The three most powerful words in science
Mark Humphries

I wish folks would use the scientific method, and start with a necessary and sufficient falsifiable hypothesis statement, to wit:

1) a list of observations, which if observed, mean a hypothesis is false;
2) a logical argument that the lack of those falsifications means that a hypothesis must be favored over all others (including the null).

Translation into plain english (inspired by Scott Adams):

1) tell me what would change your mind;
2) tell me why those if the things that would change your mind aren’t there, the only explanation left is yours.

So, truthfully, the most powerful words in science, are:

I know it is not…

That is to say, the default is ignorance (“I don’t know”), but the actual knowledge we gain through the scientific method and falsifiability is “I know it is not <this>”. When we exclude enough of these things, as Sherlock was wont to say, “when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

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