jump to navigation

Time for a bit of analysis September 14, 2010

Posted by Simon in Uncategorized.

OK, I’ve spent a bit of time describing the ALH84001 controversy on this blog, now it’s time to start analysing it.

Let’s start with the scientific revolution model. I think it applies pretty clearly in this case. Those claiming that ALH84001 shows signs of Martian life are trying to destroy the existing paradigm (that there is no evidence for Martian life), and if they’re eventually proven right it *will* be a scientific revolution (and a Nobel prize).

I’ll speculate that if that ever happens, people will go back and re-interpret older data from Mars (the Viking experiments and other meteorites, for example) in the context of the new paradigm and discover that they already had evidence for Martian life, but didn’t or couldn’t reach the conclusion because it didn’t fit into the existing (no Martian life) paradigm.

The interesting thing about this controversy is that it’s not completely settled yet. And it’s worth remembering that analysing it in Kuhn’s framework can’t tell you which way it’s going to be resolved!



No comments yet — be the first.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: