Burden of proof

Who is the holder of the burden of proof in a scientific discussion?

In this blog we adopt the time old convention that, in science, the burden of proof is on the person asserting a claim.

For example, if one makes the claim say, in a (peer reviewed) article that the model one proposes generates a decision that yields a satisfactory outcome under the widest range of contingencies, then we expect that the person making this claim is able to show/prove that … the model generates a decision that yields a satisfactory outcome under the widest range of contingencies.

Similarly, if one claims that the model one proposes generates a decision that is the least likely to fail, then we expect the person making this claim to be able to show/prove that … this model generates a decision that is the least likely to fail.

Clarification

The reason that we call attention to this fact is that, in some scientific disciplines, scholars are apparently not held to comply with the burden of proof requirement. Indeed, in these disciplines, offering unsubstantiated rhetoric in lieu of formal, rigorous arguments seems a perfectly acceptable “method of proof”.

We therefore advise the reader that in this blog we take the “burden of proof” precept very seriously.

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