Reciprocal System of Theory/Old Talk

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I removed the content. As an encyclopedia, "Wikipedia presents only accepted knowledge, not radical new theories that deny the existance of matter. -- STG

The copyright owners are the those who are creating this page. I think your actions here are very rude and in conflict with the principles and goals of Wikipedia. They reflect the fact that you are advocating a point of view and that very aggressively too. You may have strong opinions about the scientific aspects of any theory, but this is not the forum to express them. The Reciprocal System is a legitimate physical theory the premises, conclusions and predictions of which you are most welcome to challenge on scientific grounds, but you must refrain from your polemical efforts to exclude it on basis of a non-scientific bias.

Doug Bundy, 2001 Sep 29

We don't mean to be rude, but an encyclopedia is not the place to present cutting-edge research. A peer-reviewed scientific journal would be more appropriate. -- STG

Hi, Doug. Welcome. Nobody could possibly know that you have the copyright, since you didn't state anything. Violating copyrights will kill Wikipedia. That is why we are so sensitive. No hard feelings. --css

I support what STG says here. Doug, unless you explicitly place your content into the public domain or release it under the GNU's Free Documentation License (FDL) (on your website), how do we know you won't try to sue Wikipedia for copyright infringement? I'm sure that sounds ridiculous, but we must be careful; you should realize that copying some text into Wikipedia does essentially constitute releasing it under the GNU FDL.

Moreover, I really can't see Wikipedia becoming a repository for new research. There are other, more reputable forums for that, and we aren't set up for that; that's what journals are for. On Nupedia (which has the same policy), one of our editors actually quit because we wouldn't allow him to present what was essentially new research, that no doubt could have been published very easily (he's a renowned expert in his field). Our reason for this is essentially that encyclopedias are not in the business if reviewing the merits of new research. Now, I have no idea whether the Reciprocal System of Theory has been published in a peer-reviewed medium, and if so, how it was received. If it was published, how well it was received would determine exactly how it ought to be placed within Wikipedia. (Perhaps at the end of some article somewhere we could reserve a section for "New research on topic XYZ.")

I hope this seems reasonable to you. I hope it's obvious that it isn't our desire to say "only what's established could be correct," but rather "encyclopedias aren't in the business of judging new research and therefore we can't in good conscience include unpublished and non-peer-reviewed research." --Larry Sanger

Let's be perfectly clear here. This is not cutting edge research, it is a crackpot theory. There is no mathematical content and the theory therefore makes no verifyable predictions. It is at best a "metaphysical system" akin to those of the Greeks; it is certainly no physical theory in the modern sense. --AxelBoldt

Which is why I deleted the article. I was just trying to be polite. :) -- STG

Well, obviously some are trying to be more polite than others, but these actions are just not acceptable gentleman. First, it was deleted on grounds of copyright issues. That is not an issue. The author of the article is not me, it is Bruce Peret, editor of the journal RECIPROCITY, published by the International Society for Unified Science (ISUS). I am the president of ISUS. The web site is our web site! The text of the article is adapted from one of our own brochures which he authored. So, forget the copyright issue.

The next deletion was justified by the claim that "Wikipedia presents only accepted knowledge." This is a ridiculous argument unless you want to contend that the theory doesn't even exist. No theory, by definition, is knowledge. To remain logically consistent you will have to remove the entire category of physics called theory. That would be an advance, wouldn't it?

The next claim, which is just another way of making the same absurd argument, is made on the basis of the theory constituting "new research." Well, I'm sorry if it's distasteful for you guys, but that's, again, the definition of theory isn't it. After all, an old theory is not usually very useful since it's supposed to eventually lead to knowledge. And what do you mean by contending at the same time that it isn't a peer-reviewed theory? Nobody has the final word on the merits of any TOE to date, that's why there is a multitude of them (remember the term "meta-theory" one of you guys coined?) You cannot justify your bias and your polemical intent in this manner. The fact is that there are just not that many TOE theories around. The fact that RS is one of those seriously presented (60 years in the making) clearly qualifies it to be on the table for consideration with all other theories that can lay hold to that claim, whether or not it is among the "popular" ones as you describe the string theories to be.

The last argument is actually the most honest. The claim here does not revert to copyright issues, nor inconsistent logic, nor bogus arguments of peer review, but the reveals the desire to straight out condemn the theory as a "a crackpot theory." This age old defense is ALWAYS raised by "normal science" against a threatening and revolutionary new paradigm, just as Kuhn so eloquently and brilliantly outlined.

Well rave on if that is your want, but if a new discription of reality works better than the old it will eventually prevail, as has been demonstrated over and over again throughout history. Finally, besides all of this, I ask you "Where is the wisdom in taking this position? If the theory is useless, it will die of its own accord, on the junkheap of history with all the other "crackpot" theories that have ever been, but, on the other hand, if it proves beneficial to scientific progress, I humbly submit that you may want to hold your peace lest haply you find yourselves fighting against the progress of science, in the name of science, as so many before you have done. I insist on putting it back. It deserves to be recognized as a TOE contender. If you want to place it under a heading of new research as Larry suggested, feel free to do so, but then, in my opinion, it's going to appear awfully silly to do so since string theory is newer and as tentative as any.

The beauty of the Internet in general is that it levels the playing field, taking power out of the hands of the priesthoods and the aristocracies of society, placing some of it back into the hands of the less powerful with alternate, non-legacy views. Wikipedia in particular is a shining example of its power to do so. Thank God for it.

Doug Bundy 29 Sep 01


If the theory is ever accepted by the scientific community, Wikipedia will include it. To me it appears to be, at most, a metaphysical system, and, as Axel Boldt pointed out, there is no mathematical content. And as Larry said, "encyclopedias aren't in the business of judging new research and therefore we can't in good conscience include unpublished and non-peer-reviewed research." Sorry. -- STG

Doug, you are simply wrong that copyright is not an issue. As long as you have a copyright notice up on your website, we can't allow you to put it into Wikipedia. That isn't a matter of debate here. I am decreeing it (as one of the few people who might plausibly be able to so decree). If you would like to explicitly release the paper into the public domain, or to release it under the GNU FDL, then please do so, and may the world of science be all the richer for it. Let me put it one other way: if you do voluntarily and knowingly contribute the paper to Wikipedia, knowing that doing this constitutes releasing it under the GNU FDL, it is fraudulent for you to continue to claim (or imply the claim) of a copyright over the material.

Actually, Larry, that's not quite true. Invalid claims of copyright are perfectly legal. If the original author of a work releases it under GFDL, and also publishes it elsewhere claiming copyright, that latter claim is merely a specious claim, and one is perfectly free to make specious claims of copyright. In fact, it has to be that way, or Wikipedia wouldn't work: everything I write, for example, is public domain. Yet Wikipedia makes the specious claim that is only usable in conformance with the GFDL. It is free to do so, but others are nonetheless still free to use my text (but not that of most others, including any edits made to my original text) in ways contrary to the GFDL. The only issue is whether or not the author has the legal right to place the text here knowing that doing do releases it under the GFDL. If he understands that, he's fine. Then of course, there's the issue of it being nonsense--but that's another debate. --LDC
Good point, Lee--I hadn't thought of that. Nonetheless, I would worry that someone might input some copyrighted material, saying they're releasing it under the GNU FDL, and still have their copyright notice up--as a practical matter, I want them to understand that that copyright notice is no longer in force, and they should take it down. Actually, I really don't think we have anything at all to worry about in this case, but as a matter of principle I think it's important that we make people very aware of the copyright consequences of uploading something to Wikipedia. --LMS

Beyond that, I know absolutely nothing about the facts of the particular case--I can only report principles and let you draw your own conclusions. The age of the theory by itself isn't directly relevant. I also think this notion of what's "accepted by the scientific community" is too vague to be of much use in this case (what, there are no controversies within the scientific community?!), so that's not how I'd base my objection (if the facts of the case require me to have an objection). The core of what's at issue is whether the research in question has been peer-reviewed by the general community of physicists, in journals or in some other such "respectable" forum.

  • If it hasn't been at all, then, given what both you and others say above about the theory, it's almost certainly one of innumerable crackpot theories about theoretical physics. You might disagree with that description, Doug, but if our debate turns on the question whether non-peer-reviewed research is worth putting into an encyclopedia, you might as well give it up, because you're not going to convince us to publish scientific research for you when it hasn't been peer reviewed.
  • Now, on the other hand, if papers about the theory have been presented in some journals, even second-rate journals, and even if it's been severely criticized, then given that Wikipedia is not paper, there is nothing at all wrong with our including some reference to those theories--with the research situation surrounding them properly described. We'd just have to make very sure that the manner in which the theory has been received is correctly and fairly reported.

--Larry Sanger

I have one more thing to add to the above, after having looked at the website. This appears to me to be indeed as much work in philosophy as it is in physics. But the society has been around since 1971, they say, and is based on the work of one DEWEY B. LARSON, "an American engineer and the originator of the Reciprocal System of Theory, a comprehensive theoretical framework capable of explaining all physical phenomena from subatomic particles to galactic clusters."

I think we in all of our creativity ought to be able to find some category in which to put information about this man and his theory and its followers, even if it's not listed as one of the serious contenders on the topic of a "theory of everything." The description of the general category should be hopefully something not abusive, but still accurate; something like "alternative theories." I don't know what you want to call it, probably not that. "Pseudo-science" would be abusive and prejudicial (even if it would be perfectly accurate); though there's nothing wrong with adding paragraphs explaining why the theory in question might be considered pseudo-science by mainstream scientists.

--Larry Sanger

Why is calling it pseudo-science "abusive and prejudicial"? We've called lots of other things pseudo-science on the pseudoscience page. And why should we give this theory special treatment? There are huge numbers of crackpot theories -- should we cover them all? --Zundark, 2001 Sep 30
I'm in a big hurry, so I can't answer the following yet, but I can answer the above. I don't propose to give this theory special treatment. I have no problem about including the theory on the pseudoscience page, if that's what the theory amounts to in the opinion of reputable scientists (which do not include some of you who are discussing this, and of course it doesn't include me); but that isn't what the theory purports to be about. I'm not sure what subject it does purport to be about, exactly, but whatever it is, it could be listed under "alternative theories about X" where X is that subject. Then, on the latter page, information could be added to the effect that theories on that page, or perhaps just this particular theory, are regarded as pseudo-science by most or all mainstream scientists. I would say that it is abusive and prejudicial to list it only on the pseudoscience page--as if Wikipedia's official position were that it is nothing but pseudoscience. Wikipedia doesn't have official positions.
I do have one reply to the following: issues that affect Wikipedia's liability are to be unilaterally decided by me (or Jimbo, or one of the other project organizers)--with recommendations and help from everyone, of course. This is power by virtue of position (by the fact that I am a paid representative of the people, mainly Jimbo, who are legally liable for the project). --Larry Sanger


Larry, All, I guess what I want to do first is to chill the rethoric a little, at least on my part. Larry, your statements seem to imply a more reasonable and fair attitude than some of the others so, I would just like to clarify a few points first if you don't mind. I'm a newbie here, so I need to make sure I understand clearly the rules involved. I've read the FAQ and all other material pertinent to the subject. It is my understanding that there are no official moderators or "overseerers" of the content. Is that correct and if so what is the meaning of your statement "I am decreeing it (as one of the few people who might plausibly be able to so decree)." Understand, I'm not taking issue with the "copyright" point itself. I will address that directly. I just need a clearer understanding of the power to exercise control over the editing of Wikipedia content. Is it power by virtue of "position," by virtue of "knowledge," by virtue of "majority rule," or what?

Second, what did you mean by the statement "if the facts of the case require me to have an objection." Is this a "case" subject to some established procedural process, maybe even including an appeal process? And how can the "facts" of this case possibly "require" you to have an objection? I would appreciate any clarification on these two points that you can provide.

Now, as to the copyright issue. I have no problem whatsoever complying with the requirements as you explained them. I must say that I find it curious that the RS "article" we submitted is considered a paper and that anyone could expect that a copyright owner who submits his own copyrighted material is not implicitly giving his permission by so doing. However, it's perfectly reasonable that the requirement for explicit permission be submitted, so all that I have to do as I see it is to provide the permission for its use on Wikipedia. I'll do it before submitting it again. No more issue.

With respect to the "core" issue, I assume that you speak for the rest of the objectors in conceding that the age of the theory and the "notion of what's 'accepted by the scientific community' are irrelevant and, as you put it, "too vague to be of much use," respectively, and, therefore, are not germane to this nor future discussion on the matter. What constitutes the relevant or "core" issue is "whether the research in question has been peer-reviewed by the general community of physicists, in journals or in some other such "respectable" forum." With all due respect, I think you are mistaken on this point Larry. Whether the theory has been pronounced viable in a "respectable" forum or not is entirely superfulous here.

Sorry, bub, but you're 100% wrong here. It does matter what most scientists think, even if they're wrong. Our goal--and it's the goal of everyone here, not just Larry and Jim--is to produce articles that accurately reflect the current state of human knowledge as known by generally-recognized experts in the field. Or, lacking sufficient experts, the Wikipedians as a whole. You're welcome to put your theories here, but if they are generally believed by experts in the field (or by us) to be unscientific, then they will be edited to reflect that belief, and they will be presented that way. And this will be done by everyone; everyone's an editor here. Larry and Jim may run the store and we defer to them out of respect, but neither they nor anyone else here acts as an authority, including authors. You must realize that by placing your text here, you are submitting yourself to rigorous commentary and editing by everyone. If you want you text left alone, then leave it on your own site. Here, it's ours, and if we collectively feel it's a crackpot theory, then that's what the text will ultimately reflect. --Lee Daniel Crocker

RS is a theory of everything, a TOE, in the strictest sense of the term. This is not a trivial point that can be taken lightly. We cannot exclude any physical theory that claims this scope. It is the only legitimate criteria that can be considered in this case. A personal choice to dismiss it casually on perceived lack of merit is irrelevant, as indeed, a non-casual, in depth demonstration of its lack of merits would likewise be irrelevant. In this case, it is simply and solely the fact that it exists, and that it is tentatively posited as a physical theory of TOE scope to the scientific community that demands its inclusion in the category of such theories.

Any encyclopedia worthy of the name is therefore incomplete without it. As such, its status, to be sure, just as the status of any other theory, is tentative by definition. It simply cannot be excluded on this basis however. Beyond all dispute, the Reciprocal System of Theory qualifies as a theory of everything, even if it entirely fails to establish its premise and to gain acceptance. Moreover, it would qualify even if it were proven utterly false and without any scientific merit whatsoever. We simply might reference it as a discredited theory at that point. We might say that it "attempted" the task, in language similar to the reference already present in the article that refers to the Kaluza-Klein theory. It is clear however, that even under such circumstances, it retains its status as a TOE. Its reduced status as a valid theory in that case would only eliminate any compelling reason to include it for other than historical purposes at that point.

One last thought in closing. I respect your desire and ernest efforts to make sure that the Wikipedia contains the most accurate and credible information possible. But any effort not to dilute or compromise these qualities must at the same time be careful not to resort to enforcing a cannon of dogma, which might exclude the genuine scientific efforts of others. There is more than one way to approach the task of finding solutions to the many anomalous phenomena now confronting physics in crisis proportions, and the RS theory presents a fresh, intuitive and compelling approach that deserves critical, not casual consideration. We have many Phds and genuine scientists in our organization. We are not uninformed "crackpots," but serious students of physics desiring to engage intellectually with all.


Doug Bundy

"Any encyclopedia worthy of the name is therefore incomplete without it." Again, I disagree. The Encyclopaedia Britannica makes no mention of this theory, and I suspect a search on any other encyclopedia would turn up similar results. You have ignored the following criticisms about this theory

  1. It contains no mathematical properties
  2. It is not verifiable
  3. It is not falsifiable

I have no desire to insult you, and I am sorry if you take it that way. But the theory appears to be pseudoscience, or perhaps more generously, metaphysical, and it is ridiculous to assert that any real encyclopedia would cover it. -- STG

It certainly does not cut it as a hypothesis much less as theory... If it belongs anywhere, pseudoscience is about where it belongs... And that itself is probably prejudicial to some of the more interesting themes in that particular bag. sjc

It could be listed under the heading that AxelBoldt suggested. However, see below... -- STG

I think by now it is clear that the theory does not deserve to be listed on Theory of everything since it it not a quantified physical theory and it doesn't unify the four fundamental forces. The theory even talks about ethics, so the physics area is not appropriate. Since Wikipedia is not paper, maybe we can find a place for it somewhere like "Alternative (or non-mainstream) attempts at metaphysical theories". Of course, the theory would have to be presented fairly, with criticisms attached, and I would be delighted to provide some. --AxelBoldt

I would agree to this, except the whole thing sounds remarkably similar to the metaphysical system of Heraclitus, a presocratic philosopher. He maintained that the physical universe constant motion. Perhaps someone more familiar with him could confirm whether the Reciprocal System of Theory is something different, or simply a restatement of Heraclitus' thought. -- STG


Okay, I guess I will have to relent because I can't keep fighting all you guys at once. You out number me and I don't have the resources to keep battling you. I can't help thinking that your not being very honest or else it seems to me that I would have made at least some progress with my efforts to clarify my point of view. That doesn't seem to be the case except maybe for Larry. I didn't realize who he was at first. After seeing that he is a cofounder of Wikipedia, I feel even worse.

Here's what I propose as a compromise. Let me answer these allegations by writing the RS article and addressing the issues you raise in the article and its links. Maybe over time, we can come to an agreement based on facts rather than misconceptions - on both sides. In the meantime, I will agree not to link it to TOE, in fact, let us all agree not to link it at all until we can work out a solution satisfactory to everyone. That way, the article itself can become the basis for the discussion and we can avoid this acrimony and the resentment that it inevitably builds which does no one any good and is not becoming to the profession to say the least.

Doug Bundy

Hi, Dough. It is fine with me to give it a try. The idea of the 'reciprocal system of theory' you believe in is a phenomenon in this world (you have a web site!), and as such deserves an entry in an encyclopedia. It will be interesting to see if we can agree upon a final entry. But, and this is an important point, in an encyclopedia the whole point is to state what is accepted knowledge and what is not. You have to face that the final entry will contain a discussion of why the 'reciprocal system of theory' is not regarded as scientific theory, etc. But let's give it a try and see what happens. --css

Great, I can accept that. Thanks for willing to work with me, I appreciate it very much.

Doug Bundy

Doing a quick check of USENET, we find some interesting threads: [1], [2], and some more by Mr. Robert E. McElwaine: [3]. Galactic empires, free energy machines, and theories which claim to be scientific but deny the very basis of current physics: matter and energy. Why is there any debate here, folks? I am willing to let you write your article, Mr. Bundy, but expect harsh criticism, to say the least. -- STG ____________________________________________________________________________

I have composed the first draft of my article. I have yet to make some revisions of the text that I have in mind and to add links when I have more time, but I thought it important to do the preliminary draft as soon as possible for your perusal. Criticism is welcome STG, prejudice is not. By the way I take exception to the phrase "The scientific community regards these ideas as pseudoscience" in the introduction. It is inaccurate and unfairly abusive as Larry has already pointed out. I suggest that you modify it to say "Some within the scientific community regard these ideas as pseudoscience" as it more accurately reflects the fact that there is no consensus on this point to which you can legitimatly refer. Furthermore, you cannot speak on behalf of the scientific community, even if you were a member of it, and it has not as yet, as a community, considered RS, let alone passed any such judgement upon it.

--- Doug Bundy

As there is also discussion about this on the ISUS mailing list, we should have a link to it here. The Wikipedia discussion starts here. (The "Expand Messages" link is recommended -- reading messages on Yahoo is painfully slow otherwise.)
--Zundark, 2001 Oct 1

Ok, we don't want to remove the article, as the theory it describes exists though is clearly factually invalid for reasons we should discuss. What do we do, though, when the page out-and-out lies about something beyond the scope of the theory, as when it states that electric and magnetic fields inducing each other having never been explained, when they have - maybe not by the standards of the authors of RS, but to the satisfaction of most workers, in several different (thinking K-K theory here) and with a numeric precision that RS doesn't even try to achieve? Being fair to nonstandard theories is one thing, but this is propaganda, false, and allowing it is a clear violation of NPOV rules. I would suggest the proponents of the theory clean this up, as well as provide definitions for terms like datum and of a single three-dimensional component that don't make any sense by the usual meanings of the words.

--Josh Grosse

-- Josh try this:

"Faraday discovered that whenever the current in the primary circuit 1 is caused to change, there is a current induced in circuit 2 while that change is occurring. This remarkable result is not in general derivable from any of the previously discussed properties of electromagnetism." Thorne, Kip S., Scientific American, Dec. 1974

-- Doug

So one of Maxwell's equations, the one he happened to describe last, does not follow from the others. That does not mean it has not been explained. The tensor form of electromagnetism, the Kaluza-Klein theory, the model of quantum electrodynamics, and string theories all provide explanations of the effect of one sort or another. But in any case this is only a particular example of the problem - if you want another, physicists do not restrict themselves to fixed coordinate systems. I would actually recommend rewriting the article from scratch because it will be darn hard to remove all of these manually, thanks to the language not being at all similar to the everyday. I have no idea what a datum is, the way you are using the word, and time is something clocks measure with a single number, so if you call it three-dimensional you must have a different idea of either time or dimension than most people. And so forth. If you want to actually present the theory, please explain where it is using terms in a special manner. Otherwise your writing will be misleading at best, and it would be better not to bother.

Tell you what: I'm going to go through and annotate the article with things that I think absolutely must be changed if it is to be kept. Then, you can deal with those at your leisure. It seems to me that's the best way to approach this, instead of pulling teeth one at a time on the /Talk page, since as it is the article is far from acceptable anyways.

I think we do want to remove the article. We've had a lot of this sort of thing recently, and the only way to deal with it is to keep deleting the articles until the proponents get bored and go away. Doing anything else just encourages them. --Zundark, 2001 Oct 1

I respectfully disagree. We will do the world a service by amassing huge numbers of erstwhile crank theories and reporting about them objectively. They will not benefit as a result. Besides, your suggested policy seems to be directly contrary to the neutral point of view. --LMS
But, at the time of writing, we haven't reported on this one anywhere near objectively despite having spent huge amounts of time on it. The policy I was suggesting has nothing to do with neutral point of view, it's just a question of using our time efficiently. I'm not saying that we should never write an article on Reciprocal System of Theory (or Takuguchi Mathematics, or Jessica Brooks, or Yaohushua, or whatever), only that we've got more important things to do at the moment, and it would be easier to do it when we don't have proponents breathing down our neck. --Zundark, 2001 Oct 2
I think I'm somewhere in between Larry and Zundark. I'm willing to give Doug a chance to work on the article, as long as he does not attempt a propaganda piece, is willing to let the rest of us work on it, and does not link to it from anywhere else in the Wikipedia at this time. However, I also maintain that it is not a scientific theory (I mean no offence Doug, but this is my considered opinion), and I'm concerned about the time and effort that we will have to spend on it. Are we going to do the same with every person who comes in with strong feelings about their particular "theory" (perpetual motion machines, galactic empires, etc)? What about good ol' Yaohushua, who posted incorrect claims about the Hebrew language and tried to use Wikipedia to promote his sect? Instead of removing his material, should I have debated with him and tried to explain that, because all of Hebrew scholarship disagreed with him, we couldn't let him present his beliefs as fact? In this case, Doug seems to be a rational, articulate person (and didn't try to delete my homepage like my cultic "friend" ;-)), and I'm willing to let him give it a try, at least. But I am concerned that we could be throwing the doors open to anyone with a "theory" who claims that the only reason it isn't accepted is because of the arrogance of the scientific priesthood or some other such thing. How many people are willing to spend their energy on this when there are so many other areas that have little to no coverage here? -- STG


It's obvious that there are some very strong feelings here. But I hope that we all can control our reactions to maintain a reasonable and respectful level of disagreement. It was my understanding that by not placing any links to the article for the time being, we could sooth some fears and defuse an explosive situation. In this manner also, I can have a chance to demonstrate that RS is not psuedoscience by getting it on the table so to speak so that we can discuss that subject in a substantive context that might help reduce baseless (i.e. strawman) challenges. Scientific differences between competing theories is not the issue here. There are always those issues, but they're legitimate issues for discussion, not for deletion of the competing theory! The way I see it, the only issue that is grounds for such an extreme action is the "psuedoscience" issue - and that is really tough because it calls for a judgement by "editors", and then it's a matter of deleting it from a classification, not altogether, lest we be accused of almost being Nazi-like book burners. The battle of ideas is serious, and just like in the case of religious ideas, one man's religion is the next man's cult. Ideas in the realm of scientific inquiry need to be above that level however.

You might find this difficult to believe, but I am actually on your side. If RS is not science, but a fake, imitation of science, I want to know because I'm not interested in promoting psuedoscience, but advancing real knowledge. Crap, who would want to promote that garbage? I don't and you can take that to the bank. So, really I need your help here. Let's take our time, be honest and respectful and examine this thoroughly to make the right decision.

Let me start the discussion by first appealing to the dictionary definition of psuedo and then science:
psuedo - "a learned borrowing from Greek meaning "false," "pretended," "unreal."
science - "a branch of knowledge or study dealing with a body of facts or truths systematically arranged and showing the operation of general laws."

Now psuedoscience then is in some sense a "false," "pretended," or "unreal," dealing with the facts, or a "false," "pretended," or "unreal," system for arrangment of facts, or a "false," "pretended," or "unreal," demonstration of the operation of general laws with respect to the facts so arranged. I'm not sure how helpful it is to start with dictionary definitions, but there it is in case we need it.

In my article, I first attempt to show that RS is based on a scientifically reasonable and logically valid premise. So, the first thing that needs to be settled is the answer to that crucial question. Did i succeed or not? If not, why not?

Secondly, I try to show that it is possible to verify the premise through the application of deductive logic by comparing theoretical results with empirical data, and, conversely, it is possible to "falsify" the premise by the same means. Again, did I or did I not succeed?

Once the basis of the premise and the logical process are established, I tried to show, as much as is possible to do in two pages, that though the verdict is not in yet by any means, some progress was already evident. I have not indicated that the work is anything but in progress. There is no talk of conclusions as to the validity of the postulates, only the tentative results of comparing the theoretical to the empirical. Again, is this true or not, and, if not, why not?

Finally, let me say, that I, personally see no evidence that indicates a false, pretended or unreal treatment of the facts. I see a step by careful step of scientifically searching for logical consequences of the postulates and then an honest, forthright, scientific effort to compare the theoretical with the empirical. What's more, the scientific community is invited to join in the process, the more physicists engaged in the effort, the sooner some definite conclusion can be reached. As far as the article itself is concerned, this is just the preliminary draft. Don't hold my feet to the fire too much based on it. I hope to provide ample opportunity to investigate RS claims to successes in due course.

-- Doug Bundy 1 Oct 01

Doug, if this were serious science, scientists would have discovered that decades ago. --LMS


Not necessarily Larry. These things always take time. If it turns out that the RS postulates are correct, the world of physics will undergo a revolution, and scientific revolutions take time. Thomas Kuhn's work "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions," offers some compelling insight.


I must say that references to Kuhn, paradigm shifts and scientific revolutions in relation to "alternative theories" are usually a red flag to me. However, that is beside the point. If I understand the Reciprocal System (and I'm not certain I do as of yet), it denies the very existance of both matter and energy. If this is correct (is it?), then this is not merely a "scientific revolution", but a complete breakdown of everycurrent physical theory. All of science would have to be replaced. Do you see this as a fair assessment, Doug? -- STG


If it were correct, it would be absurd. It wouldn't even be up to "fake" science standards. Every mathematical relationship and all known physical laws are not only left intact by RS, but necessarily a part of it. Remember the second postulate is "The physical universe conforms to the relations of ordinary commutative mathematics, its primary magnitudes are absolute, and its geometry is Euclidean." So all of Newton's laws, all the laws of conservation of energy, all the laws of physics apply. Nothing is cast away that is valid. What RS does is postulate that the origin of all physical activity is motion, which in turn is just another way of saying it is made up of space and time. It's not that matter, energy, space, time are now any different and we have to start over, it's that the nature of the matter and energy of our familiar world is not a mysterious collection of things existing in a container of space-time that can broken down into it fundamental parts like a machine. Rather than starting with matter and trying to find its constiuent parts, RS starts with motion and finds matter! It finds that all the physical things we have discovered, measured and utilized that is make up modern physics has it's origin in motion. Once you see what RS is really saying it will blow your mind.
I'm working on Josh 15 questions/comments offline and will post response as soon as practical. I wonder if, in order to save resources on both sides of the question, you guys might consider appointing a spokesman?


I'll see if I can get a better grip on what Larson is trying to convey at some point. As for a spokesman, I can't see that happening; it's rather contrary to the culture here. Besides, Wikipedians don't speak with one voice, as we have diferent views and perspectives. I'm afraid you'll have to deal with each person's criticism as it comes. My suggestion (and it is just a suugestion) at this point is that you focus your effort on explaining the mathematical foundations of RS, as that is what seems to be the biggest stickng point for people right now. For example, you've said that "[e]very mathematical relationship and all known physical laws are not only left intact by RS, but necessarily a part of it", but also that "ordinary commutative mathematics, its primary magnitudes are absolute, and its geometry is Euclidean", which seems to be saying that calculus is not necessary to mathematically describe the physical universe. -- STG


It seems a little like mob rule to me. How about this then. Can we at least leave the text of the article intact so I can revise it as required to reflect the state of the dialog? I went to the trouble of carefully copying the text and Josh's questions so I could preserve both the questions and their context and answer them in a separate page. That done, I deleted Josh's questions from the article. This is a critical process if I'm going to be able to maintain a coherent article that has continuity and a size that's not unwieldy. Do you guys intend on inserting the questions even though I have provided separate page for that purpose? (Axel?) If so, those who would like to read the article, to better understand the issues (our original intent here I thought) will find it more and more difficult. Of course, that may be the idea right, if they can't delete it, perhaps mutilating it will work!
Well, yes, it is mob rule, and we like it that way. This is not the place to present a "coherent article" from a single point of view. There's no such thing as a "author" here; you're just one editor among many. On the plus side, you get to hear the detailed objections of other people here to your ideas. That's a valuable service we're providing you, and you can use that to upgrade your own rhetoric on your own site--but you simply don't have control of this article here. We do. If we, as a mob, think the idea is pseudoscience or metaphysics, then that's what the article is going to reflect. --LDC
I think your suggestion of focusing on the mathematical aspects will work, but you've got to get them to cut me some slack. Put my article back together and I will link to a page that deals with the mathematical aspects, OK? BTW, I do appreciate your attitude - it comes across as very reasonable and fair to me.


Doug Bundy's replies to the questions Josh asked are here: RS proponets answers. --Zundark, 2001 Oct 2

As a note, Doug, they weren't questions but rather comments on things that absolutely need alteration or clarification if the article is to become neutral and coherent (e.g. using explaining when words are used in a non-standard fashion, so they will not be misleading). No hurry to fix them, but I think they pretty much have to be fixed by the time this is done. --JG

You know what Josh, I missed your comments above, but after reading them and this note I understand what you were doing. I'm sorry, I thought they were questions, not editorial comments. Actually, they are quite helpful when viewed that way. I take it all back. :) Maybe this is turning out to be a learning curve for me - learning a new, but maybe not so bad after all, culture.


Talk continued on /Talk.