Re: [asa] New fruit fly threat in Southern California

From: David Campbell <>
Date: Thu Aug 06 2009 - 12:44:13 EDT

> In many walks of life, it isn't necessary for pragmatic purposes to be able to account for why certain characteristics are "bundled".  <

True; but if you want to know when to expect bundling, you need to
have some underlying principle.

> One of David's examples below provides another example of how evolutionary theorizing can *look* as if it contributes substantially to biological theory or practice while *in fact* being merely a redundant interpretive gloss.<

A further problem with this assertion is that it applies just as well
to any overarching model. It is the same inconsistent use of Occam's
razor invoked by atheists who claim that adding God into the system is
an unparsimonious superfluity.

Taking the reductio ad absurdum approach with this, why have any
scientific model at all? Why not just have stacks and stacks of data?
 In practice, science tries to minimize the number of models needed by
producing broader, more comprehensive models. Thus, physics seeks for
a theory of everything, even though good formulas are available for
characterizing fundamental forces separately. The models that apply
to special cases often retain their usefulness, frequently being more
practical to apply and easier to understand. (Incidentally, this is
also why a good example of ID within biology would not completely
overthrow evolution-evolutionary models would remain useful for all
the other cases where there isn't intervention. Conversely, examples
of evolutionary models working well don't prove there aren't any
instances of ID.)

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 Thu Aug 6 12:45:03 2009

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