Of course, it’s hardly surprising that the first time someone attempts to measure a previously unknown effect it will often be at or near the limits of precision. This has been true for experiments throughout history. For example, the first observations in the 18th century to confirm Newton’s prediction of equatorial bulging of the Earth are now known to have been not sufficiently accurate to justify the conclusion that Newton’s prediction was correct, although of course we now know his prediction was correct. The irony is that if conclusive confirmation of a theory is not found until many years after the theory was formulated, most people regard this as indicating that the theory was brilliant and far ahead of its time, but the “dissident” view is quite different. They seem to feel only a combination of resentment and bewilderment that scientists were somehow able to make predictions that couldn’t even be tested at the time, but that subsequently have been tested and found to be correct.


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