Ruminations on Corroboration

A beautiful, yet simple, concept of ‘corroboration’ can be understood easily.  However, it may take a long time to internalize it.

It is also critical that one understands how ‘corroboration‘ is not same (at all) as ‘proving or ‘verifying‘.

It is also critical that one understands ‘corroboration’ of a specific evidence (observation or outcome of an experiment) is always in the context of a specific theory.

And no rumination on ‘corroboration‘ would be complete without rumination on ‘Falsification‘.

Falsification is also a beautiful and simple concept and can be understood easily.  However, like corroboration, it may take a long time to internalize it.

It is critical that one understands how ‘falsification‘ is not same as ‘disproving‘ something.

It is also critical to understand that ‘falsification‘ of something is ‘deadly‘ and thus extremely powerful. While no amount of ‘corroboration’ proves a theory, falsification dismisses the claim of a specific theory and/or proposal.

For the very same reason, a lack of corroboration of certain evidence for a given theory might hint at incompleteness of that theory, but does not lead to dismissal of that theory, at least not unless another theory/proposal corroborates such observation/evidence, while retaining successes of previously held ‘best in class’ theory.

Corroboration has nothing to do with, not only ‘proving, ‘disproving’, ‘verifying’ etc., but also with ‘establishing’, ‘justifying’, ‘pleading’, ‘appealing’, ‘special pleading’, etc.

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