• io9 Lists “10 Scientific Ideas That Scientists Wish You Would Stop Misusing”

    The story is here. It’s about  ten words with precise meanings for scientists that have been borrowed into the popular culture and misused by the public. This is the list sans commentary:

    1. Proof
    2. Theory
    3. Quantum Uncertainty and Quantum Weirdness
    4. Learned vs. Innate
    5. Natural
    6. Gene
    7. Statistically Significant
    8. Survival of the Fittest
    9. Geologic Timescales
    10. Organic

    I try to be good about most of these myself. I never use the word “proof;” I say “evidence” instead. And I never say “theory” when I know what I mean is “hypothesis.”

    Hypothesis is a cooler word anyway, and you sound smarter when you say it. I often tap my chin just before I say it, which heightens the effect even more. To wit:

    “I hypothesize, Clem,” Vandy said, tapping her chin thoughtfully, “that you’ll need at least ten times as much helium if you hope to get airborne in that deckchair.”

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    Article by: Vandy Beth Glenn

    I'm a writer, editor, runner, and bon vivant in the Atlanta, Georgia, area.