"Words like “theory,” “law,” and “force” do not mean in common discourse what they mean to a scientist. “Success” in Darwinian evolution is not the same “success” as taught by Dale Carnegie. “Force” to a physicist has a meaning quite different from that used in political discourse. The worst of these, though, may be “theory” and “law,” which are almost polar opposites—theory being a strong idea in science while vague in common discourse, and law being a much more muscular social than scientific concept. These differences lead to sometimes serious misunderstandings between scientists and the public that supports their work."
Stuart Firestein, The Name Game
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