Theory vs. fact [was Not just in Kansas, Anymore...]

Eric Dunbar erdunbar at YAHOO.COM
Sat Jul 28 15:34:19 CDT 2001


Alright, let's enlighten a young, naive student like me. What exactly is the
difference between theory and fact, and *what* would lend support to
referring to evolution as a fact, rather than as a theory?

A ripe apricot hanging on a tree, falling through the air (meeting air
resistance) and then splatting on the ground was and is affected by forces
acting upon it (gravity, theory of).

A sequence of changes between organisms (lets say number of vertebrae or
developmental steps of a human vs. an amphibian) is described as what? Is it
described as evolution (ergo fact?) or is such a sequence of change evidence
of evolution (theory of?)? Or, is such a breakdown too simple?

Eric Dunbar.

> From: Mary Barkworth <Mary at BIOLOGY.USU.EDU>
> Reply-To: Mary Barkworth <Mary at BIOLOGY.USU.EDU>
> Date: Sat, 28 Jul 2001 13:09:56 -0600
> To: TAXACOM at USOBI.ORG
> Subject: Re: Not just in Kansas, Anymore....
>
> I learned of the THEORY of gravitation, the THEORY of relativity.  I see
> no problem about talking about the THEORY of evolution. Being a theory
> does not imply that it is not reliable. I hope that aircraft designer
> are familiar with the theory of gravitation (not to mention a few
> others).  I am really bothered with the concept of teaching evolution as
> fact.  Please note that I mention it as a theory in the same context as
> the theory of gravity.




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