“Evolution is just a theory.” This claim, often made by creationists, is clearly based on a confusion of the scientific meaning of the word “theory” with its meaning in common language. We can forgive confused creationists, though, as most of them unfortunately know very little about science (all the more important it is for us to explain our research in a clear way). However, when scientists themselves make such mistakes, perhaps we should be less forgiving.
In science, a theory is a well-established body of knowledge about a certain subject, supported by observable facts, repeatable experiments, and logical reasoning. However, in common language the word “theory” is often used to mean “hypothesis”, “proposition”, or even “speculation” (indeed, these synonyms are all listed in the dictionary). Darwin’s theory of evolution is scientifically well-established (it has been so for more than a century), and is definitely more than “just a hypothesis.” It is as much a real scientific theory as Newton’s theory of gravitation. Clearly, confusing scientific terminology with common language can lead to misguided claims.
Not too long ago I came across a similar confusion. But this time, surprisingly, it was made by actual scientists. In several recent publications, well-known evolutionary biologist Stuart Continue Reading…
Via-: Sciworthy News