Alright, I am in a bind.
I know that prediction is the ultimate test of a theory in the physical world. You can make any assumptions, you can come up with useless things like the math in string theory, but ultimately it's only considered "true", as true as such theories could be if and when they make a testable prediction, and it comes out to be accurate.
Where do we draw the line on the accuracy of the prediction before we call it a true theory or model of the real world? Predictions can vary in accuracy, for eg: Sun rises in the east, vs. sun will rise tomorrow at this and that angle at this time and so on.. And then you have to consider the frequency of the data or pattern that you observe as well into consideration. Now I know that if the pattern is not seen often, then you'd want to make a far more accurate prediction to prove the theory true vs. when a pattern repeats often, is observed in multiple places, because then in the latter case, since you can make multiple predictions you could be lax with accuracy and make more general statements, for eg: things with mass are attracted to each other vs. things with mass at a distance, have a mutual attraction represented by a quantity called "force" which is inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them and their masses and so on bla bla.
Do we always need an idea based approach first? Since it has the power of prediction compared to a more data fitting based approach ( which might not have any underlying intuitive reasoning)? I like the idea based approach because there is less "peeking" at the data, and more coming up with sound reasoning.
Lastly falsifiability. This thing has been bothering me a little. I thought it was central to calling a physical theory of the world, a "theory". You need to have a concept of falsification otherwise it is in the same bucket as religion, but doesn't making a prediction encompass falsifiability? It seems to me that falsification is a test of validity and not truth. Am I correct in this? Because if you have a statement which says: if A then Y, then you automatically have the falsification criteria satisfied.