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Suppose we have a proposition of any given form (for example, "the earth is 'flat' "). In terms of observations, the best we can do is to decide if the proposition is disproved or not disproved (which is different than "proved"; the latter is, strictly speaking, reserved for mathematical contexts). Now to express "the proposition is not compatible with what is observed" we have an elegant one word "disprove" (or various alternatives); I wonder if there is also a one-word term that can express "the proposition is compatible with what is observed" even to a non-scientific person without compromising precision.

I guess using "support", for instance, in a way such as "the data support the proposition" would confuse some (?); on the other hand, saying "the data disprove the proposition" seems unlikely to mislead. And I am seeking a choice of such a verb that not only precisely conveys "the proposition is not disproved by the data" but admits almost no chance of misleading.

By the way, an empirical situation of the need is when one needs to explain scientific nuances to younger minds.

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  • In this sentence: Now to express "the proposition is not compatible with what is observed" we have an elegant one word "disprove" (or various alternatives); I wonder if there is also a one-word term that can express "the proposition is not compatible with what is observed" even to a non-scientific person without compromising precision." Was the repetion meant to be the negation of the first sentence? I.e. "the proposition is compatible with what is observed" – Gamora Jul 8 '19 at 14:57
  • @Bee, Hi, thanks for it. Indeed; the error is corrected. – Megadeth Jul 8 '19 at 15:00
  • @JimReynolds, Hi, I meant "what is observed disproves the proposition". – Megadeth Jul 8 '19 at 15:07
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The word most commonly used to describe this scientific concept is consistency, and the verb form is to be consistent with +something.

All experimental data so far is consistent with the theory of General Relativity.

Or...

Careful measurements of the orbit of Mercury are inconsistent with Newton's law of universal gravitation.

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  • Hi, Thanks for the answer. I guess I did not make it clear that I am after a verb primarily. Please feel free to supply! Thanks. – Megadeth Jul 8 '19 at 15:03
  • @Benicio I gave a verb form. This construction is very common in scientific writing, and consistent is a fairly straightforward word which I think is easily taught to young minds! – TypeIA Jul 8 '19 at 15:05
  • I acknowledge that contribution; thanks. Is there a single verb working for the given purposes? In fact, "compatible" and "consistent" were in my dictionary. – Megadeth Jul 8 '19 at 15:09
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There is no special reason to suppose that the word support will "confuse some" as you worry.

If you think your listener/s don't know the difference between support and prove, why not just tell them?

Nevertheless, perhaps corroborate if you prefer another term.

The observation (data, etc.) corroborate/s the proposition.

to support with evidence or authority

--https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/corroborate

When evidence is available to support a theory, the evidence corroborates the theory.

--http://www.univsource.com/words/corroborate-verb.htm

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  • Oh, thanks! I have a query: Does the existing meaning of this term coincide with the intended meaning? – Megadeth Jul 8 '19 at 15:15
  • I mean the possible difference between the meaning in the scientific community and the non-scientific community. – Megadeth Jul 8 '19 at 16:05
  • Scientists have no special meaning for the word support unless they define it in a certain context. It means to aid or strengthen (such as a position or proposition). – Jim Reynolds Jul 8 '19 at 16:57
  • I am not sure if you directly proceeded to assume that the OP is not a scientist. If so, it requires too much for an international contributor in science (I would leave the fields where I am working silent) to explain from the very beginning. All I can say at the present state is that my colleagues and my community have rarely had a problem with my English in the respects that you expressed concerns. But native speaker students, for example, would express a non-connection sometimes. – Megadeth Jul 8 '19 at 17:01

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