Re: Def'n of Science

Vernon Jenkins (
Wed, 03 Mar 1999 15:13:34 +0000

Brian wrote in response to Neal's

> > You can know if something is testable or not by checking to see if
> > *both* a verification scenario *and* and falsification scenario
> > exist.
> > Generally evolution education intoxicates students with verification
> > scenarios and never even defines what the falsification scenario
> > looks like. Consequently, no test could ever falsify evolution
> > because falsification is undefined.
> This is illogical. Even if one granted the intoxication bit of
> rhetoric, it doesn't follow that evolution cannot be falsified.
> Many attempts to falsify evolution were made in the past.
> Refer to a history of science book for details.
Karl Popper in 'The Logic of Scientific Discovery' drew a clear line of
demarcation between science and metaphysical ideas. He maintained that
all statements of empirical science must be capable of being finally
decided with respect both to their truth and falsity. In a memorable
quote, he says, "... it is not his possession of knowledge, of
irrefutable truth, that makes the man of science, but his persistent and
recklessly critical quest for truth." (p.281)

As I understand the matter, it is widely acknowledged that an
experiment to falsify the Theory of Evolution is impossible to devise.
It is largely because of this that Popper, in his later years - bowing
to intense pressure from the naturalist lobby - allowed 'scientific
consensus' to overrule his earlier demand that 'falsifiability' be made
the proper criterion of demarcation for any theory for which the claim
'scientific' is being made.

Brian, I therefore find it hard to understand why you should label
Neal's remarks 'illogical'.