digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:


Applied sciences






















The New York Times of November 10, 1919, reported on Einstein's confirmed prediction of gravitation on space, called the gravitational lens effect.

The predictive power of a scientific theory refers to its ability to generate testable predictions.[citation needed] Theories with strong predictive power are highly valued because they have practical applications.[citation needed] The concept of predictive power differs from explanatory and descriptive power (where phenomena that are already known are retrospectively explained by a given theory) in that it allows a prospective test of theoretical understanding.

Scientific ideas that do not confer any predictive power are considered at best "conjectures", or at worst "pseudoscience". Because they cannot be tested in any way, there is no way to determine whether they are true or false, and so they do not gain the status of "scientific theory". Theories whose "predictive power" presupposes technologies that are not currently possible constitute something of a grey area. For example, certain aspects of string theory[which?] have been labeled as predictive,[by whom?] but only through the use of machines that have not yet been built and in some cases may never be possible.[examples needed] Whether or not this sort of theory can or should be considered truly predictive is a matter of scientific and philosophical debate.


A classic example of the predictive power of a theory is the Discovery of Neptune as a result of predictions made by mathematicians John Couch Adams and Urbain Le Verrier, based on Newton's theory of gravity.

Other examples of predictive power of theories or models include Dmitri Mendeleev's use of his periodic table to predict previously undiscovered chemical elements and their properties (though largely correct, he misjudged the relative atomic masses of tellurium and iodine), and Charles Darwin's use of his knowledge of evolution by natural selection to predict that because there existed a plant (Angraecum) with a long spur in its flowers, a complementary animal with a 30 cm proboscis must also exist to feed on and pollinate it (twenty years after his death Xanthopan morgani, a form of hawk moth, was found which did just that).[citation needed]

Another example of predictive power is the prediction of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity that the path of light would bend in the presence of a strong gravitational field. This was experimentally verified by an expedition to Sobral in Brazil and the Atlantic island of Príncipe to measure star positions during the solar eclipse of May 29, 1919, when observations made by the astrophysicist Arthur Eddington seemed to confirm Einstein's predictions.[1] Although the measurements have been criticized by some as utilizing flawed methodology,[2] modern reanalysis of the data[3][4] suggests that Eddington's analysis of the data was accurate. Later, more precise measurements taken by radio interferometry confirmed the predictions to a high degree of accuracy.


The predictive power of a theory is closely related to applications. [according to whom?]

General relativity not only predicts the bending of light, but also predicts several other phenomena. Recently, the calculation of proper time of satellites has been a successfully-measured prediction, now incorporated into the method used to calculate positions via GPS.

If a theory has no predictive power, it cannot be used for applications.[citation needed]


  1. ^ F. W. Dyson, A. S. Eddington, and C. Davidson, "A Determination of the Deflection of Light by the Sun's Gravitational Field, from Observations Made at the Total Eclipse of May 29, 1919," Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series A, Volume 220 (1920) pp. 291-333 (available online from the Royal Society)
  2. ^ Harry Collins and Trevor Pinch, The Golem: What Everyone Should Know About Science, Cambridge University Press, 1993. (ISBN 0521477360)
  3. ^ Daniel Kennefick, "Not Only Because of Theory: Dyson, Eddington and the Competing Myths of the 1919 Eclipse Expedition," Proceedings of the 7th Conference on the History of General Relativity, Tenerife, 2005; available online from ArXiv
  4. ^ Phillip Ball, "Arthur Eddington Was Innocent," Nature, 7 September 2007, doi:10.1038/news070903-20 (available online 2007)

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Predictive_power — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
117714 videos foundNext > 

The Predictive Power of Treasuries

Charlie Bilello, CMT explains how the predictive power of Treasuries can help investors anticipate market movements. Video hosted by Carrie Lee. Video taken ...

Lawrence McMillan: Predictive Power of Options

In this excerpt from Laurence McMillan's DVD "Reducing the Risks of Options Trading", Lawrence McMillan discusses the predictive power of options. Specifical...

Discovering Religion: Ep 13 - Predictive Power of Evolution

The thirteenth installment of my original series, "Discovering Religion". In this episode I discuss evolution's amazing ability to provide us with deep insig...

Harness the Predictive Power of Google Analytics

Did you know that Google Analytics can provide sophisticated traffic information about a website, all while delivering a comprehensive array of business inte...

Thunder,don and venom - Part 10 - the bible's predictive power and evolution

Sniffing out the Brain's Predictive Power

Sniffing out the Brain's Predictive Power: Human Brain 'Smells' What It Expects Rather Than What It Sniffs Sniffing out the Brain's Predictive Power: Human B...

7. Combining measures improved reliability as well as predictive power

Combining measures improved reliability as well as predictive power.

The Predictive Power of ScryingBiotech

This video is a demonstration of the power of my stock selection process highlighting loss avoidance.

Predictive Power of Eclipse Paths2-The Middle East

How current eclipses activate past eclipses to indicate future activity on the earth.

The New Normal: Predictive Power on the Front Lines

The Briefing Room with Mike Ferguson and Alteryx Live Webcast on Feb. 12, 2013 Today's savvy organizations know that a streamlined approach to data and appli...

117714 videos foundNext > 

318 news items

Chicago Business Journal
Tue, 26 Aug 2014 11:22:30 -0700

Schafer Condon Carter Chicago is taking its social media-oriented stock market guru Joe Gits to the sixth annual Social Media Week in Chicago. For the first time in the six-year history of Social Media Week, slated for Sept. 22 to 26, SCC will host an ...
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 06:07:30 -0700

Big Lots Inc. (BIG - Analyst Report), the broadline closeout retailer, is set to report second-quarter fiscal 2014 results on Aug 29 2014. Last quarter, the company posted a positive earnings surprise of 13.6%. Let us see how things are developing ...
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 06:41:15 -0700

Big Lots Inc. ( BIG ), the broadline closeout retailer, is set to report second-quarter fiscal 2014 results on Aug 29 2014. Last quarter, the company posted a positive earnings surprise of 13.6%. Let us see how things are developing prior to this ...

Wall Street Journal (blog)

Wall Street Journal (blog)
Tue, 26 Aug 2014 22:30:32 -0700

Interestingly, HSBC 's widely monitored Purchasing Managers' Index for India, a survey of business conditions, doesn't add to the predictive power of the economists' basic model. Other Indian surveys, including the central bank's, aren't much more useful.
Tue, 26 Aug 2014 05:01:53 -0700

One way that Morningstar gauges the predictive power of fees is by success rate, a measure of which funds both survived and outperformed their categories over a given period. We prefer success rate instead of just looking at trailing returns because it ...
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 00:18:45 -0700

Zacks Rank #3 (Hold): Avago's Zacks Rank #3 reduces the predictive power of ESP. Note that stocks with Zacks Ranks of #1, #2 and #3 have a significantly higher chance of beating earnings. However, when combined with 0.00% ESP, the Zacks Rank #3 ...
Next City
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 10:37:28 -0700

Hajrasouliha's work suggests that, to an extent, the critics of space syntax are right to question whether it has the same predictive power in a planned American city as in an organically grown European place. But his work also shows that the visual ...
Wall Street Journal
Mon, 25 Aug 2014 01:30:15 -0700

The ZEW expectations index, based on a survey of investors and financial analysts, fell to 8.6 in August from 27.1, although economists typically don't see that survey as having much predictive power to actual production and output because it is highly ...

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Talk About Predictive power

You can talk about Predictive power with people all over the world in our discussions.

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!