Some reflections on Popper legacy
Yesterday I reflect on the fact that science and philosophy have always worked together, with the effort to discover and frame the truths about the world and the universe around us. We can recognize that both, with their main representatives that underway history, are fundamentals for the advancement of formal knowledge and human society’s literacy development. Scientists have the ability and the right curiosity to design trilling experiments, trying to obtain quantitative results able to verify or disprove a hypothesis. While philosophers could determine what factors are able to define the validity of scientific results. They make the “conceptual” work of analytical analysis and reflections, comparing and delineating principles.
Often, they even determine the nature of science itself and influence the direction of viable research. As one theory is falsified, another evolves to replace it and explain the new available observations.
I am sure you remember the adage that one of the fundamental behind science is that any scientific hypothesis and resultant experimental design have to be inherently falsifiable. Although falsification is not universally accepted, it is a foundation that you should respect when you talk about scientific experiments and their outcomes. Popper, the father and theorist of this idea that a theory behind the experiment should be falsifiable so to be accepted, is dead since 1994.
But I am asking myself that when you ask a stoic scientist to falsify a theory, well, you will be disappointed. They know everything about the theory you’re speaking about, from the little hindsight to the new available data coming from the four angles of Earth. From this evidence, you can just understand why they can’t do that, as any theory can be modified so to fits with the new data by newbies in the field…ah, ah, don’t move on your seat now… this is crystal clear. .
If you see a theory that is abstruse and very hard to understand in its subparts, well I can say to you that maybe formalizing the whole sense of the picture should not be so difficult, but the simpler explanation of how its components interconnect, well… trust me, will became a nightmare for whoever want to pursue this adventure path.
Not everyone knows that Popper never said a theory is scientific just because it’s falsifiable…That is the Popper’s miscommunication, the upside-down that a newbie can perceive without having the patience to study and exercise a sort of, let me say, critique sense on what it has been read, to avoid any correlated mystic nonsense. Unfortunately, nowadays this Popperian upside-down drives theory-development in cosmology and in high energy physics. Just surf the net for updates on the Sci-fi that is depicted as science.
If you see the term scientific close to the term of theory associated with a concept, it should have a reasonable chance of accurately describing nature, and if is not the case what you have in front of you is just the n “prophecy” that spread in the internet world or whatsoever, but it is not a scientific theory!
The idea that falsification is sufficient to make a theory scientific is an argument that characterize lot of amateur in the discipline you try to analyse. Well, their insisting motto is: “But you can test it!”.
Falsification – take by itself – does not make a theory scientific…
Why? If your main idea is founded on an argumentation list that frame it, and you claim that it must be compatible with your present data, this is sufficient for saying that your theory works by a testable prediction. But it won’t enter the annals of science!
Of course, not😊 because you can effortlessly produce some million similar prophecies.
If you cook up a new theory you first must reproduce all achievements of the already established theories. Maybe, after years you should know all the contemporary techniques to mass-produce “theories” that are compatible with the established theories and make eternally amendable predictions for future experiments.
How many models we tried that didn’t work as desired. How strong is the temptation of fumble things together until everything looks nice, ordered and able to be approved by the community as you’ve met the current quality standard?
No one sees anything wrong with it…We are plenty of journals that by side of a 25-30% good stuff sustains nice theories re-arrangements that an experienced eye can decoded after a variable percentage of delusions. But the question is why we have to continue with this “tool”, quasi an antidote to our multitude need of points and sense of reference? How similar is this situation to the abusing and criticized statistics present in psychological and life science work that let theories spread as its foundations fitted perfectly together? Just a normal practice, you may say…
If I am reasoning on this now, I ca say that the more alternatives I can found on an argument, a topic, a theory the smaller the chances are that any one of them is the “one” I can follow being certain that I am thinking right. In other words, the easier it is to come up with predictions, the lower their predictive value should be. Think about it.
Have an enjoyable day and I’ll see you to the next post!