Single Idea 22174

[catalogued under 14. Science / A. Basis of Science / 6. Falsification]

Full Idea

Adams and Leverrier began with Newton's theory of gravity, which made an incorrect prediction about the orbit of Uranus. They explained away the conflicting observations by postulating a new planet, Neptune.

Gist of Idea

The discoverers of Neptune didn't change their theory because of an anomaly


Samir Okasha (Philosophy of Science: Very Short Intro (2nd ed) [2016], 1)

Book Reference

Okasha,Samir: 'Philosophy of Science: very short intro (2nd ed)' [OUP 2016], p.14

A Reaction

The falsificationists can say that the anomalous observation did not falsify the theory, because they didn't know quite what they were observing. It was not in fact an anomaly for Newtonian theory at all.