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.
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.
- Eccles’ Model of the Self Controlling Its Brain (livasperiklis.com)
- Carl Sagan’s Two Warnings For Humanity In His Very Last Interview – You Might Want To Hear This (thinkaboutitdocs.com)
- Theory or Hypothesis? (thepoliticalscientistpost.wordpress.com)
- Theory and Hypothesis (enterpriseirregulars.com)
- Natural Science (jaywilliamstok.wordpress.com)