This is an informal Request For Discussion (RFD) for the creation of
moderated Usenet newsgroup, sci.physics.fundamentals. After an initial
informal discussion a formal RFD will be posted to
NEWSGROUPS LINE: sci.physics.fundamentals
discussions of fundamental and philosophical issues and of research in
MODERATORS: Charles Francis, Jay Yablon, Fred Diether.
A body of serious researchers have felt there is a case for a new
moderated physics newsgroup to allow free discussion of more
research than is permitted by the moderation policy of
sci.physics.research, to act as a sounding board for ideas, to assist
trapping errors prior to submission for publication, and also to allow
more scope for discussion of philosophical and foundational matters. At
the same time, moderation is required to keep out both the flames and
the noise of patently non-physical theories which characterize the
unmoderated groups, sci.physics and sci.physics.relativity.
Posts about philosophical and foundational issues and posts speculating
on unresolved issues would be considered particularly appropriate. It
hoped that directing such posts to sci.physics.fundamentals will
the burden on the moderators of sci.physics.research, who have to make
decision on whether such posts are "overly speculative" according to
charter of that group.
Light moderation is intended, aimed not at restricting subject matter
but at reducing noise. Under this guidance, the following sorts of
material are deemed inappropriate for sci.physics.fundamentals:
Personal attacks (i.e. flames) and overly-scathing corrections;
Discussion that isn't about or related to physics (excepting that
humorous posts may be permitted);
Multiple responses which all say the same things;
Posts about theories which are, in the opinion of the moderator,
patently inconsistent with established scientific knowledge;
Posts rejecting special relativity, for which there is already a
Posts enquiring about standard theory may not be prohibited, but would
be encouraged to sci.physics.research. Similarly posts on string theory
would be generally be considered more appropriate to
It is not intended for the moderators to trap errors in posts about
research, since that is part of the rationale for the group.
If a moderator has doubts about whether a post is "patently
with established scientific knowledge", the post should either be
allowed or referred to the other moderators for a consensus view.
Posters will be expected to maintain high standards of manners. We
should recognize that we all make mistakes, and that making and then
correcting mistakes is fundamental to scientific methodology. This
is a resource for those pursuing serious scientific research. Crackpot
physics starts not with making mistakes, but with a failure to
mistakes. Part of the function of the group should be to assist
independent researchers in trapping and correcting mistakes.
should therefore be phrased with due diplomacy.
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