Parsimony is popular among geneticists, unpopular among paleoanthropologists
The parsimony principle is basic to all science and tells us to choose the simplest scientific explanation that fits the evidence. In terms of tree-building, that means that, all other things being equal, the best hypothesis is the one that requires the fewest evolutionary changes.
It seems to me that paleoanthropologists do not prioritize parsimony, because complicated models help them to publish more scientific papers based on their paltry fossil evidence. They are trying to make complicated stories from minimal evidence. Their evidence is irreproducible and untestable by impartial scientists. Geneticists are looking for parsimony, because their evidence is so vast. They are trying to make simple stories, from a huge amount of evidence. Their models are mathematical and can be recalculated. If their models are not parsimonious, competitors will produce better, more parsimonious models.
|1 - 1 of 1|