Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Falsifiability: In opposition to the verification criterion of the logical positivists, Austrian-born philosopher Karl Popper (1902–1994) defended the idea of falsifiability. According to Popper’s falsification criterion scientists should develop theories that can be falsified by observation. They should then try to falsify them, and those that survive testing should then be tentatively accepted and regarded as corroborated, that is, as closer to the truth than theories that have been falsified. The criterion was intended to demarcate science from pseudo-science. In the mid-twentieth century these ideas and their consequences for religious beliefs were at the center of the science/religion debate, but because of doubts about whether science itself could satisfy Popper’s requirements, issues of falsifiability have had a less prominent place in the debate since the 1980s. 1
1. Mikael Stenmark, Encyclopedia of Science and Religion.