How Are Theories Formed?

1783 WordsApr 25, 20108 Pages
What is a Theory? We often hear someone say “That’s just a theory” or on the contrary - “In theory and in practice, it always works.” This term may indeed hold in itself a somewhat ambiguous undertone, and lead to confusion and misuse. Let’s look at the origin of the word; according to an etymology dictionary, theory derives from the Greek “theoréo” which means ‘to look at’, ‘to observe’. The definition tells us that one must firstly observe a phenomenon so that a theory about a certain aspect of it could form. There are essentially three forms of theories, and although they are different, all of them have one thing in common – a theory is always born with observation. The first form is theory as a belief, found in humanities…show more content…
Instead a scientist would work from an already existing theory – an argument is that scientists make progress when they hold an idea in mind and then they go to observe and gather evidence for that idea/theory. Proponents of the deductive method assert that science makes progress through meta-theories, meaning that in place of one theory, another one will emerge. So when Galileo opposed Aristotle’s theory, he proposed that the different speeds of objects falling to the ground have nothing to do with their masses, but instead occur because of air resistance and acceleration due to a gravitational pull. He was right and Aristotle was wrong. Below is a summary of how evidence and a theory interact in their relation to each other. Evidence -> theory (inductive) Theory -> evidence (deductive) Meta-theory -> theory -> evidence (deductive) As mentioned throughout the paper, the validity of a theory and its worthiness depend primarily on the evidence and proof which is gathered after the theory has been stated. For example, the recent theory that all physical objects in the world and all living organisms are holograms is mind bending and would be a tremendous breakthrough in the world of science had the hypothesis been testable. Just like with the Theory of Evolution and Theory of Creationism, the Theory of a Hologram World,

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