Lakatos believes that scientific theories should not be abandoned once a problem or anomaly occurs within the research of a theory, or research program, and that scientific theories are stronger than that.
Theories should not be abandoned completely, if problems should occur, issues can be set aside for the time being and other problems of the theory can be looked at to help the theory progress.
1. If all theories were abandoned due to a single problem
The attempt to help support a theory, as in conducting further research, is still making progress. If one were to fully abandon a theory, the different ways to support the theory would never be discovered. How can you know how to fix or approach the theory in different ways without trying? If we completely abandoned a theory because of a run in with a problem, almost no scientific theory would ever evolve, or as Lakatos would say, progress.
2. Alternative Research Programs
When a theory encounters an anomaly, rather than abandoning the theory, Lakatos believes in setting aside the theory until an alternative research program comes about. When this happens, and the theory is obviously supported, the theory is strengthened and allows for the theory to progress. If nothing arises to support it, and it begins to degenerate, Lakatos suggests looking at scientific change.
3. Lakatos’ belief of scientific change
Lakatos believes there are two parts to scientific theories: the protective belt, the facts that support the core idea of the theory; and the hard core, the core idea. When making change to a theory, you should only make changes within the protective belt, making the pieces fit around the hard core to make it more tangible