Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Theory vs. Hypothesis

Does anyone know the fucking difference between these two things? It seems that many of us think these words are interchangeable. Well I'm here to tell you that they aren't! A hypothesis is basically an educated guess. Something that needs to be studied and tested and retested and peer-reviewed then fucking retested again. During all those steps you will probably need to adjust your hypothesis to adapt it to your data. And keep changing things until you get it right. Then and only then does your hypothesis graduate into becoming a theory.

So the next time you hear "blank is just a theory." You can tell that person to get their fucking definitions straight before they open their big fat pie holes. Maybe read something about the topic first. It's not hard. You can read right?

Also to all you "old" media fuck faces. Stop dumbing down all this shit just so Joe Dumbshit thinks he understands science. he doesn't, not to say that he can't but reading your shit he isn't learning anything but sure thinks he is which puts us at a negative doesn't it? FUCK YOU! We should be challenged by what we read. Challenged to learn more; to understand more fully. You people are not providing that. FUCK YOU!



Blogger Andy said...

Hey Adam,

I share your woe.

I'm bothered when sometimes data is found that doesn't fit any of our models and some people just throw up their hands and say "even the [blank] don't know what's going on, so nobody really does." No!! That is how the process is supposed to work. We make models that fit the data we have, then we test the limits of those models by investigating extreme cases in order to try to break the models, because that's the only way we can make better models. People who say "nobody knows" are just ignorant people who want to make themselves look less ignorant by asserting that the scientific community can't explain some new data and therefore we know nothing. It's just an appeal to ignorance and I'm sick of hearing it. We know lots of stuff. We don't know everything, but it doesn't mean we know nothing.


3/28/2009 6:04 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Actually you are incorrect a it is not a hypothesis unless it can actually be tested.
In other words you can make a statement that is a educated guess but unless your statement can be tested through Quantitative or Qualitative observations or experimentations (ether to prove it correct or incorrect it does not matter) it is not a hypothesis.

A theory on the other hand is a based on a collection inferences which may have been arrived at through Quantitative or Qualitative observations of data. in other words to form a theory you must first derive many hypothesizes then test those hypothesizes and you can then form a theory based on the inferences or conclusions of that testing.

Also many confuse this with a "Law" which for all practical terms is a irrefutable theory like "Newton's laws of nature" but we have found that even a law may not be irrefutable under all circumstances. For instance Newton's laws do not hold true at the sub atomic level. So even when a theory has been tested many times it is unwise to call it a law since it is very rare that we have or even can test every conceivable circumstance or even account for what we can not yet conceive.

Now of course there is the non scientific use or should I say misuse of the term theory. That a theory is simply a guess. Or that a theory must be irrefutable in order to be accepted. The scientific process is just that a process we are always looking to test theories and we continue to derive hypothesis in order to further test those theories and then make inferences (or conclusions) based on the new data which may future support a theory or even contradict that theory casing us to form new theories and lead to new hypothesis that lead to more observations and new inferences.
If fact is that a true scientist does not except anything as irrefutable it can be near irrefutable or even proven true 99.9% of the time or even 100% of the time under the tested circumstances but to say it is law is unwise.

DO NOT confuse theory with theology which is based on faith not fact theology requires no hypothesis be made since a hypothesis is a statement that can be tested.
The absolute only exist only in the mind of the theologian and is excepted on faith alone. That has nothing to do with the scientific process or theory.

10/07/2009 2:35 PM  

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