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Paleoscience [note 1] is:

Paleoscience, worldview of the scientists, sociological and psychological factors, political pressure

Since paleosciences do not deal with direct observations of the phenomena that took place in the unobservable past, but rather with their effects, they are sometimes referred to as historical sciences.[3] This differentiates them from empirical science that primarily rely on the possibility to repeatedly conduct the experiment.[note 2] As it is not possible to travel back in time and directly observe the past phenomena, paleosciences are dependent on assumptions that are in principle not absolutely verifiable. Thus, the worldview of scientist,[note 3] sociological and psychological considerations, and political pressure might play a dominant role in the process of selection of these explanatory assumptions as well as when interpreting the current findings and observed effects of the past phenomena.[note 4]


  1. also (pal(a)eo(-)sciences); "paleo-" prefix means "very old; prehistoric"; Etymology from Ancient Greek: palaios: "old"
  2. The term paleoscience also correlates to origin science and/or historical science; and experimental science and/or empirical science to operation science, respectively.
  3. cf.Horror of a unique position
  4. cf."...many of the factors of involved in scientific community's decision to accept or reject a hypothesis are based upon sociological and psychological considerations. ... It is important to keep in mind that nothing that I have said contravenes the tentative nature of the support offered by empirical evidence for a hypothesis, nor challenges the claim that many of the factors that play a central role in the acceptance of hypothesis are psychological and political"[3]


  1. Freiburger Institut für Paläowissenschaftliche Studien (F.I.P.S.) (german). (2005). Retrieved on 2011-05-15.
  2. Benito, G., Gregory, K. J., 2003 Palaeohydrology: understanding global change. John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, p.397
  3. 3.0 3.1 Cleland, C.E. (September 2002). "Methodological and Epistemic Differences between Historical Science and Experimental Science" (PDF). Philosophy of Science 69: 474–496. Retrieved 25.1.2012. "Insofar as they are concerned with identifying particular past causes of current phenomena, historical researches cannot directly test their hypotheses by means of controlled experiments.". 

See also