Re: [asa] historical versus experimental sciences

From: David Campbell <>
Date: Mon Aug 03 2009 - 23:32:44 EDT

I don't see a difference between the role of atomic theory in physics,
chemistry, etc. and the role of evolution in biology, paleontology,
etc. In either case, if you are dealing directly with the overall
theory in some fashion, disproof of it would be disruptive and leave
one wondering where to look for a replacement. If you are looking at
some secondary (in the sense that it does not directly depend on the
overarching model, though it may at least in theory be derivative from
it; not in the sense that it is inferior) aspect, then the disruption
of the primary model won't affect you as much.

Biological and geological systems are much more complex than the
average chemical or physics system of interest, and so there's a lot
more of basic documentation to be done. The proportion of research
directly tying to the overarching theory is thus lower in biology or
geology than in chemistry or physics.

Dr. David Campbell
425 Scientific Collections
University of Alabama
"I think of my happy condition, surrounded by acres of clams"
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Received on Mon Aug 3 23:33:26 2009

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