This repeats the argument: “because
(a) so many scientific theories from bygone eras have turned out to be wrong,
we must assume
(b) that most of today’s theories will eventually prove incorrect as well.”

Is statement (a) actually true, or just based on a small minority of examples that fit the argument? A quick search of the philosophy literature on “Pessimistic Meta-Induction from the History of Science” finds no actual data. But it’s an empirical question on which you could get data. Go to the 1910–11 Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, sample a few hundred of the approximately 6,800 science articles and find what proportion of “accepted in 1911” theories are now considered substantially wrong. Personally I would bet $100 it’s closer to 10% than 50%. But no philosopher seems to care whether statements like (a) are empirically correct. That’s why, in my experience, scientists tend to regard philosophy as intellectually lazy BS.

After a research career at U.C. Berkeley, now focussed on articulating critically what mathematical probability says about the real world.

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