I've been doing a bit of reading about the formation of the moon, and I've found multiple references (1, 2, 3) to something called Taylor's axiom, stated in link (3) above as:

The best models for lunar origin are the testable ones.

A few related questions:

  1. Who came up with it? If it was, in fact, someone named Taylor (which it need not be), which Taylor?
  2. Is there a paper/talk/etc that contains a definitive form of Taylor's axiom?
  3. I think we can all agree that testable models are the best ones. Why, then, did Taylor's axiom even need to be stated? e.g. was there a time when when untestable theories of lunar formation were in vogue or something?

1 Answer 1


Just a shot in the dark, as the journal in which this article has been published has no online presence and is not available in paper form in my institution, but it might refer to an article by a Richard L. S. Taylor from 1990 called 'The Damocles Hypothesis', published in the journal "Space" (journal edited by the University of London it seems).

Follows the abstract of that article:

Consideration is given to the use of data from the Apollo missions to study theories of the origin and geological evolution of the moon. Theories of lunar origin are examined, including origin by fission, binary accretion origin, the capture hypothesis, and the giant impact model. Apollo data related to each of these theories is summarized, showing that the giant impact model is the most probable theory for the origin of the moon. The giant impact model is outlined, focusing on the collision between the earth and a large body called Damocles.


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