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Oxidative Phosphorylation, A History of Unsuccessful Attempts: Is It Only An Experimental Problem?

  • Giovanni Felice Azzone

Abstract

It is due to the predominance of the logic based on the inductive reasoning the commonly held view that the purpose of a scientist is that of making observations, of verifying theories through observations and of proposing theories through the generalization of observations. There is an opposite view, however, which starts from the assumption that empirical sciences are systems of theories.1 In this type of logic, theories are conjectures proposed by the scientist to explain and predict natural processes, and cannot be inferred from observations, although they must be compatible with them. Empirical sciences are thought as including two types of statements: universal and specific. The formers are hypotheses with the character of natural laws, the latters assert the occurrence of single events.1 The validity of both statements is decided empirically. However there is an asymmetric relationship between the two. The universal statements can never be verified but only refuted by specific statements (experimental observations). On the other hand a specific statement can be verified through another observation. A theory can be disproven if there exists at least one class of events forbidden for the theory. A theory which has a larger number (in comparison to another) of potential falsifiers, and can therefore more easily be tested and refuted, has also a larger empirical content. In the following, I shall try to show the impact of this logic of scientific knowledge on current hypotheses and future theories of energy conservation.

Keywords

Oxidative Phosphorylation Energy Transduction High Energy State Empirical Content Electrical Gradient 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Company Limited 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giovanni Felice Azzone
    • 1
  1. 1.CNR Unit for Physiology of Mitochondria and Institute of General PathologyUniversity of PadovaItaly

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