Pearce element ratios: A paradigm for testing hypotheses



Science moves forward with the development of new ideas that are encapsulated by hypotheses whose aim is to explain the structure of data sets or to expand existing theory. These hypotheses remain conjecture until they have been tested. In fact, Karl Popper advocated that a scientist's job does not finish with the creation of an idea but, rather, begins with the testing of the related hypotheses. In Popper's [1959] advocation it is implicit that there be tools with which we can test our hypotheses. Consequently, the development of rigorous tests for conceptual models plays a major role in maintaining the integrity of scientific endeavor [e.g., Greenwood, 1989].