Acarina, pycnogonids, Permian ticks?

Thomas DiBenedetto TDibenedetto at DCCMC.ORG
Thu Apr 19 13:35:56 CDT 2001

From: Kirk Fitzhugh [mailto:kfitzhug at NHM.ORG]
>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.

Yes, I believe that you are reading it correctly, and I agree. Popper was
interested in the distinciton between which hypotheses are, and which are
not scientific; the issue of "demarcation". His conclusion was that the
essential factor is the testability of the hypothesis, not its origin. He
was extremely skeptical of the value of induction.
We may feel that a hypothesis that is formed from a rich base of data may
have a greater chance of being useful, but such a feeling ultimately is
irrelevant. Can the hypothesis be tested, and does it pass rigorous tests?
That is the only important question. One of the values of this insight is
the recognition that the process of hypothesis formulation is often a very
creative and/or serendipitous process.

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