Thanks for engaging on this.

That’s pretty far off, because all conclusions are tentative.

A hypothesis is a mechanistic explanation, consistent with all the data we know, that makes predictions about what we will directly observe; such that if we observe something different, the hypothesis must be discarded or modified.

It is that, but so is a hypothesis. “Theory” is more accurately defined as a hypothesis that has survived a lot of rigorous testing of its predictions. It’s what we would all like our favorite hypotheses to graduate to, but it still can be modified or overturned.