What a story!
A man tells a young paper boy about losing the great love of his life, a woman, and how the heartbreak of her loss helped him figure out the "science" of love. He tells the kid that the problem really begins when a man falls in love with a woman. He says of these foolish men:
"They start at the wrong end of love. They begin at the climax."
Then, the seemingly bitter old man asks the kid if he knows how a man should begin to love instead? This is where the hypothesis is made which gives the story it's title. He tells the kid a man should beginb by loving "a tree, a rock, a cloud." All objects that he can admire and love, steps if you will that lead up to the big event, the woman that he feels cannot be loved until all the rest has been exhausted.
Sadly, the story ends with the kid asking the man if he's found another woman to love after testing out this scientific theory of his. To this the man replies:
"That is the last step in my science...I go cautious."
And the reader knows then that this man is no genius. He's simply more foolish than he was the first go around.