Who is the postivist? AND Popper

Tom DiBenedetto tdib at UMICH.EDU
Mon Dec 8 15:39:14 CST 1997

Thomas Schlemmermeyer wrote:

>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!

Faulty logic. Falsification can be used in historical science as
well. It relates to the question of how hypotheses are validated.
There are hypotheses in historical science, and there are tests one
can develop based on deductions from the hypotheses.

>But this has nothing to do with falsification within a framework of
>empirical, experimental sciences, which were the central focus of Popper.

That he was focussed on experimental science does not preclude a
wider application of his ideas.

>Popper admits that evolution is metaphysics!!!
>He says that is not bad, as all pre-existing metaphysics about the topic
>were worse than evolution.

It is not really even about evolution per se. It is about explicating
the natural order in character distributions. Evolution is the
explanation for that order; but systematics could continue even if
evolution were disproven somehow (as it proceeded before evolution
was proposed).

>Popper says as well, that knowledge is not that interesting. Interesting are
>the frontiers of knowledge!!!

Finding new, and better corroborated relationships is on the

>So what can Popper contribute to the actual biodiversity problems (ecology,
>systematics and conservation)????

Philosophers dont contribute much anyway. :)
They can help us sort through our methodologies to insure that they
have logical coherence and really address the questions we think that
they do.

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