It is not a matter of selecting one over the other. Both facts and theories are required in order to do science.
I think Heinlein may have expressed this best:
Piling up facts is not science--science is facts-and-theories. Facts alone have limited use and lack meaning: a valid theory organizes them into far greater usefulness.
A powerful theory not only embraces old facts and new but also discloses unsuspected facts.
Expanded Universe: The New Worlds of Robert A. Heinlein, 1980, pp. 480-481
Both facts and theories are required in order to do science
both facts and theories are necessary to do science