Hi. I’m the word Theory. I’ve always been associated with rational thought, observation, experimentation… you know, science.

But sadly I’ve been forced to lie down with some pretty wacky notions and some outright horse hockey. I’ve stood by watching my good name get dragged thru the muck and, worst of all, I’ve been getting a lot of press lately because some people out there (you know who you are) sully my very definition by sticking me behind the derriere of what’s been passing for discourse in this country: the conspiracy.

Now don’t get me wrong. Conspiracies are fun. The Illuminati. The Star Whackers. Wondering if anyone actually walked on the moon. Is Paul really dead and is Stevie really blind? Hilarious, and no better way to entertain guests at your next mixer.

Science is the study of the physical and natural world, and I’m one way to advance the scope of human knowledge by offering questions or solutions. Conspiracies ask questions and propose solutions too but I can’t recall anyone ever googling me by candle light at 3am in their underwear.

See, unlike science, conspiracies might make for good forum clickbait but they are the opposite of rational thought. Unlike me, they can’t be proven or disproven. That’s why they’re called “conspiracies” and not “facts.” That’s also why scientists often wear lab coats and conspiracy proponents wear tin foil hats.

I like hearing my name tossed around on a daily basis. Who wouldn’t? But the fun fades pretty quickly when you find yourself being used to suggest a link between Elvis and U.F.O.s.

An easy way to tell me from a conspiracy is when you hear or read of me your eyes don’t go out of focus. No one gathers around the water cooler discussing me in the same sentence as Bigfoot.

So let’s make a deal, world. You stop connecting me to paranoia, fear mongering and coverups and I promise to never help prove that the Loch Ness monster ate Jimmy Hoffa.

After all, my name doesn’t start with “con.”

Now let’s go out there and prove or disprove some stuff!