Theory Rejection theorem (Barseghyan-2015)

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An attempt to answer the question of Mechanism of Theory Rejection which states "A theory becomes rejected only when other theories that are incompatible with the theory become accepted."


Theory Rejection theorem was formulated by Hakob Barseghyan in 2015.1 It is currently accepted by Scientonomy community as the best available theory on the subject.


Initially, the theory rejection theorem was accepted as deducible from the conjunction of the first law for theories and Harder's zeroth law.


After the replacement of Harder's zeroth law with the compatibility corollary, suggested by Fraser and Sarwar, it became accepted that the theory rejection theorem is a deductive consequence of the first law for theories and the compatibility corollary.2pp. 72-74

Acceptance Record

Here is the complete acceptance record of Theory Rejection theorem (Barseghyan-2015):
CommunityAccepted FromAcceptance IndicatorsStill AcceptedAccepted UntilRejection Indicators
Scientonomy1 January 2016The theorem became de facto accepted by the community at that time together with the whole theory of scientific change.Yes

Question Answered

Theory Rejection theorem (Barseghyan-2015) is an attempt to answer the following question: How do theories become rejected? What is the mechanism of theory rejection?

See Mechanism of Theory Rejection for more details.


According to the theory rejection theorem, a theory becomes rejected only when other theories that are incompatible with the theory become accepted. By the first law for theories, an accepted theory remains accepted until it is replaced by other theories. By the compatibility corollary, the elements of the scientific mosaic are compatible with each other at any moment of time. It follows, therefore, that a theory can only become rejected when it is replaced by an incompatible theory or theories.1pp. 167-172 2pp. 72-74

Theory Rejection Theorem deduction (Barseghyan-Fraser-Sarwar-2018).png

Implicit in the theorem is the idea that each theory is assessed on an "individual basis by its compatibility with the propositions of the newly accepted theory".1p. 168 If it turns out that a previously accepted theory is compatible with the newly accepted theory, it remain in the agent's mosaic.


  1. a b c  Barseghyan, Hakob. (2015) The Laws of Scientific Change. Springer.
  2. a b  Fraser, Patrick and Sarwar, Ameer. (2018) A Compatibility Law and the Classification of Theory Change. Scientonomy 2, 67-82. Retrieved from