Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Theory of Evolution: just a theory?

Many [ignorant (forgive the word)] people really misunderstand the Theory of Evolution. These people (especially Christian Fundamentalists and blind believers) argue that the Theory of Evolution is not a fact because it is just a theory. According to these people, if Darwin's Evolution is really a fact then it must be called the Fact of Evolution rather than the Theory of Evolution. Thus for them, the Theory of Evolution is invalid.

Well in reality this is not really true. This only shows that the minds of these people are very limited. Now, the word 'theory' have many definitions depending on how the word 'theory' is used. The word 'theory' is defined differently in layman's term/common usage and in scientific terms. Below are the definitions of the word 'theory' from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition..

the·o·ry (thē'ə-rē, thîr'ē) Pronunciation Key
n. pl. the·o·ries

1. A set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena, especially one that has been repeatedly tested or is widely accepted and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena.
2. The branch of a science or art consisting of its explanatory statements, accepted principles, and methods of analysis, as opposed to practice: a fine musician who had never studied theory.
3. A set of theorems that constitute a systematic view of a branch of mathematics.
4. Abstract reasoning; speculation: a decision based on experience rather than theory.
5. A belief or principle that guides action or assists comprehension or judgment: staked out the house on the theory that criminals usually return to the scene of the crime.
6. An assumption based on limited information or knowledge; a conjecture.

[Late Latin theōria, from Greek theōriā, from theōros, spectator : probably theā, a viewing + -oros, seeing (from horān, to see).]

As you can see, the word 'theory' have different definitions/meaning depending on how the word is used. In the case of the Theory of Evolution, the word theory there is defined in item number 1 (the words in red) since it is used as a scientific term. This is also the same with the 'theories' of gravity (in Law of Gravity). Many people misunderstand the word 'theory' in the Theory of Evolution and they defined it as (just) an assumption based on limited information or knowledge (item number 6 [in green]). Many believers use this term and construct arguments disputing the validity of evolution not knowing that they misuse and misunderstand the word theory.

So is the Theory of Evolution just a theory? Well not really (so stop flattering yourselves).

I hope this clears this misconception on the Theory of Evolution. More about this topic here (wikipedia.com) and here (talkorigins.org).


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