Cosmology Intelligent Design Philosophy Physics

Karl “falsification” Popper was dogmatic, but was that such a bad thing?

Spread the love
Karl Popper.jpg
Karl Popper (1902-1994)

Science writer John Horgan well remembers going to interview Popper, who had strong views on subjectivism in physics:

Words poured from him so rapidly and with so much momentum that I began to lose hope that I could ask my prepared questions. “I am over 90, and I can still think,” he declared, as if I doubted it. Popper emphasized that he had known all the titans of twentieth-century science: Einstein, Schrodinger, Heisenberg. Popper blamed Bohr, whom he knew “very well,” for having introduced subjectivism into physics. Bohr was “a marvelous physicist, one of the greatest of all time, but he was a miserable philosopher, and one couldn’t talk to him. He was talking all the time, allowing practically only one or two words to you and then at once cutting in.”

For similar reasons, Popper opposed determinism, which he saw as antithetical to human creativity and freedom. “Determinism means that if you have sufficient knowledge of chemistry and physics, you can predict what Mozart will write tomorrow,” he said. “Now this is a ridiculous hypothesis.” Popper realized long before modern chaos theorists that not only quantum systems but even classical, Newtonian ones are unpredictable. Waving at the lawn outside the window he said, “There is chaos in every grass.”

Popper was proud of his strained relationship with his fellow philosophers, including Wittgenstein, with whom he had a run-in in 1946… John Horgan, “The Paradox of Karl Popper” at Scientific American

Are we better off with people who try to talk themselves into believing that there is multiverse out there, when there isn’t even evidence, let alone an opportunity for Popperian falsification?

Note: Karl Popper (1902–1994)

See also: John Horgan asks at Scientific American if science is hitting a wall

Evolutionary biologists today want Popper’s name but not his game

Popper didn’t repent and believe Darwin after all

and

How to talk yourself into believing in a multiverse It’s becoming obvious that post-modern science will have its multiverse irrespective of evidence from nature and will prefer it and its component beliefs to evidence from nature. That is why some of us think that the multiverse is science’s assisted suicide.

2 Replies to “Karl “falsification” Popper was dogmatic, but was that such a bad thing?

  1. 1
    timbetancourt says:

    I can object to a dogma or a philosophical statement, but what for? There’re no absolute statements and it’s unwise to stick to extremes, as for me. But again – that’s just my thought.

    I’m not fond of determinism either, but isn’t it a phenomenon that actually can exist? Isn’t it a solution to many issues and problems?

  2. 2
    timbetancourt says:

    The same with Popperian falsification – each statement can be an explanation vector and a thesis for another statement and phenomena, that is what makes it become worthy and in some cases reliable.
    What a miracle it would be if all the news stations and media which we believe are false facts. And they simply didn’t swing up to question and answer sessions or report anything in challenge – “We wouldn’t have the capacity to control general society there would be no facts at all” – Karen Steamy and John Dorians essay writers talk quote.

Leave a Reply