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Oct 29, 2011

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In the example of the neutrino study,the apparent results were immediately questioned by the researchers, who spent months looking for flaws in the data. They finally published, mostly in an attempt to enlist others in figuring out what actually happened.

This isn't really a good comparison with homeopathy. There, the practitioners are willing to come up with almost anything to find an explanation that supports the "therapy." "Memory of Water" is an outlandish piece of pseudoscience. I think you were very unfair to the folks at CERN.

I wasn't trying to draw a connection between researchers in homeopathy and researchers in particle physics. I was just pointing out that if a result means that all of our knowledge of physical chemistry (homeopathy) or special and general relativity (FTL neutrinos), a high level of skepticism is warranted. Occasional well-conducted randomized trials of homeopathy will have positive results by chance alone, and that skepticism still is needed in interpreting such results.

Even I agree that the single positive trial result amongst a network of negative trials (or vice-versa) may be better explained by chance or errors in the conduct of the study than by looking to the individual trees.

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