7 Misused Science Words


Now there are various words tossed around everyday with little attention towards their exact meaning. And sometimes, i am simply amused by people declaring themselves Google and charging ahead by using words like ”Theory” or ”Model”.  A recent article in Scientific American titled – “Just a Theory”: 7 Misused Science Words  is just the cure i was looking for.  It starts off by listing those very words which i hate to be tossed up with during a dinner party or worse at a scientific conference !! I will list them out in full below and you can all have fun in reading the actual article in Scientific American.

1). Hypothesis

2). Just a theory?

3). Model

4). Skeptic

5). Nature vs. nurture

6). Significant

7). Natural

Now the above words are something which we all encounter during our school and college education. But the misuse of these words shows that people are not taught how science actually works !! Its not how it is showed in cartoons or zombie dystopian movies.

In the end, i would like to quote from the article itself:

Most people tend to use mental shortcuts to make sense of the cacophony of information they’re presented with every day.One of those tendencies is to make a binary distinction between something that is true in an absolute sense and something that’s false or a lie. “With science, it’s more of a continuum. We’re continually building our understanding.”

Additional readings:

1). What is Science? The Scientific Method, LiveScience Website, 2012.

2). The trouble with “science” (guardian.co.uk)