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Re: SCIENCE AND CLASSIFICATION



You observed:
<I am taking three science classes this semester and the topic 
of discussion 
on the first day was oddly enough "what is science?"  The answer 
that every 
class came to was "the application of the scientific method to 
problems."  
Although that's circular, it basically means the application 
of observation, 
hypothesis, testing, falsification.>

Pete, you guys couldn't wait to get in grapple with the details, 
could you?
Try taking a step back further; how about something like:
Science:  the view that reality can be apprehended and manipulated 
to reach a consciously formulated goal.
Okay, that's off the top of my head, but it's close to what you're 
doing and assuming, right?

The mechanism used is the scientific method, and one of a number 
of key elements (including replication and prediction) is singularity: 
 you haven't solved a problem if you have two equally unrefuted 
and contradictory solutions, have you?  Both A and not A cannot 
be true.
So, is cladistic analysis in paleontology science?

That's different from the question, what system of taxonomy best 
meets the requirements for a system of classifying animals?
As HP Holtz points out very correctly, these are two separate 
questions.
HP Kinsman is trying to merge two systems of classification in 
order to find one which meets all the requirements.  I don't 
think his effort will work, cladistics introduces too frequent 
change and too much subjectivity, I think, but he could surprise 
me.  It's an honorable intent.
At any rate, which are we talking about, the relation of cladistic 
analysis to science, or the requirements of a classification 
system?  I'm kind of confused from your post.
 




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