Mon, 24 Apr 1995 19:49:46 GMT

>: You see, science is not like law, where one is supposed to present
>: the best possible case for one's client or pet theory, and gloss over
>: or misrepresent evidence when it doesn't suit one. Once someone
>: exhibits this a few times, at least in the science that I'm familiar
>: with, physics, that someone is not taken very seriously. "Preponderance
>: of evidence" is meaningless, unless it is obvious that the evidence-
>: collection was done with a modicum of integrity.
I would like to bring back some somewhat archaic terms for this discussion:
Natural History and Natural Philosophy. While there is no speciic science
dicipline that wholly fits one or the other they are two different
appproaches to science. Natural History, typified here as evolutionary
biology, is those sciences where you can't manufacture your data. In
Natural History disputes can be settled simply by generating another data
set (doing the experiment over). The Natural Historian is limited by the
data that can be found in the world. This is often incomplete. He must
come up with the best explanation he can with what is available. This
comes down to a preponderence of evidence type arguement.

Edmond Dantes