Karl Popper on the Method of Science

A quote of a Karl Popper quote that I thought I’d post for historical interest’s sake:

“Believing that your hypothesis must be correct before all the evidence is gathered encourages you to interpret the evidence selectively. This is human nature It is also precisely what the scientific method tries to avoid. It does so by requiring that scientists not just test their hypotheses, but try to prove them false.

‘The method of science is the method of bold conjectures and ingenious and severe attempts to refute them,’

said Karl Popper, the dean of the philosophy of science. Popper also noted that an infinite number of possible wrong conjectures exist for every one that happens to be right. This is why the practice of science requires an exquisite balance between a fierce ambition to discover the truth and a ruthless skepticism toward your own work. This, too, is the ideal albeit not the reality, of research in medicine and public health” (Gary Taubes, Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, And The Controversial Science Of Diet And Health, p. 25).

Advertisements