Originally Posted by Hutnicks
Except that neuroscience let alone psychiatry has still failed to explain the phenomenon of consciousness.
The issue at hand that objecitvists miss is that not everything is measurable. Most if not all great breakthrough achievements come from hypothesis or leap of faith. Measurement (Oh those wonderful accountants of the science community, the objectivists) comes later.
Pasteur was written off largely as a crank by the Scientific and Medical communities. One blood soaked physician read his stuff and thought there may indeed be something to microbes not visible (ie measureable )to the human eye or equipment of the time. He began the procedure of sterile operations and lo and behold patients stopped dying of PSI and gangrene. Dr. Listers work, as well as being probably one of the most significant contributions to science, forced the objectors to now find a way to see and measure the now acknowledged little bugs.
I don't mean to be flippantly dismissive, but I don't really think the example (while a good cautionary tale) is that relevant. Audio reproduction systems are man-made, engineered systems that attempt to be linear and well-behaved. Interaction with humans is via sounds produced, which are picked up by the ear and other parts of the body to some extent (okay, and visual, depending on if you're counting that, and so on). It's quite a less involved problem than human physiology, especially when talking about 21st century audio vs. 19th century medicine.
Anyway, examples aside, the bigger deal is that nobody's stepping up with high-quality, repeatable results that are outside the norm. Demonstrate a phenomenon in audio that peoples' measurements haven't predicted, and we'd really be talking.
If there are benefits to something in audio that people are consciously aware of, it's definitely not in the realm of unmeasurable things. Looking at signals aside, we could ask and assess peoples' preferences in a decent experiment. Even if there are some benefits, physiological changes, whatever that people aren't even consciously aware of, there could be methods to still assess that. Possibly not. Anyway, we're not going to know certain things with 100% certainty, but if we're reaching deep into the subconscious, personally that's a bit more than I care about investigating, but others are free to go there if they want. Most audiophiles don't seem to be claiming these kinds of effects though. They're talking about certain things they're perceiving.
Without some data, decent results of any kind it's just people throwing out some more anecdotes or theories. Are we supposed to take all of these seriously and consider every one?
Edited by mikeaj - 5/4/13 at 8:18pm