I Have A Theory…

By Sharon

I have a theory … or do I?

Perhaps what I have is an idea, a hypothesis or a conjecture. In science, a theory is a set of related hypotheses that serve to explain or provide rules for certain phenomena. If these hypotheses can be linked together to predict behavior or events, then they form a theory, such as the theory of evolution.

A hypothesis is a proposition which needs to be evaluated. In other words, it’s something that makes sense based on the knowledge you have but you still need to prove that it works. A conjecture is an idea which has no basis in fact (often called a theory in the vernacular).

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3 Responses to “I Have A Theory…”

  • Ginkgo100

    The word “theory” is badly abused in talk about popular science, which has led to the popular but woefully ignorant sound bite, “Evolution is only a theory.” The link under my name is for an article that explains some of the terminology used by science to describe ideas, as well as the meaning of “evolution fact” and “evolution theory.”

    Hey, that last sentence made me wonder — how about a grammar tip on quotation marks and punctuation? I used to always put punctuation within the quotes, but I have noticed some writers being very precise with quotes, resulting in the punctuation being placed outside the quotes when it does not appear in the original. Is this proper?

  • falsafa

    dude, I thought YOU had a theory and I rushed to read the email I got (RSS, of course). boy, was I expecting something big and gosh darn was I disappointed…

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Ginkgo100, check this article: http://www.dailywritingtips.com/punctuation-errors-american-and-british-quotation-marks/

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