Positive evidence is used to demonstrate lack of function Even though the conclusion may be negative ("structure x has no function"), the detection of biological functionality or lack thereof is based upon positive evidence, not negative evidence. In organismic biology, a function is a physical process performed by an organ that is necessary for the successful reproduction of the organism in a specific environment. Functions are measured in terms of reproduction and viability. An organ has no function in a given environment if the organ's presence has no statistically significant effect on reproductive success or viability. Both reproductive success and viability can be observed and measured quantitatively and are, thus, positive data. 3. Negative data can be used as scientific evidence Negative evidence is certainly valid when used properly, and negative evidence is used and reported routinely in the scientific literature. The general claim that negative evidence cannot be used to test a hypothesis is a nihilistic philosophy that has no place in experimental science. Negative evidence is admissible if it is acquired with the proper experimental controls. Good
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