On open access computer bulletin boards, any entity with a theory can expound on it at length. Many do — usually to a very unappreciative audience. A seemingly-large proportion of such expositions are surprisingly similar in style. The following scale (tentatively attributed to John Baez of Usenet sci.physics) will help readers establish just how crackpotted something is…
A simple method for rating potentially revolutionary contributions to physics.
- A -5 point starting credit.
- 1 point for every statement that is widely agreed on to be false.
- 2 points for every statement that is logically inconsistent.
- 5 points for each such statement that is adhered to despite careful correction [by other readers].
- 5 points for using a thought experiment that contradicts the results of a widely accepted real experiment.
- 5 points for each word in all capital letters (except for those with defective keyboards).
- 10 points for each claim that quantum mechanics is fundamentally misguided (without good evidence).
- 10 points for each favorable comparison of oneself to Einstein, or claim that special or general relativity are fundamentally misguided (without good evidence).
- 10 points for pointing out that one has gone to school, as if this were evidence of sanity.
- 20 points for suggesting that you deserve a Nobel prize.
- 20 points for each favorable comparison of oneself to Newton or claim that classical mechanics is fundamentally misguided (without evidence).
- 20 points for every use of science fiction works or myths as if they were fact.
- 20 points for defending yourself by bringing up (real or imagined) ridicule accorded to one’s past theories.
- 30 points for each favorable comparison of oneself to Galileo, claims that the Inquisition is hard at work on one’s case, etc..
- 30 points for claiming that the “scientific establishment” is engaged in a “conspiracy” to prevent one’s work from gaining its well-deserved fame, or suchlike.
- 40 points for claiming one has a revolutionary theory but giving no concrete testable predictions.