A really hard question
I’m sitting in the back of the third day of the conference here in Chicago, and a fairly animated question has just been asked of Changbom Park, who has been working with a set of galaxies classified by an automatic routine. (You can find some of their results in this paper). I’ll need more thinking time to properly blog the debate (and the responses we’re getting to Galaxy Zoo) there’s one quote which sums it up :
We don’t classify zebras as horses because they look the same – we use the colours.
The equivalent galaxy argument is whether we should classify according to shape (which we call morphology to confuse people) and then look at colour, as Steven does or whether a ‘true classification’ would take into account all the available information. The consensus seemed to be the former, but then I’m biased…