Kate Wild said-
I think the title is sarcastic, using the word "only" and having a ? in it. Many may disagree. Well this chapter of around 8 1/2 pages defines the word theory. He also briefly defines the word fact. Dawkins also tells us how others define the word theory. Was he or wasn't he generalising. The reader can draw their own conclusions. I don't really care if he was or wasn't. But it was a struggle to get through.
Uh, it's not Richard Dawkins definition: he didn't come up with the standard definition of the word as used in science, since it existed LONG BEFORE Dawkins got into science. He doesn't try to change it (without having anything better to offer): he simply accepts it.
In order to get things accomplished, scientists actually USE and RELY ON widely-accepted standards: that's the case for not only terminology used in science, but also for systems of weights/measures, etc.
If every scientist felt entitled to make up concepts for use in their own labs, there'd be no science. That's not dogmatic: it's just not being stoopid (sic), as if demanding that everyone else caters to their desires and ways of doing things. Those basic definitions have been worked out LONG AGO.
'Theory' is just such an example: it has a well-defined meaning in the world of science which differs from the layperson's definition and usage of the term (i.e. "that's just a theory", as if the speaker is confusing the scientific definition of 'theory' with 'hypothesis').
In that light, I'd think long and hard before calling Dawkins on the carpet about his knowledge of science, if I were you: it's literally a completely unmatched battle of wits and experience, since the guy was the department head of biology likely long before you were even born, and he's taught decades of very-bright students in University courses, and he didn't get that privilege by being a dullard or by speaking out of his backside orifice.
Heck, I have a biology degree from undergrad, and Dawkins has likely forgotten more about biology than I could possibly ever know on the topic, much less the basic definitions which even a first-year biology major is expected to know LONG-BEFORE beginning their college studies (more like from elementary or junior-high school, at the latest).
Just sayin', you'd be wise to spend more time learning from what he says, and less time challenging what he writes (much less daring to attempt to 'review' his work, as an uneducated layperson: who's arrogant, here? You, with your elementary school training and experience? You're likely only embarrassing yourself, relying on your JW edumacshion (sic) on the topic of evolution).