II.3.2. Validation of a scientific theory
- The hypothesis testing or experimental study
- The Pop up or Veus Vei method
The second stage of the scientific method is the validation of the scientific theories. When speaking about the stages of the scientific method, I have mentioned the placement hypothesis testing of the experimental study in the second stage instead of next to the other two classical basic methods according to this classification of the scientific methods quoted by Galileo.
Regarding the validations stage of a scientific theory, the current scientific method is not complete because it only accepts the hypothesis testing within a experimental study and not the purely rational means or common sense like Galileo also indicated.
In practice, the current scientific hypothesis testing of an experimental study is used, however, as desired; for example, it turns out that the constant of gravity is universal, and as far as I know, no one has walked around the world in order to confirm it. Besides, I seriously doubt that it would be like that because it is a pretty obscure topic.
An example of the opposite is the existence of planets revolving around other stars. Until recently, their existence was not scientific, and I think that no one with the least bit of common sense could possibly think that they don’t exist, keeping in mind the number of stars that are seen at night. I suppose that humans still find themselves in a heliocentric stage with relativistic fever following the Ptolemaic stage.
The second scientific method of the validation stage of a theory, based on common sense, is what I call Jump or Pop up because it is self-sufficient, there are things that cannot be demonstrated; they are obvious or common sense, we can say they jump into view. Another very descriptive naming is the Veus Vei method from the boy philosopher’s famous game of I spy with my little eye (veo veo in Spanish)
It is worth repeating, because it seems that it is too frequently forgotten that error elimination or refutation not only arises in the hypothesis testing of an experimental study but it can also be of logical nature. When it has logical nature it is because it has reached a logical impossibility or a mental paradox that obviously invalidates the premise, that is, an ad absurdum situation is reached within what we have called the Pop up method or Veus vei method.
In other words, the paradoxes, let's say of twins or of effect-cause, indicate the presence of errors in the proposed theory.
Of course mistakes can always be made with any method that is used, but the scientific knowledge is a dynamic concept and previous theories can always be refuted, certainly even the names used can be improved.
Concerning the two philosophical positions of the hypothesis testing, the verification, according to the Vienna Circle, as well as the Popper falsifiability seemed reasonable to me and very similar in practice.
The third stage in this vision of the methodology of science is acceptance. A marvelous analysis of the evolution of science in medium and long-term is the one carried out by Kuhn in 1962 in his book about the structure of the scientific revolutions.
Other positions like the accumulation of knowledge or the credibility of Popper also seem reasonable, although the point of view could be different.
I am merely pointing out that it is one thing to test and validate a scientific theory, and another for the experts of the corresponding scientific community to have the time or willingness to read theories outside of the prevailing paradigm.
Like the sociology of science adequately points out, this stage is the cause of the majority of the problems in science and its methodology.
In particular, it seems that the best scientific method in this stage is the sudden death method which consists of letting 500 years, or whatever necessary, go by until someone reads your theory, while trying to go unnoticed by the skeptics. Nevertheless, I want to say that it is not a complaint but a reality. I think it can be no other way, that is how humans are and I like it.