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I grew up believing in Young Earth Creation. As a result, if anyone so much as mentioned the word "evolution," I was taught to take a brain-cation and tune out. Now, I am confused about all of it. From what I understand, Darwinism is a theory of evolution, and evolution is itself a theory, in the sense that we cannot know for sure how the Earth came into being and how life started on Earth. We have our theories about the chemicals that created life, but no theory has been proven, is that correct?

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Hi Penguin, others with more expertise in biology, like RedneckProfessor, can weigh in with more expertise.  I'll suggest for starters a couple of points, with which you may already be familiar, I don't know!

 

1. the question that all versions of the ToE try to answer is, how did species originate?  It's not a theory about how life first began on Earth.

2. Darwin was not the only person working on a ToE in the 19th cent. The important thing about his theory is that it appeals to natural selection as the mechanism, so to speak, by which species change.  Alfred Russell Wallace independently came up with a similar theory of evolution by natural selection:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Russel_Wallace

 

3. Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection has been refined a lot since his day, esp. from the direction of genetics.

 

4. BIG POINT: it is best to understand the modern ToE within the framework of scientific theory in general. Karl Popper's The Logic of Scientific Discovery was a seminal work for setting out a way of explaining what a scientific theory can do and can't do. Details in Popper's treatment have been attacked since his day, but I think his discussion of a scientific theory is very good.  A summary:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Logic_of_Scientific_Discovery

 

Popper was arguing against classical empiricism, which held that statements are literally nonsensical if their truth cannot be verified by appeal to tautologies or empirical data.  Popper pointed out that this thesis of empiricism doesn't satisfy its own requirements, since it isn't verified by either method.  And he pointed out that scientific theories aren't, strictly speaking, verified, because no one can ever check all instances of a phenomenon. So we can never be sure that there aren't counterexamples.  There might be cases never observed in which rats are generated spontaneously from rags (I don't know whether Popper gave such a stupid example as that!).

 

Popper said instead that scientific theories can at least be falsified.  We can come up with counterexamples that disprove certain theories.  But a theory proves its mettle as it continues to predict successful outcomes of experiments. The theory becomes stronger, the more it predicts these outcomes without being falsified.

 

The people who say, "evolution isn't a fact, it's only a theory" don't have a good understanding of how a scientific theory works.  The ToE, though, has been seen to be so strong, to predict so many successful outcomes of research, and to do this without being falsified, that we can treat it as fact. 

 

4. Consider, when questioning a theory, whether there is a viable, competing candidate.  Intelligent Design, for example, can't even be formulated precisely enough to guide research because theism is poorly defined, and it entails question-begging assumptions (e.g. it looks at a phenomenon, thinks it looks "designed," and then argues from that, thus begging the question).  Is there a viable replacement SCIENTIFIC theory against the ToE?

 

5. Consider also whether a theory is simple and parsimonious.  This is an application of Occam's Razor. A simple theory makes do with the minimum number of assumptions needed to explain the phenomena.  A parsimonious theory makes do with positing the minimum number of types of entity needed to explain the phenomena.  A theory of falling that says that things fall toward Earth because invisible spirits push them down is less parsimonious than the theory of gravity, because the "invisible spirits pushing" theory posits the existence of a class of entity that is not needed by the theory of gravity.

 

6. Consider whether the theory is formulated so as to be falsifiable.  ID and kindred theories, I suspect, cannot be falsified, because some of their assumptions can't be falsified.  We can say then that they're lousy theories, by #5 above.  An assumption that in principle cannot be falsified is either an axiom or doesn't do any work.  If a competing theory can get by without the assumption, the assumption is not an axiom, i.e. is not a NECESSARY starting point in the inquiry.  Something like the property of identity is an axiom of human language.  Something like "an intelligent designer designed stuff that looks like what an intelligent designer would design" is not an axiom.  It's just unfalsifiable.

 

7. A question that in principle cannot be answered by an answer that is falsifiable is a "pseudo-question."  Questions about undetectable spirits, for example, are pseudo questions.  Attempts to answer pseudo-questions may be metaphysics, but a lot of the time, they're just "woo".

 

OK, these are some of my takes.  I'll be interested to hear from the real scientists, esp. on whether Popper's explanation of scientific theory has been surpassed.

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penguin, check out BAA's comments over on this thread:

 

http://www.ex-christian.net/topic/66611-cosmic-inflation-evidence-no-go-stardust/?p=1026861

 

BAA gives a good example of how theoretically based work proceeds in science.  Prediction is key, not mere reinterpretation of data afterwards.

 

The ToE has guided paleontologists, for example, to guess successfully where to excavate for certain kinds of fossils from certain geologic periods.  the ToE therefore guides them to find just the missing links that creationists claim have not been found.

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Evolution is absolutely a fact.  Read this if you get a chance: http://tinyurl.com/jwtc5ba

 

To put it simply, a scientific theory is an explanation of proven facts, hypothesis which have been tested and proven to have predictive use.  When considering evolutionary theory one might think also of germ theory and gravitational theory.  It's not just a hunch.

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Evolution is absolutely a fact.  Read this if you get a chance: http://tinyurl.com/jwtc5ba

 

To put it simply, a scientific theory is an explanation of proven facts, hypothesis which have been tested and proven to have predictive use.  When considering evolutionary theory one might think also of germ theory and gravitational theory.  It's not just a hunch.

 

Weird. As I explained in the existential fallacy thread, I get lost in vocabulary. I have a learning disability that screws with my head at times. The word "theory" always gave me the impression that it was an educated guess, the way a forensic scientist approaches a crime scene and theorizes about what happened based on the evidence.

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Gravity is only a theory.  In science the word "theory" does not mean educated guess.  Theory means: 

 

 


A theory, therefore, is built of reliable knowledge--built of scientific facts--and its purpose is to explain major natural processes or phenomena. Scientific theories explain nature by unifying many once-unrelated facts or corroborated hypotheses; they are the strongest and most truthful explanations of how the universe, nature, and life came to be, how they work, what they are made of, and what will become of them.

Steven D. Schafersman

http://www.geo.sunysb.edu/esp/files/scientific-method.html

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There's lots of good stuff over at http://www.talkorigins.org/. In particular:

 

Introduction to evolutionary biology

 

What is evolution?

 

Evolution is a fact and a theory

 

29+ evidences for Macroevolution

 

What is Darwinism?

 

And my personal favorite: An Index to Creationist Claims

 

Also, if you're more into watching videos, this is probably my favorite lecture on the topic of evolution vs creationism:

 

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I grew up believing in Young Earth Creation. As a result, if anyone so much as mentioned the word "evolution," I was taught to take a brain-cation and tune out. Now, I am confused about all of it. From what I understand, Darwinism is a theory of evolution, and evolution is itself a theory, in the sense that we cannot know for sure how the Earth came into being and how life started on Earth. We have our theories about the chemicals that created life, but no theory has been proven, is that correct?

A couple of thoughts:

 

1)  Evolution is a change between generations in populations of organisms.  That's all "evolution" is.  Such change actually occurs.  Therefore, "evolution" is a fact.  It is a fact just like gravity is a fact, or disease.

 

2)  The "biological theory of evolution" is an explanation of that fact.  It is not a fact in itself, it is an attempt to explain how evolution occurs.  It may be incorrect.  Similarly, the theory of gravity and the germ theory of disease are not facts, but scientific theories that attempt to explain gravity and disease.  They may be incorrect.

 

3)  The biological theory of evolution does not attempt to explain how the Earth formed, or how the sun formed, or how the universe came to be in its present form, or how carbon based life first started on Earth.  Other scientific theories or hypotheses address these.  As to the origination of life, that area of study is called "abiogenesis".  Currently, there is no theory of abiogenesis.  There are many scientific hypotheses of abiogenesis currently being investigated using the scientific method.

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Start slow… watch these videos. It will all come together  :D

 

  and the series explains different aspects.. in a simple way.

 

 

 

 

As you come to grasp the basic concepts you can branch out!

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Evolution is actually very simple.  In fact, its simplicity is what makes it so incredibly elegant.  Imagine that you have a community of spotted river newts living in a highland forest.  Their spots provide them with excellent camouflage against the backdrop of tree bark and small pebbles that make up their environment.  Eventually, the community becomes too large for their environment to sustain them.

 

As a result, some of the spotted river newts swim downstream, out of the forest, over a small waterfall, and eventually come to a grassy lowland.  Now their spots are quite conspicuous against the stalks of grass in their new home.  This makes them easy for predators to see.  A few of the newts, however, have spots that are slightly elongated, making them blend in with the grass slightly better than the others.  These newts are more likely to survive long enough to reproduce.  Once they reproduce, they will pass the gene for slightly elongated spots down to the next generation, who will also blend in better and be more likely to survive long enough to reproduce, passing the gene on once again.

 

With each successive generation, the elongated spot gene is passed down; and since newts with longer spots have a better chance at survival, newts with spots so long they almost look like stripes have the best chance of all.  Thus, the elongated spot gene becomes enhanced over time to the point that the gene that used to code for spots now codes for stripes.  A new species of river newt has now evolved, genetically and physically different from their spotted cousins who still live up in the highland forest.

 

Now imagine that the temperature changes in the grassy lowland; it gets hotter and water becomes more scarce.  Some of the striped river newts carry a gene that keeps their skin from drying out as quickly, allowing them to spend more time out of the water searching for food.  These will be more likely to survive, because they can eat more, than the others.  Now the gene for stripes and the gene for dry skin gets passed down to the next generation, and the generation after that.  Eventually, what started out as a species of spotted river newt will evolve into a species of striped lizard. 

 

It all has to do with selective pressures from the environment and which individuals within a species can best adapt to those pressures.  And time.  These changes in DNA take place over long periods of time.  The bones in your inner ear, for example--the stirrup, the hammer, and the anvil--all started out as part of the jaw structure in certain fish, long before there were primates, or even mammals.

 

That really is how simple evolution is.

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I grew up believing in Young Earth Creation. As a result, if anyone so much as mentioned the word "evolution," I was taught to take a brain-cation and tune out. Now, I am confused about all of it. From what I understand, Darwinism is a theory of evolution, and evolution is itself a theory, in the sense that we cannot know for sure how the Earth came into being and how life started on Earth. We have our theories about the chemicals that created life, but no theory has been proven, is that correct?

 

The most important thing to understand is that "God did it!" is not a theory. It's an assertion based on nothing. "Quetzalcoatl did it!" expresses the exact same thing. It's simply nonsense that may help people feel tingly inside but has no bearing on the real world. 

 

The second thing to realize is that the Theory of Evolution is not Abiogenesis. Darwin (and others) were able to marshall enough evidence in support of the theory in 1859, based on fossils, rocks, animal species, and other observational phenomena, but the kind of intensive analysis of chemistry it takes to posit a solid theory of Abiogenesis was far beyond what even a genius like him could possibly support in his lifetime. Therefore, he limited his Theory to what was provable. 

 

Science has moved on since 1859, and today there are strong, evidence-based models of Abiogenesis out there. 

 

There is no controversy, except among misguided people who want to hold on to invisible teddy bears. 

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Evolution is absolutely a fact.  Read this if you get a chance: http://tinyurl.com/jwtc5ba

 

To put it simply, a scientific theory is an explanation of proven facts, hypothesis which have been tested and proven to have predictive use.  When considering evolutionary theory one might think also of germ theory and gravitational theory.  It's not just a hunch.

 

Weird. As I explained in the existential fallacy thread, I get lost in vocabulary. I have a learning disability that screws with my head at times. The word "theory" always gave me the impression that it was an educated guess, the way a forensic scientist approaches a crime scene and theorizes about what happened based on the evidence.

 

Think of scientific theory as a model. It's a model to explain the facts.

 

When it comes to evolution, that species evolve is a fact. We do know with quite certainty that this is happening. The Theory of Evolution is the model, or explanation to how and why those facts of observed evolution happens. So it's two different aspects of the same thing. Evolution as a fact comes from the evidence we have found. Evolution as a theory is the process of hypothesis and eliminations to explain how it works. Also, the theory of evolution is extremely wide, and there are a multitude of other sciences involved in it, like biochemistry, geology, paleontology, anthropology, and much more.

 

By the way, I used to be a young earth creationist as well, but not anymore. I took some classes at the local college, and o'boy... I never knew how wrong I had been.

 

--edit

 

And to add, the facts of evolution won't every change, but the theory of evolution goes through revisions all the time. And one of the facts of evolution is that mutations are real, natural/sexual selection is real (and all the different forms of pressure), the fossils are organized in time from simpler to more complex, unique genetic code and markers are shared by closely related species (or individuals in the same species, which is why DNA testing is used for checking parenthood when in doubt), and much more.

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 The bones in your inner ear, for example--the stirrup, the hammer, and the anvil--all started out as part of the jaw structure in certain fish, long before there were primates, or even mammals.

 

That really is how simple evolution is.

where can i find info on this, i would like to read it for myself.      

 

also, does your explanation also go for humans as well, that some people cannot adapt to this planet and so die off young while others adapt better to the planet and produce off spring that handle this world better?

 

lastly, with the planet ever changing, how can we as humans ever catch up to it to adapt to it in time so as not to finally be wiped out?

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also, does your explanation also go for humans as well, that some people cannot adapt to this planet and so die off young while others adapt better to the planet and produce off spring that handle this world better?

 

lastly, with the planet ever changing, how can we as humans ever catch up to it to adapt to it in time so as not to finally be wiped out?

 

 

 

I know you were directing this to RNP but I just have to say of course evolution is happening all the time even with humans.  We have used technology to change the conditions but natural selection is still in play.  Look at death rates.  Ask yourself what kind of person does not get to have children.

 

As for humans not being wiped out so far we are doing fine.  Our population has never been higher.  All species eventually come to an end.  The question is will a new kind of people eventually evolve from our decedents?  If so then the tree of life will continue on for our DNA.

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The bones in your inner ear, for example--the stirrup, the hammer, and the anvil--all started out as part of the jaw structure in certain fish, long before there were primates, or even mammals.

 

That really is how simple evolution is.

where can i find info on this, i would like to read it for myself.

 

also, does your explanation also go for humans as well, that some people cannot adapt to this planet and so die off young while others adapt better to the planet and produce off spring that handle this world better?

 

lastly, with the planet ever changing, how can we as humans ever catch up to it to adapt to it in time so as not to finally be wiped out?

I would urge you to consider taking a biology course if possible. Evolution is less about a specific individual and more about groups of organisms over time. Evolution is interesting in that it involves random and non-random processes. One major component is descent with modification. This results from the fact that reproduction is slightly imperfect and results in mutations. These mutations may lead to physical characteristics that may help, hinder or possibly not help or hinder an organism's chance of living long enough to pass this characteristic to it's offspring. That is where the concept of natural selection comes in. If organisms have characteristics that allow them to successfully breed when exposed to some selection pressure, it is more likely that this characteristic will be carried on in future generations. In other words, traits that allow creatures to survive longer and breed will become more prevalent in a population over time.

 

Regarding the survival of humans, something like 99% of the known species on this planet have gone extinct and without significant technological advances, I see no reason to exempt humanity from this trend. However, I must admit that technological advancements have likely had a big impact. Tens of thousands of years ago, my genetically inherited myopia (nearsightedness) would have likely meant that my ability to obtain resources and avoid predators would not be on par with other organisms and I may not have lived long enough to breed and pass this trait along. Maybe I would have, but in general, this trait would not be nearly as common. However, in contemporary society, my vision is no longer the show stopper that it would have been.

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

 The bones in your inner ear, for example--the stirrup, the hammer, and the anvil--all started out as part of the jaw structure in certain fish, long before there were primates, or even mammals.

 

That really is how simple evolution is.

where can i find info on this, i would like to read it for myself.      

 

also, does your explanation also go for humans as well, that some people cannot adapt to this planet and so die off young while others adapt better to the planet and produce off spring that handle this world better?

 

lastly, with the planet ever changing, how can we as humans ever catch up to it to adapt to it in time so as not to finally be wiped out?

 

If you have a netflix subscription I'd highly recommend Your Inner Fish, it's a 3 part PBS documentary that goes over the physical similarities humans share with pretty much every other vertebrate on earth. Quite fascinating.

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One big mistake that creationists make is lumping many fields of research together. Creationists will define evolution as showing how the universe started, how planets are formed, how life gets started and how life changed to what we see today. You don't have to believe in all of those things in a certain way to understand evolution. Some Christians believe in guided evolution, in which case you can disbelieve the big bang theory while still believing in evolution theory. Each theory stands on its own.

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Evolution is absolutely a fact.  Read this if you get a chance: http://tinyurl.com/jwtc5ba

 

To put it simply, a scientific theory is an explanation of proven facts, hypothesis which have been tested and proven to have predictive use.  When considering evolutionary theory one might think also of germ theory and gravitational theory.  It's not just a hunch.

 

Weird. As I explained in the existential fallacy thread, I get lost in vocabulary. I have a learning disability that screws with my head at times. The word "theory" always gave me the impression that it was an educated guess, the way a forensic scientist approaches a crime scene and theorizes about what happened based on the evidence.

 

 

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I was taught to not think when I was raised a fundy. It took me most of my adult life to catch up. A theory is not a best-guess hunch, as others have explained. A forensic scientist does not use 'an educated guess.' A forensic scientist reviews the evidence of record and bases their conclusion on the evidence, what the evidence shows. That is what evolution explains is the data collected concerning life and life adapting to its environment in order to survive. Darwin's original theory took for granted life already existed and specialized over time, become distinct species within one group of animals, different species of wrens and finches evolved from other birds like themselves. Scientists have used Darwin's Origin of Species to explain the origins of the universe and the beginning of life on Earth. The universe is hostile to life, otherwise we would find it everywhere. Under certain conditions, such as found on Earth, life flourishes. 

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Generally speaking, a hypothesis is an "educated guess" that predicts a certain process. Additionally, hypotheses may be more provincial than theories. For example, if I do research on the side effects of a drug, I will do so called hypothesis testing on the data I collect. Generally, with hypothesis testing we have a null hypothesis and an alternative hypothesis. The null hypothesis is generally status quo while the alternative is something outside of this. For example, a certain drug on the market is not known to have significant side effects. However, small numbers of people develop a heart issue after taking the medication. A study could be designed to focus on this drug and determine if these side effects are due to the drug. In this case, the null could be the status quo of the drug being safe while the alternative could be that the drug causes the heart problem in specific people. If robust data and a well designed study favours the drug causing the problem, we reject the null and accept the alternative.

 

However, this does not meant he drug is absolutely the cause, but rather, based on the evidence, we accept the alternative as the best explanation. However, it is always possible that other studies could present conflicting findings. Generally, multiple studies that make similar "conclusions" based on robust evidence are needed to strongly support a certain hypothesis. In fact, if you look at a study or abstract and notice a discussion about the data and see something like the "p value is < or > 0.05," you know that a certain (and common) type of statistical hypothesis testing was done on the data in said paper.

 

This is not always the case however. Some findings are so critical or important it would be morally reprehensible to setup robust, controlled studies. A recent example involves lipid therapy and local anaesthetic toxicity. Local anaesthetics are drugs that are injected near nerves in order to block pain during certain medical procedures. Rarely, these anaesthetics can get absorbed into the central circulation and exert toxic effects upon the heart. In many cases, patients go into cardiac arrest as cannot be resuscitated. In other words, this is a rare but highly lethal problem. Then, it was discovered, more or less by accident that researchers had an incredibly difficult time causing rats treated with lipids to go into cardiac arrest from local anaesthetic injections. Then in the mid 2000's by serendipity, a doctor who read about this rat research came across a person in cardiac arrest involving local anaesthetic toxicity. All standard therapies had been exhausted and the doctor mentioned the study and alipid infusion was started. Almost immediately, the patient responded and survived following lipid infusions.

 

Since then, perhaps hundreds of these cases have been documented and additional animal studies have also been completed with excellent results. However, a "gold standard" in medicine often involves large studies that are controlled and blinded with placebos. That means we would need to administer a placebo drug to a patient in cardiac arrest from a problem that is highly lethal and untreatable by other means. At this point, the case studies of these patients are so startling, that the medical community has deemed instituting such studies morally reprehensible.

 

As you can see the research world is very complex and terms such as "theory" and "hypothesis" are often misunderstood and their formal definitions rely heavily on the context that they are being used under.

 

Forgive any typographical errors, I'm on my iPhone today.

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I grew up believing in Young Earth Creation. As a result, if anyone so much as mentioned the word "evolution," I was taught to take a brain-cation and tune out. Now, I am confused about all of it. From what I understand, Darwinism is a theory of evolution, and evolution is itself a theory, in the sense that we cannot know for sure how the Earth came into being and how life started on Earth. We have our theories about the chemicals that created life, but no theory has been proven, is that correct?

 

I think one misunderstanding that many creationists have concerning evolution is that in science, when science is referring to Evolution, they are referring to biological evolution only. Darwinism is the part of evolutionary theory that proposes natural selection as the prime agent concerning how species evolved, and looking backward in time proposes that all forms of life that ever existed originated from another form of life that preceded it. It is totally unrelated to the origin of the first life.

 

Other aspects of evolution involve genetics, epigenetics, and other factors such as genetic amalgams, environment genetic transfer, etc. that are involved with the evolution of life but not necessarily natural selection. Evolution is still a theory in some respects, but concerning its major proposals there is the strongest certainty of evidence to support it.

 

"we cannot know for sure how the Earth came into being."  First, this has nothing to do with Evolution. Yes, we cannot know for sure exactly how the Earth was formed but we have good evidential theory based upon the formation of stars in proto-nebula toruses,  and concurrently and subsequently form planets such as the Earth. Some aspects of this theory could change over time but probably not its major principles.

 

We assume that the Earth and other planets of the solar system did not pre-exist the sun, but there are known rogue planets that roam the galaxy separate from stars in our Milky Way galaxy, so it is always possible that the Earth or other planets had another origin, but all evidence to date points to the contrary, that our Earth was created from the solar nebula the same as all the other planets and moons of our solar system. The same and related theory proposes that most of the elements of our sun and solar system pre-existed our solar system, and that we are all made of star dust.

 

"how life started on Earth?" involves another completely different hypothesis concerning the origin of all DNA and RNA life, the only life that we know of.  Although there are many mainstream ideas and hypothesis concerning how this may have happened, there are many other possibilities and much speculation to all of it.

 

How the universe started and how it evolved is still another theory with alternative possibilities, but is totally unrelated to Evolution theory also. Evolution is the name given to one of the few rock-solid theories concerning the mountain of evidence to support the foundations of its primary proposal of natural selection.

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What Rogue Scholar said. Basically, science has it's own specialized vocabulary. 

 

In science, a hypothesis is a guess about the cause or behavior of something. Scientists come up with hypotheses, and they test them, lots and lots of times. A scientific theory is what results when a bunch of related hypotheses are tested, many, many times, and it is the body of knowledge or framework that can be used to predict results. Scientific laws are mathematical equations that can be used with theories to give very exact predictions. Science depends on being able to question and test all of these things - if it can't be tested, it's not science. So, no, there's no such thing as unquestionable "truth" in science. Of course you're supposed to question it. That's what scientists do. 

 

That being said, something is a theory when it's passed all the tests it's been put to, and can be used to predict results. To put a satellite in orbit, we use Newton's Laws, and the Theory of Universal Gravitation. It didn't pass all the tests, though, and isn't accurate at very fast speeds, or near very heavy masses. That's why Einstein is a science rock-star. He came up with the replacement - the Theories of Relativity. These can give you much more precise results than Newton's.

 

As for evolution, this is the observation that populations of living things change over time. The Theory of Natural Selection - the part that Darwin contributed - gives the reason: living things are all a little bit different, and can pass their traits on to their children. Some of these traits can't meet the challenges of surviving their environment, and are weeded out over time. The population changes as they run into different challenges in the environment.

 

So, that's nice, but what do we use these theories for? If the environment changes so fast that a population can't keep up, the population goes extinct. It won't come back. That's how we killed off Smallpox. So, immunizations, and controlling epidemics. Also, most of modern medicine depends on it, because once we realized that all life is related to each other, we can study other living things to learn more about ourselves. It's no coincidence that the medical field advanced by leaps and bounds since the mid 19th century... On The Origin of Species was published in 1859. Also, it allowed us to control the breeding of animals in a more precise way, so if you have a dog or a pet of any kind, that's these theories in action. Your dog came from this. They're the same species, but your dog has had about 30,000 years to adapt to us, and evolve in tandem, with some meddling from us. So, yeah, all those lives saved, and everything that makes life in the modern age worth living. You have the theory of natural selection to thank for it.

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And another thread full of things I don't know that I can easily learn thanks to the resources you guys provided.

 

I love this forum.

 

Me, too! As I've stated before, I was never a fundy and I've been a content atheist for years and years. So, I don't need this forum for solace or support. But I come here every single day to read some very interesting posts, learn some fascinating information, and see what my fellow exes are up to.

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