How to determine a better theory

How to determine a better theory

Illustrated using

Luni-solar Theory vs. Binary Star Theory

Criteria: (taken from Karl Popper’s “Truth, Rationality & Growth of Knowledge)

We can say theory T-2 is better than theory T-1, if
(1) T-2 makes more precise assertions than T-1, and these precise assertions stand up to more precise tests
(2) T-2 takes account of, and explains, more facts than T-1. This will also include aspect from (1) …namely T-2’s assertions are more precise.
(3) T-2 describes, or explains, the facts in more detail than T-1
(4) T-2 has passed tests which T-1 has failed to pass
(5) T-2 has suggested new experimental tests, not considered before T-2 was designed (and not suggested by T-1, and perhaps not even applicable to T-1), and T-2 has passed these tests
(6) T-2 has unified or connected various hitherto unrelated problems

3 Requirements for Growth of Knowledge (from Karl Popper, see above)

(1) New theory should proceed from some simple, new, powerful and unifying idea about some connection between hitherto unconnected things or facts or new theoretical entities. This idea of simplicity is bit vague, however one important ingredient in the idea of simplicity can be logically analyzed. It is the idea of testability
(2) New theory should be independently testable, i.e. it must have new and testable consequences (preferably consequences of new kind). It must lead to the prediction of phenomena which have not so far been observed (or explained). If this second requirement is satisfied, then our new theory will represent a potential step forward, whatever the outcome of new tests may be.
(3) We require that the theory should pass some new, and severe, tests.

Next, I will begin describing Luni-Solar theory and Binary Star theory……..

 

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