Page 3 of 19 FirstFirst 1234513 ... LastLast
Results 21 to 30 of 182

Thread: Maybe it would be good for science to make up new words to describe laws, etc

  1. Top | #21
    Contributor
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    The North
    Posts
    9,147
    Archived
    9,514
    Total Posts
    18,661
    Rep Power
    46
    If you call a theory something that implies it's more certain, then you're misstating what it is, because it's a theory.

    I'd be hesitant to start framing scientific terms for political reasons, because that's exactly what science tries not to be: political. Then it would become a slippery slope into dishonesty, when really the problem is a bunch of people who have nothing to do with scientific research.

    Beyond that, a misunderstanding of scientific terms is political, it's not a blatant misunderstanding. If the religious really wanted to understand what theory meant, they'd only be a Google search away.

  2. Top | #22
    Formerly Joedad
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    PA USA
    Posts
    5,102
    Archived
    5,039
    Total Posts
    10,141
    Rep Power
    74

    What is Scientific Theory

    A scientific theory is an explanation of an aspect of the natural world that can be repeatedly tested and verified in accordance with the scientific method, using accepted protocols of observation, measurement, and evaluation of results.
    It really doesn't get much clearer than that

    Someone who is using the word theory for scientific theory is probably scientifically illiterate. If not, then willfully ignorant.

  3. Top | #23
    Veteran Member skepticalbip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Searching for reality along the long and winding road
    Posts
    4,943
    Archived
    12,976
    Total Posts
    17,919
    Rep Power
    62
    ^^^

    Yes, it would be much more helpful if those who do not understand science use a more appropriate word than 'theory' when arguing their ideas. I would suggest they either use 'baseless belief' or 'wild-ass guess'.

  4. Top | #24
    Elder Contributor Keith&Co.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Far Western Mass
    Posts
    16,266
    Archived
    24,500
    Total Posts
    40,766
    Rep Power
    74
    Quote Originally Posted by skepticalbip View Post
    Yes, it would be much more helpful if those who do not understand science use a more appropriate word than 'theory' when arguing their ideas. I would suggest they either use 'baseless belief' or 'wild-ass guess'.
    We can start with overhauling courtroom procedurals. Every time the lawyer character, either in court or in a planning session, says, "Well, I have this theory," we have Special Guest Star Neil Degrasse Tyson pop in and bitch-slap them. Then Hugh Laurie (as House) explains, "What you MEAN to say, you marble-mouthed, lip-reading, mouth-breather, is your Hypothesis, or 'Plot Device.' YOu may now continue."

  5. Top | #25
    Formerly Joedad
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    PA USA
    Posts
    5,102
    Archived
    5,039
    Total Posts
    10,141
    Rep Power
    74
    Quote Originally Posted by Keith&Co. View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by skepticalbip View Post
    Yes, it would be much more helpful if those who do not understand science use a more appropriate word than 'theory' when arguing their ideas. I would suggest they either use 'baseless belief' or 'wild-ass guess'.
    We can start with overhauling courtroom procedurals. Every time the lawyer character, either in court or in a planning session, says, "Well, I have this theory," we have Special Guest Star Neil Degrasse Tyson pop in and bitch-slap them. Then Hugh Laurie (as House) explains, "What you MEAN to say, you marble-mouthed, lip-reading, mouth-breather, is your Hypothesis, or 'Plot Device.' YOu may now continue."
    The problem isn't accepted scientific protocol and parlance. What's needed are words that refer to religious, uninformed usage of scientific language. I kinda like "plot device" for theory, and there may be better phraseology to identify and differentiate religious meaning.

    Science really doesn't need to change its language. It doesn't deal in make-believe and woo.

  6. Top | #26
    Elder Contributor Keith&Co.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Far Western Mass
    Posts
    16,266
    Archived
    24,500
    Total Posts
    40,766
    Rep Power
    74
    Quote Originally Posted by T.G.G. Moogly View Post
    The problem isn't accepted scientific protocol and parlance. What's needed are words that refer to religious, uninformed usage of scientific language. I kinda like "plot device" for theory, and there may be better phraseology to identify and differentiate religious meaning.

    Science really doesn't need to change its language. It doesn't deal in make-believe and woo.
    But as long as anyone is using theory to mean 'i have an idea, now go find me some evidence for it' then the creationists can convince themselves that their plot devices are comparable and competitive.

    But

  7. Top | #27
    Veteran Member skepticalbip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Searching for reality along the long and winding road
    Posts
    4,943
    Archived
    12,976
    Total Posts
    17,919
    Rep Power
    62
    ^^^

    Neil Degrasse Tyson needs to get off his butt and start a serious bitch-slapping tour. I see no other solution.

  8. Top | #28
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    U.S.A.
    Posts
    1,565
    Archived
    1,250
    Total Posts
    2,815
    Rep Power
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by T.G.G. Moogly View Post
    A scientific theory is an explanation of an aspect of the natural world that can be repeatedly tested and verified in accordance with the scientific method, using accepted protocols of observation, measurement, and evaluation of results.
    It really doesn't get much clearer than that

    Someone who is using the word theory for scientific theory is probably scientifically illiterate. If not, then willfully ignorant.
    But that is the problem with science. Today's theories and facts can become wrong tomorrow. So saying today, "evolution is a testable theory with evidence to back it up" doesn't mean it's going to be true tomorrow. So, people are right to doubt it today if there's no guarantees it's gonna hold up in the future.

    That's why if you went to school in the 80's and 90's Pluto was a planet. Nowadays, you would be wrong on your science test if you said it was a planet. So, was it right back then or is it right today? Take a science test from the 80's. "Pluto is a planet." Correct answer. Today: "Pluto is a planet." Wrong answer.

    See the problem?

  9. Top | #29
    Veteran Member skepticalbip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Searching for reality along the long and winding road
    Posts
    4,943
    Archived
    12,976
    Total Posts
    17,919
    Rep Power
    62
    Quote Originally Posted by Half-Life View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by T.G.G. Moogly View Post
    A scientific theory is an explanation of an aspect of the natural world that can be repeatedly tested and verified in accordance with the scientific method, using accepted protocols of observation, measurement, and evaluation of results.
    It really doesn't get much clearer than that

    Someone who is using the word theory for scientific theory is probably scientifically illiterate. If not, then willfully ignorant.
    But that is the problem with science. Today's theories and facts can become wrong tomorrow. So saying today, "evolution is a testable theory with evidence to back it up" doesn't mean it's going to be true tomorrow. So, people are right to doubt it today if there's no guarantees it's gonna hold up in the future.

    That's why if you went to school in the 80's and 90's Pluto was a planet. Nowadays, you would be wrong on your science test if you said it was a planet. So, was it right back then or is it right today? Take a science test from the 80's. "Pluto is a planet." Correct answer. Today: "Pluto is a planet." Wrong answer.

    See the problem?
    Yes. Your lack of understanding. Pluto has not changed. What has changed is addition of more classification. "Dwarf planet" descriptor has been added to help better identify planetary objects. It is like you can have a jar of marbles. They are all marbles. Someone brings in several more jars of marbles. To help sort and identify them, it is decided to also add a color description. The blue marbles are then called blue marbles rather than just marbles.

    Newtonian mechanics still work damn well and are still extensively used. The fact that Relativity showed it failed in the limits does not make Newton wrong for human scale problems.
    Last edited by skepticalbip; 07-15-2019 at 11:50 PM.

  10. Top | #30
    Veteran Member James Brown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    2,837
    Archived
    5,844
    Total Posts
    8,681
    Rep Power
    55
    Rhea, Richard Dawkins saw the same dilemma, and coined the word "theorum" to mean something akin to "theory as used by scientists." Alas, it didn't take like he thought it would, probably for the reasons mentioned--scientists don't need a new term, and non-scientists have no reason to learn it.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •