November 23, 2004
Perhaps this is of a piece of a universal polling problem, where the phraseology can color responses. Is it that people have a fucked-up reaction to the word "theory"? Is it possible that when asked, "what do you think of the theory of evolution," people are like, "oh, theory of evolution," like it's some wishy-washy notion, like scientists are sort of fumbling around, and here, we came up with a theory that, you know, may or may not explain things … I hate to break out with a dictionary reference, but desparate times:
A set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena, especially one that has been repeatedly tested or is widely accepted and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena.Damn straight.
I hate to say it, but I think "theory" needs some moral framing therapy.