About This Site: Defining It

       
 

Welcome to The Seventh Earth.

In the section 'Origins' I have outlined why I started this website and where its premise came from. Here I would like to define it and cover some of the broader concepts and questions that it raises and my approach in responding to them.

The following definitions are based on entries from Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia, from spring 2007;

‘Original Research’ is research that is not based on the conclusions of earlier publications on the subject in question. The aim of the original research is to produce new knowledge, rather than to summarize or re-present existing knowledge. In some cases, where actual experimentation or analysis is not carried out, the originality is in the way existing understanding is changed or re-interpreted based on the outcome of the research.

‘Protoscience’ is a field of study which appears to conform to the first stage of scientific method, gathering information and forming a hypothesis, but which involves speculation that is not yet falsifiable or verified by experimentation or accepted by a concensus of scientists. Protoscience is distinguished from other forms of speculation in that it strives to be consistent with current scientific models so as to eventually achieve falsifiability.

Falsifiability and reproducibility are a crucial part of the scientific criteria. 20th Century thinker Karl Popper suggested the criterion of falsifiability to distinguish science from non-science. Statements like ‘God created the universe’ may be true or false, but they are not falsifiable, so they are not scientific; they lie outside the scope of science. These principles for determining the scientific include reproducibility and intersubjective ( shared by more than one conscious mind ) verifiability, i.e. the analysis or experimentation can be reproduced by another group to achieve the same results.

A good example of speculation through to verifiability is the moment that Charles Darwin, on his journey to the Galapagos Islands, noticed that finches differed from one island to the next. He suspected that the different species of finches must have descended from a single common ancestor. This protoscientific hypothesis, which became the long controversial Theory of Evolution, only recently made the transition from protoscience to science,

with modern DNA analysis verifying many of his speculations.

By contrast, ’Pseudoscience’ is a practice or body of knowledge that claims to be scientific but does not adhere to the scientific method of reproducibility, and is often in conflict with current scientific concensus. The term has negative connotations because it is most commonly used in reference to subjects that deceptively portray themselves as science, and so those labeled as ‘pseudoscience’ normally reject the classification.

All of the above terms contain elements that seem applicable to The Seventh Earth, but I feel its content and my approach are mostly ‘Original Research’ and ‘Protoscience’. The overall hypothesis, the existence of somewhere in the region of 600 billion human beings on 6 former Earths within this solar system, definitely falls outside the scope of science ( perhaps with the exception of some kind of measurement of probability ). It is also in conflict with current scientific concensus and can be regarded as pure speculation, but it is not ‘pseudoscience’ in that I do not claim it to be scientific. The deceptive element of pseudosciences is not applicable here. I am aware of what parts of my hypotheses are speculative and which are more measureable. This is why I have divided the work into two separate hypotheses, the second of which I regard as ‘Protoscience’, especially in terms of methodology.

My methodology is akin to the cases mentioned above, where actual experimentation or analysis is not carried out, but the originality is in the way existing understanding is re-interpreted. I simply gather reading material on any subjects I believe relevant at the level of the layperson with specialized interests, llike ‘National Geographic’ or ‘Scientific American’. For every dozen or so of these magazines I refer to third level textbooks within these fields, like Plate-Tectonics or Geology. I accept the finer details of the work done in these fields and generally question the broader interpretations of them, especially in the areas that they overlap, like the conventional reconstructions of prehistoric continents being carried out on the understanding that the sphere has always retained a constant diameter, determined by research in Astrophysics. This apparent overlapping of fields is crucial to the pursuit of my secondary hypothesis and leads me on to my approach in addressing it.

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Alan Lambert 2009