I’m sure that’s what angered the many Ph D academics and skeptics in Aidan’s case. Even here at MUO – a community that I consider to be very intellectual and mature – there is a contingent of people that have a certain arrogance, and feel justified in calling someone they don’t even know a moron.
Here’s an MUO Answers commenter calling the questioner stupid.
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I was reading a fascinating story that was recently published in the Wall Street Journal about a kid named Aidan Dwyer that believed he had discovered a way to configure solar panels to mimic the Fibonacci sequence that makes up the structure of tree branches.
Aidan’s theory – a fairly decent theory for a kids that’s only 13 years old – is that by mimicking that sequence, he might be able to also mimic the efficiency of nature itself. Using a equal number of solar cells, young Aidan laid out the solar panels side by side in sunlight.
One, the typical flat panel that people use today, and the other his unique “tree” design – a metal structure shaped like a tree branch.
Young Aidan hooked up a meter to each, and to his surprise, he saw a higher voltage reading from his tree design. So he decided, with the support of his parents, to enter it into a national science competition – and he won.
What happened next is something that those of us that have been on the Internet for a long time now would not find very surprising.
The story about the science competition hit the Internet, and everyone from Ph D researchers to armchair scientists took a look at young Aidan’s design, and the flaming began.According to the Wall Street Journal, Aidan’s introduction to the world of online commenters didn’t go too well.“Commenters and bloggers attacked Aidan with vitriol usually saved for political enemies and the Kardashians.Blogs decried his experiment as ‘bad science’ and ‘impossible nonsense.’ Someone called him ‘an alien—a cool one, though.'” Reading the article made me remember some of the stories that I used to write about years ago, such as science scams and other silly claims throughout the fields of Ufology and the paranormal.I’ve always felt justified, as an engineer, in my online attitude.In fact, I’ve been one of those vitriolic writers before, trashing poorly designed scientific theories and various silly claims like alleged “free energy” findings.