The Cyrus Cylinder and testable theories

Karl Popper pondered the question “When should a theory be ranked as scientific?” and came up with the following criteria (summarized from the article):

  • confirming a theory is easy.
  • a scientific theory should be falsifiable.
  • testing a theory means trying to prove it is false.
  • testing a theory means verifying its predictions are observed.

While not everyone holds to Popper’s philosophy of science the criterion of testability, falsifiability and predictability are considered important for any scientific theory. In fact the claim that is often leveled against “religion” is that it can’t do any of these things and thus can easily be dismissed by the scientific community. Continue reading