Crackpot Index

Fri, 13 Feb 1998 12:26:38 -0500

While this index was originally developed by the mathematician John Baez to
apply specifically to individuals with wild extapolations (or just plain
abandonement) of generally accepted theories in physics, I think several of its
provisions could be taken to heart on this list.

A simple method for rating potentially
revolutionary contributions to physics.

1) A -5 point starting credit.
2) 1 point for every statement that is widely agreed on to be false.
3) 2 points for every statement that is clearly vacuous.
4) 3 points for every statement that is logically inconsistent.
5) 5 points for each such statement that is adhered to despite careful
6) 5 points for using a thought experiment that contradicts the results
of a widely accepted real experiment.
7) 5 points for each word in all capital letters (except for those
with defective keyboards).
8) 10 points for each claim that quantum mechanics is fundamentally
misguided (without good evidence).
9) 10 points for each favorable comparison of oneself to Einstein, or
claim that special or general relativity are fundamentally misguided
(without good evidence).
10) 10 points for pointing out that one has gone to school, as if this
were evidence of sanity.
11) 20 points for suggesting that you deserve a Nobel prize.
12) 20 points for each favorable comparison of oneself to Newton or
claim that classical mechanics is fundamentally misguided (without
13) 20 points for every use of science fiction works or myths as if
they were fact.
14) 20 points for defending yourself by bringing up (real or imagined)
ridicule accorded to ones past theories.
15) 30 points for each favorable comparison of oneself to Galileo,
claims that the Inquisition is hard at work on ones case, etc..
16) 30 points for claiming that when ones theory is finally appreciated,
present-day science will be seen as the sham it truly is.
17) 30 points for claiming that the "scientific establishment" is
engaged in a "conspiracy" to prevent ones work from gaining its
well-deserved fame, or suchlike.
18) 40 points for claiming one has a revolutionary theory but
giving no concrete testable predictions.