Faster-than-light Neutrinos

An interesting case of a scientific anomaly.

A few points to note:

1. There was not an attempt to “hide” the anomaly in hopes of “protecting” the paradigm. Instead the anomaly drew attention and interest. We should keep this in mind when we hear a denialist (e.g., a creationist or climate-change denier) claiming that scientists are suppressing or ignoring evidence that disproves their favorite scientific theory.

Scientists generally get excited by disconfirming evidence; they don’t try to hide it.

2. The falsifying evidence was not accepted at face value. Even though the experiment seemed to be carefully performed (and its results probably would have been accepted if they hadn’t been so unexpected), most scientists expected that it was mistaken. It was an extraordinary claim, and scientists insisted on extraordinary evidence before they would accept it.

The scientists were not naive falsificationists. When evidence disproved their theory, they didn’t throw it out. They looked for, and found, a way to throw out the evidence.

(Some links.)

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