CERN practices good science by not jumping to conclusions

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http://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/articles/222081/20110929/faster-than-light-neutrinos-would-not-necessarily-prove-einstein-wrong-cern-theory-e-mc2-special-the.htm

I'm sure everyone has heard about the neutrinos that scientists at CERN discovered that traveled faster than the speed of light--something that Einstein's special theory of relativity says is impossible. While there is no shortage of people trying to come up with explanations, the scientists at CERN have been very cautious. According to the team, "Despite the large significance of the measurement reported here and the stability of the analysis, the potential great impact of the results motivates the continuation of our studies in order to investigate possible still unknown systematic effects that could explain the observed anomaly. We deliberately do not attempt any theoretical or phenomenological interpretation of the results." They are exercising very disciplined scientific skepticism by not saying that they PROVED Einstein's theory wrong.

Because extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, they will continue doing research before they make any interpretations of the data. They are also asking other researchers to verify their findings independently, which will help cover falsifiability and replicability, two principles of scientific thinking. Unfortunately, this may take years before we have a solid answer, but good science takes time.

1 Comment

Nice example of some scientists who are being tentative in their conclusions until more evidence is attained.

How does this article help you think about other claims in your own life?

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This page contains a single entry by leex4542 published on October 2, 2011 10:31 PM.

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