Troubles begin if scientists attempt to falsify principles by producing large numbers of models that all make different predictions. This is, unfortunately, the current situation in both cosmology and particle physics. It documents that these models are strongly underdetermined. In such a case, no further models should be developed because that is a waste of time. Instead, scientists need to find ways to arrive at more strongly determined predictions. This can be done, eg, by looking for model-independent predictions, or by focusing on inconsistencies in the existing theories.
This is not currently happening because it would make it more difficult for scientists to produce predictions, and hence decrease their paper output. As long as we continue to think that a large number of publications is a signal of good science, we will continue to see wrong predictions based on useless models. Sabine Hossenfelder, “Yes, scientific theories have to be falsifiable. Why do we even have to talk about this?” at BackRe(Action)
Hossenfelder is right to be concerned. Some cosmologists would like to dump falsifiability as a criterion. If they could, they would remove an obstacle to demanding public belief in ideas like the multiverse, ideas that cannot be falsified because there is no evidence for them. But many cosmologists need implicit faith in such ideas to hold their theories together and perhaps to keep getting funded.
And that is why we “even have to talk about this.”
See also: Sabine Hossenfelder: Has The Large Hadron Collider “broken physics”?
Sabine Hossenfelder: Can gravitational wave interferometers tell us if we live in a hologram universe?
Do science hero stories stand in the way of progress?
Hey, here she is:
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