[Taxacom] APG taxa
Richard.Zander at mobot.org
Sun Sep 4 16:46:05 CDT 2011
Well, sure, Jim. You have a good point.
I've mentioned a million years ago that support in the Bayesian sense
means to increase the credibility of. "Does not contradict" or "not
inconsistent with" does not increase the credibility, even when there is
no contrary data.
Falsification is not simple, since you can falsify something locally but
not globally, such as when you have a restricted data set.
On the other hand, we don't use proofs in science, and although
falsification works fine for some details, other details have not yet
been falsified maybe because they are insufficiently "bold" but their
consistency after many trials has proved practically effective in making
them scientifically valuable heuristics as opposed to laws.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Richard H. Zander
Missouri Botanical Garden, PO Box 299, St. Louis, MO 63166-0299 USA
Web sites: http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/resbot/
Modern Evolutionary Systematics Web site:
From: Jim Croft [mailto:jim.croft at gmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, September 04, 2011 4:36 PM
To: Richard Zander
Cc: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] APG taxa
We are told that to use double negatives is poor form, but something has
often puzzled me. Is there a technical, logical or semantic difference
difference between 'found to support' and 'not inconsistent with' or
'does not contradict?
A lot of discussion on taxacom (and elsewhere) seems to focus on
selective presentation of supportive evidence, whereas the killer facts
of science are those which falsify and require a better explanation.
That something seems to 'fit' might not be support. Might it be just be
That's what I like about science. It is probably the only field where
rejection is considered a positive act. :)
On Sep 5, 2011 12:37 AM, "Richard Zander" <Richard.Zander at mobot.org>
> When I see a repeat of "morphological data is found to support
molecular patterns," I take the opportunity to repeat my suggestion that
ANY time a group is broken into a different set of subgroups, one can
find morphological data to support those subgroups (oh, with a few
"trait reversals" and such). This is called the Multiple Test problem in
statistics, where by chance alone supportive information is discovered.
> The key question is "does the morphological information that supports
the molecular pattern truly overwhelm other morphological information
supporting other patterns"? That is, is the more than optimal
morphological pattern (by bootstrap, discursive reasoning, etc.) the
same as the more than optimal molecular pattern (95% credibility, etc.)?
> I doubt if is usually is.
> * * * * * * * * * * * *
> Richard H. Zander
> Missouri Botanical Garden, PO Box 299, St. Louis, MO 63166-0299 USA
> Web sites: http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/resbot/ and
> Modern Evolutionary Systematics Web site:
> -----Original Message-----
> From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
[mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Kenneth Kinman
> Sent: Saturday, September 03, 2011 9:49 PM
> To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Subject: [Taxacom] APG taxa
> Hi Philip,
> Actually embracting the molecular results for
> the most part is probably a very good idea for angiosperms. Especially
> since there are also newly discovered morphological data to back up
> of it.
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