

The "seven warnings of bogus science" are:

  • The discoverer pitches the claim directly to the media 
    Curvity is an attempt to release everything on the website for free. An attempt will also be made to publish a paper on Curvity on a site such as http://arxiv.org/.
  • The discoverer says that a powerful establishment is trying to suppress his or her work. 
    Nobody cares about Daniel Fry's story.
  • Evidence for a discovery is anecdotal 
    Not true in the case of Curvity because it seems to be literally written across the sky and to have experimental evidence in the form of Shawyer's cavity and Boyd's FTL experiments.
  • The discoverer says a belief is credible because it has endured for centuries. 
    Doesn't apply in Daniel Fry's case.
  • The discoverer has worked in isolation 
    Not true - Scourge and Eric are both working on Curvity and more when the wiki goes public.
  • The discoverer must propose new laws of nature to explain an observation 
    Yes, but here the case is that the observations explain new laws of nature.

How to Recognize Novel Science

Even if a theory passes all the tests above, another way to recognize it as novel is that it should have other attributes, as outlined by Lee Smolin in "The Trouble with Physics"[2]:

  • Surprise 
    "The first, surprise, cannot be underestimated. If there is no surprise, then the idea is either uninteresting or something we knew before."
  • Dramatic Consequences 
    "The unification must lead quickly to new insights and hypothesis becoming an engine that drives progress in understanding."
  • Unprecedented predictions 
    "But there is a third factor that trumps both of these. A good unified theory must offer predictions that no one would have thought to make before. It may even suggest new kinds of experiments that make sense only in light of the new theory. Most important of all, the predictions must be confirmed by experiment."

Curvity holds the possibility of meeting the novel theory criteria. Curvity is unique and certainly has surprise built into it! Proposed by a man who said it was given to him by an alien over fifty years ago and it seems unique - no other theory curves the laws of physics to zero and negative. Curvity also leads to a bunch of new insights, for example, what is really driving Dark Matter and Dark energy and why MOND seems to work. Curvity also explains why the particles that could make up WIMPS are no where to be found. Curvity also suggests the possibility of unifying the very small with the very large by suggesting the strong force is gravity. The best part is that Curvity suggests an experiment that can falsify it - build a resonating cavity with an asymmetrical field and see if it produces a force. This wiki is an attempt to see if Curvity really works.

Lee Smolin has the last word:

"But one proposal for unification may end up explaining far more than the others, and it is usually the simplest. At this point, when a single proposal is vastly superior to others in terms of generation of new insights, agreement with experiment, explanatory power, and simplicity, it takes on an appearance of uniqueness. We say it has the ring of truth." (pg 27)



Curvity Ranked on the Crackpot Index

  1. Below is the Crackpot Index as applied to Curvity.
    A -5 point starting credit.
    Total: -5

    1 point for every statement that is widely agreed on to be false.
    Total -5 + 3 = -2
    • Daniel's story states:
      • We can go faster then the speed of light
      • Negative gravity is possible
      • Black holes do not exist

    2 points for every statement that is clearly vacuous.
    Total -2 + 0 = -2

    3 points for every statement that is logically inconsistent.
    Total -2 + 0 = -2

    5 points for each such statement that is adhered to despite careful correction.
    Total -2 + 0 = -2

    5 points for using a thought experiment that contradicts the results of a widely accepted real experiment.
    Total -2 + 0 = -2
    • (I'm not sure about this one because of the thought experiment in the "Time" chapter and the Michealson/Morley experiment)

    5 points for each word in all capital letters (except for those with defective keyboards).
    Total -2 + 0 = -2

    5 points for each mention of "Einstien", "Hawkins" or "Feynmann".
    Total -2 + 0 = -2
    • Daniel does mention "Einstein" but not "Einstien" or "Hawkins" - Note the misspelling)

    10 points for each claim that quantum mechanics is fundamentally misguided (without good evidence).
    Total -2 + 0 = -2

    10 points for pointing out that you have gone to school, as if this were evidence of sanity.
    Total -2 + 0 = -2

    10 points for beginning the description of your theory by saying how long you have been working on it.
    Total -2 + 0 = -2

    10 points for mailing your theory to someone you don't know personally and asking them not to tell anyone else about it, for fear that your ideas will be stolen.
    Total -2 + 0 = -2

    10 points for offering prize money to anyone who proves and/or finds any flaws in your theory.
    Total -2 + 0 = -2

    10 points for each new term you invent and use without properly defining it.
    Total -2 + 0 = -2

    10 points for each statement along the lines of "I'm not good at math, but my theory is conceptually right, so all I need is for someone to express it in terms of equations".
    Total -2 + 0 = -2

    10 points for arguing that a current well-established theory is "only a theory", as if this were somehow a point against it.
    Total -2 + 0 = -2

    10 points for arguing that while a current well-established theory predicts phenomena correctly, it doesn't explain "why" they occur, or fails to provide a "mechanism".
    Total -2 + 0 = -2
    • Is relativity's "cosmological constant" an explanation for the "mechanism" behind Dark Energy? Astronomers do not think so.

    10 points for each favorable comparison of yourself to Einstein, or claim that special or general relativity are fundamentally misguided (without good evidence).
    Total -2 + 0 = -2
    • Daniel does claim that we can go faster then the speed of light but his story doesn't claim that relativity is *fundamentally* misguided. Daniel actually clears up the basis on which Relativity is built.

    10 points for claiming that your work is on the cutting edge of a "paradigm shift".
    Total -2 + 0 = -2

    20 points for emailing me and complaining about the crackpot index, e.g. saying that it "suppresses original thinkers" or saying that I misspelled "Einstein" in item 8.
    Total -2 + 0 = -2

    20 points for suggesting that you deserve a Nobel prize.
    Total -2 + 0 = -2

    20 points for each favorable comparison of yourself to Newton or claim that classical mechanics is fundamentally misguided (without good evidence).
    Total -2 + 0 = -2

    20 points for every use of science fiction works or myths as if they were fact.
    Total -2 + 0 = -2

    20 points for defending yourself by bringing up (real or imagined) ridicule accorded to your past theories.
    Total -2 + 0 = -2

    20 points for each use of the phrase "hidebound reactionary".
    Total -2 + 0 = -2

    20 points for each use of the phrase "self-appointed defender of the orthodoxy".
    Total -2 + 0 = -2

    30 points for suggesting that a famous figure secretly disbelieved in a theory which he or she publicly supported. (E.g., that Feynman was a closet opponent of special relativity, as deduced by reading between the lines in his freshman physics textbooks.)
    Total -2 + 0 = -2

    30 points for suggesting that Einstein, in his later years, was groping his way towards the ideas you now advocate.
    Total -2 + 0 = -2

    30 points for claiming that your theories were developed by an extraterrestrial civilization (without good evidence).
    Total: -2 + 30 = 28
    • Aliens originally from an earth civilization called Lemuria and associated with Atlantis no less...

    30 points for allusions to a delay in your work while you spent time in an asylum, or references to the psychiatrist who tried to talk you out of your theory.
    Total: 28 + 0 = 28

    40 points for comparing those who argue against your ideas to Nazis, stormtroopers, or brownshirts.
    Total: 28 + 0 = 28

    40 points for claiming that the "scientific establishment" is engaged in a "conspiracy" to prevent your work from gaining its well-deserved fame, or suchlike.
    Total: 28 + 0 = 28

    40 points for comparing yourself to Galileo, suggesting that a modern-day Inquisition is hard at work on your case, and so on.
    Total: 28 + 0 = 28

    40 points for claiming that when your theory is finally appreciated, present-day science will be seen for the sham it truly is. (30 more points for fantasizing about show trials in which scientists who mocked your theories will be forced to recant.)
    Total: 28 + 0 = 28

    50 points for claiming you have a revolutionary theory but giving no concrete testable predictions.
    Total: 28 + 0 = 28
    • Testable Predictions - Dark Energy (considering the theory predicted it in the '50s but the evidence not found until 1998), black holes do not exist (testable?), through metal viewer, Pleistocene evidence, artificial structures on Mars.
  2. "The Trouble with Physics", Lee Smolin, 2006, Houghton-Mifflin, pg. 20