Falsifiability and how we evaluate theories

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    Ciprian Begu

    In a comment on your Facebook page, in the context of discussing the falsifiability of scientific theories you said: “95% of theoretical physics today works on String Theory and it is unfalsifiable because nobody can perform a measurement since no such instruments are possible in the foreseeable future. Big Bang is unfalsifiable because you can never see if the universe actually came out of a big bang.”
    On one hand, falsifiability seems to be a necessary requirement for the validity of scientific theories. On another hand, science makes use of unfalsifiable theories, as you claim. How come this happens and what is the use of the popularization of unfalsifiable theories?
    Also, more broadly, could you delve into how a theory appears, is developed and is then confirmed? What are the stages and where is the semantic theory of nature at on this?

    Ashish Dalela

    Falsifiability has just become a philosophy that people use to criticize what they don’t like, which is a euphemism for what falls outside the materialist dogma. Within the materialist dogma, even unfalsifiable theories are used. The world is not a fair place or even a rational one!

    Theories are mental constructs and they are created by the creativity of the mind, justified by the beliefs in the intellect, and confirmed by sense perception. Scientists don’t acknowledge that theories are affected by pre-existing biases in the intellect or what we can call beliefs. They are also unable to explain how new ideas suddenly pop in the mind out of nowhere.

    There is also a false idea that science has a “method” when the fact is that the scientific method is no different from the method employed by other people who don’t claim to be scientists. Even non-scientists are creative, they use reason, and confirm their ideas by experience. So, the notion that science is in a privileged position because it has a “method” while others don’t, is false.

    Your question assumes that there is a unique method for forming scientific theories, which means we must try to understand this method, when the fact is that this method is just a partial representation of the broader thinking, feeling, creating, and judging processes. The only difference is that science is a collective activity while general thinking is individual. So, there are norms around rigor in thinking and judging and it is not free-thinking.

    I don’t find any value in studying the “method of science” because (1) there is no consensus on what the method actually is, (2) people habitually step outside any of the defined methods, and (3) when they step outside they are tapping into the general human abilities. Hence, there is value in studying the general process of thought rather than the scientific method.

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