Hypothesis testing

The experimental scientific study or hypothesis testing method and the common sense or Veus vei method belong in the validation stage of a theory.

Cover of the Global Scientific Method PDF. Tree of knowledge with pink leaves.




Author: José Tiberius



2.c.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 scientific theories. When speaking about the stages of the scientific method, the hypothesis testing of an experimental study is in the second stage instead of next to the other two classical basic methods according to the classification of the scientific methods quoted by Galileo.

  1. Presentation and steps of the scientific method
  2. Validation stage
    • Hypothesis testing (Verification or Disproof)
    • Common sense (Galileo - Veus vei)
  3. Acceptance. (Sociology of science)
    • Scientific Community
    • Society as a whole

Regarding the validations stage of a scientific theory, the current doctrine is not complete because it only accepts the hypothesis testing within an experimental study and not the purely rational or common sense as Galileo also indicated.

The current scientific hypothesis testing of an experimental study is present, however, as desired; for example, it turns out that the constant of gravity is universal, and no one has walked around the world to confirm it. Besides, it is not clear that it would be like that because it is an obscure topic.

Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) (Public domain image)
Galileo Galilei (Public domain)

An opposite example is the existence of planets revolving around other stars. Until recently, their existence was not scientific, and no one with the least bit of common sense could think that they do not exist, keeping in mind the number of stars. It seems humans still find themselves in a heliocentric growing stage with relativistic fever following the Ptolemaic stage.

The second scientific method of the validation stage, based on common sense, is Jump or Pop up because it is self-sufficient, some things cannot have more evidence than themselves; they are apparent or common sense, we could say they jump into view. Another very descriptive naming is the Veus Vei method from the famous game of I spy with my little eye –veo veo in Spanish– of the little boy.

It is worth repeating, because it seems many people forget that error elimination or refutation not only arises in the hypothesis testing of an experimental study, but it can also be of logical nature. For example, when it reaches a logical impossibility or a mental paradox invalidating the premise, that is, an ad absurdum situation within what we have called the Pop-up method or Veus vei method.

In other words, the paradoxes, let us say of twins or effect-cause, indicate the presence of errors in the proposed theory.

Of course, mistakes can always happen with any method, but scientific knowledge is a dynamic concept, and previous theories may have errors; indeed, even the names can improve.

Concerning the two philosophical positions of the hypothesis testing, the verification, according to the Vienna Circle, as well as the Popper falsifiability, seemed reasonable and very similar.


2.c.3. Acceptance stage - Sociology of science

The third stage in this vision of the methodology of science is Acceptance. In 1962 in a book about the structure of the scientific revolutions, Kuhn carried out a marvelous analysis of the evolution of science in the medium and long-term.

Other positions like the accumulation of knowledge or the credibility of Popper also seem reasonable, although the point of view could be different.

One thing is 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.

As the sociology of science adequately points out, this stage is the cause of the majority of the problems in science ** and its methodology.

It looks like the best scientific method in this stage is the sudden death method, which consists of letting 50 years, or whatever necessary, go by until someone reads a theory, while the author is trying to go unnoticed by the skeptics or imagine what Kuhn would have recommended.