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View Diary: Pique the Geek 20110605: Misconceptions about Science (112 comments)

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  •  Well, since you asked, (4+ / 0-)

    I though you were too brief in your explanation of a scientific "theory." How many times do we hear that "evolution is just a theory" ? It's an equivocation on the word theory. In science, as you point out, a theory is a model and subject to testing and revision. In the popular parlance a theory is some speculative explanation that I pulled out of my a$$, without benefit of observation or repeatable experimentation. Is evolution just a theory ? Well so is universal gravitation.

    •  I was brief because I covered the difference (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Azazello, JeffW, Mathazar

      betwixt hypotheses and theories some time ago here.  If I get repetitive, then folks will lose interest.

      I really need to prepare an index of my pieces so that I can link them to make it easy for folks to find my previous writings, but that sounds way too much like work!  LOL!

      I agree, a theory (in science) is a comprehensive but usually simple statement of a set of facts that has predictive power.  They are amongst the most powerful tools that we have, and they get revised often as more data are developed.  In law, a theory is what in science is called a "scheme", a series of ideas consistent with a given outcome.  A scheme is plausible, but has in no way the power of a theory.

      Warmest regards,


      Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me over and over, then either I really love you blindly or I am a Republican.

      by Translator on Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 06:35:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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