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Everything Is True Until Proven Wrong... Right?

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I once read a thread with a post in it saying "Everything is possible, unless it isn't." I read another thread just recently with the post "Hypothesis are assumed true until they're proven wrong."

 

I'm seeing flaws in this logic. So if I were to create a hypothesis that was extremely unlikely, yet impossible to prove/disprove, we should all just assume it's true? For instance, how would you disprove my hypothesis that, in the center of every star is not nuclear fusion but is instead a dragon radiating firebreath in all directions? You may say this dragon couldn't ever exist because <insert long explanation here>, but then I'll make another hypothesis as to why it is possible, and a hypothesis that explains why the last hypothesis is possible, and so on. Before you know it, I've created an entire web of assumptions that explains the universe in ways that cannot be proven or disproven.

 

I am seeing some serious problems with the idea that everything is to be assumed true until it's proven false. Care to help me out of this pit of confusion?

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A better way to think of it is in terms of plausible theories, in other words the theory must conform or explain why they improve upon current understanding. Its not enough to simply propose an idea, without showing a solid understanding of the current understanding. Any theory undergoes numerous tests, against any related models already present.

 

1) define the problem

2) find a plausible solution to the problem (including the mathematics)

3) compare the solution to the other possible solutions to the problem

4) find evidence to support you model (mathematical and/or physical)

5) find ways to disprove your model

6) find way to improve upon your model and understanding

7) be prepared to accept and correct flaws within your model as new understanding develops

8) be prepared to have your model invalidated when that new understanding develops

Edited by Mordred

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I read another thread just recently with the post "Hypothesis are assumed true until they're proven wrong."

Essentially this is correct. You are usually looking for falsification of a hypothesis in order to rule it out.

 

Often in experimental design you are attempting to prove the opposite of your hypothesis. If you cannot do this then your hypothesis must be good.

 

 

So if I were to create a hypothesis that was extremely unlikely, yet impossible to prove/disprove, we should all just assume it's true?

If there is no chance of falsification, even in principal, then the hypothesis cannot be considered scientific.

Edited by ajb

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If it's truly impossible to tell if it's true or false, then it can not matter whether you assume it's true or not.

 

Any difference in outcome that arises from either (assuming that it is true) or (assuming that it is not true) is a potential way to prove that it's true or not.

 

That's why science ignores unprovable things; they can't make a difference.

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I once read a thread with a post in it saying "Everything is possible, unless it isn't." I read another thread just recently with the post "Hypothesis are assumed true until they're proven wrong."

 

 

Context matters. One might provisionally assume an hypothesis is true; why try and falsify it if you've assumed it's false? But in a broader view, the burden of proof is on the person making a claim, and in that sense an hypothesis is not assumed true unless proven false. One cannot simply make a claim with the assumption that it's true, and have no further obligation in the matter.

 

Since you've not linked to the discussion where the claim was made, it's not possible to discern the context of the statement.

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I find it hard to even understand how someone could go by the logic that "everything is true until proven wrong", which to me feels extremely flawed. To use a silly and simplistic example: If I said that aliens have landed a spaceship in your back yard, would you be inclined to believe that it's true more than you'd tend to believe it's false, until you get there and see for yourself?

 

I go by another logic, which is one I also encourage to others: If you have more reasons to believe that something is false, conclde that it's most likely false for the time being. If more pointers of something being true are known, conclude that it's most likely true for now. But never with 100% certainty, and be ready to chance that conclusion whenever information comes and goes. Also, the fewer proof you have in a sense, the less you should take action, as you are theoretically more likely to act based on incorrect knowledge. By reasons / pointers, I refer especially to solid proof, but also logics and conclusions when actual proof is not available.

 

If you absolutely must conclude something permanent in a given amount of time, probe it however you are able to, make sure you have any other evidence in its sense, and also ask for the opinions of other people... all unrelated from each other so you can be sure they're individual conclusions.

Edited by MirceaKitsune

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