The toolbox of science: A pragmatic approach
One of the most important activities in ecological science is hypothesis testing; however, it is by no means the only important activity. In this talk, I first consider how model-based hypotheses contribute to the advance of science independent of the successful testing of those models.
Specifically, using examples, I claim that ecological and evolutionary models give scientists conceptual frameworks through which they can conduct empirical investigations including experiments and fieldwork. Sometimes critics mistake the purposes of ecological and evolutionary model building, and once we recognize this, we can see their complaints are unjustified. Hypotheses, model-based hypotheses, even when untested can still contribute to successful science.