Interesting discussion.

forrest noble:

Quantum mechanics fits your preferred criteria of a theory nicely. It is well-substantiated by repeated observation and experiment. It explains all kinds of things about the physical world, from the existence of atomic spectra to the principle of operation of a laser. It's history is a classic example of the hypothetico-inductive methodology of science. It has the most accurate predictive power of any scientific theory we have, and without it many things we know about the natural world would lack an explanation.

James, it's not my "preferred criteria of a theory" that's involved here. Quantum Mechanics does not seem to meet the scientific definition and characteristics to rightfully be called a theory. In a prior posting I gave the definition of theory. Here it is again from several sources:

The United States National Academy of Sciences defines "scientific theories" as follows: A

__comprehensive explanation__ of some aspect of nature that is supported by a vast body of evidence.

https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=define+theory+science
A scientific theory

**summarizes a hypothesis**or group of hypotheses that have been supported with repeated testing. If enough evidence accumulates to support the

**hypothesis**, it moves to the next step—known as a theory.....

http://www.livescience.com/21491-what-is-a-scientific-theory-definition-of-theory.html
A scientific theory is a well-substantiated

**explanation** of some aspect of the natural world that is acquired through the scientific method, and repeatedly confirmed through observation and experimentation. As with most forms of scientific knowledge, scientific theories are

**inductive** in nature and aim for predictive power and

**explanatory force**.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_theory
Quantum mechanics is not a hypothesis that can be summarized. It does not have verbal explanations or a specified logical justification for its existence. It does not conform to Occam's Razor nor pass its test. It is not an "inductive" summary or conclusion of verbal logic. Granted, some science-minded people like yourself argue that QM is a theory by itself without any verbal justification needed for its formulations. Also some call Quantum Mechanics Quantum Theory. Some also propose or interpret a definition for the word "theory" where QM could qualify. But I think that is a minority opinion.

QM is a statistical, mathematical system developed from a long history of observations to calculate the probabilities of occurrences in the quantum world. Quantum Theories, on the other hand, are hypothesis or theories, and there are many of them, that were developed so that the mathematics, with explanations, could qualify as a theory. A list of some of the more common

**Quantum Theories** and interpretations is given below:

--- Local hidden variables, Einstein and others

--- The Copenhagen interpretation

--- Many Worlds

--- Consistent histories

--- Ensemble interpretation, the statistical interpretation

--- de Broglie theory (local hidden variables, pilot wave)

--- de Broglie–Bohm (non-local hidden variables)

--- Relational quantum mechanics

--- Transactional interpretation

--- Stochastic mechanics

--- Objective collapse theories

--- Von Neumann/ Wigner interpretation: consciousness causes wave-function collapse

--- Many minds

--- Quantum logic

--- Quantum information theories

--- Modal interpretation quantum theory

--- Time-symmetric theories

--- Branching space–time theories

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All of the above Quantum Theories meet the definition of either a theory or a hypothesis. All of the above use the same statistical/ mathematical system for their predictions, Quantum Mechanics.

Quantum mechanics is first and foremost a scientific model that can be applied, for example, to processes at the atomic and molecular level. Why does a hydrogen atom have the emission spectrum it has? QM explains as no other theory can.

Quantum Mechanics can be called a "model" but not a hypothesis or theory according to the definitions that I have posted above. QM does not predict the certainty of any future events or observations, only the possibility or probability of those occurrences. It is a statistical/ mathematical system with no verbal explanations to it. It requires a Quantum Theory for its completeness to be judged by Ocamm's Razor. It is the mathematics behind all Quantum Theories listed above.