You’re Either a Theoritician or a Experimentalist


In the Physics community, Physicists join one of two groups and rarely associate outside of their group except to hurl invectives and point out the stupidity of the other group.

On one side are the theoriticians. These are people who, like Einstein, postulate and pontificate on the meaning of the observed data, and propose new theories to explain life, the universe, and everything. Of note, the Nobel Prize in Physics is never awarded to a theoretician, because the Nobel committee believes theoreticians are a waste of precious oxygen.

On the other side are the experimentalists, who get their hands dirty inventing new ways to torture nature to yield up her secrets. The most famous experimentalist is Ernest Rutherford, the father of modern experimentalism. He showed how you can take a team of physicists and rapidly assemble experiments with reproducible results, all the while winging it and tweaking what you have already got.

Theoreticians make terrible experimentalists, and vice-versa.

In Physics, it would be unthinkable to have a theoretician and an experimentalist be the same person. If a physicist came up with a theory and simultaneously created the experiment to prove it, you can bet that physicists across the world would take that with a very large grain of salt. Of course, good physicists take every claim skeptically, and are very good at criticizing other’s experimental methods, but those where the same person would get professional credit for both the theory and the experiment are especially dubious.

Why then do people trust climatologists who have complete control over the data and make predictions about it? If anything, some system needs to be set up to allow more hands to work with the data, or to separate those making predictions from those making measurements.


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