Sunday, August 01, 2004

On empirical research and the Energizer Bunny

From Lee Smolin's article on the anthropic principle: be part of science, X-theorists have to do more than convince other X-theorists that X-theory is true. They have to convince all the other well trained scientists who up till now have been skeptical. If they don’t aspire to do this, by rational arguments from the evidence, then by Popper’s definition, they are not doing science.

From Numerical Recipes in C (Ch. 14, pg 609):

At best, you can substantiate a hypothesis by ruling out, statistically, a whole long list of competing hypotheses, every one that has ever been proposed. After a while your adversaries and competitors will give up trying to think of alternative hypotheses, ro else they will grow old and die, and then your hypothesis will become accepted. Sounds crazy, we know, but that's how science works.

So that's where the creationists get their methods from !

From an interview with Lawrence Kraus in Scientific American:

But then you realize that this is exactly what Phillip Johnson, this lawyer who first proposed the intelligent-design strategy, proposed when he said something like, "We'll just keep going and going and going till we outlast the evolutionists."

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