I’m starting with Khan Academy’s Biology.  You can find it at https://www.khanacademy.org/science/biology   I’ve never taken biology and thought that a high school review would be a good place to start. 

I was intrigued by the section under the link https://www.khanacademy.org/science/biology/intro-to-biology/science-of-biology/a/the-science-of-biology  [More about hypotheses, proof and disproof].  The instructor discusses “body of evidence” which is a term I’ve seen bandied about, but never really had a good grasp of.  Here’s his definition: “we may not be able to explicitly prove the hypothesis incorrect, but may be able to so strongly contradict it as to effectively disprove it.” (Note that earlier in the scientific method he talks about how the hypothesis is a statement that can be disproved.)

I find this somewhat disturbing.  I have a few questions regarding that definition. 

  • At what level does this happen.  Does the researcher decide he has collected enough data to qualify as a body of evidence?  Does his boss?  Does a governing body like the America Medical Association?
  • Who decides?  Is it one person, a committee, a vote? 
  • Who double checks?  How can we be sure there was enough data to make this determination?

What do you think? Discuss in the comments below