Science as Falsification Summary

Science as Falsification Summary - hypothesis that has been...

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Sara Carlson BIOS120-113 March 21, 2007 Science as Falsification Summary In our class discussion we went over Karl Popper’s essay on Science as Falsification. He claimed that for a theory to be scientific, it must be falsifiable, or refutable, or testable. In his classification of theories, they must forbid certain things to happen and they should make risky predictions. Popper also said that confirming the theory was ineffectual evidence because it is always easier to find data that supports your theory. Overall the class had some disagreements with Popper’s ideas. I think that he should not have labeled the “theories” as theories because what he is talking about are hypotheses. I do think that a hypothesis should be testable and falsifiable, and on those terms I agree with Popper. The goal of the scientist should be to prove the hypothesis as false, not to find data to support it. Theories differ from hypothesis because, in my understanding of a theory, a theory is a
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Unformatted text preview: hypothesis that has been rigorously tested and had yet to be falsified. Only after existing as a hypothesis for a substantial amount of time can a hypothesis become a theory. We also discussed the difference between the sciences and the pseudo-sciences. Pseudo-sciences “pretend” to be sciences. In his essay, Popper classifies psychology and history as pseudo-sciences. Granted, this essay was written in the 1920s, there are definitely some scientific aspects to both of these studies. Now that we have fMRIs, brain wave measurements and can open the brain of a living patient, psychology has made some of its hypotheses testable. History can be testable by carbon dating and other techniques for determining relative ages. Now that these “pseudo-sciences” have testable hypotheses, they can be considered scientific hypotheses or theories, and I believe that Popper would have to agree....
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This note was uploaded on 04/08/2008 for the course BIOS 120 taught by Professor Cundall during the Fall '06 term at Lehigh University .

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