# Conjecture versus Theorem

Mathematicians use the idea of proof to make a distinction between a 'conjecture' and a 'theorem', which bears a superficial resemblance to the OED's distinction between the two senses of 'theory'. A conjecture is a proposition that looks true but has never been proved. It will become a theorem when it has been proved. A famous example is the Goldbach Conjecture, which states that any even integer can be expressed as the sum of two primes. Mathematicians have failed to disprove it for all even numbers up to 300 thousand million million million, and common sense would happily call it Goldbach's Fact. Nevertheless it has never been proved, despite lucrative prizes being offered for the achievement, and mathematicians rightly refuse to place it on the pedestal reserved for theorems. If anybody ever finds a proof, it will be promoted from Goldbach's Conjecture to Goldbach's Theorem, or maybe X's Theorem where X is the clever mathematician who finds the proof.

## Notes:

in mathematics and how it applies to scientific "theory".

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Prime number (0.573631): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc

Theorem (0.551705): dbpedia | freebase

Number theory (0.409069): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc

Goldbach's conjecture (0.402399): dbpedia | freebase | yago

Names of large numbers (0.391000): dbpedia | freebase | yago

Conjecture (0.379884): dbpedia | freebase

Theory (0.374837): dbpedia | freebase

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**Book:**Dawkins, Richard (2010-08-24)

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