[Sca-cooks] Questions on theory and proof
Daniel & Elizabeth Phelps
dephelps at embarqmail.com
Sat Feb 6 07:19:41 PST 2010
One can never prove a negative we can only seek to provide reasonable
assurance. That being said absence of proof is not proof of absence. It
does however in some cases suggest where to look for proof.
Daniel, wearing his scientist hat.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Ian Kusz" <sprucebranch at gmail.com>
To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>
Sent: Saturday, February 06, 2010 5:52 AM
Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Questions on theory and proof
> On Sat, Jan 30, 2010 at 7:16 PM, Celia des Archier
> <CeliadesArchier at cox.net>wrote:
>> However I see a lot more problem with
>> scientists, academics and researchers who are unwilling to understand
>> can't observe it" or "I can't quantify it" or "I can't reproduce it" is
>> the same thing as "it doesn't exist" or "it's not true"... Who don't
>> comprehend that a negative is not proof, and who therefore have trouble
>> keeping a mind open enough to permit them to embrace the potential for
>> discoveries. In Service,
> Actually, my favorite example of this in modern times has to do with
> clouds. Meteorologists stated that lightning traveled from the ground to
> the clouds due to charge differentials which built up. This was
> physical law, and when pilots reported seeing some lightning travelling UP
> from the clouds to ABOVE the clouds, scientists dismissed this as
> The theory being: This is a physical law that has been discovered, and
> math, thereof, works in practice. So any reports to the contrary must be
> untrue; the math doesn't lie. See our perfectly-balanced equations? And
> can use these equations to predict events that actually do occur.
> Therefore, any accusations of inaccuracy must be false.
> Turns out, they had to expand the theory, but scientific disbelief can
> back the furtherance of knowledge, ESPECIALLY when we've got the answer
> PART-of-the-way right. Or only sort-of right. It's like a bag; sometimes
> you are getting the right proportions and load-bearing on the bag, but
> you're still wrong, because the bag is inside-out.
> Of course, the fact that the bag is actually a brassiere won't be
> for another couple of generations....so nu?
> Ian of Oertha
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