Falsification Thesis

Falsification Thesis-58
It has been argued, most notably by Karl Popper, that the scientific method demands that a theory must at least in principle be falsifiable in order for it to be valid as science.This requirement was Popper's solution to the demarcation problem, or what is and what is not science. In short, it states that it is impossible to test or falsify a hypothesis in isolation for two reasons.It was the specific predictions made by Newton's laws that allowed scientists to test them, and eventually replace them.

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The Duhem-Quine Thesis is often contrasted with or considered to modify "naive" or "Popperian" falsificationism.

Imre Lakatos further extended Popperian falsification and the Duhem-Quine Thesis with his concept of "research programs." Lakatos defined extensively developed theories and techniques in a field as the "hard core" of a research program.

This time, however, this discrepancy did lead to the falsification of Newtonian gravity; the discrepancy could only be resolved when Einstein proposed his amended theory of gravity.

Scientists will typically not consider a theory as falsified simply because of the existence of discrepancies between theoretical predictions and observations, even if those discrepancies remain unexplained for a long time; in fact attempting to account for such discrepancies is what motivates a lot of scientific research.

A theory is a logical explanation for observations.

A good, scientific theory also proposes a set of new observations that could test a theory's power to explain.Secondly, a discrepancy between theory and data does not necessarily falsify the theory.For example, in the early 19th century, scientists discovered discrepancies between the orbit of Uranus as predicted by Newton's theory of gravity and the orbit which was actually observed.However this discrepancy between theory and evidence was not considered a falsification of the theory; in time the discrepancy was resolved through the discovery of Neptune.In the late 19th century a similar discrepancy was discovered in the orbit of Mercury.For example, Einstein's ideas about relativity predicted specific things that would be observed during a total solar eclipse.When the eclipse came, the predictions were confirmed, something which strongly supported his theory.This is why you always want to check your careful reasoning for flaws.Make sure that no fallacious, instinctive reasoning slipped in.Once technology, time or funding catches up with the theory, these observations can be made, which can either support or invalidate the theory.This ability to be tested, and the potential for the theory to be invalidated by the experiment, is the essence of falsifiability.

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