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Theories, Complexity, and Functional Testing

Summary: [This abstract is based on the author's abstract.] The basic theories of subjects such as chemistry and aeronautical engineering appear to progress and become complete and correct in a finite period. Those of other subjects such as philosophy, economics, and psychology do not. It is argued that the difference is not that the latter have not had time to reach completion. Although it is more difficult to get a complete and correct theory for a complicated subject than a simple one, the scope and complexity of the latter group of subjects are not obviously wider and greater than the former. It is argued that the difference is that the former group of subjects has effective and easy methods by which wrong ideas may be identified and eliminated from theories, while the latter does not. The implications of complexity for theories are discussed, as are ways of eliminating defects from theories. A few possible consequences of the study are discussed. In the appendix, the study's ideas are used to illuminate the biological theory of evolution. Changing environments continually test the functions of living organisms. When these tests are failed, the organisms die. Together with reproduction and random change, this is what drives evolution.

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  • Topics: Inspection
  • Keywords: Complexity,Statistical tests,Inspection
  • Author: Groocock, John
  • Journal: Quality Management Journal