Scientific Theory

Scientific Theory, hypothesis, and theory are closely related terms that are easily confused. The word blue, for example, can mean either sad or a color. If I said my eyes were blue, unless you enjoyed puns, you probably would not think that my eyes were sad. Mixing two definitions is called equivocation.

Equivocation can be difficult to notice. For example, faith that a chair will support weight is using the word faith in the sense of, “Based on my knowledge of physics and my previous experiences, I believe...”; whereas, the word faith can also mean, “Even though there is no evidence, and I'm lying through my teeth, I believe...” Do not confuse the two definitions. Having “faith in the physical attributes of a chair” and “faith in a god“ are not equivalent definitions of faith.

A Scientific Theory, such as the Theory of Evolution, is different than a theory that is a hunch or a guess. A Scientific Theory has been tested, often many times (in many ways) by many different people, and observations have been consistently verified. Scientific Theories are also reviewed by peers to make sure that scientists are accurately reporting their results and that their experiments are conducted using scientifically valid methods.

Scientific Theories also allow us to make and test predictions.