While I am taking a walk I have come up with quotes, questions and philosophy to motivate and route myself.

I recently discovered/invented a new quote which really can have multiple meaning to it (from something very stupid to something very genuine) - but it obviously would depend upon the person interpreting it.

So, here it goes. I made a hypothesis as,”Some people fart during solar eclipse, and there is a genetic basis to it”.

And yes, this hypothesis is pre-hoc, testable (from different facets), refutable and there probably will be a associated genetic basis with this natural phenomenon (solar eclipse).

So, How would you interpret this question/hypothesis?, before you read the details below.


Now, tell me how would you interpret (or interpreted) this hypothesis, statement.

  • Could it be one of the great scientific question ever?
  • What is the significance of it?
  • What if this question seems as stupid as, “Why did the apple fall to the ground rather than flying up?” But really has a deep meaning to it, because sometime in future we realize that world is getting doomed during a solar eclipse and the people who have that genetic basis really seemed to survive the catastrophy, and there by leading civilization really to next great height.
  • What if there is no causal genetic basis, but it was just an association because in large sample we will always find an association of one event with another.
  • But, what if there was a causal genetic basis hitchhiking along with the genes causing the fart making it lucky for those individuals to survive.
  • Or, is it just a plain, simple and stupid question that human will never pursue, no matter how much prosperous our civilization gets.
  • Or, is this a question that belongs to the categories of problem that does matter but the problem is insignificant in comparison; like ,”BPA in plastic causes harm. But, why do you really worry so much about the BPA in your plastic plate when you eat, coz you smoke tons a day?”
  • Or, is it just a practice of wasting money in science.

What is a stupid question and what is great scientific question? What does my hypothesis suggest you - is it a great question, and why? Or, am I plain stupidly a deep thinker (or even not). Hmmm !

I will post my own interpretations later on.

Thanks for reading !

  • 3
    Einstein has said there is no hope for an idea to be great unless when it originates it is absurd. I don´t find your idea so much absurd, as juvenile. It may well be true, but if it proves true, it would only be funny to a ten-year-old. You need something that to be true, would be funny to an adult.
    – user9166
    Apr 1, 2018 at 2:41
  • Quote of the day,”You need something that to be true, would be funny to an adult. Apr 1, 2018 at 2:49
  • "Or, is it just a practice of wasting money in science." Wait, someone really gonna do a research on that? I hope no, I just suspect uninteresting topics are covers for getting easy money as no one ever in a few next years gonna verify it.
    – rus9384
    Apr 1, 2018 at 3:04
  • No body does a research on that- obviously. But, there is much wasting of resources in the name of science - probably that is called educating, but still lots of wasting can be seen where there is resource surplus. Apr 1, 2018 at 3:15
  • 1
    @everestial007 well then, to the answer - I consider questions to be worthwhile only in the eyes of the interpreter - in such a way that a question can sure as hell be stupid, but someone (as you suggest) might interpret it in the future and find some usefulness to it. But that's on the philosophical side of it. "Scientific question", on the other hand, would be useful only currently, only by the advancement it can make to science. And overall, only by its uses for society. Apr 1, 2018 at 16:20

1 Answer 1


A question can be great in very different ways. For example, a question could ask something

1) foundational: it tries to understand something at the very foundation of your science/theory, that is, to change or to refine the whole metaphysics (either by stating new existential principles, or new constraining principles). Note that I would consider a social science question that asks something going against the current "societal" metaphysics to be of this type (of course, when you relate society and sciences, applications matter). For example, our western societies believe strongly in the equality of races and genders. Is this belief justified, or can we explain the big differences in intelligence, interests, or economic performances differently than by invoking this principle and its consequences? Depending on the answer, should society rethink its own metaphysics?

2) that seems paradoxical (but not necessarily antinomic) and that deserves to be answered to increase the trust you have in your theories,

3) universal, in a given theory. For example, in theory T, is it always true that P? If not, then how and when is P true?

4) technical: it tries to study some very explicit and technical problem, which of course accounts to define what is a good technical problem. For example, you certainly want a "good" problem or the techniques involved in its solution to be related to some universal questions, or to lead to new theories. The potential applications are also something that can turn a bad question into a good one.

5) about relationships (looking for existence of bridges between different theories or models).

Overall, a good question is a question that leads to a better understanding of your science. Overly specific and technical questions are generally very bad in this regard: they are not likely to increase your understanding of your science, or are not strenghthening your conviction in known theories. Questions that destroy your trust in known theories are actually much more important than the ones reinforcing it: they indicate that some new (and sometimes revolutionary) theory is needed.

In particular, the question you asked in bold characters does not seem interesting at all: it is very specific, it doesn't seem to explain anything interesting (it tries to show that some effect exists, but it does not explain it and its domain of application seems nonexistent), it wouldn't strengthen trust in known theories, and I can't see what it could potentially dismiss. You would maybe care about this question if you wanted to make fart illegals, but should society care about farts to begin with?

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