Taxa as hypotheses

Peter Rauch peterr at VIOLET.BERKELEY.EDU
Sun Mar 19 09:30:01 CST 1995

Cross-posting of Jere Lipps' message from paleonet:

Date: Sat, 18 Mar 95 18:39:30 PST
To: paleonet at
From: jlipps at ucmp1.Berkeley.EDU (Jere H. Lipps)
Subject: Re: Taxa as hypotheses

The Linnean hierarchies are hypotheses too.  In this sense they can be
useful.  I see nothing static in hypothesis testing at all.  It is the
stuff of science.  Evolution is some sort of branching process, and the
branches can be labeled any way you want.  Those are acceptable hypotheses
obviously.   The point is to make progress in our science by hypothesis
testing, and it seems to me that taxonomists/sytematists/cladists sometimes
try to get "the final answer" rather than to develop and test hypotheses.

Just trying to frame it a different way.

>Random philosophical comment in reply to Lipps. Ignore if you've had
>your fill of hot air for the day.
   ...etc., etc....  [I removed the fully-copied included message from
   Jere's note. PAR]

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