Falsification, and falsification (from Latin falisificare " recognize as false") or refutation, is to demonstrate the invalidity of any statement, method, theory, hypothesis or theory. Statements or experimental results, the invalidity can show called " falsifiers ".

A falsification consists of the detection of inherent inconsistencies or contradictions ( contradiction ), or incompatibility with accepted as true instances ( contrary to axioms ), or from the discovery of an error. Methodically confronted one the contradictory statements that follow from the initial assertion, as a counter- hypothesis or antithesis.


In science, falsification is for validation as a result in addition to verification. In the philosophy of science by Karl Popper falsifiability of a theory or hypothesis assumes a central role. Falsified statements, theories, theories are worthless for science as a method of knowledge gain and are discarded. Meaning they have only in the history of science observation to draw lessons from the wrong approaches. Details and problems of this approach are dealt with falsificationism. It should be noted that falsification assume the function of a " trigger activity " to investigate the problem further. The result is methodologically not necessarily mean that the falsification of a statement at once the rejection of the underlying theory has the consequence (see also paradigm and Duhem - Quine thesis ).

Propositional logic

In classical propositional logic falsification is the assignment of the truth value false to a statement in the context of the principle of bivalence, likewise in the calculus of Boolean algebra.

Proof theory

Plays a central role in the refutation of the proof theory of mathematics, for example, the proof by contradiction ( reductio ad absurdum ).

Evaluation of experimental data

The evaluation of data obtained through experiments is of falsification, to denote the empirical stochastics for example as part of a sampling plan results of observations that do not correspond to a probability adopted, or to assess causalities ( null hypothesis ). See (Statistics ) hypothesis in detail.

Computer science

In computer science, is determined with falsifying process, the presence of defects in a software, such as static code analysis.

Information content

After a certain reading of informing the (empirical ) information content of a statement is the higher, the more potential falsifiers she has.