Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary

Comparative, continuity, and computational evidence in evolutionary theory: Predictive evidence versus productive evidence

David M. W. Powers a1
a1 School of Informatics and Engineering, Flinders University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA 5001, Australia.

Article author query
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Of three types of evidence available to evolution theorists – comparative, continuity, and computational – the first is largely productive rather than predictive. Although comparison between extant species or languages is possible and can be suggestive of evolutionary processes, leading to theory development, comparison with extinct species and languages seems necessary for validation. Continuity and computational evidence provide the best opportunities for supporting predictions.