Who is the postivist? AND Popper
James Francis Lyons-Weiler
weiler at ERS.UNR.EDU
Mon Dec 8 07:54:30 CST 1997
On Mon, 8 Dec 1997, Thomas Schlemmermeyer wrote:
> Hello, i did not study philosophy but I think the below given problem
> was already discussed by Popper,
> > > as such, after much debate, the
> > > idea emerged that such inferences amount to "weak
> > > corroboration" but not at all firmly within the realm of
> > > falsificationism.
> Falsification is within empirical sciences. Evolutionary history
> is a historical science. It refers to unique, singular historical events
> which cannot be repeated experimentally.
> Thus, falsification is not possible!
Every hypothesis has to be tested after the processes
that are involved have occured. Every test is performed
on data that have aleady been collected. Repeatability
is not the only criterion for falsifiability.
> Popper admits that evolution is metaphysics!!!
He was talking about natural selection.
> So what can Popper contribute to the actual biodiversity problems (ecology,
> systematics and conservation)?????
Let me give some real examples. Conservation biologists have
happened upon the idea that evolutionary trees might be useful to
indicate which taxa are distinctive, and therefore deserve
the highest conservation priority. Such taxa, as distinctive
as they are, might tend to mislead parsimony by branch
attraction. A more severe, critical test (references
available) points out (a) the taxon is on a long edge, and
therefore (b) it is likely to be misplaced in the
parsimony tree. Popper's relevance is that he always
insisted on the use of the most critical tests.
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