" What could scientists do that would disprove the theory of evolution?"
Find a Precambrian rabbit.
" That is why falsifiability is no longer a demarcation criterion in the philosophy of science."
When did this happen??
posted on 12/03/2005 8:46:11 AM PST
("There is a grandeur in this view of life...")
Regarding the status of falsificationism see Imre Lakatos, Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes
(CUP, 1980). See also, Larry Lauden's article in But is it Science?
(Michael Ruse ed., 1988).
Underdetermination (of the Quine-Duhem sort) makes evolutionary theory per se immune to falsification by the finding of a Precambrian rabbit. Which is more likely: that the rabbit found in what we thought was a Precambrian stratum is actually Precambrian, or that the stratum is not actually Precambrian, or that there was some anomaly that allowed this rabbit (which lived long after the Precambrian era) to become embedded in this Precambrian stratum? A certain view of evolutionary history (or certain proposed phylogenies and taxonomies) might be falsified in this manner, but not evolutionary theory per se.
A case could be made in support of evolutionary theory as an inference to the best explanation, no matter what the fossil record looked like.
posted on 12/03/2005 9:21:16 AM PST
("There is no greater evil one can suffer than to hate reasonable discourse." - Plato, Phaedo 89d)
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