Re: Experiments With Human Subjects

Twirlip of Greymist (
Mon, 23 Sep 1996 17:25:22 -0700 (PDT)

On Sep 23, 2:12pm, Chris Hibbert wrote:

} They can move telescopes around, make predictions for other celestial
} objects and verify them, do the observations from spacecraft or
} aircraft as well as ground-based observatories, etc. This seems to be
} fully as controllable an experiment as you need to become convinced of
} the predictive value of Einstein's conjecture.

Geologists can't do much more. Drill away, all we know about the core
is from seismology, and is dependent on the whims of earthquakes. It's
amazing what we claim to know about the Earth -- or sun, similar
techniques -- based on waves bouncing around, with nothing anybody would
normally consider real evidence.

And no, social scientists can't control every variable of the humans
coming into an experiment. You can't control the exact state of a gas,
either, but we've found we can control what matters. Why is it so hard
to believe that social science could be making analogous progress?
Perhaps because we don't notice much evidence of it, but that could
indicate (a) progress is slow, because people are complex, but still
happening; or (b) we don't know anything about the subject, but feel free
to mouth off about it.

Merry part,
-xx- Damien R. Sullivan X-) <*>

Humans humans pay your dues
As never before you get to choose;
Become like us or fight and lose,
Great Ones evermore.
Powers evermore.