Sampling, aliasing, quantisation etc are relevant in many fields and in creative audio I can see how the artefacts will be potentially problematic, but as a genuine question, why does this even matter to most photographers? Except as a fun discussion:-)
Aliasing at capture usually does not affect audio recordings in a perceptable way, at least not for sensible equipment constructed the last 20 years.
Aliasing at capture can affect image recordings in a perceptable way, especially for aa-less cameras.
As a second question, does aliasing introduce detail or just smear what is there? (I think I understand the concepts of sampling, aliasing and bayer matrix construction and understand how sampling is an issue for example in audio or scientific measurements, but can't get my head round how it applies at the camera sensor/RAW conversion level.) Any explanation or links would be good thanks.
When sampling with significant aliasing, you capture "something". This something is a function of the scene and the camera, but it is ambiguous: two (or very many) quite different scenes can generate the exact same raw files. As the raw developer have no other information than the raw files, which of those scenes would you like it to render?
I think that map-making is a good analogy. Imagine making a topology map that is to be represented as 1km x 1km squares ("pixels"). How would you like to calculate each squares value? Measure the elevation above sea level by placing you GPS or something similar at the exact mid of each square? Or would you rather do it by averaging the elevation of all points inside the square? Or would you want to smooth even more?