The Bigfoot Research Project
un691cs at genius.embnet.dkfz-heidelberg.de
Wed Aug 10 13:59:35 EST 1994
> Sometimes I think I don't live in the real scientific world. The
> scientists I know speak all the time of trying to "show" or "prove"
> things, but nobody jumps down their throats - we wait to see the data.
> It's objective assessment of the data that counts; if nobody ever had
> any theories which they espoused (ie wanted to see proven) then I doubt
> if very much work would ever get started. Call me cynical, but the
> people who do the science are just people, they are not Science itself.
> Incidentally, objective assessment of the Bigfoot data seems to me to
> point to its non-existence, but it's clearly an engaging subject, or we
> wouldn't be having this discussion.
> Anthony (in a waffly mood)
i think it is generally bad to use "prove" or "show", but it does
happen occasionaly (you must admit: by newbies usually). it depends
on the context also: "with this simple experiment i show that a.
there is a BamHI site in my plasmid or b. there is a bigfoot in the
woods". a wouldn't raise an eyebrow, b would create growns in the
audience. the reason for this is human logic: the more farfetched
the thing is that you want to proof, the better your evidence should be !
but still, you can not proof there is a bigfoot or a BamHI site, you
can only falsify, that is exclude the opposite.
and that is what the bigfoot project should do, try to look for
alternative explanations for the footprints e.g.... circles in the
corn fooled everybody too, didn't they ?
(by the way, i think 'show' is a softer term than 'proof', it includes
a certain degree of doubt, which is absent in 'proof').
More information about the Bioforum