Re: Comb Material [revisited]

- ----- Original Message -----
From: "the Leones" <leone@xxxxxxxx>
To: <harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx>

>    For some (strange) reason, whenever this subject comes up, it is ALWAYS
> suggested the the person who feels that there IS a difference in sound
> should be the one with the burden of proof. WHY?

In science, the person offering a new cause-and-effect (e.g. materials
affect tone) always has the burden of proof.  There are several good reasons
for this:

It is too cheap and easy to make a claim.  One can make a thousand wacky
claims a day. Taking the burden of proof earns you the right to be taken

In logic, it is almost impossible to prove a negative. If the skeptic shows
that the cause doesn't produce the effect in a particular set of
circumstances, the proposer could just change one tiny circumstance and
require another infinitum, overwhelming the skeptic's ability
to counter ridiculous claims.

Not being able to disprove something doesn't make it true.  I can say that
there are 2000 parallel universes out there and you can't proove that it is
not true.  The probability that it is true is so close to zero that you are
entitled to assume that the unproved claim is not true.

> there IS NO difference outnumber the ones who do, thereby constituting a
> majority and therefore "winning" the case.

Matters of (provisional) scientific fact aren't decided by majority opinion.
The earth wasn't the center of the solar system even when EVERYONE  thought
it was.

>    I propose that if one applies the LAW, it can justly be construed that
> the burden of proof could just as easily be applied to the people who
> there IS NO difference.

Sorry, that won't fly for the reasons given above.  In the Law, we ask the
prosecutor to prove that the accused DID the crime.  We don't ask the
accused to prove that he did not commit the crime.

>    In other words, if (I) feel there IS a difference, it is up to the
> person who feels there IS NO difference to prove I am wrong.

You can set any conditions you like for what it will take to change your
subjective opinion. You are free to believe whatever nonsense you like and
the community of scientists won't care.  However, when you undertake to
convince others, the burden of proof will always fall on you.

 >    Conversely, if (I) feel there IS NO difference, it is up to the person
> who feels there IS a difference to prove I am wrong.

Then you are the skeptic and the burden of proof is on him to show you that
he is correct.

The thing that you seem to be missing is that how you FEEL about it has
absolutely nothing to do with whether or not comb materials affect tone.

>    I don't know why the burden of proof is a "One-Way" street here? If one
> faction outnumbers the other, it is ASSumed that they are the winner

> (because it has been "in-grained" in our minds that MAJORITY rules). This
> is flawed reasoning.

Not ingrained in the minds of scientists!

It is assumed that when you propose a cause-and-effect that is in fact
(provisionally) true, you can demonstrate it far more easily than the
skeptic can show that it isn't true.

For instance, if you can tell the difference in sounds from different comb
materials, accept my wager, win the $1000, and I'll be forced to agree that
you are right! That will end the discussion for all time. Asking me to
proove that the materials do not affect tone is what has caused the debate
to grind on for years.

>    IF it was proven that there WAS a difference, AND the people who felt
> that there  WAS a difference only numbered 29.63%, They would STILL be
> right.

You are making my point. Only one of those 29% need demonstrate that he CAN
perceive the differences to win and end the debate.  On the other hand, if
SmoJoe can't do it... then maybe Pete can, and if he can't...then maybe Sam
can...., and et cetera ad infinitum. Even if thousands of people fail to
perceive the differences, then there may be someone somewhere who can do it.

Also , if it was proven that there WAS NO difference, and the people
> who felt that there WAS NO difference only numbered 19.75%, They would
> STILL be right.

In logic, a negative is very, very difficult to prove. I have tried to
explain why by the above examples.

>    Now for the large washtub of kerosene...(I) think there is a difference
> but I see no reason to argue either point.

The argument comes not about what you believe and keep to yourself, it comes
when you state your beliefs publicly without qualifying them.

Work on "your" sound &
> circumvent the whole enchilada.

That is what I have said all along!


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