“Just a Theory”: 7 Misused Science Words
By Tia Ghose, LiveScience on April 2, 2013
From “significant” to “natural,” here are seven scientific terms that can prove troublesome for the public and across research disciplines
Hypothesis. Theory. Law. These scientific words get bandied about regularly, yet the general public usually gets their meaning wrong.
Now, one scientist is arguing that people should do away with these misunderstood words altogether and replace them with the word “model.” But those aren’t the only science words that cause trouble, and simply replacing the words with others will just lead to new, widely misunderstood terms, several other scientists said.
“A word like ‘theory’ is a technical scientific term,” said Michael Fayer, a chemist at Stanford University. “The fact that many people understand its scientific meaning incorrectly does not mean we should stop using it. It means we need better scientific education.”
From “theory” to “significant,” here are seven scientific words that are often misused.
2. Just a theory
5. Nature vs. Nurture
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