Re: poly: Modeling Economic Singularities

From: Peter C. McCluskey <>
Date: Wed May 06 1998 - 08:57:34 PDT ("Perry E. Metzger") writes:
>I was under the impression that, in the scientific method we've been
>operating with since, oh, Francis Bacon, that most people agreed that
>it was the person PROPOSING a hypothesis that was responsible for
>proving it, and not the rest of the world.

 In the world I'm familiar with:
- the validity of a theory is completely independent of the proposer.
- academic theorists are expected to prove it to their peers if they
 want credit for it, but that says more about academia than about science.
 (Science that was filtered via idea futures rather than peer review would
 probably have a different pattern of argumentation).
- scientists have little obligation to prove their theories to laymen
 (some enjoy it; Robin apparently doesn't). (Robin Hanson) writes:
>It seems to me that you are imposing different standards on economics than
>are usually applied elsewhere.

 He appears to be imposing standards that are needed for some areas of
economics where the important theories are fragile enough that similarity
to well-tested ideas is not enough.

 I'd love to see him apply his standard to a debate between evolutionary
biologists and creationists. [Where are the fossils showing X evolved to Y?
Z wouldn't work without all its 32 parts. Where are the tests showing those
parts could have been created by random processes?]

>I'll bet they do not, however, always stay silent about their theories
>until tests back them up. And do they always insist on years of experiments,
>rather than just tests on historical data, before risking capital?

 My impression is that many of them don't have the patience to wait
for more than a few days.

Peter McCluskey          | Critmail ( | Accept nothing less to archive your mailing list
Received on Wed May 6 16:00:29 1998

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