Just now an answer of mine was closed with reference to the "No theoretical answers" rule.
I have a big problem with that, because this implicates that Skeptics SE operate on the on the "It's just a theory" way of thinking about science and scientific theory.
The issue rests here:
answering via a purely theoretical model is inappropriate
Well let me bring some examples of theoretical models:
- Gravity is a theoretical model
- Disease-carrying germs is a theoretical model
- Atoms is a theoretical model
Essentially the rule says that if we reference gravity, germs or atoms as scientific theories, we are not allowed to answer, which is exactly what happened to my answer.
Everywhere else when skeptic matters are discussed, people jump at the chance to point out that "It's just a theory" is a flawed way of arguing; that the colloquial term "theory" is more akin to "an unconfirmed hypothesis" while in scientific terms a "theory" is the highest status that a claim can achieve.
So I am asking: what is considered a "theory" on Skeptics SE? What does the wording "purely theoretical" actually mean?