Parsimony and the Future of Systematics
This postscript reflects on the role of parsimony in the future of systematics. Under the view of systematics advocated in this book, the exuberantly messy data of biological diversity are organized into a clear and coherent explanatory framework through the application of the principle of parsimony. The principle of common cause, the principle of cause and effect, and the principle of uniformitarianism are all applications of the principle of parsimony to the explanation of events unfolding in time. Thus, parsimony is not merely an old-fashioned phylogenetic method that has been superceded by purportedly more powerful and sophisticated statistical tools: it is the epistemological key to evaluating empirical evidence and discovering orderly patterns in the world to the extent that our perceptions allow. Ultimately, the success of every scientific inference and prediction relating to empirical phenomena in the world hinges upon parsimony.
Cornell Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.