The passage you quote from “Newton’s Apple and Other Myths of Science” is terribly misguided:
“Part of the appeal of the falsification axiom (if it could never be disproved, it can’t be science) was that it was simple enough for nonscientists to grasp. Yet, when we look at history, falsification simply does not work as a definition of science. As Gordin explains, most historians and scientists accept a sociological definition: Science is what the scientific community says it is (e.g., peer-reviewed work in reputable journals). It’s not a perfect definition, nor a stable one, but it has the virtue of being the one by which scientists actually operate.”
1. There is no “falsification axiom.” Popper never uses this term. He uses the “principle of falsifiability.”
2. Falsifiability is not easy to grasp regardless of whether one is a scientist or a grocery store clerk. Popper had to write an entire book— to explain it.
3. The first book that Popper wrote to explain his views is “The Logic of Scientific Discovery” pulbished in 1934
4. Popper developed his philosophy of science specifically to refute views such as “Science is what the scientific community says it is.” This is what Popper calls an appeal to authority and he dismisses it.
5. “Science is what the scientific community says it is,” is not merely “not perfect” as the author claims, it is false and useless.
6. The genesis of Popper’s philosophy of science had nothing to do with creationsism or refuting creationism. He developed it to explain why Freudianism, Adlerism, and Marxism—which all claimed to be science—were not falsifiable and hence not science.
See also: New science mythbuster book should be blockbuster So pointing out that the pop sci lore on these subjects is largely myth is now going mainstream?
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