OH - that IS an answer, thanks

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Posted by gary g ( on November 19, 1999 at 13:31:32:

In Reply to: 11.5 hrs not scientific/just common sense posted by Rose on November 19, 1999 at 07:08:43:

not at all too simple Rose-
and don't be so defensive
you made a very precise, unconditional statement, and all I did was ask for further documentation & clarification of such a positive statement

frankly you can't say it's working for you, because a few days ago you told us you just started the therapy -

you won't have reliable results (positive or negative) until you've replicated the attempt several times, in several clusters, and get consistent results
and THEN a whole bunch of other people do the same thing with the same results

I'm NOT saying you're wrong -
just WAY WAY premature in beating the daylight length drum

AND we need to be careful in our phrasing in these posts;

most of all, if we are to have a productive dialogue, we need to realize that specific questions, and requests for detail are NOT attacks,
they are EXACTLY how all the meaningful info we have so far was developed, and how anything further we can determine will be worked out

one of the huge problems in MANY MANY areas in our culture now is "voodoo science"
which is NOT a concept solely confined to 'way out" ideas,
it also applies to putting the cart before the horse, in the development of actions based on theory instead of empirically demonstrated data

or demanding that a hypothesis is complete and self evident because it appeals to us, without being able to demonstrate it
now, this is NOT a complicated concept
this is NOT esoteric
it's just plain High School level science


check this post for a full explanation of WHY we do it that way:


when we make an ABSOLUTE statement
eg: "you need 11.5 hours"
based on our own unproven theories,
we do NOT add to the construction of a reliable knowledge base
we only confuse things and perhaps dangerously mislead folks who assume we must have substantive information to back up our pronouncements
I'm completely delighted to be sharing in the same area of question (light cycles re:CH)
as you and a couple others, but please, for EVERYBODY'S benefit -

be sure to clarify what info you are presenting;
let people know if it is a fledgling idea, a reference to established authoritative literature, something your doc suggested, etc


one of the problems with relying on "common sense" instead of carefully built (not necessarily complicated) info structures for scientific/medical issues is that
common sense" is:

1. different for everybody, and obvious ONLY to the person claiming it as a validating factor

2. often a conclusion based not on what IS, but on what is EASY to understand

3. more often than not reasonable in general, but seriously flawed in specific application

4. the very cheapest way of validating a personal opinion as fact
as far as the 11.5 - 12 hour theory goes, it's a GOOD starting point - but it ALSO implies several other variables
(daily rate of change, environmental astronomical differences in light cycles, evolutionary relationships to global sites of origin, etc)
two concepts that are frequently confused in this sort of discussion are:

simplicity and elegance

one way to think of it is:
a SIMPLE explanation is one that is easy for most people to understand - but is not necessarily correct
an ELEGANT explanation is the simplest explanation that provides a clear and comprehensive solution to the problem

they are NOT synonyms
as far as what we need for information to further a discussion., it comes down to the old issues of:

what is necessary ?
what is sufficient ?

what is permitted?
what is excluded?

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