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According to the Falsification Principle of Karl Popper, we cannot prove the validity of a hypothesis. We can only disprove it.
However, we can get closer to the truth by improving our knowledge, using inductive or deductive reasoning. Both are based on evidence, but provide different ways of evaluating the facts.
Inductive reasoning involves looking for a trend or a pattern, then using the observations to formulate a general truth. For example, "When I eat peanuts, my throat swells up and I have difficulty breathing. Therefore, I'm likely allergic to peanuts."
Deductive reasoning starts from established facts, then applies logical steps to reach a conclusion. For example, "Bachelors are unmarried men. Jack is unmarried. Therefore, Jack is a bachelor."
Depending on the nature of the task, inductive and deductive reasoning can be used in combination.
Researchers use inductive reasoning to formulate theories and hypotheses. Then they use deductive reasoning for evaluating their theories in specific situations.
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