[Taxacom] Semantic Web: What is a species?

Richard Zander Richard.Zander at mobot.org
Tue Feb 3 13:31:30 CST 2009

Well, I'm always leery of "facts" presented as direct apprehensions of
Ultimate Reality by someone else. "Well-documented observations" as a
definition of fact is about as far as I'll go in support of scientific
realism. Probabilistic suspension of disbelief, governed by feedback
from Out There, is a pretty good balance, I think, between the potential
horrors of extreme realism ("do as I say because I see reality better")
and antirealism ("you probably don't exist, either"). 

Richard H. Zander 
Voice: 314-577-0276
Missouri Botanical Garden
PO Box 299
St. Louis, MO 63166-0299 USA
richard.zander at mobot.org
Web sites: http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/resbot/
and http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/bfna/bfnamenu.htm

-----Original Message-----
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
[mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of J. Kirk
Sent: Friday, January 30, 2009 4:25 PM
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Semantic Web: What is a species?

Actually, facts stand separate from observation statements. Observation 
statements, as subject-predicate relations, are represented in a data 
set. Observation statements don't become anything different.

Total evidence only comes into play when one addresses the explanatory 
relevance of one set of observation statements to another set.

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