In response to the response Ken Morris wrote about Gregg Caulkins’ observations, I must say that while it is no laughing matter, this topic has become the subject of hysterical conjecture. Mr. Morris’ letter would be intriguing to one with a published doctoral thesis on “Conceptualizing Theoretical Theorization.” I will clarify the layman’s position in this response.
His opening sally, “Actually, science never proves anything,” is a case in point. His focus on the null hypothesis, and then his conjectures that the variable, hypothesized conjecture, null or not, according to the statistical conventions that have found the meridian (recently hypothesized about in your epaper) established that the discovered relationship has a dual purpose outside statistical relationships caused by an unknown variable. I agree that science does spend its time, by and large, trying to disprove the null approach in order to determine if the hypothesized casual variable is really casual. (Not unlike trying to determine if the girl you casually picked up at the bar will be your future wife.)
When one adds thousands of uncontrolled (but hardly casual) variables to this mélange, one sees that the scientific messier world (named for a moon watcher) cited by Mr. Morris has incalculable postulations with which to be reckoned. It is conceivable that there will be scientists hypothesizing about this subject throughout the period when the world will go through possibly two or three earth warming and cooling cycles before the scientific community realizes that what we know or do not know will not effect the possibilities of such weather fluctuations one iota. Scientists should take a leaf from the journal of weather forecasters: they always forecast a weather pattern’s formation after it has formed.