What Is a Scientific Theory?

A scientific theory is a specific type of theory used in the scientific method. The term “theory” can mean something different, depending on whom you ask.

“The way that scientists use the word ‘theory’ is a little different than how it is commonly used in the lay public,” said Jaime Tanner, a professor of biology at Marlboro College. “Most people use the word ‘theory’ to mean an idea or hunch that someone has, but in science the word ‘theory’ refers to the way that we interpret facts.”

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