iNow wrote:I'd love to hear from someone better versed in logic or philosophy than myself, though. Maybe Prometheus?
Well that cheered me up, haven't laughed so much for a while. Everything i know about philosophy could be found in a philosophy for dummies book.
Karl Popper is well known about talking about the falsification of a theory/hypothesis. You only need one confirmed (ie not measurement error) inverse instance to disprove a theory. But the theory was only ever an approximation of truth, so we change the theory to include the aberrant observation.
Popper spoke about verisimilitude where the truth content of a theory is measured on a continuum. Popper believed that veracity could only be spoke of in the context of this continuum (which he measured as the truth content minus the falsity content). Based on this idea of a continuum a theory could be very low on the scale, with little truth content. I guess Vulcan would be pretty low.
But if the 'truth' really is out there, then competing theories should be measured on the same scale (my thinking now). Therefore, if you can obtain a theory that is 100% certain then you can be 100% certain of the falsity of competing theories. But can we ever be 100% certain of our theories? If not neither can we ever be certain of something's non-existence.