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'biological plausibility' and 'theoretical coherence'

Discussion in 'General Issues and Discussion Forum' started by markjohconley, Jun 6, 2020.

  1. markjohconley

    markjohconley Well-Known Member

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    so 'biological plausibility' is relevant when there is no evidence to support a hypothesis but the hypothesis is reasonable when current knowledge is considered, yes?
    but 'theoretical coherence'?, would someone define same as i've been unable to successfully web search a meaning, thanks, mark
  2. markjohconley

    markjohconley Well-Known Member

    31 viewers and no idea?
    i swear i'll go over to the dark side and post it on a chiropractic forum
  3. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Sorry, Mark, I have had the tab on the browser open to reply to this for a few days!

    I use those terms a lot in the absence of evidence when considering a model/theory/intervention/etc

    Biological plausibility is when there is a logical pathophysiological mechanism present that is supported by circumstantial rather than direct evidence.
    Theoretical coherence is a bit harder to explain in a short time; it refers to the theoretical mechanism is coherent and makes sense. There may be bits of circumstantial evidence that support parts of the theory behind it but not all is supported by evidence (yet). There should be no evidence that contradicts part of the theory. I liken it to 'story telling' - building a case for the theory based on evidence that supports parts of the theory.

    For eg, there is NO evidence the reflexology works; there is plenty of evidence that a damn good foot massage makes people feel better and has a physiological affect; but as for the different organ systems linked to the sole of the foot = no evidence.
    So in the absence of that evidence is there any biological plausibility? Nope - there is not one anatomical or physiological mechanism linking different organ systems to the bottom of the foot.
    What about theoretical coherence? There is none; the theory that different organ systems are linked to regions on the sole of the foot makes no sense. Its just and idea that someone pulled out of thin air and based it on no underlying theory. The theories that link organ systems to regions of the foot and why they might be there are not coherent and not one part of the theory is supported by any circumstantial evidence.

    Hopefully that makes sense.
  4. markjohconley

    markjohconley Well-Known Member

    Thanks Craig, very good of you and yes i do comprehend now, all the best, mark
  5. William Fowler

    William Fowler Active Member

    Thanks too Craig, I have heard you use those terms before.

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