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Re: Stratigraphy, biogeography & cladograms



In a message dated 1/20/99 12:45:53 PM EST, Gareth.Dyke@bristol.ac.uk writes
(quoting me):

<< >>After a while, after you've tested a hypothesis in all manner of ways,
 after you've discarded allalternatives, what remains--the hypothesis
 that passes all the tests--must be the truth. Starting with, say, all 50
 theoretically possible phylogenies, once you have discarded 49 of them,
 the one that remains must be true. So truth is attainable, even in
 phylogenetic analysis.>>
 
 I agree again with you, of course, but _only_ in the presence of a 100%
 complete fossil record ...  >>

The lack of a good fossil record may make it impossible to discard all but the
one true hypothesis, of course. Then we're stuck until the fossil record
improves.