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Re: [APD] Theory vs. Actual

Liz Wilhite wrote:
>  No, the interpretation doesn't come from the data. Ever heard of the Raman
> effect? Triplet-triplet annihilation? Singlet-triplet transitions? Effects
> of minor comformational changes on the absorption and emission properties of
> of large, flexible organic molecules? All of these were discovered from data
> that were imprecise at best. More precise data didn't improve the concepts
> or the understanding of the concepts one iota.

Interpretation doesn't come from the data? I don't even know what to say 
about that. What do you propose a conclusion is based on if not on data? 
Tarot cards?

Let's see. The Raman effect. I assume you mean the discovery of induced 
secondary radiation that was the discovered while trying to explain why 
the ocean is blue. That is a perfect example of what I am talking about.

Raman was studying one thing, and happened upon another. Correct me if 
I'm wrong, but I do not believe Rama's discovery had anything to do with 
uncontrolled variables or imprecise data. In fact, were it not for 
extremely precise measurements, he might have missed the phenomenon 
completely. Is this not true?

>  Entire branches of knowledge in physics, chemistry and biology have been
> created by people who were bright and knew how to interpret imprecise data.
> Interpretation springs from the mind, and not all of them are created
> equally.

I never said you couldn't stumble across something out of dumb luck 
while looking for something else. Many things we have now are because of 
just that. Lexan springs to mind. Nor did I say that you couldn't 
interpret data that wasn't as good as you'd like. What I am saying is 
that when you have two potential sources of data about identical 
subjects, one more accurate than the other, it is not the less precise 
that is going to get you a more relevant or useful conclusion ... ever.

Why is this degrading into a discussion of how to define an 
interpretation? I feel like Ken Starr listening to Bill Clinton say, 
"that depends on what the definition of 'is' is." If you do not agree 
that you have to have data in order to make an interpretation of same, I 
suppose there's not a lot I can do to convince you of much of anything.

Jerry Baker
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