[From Dag Forssell (971224.1220)]
[Bruce Abbott (971223.1020 EST)]
Bruce, back in the 1400's, everyone *knew* that the sun rose in the East
and traveled around the Earth. The heavens likewise. This understanding was
particularly well described by the Ptolemayan geometry of the heavens.
Since it was observed that Mars travels in reverse during part of its path
in the heavens, scientists described explanatory epicycles to account for
this and other similar deviations from the overall
description/explanation/expectation of circular travel.
If the scientists of the time had used statistical analyses, they would
have been able to develop high correlations between various heavenly
movements, leading to obvious conclusions about causal linkages, suitable
for doctoral theses and annoncement on the evening news.
It is well known how people who already *knew* the heavenly mechanism
resisted another, competing, set of descriptions/explanations advocated by
Kopernicus, Galileo, Newton etc.
If you compare one set of descriptions with another set, you can never tell
which is right. It is only when you *require* that the suggested
explanations implied or explicitly offered by each set of advocates meet
every criterion available from physical science that applies and can be
applied, that it becomes possible to tell that one is not valid, but the
other one is.
Bill pointed out not long ago that if indeed the sun and stars were to
circle the Earth, they would have to travel at speeds several times the
speed of light.
When you created a computer "model" of reinforcement theory, you took
liberties by representing dnut and probabilities as physical entities. You
did not require that the quantities you defined and made operate through
logical manipulation be physically feasible. Physical feasibility appears
to not be a requirement in your personal concept of psychological "science."
This absence of stringent criteria allows you to imagine that anything that
appears to be observed is for real, and that to describe it is to make a
major contribution to mankind and the progress of science.
But the careful description of the very apparent epicycles was not, with
hindsight, a valid contribution.
PCTers who distinguish between what is physically feasible and what is not,
and who require solid observations, not the mushy 70% correlation that your
colleagues are not even able to reach (as reported by Mark Lazare), live in
a more scientific future in their minds and can already clearly see with
perfect hindsight what eludes you:
Your list is a list of apparent epicycles.
Most or all of the items you list are illusions. They do not exist as such.
The explanations implied are profoundly off the mark.
Bill has challenged you to identify those, if any, that meet the first
criterion, high correlations, so that the second criterion can be applied
later: is the theory laden explanation that goes with the description