You can't prove a negative!

Harvey Newstrom (
Wed, 23 Jun 1999 22:42:24 -0400

I am getting really concerned by what passes for "logic" in these recent discussions. Most of the arguments here lately seem to boil down to random theories with no supporting evidence. When someone objects, the defense is "you can't prove I'm not right." This is not logical, not scientific, and not Extropian.

The principal of Occam's razor says that the simplest explanation probably is correct. If a simple theory explains the observable data, a more complex theory should not be required. People here seem to be making theories more complex to address their particular desires, without explaining the observations better. In most cases, the added complexity cannot be tested because there is a requirement to destroy all the evidence or to avoid testing too rigorous for some reason.

The rule on this list used to be that "extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof". If someone wants to theorize an unprovable, untestable, unverifiable explanation, they can do so. But don't call it science. This is a religious belief of faith.

Harvey Newstrom <mailto://> <>
Author, Consultant, Engineer, Legal Hacker, Researcher, Scientist.