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‣ The difficult though essential dialogue between biology and its philosophy

Marone,Luis; Milesi,Fernando A; González del Solar,Rafael; Tomás Mezquida,Eduardo; López de Casenave,Javier; Cueto,Víctor R
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica Formato: text/html
Publicado em 01/02/2006 Português
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Charges leveled against Evolutionary Theory by Natural Selection (ETNS) of not being falsifiable are not adequately answered, not to mention dispelled, by exhibiting any amount of empirical evidence. Immunity to falsification means that ETNS can assimilate any possible data as a favorable case, and therefore empirical evidence cannot affect ETNS’s truth value. As a consequence, any attempt to provide an answer to such charges can only dwell at a philosophical level of analysis, whereas assessing the quality and quantity of the evidence supporting ETNS (whether such evidence comes from systematics, ecology, ethology, physiology or molecular genetics) belongs in the scientific level. Since ETNS is a central element for the intelligibility of biological science, it is of fundamental importance to pay attention to the philosophical arguments that counsel to mitigate the role of falsifiability as a criterion for good science. The relevant criteria should take into account both that factual theories need empirical content and that historical disciplines should be part of science. The consequences of those arguments for research practice in evolutionary ecology were previously assessed (Marone et al., 2002). Sadly, our attempt was misunderstood by Néspolo (2003)...