I respect and utilize science all the time. But when my direct experience is at odds with that science, what am I supposed to do? Contrary to what was stated above, I find stir plates DO make a difference. My starters are ready to go much sooner since I started using one. I prefer the results I get when I let the starter ferment fully, crash it and decant before pitching. And when it comes to beers over 1.040 OG, every beer I've mad a starter for has turned out better than any beer I haven't. It's not like I reached these conclusions in a vacuum. I have tried many methods and these are what have worked the best for me. At this point, I don't care about science (in these situations) or someone else's opinions....I've tried that stuff and this is how I make the best beer I can make.