Why is a scientific theory called a theory?
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04-01-2014, 03:45 PM
Why is a scientific theory called a theory?
Its properly a question some decent google fu could answer (but i was never that strong in my google fu).
Oh just for the record i know a scientific theory isn´t just a "Theory" thats not the question here.
Anyways my question is what is the reason a scientist around the world decided to use the word theory, to describe it when their hypothesis has passed the gauntlet of tests and graduated to become a full blown theory.

I could imagine it might be something along the lines that a Theory isn´t something set in stone and if the facts that make up the theory changes, so does the Theory.

But that´s just a guess, so anyone in here know when and why scientist started to use the word Theory to describe their results?
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04-01-2014, 03:48 PM (This post was last modified: 04-01-2014 03:55 PM by DLJ.)
RE: Why is a scientific theory called a theory?
It's what you get when you take the Cafia (CaC) out of THEOCRACY!

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Type ... theory etymology ... into Google and all will be revealed.

It comes from the Greek for 'speculation'

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04-01-2014, 04:34 PM
RE: Why is a scientific theory called a theory?
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The Scientific method

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04-01-2014, 04:49 PM
RE: Why is a scientific theory called a theory?
(04-01-2014 03:45 PM)Erikjust Wrote:  Its properly a question some decent google fu could answer (but i was never that strong in my google fu).
Oh just for the record i know a scientific theory isn´t just a "Theory" thats not the question here.
Anyways my question is what is the reason a scientist around the world decided to use the word theory, to describe it when their hypothesis has passed the gauntlet of tests and graduated to become a full blown theory.

I could imagine it might be something along the lines that a Theory isn´t something set in stone and if the facts that make up the theory changes, so does the Theory.

But that´s just a guess, so anyone in here know when and why scientist started to use the word Theory to describe their results?
Because the meaning of the word "theory" accurately describes what scientist wanted to describe by using it?

I believe the word itself comes from "theoria" which means "contemplation" in Greek

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04-01-2014, 05:03 PM
RE: Why is a scientific theory called a theory?
I would venture a guess that the layman's use of the word is the bastardization of the real meaning of the word. Scientists use theory properly, while the everyday use of the word is colloquial and/or slang.

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04-01-2014, 09:27 PM
RE: Why is a scientific theory called a theory?
I think DLJ and Caveman pretty much should have answered your question.

BTW, what's your ideas if you want to supplant the "theory" word in "scientific theory" ?

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04-01-2014, 09:35 PM
RE: Why is a scientific theory called a theory?
as you can see:

Quote:the·o·ry (th-r, thîr)

n. pl. the·o·ries

1. A set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena, especially one that has been repeatedly tested or is widely accepted and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena.

2. The branch of a science or art consisting of its explanatory statements, accepted principles, and methods of analysis, as opposed to practice: a fine musician who had never studied theory.

3. A set of theorems that constitute a systematic view of a branch of mathematics.

4. Abstract reasoning; speculation: a decision based on experience rather than theory.

5. A belief or principle that guides action or assists comprehension or judgment: staked out the house on the theory that criminals usually return to the scene of the crime.

6. An assumption based on limited information or knowledge; a conjecture.

simply picking up a dictonary would have answered your question

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04-01-2014, 10:05 PM
RE: Why is a scientific theory called a theory?
Who is using the word "theory" correctly? We in everyday language or the scientists?

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04-01-2014, 10:18 PM
RE: Why is a scientific theory called a theory?
Theory evolved over time. You'll notice the weaker, watered down version comes at the end of the list of definitions. No one is using it incorrectly, but the question of why would scientists use theory was the OP, meaning shouldn't they have used a better word when in fact this is the perfect word.

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05-01-2014, 05:48 AM
RE: Why is a scientific theory called a theory?
Why is a scientific tractor called a tractor ?

'Cos it's attractive Tongue

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