Re: Def'n of Science

Cliff Lundberg (
Tue, 02 Mar 1999 13:10:49 -0800

Neal K. Roys wrote:

>Does anyone here have a *falsification* scenario for the following claim?
>"The cambrian explosion was caused by ____________(fill in here your
>naturalistic mechanism of choice)"
>If no falsification scenario exists then instead of being categorized as
>science, Punctuated Equillibrium is an untestable philosophical claim.

Any claim about the physical world, past or present, is testable,
in the general sense I think you mean. The *difficulty* of testing
or of observing is irrelevant; that you would need a time machine
is irrelevant. We might find that light waves from long ago had
somehow been recorded out in space etc; the point is that just
because something happened long ago does not mean it is in principle
not verifiable or falsifiable. The passage of time does not convert
a statment from physical fact (true or false) to philosophy.

Cliff Lundberg