Re: another not-April Fool's-post...

Julian Leviston (
Mon, 29 Mar 1999 15:58:28 +1000

Something I find interesting is the idea that in an experiment, there's no such thing as a "control" simply because the experimenter has an affect on the entire experiment. There's no such thing as "separateness" - it's all part of the way we think about things that brings about "categories".


At 12:33 AM 29/03/99 EST, wrote:
>In a message dated 3/28/99 9:05:07 PM, you wrote:
>> According to Benveniste, if the
>> cause of such biochemical events were simply due to
>> random collisions between adrenalin molecules and
>> their receptors (the currently accepted theory of
>> molecular signalling), then it should take longer than
>> it does to get angry.
>Well, he certainly doesn't know much about neurobiology. We get
>angry via synaptic transmissions, which happen in a small number of
>milliseconds, just as predicted by physics.
>Whole-body hormonal adrenal events are predicted to require up to
>several minutes and that turns out to be correct too.
>> Nature's attempted debunking exercise failed to find
>> evidence of fraud, but concluded that Benveniste's
>> research was essentially unreproducible, a claim he
>> has always denied.
>"Failed to find evidence of fraud" is an *extremely* charitable way
>of putting it. Randi switched some of the bottles without telling
>Beneviste. The bottles that *had* been treated - but that Beneviste
>thought hadn't - showed no reaction. The bottles that *had not*
>been treated - but that Beneviste thought had - had a reaction!
>Clearly the effect was quite bogus, and that's certainly evidence
>for fraud. Fraud wasn't *proved*, because Beneviste could be a
>wishful incompetent.
>So now somebody whose experiments are, intentionally or unintentionally,
>fudged, has found a new implausible effect which solves a "problem"
>which actually doesn't exist. Pardon me if I'm not impressed.

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