Having surveyed the proposed criteria of explanatory adequacy, Mike Beyer suggested that they could be synthesized into four essential principles. He wrote:
...I began to wonder if there were some way to boil down the essentials of scientific explanation into a few words or mnemonics. As a first cut, I'd thought of the following list of features and why they matter might help us naturalists keep our core principles "in our back pocket" so to say:
Coherence: Explanations should be part of a unified picture of cause and effect; otherwise, our knowledge is fragmented.
Verifiability: Explanations should generate predictions that can be verified/falsified independently of the phenomena they seek to explain; otherwise, our knowledge is unreliable.
Transparency: Explanations should not contain any elements whose behavior and properties are not precisely specified; otherwise, our knowledge is not insight.
Simplicity: Explanations should contain as few elements as possible while maintaining coherence, verifiability and transparency; otherwise, we assume more than is justified.
So there we have it: Coherence, Verifiability, Transparency and Simplicity, or... CVTS for short. Thanks Mike!