I got into discussion with my fellow commentors on the www.johnshore.com blog regarding my belief in a created universe. I stated that once science began calling evolution fact rather than theory, I would do so as well. (For the record, I don’t have a problem with evolution. God can create in any way they choose.)
Well! I got an education on the word “theory” and what it means in popular understanding versus what it means in the scientific community. One poster pointed out that gravity is also a theory, but that didn’t make it any less fact. Couldn’t really argue with that. I discovered that the dictionary defines “theory” in several different ways, including both referencing theory as fact as well as theory as an unproved idea or concept.
Allie, a fellow commentor on the blog, gave me a great, layman’s definition which finally made sense to my brain:
“What you thought was a theory is actually scientifically known as a “hypothesis.” Theory = proven, within the limits of science, which accepts that things regarded as proven today may come unraveled tomorrow. Hypothesis = what ordinary people call a theory.”
That helps me a ton! Thanks, Allie!