Karl Popper’s falsification

2 minutes

‘Falsification’ ruled 20th-century science. Does it need revision in the 21st?

The 20th-century Austrian-British philosopher Karl Popper believed that any theory that was not ‘falsifiable’ – capable of being tested and proven incorrect – should be dismissed as unscientific. He was particularly critical of Marxist theory, which he believed was constantly being revised by its adherents to account for its failed predictions, and therefore could not possibly be scientific. The falsification principle is a cornerstone of the modern scientific method, but some contemporary scientists, cosmologists and philosophers believe it might need to be revised as they investigate concepts such as string theory and the multiverse, which come up against the limits of what is testable – at least for now. 

Video by BBC Radio 4 and The Open University

Script: Nigel Warburton

Animator: Andrew Park

Video/Childhood & Adolescence

What to make of a Riot Grrrl? A snapshot of feminism and high school in the 1990s

18 minutes

ORIGINAL
Video/Bioethics

From identity politics to medicine, the DNA revolution demands a new bioethics

6 minutes

Video/Demography & Migration

Amid massive urbanisation and modernisation, rural Japan persists in idiosyncratic corners

30 minutes

Idea/Ethics

Sometimes giving a person a choice is an act of terrible cruelty

Lisa Tessman

Essay/Consciousness & Altered States

Model hallucinations

Psychedelics have a remarkable capacity to violate our ideas about ourselves. Is that why they make people better?

Philip Gerrans & Chris Letheby

Video/Ethics

Pain leads to empathy and self-preservation: should we make robots ‘feel’ it?

12 minutes

Idea/Death

What are the ethical consequences of immortality technology?

Francesca Minerva & Adrian Rorheim

Essay/Ethics

The limits of tolerance

A religious worldview cannot expect the same kinds of tolerance as racial, gender, or sexual identities. Here’s why

Paul Russell

Video/Meaning & the Good Life

Late in life, Fred finds joy – and a ‘rhythm in all things’ – through tap dance

6 minutes