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Posted by Harvey on June 18, 2002 01:26:23 UTC

I will respond and hope that you won't insult or get upset if I respond appropriately.:

***our experiments may yield surprising results, inconsistent with our theories, thereby casting doubt upon those theories, and be useful nonetheless***

Yes, experiments can yield incorrect results to the predictions of theoretical models, however a certain range of acceptability is established for good theories such that we consider them good approximations at some level (e.g., Newtonian physics). Where they are incorrect, we hope for another model that encompasses the previous model and shows it as a special case.

***our experiments may have flaws in thought independent of the theories...***

True, but the concept here is that theory-laden experiments are based on well-founded notions. If the experiments are not well-founded, then we shouldn't see coherent and corresponding results from the many experiments that are performed.

***it is good experimentation to look for exceptions to our theories so their detail may be illuminated***

I agree, however the theory-laden approach shows us which experiments to test such that the soundness of theories can be fully tested and see where the approximation might breakdown.

Warm regards, Harv

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