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blackpudd1n
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Hey guys,

 

I'm just going to write this off the top of my head, in order to check that I understand what a scientific theory is now. Please let me know if I've gotten any of it wrong, and I'll go back and do some more research until I get it down pat.

 

Okay, so a scientific theory starts out as a hypothesis. A hypothesis must be able to be tested and/or measured over and over again and does not move into being a theory until the results are able to be checked and rechecked independently, returning the same results every time. Once it has been sufficiently done so, that is when it moves into being a theory.

 

However, a scientific theory must be able to be falsifiable. From my understanding, being falsifiable means that it can be tested and checked, especially as new information and data comes to light. If it continues to hold, it remains a theory.

 

A paradigm is a theory that has been tested and retested and has held so well, that it is accepted by the scientific community as almost fact. However, a paradigm itself is not immune from being changed when a new theory comes to light that challenges the old theory. In that case, the old theory will be retested against the new theory, and if the new theory is better, the paradigm will either change to fit the new theory or be scrapped and replaced by the new theory.

 

So, how did I go?

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thanks.gif

 

Yes ohh wise one, correctmundo.

 

Seriously?! You mean to say that I FINALLY got it?!!!!

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Erm... yes... and no... but you're close.

 

A theory can actually incorporate a number of hypotheses or laws. For example, gravitational theory is actually made up of a number of mathematical laws and tested hypotheses.

 

Sometimes, a theory isn't necessarily completely falsified even when it is found to not completely fit all possible circumstances. An example of this is Newton's gravitational laws; by the beginning of the twentieth century, some phenomena were observed that didn't quite fit the Newtonian predictions for how they should behave. Einstein found, through his work on relativity theory, that his hypotheses fit these particular circumstances better. This didn't completely nullify Newtonian mechanics, but expanded upon them. Both theories still exist and are used by scientists, even though portions of the Newtonian theory have been falsified.

 

Yeah, it's complicated. That's why Christians so often resort to "It's only a theory!" as an argument. It's kind of tough to argue against in a convenient sound bite.

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Hey guys,

 

I'm just going to write this off the top of my head, in order to check that I understand what a scientific theory is now. Please let me know if I've gotten any of it wrong, and I'll go back and do some more research until I get it down pat.

 

Okay, so a scientific theory starts out as a hypothesis. A hypothesis must be able to be tested and/or measured over and over again and does not move into being a theory until the results are able to be checked and rechecked independently, returning the same results every time. Once it has been sufficiently done so, that is when it moves into being a theory.

 

However, a scientific theory must be able to be falsifiable. From my understanding, being falsifiable means that it can be tested and checked, especially as new information and data comes to light. If it continues to hold, it remains a theory.

 

A paradigm is a theory that has been tested and retested and has held so well, that it is accepted by the scientific community as almost fact. However, a paradigm itself is not immune from being changed when a new theory comes to light that challenges the old theory. In that case, the old theory will be retested against the new theory, and if the new theory is better, the paradigm will either change to fit the new theory or be scrapped and replaced by the new theory.

 

So, how did I go?

 

Pretty good description. I would add a one thing. A scientific theory can make predictions and if those predictions are verified through experiment or by evidence, the theory is further supported.

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Erm... yes... and no... but you're close.

 

A theory can actually incorporate a number of hypotheses or laws. For example, gravitational theory is actually made up of a number of mathematical laws and tested hypotheses.

 

Sometimes, a theory isn't necessarily completely falsified even when it is found to not completely fit all possible circumstances. An example of this is Newton's gravitational laws; by the beginning of the twentieth century, some phenomena were observed that didn't quite fit the Newtonian predictions for how they should behave. Einstein found, through his work on relativity theory, that his hypotheses fit these particular circumstances better. This didn't completely nullify Newtonian mechanics, but expanded upon them. Both theories still exist and are used by scientists, even though portions of the Newtonian theory have been falsified.

 

Yeah, it's complicated. That's why Christians so often resort to "It's only a theory!" as an argument. It's kind of tough to argue against in a convenient sound bite.

 

I thought that would be more along the lines of a paradigm, because a paradigm can encompass a number of theories at the same time, right? And a paradigm shift would be to like reassess it all, and maybe remove some or parts of some and include others, right?

 

It sure is complicated. That's why I wanted to check my understanding of it all. At least I think I'm starting to grasp the concept, if nothing else :)

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Hey guys,

 

I'm just going to write this off the top of my head, in order to check that I understand what a scientific theory is now. Please let me know if I've gotten any of it wrong, and I'll go back and do some more research until I get it down pat.

 

Okay, so a scientific theory starts out as a hypothesis. A hypothesis must be able to be tested and/or measured over and over again and does not move into being a theory until the results are able to be checked and rechecked independently, returning the same results every time. Once it has been sufficiently done so, that is when it moves into being a theory.

 

However, a scientific theory must be able to be falsifiable. From my understanding, being falsifiable means that it can be tested and checked, especially as new information and data comes to light. If it continues to hold, it remains a theory.

 

A paradigm is a theory that has been tested and retested and has held so well, that it is accepted by the scientific community as almost fact. However, a paradigm itself is not immune from being changed when a new theory comes to light that challenges the old theory. In that case, the old theory will be retested against the new theory, and if the new theory is better, the paradigm will either change to fit the new theory or be scrapped and replaced by the new theory.

 

So, how did I go?

 

Pretty good description. I would add a one thing. A scientific theory can make predictions and if those predictions are verified through experiment or by evidence, the theory is further supported.

 

Oh, I forgot about the predictions side of things. That's akin to Darwin predicting that more evidence of transition fossils would be found, right?

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That might be considered one example of prediction and its validation. Personally I think ring species would be an even better one, buy others' mileage may vary smile.png

 

Of course it's 3:45am here and I didn't yet have coffee so I may unconsciously babble nonsense right now... praise Jesus!

 

*chuckle*

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That might be considered one example of prediction and its validation. Personally I think ring species would be an even better one, buy others' mileage may vary smile.png

 

Of course it's 3:45am here and I didn't yet have coffee so I may unconsciously babble nonsense right now... praise Jesus!

 

*chuckle*

 

Hahahaha- Story of my life :P

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Guest Valk0010

thanks.gif

 

Yes ohh wise one, correctmundo.

 

Seriously?! You mean to say that I FINALLY got it?!!!!

More or less yes, of course, the definitions are fairly on the reductionist side, but that is just normally typical of definitions so that is no fault in my book. Just watch how it is applied. The devil is in the details as the saying goes.
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Also remember that a theory is a explanation in science based on many facts. Thats were most theist get mixed up.

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Also remember that a theory is a explanation in science based on many facts. Thats were most theist get mixed up.

 

Yes. In order to warrant a theory, a hypothesis must pass falsifiable scrutiny. Only after passing rigorous testing is an hypothesis worthy of an explanatory theory.

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Dunno if anybody else was like me, but I thought (based upon my decidedly secular education no less) that if a theory had enough support it'd eventually become a law--sort of like how a bill becomes a law in politics ;) I'm still learning! I'm a bit fuzzy on exactly what the difference is between a law and a theory--like one states what is, and the other predicts things that happened based on what is, or something. Un-fuzzification is welcome.

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Theories are comprised of laws, which were once hypotheses that have been validated through experimentation to the point where there are no known exceptions. For example, the theory of gravity includes the inverse-square law of universal gravitation and the equivalence principle.

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