I've changed the definition, as the previous one was not accurate. A theory is falsifiable if it is hypothetically possible to refute it by test or observation Xyrophile 10:30, 7 June 2008 (EDT)
- The definition that you are using is not adequate and has too many ways to avoid or negate it. In the first place it it not clearly stated that falsifiability is supposed to be a criterion applied to scientific method. There are basically two types of proof in scientific method. There is the proof of deduction and proof of existence. The proof of deduction, which involves the logical construction of the theory is always falsifiable by showing that the logical structure is faulty or that there was a mistake in the assumptions or axioms used. That is if it can be shown that an axiom is invalid then the theory is falsified. Usually the logical test is logical consistency, but theories such as special relativity have been shown to be logically inconsistent but they are not believed to be falsified. The second part of the method, proof of existence involves verification of the predictions made by the proof of deduction. This requires that the predictions made by the theory to be tested are uniquely true such that the claims being tested are distinctly accessible to observational test. A good example of a theory that fails this particular test is special relativity. Special relativity produces non-unique contradictory predictions and so can not be tested so as to identify whether that theory is true to nature or some other theory may produce the same results. For example the Ives-Stillwell was performed and presented as proof that an aether existed according to Herbert Ives. Ives developed his theory and presented his results as proof that aether existed. However, the supporters of Einstein claimed that the experimental proof presented by Ives proved that special relativity was valid and so we have that the experiment proves two different theories are valid and correct. Hence, any theory in order to be consistent with the falsification criteria has to make clear predictions so as to differentiate it form other similar theories and those predictions have to identify uniquely true aspects of what is to be tested so that it does not produce a false positive result of the test.
"Joe beats his children because his father beat him"
Is it true that this claim is non-falsifiable? I don't think it is. We could falsify it by providing convincing evidence that Joe's father did not beat his children. For example, testimony of his father and mother and siblings, testimony of Joe himself, etc., could be sufficient to falsify the claim "Joe's father beat Joe as a child" and thus also the claim "Joe beats his children because his father beat him". Even if it is true that Joe's father beat him, that still doesn't mean we can't falsify the claim that "Joe beats his children because his father beat him". Suppose Joe is a heavy drinker, but then gives up alcohol, and stops beating his children. If that happened, that would suggest it was the alcohol's fault, not the fact that Joe's father beat him, and thus falsify (at least in part) the claim that his own father beating him was the cause of him beating his own children. Maratrean 09:24, 5 June 2012 (EDT)
- To further generalize the above statement, "x does y to any number of z because y happened to x before x had z", where x is any proper name, y is any action verb, and z is something x has. I'll take this to an extreme to illustrate my point. "Judas Iscariot betrays his savior because Judas Iscariot was betrayed by his own savior before he knew Christ" is about the most blasphemous and inaccurate statement I can even think of using this template- the very idea of Judas having a true higher god is ludicrous and by no means, hypothetical or otherwise, can it possibly be proven!
- Thus falsifiable really boils down to something quite simple. My rock, temple and Lord as well as His teachings are about the only non-falsifiable thing there is. Everything else is yet to be determined. Rene Descartes operated on the same basic idea and he was brilliant.
Title sentence shortened
I hope I didn't mess up here. I'm pretty green and I found this page from black holes- I found out a singularity of one is where wonderfully impossible things happen so I figured there must be a liberal utopia in there! You talk about a paradox if ever there was one! Really though, validity and soundness are basic components of human logic, and I thank the Lord every single day for that gift. --Pious 01:22, 17 June 2012 (CDT)