Science and Creationism

Kirk Fitzhugh kfitzhug at NHM.ORG
Thu Apr 4 12:51:20 CST 2002


At 03:33 PM 4/4/02 -0500, John Grehan wrote:

>I don't quite concur with this. Croizat, as a historical biogeographer,
>made predictions about the present (not the future) based on historical
>models about the past.

Technically, one cannot make predictions about the present. One can
causally account for what is observed in the present by what might have
occurred in the past, but this is retrodiction, not prediction. All
predictions are of what might be experienced in the future. Now, that might
be the "immediate" future, in which case it's pretty close to the
"present," but in all instances, predictions proceed from what is perceived
now to what might be perceived later, regardless of the amount of time.

>The trouble with experimental testing' is that some philosophers of
>science, such as Lakatos, have argued that this technique can be applied in
>fields not conventionally regarded as 'science' so testing is not that
>helpful as a criterion.

Testing, experimental or historical, is the means by which scientists
evaluate theories and hypotheses. If that occurs outside the realm of
"science" that does not diminish the fundamental utility of that process
for scientists. I know of no other means of critically judging our notions
in science.

Kirk

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"A logic that tends toward answers and
neglects the questions is a false logic."

Collingwood (1939)

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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 nhm.org
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