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>>This makes for a firm
>>foundation in such fields as chemistry and physics, where tangible evidence
>>is abundant, and to an extent "universal", but when dealing with
>>paleontological data, one must admit that a vast majority of the "evidence"
>>is just plain missing!
>Very true indeed. This is why we should remember that our hypotheses are
>just that: they should not be belief systems, they should be falsifiable
>hypotheses which we will abandon if new evidence suggests otherwise (and
>take up again if newer evidence supports them). This very essential aspect
>of science is one of the least well appreciated in the public eye.
>From E.O. Wilson's "Consilience":
<Biologists it has been said, suffer from physics envy. They build
physics-like models that lead from the microscopic to the macroscopic,
but find it difficult to match them with the messy systems they experience
in the real world. Theoretical biologists are nevertheless easily
seduced.(I confess being one, and having been responsible for more than my
share of failures).)>
So the message is: do not be afraid of a bit or a lot of fearless, creative
theoretical chaos, but I would add: at least try to measure well the facts
and forget obsessive marriages. I've seen too many egos (with too much at
stake) afraid of backpedaling when the evidence comes back at them.
Visit my website on http://www.ndirect.co.uk/~luisrey