After reading RH's AES paper "The role of Critical Listening....." and his more recent "From the Editor" column in October's TAS, I have come to the opinion he is trying to paint too black and white a picture of critical listening and the role measurements play in assessing audio equipment. It seems there is no middle ground in which objective measurement can never be used in concert with critical listening. I disagree.
In his "Audio Fundamentalism" column he clearly states he "never found a single correlation between how a piece of electronics measured and how it sounded" after measuring several hundred audio products. Does this opinion exclude passive audio (i.e. loudspeakers)? I'm not sure. However, in the area of loudspeakers, I submit some headway has been made in correlating subjective listening tests with scientific measurements in this vital end point of the audio chain. I refer the reader here to Dr. Floyd Toole of Harman Int'l Industries and his paper "Audio - Science in the Service of Art".
RH's time frame of reference for his statement above covers the years 1989 to 1997. Eleven years have passed and the science of audio measurements has evolved significantly since that time period as evidenced by Dr. Toole's paper. Sure, it's biased toward JBL products but the text speaks for itself.
I believe there are numerious loudspeaker engineers/designers today who use both measurements and critical listening in the development of their products. They would be crazy not to.
I agree the science of audio measurement has a very long way to go and that the evaluation by human ears will never be displaced completely by it. But to say that measurements have no relavence, as RH implies, is folly in today's world of audio technology.