So, I recently read 'The Quantum Universe: Everything that can happen does happen' by Professors Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw.

Truthfully, I took three things from this amazing explanation of Quantum Physics:

  1. My brain hurts.
  2. A vague understanding of how Quantum Physics works. I now feel more equipped than I was before to understand our universe and the wonders it contains.
  3. THIS QUOTE, which I honestly believe is as perfect a definition for scientific theory as opposed to religion/fantasy and creationist nonsense as one could ever imagine; I think it is a piece of utterly beautiful literature:

"Any theory that is not amenable to falsification is not a scientific theory - indeed one might go so far to say it has no reliable information content at all. The reliance on falsification is why scientific theories are different from matters of opinion."

Such eloquence of language is rare to find, and a joy when it is found.

Views: 205

Comment by iain hewitt on April 20, 2013 at 11:13am

The phrase scientific theory is not provided a distinct definition from theory according to the dictionary. The Oxford English Dictionary provides the multiple definitions of Theory. The two which matter in this conversation (i.e the two that are picked on by those on who fight for and against scientific reality):

Sense 1: A scheme or system of ideas or statements held as an explanation or account if a group of facts or phenomena; a hypothesis that has been confirmed or established by observation or experiment, and is prpounded or accepted as accounting for the known facts; a statement of what are held to be the general laws, principles, or causes of something known or observed.

Sense 2: A hypothesis proposed as an explanation; hence, a mere hypothesis, speculation, conjecture; an idea or set of ideas about something; an individual view or notion.

Due to the (likely originally deliberate, but now, due to a general lack of scientific understanding, accepted by the majority arguing the case) misunderstanding of which definition the scientific community refers to when using the word, Dawkins suggests using the new word 'theorum' to express in explicit terms the first definition, while keeping a separation from the mathematic concept of theorem.

His idea was to try to remove a fallicious argument from the armament of the religious, anti-scientific, lunatic right against whom we are constantly having to fight a rearguard action against by denying them what seems to us to be such an easily demolished argument.


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