I'm cutting this off from either agreement or disagreement with any earlier
posts; perhaps also it is irrelevant. Others can decide.

"Science" and "Theory" are hotly debated terms; also, of course, the
activities in the world which those terms do or don't refer.

Since the late 19th- or early 20th-c (especially in the anglo-phone world)
"science" (or theories of science) tends to be positivist. The German word,
at least in the  mid-19th-c was (usefully) vaguer than  it became in English
after the work of Russell, et al. The result of all this (I'm familiar with
only a few 'positions' in a complex field) is that the word "scientific" (as
in the subject line) can't help but smack of the white-coated pitchman on
the TV screen telling you what tooth paste to use. "Science tells us" and
similar phrases should, I think, be avoided.

"Theory" can carry an authoritarian flavor (as well as the opposite: a
flavor of mere nonsense). I prefer to confine its unapologetic use to the
hard sciences. We can't avoid a wider (and sloppier) use of it, but care (a
sort of apologetic tone) is, I think, appropriate to its uses in such
phrases as "literary theory" or "theory of the state."  In all cases, I
would think, it the sense of _explanation_ of given data, not an assertion
of fact. "Theory of Evolution," for example does not refer to the fact of
evolution'; that fact is a given: the various theories of evolution are
attempts to explain it. Cf. "theory of gravity": it is not an assertion of
the fact that the moon circles the earth; it is an attempt to _explain_ WHY
the moon follows the orbit it does.


P.S. I can't remember the author, the title, or even the date (decade) of an
interesting article in Critical Inquiry on "objective correlative" (and
similar phrases) in early 20th-c modernism. It's on a shelf a few feet away
but my eyes don't allow me to scan the tables of contents.