Cross-posted from Ricochet. It’s behind the paywall, but Ricochet is well worth the subscription price; I heartily recommend it.
Richard Feynman was a theoretical physicist who taught at Cornell University, but he also was a just plain scientist.
He had a thought on theory.
You cannot prove a vague theory wrong. If the guess that you make is poorly expressed and the method you have for computing the consequences is a little vague then…you see that the theory is good as it can’t be proved wrong. If the process of computing the consequences is indefinite, then with a little skill any experimental result can be made to look like an expected consequence.
Now where have we seen this vague theory technique put into action lately? In politics, perhaps?
Minor note – Feynman didn’t stay long at Cornell (as he said, inspired by putting chains on the tires in winter). He spent the most time at CalTech, where his famous lectures were recorded.