I read an article this morning about aging, a scientific piece that started with talking about how sharks eat their young so they are a sort of self-continuing population. I worried about where this article was going to go. No, it didn’t suggest that humans follow suit no matter how much we threaten our children.
What interested me is that the author cited several examples of situations where scientists thought they had cracked the “Aging Code” when in fact, they were later proven wrong as more information came in. Thus, the scientists’ ideas were called “theories”. Remember the theory of evolution? I hear people say, “Oh, that is just a theory,” as though someone made it up for shits’n giggles. Like kids sitting around a room saying “What if….this…or that?” Theories are usually formed because there is some evidence, observation, to suggest the possibility that the theory might be true. I won’t list all the theories that the author mention that were later debunked but in the end, they were only replaced with another theory.
Theories are humble. They admit that anytime we say something about an unknown, we are just guessing. But guesses can be informed or just thrown out there for s’n gs (See above). Overtime something may happen that is so clear that it ceases to be a theory and becomes a fact. The theory that the earth is round is a good example. It was just a theory for centuries based on the observations of some really observant people. But the theory probably became a fact when someone sailing out to sea in one direction ended up coming back to where they started without falling into oblivion. Wow! What a moment that was!
So today, there are theories about where we all came from, evolution being the theory I am talking about. As the years go by, the evidence mounts. Perhaps one day it will be called fact, when the one piece that is missing is found. Yet, evidence continues to mount and people like me are tending to believe it, all the time knowing that it is still a theory. (But no longer just a theory)
What about global warming? The warming is determined to be a fact, but the causes associated with global warming are still theories…almost. I’d say, rather, that there are multiple causes and for people to look for one are just wasting time. Interestingly, one is that global warming has something to do with the evolution of the planet.
Just because something is still called at theory doesn’t mean we do nothing. Work with what you know…that’s my theory. My theory. Hmmm!