Abstract

Too often, ideas become so well-established that they take on the roles of paradigms, and challenging those paradigms can be difficult, even if they are flawed. Similarly, misconceptions can take root and become firmly entrenched and again are difficult to dislodge. Both of these situations are fundamentally unscientific. Science makes progress when established theories are shown to be incorrect or at least incomplete. To do that, we have to let the data that we collect tell their stories. We should not impose models upon the data, but rather allow the data to yield those models that best represent those features that are absolutely necessary to fit the data, an approach often called “Occam’s inversion.” We also should not impose nonphysical and unscientific limits on our interpretation models. We evaluate several examples from our own experiences: the electrical properties of faults, nonuniqueness in potential fields, the influence of nonaqueous phase liquids and water on ground-penetrating radar and electrical resistivity, and the geophysical response of seafloor mineralization. In each case, a reviewer or another scientist questioned the conclusions using unscientific or incorrect arguments or assumptions. We must let the data speak.

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