Originally posted by Starrman
"What we got here is failure to communicate. Some men you just can't reach, so you get what we had here last week, which is the way he wants it. Well, he gets it. I don't like it, any more than you men."
So, what about having a sticky thread with agreed definitions? That way, when it comes to debate, we're all talking from the same hymn sheet, as it were...
I'll start with a couple of science ones, 'theory', 'hypothesis' and law.
A scientific hypothesis is an idea, postulated by an individual, to explain or predict a set of observations or events. A hypothesis must be scientifically testable (i.e. can be disprovable by future observations) and must be parsimonious (requiring as few assumptions as possible).
A scientific theorum is an explanation of a large body of data, usually derived from multiple fields, although certainly multiple studies. A theory need not be complete, however should provide a simple, workable explanation for a significant body of work.
A law is a description, normally expressed mathematically, of the behaviour of a simple system, such as the laws of motion and gravitation describe the curved trajectory of a ball thrown into the air.