Specifically, what do we mean when we say that a scientific hypothesis must be testable?

1 Answer
Jan 26, 2017


#"All cows eat grass."#


This is a testable proposition. To disprove the proposition, we would need to find a cow that did not eat grass. And in fact we can do this. A new-born calf drinks its mother's milk, so in this instance we can dispense with the blanket proposition.

#"White wine is better than red wine"# is an untestable proposition or hypothesis. Is there an experiment we could conduct to test this hypothesis? At best, we could compare 1 red wine to 1 white wine, and opinions would differ.

Which is the testable proposition of the hypotheses:

#"Pepsi is better than coke"# (And in fact, Chinotto is better than both of them!)

#"Pepsi is more carbonated than coke"#.