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[Towertalk] Models and real world --oops

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Subject: [Towertalk] Models and real world --oops
From: (Michael Keane, K1MK)
Date: Thu, 11 Jul 2002 08:49:52 -0700 (PDT)
On Thu, 11 July 2002, "Jim White" wrote:
> 8JI said
> "I am concerned an over-reliance on computer models that we assume are
> "absolute" has collectively given us the impression that we can
> predict the real world, and we are as a group losing touch with
> understanding how to make valid comparisons between systems. "
> a ham has a signature line on his e-mail with the following quote that
> it all
> "experience trumps theory. Dave Leeson, W6NL)

Dr. Leeson wrote "... EXPERIMENT always trumps theory."

There be a vast world of difference between experience and experiment,
which is neatly summed up in Hume's rule: "Extraordinary claims require
extraordinary proof."

The methods we collectively employ for comparison seldom rise to the
level of calibrated observations never mind controlled experiments. Our
experiences typically provide neither the precision nor the accuracy
necessary to invalidate the predictions of a individual models, let
alone begin to constitute a basis for refuting the underlying theory.    

Extremism in the advocacy of empiricism is no virtue; moderation in the
defense of a theoretical understanding is no vice.

Mike K1MK

Michael Keane K1MK
PeoplePC:  It's for people. And it's just smart. 

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