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Re: Theory or Law : Semantics??



 Dawkin[...]s has suggested the word "theorum" (not "theorem", already in
 use) for something which "has been confirmed or established by
 observation or experiment, and is propounded or accepted as
 accounting for known facts; [it is] a statement of what are held to
 be the general laws, principles, or causes of something known or
 observed." He uses evolution, heliocentrism, a round planet, and
 photosynthesis as examples of theora.

Too bad this word sounds outright stupid outside of English. :-)

This site http://www.dinosauria.com/jdp/evol/evolfact.htm offers a very good definition of "fact" and points out the importance of "speculation" together with "hypothesis" and "theory". It's just too bad it gets "law" completely wrong.

Laws are simple generalizations about facts, usually expressible in a simple mathematical formula.

Theories don't grow up to become laws or facts. Theories _explain_ facts and laws.

Incidentally, most conspiracy theories are encompassing enough to qualify as theories, unparsimonious though they are...