How does one know if a theory has any merit?

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How does one know if a theory has any merit?

Postby wstein » Fri Sep 06, 2013 12:27 am

The other day I managed to unite quantum mechanics and consciousness in a consistent framework. It also clarifies wave/particle duality, explains how everyone can have their own reality while still interacting somehow, allow for free will and yet have all of 'time already played out, clarifies why not everything can happen 'here' yet still can happen somewhere, solves the time travel paradox, describes the nature of consciousness, and suggests why some think consciousness is the 'root' of all reality. Yes, really. I have run it past a few people and they all agree that it is reasonable, fairly simple, does as advertized above, and is internally consistent.

While it might be a triumph of model building, there does not seem any obvious way to tell if it is just a beautiful construction or represents reality as we find it.

My question is: how can one verify a theory of such 'abstract' nature?
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How does one know if a theory has any merit?

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Re: How does one know if a theory has any merit?

Postby astralzombie » Fri Sep 06, 2013 1:44 am

Most people who have something figured out and are certain that it locks up all the physics, present it to the world.

Unless you're already well known within the sciences, you won't get much notice at first. But a Jr. editor somewhere that's probably working on his own Phd, will finally come across it.

First he will just be intrigued but slowly he will begin to think about it over and over. He will run it past his own theories, certain that he will find the fault in your work. He will then pull some strings to get your paper published and gain the proper attention. If your work is as solid as you claim, there will be a lot of buzz in the field but no one will come out on paper in support of your theory until it can be scrutinized and tested.

This will take some time. However, Jr editor has already had that time before it was ever published. Certain and over confident in his own work, he will be the first to dispute your theory. The winner of that battle will probably go on to have a very successful and lucrative career.

If it fits well with your personal experiences and you find that it gives a probable solution to some mysteries, then I imagine you will find merit in it.

Also, the above scenario supposedly played out in the careers of two famous scientists.
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Re: How does one know if a theory has any merit?

Postby Xanth » Fri Sep 06, 2013 10:00 pm

Tom Campbell always said that the intrinsic value of a model is in how well it answers questions.
Keep throwing questions at it until it can't provide an answer. :)
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Re: How does one know if a theory has any merit?

Postby CFTraveler » Sat Sep 07, 2013 4:29 pm

I don't think we can verify it, no. That's why I use hippy-dippy words like "resonate" and such when something seems right to me.
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