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Posted by Harvey on September 30, 2003 21:08:19 UTC

and not empirical science per se. There can be some great reasons to accept a theory but until its predictions start matching observations, we do not have a scientific confirmation that the theory is correct. If we have a theory and later we find another adequate theory with the same predictions, then one might argue that both are undecidable until they can be decided for or against based on the evidence. Again, this is all about models. Even if all the evidence favors one theory over another, this doesn't mean that one theory is true and the other false.

Talk of theories being 'true' and theories not requiring empirical evidence is a misconception. You need predictions, otherwise the theories that do not meet this criteria are eventually shelved. That's how it should be.

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