Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Warning Sign Number 7

Physicist Robert L. Park outlines 'The Seven Warning Signs of Bogus Science'. To be honest, I wasn't that impressed, but I did want to note the final one:

7. The discoverer must propose new laws of nature to explain an observation. A new law of nature, invoked to explain some extraordinary result, must not conflict with what is already known. If we must change existing laws of nature or propose new laws to account for an observation, it is almost certainly wrong.
It is interesting to note that we are quite happy to violate existing laws when it comes to beliefs that seem "common sense" or which we consider to be matters of philosophy (as if reality contained this separate category of phenomena).

Like with the concept of information. Most people seem to consider it to be some kind of, as yet unexplained, intangible thing. Some intangible thing that interacts with the ordinary physical world in some unknown way. And yet, virtually no-one seems to bat an eyelid about this.

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