Is presented material a “pure speculation”?
theory is criticized as a “pure speculation”. This comment
usually comes from experimental biologists. They also want
to see more details and mechanisms, want author to perform
some experimental work himself to prove his statements etc,
etc. This page is made to address some of these comments.
or pure reason is theoretical (or
(sometimes called theoretical reason), as opposed to
practical (active, willing) thought.
Speculative reason provides the universal, necessary
principles of logic,
such as the principle of
non-contradiction, which must apply everywhere,
regardless of the specifics of the situation.
is a proposed explanation for an observable phenomenon. For
a hypothesis to be put forward as a scientific hypothesis,
the scientific method requires that one can test it.
Scientists generally base scientific hypotheses on previous
observations that cannot satisfactorily be explained with
the available scientific theories.
weighing up alternative hypotheses may take into
Testability (compare falsifiability)
Simplicity (postulation of excessive
numbers of entities)
Scope – the apparent application of the
hypothesis to multiple cases of phenomena
Fruitfulness – the prospect that a
hypothesis may explain further phenomena in the future
- Conservatism – the
degree of "fit" with existing recognized
When a set of
hypotheses are grouped together they become
conceptual framework. When a conceptual framework is
complex and incorporates causality or explanation it is
generally referred to as a theory.
theory" generally refers to a proposed explanation of
empirical phenomena, made in a way consistent with the
scientific method. Such theories are described in such a way
that any scientist in the field can understand, verify, and
challenge (or "falsify") it.
A distinction is
often made in science between theories and
hypotheses, which are theories that are not
considered to have been satisfactorily tested or proven.
articles “Speculative reason”, “Hypothesis”, “Theory”.
So, somebody can call the presented material a “speculation” meaning it
is a theoretical (logical or deductive) thought. However
calling it a “pure speculation” will be incorrect, because
it satisfies all the criteria for the
scientific theory (complex conceptual framework that
provides explanation and prediction of empirical phenomena,
which can be verified, and many of them have been already
If a new theory explains and predicts phenomena better than
an older theory (i.e. it has more explanatory power), we are
justified in believing that the newer theory describes
reality more correctly.