The topic of the essay has three fundamentally different questions instead of one to be answered perhaps with a ‘model’ or not.
1) Does falsification provide an accurate (most or any) ‘model’ for science?
2) Does an accurate model ‘advance’ science ‘knowledge’ to a particular pre-determined goal?
3) Is falsification merely a tool for understanding progress (a pedagogic method) of science?
“Does falsification provide the most accurate model of understanding for the progress of scientific knowledge?”
The philosopher Karl Popper believed that if the scientific hypothesis cannot be put to the test of falsifiability then it hasn’t got that zing. Perhaps most scientists would agree. Statements about empirical facts that cannot be proven or disproven nominally would seem to have little chance of being reliable for scientific construction. Let us consisider some extra elements of the criterion of falsifiability however.
In contemporary cosmology there are said to be as many theories about the origin of the Universe as there are mathematically cosnsistent theories of it. The math of M-Theory is notoriuously difficult and incomplete; the Godel Incompleteness theorem seems to implicitly deny the possibility of a completely verifiable theory of the Universe subject to falsifiability. It may be that testing theories against one another to discover the most consistent theory or democratically promoted may have a chance of being another way to build science. Incomplete models may be falsifiable or not.
Analytic or a priori knowledge unrelated to the empirical world is one category of thought. The self-consistent truth of a math theory hasn’t a necessary correlation to the ‘real’ world. There is an empirical gap between thought and the real world. Models seem to be temporary tools for learning yet falsifiability may be only a way of disproving models rather than for building them.
One cannot be certain a priori of the uncertain. Sometimes luck and sometimes dead reckoning,the fell swoop method of logic and grace may play a role in discovery. Scientific knowledge isn’t always accomplished by bureaucracy and inch-worm advances with verification, peer review and falsification…sometimes a scientist or engineer discovers something and then eventually others discover that yes, that was thre right idea too.
Cutting and deleting space-time has different consequences than cutting and pasting portions of the Universe(1). Space-time dimensions it is believed by some cannot be created or destroyed-yet that is in error. The reason why matter cannot be created or destroyed is simply a phenomenal and temporal result of initial baryonic balance; protocol levels of any form of mass, energy, space and time may at some stage be negated. It is the question of the initial content of all phenomena from The One that ever occurs to me regarding cosmology and God.
Plotinus-the third century neo-Platonist philosopher believed that everything that exists or that can exist is an emanation from the One perfect being. By the time those emanations are downloaded through lower levels of protocol they become far removed and somewhat independent and implicitly more imperfect. The Universe(1) is the realm of breaking and broken forms, imperfect and temporal asymmetries, contradictory finite sections of infinities-itself an absurd concept that there are plural infinities. Jesus Christ is directly from The One and provided help to lost humanity about how to renormalize into a relationship with the Absolutely perfect One. Humanity are something like independent batteries charged up for a time sometimes seeking a recharge or new life or an eternal life as batteries when the right idea would be to return unto The One through the grace of the Son Jesus Christ.
Scientific knowledge is redundant language use since science does mean knowledge for-itself. Does knowledge that cannot be proved to be false knowledge provide the most accurate model for understanding knowledge one might ask…
Is knowledge about the cosmos false because it isn’t absolutely true exhaustively? Is partial truth implicitly false? True knowledge can be put into linguistic parameters that would make it seem to be false; social and even technical lexicons may utilize a use-truth vocabulary.
The quantum uncertainty characteristics developed by Heisenberg and later researchers is yet incomplete as an agent of explanation. Life itself and time is temporal and space time in motion and process without static timeless absolutes though cosmological models may propose partial explanations. Falsifiability usefully enfilades obvious ineffective theories, yet all theories are of a use-truth value with apparent true knowledge rather than absolute knowledge developed.
So much of ‘scientific progress’ has been developed through dead reckoning, observation, guesswork and synthesis of evident facts; knowledge builds up and is valued until proved surpassed by better truths. One must ask, like Governor Pilate perhaps; ‘what s truth’?
There are various epistemology theories, and theories of truth. May favorite version of secularized proximal truth is the disquotation theory of truth developed by W.V.O. Quine. In that paradigm truth is a way of abbreviating lists of items in propositions that permit one to say that such a condition exists without listing off all the conditions. Truth must be taken on trust by others for believability…too many believe truth is something in-itself as if it were found with a category of Platonic realism. For Christians Jesus Christ is truth, and rationally believed for as the author of existence all true contexts relate to the Absolute God of whom Jesus is.
Without an absolute reference frame truth may be only an abbreviation saying that such a hypothesized condition is factual. Factual or true knowledge is developed relatively within a transitioning flow of experience and human beings prefer the most accurate data about what exists available in some scientific formalist technical pursuits.
Scientific pursuit of materials sophistication, scientific pursuit of existential understanding, and scientific pursuits social goals or philotheolgical world-views differ in methodology. Truth is necessarily developed within deductive procedures, while induction is a method of synthesizing data into new paradigms some that will work and some that won’t. Maybe the ones that work for a while may be considered true when they cannot be falsified presently. Do synthetic materials progress require the vestments of truth attached to them, or even hamburgers at barbecue?
Won’t M-Theory even if believed true and unfalsifiable for years almost certainly be surpassed by another theory eventually-don’t you just feel that in your heart?