Acarina, pycnogonids, Permian ticks?

Kirk Fitzhugh kfitzhug at NHM.ORG
Thu Apr 19 10:06:44 CDT 2001

At 11:51 AM 4/19/01 +0000, you wrote:
>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.

Am I reading this correctly, that hypotheses need not be based on "data?"
If we're talking about causal hypotheses, which seems to be the case, then
it is only possible to infer those hypotheses in answer to observations.
That one might say the earth revolves around the sun is a hypothesis
generated to account for certain observed phenomena. The greater difficulty
has been that phylogeneticists have so often not correctly applied Popper's
notion of testing via deductive consequences.


"I find that my mind is so fixed by the inductive
method that I cannot appreciate deductive reasoning:
I must begin with a good body of facts and not from
principle (in which I always suspect some fallacy)
and then as much deduction as you please."

C. Darwin, 1874

Kirk Fitzhugh, Ph.D.
Associate Curator of Polychaetes
Research & Collections Branch
Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History
900 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles CA 90007
Phone:   213-763-3233
FAX:     213-746-2999
e-mail:  kfitzhug at

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