How do we ever really come to any vastly new understanding if we limit ourselves to only those things that are not unusual?
This thread isn't about a merely unusual idea, but an unverified and probably falsified idea (its difficult to tell, since it has not be described sufficiently to quantify anything). Calling the ideas about magnetism unusual was probably a diplomatic way of saying just that by whoever edited the wikipedia page.
Why not just investigate and use a little imagination?
I personally think that the attitudes of the scientific community as displayed on this board are responsible for the retarded growth of scientific knowledge in the last 50 years.
If those, and many others among them, are the products of a society labouring under the retarded growth in scientific knowledge I say 'viva retardation!'.
Unless this was just a subtle complaint that its 2012 and we still don't have flying cars and houses on the moon....then I'm right with you.
I know you will protest that there has been a great increase in knowledge. True, but I believe it could have been even greater without the current shackles placed upon it by the intellectual inquisition that is typified by the members on this board.
There was a time in human history when human reasoning did not work under those shackles. It was from about 150,000 BCE till about the 18th Century (with a few small, elite, exceptions). If you want to compare that 152,000 year period with the last 200 years to compare the systems for how good they are at advancing scientific knowledge you are welcome to do so.
Once you remove the shackles you get 'MMR causes autism', 'the moon landing was a hoax', 'Venus is the ejecta from Jupiter and caused disasters on earth in ancient times', 'TimeCube', or 'Zeus rewards sacrifices' and other assorted crankery.
Those shackles on human knowledge were willingly donned. So as to avoid the siren call and go crashing into the rocks of nonsense. They avoid us taking off on flights of fantasy that are so appealing to our primate brains.
Sure, we need to use our imagination. Science should be, and is, a creative process: Hypothesis generation, testing, hypothesis regeneration etc. Generating hypothesis' is creative
You should be able to see from Feynman's description of science what mistake is being made by JT in this thread. He is steadfastly refusing to 'compute the consequences...to see what it would imply' and he absolutely has not 'compared the computation result with nature'.
These aren't really optional steps.
The advantage to this 'intellectual inquisition' is that we know that whatever ideas survive it are probably right - or at least they are on to something important. Of course, some right ideas may never see the light of day or be dismissed as soon as they are proposed. But out of the billions of humans, if none of them feel motivated to investigate the idea further - then we can hardly blame science. There are a finite number of things we can investigate, budgets are not limitless and nor is time. Any idea that fails to gain the attention of scientists and those that fund them, is going to go uninvestigated.
Of course, if you are really suggesting that we should investigate more fringe ideas, then what you are saying is that there should be more funding for scientists, and along with good science education so as to ensure there are enough scientists to do the extra research. I'm fine with that proposal too. I'm sure you can double the budget on such things while only taking a barely noticeable scratch from the military budget (if we are talking about the US),
Apparently all you need to do to overturn decades of intense research and investigation is to propose a contradictory theory, assert that it solves all problems and causes no new ones and you're done.
I had held back from trying this because I thought that there would some cognitive work involved that I simply lack. Now, any idiot can have any barely imagined half-cocked notion and challenge the elite schmucks of the science world.
I therefore propose that time travelling scientists, frustrated with the lack of progress into abiogenesis, create some primitive life in the lab and travel back in time and seed the earth with it. This solves all the problems of origins of life research and leaves no additional problems. We're done. Nobel me.