Ask Ethan: What Makes A Theory A Scientific One?

“The creationist says “evolution is ‘just a theory’, so that means we’re not sure it’s true. Intelligent design is just another theory.” The science advocate responds, “no, the scientific usage of the word ‘theory’ is different than the colloquial usage.” […] But I don’t think this is an honest response. [I]n some cases, like the theory of evolution, the theory of universal gravitation, the theory of relativity, or quantum theory, yes, these are scientific models which are experimentally confirmed in certain regimes. But are all scientific uses of the word for such verified theories?”

You don’t need to be right to be a scientist, and your theory doesn’t need to be correct to be a scientific theory. While there is a big difference between the way we colloquially use the word theory (to mean “idea”) and the way scientists use it (to mean “testable idea”), there are actually three different stages that scientific ideas progress through. One is to simply be an idea, which we normally think of as a hypothesis in the scientific process. The second one, which is more advanced, is to become a scientific framework, where the details and predictions are teased out, with the hopes that it goes from being testable in principle to being testable in practice, through observations, experiments and measurements. The highest level, though, is when a scientific theory becomes validated and accepted. Still, plenty of bad, incorrect ideas are scientific, too; we just need to have the courage to call them what they are: demonstrably wrong. Go get the full story with lots of incredible examples on this edition of Ask Ethan!


saturday night in the studio: forcing aluminum window screening to become a fabric of sorts for the first project in my fibers sculpture class. my sample is on the wall - the bits on the table will all be wired together until the whole quasi-textile is at least 100 square feet. critique is monday. the assignment is called MULTIPLICITY. i could talk about my ideas for hours, but i’ll wait to do that until the final piece is done and installed.

i should be working on ceramics right now, but since i’m here instead, we’re drinking rose from some cups i made in matt’s class last semester. which makes up for it. if you skew your logic past reality. and later we’ll make chocolate chip cookies in my waffle iron. ya gotta live a little.



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A lot of people, a lot more than I expected for sure, took part in my survey for my final comic project at uni. To all of you who took the time to read through it and fill out my survey thank you so so much! I’ll try and implement the advice I got in the first chapter, but some of it will be more appropriate to put in later chapters and will appear accordingly. 

Anyway, this post is also to show the progress of the vectorized pages, the first one I made a few days ago, but I revisited it today to make some improvements. I think studying your own process and looking at your work with a critical eye is incredibly important, even if that means having to revisit pages you considered finished. Always room for improvement. 

Ps. I need to thank you all an extra time: you’re all amazing for helping out, the feedback really is invaluable.

New Gumroad is up! Painting a Character in an Environment (current PS brush set included)

Continuing visdev on my personal project, this is a 2 hr demo where I go over my process on painting a character in an environment. Starting from a line drawing I cover, roughing in the initial color pass, light sources and their temperatures, atmospheric/lens effects, painting technique, and material rendering. Included in the download are:

- The 2hr (4.1G) video with audio

- A COMPLETE Photoshop CS6 brush set (.abr) of painterly and effect brushes

- A preview image of the brush set

- A 2500 px wide jpeg of the finished painting

- 2 layered PSD files (the initial block in as well as the final image)

Hope you guys enjoy!