A crank is through behavior, not level of education.
If you have an idea, the first thing you have to do, is prove your idea. And this means, you have to sit down, you have to do your homework, find out what other people have already done, put your work within the context--do a compare-and-contrast essay. Basically, of your work. Mathematically and observationally and experimentally test your idea and if you don't have the facilities to test your idea, write down in detail what is necessary to test your idea.