What Is the Difference Between Myth and Theory?

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What’s the difference between myths and theories? Well that’s an easy question to answer isn’t it; myths involve fiction while theories involve facts, we should not make any parallels between science and superstition. There, we’ve answered the question, or have we? Although many people will agree that myth and theory are two totally different things, I would debate that the line between the two is much thinner than one would think. In fact in some cases the line is inexistent and myths make up theory, just as theory can be the root of myths.

Before I go any further, I should make the definitions of theory and myth clear. Theories are a group of tested propositions, which are regarded as correct; theories can be used as a principle of explanation and prediction for certain type of phenomena. A myth on the other hand, is an invented traditional or legendary story usually involving fictitious characters and events. Knowing these definitions how is it possible for the two to be in any way similar?

To illustrate this idea that theories and myths are, sometimes, the same thing, I will use one of the most famous theories in the world, the theory of evolution. Now this theory is considered as truth to most people in the world, but many fervent religious believers would disagree. They will view their religion’s respective creation stories as the absolute truth and will consider the theory of evolution as a myth. So where does the truth lie, is the creation story a myth or a theory? I believe it is both, the creation story is a myth based on theory. And I believe that’s the case for most myths and theories. Every myth comes from some form of theory, just as every theory is part myth. A really good example is the following, hundreds of years ago, men believed the earth was flat, and that if you traveled far enough, you could fall off of the edge of the world. That was a theory; everyone took it to be true. It is not until Columbus circumnavigated the earth that this...
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