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Re: SCIENCE AND CLASSIFICATION



----- Original Message -----
From: <philidor11@snet.net>
Sent: Friday, February 01, 2002 12:51 AM


> 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?

IMHO this is a prerequisite for science, but not science itself, which is
_doing_ something -- applying the scientific method. Well, maybe just
semantics.

> 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?

Yes, why? If 2 contradicting cladograms = phylogenetic hypotheses exist, at
least one of them must be wrong, and sooner or later at least one of them
will be refuted by finding new taxa, new characters, or just typos in the
matrix.

> 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,

I think cladistics _removes_ much subjectivity. Not all, but lots. No more
arguments about what rank a particular group should be given. No more
paraphyletic groups. Parsimony. Etc..

> At any rate, which are we talking about, the relation of cladistic
> analysis to science, or the requirements of a classification
> system?

Meanwhile both :-)