Re: The straw man.

H. M. Hubey (
13 Oct 1995 17:33:49 -0400 (Phil Nicholls) writes:

>Applying the word "theory" to something like the aquatic ape indicates
>a lack of understand of how science works and I would think you would
>want to put the best foot forward in this regard.

Mr. Nichols, I know that you've been very courteous all along but
this wasn't really called for.

There are books and books by philosophers of science and probably
many different views on the topic but the words theory and hypothesis
are usually used synonymously. Hypothesis is used in things like
statistical inference quite explicitly and one might say that
hypothesis is a small theory; sort of like a lemma is to a theorem
but there isn't much more to it then that. Other than that
the about the only time we'd really bother trying to make a
differentiation would be in high school or in an intro college
course when trying to teach kiddies about the "scientific method".

it's supposed to be really "neat procedure"; hypothesis, text,theory
etc. but it isn't.

For the recordI just checked a thesaurus;the closest match to
hypothesis is theory and vice versa.

hypothesis: a belief, policy, or procedure proposed or followed
as the basis of action

and theory is defined exactly the same way. One could say that
evolutionary theory itself is not a theory at all but why?


Regards, Mark