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Hi /sci/! How do I convince my flatmate that...
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Hi /sci/! How do I convince my flatmate that a scientific theory is not a the layman's 'theory' ie. a theory has hard evidence like the 'theory of gravity' or the 'theory of evolution', rather than a 'theory' as in an opinion. They also do not understand that it is incorrect to say 'I believe in this theory'. Does a scientific theory not have hard evidence and is therefore the truth?
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>>7777249
There is noting incorrect about saying you believe in a theory.
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>>7777270
The dictionary says believe means: "accept that (something) is true, especially without proof."
Does a theory not have proof?
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>>7777274
A theory can have evidence. But you generally can't prove a theory right. You can prove it wrong though. Supporting evidence plus the lack of a proof against a falsifiable theory usually counts as "this is more or less true".

Too see why you would need to believe in a theory, take the most fundamental version of the theory of gravity, which can be summed up as: "things fall downwards".
("down" being the direction that things fall in, so basically your theory would be that all things fall in the same direction, at least when they are in the same place.)
You can't check that everything in the whole universe actually falls downwards, so you'd have to take it on faith. However you can gather evidence by dropping loads of things and see which way they fall, and also there will never be any proof of the opposite. Thus your theory is "true".
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>>7777303
Is there any way of describing someone that only accepts that which has hard evidence? i.e in your example someone who has seen the hard evidence on dropping things?
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>>7777274
Science never proves. It only fails to falsify.
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>>7777331
Or does falsify in many cases?
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>>7777389
I meant that rather than "prove" theories it only "fails to falsify" theories.
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>>7777401
Right! I get you, thanks for the clarification.
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>>7777316
>Is there any way of describing someone that only accepts that which has hard evidence? i.e in your example someone who has seen the hard evidence on dropping things?
I'd call such a person "reasonable"
Mostly because if you believe things that you don't have evidence for, you are unreasonable
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>>7778187
Evidence can be replaced by assuming that the theory is wrong and showing the contradiction
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It's really hard to prove to a fool that he is a fool don't bother trying if they don't even understand the meaning of the word 'theory'
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>>7778195
Only if it's a hard contradiction, which almost never is the case.

Example: the "stuff falls downwards" theory, above, is impossible to deal with this way. There is no hard contradiction. No matter how many times you drop an object and say "hey look, this one doesn't fall upwards", it's not a contradiction of the assumption that the theory is wrong because something else might fall upwards.
The only thing we have, and the only thing we ever CAN have, is evidence plus lack of proof to the contrary.
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read the wiki definition out loud and then be quiet for a minute after to let it resonize

is 'resonize' the correct english phrase?
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>>7777303
This. In science you can't prove anything true. In maths you can.
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>>7778440
Do proofs in maths ever lead to proofs in other sciences?
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The "theory" of the sun orbiting the earth was found to be false despite being widely believed.
A theory is something which has been thought up; usually has some evidence in order to support it. However it isn't exactly (at least always) the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
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>>7777777
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>>7778535
You can't prove anything about the physical world, only about our mathematical models of it. We can predict the trajectory of a projectile, and then launch projectiles every day for years, but we still don't know that they will *always* follow a parabolic trajectory.
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