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Williams, B.K. 1997. Logic and science in wildlife biology. Journal of Wildlife Management 61:1007-1015.

Abstract

Descriptions of wildlife science often inadequately treat the interrelation of theory, formal logic, and data analysis that define scientific methods in the investigation of causal hypotheses. I provide 2 definitions for causation, and describe scientific methods in terms of theory, causal hypotheses, and the comparison of testable predictions against experimental and/or field data. Hypothesis assessment is developed with principles of logical inference, emphasizing differences in the burden of proof for hypothesis confirmation and rejection. Inductive logic and statistical inference are emphasized in the identification and testing of hypotheses. This framework is illustrated by means of the comparison of additive and compensatory hypotheses relating harvest and annual mortality.Descriptions of wildlife science often inadequately treat the interrelation of theory, formal logic, and data analysis that define scientific methods in the investigation of causal hypotheses. I provide 2 definitions for causation, and describe scientific methods in terms of theory, causal hypotheses, and the comparison of testable predictions against experimental and/or field data. Hypothesis assessment is developed with principles of logical inference, emphasizing differences in the burden of proof for hypothesis confirmation and rejection. Inductive logic and statistical inference are emphasized in the identification and testing of hypotheses. This framework is illustrated by means of the comparison of additive and compensatory hypotheses relating harvest and annual mortality.

 

Current Staff

Federal Staff: 2

Masters Students: 2

Phd Students: 4

Post Docs: 1

University Staff: 3

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 6

Scientific Publications: 22

Presentations: 36

 

Status

Published
October (4th Quarter/Autumn) 1997

Vermont Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Cooperators

  1. U.S. Geological Survey
  2. University of Vermont
  3. Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department
  4. Wildlife Management Institute