The power of anomalies

Discussion in 'UFOs, Ghosts and Monsters' started by Magical Realist, Aug 30, 2018.

  1. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

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    Context?
     
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  3. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    I agree with Sculptor that the anomalies might sometimes be our most important data.

    And I agree with JamesR that most often they are the result of something like experimental error.

    What makes them interesting is the possibility

    (1) that whatever principle we are assuming isn't correct and needs to be reformulated. The anomalies that led to relativity and quantum physics seem to have been of that sort.

    or

    (2) that something entirely new is showing its pretty little head. The 'outlier' on the graph above might be the result of something unrelated to the physical process that generated the rest of the more-or-less continuous curve, apart from being detectable on the same instrument.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2018
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  5. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    I don't take advise on what to post from one-liner drive-by posters.
     
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  7. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

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    So why did you post in the first place?

    You gave nothing.
     
  8. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    Maybe you haven't heard of relativity or quantum mechanics.
     
  9. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    I post to generate discussion, which in fact is happening now. I don't post to play with trolls who go around bitching about threads.
     
  10. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

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    No. You post to generate dissent.

    You are a troll baiter.
     
  11. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    Anomalies are one of the reasons why it's important for other people to confirm your observations. Never trust your own eyes.
     
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  12. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    LOL! Oh my! Dissension in the ranks now!
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2018
  13. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

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    Silly me, yes.

    Fool me once, but I have less respect for you now.
     
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  14. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    Right...a phenomenon is confirmed when multiple eyewitnesses report its recurrence. That's common sense.
     
  15. Kittamaru Never cruel nor cowardly... Staff Member

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    As someone recently said... the truth is not the truth.

    Must be convenient for defense attorneys... "My client did, in fact, murder this person in cold blood after raping them for fifteen hours, that is true. But the truth is not the truth, and he did not, in fact break the law."
     
  16. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    4,888
    Oh man, you should have seen my old lab results when I was a biological science student trying to do things like gas chromotography. You want outliers... I could have given you outliers.

    If we just assume that our results can only be (1) consistent with our preexisting belief, or (2) experimental error, we wouldn't seem to have placed ourselves in a very good position to learn anything new. (It reminds me of the probably-bogus myth about those who refused to look through Galileo's telescope, because either (A.) it would verify church doctrine/Aristotle/whatever it was, and they already knew that, or (B.) it would show something false.

    I think that's the moral of Abraham Loeb's remarks that MR quoted in the O.P. If the princess disdains kissing horrible green frogs, then she won't ever give herself the opportunity of turning one into a handsome prince.
     
  17. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    A master baiter in fact........

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
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  18. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    You're trolling in response to a troll, Exchemist.

    You seem to be one of the smarter people on this board, at least when you're in the mood to be. So what you have to say about the remarks quoted in the first post. MR didn't write them. They come from Abraham Loeb, the chairman of the Harvard University Astronomy department.

    What do you think that the importance of anomalies are in scientific research, if any? What should researchers' response be to data that refuses to conform? (Especially if the non-conforming data points remain reasonably consistent in multiple experimental test runs?)

    Which brings up the question of one-off non-repeatable events that violate our preexisting expectations. Some sciences, with astronomy very prominent among them, are dependent on cosmic events that we hope to observe way down here. (Supernovas or black-holes merging or whatnot.) We can't typically command those things to occur on our schedule as we might in a bench-top chemistry experiment. We can just keep watching and maybe we'll detect another one or maybe we won't.

    The lack of repeatability-on-demand doesn't seem to me to be satisfactory justification for dismissing the reality of these kind of events. But lack of repeatability does seem to be satisfactory justification for not jumping to conclusions either.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2018
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  19. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Yes Yazata, I know.

    I was making a joke, yer pompous git.

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  20. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    It was uncalled for. (But a great deal of 'humor' is socially-sanctioned sadism isn't it, when people laugh at other people rather than with them?)

    MR posted some opinions about scientific anomalies written by a noted contemporary scientist. I don't think that's any occasion for ridicule. It's more of an occasion for saying something intelligent about anomalies.

    Yet ridicule and insults is exactly how the thread developed from post #2 on. And you just added to the stupidity.
     
  21. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    That's what the little band of about 5 trolls always do to my threads. They derail them with ridicule and ad homs and complaints. Then I get blamed for troll baiting. Trolls are never responsible for what they do here. That's the standard assumption.
     
  22. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    If we weren't allowed to laugh at other people, it would be a very sad world.
     
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  23. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    You probably shouldn't have responded to BwS's attempt to troll you in post#2. That's precisely what trolls want because it turns threads into stupid school-yard back-and-forths. It lowers you to their level (and they perceive that as a victory).

    The way to beat them is to ignore their trolling and just make intelligent, thoughtful, on-topic posts. Put your would-be opponents into a situation where if they want to battle you, they will have to raise their game to your level. (Then even if you lose the argument, you've succeeded in making things educational.)
     

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