Why don't people understand the meaning of the word "Theory"? What can we do to work towards correcting this?
These people misunderstand what the word theory means. Especially in scientific literature. In common vernacular, "theory" is often used as a synonym for "hypothesis". People therefore assume that this is what the word "theory" means in scientific writing.
In science, a theory is not a hypothesis, but rather an explanation (or a collection of explanations) which is used to explain a phenomenon. Theories are tested by scientists who specifically aim to either re-test variables which were already tested, or to test new variables all together.
In science, a theory can never be "proven". People like to use this word, which makes me cringe because science doesn't "prove" anything. Science only disproves hypotheses and theories. A single peer-reviewed experiment has the power to disprove any theory, regardless of the amount of evidence stacked in favour of it.
My question here is this: What do you think we can do to try and improve the general population's understanding of how science works? If we can successfully accomplish this task, I believe more people will understand how nonsensical their arguments against science really are.
My goal here is to attempt to help even a few people understand these things a little bit better.
Thus, it is in our best interest to slowly chip away at religious superstitions in order to reduce and eventually stop the majority of the fighting and suffering in the world.