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Federal Philosophy of Science: or, Popper on the Trial

When they feel the need to distinguish genuine science, the real thing, from pretenders, or to understand what is distinctive about the scientific method, U.S. courts have sometimes called on Karl Popper’s conception of falsifiability as the hallmark of the genuinely scientific, and his account of the method of science as conjecture and refutation. Sometimes the legal issue before the courts is the interpretation of the Establishment Clause in application to biology teaching in public high schools, and the question is whether “creation science” is really science, or only religion in disguise. Much more often, though, the legal issue is one of evidence law, and the question is whether this or that scientific expert testimony is reliable enough to be admissible. This will be my focus here ​
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