Modification:Sciento-2021-0004

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Accept that the handling of scientific error, as defined by Machado-Marques and Patton, is compatible with the theory rejection theorem.

The modification was suggested to Scientonomy community by Paul Patton and Sarah Machado-Marques on 1 August 2021.1 This modification presupposes the acceptance of Sciento-2021-0003. The modification is currently being evaluated; a verdict is pending.

Preamble

In 2018 Maxim Mirkin and Sinan Karamehmetoglu raised the issue of whether cases of scientific error were compatible with the theory rejection theorem. These authors were concerned that it appeared as though, in cases of error, a theory was simply being removed from the mosaic due to its being recognized as an error without being replaced by another theory. The first law of scientific change states that "an element of the mosaic remains in the mosaic unless replaced by other elements". The first law, together with the compatibility corollary can be used to deduce the theory rejection theorem, which states that "A theory becomes rejected only when other theories incompatible with the theory become accepted".

Patton and Machado-Marques 1 analyzed several instances of scientific error and showed that scientific error handling, when properly analyzed, is fully consistent with the theory rejection theorem. They argued that instances of scientific error typically involve the rejection of one or more of the premises of the argument that leads to the erroneous conclusion as well as the conclusion itself. In most cases, first-order propositions of the original erroneously accepted theory are replaced by other first-order propositions incompatible with them. In some cases, however, first-order propositions are replaced by second-order propositions asserting the lack of sufficient reason for accepting these first-order propositions. In both cases, such a replacement is fully consistent with the theory rejection theorem.

Modification

Accept that, in scientific practice, the handling of error is fully in accord with the theory rejection theorem.

Verdict

The modification is currently being evaluated; a verdict is pending. The modification can only become accepted once modification Sciento-2021-0003 becomes accepted.

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References

  1. a b  Machado-Marques, Sarah and Patton, Paul. (2021) Scientific Error and Error Handling. Scientonomy 4, 21-39. Retrieved from https://scientojournal.com/index.php/scientonomy/article/view/37121.