Re: prediction and worth

Stephen Barnard (
Tue, 10 Sep 1996 17:16:22 -0800

Shannon Adams wrote:
> Just wondering why prediction is the standard of worth for a field of
> study. I have my own ideas but I wanted to get the natives opinion ;)
> Shannon

If a theory makes a prediction then it exposes itself to falsification.
Nothing less is required of a scientific theory.

There are fields that don't ostensibly rely on prediction. They look
for systematic regularities and relationships between classes. Botany
is the classical example. I believe that when they are done properly
that they actually *do* make predictions. For example, if a new plant
is discovered then it should fit nicely into the established
classifications. If it doesn't then some serious re-evaluation of the
system of classification is in order.

Steve Barnard