Retrodiction in Geology

PSA Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1978 (2):215-226 (1978)
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Abstract

Our view of the first half of the 20th century has been influenced by what we suppose to have occurred in the middle of that century. It is by now part of the conventional wisdom of the geological community that during the 1950’s and 1960’s a revolution occurred. It is further supposed by many, that before the revolution there was among geologists an uneasiness resulting from the lack of an organizing principle in terms of which accumulating facts could be understood. It is difficult to see our own times in the kind of perspective that historians consider so important an ingredient of ‘good’ history. Geologists now only in their middle years began their careers before the ‘new tectonics’ came to pervade their discipline. They do not look back upon prerevolutionary days as a time waiting to be saved from crisis nor do they see themselves as having collected facts in anticipation of being able to weave them into some pattern on the basis of some as yet undiscovered truth.

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The Triumph of the Darwinian Method.Michael T. Ghiselin - 1973 - Philosophy of Science 40 (3):466-467.

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