I believe in the scientific method for the most part, I prefer the word falsification to debunking. Karl Popper put forward that theories can never be
verified in totality only falsified. He famously used the hypothetical black swans theory.
"Suppose a theory proposes that all swans are white. The obvious way to prove the theory is to check that every swan really is white - but there's a
problem. No matter how many white swans you find, you can never be sure there isn't a black swan lurking somewhere. So you can never prove the theory
is true. In contrast, finding one solitary black swan guarantees that the theory is false. This is the unique power of falsification: the ability to
disprove a universal statement with just a single example - an ability, Popper pointed out, that flows directly from the theorems of deductive
I recommend his book The logic of scientific discovery.
I wanted to add that many established scientific theories have been in existence for so long they are now considered to be fact. Nothing illustrates
this better than the field of big bang cosmology where a plethora of theories have emerged that are becoming increasingly surreal because of the fact
they are impossible to falsify. Giving up real science for mathematical musings and thought experiments. Particularly in this field the scientists
ignore Poppers logic, they ignore the obvious falsifications and also the solid science of other areas that says otherwise. They simple resort to
tweaking the theory and adding more ad hoc unfalsifiable elements to continue along the same dead end path for the detriment of us all.
I believe this also exists in the classical Darwinian theory of evolution as well with many supposed facts being impossible to falsify. I do believe
in evolution but do not agree with the mechanisms.
I find it amusing the contrast between big bang cosmology and evolutionary theories, one was based on a creation event put forth by a priest trying to
reconcile science and religion, the other is the complete opposite relying solely on materialism and chance.
We also have to careful about the use of evidence. Sometimes it is blatantly obvious but still this is not fool proof and can never be. And sometimes
evidence is twisted because of perception and interpretation of the facts and yet it is still called solid evidence.
So the burden of proof should not lie with person making the claims as theories can never be proven outright, it should be open to falsification as in
the scientific method.
The theoretical scientific institutions could do with a healthy dose of skepticism.
Just my opinion on theories that are taught and considered as fact. Sorry for the science rant, I thought it could apply to this thread. Very good
Here's a good example of how this skepticism thing can go both ways.
The Skeptical Inquirer Embarrasses Itself