These comments about physical violence and rage startled me. Has someone here been threatened, maybe been mugged while they were posting to the forum, or perhaps these are reflexive comments—projecting onto others?
What, you think I have a low opinion of "independent researchers" just because of their poor math? Hell no.
I get emails from several kinds of people outwith the physics community.
One kind is from people like a pensioner who likes to work through papers as a hobby in his spare time, and he has a few technical questions about how I reached a certain conclusion. He's not a physicist, but he does know his stuff, is curious and I'm happy to answer.
Another is from laymen, members of the public who might have seen something about a paper I've written in New Scientist
or Scientific American
. Again, happy to oblige as I feel that if physicists are working on research with public funding we should be more than willing to explain what we're doing to them if they ask.
The third category, however, is the "independent researcher", like Crothers etc. A common gambit is that they've solved it all in their heads, and that they want to show me, a professional physicist, so that I can "verify their theory" or basically do their math for them. Usually they have some story about how they've been rejected by others but they know that I'll believe them because I'm different and can see they've got the answer, right?
I now just ignore them because I learned from experience how it will go. A guy emailed me with his weird theory about how humans are here because we are the most effective means of pushing forward entropy, and that I needed to go and verify what he'd done to show he was right.
I engaged with the guy and patiently tried to explain that I didn't think there was much to his idea. I even went and wrote out all the math for him - and got a confrontational reply:
YOUR A FCUKIN IDIOT. I just called you an idiot because you fully deserved it, moron.
You apparently can't offer anything more than baseless bullshit accusations and lame appeals to authority, instead of addressing the physics. I'VE BEEN LABORING FOR YEARS ON THIS AND YOU HAVE NO FUCKING CLUE.
Your a clown who's let me down just like all the others... I DID NOTHING WRONG. I was just studying gravity and following along with everybody else and then I REALIZED that we NEED to go back to 1917, Einstein but NONE OF YOU WILL LISTEN TO ME.YOU FUCKING CLOWNS are the ones that continually fail to recognize that I have repeatedly given sufficient evidence to warrent that Einstein deserves another little look-see before you can claim a damned thing".
He was incapable of the work himself, but wanted me to do his calculations for him to reveal the obvious
truth that he was right. He was the grand genius, I was to be his Eddington who confirmed his spectacular realization... but because I explained some flaws in his math, I got this aggressive load of bullshit.
Same story with a lot of other theoretical physicists. We swap stories about them. It's not because we're "closed minded", just that many of the "alternative theories" make no sense and are sometimes just plain loopy. I've had emails from delusional "theorists" talking about something called "anti-magnetitism" being suppressed by a conspiracy of Jews and the British Establishment, and mailed manifestos talking about how gravity is really controlled by Atlantis. Of course!
Why are professional scientists often outright dismissive and scornful of "alternative theories"? Quite often because the authors are confrontational fruitloops who are very hard to engage with on any rational level. And at the end of the day, it just isn't worth giving them the time of day.
If I explain why they're wrong to them, I'm either just another Jewish scientist conspiring with Queen Elizabeth II to cover up the wonderful free energy field, or a "willfully ignorant neo-darwinian bully" or some other crap they make up.
There's a reason why many of these guys are out on the fringe: namely that many of them are shrill, ignorant punks who are incapable of showing basic manners, let alone an ability to engage in academic discourse.