RE: Pasteur quote

From: Moorad Alexanian (alexanian@uncwil.edu)
Date: Sat Dec 29 2001 - 17:17:20 EST

  • Next message: Walter Hicks: "Re: Pasteur quote"

    The business of science is to provide explanations and develop theories that
    make predictions. Pasteur may have been thinking of physics as the prototype
    of science. Even in the historical sciences, the science aspect of it is the
    result of science as practiced by the physicist. Moorad

    >===== Original Message From John W Burgeson <burgytwo@juno.com> =====
    >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)
    >
    >http://www.burgy.50megs.com
    > (science/theology, quantum mechanics, baseball, ethics,
    > humor, cars, God's intervention into natural causation, etc.)



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