Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

  • Author: Frank S. Levin

On theory and consensus in science: a journey in time

In ordinary discourse, a theory is a guess or a surmise, as in “that’s only a theory.” In science, however, a theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that is supported by confirmed facts and/or observations. Verification of a theory’s predictions ensures its eventual acceptance by the community of scientists working in the particular discipline.

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