Acarina, pycnogonids, Permian ticks?

Thu Apr 19 11:51:17 CDT 2001


I haven't read the Klompen-Grimaldi tick paper yet, so I may be a
little off target here.  However, the issue of what is "scientific"
and what is not is not universally accepted. If one adopts a strictly
 Popperian view, a scientific hypothesis is one that makes
testable empirical predictions; the initial proposal of the
hypothesis does not depend on the existence
of analysis or data of any sort.  Rather, the simple hypothesis that the earth
revolves around the sun is scientific even if it has no known
causative mechanisms, if it is derived from a
drug-enduced hallucination or if it stems from a myth about a god
driving the earth around in a chariot  If the statement makes empirically testable
predictions, it is a scientific hypothesis.  The appropriate question, then, is not how much inductive or deductive effort
Klompen-Grimaldi exerted to support their proposal on tick
biogeography but whether the hypothesis is testable.  ... So, is it?

For what it's worth.

Jeff Shultz
Jeffrey W. Shultz
Associate Professor
Department of Entomology
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742

Voice: (301) 405-7519
Fax: (301) 314-9290
Email: js314 at

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