Judge orders removal of anti-evolution stickers from textbooks inGeorgia school district

Susanne Schulmeister susanne71_2000 at YAHOO.DE
Fri Jan 14 15:13:07 CST 2005

The Merriem-Webster online dictionary states:

"3 : the antecedent clause of a conditional statement
synonyms HYPOTHESIS, THEORY, LAW mean a formula derived by inference
from scientific data that explains a principle operating in nature.
HYPOTHESIS implies insufficient evidence to provide more than a
tentative explanation <a hypothesis explaining the extinction of the
THEORY implies a greater range of evidence and greater likelihood of
truth <the theory of evolution>.
LAW implies a statement of order and relation in nature that has been
found to be invariable under the same conditions <the law of



 --- Richard Jensen <rjensen at SAINTMARYS.EDU> schrieb:
> The equating of hypothesis and theory, the common thread that
> underlies these attempts to
> consign evolution to the same status as individual belief, reflects
> one of the greatest
> failings of science education.  We, as science educators, need to
> make sure that we spell
> out exactly what the difference between a theory and and a hypothesis
> is.  The general
> public, and too many science teachers, have been taught and/or
> allowed to continue to
> believe that a theory is just a hypothesis.
> The problem lies in the definitions of these terms provided in
> dictionaries.  For the
> layman, this is the source to be consulted, and most offer something
> akin to this as one
> definition of theory - "a hypothesis assumed for the sake of
> argumanet or investigation."
> The fact that this is, in the dictionary I have on my desk, well down
> the list of
> definitions, makes not one whit of difference.  The first definition
> ("the analysis of a set
> of facts in their relation to one another") is ignored in favor of
> the one that is most
> appropriate for de-emphasizing the significance of the theory of
> evolution.  I can't help
> but believe that another significant component is that religious
> "facts" are equated with
> scientific "facts."  There is no recognition that these facts are not
> directly comparable as
> units of knowledge (e.g., by many, facts taken from the Bible are
> accorded the same status
> as facts derived from scientific experimentation/observation).
> It's a challenging problem and we have a long road to travel.  I
> sometimes wonder if we've
> made any progress at all along this particular road.
> Cheers,
> Dick

Susanne Schulmeister
Division of Invertebrate Zoology
American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West at 79th Street
New York, NY 10024

Opinions in this email are that of the sender, not the museum.

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