Fairy tales for adults

Steve Bougerolle steveb at creek-and-cowley.com
Wed Feb 12 12:16:42 PST 2003

On Thu, 2003-02-13 at 03:56, Richard Lightman wrote:

> You are a bit out of date - astronomy has gone a long way in the last
> few decades.

I doubt that I'm more than the slightest bit out of date.  I just picked
an example where the problems are easy to explain to non-
astrophysicists.  Other methods of estimating distance (including that
of using Cepheid Variables as markers) also include assumptions.  They
MUST include assumptions.  Distance is an independent variable which we
cannot measure directly in the huge majority of cases.  We can only get
it by solving equations involving things we can measure, and there is
very little control data we can use to generate reliable equations for

Steve Bougerolle
Creek & Cowley Consulting


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