Thursday, May 24, 2007

I Kid You Not, This Was A Question I Got Asked Yesterday.

Posted by olvlzl.

“Even worse than the invitation to bias is the basic idea that the normal processes of science wouldn’t suffice to falsify claims called “extraordinary”.*

I suspect the normal processes of science will not suffice to falsify the statement that there is a china teapot orbiting somewhere between Jupiter and Saturn for a long while yet, because it’s just too big a space to search. Does this bother you?

I’d be bothered if I found out that publicly financed science was looking into this, if that’s what you mean. Though I'd want to know if the science wasn't falling victim to a sensational claim of what was being looked at first. If it’s some balm pot looking for a tea pot and not potting someone else in the process, no, that doesn’t bother me.

Who do you know who is attempting to answer this question with science?

If it was someone I met who shared with me that they had the belief that there was such a tea pot? I might be charmed to have come by an example of that too rare species, the genuine harmless eccentric. If there was no reason to suspect that they were going to do themselves harm I might lend them up to a half hour of my time for their exposition, knowing that they were probably enjoying themselves and were providing me with a useful anecdote.

* I’d said that if the normal processes of science couldn’t falsify “extraordinary claims” that they would, by the rule that science had to have consistent standards of objectivity, also be unable to be relied on for “ordinary” claims. You don’t want to hear my full rant, it sounds too eccentric.

Update: An e-mail points out that even if finding the tea pot would have involved more effort than it's worth that the search itself would be a matter of fairly conventional though pricy technology. I don't care to consider "extraordinary technology". Being in enough hot water already.