Step #5:


When sufficient data has been collected and the hypothesis is supported at the desired level of confidence (usually at the 90% to 99% level of probability), it has the possibility of becoming a theory.

Often people will say about a new or different idea that the person remarking about, is that the idea is only "theorizing." This is a misuse of the term theory. When over the years, researchers around the world have verified that the data supports the hypothesis, then the hypothesis becomes a theory.

All theories are forever open to new questions about their validity. Thus science, since it never proves anything in finality, is never finished.

"Those that claim they have absolute knowledge, whether they are scientists or dogmatists, open the door to tragedy. Error is built into human knowledge. That is the human condition, so we must treat knowledge with humility. But science is the best path to knowledge, although we are fallible."

(modified from The Ascent of Man, "Knowledge or Certainty", by Dr. Jacob Bronowski, 1973)

(See Knowledge or Certainty)