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December 12, 2009

Comments

Brian Rogers

Doh!

Alexander Jablokov

I don't think there's any good reason to restrict the data, but I don't agree with your point #2. One characteristic of an effective theory is successful prediction. You can always come up with an epicycle or correction factor to account for all the data you have in hand. It's only when new data inconsiderately falls on you that you see whether your theoretical house stands up.

You can't unknow something you already know, no matter how hard you pretend.

Cambias

The need for testable predictions is certainly a valid point -- although I'm not at all sure that happens much in cosmology. But artificially restricting the data makes this kind of like the Monty Hall Problem hosted by Thomas Kuhn.

Alexander Jablokov

"So, you can use the theory you have, with its known explanatory deficiencies, or you can take your chance on the paradigm behind Door Number One!"

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About Us

  • Diane A. Kelly
    Diane Kelly is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she studies the neural wiring and mechanical engineering of reproductive systems.
  • James L. Cambias
    Jim Cambias writes science fiction and designs games in the lonely wilderness of Western Massachusetts.

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