No Reliance Can Be Placed on Appearance: A Response to Kuipers (Letter to the Editor)
In a letter to the editor (AI Magazine, Winter 1989), Benjamin Kuipers criticizes various points made in an earlier paper of ours (Akman and ten Hagen 1989). First, a side (nonetheless important) remark: Although Kuipers asserts that he distributes QSIM to interested researchers, our experience has been otherwise. Akman has tried twice to obtain QSIM, without success. Although Kuipers promised to deliver a copy -- QSIM was under revision at the time of Akman's request (this being as early as winter 1988) -- the program was never sent. So much for the availability of QSIM. . . . Kuipers' letter is full of sweeping generalizations that are so much against the nature of scientific enterprise. We should also add that we are disappointed to see Kuipers employing universal truths and unarguable facts such as ". . . if you build the wrong model, the predictions derived from that model are likely to be wrong" or ". . . guarantees of mathematical validity [are] necessary for any science" as his main cheval de bataille. In the following we'll point out, one by one, the weaknesses of QSIM. Our task will be easy since we shall merely reproduce, almost verbatim, Kuipers' own sentences (Kuipers 1986) and, additionally, Janowski's (1987) views. (The latter reference gives an excellent review of QSIM's disadvantages.) Then, we'll let the reader judge.
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