Re: Pasteur quote

From: John W Burgeson (
Date: Sat Dec 29 2001 - 12:21:16 EST

  • Next message: John W Burgeson: "Re: Pasteur quote"

    Gordon commented: "Based on this, most astronomers are not scientists. I
    guess it depends on what one means by "experimentation." Most
    statisticians distinguish
    between "observational studies" and "controlled experiments." The latter
    permits the use of Pasteur's word "prove." But, strictly speaking, the
    former does not. (The Tobacco Institute for years was quick to point out
    that it had never been proven that cigarette smoking causes human cancer.
    No controlled study has ever been made.)
    I think Pasteur was being too restrictive."

    Possibly. I see astronomers experimenting the same way anthropologists
    and geologist experiment. While one cannot "run the universe twice," all
    can posit a theory and then look for data to confirm/disconfirm. I'd call
    this experimentation.

    The Tobacco Institute is another matter. Since nothing in science is ever
    "proven," their propaganda just makes use of this elementary attribute
    of the scientific enterprise to obfuscate. I don't know how they sleep
    at night.

    John Burgeson (Burgy)
           (science/theology, quantum mechanics, baseball, ethics,
            humor, cars, God's intervention into natural causation, etc.)

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