Theory of Asynchronous Evolution


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Is presented material a “pure speculation”?

Periodically theory is criticized as a “pure speculation”. This comment usually comes from experimental biologists. They also want to see more details and mechanisms, want author to perform some experimental work himself to prove his statements etc, etc. This page is made to address some of these comments.

Speculative reason or pure reason is theoretical (or logical, deductive) thought (sometimes called theoretical reason), as opposed to practical (active, willing) thought.
Speculative reason provides the universal, necessary principles of logic, such as the principle of non-contradiction, which must apply everywhere, regardless of the specifics of the situation.

A hypothesis is a proposed explanation for an observable phenomenon. For a hypothesis to be put forward as a scientific hypothesis, the scientific method requires that one can test it. Scientists generally base scientific hypotheses on previous observations that cannot satisfactorily be explained with the available scientific theories.

Researchers weighing up alternative hypotheses may take into consideration:

  • Testability (compare falsifiability)
  • Simplicity (postulation of excessive numbers of entities)
  • Scope – the apparent application of the hypothesis to multiple cases of phenomena
  • Fruitfulness – the prospect that a hypothesis may explain further phenomena in the future
  • Conservatism – the degree of "fit" with existing recognized knowledge-systems.

When a set of hypotheses are grouped together they become conceptual framework. When a conceptual framework is complex and incorporates causality or explanation it is generally referred to as a theory.

"Scientific theory" generally refers to a proposed explanation of empirical phenomena, made in a way consistent with the scientific method. Such theories are described in such a way that any scientist in the field can understand, verify, and challenge (or "falsify") it.

A distinction is often made in science between theories and hypotheses, which are theories that are not considered to have been satisfactorily tested or proven.

References: Wikipedia articles “Speculative reason”, “Hypothesis”, “Theory”.

So, somebody can call the presented material a “speculation” meaning it is a theoretical (logical or deductive) thought. However calling it a “pure speculation” will be incorrect, because it satisfies all the criteria for the scientific theory (complex conceptual framework that provides explanation and prediction of empirical phenomena, which can be verified, and many of them have been already satisfactorily tested).


If a new theory explains and predicts phenomena better than an older theory (i.e. it has more explanatory power), we are justified in believing that the newer theory describes reality more correctly.



Copyright 2005-2009 S. Geodakyan. All rights reserved.


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