Ask Ethan #17: The Burden of Proof – Starts With A Bang

Perhaps no word in the English language generates as much misunderstanding as the word theory. In scientific circles, this word has a very specific meaning that’s different from everyday use, and — as a theoretical astrophysicist myself — I feel it’s my duty to help explain exactly what we mean when we use it.

via Ask Ethan #17: The Burden of Proof – Starts With A Bang.

We often hear young earth creationists, climate change deniers, and other opponents of science use variations of the phrase, “It’s just a theory”.  If you’re tempted to think a theory is any fanciful unproven notion, then you might consider reading Ethan Siegel’s description of what a scientific theory actually is, particularly in relation to scientific laws or hypotheses.

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