? Why "Burden of proof" ?

Patrick C. Ryan proto-language at email.msn.com
Thu Aug 12 12:55:24 UTC 1999

Dear Seam and IEists:

 ----- Original Message -----
From: Sean Crist <kurisuto at unagi.cis.upenn.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, August 11, 1999 10:30 AM

Sean wrote:

> As Larry Trask has already pointed out, there are good epistemological
> reasons for taking "there is no connection" as our initial hypothesis,
> rather than "there is a connection"; and I won't belabor that point.
> What's important is that you start with some hypothesis or other and work
> on finding grounds to reject it. "We don't know" won't suit for those
> purposes, because it is not a hypothesis.

Pat asks:

But surely taking as a null hypothesis a formulation like: "No languages are
related", which has been disconfirmed --- *repeatedly*, is useless?


PATRICK C. RYAN (501) 227-9947; FAX/DATA (501)312-9947 9115 W. 34th St.
Little Rock, AR 72204-4441 USA WEBPAGES:
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/2803 and PROTO-RELIGION:
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/2803/proto-religion/indexR.html "Veit
ek, at ek hekk, vindga meipi, nftr allar nmu, geiri undapr . . . a ~eim
meipi er mangi veit hvers hann af rstum renn." (Havamal 138)

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