Difference between revisions of "Refutability"
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D.Kouznetsov. Place of science and physics in the human knowledge. Physics-Uspekhi, v.181, Trubune, p.1-9 (2010-2011), (in Russian.)</ref>.
D.Kouznetsov. Place of science and physics in the human knowledge. Physics-Uspekhi, v.181, Trubune, p.1-9 (2010-2011), (in Russian.)</ref>.
Latest revision as of 21:41, 22 June 2020
Refutability (опровержимость) is property of a scientific concept, that determines the possibility of its negation, refutation.
Refutability is one of necessary requirements, postulated for the scientific knowledge at the Main Page of TORI, as Third TORI axiom.
refutar to refute (reject / disagree) 
- 1 History and terminology
- 2 Karl Popper
- 3 Reproducibility
- 4 Range of validity
- 5 Practical sense
- 6 Application of the criterion
- 7 More Irrefutable concepts
- 8 References
- 9 Keywords
History and terminology
The first attempt to formulate refutability as basic property of the scientific knowledge is usually attributed to Karl Popper, although he used the term falsifiability instead  . The term falsifiability is ambiguous. Requirement of flsifiability allows to qualify as pseudo-science all the official Russian versions of the Russian history, as the falsifications are prohibited there, and there is special presidential commission to fight against those who are qualified as "falsifiers" . The falsifiability may mean fraud, and it is desirably to avoid it, at least in science.
In TORI, the term falsifiabication is not used in any of its meanings. In the case of dishonest distortion of data, the term fraud is used. In the case of indication of inconsistency of a concept the term refutation is used. Accordingly, the property is not called falsifiability, but refutability.
(1) It is easy to obtain confirmations, or verifications, for nearly every theory -- if we look for confirmations.
(2) Confirmations should count only if they are the result of risky pre dictions; that is to say, if, unenlightened by the theory in question, we should have expected an event which was incompatible with the theory--an event which would have refuted the theory.
3) Every 'good' scientific theory is a prohibition: it forbids certain things to happen. The more a theory forbids, the better it is.
(4) A theory which is not refutable by any conceivable event is non scientific. Irrefutability is not a virtue of a theory (as people often think) but a vice.
(5) Every genuine test of a theory is an attempt to falsify it, or to refute it. Testability is falsifiability; but there are degrees of testability: some theories are more testable, more exposed to refutation, than others; they take, as it were, greater risks.
(6) Confirming evidence should not count except when it is the result of a genuine test of the theory; and this means that it can be presented as a serious but unsuccessful attempt to falsify the theory. (I now speak in such cases of 'corroborating evidence'.) 
(7) Some genuinely testable theories, when found to be false, are still up held by their admirers--for example by introducing ad hoc some auxiliary assumption, or by re-interpreting the theory ad hoc in such a way that it escapes refutation. Such a procedure is always possible, but it rescues the theory from refutation only at the price of destroying, or at least lowering, its scientific status. (I later described such a rescuing operation as a 'conventionalist twist or a 'conventionalist stratagem'.)
One can sum up all this by saying that the criterion of the scientific status of a theory is its falsifiability, or refutability, or testability.
The requirement of reproducibility  implies both, the Verifiability and Refutability. If the repetition of some experiment reproduces the prediction of some concept, it is interpreted as verification; if the results disagree, the disagreement can be matter for the search of mistakes and for the refutation. In particular, the reproducibility is essential for computational mathematics; the results of evaluation of some quantity, results of simulations are supposed to be reproduced, if performed with different facilities (another hardware, another software, another code). For the tracing of any possible disagreements and errors, it is important to specify the software used and to provide the initial codes . In order to provide the reproducibility, simplifying the refutation of concepts, in TORI, the figures are supplied with generators, id est, codes, used for the generation. Stability of figures is verified, running the generators at different operational systems (some macintosh and linux); so, the figures are expected to reproduce also at running with other operational systems.
Reproducibility allows both, refutation and verification. If the result of a new experiment of calculus reproduces the previously reported results, this is considered as verification. If not, this may be matter for the refutation. In such a way, verifiability is closely related to refutability; these two qualities can be combined to the requirement of reprodicibility. However, the practice of analysing of the scientific (and pseudo–scientific) claims indicate, that lack of refutability is most often defect of the concepts suggested. For this reason, it worth to separate refutability in a special TORI axiom, and keep reproducibility as a special case.
Range of validity
For commonly accepted paradigms, the refutation usually means the setting of the new limit of the range of applicability. This allows the scientific revolutions. . The concept still may be valid in the reduced range of validity. This prevents loss of the scientific knowledge at a scientific revolution.
The Newtonian mechanics with its universal time and certain trajectories of all particles had been successfully refuted twice: once, by the theory of the special relativity, and then, by the Quantum mechanics. The third attempt to refute it with the inertioids like gravitsapa (developed under the leadership of the RAEN functionary Valery Menshikov in the Khrunichev's Center) is not successful: Up to year 2011, after several years of research and attempts, including the launching of the perpetual motion machines, inertioids to the Earth's orbit, no one additional criterion that would narrow the range of validity of mechanics has not been formulated; no new criterion for the range of validity of the law of conservation of energy–momentum is suggested. The claim for the realization of the inertial propulsion should be qualified as fraud : the creators of gravitsapa cannot claim that they do not know about the conservation of momentum .
Within the axioms of TORI ANY scientific concept allows the refutation, even of the axioms of arithmetics. Such an example is described in the article Mizugadro number. But even if the Mizugadro number exists, the arithmetics remains as very useful approximation with wide range of applicability.
The refutability makes the scientific concept extremely efficient in the description of phenomena and predictions. It is one of the most important tools in the research. This property forces the researcher to arrange the experiments and observations in such a way, that any result appears as benefit.
If the experiment is aimed to confirm some paradigm (id set, the commonly–accepted concept), and it confirms it, this is supposed to be a benefit.
If such an experiment contradicts the paradigm, refutes it - even better. The conditions where the paradigm, theory fails should be carefully described, allowing the colleague reproduce the deduction or the observation and confirm the failure.
For example, the violation of the conservation of energy–momentum, even if it happens in the twelve's digit, is of interest for highest rank physical journal rather than for a technical application. For example, the category pseudoscience includes any attempt to use any inertioid for the propulsion of a spacecraft without to formulate criteria, hypothesis, that would indicate the limit of applicability of the law of conservation of energy-momentum, a way to see the violation in the laboratory, estimates, how strong deviation is expected in each case.
Application of the criterion
The practical use of the criterion of refutability may lead to counter-intuitive conclusions. Some concepts the society, often conceded as a "scientific fact", happen to belong to a religion rather than to any science. Below, few such examples are considered.
Creation of first life
The concept about the spontaneous creation of the first life on the Earth was compulsory in the USSR. It was one of the key statements of the Marx-Lenin philosophy.
This concept satisfies some of the TORI axioms. In particular, it is verifiable; it allows the experiment, that confirms it. Such an experiment could be creation of new living objects from the "dead" chemical components in the laboratory. The axioms do not require that the concept "is already confirmed"; it requires, that the confirming experiment can be described.
As for refutability.. In terms of that philosophy, no experiment that refutes such a concept can be described.
The concept of creation of life by God, contrary, is scientific: it can be refuted. It predicts that no new life can be created in the laboratory by the spontaneous arrangement of atoms and molecules.
The refutability does not make the concept truth, but it is necessary for the qualification as "science".
Creation of artificial intellect
The concept of impossibility of creation of an artificial intellect looks similar to that about creation of first life. However, the criteria of intelligence should be adjusted. For example, the recognition of a non-human creature as subject of the International Law with rights equivalent to the Human Rights might be used as the criterion.
Then, the concept about impossibility of the artificial intellect can be considered as scientific: at least, it can be refuted.
The hypothesis of this existence cannot be refuted, it is not scientific.
Conservation of Energy-momentum
The fundamental law of conservation of energy-momentum follows from the symmetry of our Universe. This conservation allows to make the atomic clock and in this sense, is verified with about 16 decimal digits; the following improoving of the precision is limited by the curvature of the space-time, caused by the gravitational interaction.
The statement There exist some tornado–like style of movement of a liquid, at which the total momentum of the isolated system does not preserve, refers to the "invention" of the Russian Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center; this device is called Gravitsapa . The claim is, that satellite with such a device may change its trajectory due to movement of particles inside the "Gravitsapa". However, neither orbit of the satellite before the action of the Gravitsapa, nor the orbit after the action seem to be measured; so, there is no way to refute the hypothesis, that it indeed provides the support-less force, violating the Laws of Newton.
All the activity around the Gravitsapa and satellite Yubileiny look as fraud, money laundering; general trend of activity of the Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center. (In the similar way, during the USSR, it was popular to order ethanol "for cleaning of the optical axes".)
Equivalence of gravitational and inertial forces
According to the General Theory of Relativity (GTR)
, the gravity provides equal acceleration to all fields.
According to the Logunov Theory of Gratity (LTR) , the gravity provides equal acceleration to all fields, except the gravitational field.
Both theories give the identical prediction for the barely-relativistic systems (similar to the Solar system). Due to the exception, mentioned above, from the TORI Axiom of pluralism, the GTR is principal, and the RTG should be qualified as an "alternative" concept. Nevertheless, this LTG is still refutable: narrow beam of gravitons is not supposed to deviate in vicinity of a massive body, as the beam of photons does; if the beam of gravitons deviate, as an electromagnetic beam does, this would refute the LTG, indicating the limits of applicability. (Even in this case, the range of applicability of LTG seems to remain larger than that of the Newtonian mechanics). Up to technological achievement of 21 century, the narrow beams of gravitons are not available; yet, it is not possible to perform an experiment to negate the LTG.
First, Sovetism claimes, that in the century 20, during the life of the generation that already past away, the communism is built:
The Current Generation of Soviet People Will Live Under Communism).
That prediction had been formulated in the speech by V.Lenin in 1920 .
Then, again, the similar expectation is declared in 1961 in the Khruschev's 1961.ProgramKPSS (Program of the Communist Party of the USSR) .
In both cases, the communism in the first meaning of this term is expected to be built within 20 years. Since 1920 to 1961, in the USSR, no any approach to communism happens; the same 20 years are necessary to build it up.
Second, from the same assumption about good will and honesty of the soviet veterans, it was deduced, that the USSR will last forever; this is declared at the beginning of the national hymn of the USSR .
Both concepts are refutable, and are refuted in the same century 20.
Some irrefutable concepts of sovetism are still popular in century 21.
These concepts allow to qualify sovetism as kind of world-wide religion. Postulates of sovetism in the USSR are compulsory. Negation of these postulates or even expression of doubts about sovetism is quialified as antisovetism and punished. The special articles are introduced in the penalty code of RSFSR and other Soviet republics to jail the Soviet citizen for many years just for unsufficient support of the sovetism. The Soviet fascists considered as crime even questions about breakability, collapsability of the USSR ("Will the Soviet Union Survive until 1984" by Andrei Amalrik, 1969) .
Only in the end of years 1980s, some soviet veterans accepted, admitted, that they were wrong with some of postulates of sovetism. However, even after the collapse of the USSR the agents of KGB (who peformed terror against the USSR citizen), were not executed, nor even punished; for this reason, the similar collapse of RF is predicted by many authors since the beginning of century 21.
More Irrefutable concepts
The irrefutable concepts are used to build–up religions. Here are examples of irrefutable concepts:
0. God had created our Universe.
1. Communism is future of all the humanity.
2. God blesses America.
3. Imperialism is evil.
4. God gives the immortal soul to everyone.
5. The righteous will be at Heaven.
Even the statement by O.Bender (personage of the Novel "12 chairs" by I.Ilf and E.Petrov
) about the "Interplanetary Chess Tournament" in village "Vasyuki" is irrefutable: Bender does not specify the date of the tournament, and does not guarantee that the "Interplanetary Chess Tournament" will take place during the lifetime of victims of his fraud.
In the similar way, the statement, that the tornado-like movement  of a liquid may produce an inertial support-less force, may be considered as irrefutable: it suggests no estimate limiting the range of validity of the law of conservation of energy-momentum.
No predictions can be done on the basis of irrefutable concepts. In particular, in the experiments with gravitsapa, no estimates for the parameters of the orbit of the satellite Yubileiny due the vibrations of gravitsapa is announced, and no comparison with the measured parameters is published.
Some of the examples above are taken from the article Place of science in the human knowledge.
- https://quizlet.com/243701341/antes-de-ser-libres-capitulo-6-pagina-73-hasta-el-principio-de-80-flash-cards/ Antes de ser libres capítulo 6 página 73 hasta el principio de 80. (2020) .. refutar to refute (reject / disagree) .. Flickr Creative Commons Images.
- http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/popper_falsification.html Karl R. Popper. Science as falsification. Karl Popper, Conjectures and Refutations. London: Routledge and Keagan Paul, 1963, pp. 33-39
- http://philosophyfaculty.ucsd.edu/faculty/rarneson/Courses/popperphil1.pdf Karl Popper. Science: Conjectures and refutations. - 'Philosophy of Science: a Personal Report', in British Philosophy in Mid-Century, ed. C. A. Mace, 1957.
- http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/1961-02882-000 Popper, Karl R. The logic of scientific discovery. Oxford, England: Basic Books. (1959).
- http://www.rg.ru/2009/05/20/komissia-dok.html Д.Медведев. О Комиссии при Президенте Российской Федерации по противодействию попыткам фальсификации истории в ущерб интересам России. Указ президента РФ, Русская Газета, 15 мая 2009 г. N 549 . (In Russian)
- http://press.princeton.edu/chapters/i7022.pdf Robert Ehrlich: Nine Crazy Ideas in Science. © 2001, by Princeton University Press. .. the developer of a new theory must do everything possible to prove the theory is incorrect, find its flaws, and even make any weaknesses known to the community. .. Revolutionary new ideas in physics and other sciences are rarely accepted immediately by the scientific community. ..
- http://calteches.library.caltech.edu/3043/1/CargoCult.pdf Richard P. Feynman. Cargo Cult Science. Caltech;s 1974 commencement address. .. if you're doing an experiment, you should report everything that you think might make it invalid - not only that you think is right about it: other cases that could possibly explain your result; and things you thought of that you've eliminated by some other experiment, and how they worked – to make sure the other fellow can tell they have been eliminated.
- https://bertie.ccsu.edu/naturesci/PhilSci/PopperArticle.html Karl Popper (1957). Science: Conjectures and Refutations[*] .. (1) It is easy to obtain confirmations, or verifications, for nearly every theory--if we look for confirmations. // (2) Confirmations should count only if they are the result of risky pre dictions; that is to say, if, unenlightened by the theory in question, we should have expected an event which was incompatible with the theory--an event which would have refuted the theory. // 3) Every 'good' scientific theory is a prohibition: it forbids certain things to happen. The more a theory forbids, the better it is. // (4) A theory which is not refutable by any conceivable event is non scientific. Irrefutability is not a virtue of a theory (as people often think) but a vice. // (5) Every genuine test of a theory is an attempt to falsify it, or to refute it. Testability is falsifiability; but there are degrees of testability: some theories are more testable, more exposed to refutation, than others; they take, as it were, greater risks. // (6) Confirming evidence should not count except when it is the result of a genuine test of the theory; and this means that it can be presented as a serious but unsuccessful attempt to falsify the theory. (I now speak in such cases of 'corroborating evidence'.)  // (7) Some genuinely testable theories, when found to be false, are still up held by their admirers--for example by introducing ad hoc some auxiliary assumption, or by re-interpreting the theory ad hoc in such a way that it escapes refutation. Such a procedure is always possible, but it rescues the theory from refutation only at the price of destroying, or at least lowering, its scientific status. (I later described such a rescuing operation as a 'conventionalist twist or a 'conventionalist stratagem'.) // One can sum up all this by saying that the criterion of the scientific status of a theory is its falsifiability, or refutability, or testability. ..
- http://icerm.brown.edu/tw12-5-rcem Reproducibility in Computational and Experimental Mathematics (December 10-14, 2012).
- http://www.ams.org/notices/201306/rnoti-p679.pdf D.H.Bailey, J.M.Borwein, Victoria Stodden. Set the Default to “Open”. Notices of the American Mathematical Society, 2013, v.60, No.6, p. 679-680.
- http://www.des.emory.edu/mfp/Kuhn.html T.S.Kuhn. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. 2nd. ed., Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Pr., 1970.
- http://pphmj.com/abstract/5076.htm D.Kouznetsov. Support of non-traditional concepts. Far East Journal of Mechanical Engineering and Physics, 1, No.1, p.1-6 (2010)
- http://ufn.ru/tribune/trib120111 D.Kouznetsov. Place of science and physics in the human knowledge. Physics-Uspekhi, v.181, Трибуна, p.1-9 (2011, in Russian)
- Place of science in the human knowledge
- http://www.grani.ru/Society/Science/m.174440.html Академик Александров: "Гравицапа" противоречит законам физики. Грани.Ру, 06.02.2010. .."Инновационный" двигатель, основанный "на новых физических принципах получения тяги", который в ближайшее время будет тестироваться на борту спутника "Юбилейный", нарушает фундаментальный закон сохранения импульса, и разработчики двигателя не могут этого не понимать. Об этом заявил Граням.Ру член Комиссии РАН по борьбе с лженаукой и фальсификацией научных исследований, академик Евгений Александров.(in Russian)
- http://en.rian.ru/analysis/20050329/39700712.html Andrei KISLYAKOV. RUSSIA TO HELP DEVELOP NUCLEAR-POWERED SPACECRAFT. 15:34 29/03/2005. ... the R&D institute of space systems near Moscow is busy developing a perpetuum mobile (perpetual-motion engine), of sorts. This engine that will have a virtually unlimited service life could be used on Earth and in outer space.// Our institute's staffers have been developing a non-jet propulsion unit for several years in a row, Valery Menshikov, who heads this institute, said in mid-March. A liquid or solid-state propulsive mass moves along a preset tornado-shaped trajectory inside this engine, thereby ensuring sustainable propulsion.
- http://english.pravda.ru/science/tech/14-04-2009/107399-Russian_scientists-0 Russian scientists test perpetual motion machine in space. "Pravda", 14.04.2009. Specialists of the Institute for Space Systems conducted successful tests of the perpetual motion machine in space. Valery Menshikov, the director of the institute, said that the machine was installed at Yubileiny satellite which was launched into orbit almost a year ago. The satellite can now move from one orbit to another with the help of the engine, which discharges no reaction mass.// The first tests were conducted in June and July of 2008. The tests revealed some problems that need further developments of the machine, but the orbital experiment was conducted successfully in general.
- https://www.pravdareport.com/science/112279-nano_satellites/ Dmitry Sudakov. Russian Scientists Test New Type of Engine for Nano Satellites. 18.02.2010 05:29. Specialists of the Russian Research Center for Space Systems are completing the tests of a unique engine based on new physical principles to obtain propulsive power, Itar-Tass reports.// The engine, which does not emit reaction mass, was installed at Yubileiny satellite, which was launched into orbit in May of 2008. The engine, which operates both autonomously and remotely, allows the satellite to move from one orbit to another.// “Our engine is now the last working element on the platform of Yubileiny satellite,” a spokesman for the research center said.// The scientist rejected the information which said that the developers of the unique engine had spent millions of rubles from the Russian budget on the development of the new system.// “If we had had 200-300 thousand rubles, we would have conducted the experiment on a completely different level to receive much more interesting results,” the scientist added.// “Our engine is now the last working element on the platform of Yubileiny satellite,” a spokesman for the research center said.// The scientist rejected the information which said that the developers of the unique engine had spent millions of rubles from the Russian budget on the development of the new system. // “If we had had 200-300 thousand rubles, we would have conducted the experiment on a completely different level to receive much more interesting results,” the scientist added. // The current tests have revealed a number of problems, which the scientists will need to solve to improve the work of the new device. In general, the Russian scientists are satisfied with the results of the experiment conducted on Earth’s orbit.// They originally intended to test the new type of engine on the International Space Station, but it was later decided to install it on a satellite for a more pure experiment. // The movement takes place as a liquid or solid body moves on a tornado-shaped trajectory. The engine will last for at least 15 years and can be activated nearly 300,000 times during the operation period. The engine is powered with solar batteries.// The untraditional engine was tested on Earth too. Russia’s Space Corporation Roskosmos supported the project. Once the tests are completed, the new engine will be used to control orbits of spacecraft and orbital stations. It can also be used during spacewalks.// These engines can be used on nano-satellites. In this case the weight of the engines can be reduced to just several grams. The engine is ecologically pure, so it can be used on Earth too, for air and surface transport.
- http://www.newsland.ru/News/Detail/id/357154/cat/69/ Российские ученые провели испытания вечного двигателя. 13.04.2009. Российские специалисты из Научно-исследовательского института космических систем (филиала Государственного космического научно-производственного центра (ГКНПЦ) им. Хруничева) провели в космосе испытания "вечного двигателя".// Об этом сообщил сегодня заместитель генерального директора ГКНПЦ, директор НИИ КС Валерий Меньшиков. Движитель без выброса реактивной массы, с легкой руки журналистов названный "вечным двигателем", был установлен на спутнике "Юбилейный", который в мае 2008 года был выведен на орбиту в качестве попутной нагрузки на ракете-носителе "Рокот".// С помощью движителя, который включается автономно или по команде с Земли, космический аппарат должен переходить с одной орбиты на другую. Перемещение происходит за счет движения внутри аппарата жидкого или твердого рабочего тела по определенной траектории, напоминающей воронку торнадо. Для питания используется энергия солнечных батарей. Образец такого двигателя прошел испытания на Земле и получил поддержку в Роскосмосе, передает ИТАР-ТАСС. (in Russian)
- http://www.amic.ru/news/119104/ "Гравицапа" существует: российские ученые изобрели новый двигатель для космических кораблей. Мицубиси Галант, 4 февраля 2010 г.
- http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/einstein/ J.C.Baez, E.F.Bunn. The Meaning of Einstein's Equation.(2006)
- http://ebookee.org/The-Theory-of-Gravity-A-A-Logunov_308692.html A.A.Logunov. The Theory of Gravity. (2001)
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sxTbfeYdO0 Hymn of the USSR - Red Army Choir (English Sub.) Nov 4, 2012. misha. State Anthem of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (1977-1991)
- https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1920/oct/02.htm Vladimir Lenin. The Tasks of the Youth Leagues Written: October 2, 1920 Source: Collected Works, Volume 31 First Published: Pravda Nos. 221, 222 and 223, October 5, 6 and 7, 1920 Online Version: marx.org in 1997, marxists.org 1999 Transcribed: Colin S. Cavell HTML Markup: Brian Baggins and David Walters Speech Delivered At The Third All-Russia Congress of The Russian Young Communist League .. We must assume that no less than ten years will be required for the electrification of the country, so that our impoverished land may profit from the latest achievements of technology. And so, the generation of those who are now fifteen years old, and will be living in a communist society in ten or twenty years' time, should tackle all its educational tasks in such a way that every day, in every village and city, the young people shall engage in the practical solution of some problem of labour in common, even though the smallest or the simplest. ..
- http://www.americandeception.com/index.php?page=usercat&catid=28 Programme_of_The_Communist_Party_of_The_Soviet_Union-1961 // The Great October Socialist Revolution ushered in a new era in the history of mankind, the era of the downfall of capitalism and the establishment of communism. Socialism has triumphed in the Soviet Union and has achieved decisive victories in the People's Democracies; socialism has become the practical cause of hundreds of millions of people, and the banner of the revolutionary movement of the working class throughout the world. By state for 2020.06.18) // The original filename: http://www.americandeception.com/index.php?action=downloadpdf&photo=PDFsml_AD2/Programme_of_The_Communist_Party_of_The_Soviet_Union-1961-128pgs-POL.sml.pdf
https://www2.stetson.edu/~psteeves/classes/amalrik2.html WILL THE SOVIET UNION SURVIVE UNTIL 1984// by Andrei Amalrik (1969)
- Ilf and Petrov. The Twelve Chairs. (transition from Russian "Двенадцать стульев", 19 Oct 2002).