Why did we chose to call a scientific theory a theory?
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07-05-2016, 07:39 AM
Why did we chose to call a scientific theory a theory?
I know what makes up a scientific theory.
Facts gathered form a hypothesis, hypothesis tested if it proves true it graduates to a Theory.

My question is is why did we choose to go with the word Theory to explain the overall results?

My own hypothesis is that the reason we call it a Theory is because it is our best "guess" based on the evidence and tests we have made on how things are connected.

If we called it the Truth of Evolution instead of the Theory of Evolution, it would mean that we had discovered all there was to know about evolution, that nothing could be changed about it.
By using the word Theory we are more or less saying we don´t know everything there is to know we have a pretty good understanding of it, but if the facts or the results change so will our understanding of it.

Anyways that´s just a guess on my part, i don´t know if that´s the actual reason why we call a scientific theory a theory, so if any of you know please tell me.
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07-05-2016, 09:32 AM
RE: Why did we chose to call a scientific theory a theory?
Both definitions are correct.

The scientific definition and the colloquial definition are equally correct when properly applied. I would say that the colloquial definition should be discarded, since there are other words or phrases that could be used equally well. I don't see that happening though, since "my theory" sounds more intelligent than "hunch" or "best guess".

It's my understanding that the scientific definition was first, then the colloquial definition followed.

I don't think anything is labeled Truth in scientific understanding. Truth implies that we understand something completely and perfectly. That's why the word "Law" has fallen out of favor. It is too rigid and defining.

That's my understanding anyway.

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07-05-2016, 09:38 AM
RE: Why did we chose to call a scientific theory a theory?
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=theory
Quote:theory (n.) Look up theory at Dictionary.com
1590s, "conception, mental scheme," from Late Latin theoria (Jerome), from Greek theoria "contemplation, speculation; a looking at, viewing; a sight, show, spectacle, things looked at," from theorein "to consider, speculate, look at," from theoros "spectator," from thea "a view" (see theater) + horan "to see," possibly from PIE root *wer- (4) "to perceive" (see ward (n.)).

Earlier in this sense was theorical (n.), late 15c. Sense of "principles or methods of a science or art" (rather than its practice) is first recorded 1610s (as in music theory, which is the science of musical composition, apart from practice or performance). Sense of "an intelligible explanation based on observation and reasoning" is from 1630s.

So basically you could say it's a "contemplation on things observed."
Makes sense to me.

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07-05-2016, 10:23 AM
RE: Why did we chose to call a scientific theory a theory?
The Scientific Method uses inductive reasoning. Inductive reasoning doesn't give ultimate truth, in spite of being an accepted method for proof in mathematical logic. Thus, it will always be a theory. Exception- Evolutionary Theory is considered a fact because there has been enough evidence garnered that we are convinced of its truth.
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07-05-2016, 10:41 AM
RE: Why did we chose to call a scientific theory a theory?
(07-05-2016 07:39 AM)Erikjust Wrote:  I know what makes up a scientific theory.
Facts gathered form a hypothesis, hypothesis tested if it proves true it graduates to a Theory.

My question is is why did we choose to go with the word Theory to explain the overall results?

My own hypothesis is that the reason we call it a Theory is because it is our best "guess" based on the evidence and tests we have made on how things are connected.

If we called it the Truth of Evolution instead of the Theory of Evolution, it would mean that we had discovered all there was to know about evolution, that nothing could be changed about it.
By using the word Theory we are more or less saying we don´t know everything there is to know we have a pretty good understanding of it, but if the facts or the results change so will our understanding of it.

Anyways that´s just a guess on my part, i don´t know if that´s the actual reason why we call a scientific theory a theory, so if any of you know please tell me.

We don't know "all there is to know" about Evolution.
http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary...homonaledi

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