Acarina, pycnogonids, Permian ticks?

Ken Kinman kinman at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Apr 19 11:48:26 CDT 2001

      Perhaps it should be divided into two separate questions.  Is it
testable in the long run? and Is it testable with the present evidence?
      The answer to the first is obviously yes.  If my alternative
hypothesis is correct, additional Cretaceous ticks (Carios or other genera)
in North America would  erode the notion that the New Jersey tick was just a
hitch-hiking accident.  And of course, any finds of ticks in the Permian or
Triassic (anywhere in the world) would immediately require a reevaluation of
Klompen's proposals.
      The second question, whether Klompen's proposals are testable by the
present evidence, I'm not sure the evidence is yet sufficient.  Presently I
would go no further than saying ticks as a group (Order Ixodida) probably
did originate somewhere in Gondwanaland, but I think it occurred earlier
than the Jurassic.  As for determining the origin of genus _Carios_, I agree
with John Grehan that Klompen is skating on very thin ice.
                      ------Ken Kinman
>From: js314 at UMAILSRV0.UMD.EDU
>Reply-To: js314 at UMAILSRV0.UMD.EDU
>Subject: Acarina, pycnogonids, Permian ticks?
>Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2001 11:51:17 +0000
>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
>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
>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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