Ad Hoc - Ad Hoc Hypothesis

Ad Hoc Hypothesis

In science and philosophy, ad hoc means the addition of extraneous hypotheses to a theory to save it from being falsified. Ad hoc hypotheses compensate for anomalies not anticipated by the theory in its unmodified form. Scientists are often skeptical of theories that rely on frequent, unsupported adjustments to sustain them. Ad hoc hypotheses are often characteristic of pseudoscientific subjects. Ad hoc hypotheses are not necessarily incorrect, however. An interesting example of an apparently supported ad hoc hypothesis was Albert Einstein's addition of the cosmological constant to general relativity in order to allow a static universe. Although he later referred to it as his "greatest blunder," it has been found to correspond quite well to the theories of dark energy.

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