Falsification Thesis

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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.

A simple procedure can be used to determine whether or not a hypothesis or conjecture is scientific and falsifiable.

What would be an example of something that, if observed, would contradict the hypothesis?

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.Around this hard core is a "protective belt" of auxiliary hypothesis and modified or ad hoc assumptions added by scientists to protect the core of the program from falsification.While the protective belt is auxiliary and ad hoc, this does not necessarily translate to "bad" in Lakatos' view.These predictions were observed to hold most of the time, but in some cases such as the orbit of Mercury there were observations that contradicted predictions based on Newton's laws.This led to their modification and replacement by relativity, which, rather than being a complete rejection of the Newton's laws, was a clarification and refinement that allowed them to hold true in a greater range of observable circumstances.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.Contact us if you experience any difficulty logging in.We should never forget that our reasoning process can go wrong.It was the specific predictions made by Newton's laws that allowed scientists to test them, and eventually replace them.This happened because the predictions made Newton's laws falsifiable.


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