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SciFair judges say "No!" to Paleontology "experiment".



This is almost hypothetical. 
Students make a falsifiable hypothesis: "Large, flightless bird diversity
is impacted by the competency of nest predators."  To test this they do a
long, difficult review of the literature (these are high school students 
and they couldn't cope with the volume of material-that's why it's
hypothetical), run a Spearman's statistical test and find the following:
There is a correlation between the composition of predatory guilds on land
masses and the diversity of large flightless birds. I had hoped they would
find diversity on S.A + Aust. (i.e., on land masses with marsupial
carnivores was greater than that of Asia + Africa + N. Amer.

I know correlation is not causation--but it may be support.

One of our staff members said that such a finding was, in any case, a
'project", not an experiment. As such it really wouldn't have deserved a
place in the Fair.

I feel this is a too limited definition of "experiment" and would
appreciate any comments--come to think of it, there is probably something
in the archives on this.