The statement: “All
crows are black.” Can be readily falsified by a trip to Moscow (Russia),
where one finds that the dominant crow variety is black and grey. I was
startled to see them on my first trip, always having assumed from folklore that
crows are of course black, always. It’s a variety whose exact range
I am not sure of, but it extends at least as far as the northern Ukraine.
Just FYI, while we are on
[from Stavros Macrakis [macrakis@xxxxxxxxxxxx]]
Falsifiability is not a property of an experiment, but of a
The basic idea is very simple. Just take any sample hypothesis:
All crows are black.
To verify this statement, it would be necessary to check every crow
that exists. If you miss a single one, it's conceivable that you
overlooked the crucial crow that makes the statement false.
But to show that the statement is false, you don't have to check
every one. You can stop at the first crow that is not black.
If many people search far and wide without finding a non-black
crow, that gives some assurance that the hypothesis is fairly
reliable. (But no empirical theory can be absolutely certain.)...