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Allelopathy and the Scientific Method.

Anecdotal Evidence, if carefully gathered and evaluated, is useful to Science.

One of the difficulties in setting up really GOOD experiments is knowing
exactly what you want to measure, and how you will be sure that you are
measuring a real result. Without the Anecdotal Evidence, you can waste a lot
of time just spinning your wheels, after you re-invent them.

It is still believed that banging pots and pans will make a swarm of bees
"settle." onto a branch.  A strong correlation has been reliably established,
but as yet, we have no scientifically valid EVIDENCE that the __racket__
actually causes the bees to settle.  From my many years of experience as a
beekeeper, I personally suspect the correlation is valid, simply because most
swarms of bees are actually travelling cross country quite rapidly. When the
swarm flies slowly enough so the observers SEE and HEAR the cloud of bees,
they are already preparing to settle.  I suspect I could make a pretty good
correlation between crawling naked through the grass and the settling of the
swarm. I won't, because SOME of the bees are alighting on the grass, and they
WILL sting if crushed by a naked body. 

:-)  Think of it!!  The naked experimenter jumps up and yells, which shows
clearly that it is THE NOISE from a naked human that makes the bees settle!
Boggles the mind, eh??  :-)

Which is, of course, back to my earlier statement that, regardless of the
correlation, wind is NOT caused by trees waving their leaves.

But, until we get the Graduate Student and the money, it just makes sense to
carefully gather Anectodal Evidence.  I don't see the problem - what in the
dickens is the FAQ, but a compilation of Anecdotal Evidence???

This List itself is nothing more nor less than sharing of Anecdotal Evidence,
yet the more Scientific minds among us seem to be reading it anyway. :-)


Jean Olson
JOlson8590 at AOL_com
Out in the Boonies, near
Cambridge, Iowa