Re: ETHICS: Utility First--> Fraud
Mon, 18 May 1998 17:03:26 +0000

> If my principle is utility first and I have
> a hypothesis about what nature is, then I do
> research, gathering data about nature, add
> it all up, and lo and behold the numbers
> suggest my hypothesis is not true, I
> have one of two options:
> 1) conclude that my hypothesis is not true.
> 2) alter the data to make my theory appear true

Most of you seem to take for granted the equation science=truth,
which is a bit naive considering the fact that absolute scientific
facts change on a frequent basis.
No actual/physical alteration of data is necessary to achieve a
scientific situation which is only arguably true.
Consider Dark Matter. It is fairly reasonable to consider Dark Matter
as a concept thought of only to resolve certain conflicts between old
theories and recent calculations. As a matter of fact, there is no
justification nor evidence of the existence of such a thing, apart
from the fact that it allows existing scientific theories to stand. I
wonder, isn't it more 'truthful', at least on the level of
intellectual integrity, to cancel the old theories once they have
been rebutted rather than inventing a new factor that makes them
legitimate? I mean, this kind of behavior is practically religious.