Draft articles for critical review
This page presents draft articles and reports by members that are not yet ready for publication. The authors seek ‘good-faith’ comments from the public and the scholarly community, with the intent of improving the paper before submitting to formal peer review.
Please note: These papers have not been endorsed by the Society. All communications should be directed to the author.
The deadlines indicated are nominal. These drafts may remain online after the deadline, to stimulate dialogue.
“Australia has a long and inglorious record of establishment by governments of valuable, valued and successful science-based initiatives … that address issues of major continuing importance, only to later abolish them. The results are loss of focus, loss of group knowledge, loss of expertise, loss of analytical capability, wasted effort and resources, wasted expenditure and – most of all – wasted opportunity.”
So commences a draft paper by Society member David Marlow entitled Creating and then abolishing bodies of scientific knowledge, expertise and analytical capability: An Australian political malaise . Mr Marlow has made available the Tables from his manuscript and seeks critical comment from scientists, public servants and others who have personal knowledge of these organisations. He is seeking insights of the birth, achievements and political execution of any of the initiatives listed in ‘Gravestones’. See separate page for details.
Origins science – Can science ever explain the origins of the universe?
Aerospace engineer Phil Andrews has questioned whether science has intellectual tools adequate to unearth the origin of the universe. In an outline tabled and slideshow presented at the 2018 Annual General meeting, he explains: “Given that it is normal practice to apply ‘Methodological Naturalism’ to ‘Origins Science’, scientists must suppress any notion that what they are observing was supernaturally created, regardless of the evidence. The concept of supernatural creation is not allowed and so scientists and science journals are not free to contemplate if something was supernaturally created, they must keep to natural explanations regardless of the evidence. In so doing they become unscientific and break the tradition of independent inquiry”. See separate page for full account.
Anyone who would like to contribute to exploration of this field may contact him directly on <philandrews04 AT SYMBOL gmail.com>.
Essentialistic Pluralism in Species Conception: Stephen Maxwell
Keywords: Essentialism, evolution, taxonomy, species
Essentialistic pluralism allows the taxonomist the freedom to delineate species outside of any rigid conceptual framework. An overview of a select number of current species concepts is provided, offering these as potential choices to the pluralist. We argue for a refocusing of the species debate on criteria rather than concept, thereby highlighting the real with the context of the hypothetical nature of species. Finally, we will examine the complexity of species demarcation, noting the continuing failure for explicitness in conceptual application. Finally, we argue that essentialistic pluralism is a means of achieving the gold standard for universality through its refocus of the species debate on criteria rather than concept, and thereby highlighting the hypothetical nature of species.
The resurrection of essentialist arguments, in the context of the modern evolutionary synthesis, highlights the need for a break from historical definitions of kind and essence in order to bring a new paradigm in which these terms are used to conceptualise and understand evolutionary processes.