Philosophy of Science 40 (1):29-51 (1973)
Some scientists believe that although evolutionary theory is explanatory, it does not have, in contrast to the theories of physics, any predictive power. This raises the question of its testability. The analysis given shows that there are good reasons to claim the unpredictability of evolutionary events; nevertheless, the evolutionary theory has potential predictive power. It is argued that the difference between biology and physics lies not in the predictive power of the theories involved, but in the different weight which is lent to the forecasting of particular events in these sciences. A second source of confusion derives from the ambiguity of the term 'prediction'. In order to define 'prediction' for cases in which the term is used to refer to a part of testing procedure, the reference to the time-point "now" is quite irrelevant. Prediction of unknown observational data is sufficient for testing a hypothesis, but such prediction may or may not be identical with forecasting of future events. Different factors that may cause particular difficulties met by biologists in forecasting future events are analyzed subsequently in the second part of the paper. The conclusion is drawn that although particular cognitive situations limiting the ability of forecasting are very frequent in biological sciences, the claim about the peculiar logical status of biological theories is not thereby justified
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Classical Universes Are Perfectly Predictable!H. J. - 1997 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 28 (4):433-460.
Is Prediction Possible in General Relativity?John Byron Manchak - 2008 - Foundations of Physics 38 (4):317-321.
Developing Wisdom: How Foresight Develops in Individuals and Groups.Peter Hayward - 2008 - Vdm Verlag Dr. Müller.
Prediction in Selectionist Evolutionary Theory.Grønfeldt Winther Rasmus - 2009 - Philosophy of Science 76 (5):889-901.
Discrete State Systems, Markov Chains, and Problems in the Theory of Scientific Explanation and Prediction.Nicholas Rescher - 1963 - Philosophy of Science 30 (4):325-345.
A Note on Prediction and Deduction.John Canfield & Keith Lehrer - 1961 - Philosophy of Science 28 (2):204-208.
Explanation, Prediction, Description, and Information Theory.Joseph F. Hanna - 1969 - Synthese 20 (3):308 - 334.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads145 ( #32,271 of 2,163,974 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #348,017 of 2,163,974 )
How can I increase my downloads?