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Lessons from Popper for science, paradigm shifts, scientific revolutions and exercise physiology
  1. Robert Andrew Robergs
  1. School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove, Queensland, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Robert Andrew Robergs, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Kelvin Grove, Queensland, 4059, Australia; rob.robergs{at}


A connection has been made to the possible role of the central governor model (CGM) to be a paradigm shift within the exercise sciences. Unfortunately, very little evidence was presented to support this notion, and a narrow view of scientific philosophy was used to reflect on the role of the CGM in understanding exercise physiology and the pursuit of a more ideal scientific method. When contrasting the scientific philosophies of Kuhn to Popper, and applying the tenant of falsification to the research and commentary on the CGM, it is probable that the scholarship pertaining to the CGM adheres more to pseudoscience than science. To improve the scientific contributions of research on the CGM, fellow scientists need to adopt a more critical platform where questions are raised and research designs are employed in efforts to refute the theory. The inability to falsify a theory is the most meaningful way to prove that it is likely to be correct. To support this development, the CGM needs to be more carefully worded to form a theory that clearly reveals key features that can be researched and potentially falsified. In addition, the wording of the CGM needs to allow scientists to make predictions that can then be tested in controlled experimental research studies. Until this happens for the CGM and all other pertinent paradigms within exercise physiology, the discipline will never rise out of the abyss of normal science to extraordinary science involving paradigm shifts and scientific revolutions.

  • fatigue
  • muscle
  • neuromuscular
  • exercise Physiology

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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