Bad Theories, Good Theories

Just because a theory is falsifiable doesn’t mean that it’s good.

A theory that a specific flower blooms in the springtime because the month of May is sacred is falsifiable because it can be tested. If the flower blooms in May, you have evidence your theory works.  

But good theories have explanatory power. And these explanations should be hard to vary. In the flower example, one could easily vary the theory: maybe it blooms in May because May is the month with the fewest letters. The theory is equally valid to the “May is sacred” theory, if the flower blooms in May. 

Good theories with good explanatory power exist when each part of the theory is critical to the explanation. The best theories are ones where the slight variation proves the theory wrong.

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