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Evolution is only a theory

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“ Creationists make it sound as though a "theory" is something you dreamt up after being drunk all night. ”

—Isaac Asimov, as quoted in Like Rolling Uphill : Realizing the Honesty of Atheism (2004) by Dianna Narciso, p. 117

Contents

Claim

Evolution is only a theory, not a fact.

Source

Responses

  1. Saying that evolution is "only a theory" is about the same as saying that Bill Gates is "only a multibillionaire".
  2. "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."-Stephen Jay Gould
  3. What of it? The germ theory of disease, too, is "only a theory" -- and so is atomic theory, as well as the special and general theories of relativity, and, indeed, every scientific concept that has ever been confirmed by empirical evidence. If "it's only a theory" is a valid reason to dismiss the theory of evolution, it is, equally, a valid reason to dismiss all of science. It is a measure of how utterly weak the Creationist position is, that Creationists must resort to arguments which would, if valid, annihilate the entirety of scientific endeavor.
  4. For most people, the word theory is used to mean an idea that may or may not be true; a scientist would refer to this as a hypothesis. When a scientist uses the word theory, s/he refers to a hypothesis which has been tested and has so far passed all of its tests, and that can now accurately describe a natural phenomenom or a set of related phenomena.
  5. Experiments confirming or disproving scientific theories are being conducted every day. Evolution, as a "theory", has stood the test of time - dismissing it as a wild guess or based on no experimental evidence blatantly ignores the last few centuries of research and proof of its validity.

External Links

Fallacies contained in this claim

Further Reading

Related claims

See Also

Why is Creationism not a Scientific Theory?

Acknowledgments

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