Twitter Nerd-Fight Reveals a Long, Bizarre Scientific Feud | WIRED
#ParsimonyGate turned into one big airing of grievances. One scientist called the group a cult and another suggested the editorial must have been either a joke, prank, or hoax.The thing is, few in the field would argue that people shouldn’t use parsimony to sort out phylogentic trees. Even Eisen uses it in his own research—alongside other methods. He even teaches parsimony to his students. It was the editorial’s use of the word “philosophical” that rankled him.
“There are strong philosophical arguments in support of parsimony versus other methods of phylogenetic inference,” the editorial reads. “I’ve never in my life, in any area of science,” says Eisen, “seen something presented where people said, ‘We’re not going to judge something on the science, we’re going to judge it on the philosophy.’”