posted on Aug, 27 2012 @ 04:00 PM
reply to post by gosseyn
Facts are objective and verifiable observations which are independent of the observer. Scientific laws are concise verbal or mathematical statements
of a relation that expresses a fundamental principle of science which is always true under specific circumstances. Hypotheses are testable,
potentially falsifiable explanations of facts and/or laws. Scientific theories are unifying frameworks that seek to explaining facts, laws, and
The theory of gravity carries the weight that it does because it is testable and verifiable. All of the evidence currently available supports it. If
new evidence is found, the theory will be modified to form a more complete framework for understanding gravity. The same holds true for all scientific
theories, including evolution and germ theory and atomic theory and so forth and so on.
Or we can look at how scientific organizations define what a scientific theory is...
From the US National Academy of Sciences:
The formal scientific definition of theory is quite different from the everyday meaning of the word. It refers to a comprehensive explanation of
some aspect of nature that is supported by a vast body of evidence. Many scientific theories are so well established that no new evidence is likely to
alter them substantially. For example, no new evidence will demonstrate that the Earth does not orbit around the sun (heliocentric theory), or that
living things are not made of cells (cell theory), that matter is not composed of atoms, or that the surface of the Earth is not divided into solid
plates that have moved over geological timescales (the theory of plate tectonics). One of the most useful properties of scientific theories is that
they can be used to make predictions about natural events or phenomena that have not yet been observed.
And from the American Association for the Advancement of Science:
A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly
confirmed through observation and experiment. Such fact-supported theories are not "guesses" but reliable accounts of the real world. The theory of
biological evolution is more than "just a theory." It is as factual an explanation of the universe as the atomic theory of matter or the germ theory
of disease. Our understanding of gravity is still a work in progress. But the phenomenon of gravity, like evolution, is an accepted fact.