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empirical

2023-08-24 13:00 作者: 来源: 本站 浏览: 15 views Make a Comment 字号:

摘要: Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for August 24, 2023 is: empirical • \im-PEER-uh-kul\ ...

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for August 24, 2023 is:

empirical • \im-PEER-uh-kul\  • adjective

When we describe something, such as data, as empirical, we mean that it originated in, or was based on, observation or experience. Empirical can also be used to describe something that is capable of being verified or disproved by observation or experiment, as in “empirical laws.”

// The team of conservation biologists gathered reams of empirical data—from species inventories to soil analyses—to help them get a better understanding of the forest’s ecology.

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Examples:

“Scholars have long tried to understand why Neolithic farmer populations go through boom-bust cycles, including ‘collapses’ when whole regions are abandoned. According to one common explanation, climate fluctuations are the main driver, but empirical tests do not fully support this claim. In a new paper, published in the latest issue of Scientific Reports, Turchin and his team seem to have come up with a new piece of information. ‘Our study shows that periodic outbreaks of warfare—and not climate fluctuations—can account for the observed boom-bust patterns in the data,’ argues Turchin...” — The Complexity Science Hub, Phys.org, 19 June 2023

Did you know?

When empirical first appeared as an adjective in English, it meant simply “in the manner of an empiric.” In the ancient world, empirics were members of a sect of doctors who practiced medicine using treatments observed to be clinically effective, rather than treatments based on theoretical principles. This sounds all fine and good to a modern reader, but empirics were in direct opposition to Galen, the 2nd century Greek physician whose theories and practices (including the theory of bodily humors) dominated medicine in Europe from the Middle Ages until the mid-17th century. As the underdogs in this rivalry, empirics took some reputational hits, evidenced by the use of empiric to refer to someone who disregards or deviates from the rules of science or accepted practice; to be called an empiric was sometimes like being called a quack or charlatan. Empirical can still be used critically to describe ideas and practices that rely on experience or observation alone and without due regard for system or theory. But, perhaps in a bit of a case of “the Empirics strike back,” empirical more often keeps its narrower sense, and is used positively to describe evidence and information grounded in observation and experience, or capable of being verified or disproved by observation or experiment.



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