Compatibility Corollary (Fraser-Sarwar-2018)

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This is an answer to the question Compatibility of Mosaic Elements that states "At any moment of time, the elements of the scientific mosaic are compatible with each other."

Compatibility Corollary (Fraser-Sarwar-2018).png

Compatibility Corollary was formulated by Patrick Fraser and Ameer Sarwar in 2018.1 It is currently accepted by Scientonomy community as the best available answer to the question.

Scientonomic History

Acceptance Record

Here is the complete acceptance record of this theory:
CommunityAccepted FromAcceptance IndicatorsStill AcceptedAccepted UntilRejection Indicators
Scientonomy3 June 2020The corollary became accepted as a result of the acceptance of the respective suggested modification.Yes

Suggestions To Accept

Here are all the modifications where the acceptance of this theory has been suggested:

Modification Community Date Suggested Summary Verdict Verdict Rationale Date Assessed
Sciento-2018-0015 Scientonomy 28 December 2018 Accept the definition of compatibility, as the ability of two elements to coexist in the same mosaic. Also replace the zeroth law with the compatibility corollary. Accepted While the modification induced a few comments on the encyclopedia, it became accepted as a result of discussions that took place mostly offline. It was agreed that the modification "comes to remedy one of the glaring omissions" in the current zeroth which doesn't "say much above and beyond what is already implicit in the notion of compatibility"c1 as it "is lacking in empirical content, and should be replaced with a definition of compatibility".c2 It was also noted that the proposed "definition of compatibility criteria... captures the gist of the concept as it has been used in our community".c3 It was also agreed that "the compatibility corollary follows from this definition".c4 c5 Finally, the community accepted that the definition and the corollary "recover the content of the Zeroth Law".c6 3 June 2020

Question Answered

Compatibility Corollary (Fraser-Sarwar-2018) is an attempt to answer the following question: Are all elements within a mosaic compatible with one another?

See Compatibility of Mosaic Elements for more details.


The corollary is meant to restate the content of Harder's the zeroth law of scientific change. Since the corollary follows deductively from the definition of compatibility, it highlights that the zeroth law as it was formulated by Harder is tautologous. Since the corollary covers the same idea as the zeroth law, all the theorems that were thought to be deducible by means of the zeroth law (e.g. the theory rejection theorem or the method rejection theorem) can now be considered deducible by means of the corollary.


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Questions About This Theory

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  1. ^  Fraser, Patrick and Sarwar, Ameer. (2018) A Compatibility Law and the Classification of Theory Change. Scientonomy 2, 67-82. Retrieved from