13 June 2014

Scientific theory is not opinion

When scientists and engineers hear phrases like "i believe" or "i have faith" what they're really hearing is "i don't have enough evidence but i'm not willing to keep searching so i'm taking a short cut and jumping to the nearest conclusion".

Furthermore the word "theory" is not a synonym for "opinion" and, jokes aside, no thinking person honestly cares about your opinion unless you have strong evidence to back it up.

A scientific theory is a sound understanding of something, backed by a strong foundation of provable facts. The difference between fact and theory is that a fact is 100% provable whereas a theory has been 100% consistent in tests to date.

A fact is indisputable by definition but a theory is open to re-evaluation if new evidence brings that 100% success rate down to 99.9999999%. To date, the theory of evolution is 100% consistent and we can accurately predict the evolution of biological organisms.

The whimsical belief in the existence of mythical gods is not a theory because it exhibits absolutely no predictable behaviour (that is 0% consistent). All predictable behaviour that was once attributed to gods (weather, astronomy, diseases, etc.) has since been explained by science and incorporated into scientific theory.