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Old January 11th 04, 06:31 AM
-rick-
 
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Default Dean stands up to Anti-Christian bigots


"WaIIy" wrote ...

Please supply some information that evolution is not a "theory".


Evolution is both a fact and a scientific theory. It is a fact that
evolution occurs. The theory of evolution explains the mechanisms involved
which are still under some debate.

For much more and better information I recommend
http://www.talkorigins.org/

-rick-



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Old January 11th 04, 02:12 PM
Steven Shelikoff
 
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Default Dean stands up to Anti-Christian bigots

On Sun, 11 Jan 2004 05:23:12 GMT, WaIIy
wrote:

On Sun, 11 Jan 2004 04:50:34 GMT, "abracadabra"
wrote:

To avoid offending ignorant
people Gore pretended he didn't know if he believed in evolution.


Please supply some information that evolution is not a "theory".

thanks


Because it happens all the time and we can watch it occur whenever we
want, it's a fact not a theory. Extrapolating what's happening right
now back in time to before we were around to observe it is the theory
part. But in order for the theory not to be valid back then you have to
assuming that the rules which govern nature and physics changed at some
point to invalidate evolution. I guess if such a change in the rules
occured, it could have been by divine order, right?

Steve
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Old January 11th 04, 08:12 PM
-rick-
 
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Default Dean stands up to Anti-Christian bigots


"Steven Shelikoff" wrote ...
WaIIy wrote:

It's a theory, Steve.

That's why it's called the Theory of Evolution.

See, that wasn't hard, was it?


You can call it whatever you want. Evolution is a fact, not a theory,
proven all the time. The "theory of evolution" to which you're
specifically referring is a tiny subset of the science of evolution. It
involves the origins of man and whether we evolved from other species
into homo sapiens vs. whether we were created by a higher power as a
species exactly as we are today, i.e., the "theory of creation."

Steve



The following is from the talk.origins FAQ....
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evolution-fact.html

I hope it helps clarify terminology at least.

-rick-
--
Evolution is a Fact and a Theory
by Laurence Moran
Copyright 1993-2002
[Last Update: January 22, 1993]


When non-biologists talk about biological evolution they often confuse two
different aspects of the definition. On the one hand there is the question
of whether or not modern organisms have evolved from older ancestral
organisms or whether modern species are continuing to change over time. On
the other hand there are questions about the mechanism of the observed
changes... how did evolution occur? Biologists consider the existence of
biological evolution to be a fact. It can be demonstrated today and the
historical evidence for its occurrence in the past is overwhelming. However,
biologists readily admit that they are less certain of the exact mechanism
of evolution; there are several theories of the mechanism of evolution.
Stephen J. Gould has put this as well as anyone else:

In the American vernacular, "theory" often means "imperfect fact"--part of
a hierarchy of confidence running downhill from fact to theory to hypothesis
to guess. Thus the power of the creationist argument: evolution is "only" a
theory and intense debate now rages about many aspects of the theory. If
evolution is worse than a fact, and scientists can't even make up their
minds about the theory, then what confidence can we have in it? Indeed,
President Reagan echoed this argument before an evangelical group in Dallas
when he said (in what I devoutly hope was campaign rhetoric): "Well, it is a
theory. It is a scientific theory only, and it has in recent years been
challenged in the world of science--that is, not believed in the scientific
community to be as infallible as it once was."
Well evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are
different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts
are the world's data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and
interpret facts. Facts don't go away when scientists debate rival theories
to explain them. Einstein's theory of gravitation replaced Newton's in this
century, but apples didn't suspend themselves in midair, pending the
outcome. And humans evolved from ape-like ancestors whether they did so by
Darwin's proposed mechanism or by some other yet to be discovered.

Moreover, "fact" doesn't mean "absolute certainty"; there ain't no such
animal in an exciting and complex world. The final proofs of logic and
mathematics flow deductively from stated premises and achieve certainty only
because they are not about the empirical world. Evolutionists make no claim
for perpetual truth, though creationists often do (and then attack us
falsely for a style of argument that they themselves favor). In science
"fact" can only mean "confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse
to withhold provisional consent." I suppose that apples might start to rise
tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics
classrooms.

Evolutionists have been very clear about this distinction of fact and
theory from the very beginning, if only because we have always acknowledged
how far we are from completely understanding the mechanisms (theory) by
which evolution (fact) occurred. Darwin continually emphasized the
difference between his two great and separate accomplishments: establishing
the fact of evolution, and proposing a theory--natural selection--to explain
the mechanism of evolution.

- Stephen J. Gould, " Evolution as Fact and Theory"; Discover, May 1981

Gould is stating the prevailing view of the scientific community. In other
words, the experts on evolution consider it to be a fact. This is not an
idea that originated with Gould as the following quotations indicate:
Let me try to make crystal clear what is established beyond reasonable
doubt, and what needs further study, about evolution. Evolution as a process
that has always gone on in the history of the earth can be doubted only by
those who are ignorant of the evidence or are resistant to evidence, owing
to emotional blocks or to plain bigotry. By contrast, the mechanisms that
bring evolution about certainly need study and clarification. There are no
alternatives to evolution as history that can withstand critical
examination. Yet we are constantly learning new and important facts about
evolutionary mechanisms.
- Theodosius Dobzhansky "Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the
Light of Evolution", American Biology Teacher vol. 35 (March 1973) reprinted
in Evolution versus Creationism, J. Peter Zetterberg ed., ORYX Press,
Phoenix AZ 1983





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Old January 12th 04, 06:37 AM
Steven Shelikoff
 
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Default Dean stands up to Anti-Christian bigots

On Mon, 12 Jan 2004 04:41:49 GMT, WaIIy
wrote:

On Sun, 11 Jan 2004 17:50:40 GMT, (Steven Shelikoff)
wrote:


You can call it whatever you want. Evolution is a fact, not a theory,


Odd, I haven't seen the phrase "Fact of Evolution" except from your
posts.


That's because you haven't looked hard enough. Catch phrases don't tell
the whole story. Take a look at the link posted in the previous message
from -rick-.

Steve


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