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Traditional analyses of the curve fitting problem maintain that the data do not indicate what form the fitted curve should take. Rather, this issue is said to be settled by prior probabilities, by simplicity, or by a background theory. In this paper, we describe a result due to Akaike [1973], which shows how the data can underwrite an inference concerning(More)
The hypothesis that all life on earth traces back to a single common ancestor is a fundamental postulate in modern evolutionary theory. Yet, despite its widespread acceptance in biology, there has been comparatively little attention to formally testing this "hypothesis of common ancestry". We review and critically examine some arguments that have been(More)
  • Martin Barrett, Kevin Dequieroz, Michael Donoghue, Branden Fitel-Son, Malcolm Forster, Dan Hausman +4 others
  • 2000
Akaike's framework for thinking about model selection in terms of the goal of predictive accuracy and his criterion for model selection have important philosophical implications. Scientists often test models whose truth values they already know, and they often decline to reject models that they know full well are false. Instrumentalism helps explain this(More)
One of the most controversial aspects of Hayek's social theory was his acceptance of the concept of cultural group selection. The publication of Unto Others: The Evolution and Psychology of Unselfish Behavior provides an opportunity to revisit this much-maligned component of Hayek's thought. Sober and Wilson are concerned with biological group selection,(More)
1 The problem No matter how often billiard balls have moved when struck in the past, the next billiard ball may not move when struck. For philosophers, this 'theoretical' possibility of being wrong raises a problem about how to justify our theories and models of the world and their predictions. This is the problem of induction. In practice, nobody denies(More)
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As every philosopher knows, " the design argument " concludes that God exists from premisses that cite the adaptive complexity of organisms or the lawfulness and orderliness of the whole universe. Since 1859, it has formed the intellectual heart of creationist opposition to the Darwinian hypothesis that organisms evolved their adaptive features by the(More)