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Cyan comments on Parapsychology: the control group for science - Less Wrong

62 Post author: AllanCrossman 05 December 2009 10:50PM

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Comment author: Cyan 10 December 2009 06:53:36PM *  1 point [-]

I agree that all data should be saved, and that there's much more information in 100,000 50%-confidence predictions than in a dozen 95%-confidence predictions. But ask a biologist which they'd prefer (ETA: I have actually done this, more or less) and they'll take the dozen 95%-confidence predictions, because they're just going to turn around and use bog-standard low-throughput experimental techniques to dig deeper. From the biologists' decision theory perspective, false positives are a lot more costly than false negatives.

Comment author: PhilGoetz 16 December 2009 03:22:48AM 1 point [-]

That's why we need to replace biologists with robots. Like this one.

Comment author: Cyan 16 December 2009 04:13:13AM 1 point [-]

That approach only works because yeast has been subjected to intense investigation by low-throughput techniques, providing a huge knowledge base that constrains and guides the automated investigation. (It also helps that yeast doesn't do alternative splicing.) So it's not so much "replacing" as "building upon".