Positivism in evolutionary science
tdib at UMICH.EDU
Wed Dec 3 15:23:48 CST 1997
James Francis Lyons-Weiler wrote:
> I rather think that many modes of scientific inference
> exist that are independent of parsimony. For example,
> the more complex theories of physics that are lent
> credibility owing to the outcome of experiments (tests).
> Parsimony summarizes, but does not test.
Parsimony is a crucial factor in scientific tests. The corroboration
of a hypothesis represents the parsimonious explanation for the
concordance between a prediction and an experimental result. It is
also a ubiquitous standard to make recourse to as few ad hoc
supplementary hypotheses as necessary to explain discrepencies
between predictions and results.
> If the tree that is the set of simplest hypotheses isn't
> accurate, then what's the point? I don't mind that the MP
> tree(s) may be the set of simplest hypotheses - I'm interested
> in a accurate image when I view through the windows to
> the past - simple or not.
As if there were such a thing as a measure of accuracy for
Tom DiBenedetto http://www-personal.umich.edu/~tdib/
Fish Division tdib at umich.edu
University of Michigan Museum of Zoology
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