Demarcation of evidence into ‘testable evidence’ leads to inferences that can be validated in a subject independent fashion. These inferences fall into what is considered ‘science’.
Demarcation of evidence into ‘non-testable evidence’ means no inferences can be drawn. This does not mean that the truth claim is necessarily false. It could be true or not. All we can say is that in the absence of ‘testing’, we are not in a position to comment on the ‘truth’, based on the evidence that is presented in support of the ‘truth claim’. And only in that sense the evidence falls into the realm of ‘Metaphysics’.
It is important to remember that something that is not testable today may become testable in the future as technology at our disposal may change/improve.
The approach of evaluating and/or testing arbitrary or selective evidence from the pool of all relevant evidence is irrational and leads to inductive reasoning. If such evidence is ‘non-testable’ then it leads to dogmatic skepticism or dogmatic beliefs. If such evidence is ‘testable’ then it leads to hasty conclusions. A researcher may be tempted to select only that evidence which also happens to corroborate his theory while ignoring all other evidence that would have falsified his theory.
Two axes of ‘Testability’ and ‘Evidence’ allow us to categorize behavior of knowledge producers, distributors and consumers in four specific categories. We will name them in the next part of this series, however, it is critical to remember that this is behavioral descriptions of the methodology/research conducted by (or distributed or consumed) a specific researcher or a group of researchers, and this is not a reflection of who they are. This is because it is possible that a same individual (researcher, distributor or consumer) may produce multiple works that may fall into these 4 different categories.
Thus, it is critical to remember that what we are critiquing, with the help of these 4 broad categories is the method or specific research efforts and not the person (or team) who produced (or distributed or consumed) such work.
To be continued…