The scientist

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As a follow up to yesterday's post Just because,a few readers wrote to me defending both sides of their worldview of how things work. The objectivists reiterated "observations are not accepted fact until you can measure them" and the Observationalists wrote to say "if I can repeatedly observe the same thing then it must be correct". Both are right, both are incomplete. When a scientist wants to declare something as a fact, here's the process they go through:observe, theorize, measure, repeat. We observe something, we make a guess as to why it's happening (called a theory) and then we go about trying to prove, in a repeatable manner, that we're correct. If we can do this, then it becomes a "fact." What gets people's hair up on end is when we claim one or the other is wrong, without all four elements finalized, based on our view of the "facts." When George Louis, the Polarity Pundit, proclaims that changing the absolute polarity of tracks has a major sonic benefit - that's an observation. When George declares why this has an audible effect, that is a theory, not a fact. When I write (in the article It's just wire) that wire can only subtract energy and cannot add it, that's a measurable fact. When I go on to say bass is subjectively greater or less, that's an observation and something no one has yet measured. A guess as to why that might be observed is a theory. It's probably helpful to the debate to separate observations, theories and facts from one another. Keeps the heat of arguments lower.
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Paul McGowan

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