Originally Posted by ThePredator
This may be seem like a semantical argument, but it is quite harmful to associate a small number of scientific results with the system itself. Just because some hypothesies have been proven wrong means nothing in consideration to what we scientifically know unless evidence is given to question that knowledge. That being said: until evidence is put forward it strikes me as folly to distrust the process that is completely responsible for every single aspect of what we are debating here (amplifiers, speakers, etc).
Sorry, but I just can't understand trusting the scientific process to produce a transistor or valve then disregarding it when convenient. If you believe that a particular idea is incorrect, then become part of the process, no well organized and documented test will be ignored, otherwise simply saying it is wrong gets you no where.
Being sceptical of some particular idea, commonly accepted or not, does not make one "distrust science".
We are dealing with extremely complex systems here. The brain, the mind, the body. Not only that, but we are dealing with very subtle phenomena
of these complex systems - edge cases, the limits of the system's capability. It is in such cases that the scientific models we use to help describe these complex systems are most prone to being in disagreement with reality
So, although I don't personally believe cables sound different, someone else may have had a different experience than myself. Their experience may be so convincing to them that they simply are not convinced that the current scientific evidence disproves their own experience. Sure it could be placebo, expectation, etc. Or it might not be. It is not, however, unreasonable to be aware of the fact that our knowledge of reality is not complete and absolute, and that even things firmly believed by intelligent people can be (and are) wrong or not the entire truth. Look at what respected geologists of the day said about plate tectonics when it was first proposed. Look at what happened to Julius Mayer
when he discovered the first law of thermodynamics. Look at the embarrassingly unscientific conduct of those involved with string-theory
. Look at some of the revealing "scientific" exchanges that have gone on in the global warming debate. Throwing out one's senses without sufficient reason is supremely foolish, and I would say veers well into scientism
Not only that, but what we're dealing with here is particularly difficult to test because we are in fact testing not just simple old hearing, but all of the following: -
-The general sound processing
capabilities of the brain, as distinct from the sound measurement capabilities
-The potential improvement in hearing performance as a result of adaptation by the brain
-If delving into the previous point, the effectiveness of the training
-If delving into the previous point, the question of how to know when someone has reached their peak potential performance as a result of training, and how to distinguish ineffective training from the subject having reached their peak potential performance
-The validity of the assumption that sound is processed in the brain the same way when simply listening to music without attempting to form any conscious comparisons or determinations as when consciously attempting to compare two sounds
-The effect of state of mind on performance
There are more, but that should put across the point.
I'm not suggesting everyone should be oblivious to the fact that our senses can deceive us, but to equate trusting one's own senses to distrusting science when the two vaguely disagree is very wrong IMO.