Originally posted by BRussell
I think Chris is saying that prediction provides more certainty than retrospective studies, and in that sense, I think it's correct.
You aren't getting at how radically cramped Chris's idea of a "test" is.
Dig up a fossil. Look at it. Measure it. Try to extract DNA. Count teeth in the jaw bones you find. Those are all observations
Repeat the above many times. Make a prediction: "If my theory about this creature is true, then if I dig down two more feet, I expect to find more fossils like this, but with two more teeth."
Dig deeper. Dig up more fossils. Measure them. Count their teeth. Congratulations, most of the fossil jaw bones have two more teeth. But wait... don't break out the champagne yet. Have you found evidence which helps support your hypothesis? Have you tested
Not according to my best understanding so far of Science According to Chris.
All you have accomplished is more observing
. In Chris's world, all you can do with these fossils is catalog more and more observations
. There's some mysterious line between what constitutes an "observation" and what constitutes a "test", and if you're studying anything related to the past (even the near past, like George Washington's presidency), and presumably things out in space far enough away that you can't reach out and touch them, nothing that I can gleen from Chris can truly, in his view, be considered a "test" of those things.