That is, in 1887 the Michelson-Morley experiment demonstrated dependence of the speed of light on the speed of the light source and, accordingly, contradicted the assumption that the speed of light is independent of the speed of the source. Then FitzGerald, Lorentz and Einstein abused reality by replacing the true dependence assumption (supported by the experiment) with the false independence assumption. They also devised an ad hoc protective belt - "contracting lengths, local time, or Lorentz transformations" - that proved quite successful in deflecting dangerous evidence from the false assumption:
http://books.google.com/books?id=JokgnS1JtmMC "Relativity and Its Roots" By Banesh Hoffmann, p.92: "There are various remarks to be made about this second principle. For instance, if it is so obvious, how could it turn out to be part of a revolution - especially when the first principle is also a natural one? Moreover, if light consists of particles, as Einstein had suggested in his paper submitted just thirteen weeks before this one, the second principle seems absurd: A stone thrown from a speeding train can do far more damage than one thrown from a train at rest; the speed of the particle is not independent of the motion of the object emitting it. And if we take light to consist of particles and assume that these particles obey Newton's laws, they will conform to Newtonian relativity and thus automatically account for the null result of the Michelson-Morley experiment without recourse to contracting lengths, local time, or Lorentz transformations. Yet, as we have seen, Einstein resisted the temptation to account for the null result in terms of particles of light and simple, familiar Newtonian ideas, and introduced as his second postulate something that was more or less obvious when thought of in terms of waves in an ether. If it was so obvious, though, why did he need to state it as a principle? Because, having taken from the idea of light waves in the ether the one aspect that he needed, he declared early in his paper, to quote his own words, that "the introduction of a 'luminiferous ether' will prove to be superfluous."
http://bertie.ccsu.edu/naturesci/PhilSci/Lakatos.html "Lakatos distinguished between two parts of a scientific theory: its "hard core" which contains its basic assumptions (or axioms, when set out formally and explicitly), and its "protective belt", a surrounding defensive set of "ad hoc" (produced for the occasion) hypotheses. (...) In Lakatos' model, we have to explicitly take into account the "ad hoc hypotheses" which serve as the protective belt. The protective belt serves to deflect "refuting" propositions from the core assumptions..."
http://marxsite.com/LK1.htm Imre Lakatos, Falsification and the Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes: "All scientific research programmes may be characterized by their 'hard core'. The negative heuristic of the programme forbids us to direct the modus tollens at this 'hard core'. Instead, we must use our ingenuity to articulate or even invent 'auxiliary hypotheses', which form a protective belt around this core, and we must redirect the modus tollens to these. It is this protective belt of auxiliary hypotheses which has to bear the brunt of tests and get adjusted and readjusted, or even completely replaced, to defend the thus-hardened core."