Karl Popper Vs. The Demarcation Problem

Karl Popper Vs. The Demarcation Problem

Karl Popper once made a valiant effort to logically define the limits of science, but failed. Here's why.
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Karl Popper’s falsification criterion for determining the difference between science and pseudoscience (also called fake science) is insufficient as a solution to the demarcation problem: the problem of determining what is and isn't science, because it does not rule out pseudosciences like astrology from being considered.

One objection to this argument is that Popper’s theory actually does rule out astrology as a pseudoscience, rather than a science. Since eventually pseudosciences will have to resort to ad hoc explanations for their mistakes, whereas sciences make claims that are either falsified or at the very least falsifiable. An example of science is the theory of planetary gravitational orbits, which was subjected to testing when calculations appeared to go wrong. If this test had been falsified, then science would have had to mark potentially the entire scientific paradigm that it existed false. On the other hand, astrologers will never shift their entire paradigm. Instead, they will simply continue to explain away their inaccurate ideas until falsification becomes impossible.

This objection must be responded to by pointing out that it is not always true. Sometimes, what many would consider pseudoscience does make radical changes to its core beliefs based on falsification. A new sign was added to astrology, for example, in response to tests concerning the future and the rotation of the planet on its axis. Alternatively, at times science and the scientific community that practices, it seems unwilling to change in the face of falsification. For a long time, scientists stubbornly refused to believe that x-rays were harmful to pregnant women and their babies, because the person who made this discovery, Dr. Alice Stewart, was a woman. Eventually, her work did convince other scientists to believe rightly that x-rays could be dangerous, but this was not so much in response to the falsification of their previous theories. It was in response to other pressures, and it took years for her data to be accepted in the scientific community.

As such, it can be seen that although appearances may point to its correctness at times, Karl Popper’s falsification criterion is lacking as a solution to the demarcation problem, because it does not truly define science or pseudoscience at all times.

Cover Image Credit: Saima Meditation

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To The High School Teacher Who Changed My Life Long After Graduation

It is about time you knew.

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I have been putting off writing this since graduation; what do you say to someone who changed your life completely? Exactly. I had no clue either, but after thinking, writing and rewriting this all came together.

I finally knew what I wanted to say to you.

First and foremost, thank you. Throughout my high school career, you were the one person that no matter what I was feeling, thinking, or needing you understood. You are my biggest supporter and even throughout college, you continue to reach out to make sure that everything is going well.

You encourage my dreams, tell me how you really feel and never let me make the stupid choice. You listened to me as I cried and laughed with me through the good moments. You encouraged me to reach for the stars and no matter what you told me that I could. You created this idea in my mind that I could be anything I wanted, and anyone I wanted and because of you I believe that now.

Second, you are incredible.

I know you will never believe me on this but you never gave yourself enough credit anyway. You stuck with your passion for teaching even after the benefits of other jobs. You raise a family and support three kids and a wife through their biggest moments despite the time consumed at work. You manage to be a friend, a colleague, a tutor, a coach, a teacher, a husband, a father, a son, and a neighbor and never let your commitment to anyone go without attention. You spend countless hours on the people around you and never ask for anything in return. You give everyone the time of day they deserve and you make sure when they are done talking to you they feel better. I hope someday you see that you are one of the most incredible people, you deserve to.

Lastly, you make a difference.

I know after a long day of high school students you feel like you talked to a brick wall. I know you feel like what you just did was a waste of your time and theirs, but you need to know that is not true. You encourage students to pursue their dreams. You encourage people to make the right decisions despite the wrong temptations. You encourage students to be themselves and give them an environment in which they can, safely and happily. You make a difference on every student you encounter.

While writing about your students, I cannot even begin to tell you how you make a difference in your children. Your children look up to you, believe in you and listen to you. You pursuing your dream, giving them a home and loving their mother makes a difference every single day in their life. I have asked them about you, and the things they say would bring the toughest man to tears. Please know at the end of every day - you made a difference.

After everything you did for me, I will never be able to repay you.

I hope I can make you proud and I hope that no matter where my future takes me you will forever know that I am there in part because of you. You deserve the world, but a letter will have to do for now. Continue to be the incredible person you are, because the world needs more people like you.

From,

The Student Who's Life You Changed

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How Your College Break, Holiday Season Will Probably Go Down, As Told By 'New Girl'

Thank God for that spiked egg nog.

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YAHHHHHHH!

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If you know me at all, I believe this is the best time of the year, everything is decorated with twinkly lights, there is an abundance of ice skating rinks around town, the Starbucks Christmas cups are here, and of course the time of going home to your families.

Introducing significant others to the family is always exciting yet nerve-racking. Especially in my household with my millions of cousins who all take the responsibility of being my intimidating older brother. Did they lock my boyfriend in a closet at some point? You betcha. Now did that relationship last much past that? You tell me.

So whether you are bringing a sig-o to meet your family or just your lovely self, there are always the up's and downs of the Holidays. The following is a Christmas Story as described by "New Girl".

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Ah, cuffing season, we only love you if we're reaping the benefits.

You come home during the Holidays and your Aunt asks, "where's that one fella?", and your mother gives her the look and she quickly tries to change the subject. You proceed to have the lovely conversation of why you're alone, but actually totally okay with it, cause you don't have the time, and are a busy gal trying to juggle clubs, a job, an internship, and school all at once. You talk about the accomplishments that you've been making, and the only part of that speech that is registered by your family members is that you came alone, you get that endearing pat on the back, of "it's gonna be okay". I KNOW SUSAN.

Or you might bring home that boyfriend, finally someone worth bringing home to show off to your family but of course, being the overachiever that you've been looking for, he tries to fit in too quickly, impress your family. Then goes in for the hug with your Dad right off the bat, when your dad was going for the handshake.

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Tone it down babe.

This is then the point of where you walk away to take a breath and go straight for the food -- but hold on, it isn't ready yet because you came for dinner and it's 2 pm.

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You go sit down next to your elderly relatives to see how they are doing, and you're surprised because you find yourself relating to cynical old Uncle Larry. Bonding.

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Then finally, the Turkey buzzer goes off and its time to eat, your grandmother continues to then feeds you loads of her homemade stuffing.

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Then your lovely Aunt Sheryl stops by and takes a seat next to you and asks you what you are planning on doing with your life.

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God bless that spiked eggnog.

Everything might not go according to plan, it never does.

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Yet at the end of that hectic day, you look at everyone surrounding you, and you are damn thankful to have all of these people in your life. Whether they are family, friends, or your cousin's boyfriend you're meeting for the first time. Everyone there made the effort of coming together, enjoying one another's company, celebrating the true meaning of Christmas, and enjoying a nice cup of hot cocoa. Even though parts of it may seem painful, Christmas is still the all-time best, especially when you have an Aunt like mine who decorates her house like the actual North Pole, and you can't help but walk around like a giddy Jessica Day.

Having the privilege of relaxing and celebrating, and eating good food with each other.

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I can't wait.

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