[extropy-chat] Fwd: Are vaccinations useless? was Re: Failure of low-fat diet

Samantha Atkins sjatkins at mac.com
Sat Mar 11 08:55:40 UTC 2006

On Mar 11, 2006, at 12:15 AM, Hal Finney wrote:

> Samantha writes:
>> I believe it is up to the proponent of a new hypothesis to show that
>> their idea covers the relevant observations before the new hypothesis
>> is worth much scrutiny from others.  It is not up to others to prove
>> it incorrect.  This is reminiscent of asking atheists to prove their
>> isn't a god.  You know better than this.
> Who gets to decide which hypothesis gets the benefit of the doubt as
> the established belief, and which has the burden of proof expected of
> a new idea?

Does this new hypothesis cover as much of the observed data as the  
old one?  It doesn't seem to.  So why consider it as possibly better  
or equal?   To answer your question all hypothesis need to meet such  
criteria.  If science is working well the established hypotheses have  
already met such criteria in the context of then existing knowledge  
and observations.  But all are required to meet the same burdens of  
> Consider the question of whether advances in health and longevity are
> largely due or are not due to medicine.  Should we use the common- 
> sense
> answer of yes, and demand that someone who argues otherwise take up
> the burden of proof?  Or should we use the accepted answer in the  
> public
> health field of no, and demand that proponents of medicine's  
> effectiveness
> prove it?

We already have a pretty large body of observations and experiment  
supporting the current notions.  A viable new model would have to  
cover at minimum the existing covered observation as well and have at  
leas as good predictive power.   Effectiveness of medicine has been  
proved sufficiently to get us this far.

> Which is the null hypothesis, and which is the one we test?

Wrong question.

- samantha

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list