Archive for August 28, 2012

JUST A THEORY?   6 comments

The expression “just a theory” gives me chills. It implies that whatever is being referred to is just some off the top of the head conjecture. As a matter of fact, for scientists, the term “theory” is an honorific applied only to a well verified collection of data which lead to further exploration and experimentation. The only superior term for scientists is “law,” as in Newton’s Law of Gravity. The most important thing about the word “law” is that it leads to further testing and further discoveries which might lead to modification of the original law while adding to new knowledge. The same is true for theory. Theory and Law are the strongest bases for using our God-given intellect and curiosity to learn ever more about God’s creation.

Personally, I have a hard time with the belief that we should somehow ignore that major part of who we are. As in the story of Job, we overstep our bounds when we decide we know more than the creator and should stop at some human-defined doorway and go no further in learning about the gift of the universe.

Maybe it’s better said by the United States National Academy of Sciences.

“Some scientific explanations are so well established that no new evidence is likely to alter them. The explanation becomes a scientific theory. In everyday language a theory means a hunch or speculation. Not so in science. In science,the word theory refers to a comprehensive explanation of an important feature of nature that is supported by many facts gathered over time. Theories also allow scientists to make predictions about as yet unobserved phenomena.”

Theory, as in the theory of evolution, depends on the glorious gift of curiosity, exploration, and understanding with which humans have been endowed.

Or maybe Bill Nye the Science Guy, says it better.

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