Positivism in evolutionary science?

Finn N. Rasmussen finnr at BOT.KU.DK
Wed Dec 3 07:19:34 CST 1997

James Lyons-Weiler wrote (in the "windows to the past thread"):

>        I agree entirely.  These preconvictions and expectations
>        amount to _positivism_ .  Care must be taken with this
>        term, though - it's not "optimism".  Second, people in
>        the past have labeled all sorts of modes of inference
>        as "positivistic".  As I have come to use it, a positivistic '
>        phylogenetic inference is one that is based on the expectation
>        that evolution has been benevolent enough to leave behind
>       phylogenetic signal.

I wonder if we can we use this term in evolutionary biology. Isn't it
from history (real history, not evolutionary)? This might be worth a
thread in in the DARWIN list.

 Finn N. Rasmussen * Bot. Lab. University of Copenhagen, Denmark
 Homepage: http://www.bot.ku.dk  E-mail: FinnR at bot.ku.dk

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