There are Theories and Theories

I’m sure I’m not the only one that occasionally finds tweets in their timeline that just makes me want to facepalm. One thread noticed this morning showed how utterly stupid some people can be. Why is it that people today do not understand what the word theory means in it’s two most prominent contexts?

In this case, the tweeter was ranting about evolution just being a theory. Of course this person was confusing the common usage of the word with what a scientific theory means.

It seems to be the most common mistake with Christians (which this person seemed to be from the tweet rant), is not understanding science at all and the process used to develop theories. These same people believe that if something is proven, then it should be a law, as in the Law of Gravity. But there is a distinct difference between a Law and a Theory: Basically, a Law explains how something works, as in the gravity, whereas a Theory is about why something occurs.

When I see or hear a Christian saying, evolution is just a theory, I immediately they don’t know the difference in the colloquial use of the word and how science use the word.

I live in the desert. Multiple times during the year, I can walk out on my patio and see smoke rising in the distance. I theorize that the fire is due to a controlled burn. These are fires set intentionally to destroy excess brush in the area that could be the cause of a damaging fire if left unattended. But, I have no facts to back up my theory(guess). It could be a structural fire or to may be an accidental fire set by someone tossing a cigarette out their car window (it’s happened). Without having any facts, I’m just speculating as to the cause. Of course, it’s easy to go online and see if there were any scheduled controlled burns for my area. Sure enough, my initial theory was correct.

It was still a guess though, until I had been able to gather facts. That’s the difference that most Christians do not seem to understand about the word theory. I have two different ideas as to why this happens, especially with Christians: a) they had little science education in school and b) they are too brainwashed by their belief to understand the difference.

My theory is b.




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