A fringe theory is an idea or viewpoint which differs from the accepted scholarship in its field. Fringe theories are ideas which depart significantly from a prevailing or mainstream theory. A fringe theory is neither a majority opinion nor that of a respected minority. The term in general is closer to the popular understanding of the word theory—a hypothesis, guess, or uncertain idea—than to the concept of an established scientific theory. Although the term is often used within the context of fringe science, fringe theories have been discussed in diverse areas of scholarship, including Biblical criticism, history, conspiracy, finance, law, medicine, and politics.