Does Information Theory Provide a New Paradigm for Earth Science? Hypothesis Testing

Grey S. Nearing, Benjamin L. Ruddell, Andrew R. Bennett, Cristina Prieto, Hoshin V. Gupta

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

3 Scopus citations


Model evaluation and hypothesis testing are fundamental to any field of science. We propose here that by changing slightly the way we think and communicate about inference—from being fundamentally a problem of uncertainty quantification to being a problem of information quantification—allows us to avoid certain problems related to testing models as hypotheses. We propose that scientists are typically interested in assessing the information provided by models, not the truth value or likelihood of a model. Information theory allows us to formalize this perspective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2019WR024918
JournalWater Resources Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020



  • epistemic uncertainty
  • hypothesis testing
  • information theory
  • model evaluation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology

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