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 Why is Evolution still just a theory? (27)

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Isaiha(10) pic

Why is Evolution still just a theory?

We have scientific law like the law of gravity and the law of thermodynamics, but if Evolution is so widely accepted and has been proven beyond a doubt, why is it still just a scientific Theory?
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2 points

The terms "Law" and "Theory" are just two different words for the same thing; they both refer to a principle (or principles) of nature. While the term "Law" seems to suggest a principle that has been verified to be true, there are claims that we call "Theories" that have been verified to be true to a higher degree of precision than the claims we call "Laws." In other words, there exist theories that we are more certain of to be true than the Laws of Thermodynamics.

An explicit example: The theory of Quantum Electrodynamics has been verified to a higher degree of precision (11 digits) than the Laws of thermodynamics, so we are more certain that the theory of Quantum Electrodynamics describes reality than the laws of thermodynamics. The reason why we call Quantum Electrodynamics a theory is because it does not fully explain the Weak Nuclear force, and must be replaced by a more comprehensive theory called Electroweak theory.

Despite the fact that we have discovered many new principles in physics, we no longer call these principles laws, because we now expect these principles to be replaced by more fundamental ones. This applies even to the "laws" of thermodynamics; the principles of statistical physics are more fundamental than those of thermodynamics.

Evolution is a theory, but at some point, we may uncover deeper principles that govern the details of how evolution takes place. The difficulty, of course (as someone pointed out earlier), is that evolution takes place on extremely long timescales, so it may be a while before we discover these principles.

1 point

So, yeah, like you said, a "theory" in science is actually more than a single fact.

It is based on a total collection of proven facts and experiments.

The religious nuts, the Creationists, like to sometimes say, with their bible in their hand, "yeah, the THEORY of Evolution. It's just a THEORY."

But they are ignorant of how we in science use the word "theory." It is far different than when somebody, in normal every day convo says, "I have a theory why my boss is such a jerk. His wife ain't givin' him any."


In science, that statement would NEVER be considered a theory. In fact, it wouldn't even qualify as a hypothesis--which is what theories begin as before a series of facts and observations and experiments elevate them to full-blown Theories.

Look, it is very difficult to find any credible doctorate-level or higher Biologist or Anthropologist who does NOT believe in Evolution. I would say 99% of them do. Evolution a actually qualifies as a Law, except the word Law is not used in that way. To describe ongoing processes that entail many many aspects and variables. Rather, Law is used to usually describe the mechanics of a single action. As in the Law of Gravity, which has mathematical equations that stipulate the force of attraction one body exerts on others.

Or the Three Laws of Thermodynamics.

Laws usually do not involve living things which evolve and mutate and become extinct. They instead refer to non-organic and tangible properties which can be measured and explained in mathematical terms.

So, sure, Evolution is not a Law. But do not make the mistake of thinking that this terminology of calling it a Theory in any way diminishes its veracity. It's truth.

Evolution is a fact. It has never ever been dis proven. In ANY way. Not one aspect of it. Richard Dawkins has even admitted that he would gladly accept an alternative theory to evolution, if there was even the scantest slightest hint of one.

But there has never been.


1 point

We have scientific law like the law of gravity and the law of thermodynamics, but if Evolution is so widely accepted and has been proven beyond a doubt, why is it still just a scientific Theory?

Gravity is not a law, gravity is a theory. Thermodynamics was never a theory, it was always laws. You just don't know what you are talking about. Next question.

SlapShot(2608) Disputed
1 point

I just explained all that. Read my post above!!


Cartman(18192) Disputed
1 point

Why are you disputing me?

1 point

Newton's law of gravitation has been challenged a few times, but never successfully. The fool Cartman spends his time trying to feel important by winding people up. Ignore ''it'' as you would any fool. He should try to get out more, but maybe he's paralyzed physically as well as mentally. Newton's ''law'' of gravitation stands as an accepted scientific fact and is used in all space exploration calculations.

Evolution is still a theory because there's always new evidence proving and disproving notions. With scientific laws (Take the Laws of Physics), those understanding aren't changed.

Theories can be changed, laws can't

1 point

there's always new evidence proving and disproving notions

He doesn't understand the concept of being able to update notions while still believing in evolution being fact. He believes in the Bible. The idea that you can disprove a notion without disproving the whole of evolution doesn't make sense to him.

1 point

We have the Bible. If the Bible has been proven to be the word of GOD for so many centuries, why do we have so many leaving the church? Why do we have so many worrying about "the other guy" that's carrying a gun? After all, if you get killed you just go to meet your maker....right?? Don't worry, be happy!

Why do so many people go to college to study science? Kind of stupid? After all, it's just "theory" ... there is NO real fact to it ... dumb! All we have to do is believe a bunch of ancient stories based on a book written by MAN, and we'll be taken care of ... right?? Direct our entire thought process to this book and forget about all that "theory" crap! Yeah, sounds good.

SlapShot(2608) Disputed
2 points

Tell me exactly HOW the bible has been PROVEN to be the word of God?

In fact, you cannot because it has not. The bible was written originally on dozens of different papyrus scrolls, by dozens of authors, over a period of about 1600 years, form around 1500BC to 100 AD--when the Gospel of John was written. (that's right, some 70 years after JC died.)

There is absolutely zero evidence, let alone proof, that ANY sort of divine or supernatural being was involved in the bible's writing. And anyway, it would have been a very lame god indeed, if he had been involved in wring the bible, as it is chock-full of errors and contradictions. As I will list here with a link!

The bible was never even meant to be compiled in a single and cohesive work. I guess that's what it is not cohesive. The Hebrews of that time in Roman-controlled Palestine were a nomadic people, and mostly illiterate. They simply felt the need to invent a god that they could say was bigger and badder than all those Roman gods. So along comes Yahweh. (A murderous bully, BTW).

Pure fiction. No more veracity then Greek Mythology. And the more they look, biblical scholars find more and more things about the bible that are not true like we once thought. For example, they can now only attribute five or six of Paul's alleged original 13 letters to really being his.

Genesis was written rather late: while the Hebrews were in Babylonian captivity. They put all that hoopla about a six-day creation and then a rest on the 7th just as a fable to try and instill the holiness of their Sabbath tradition. See, they were enslaved and were afraid their customs and mythos were fast-being lost. So they had to write some stories. Don't believe me? Look it up.

Hell, now we know there was not even an Exodus!! Again...I challenge you to look it up.


I also challenge you to provide even a HINT of the proof you mentioned about your sky god writing the bible. (really?). wow.

OR...prove me wrong about ONE thing I have just said.

OR..we could do a formal private debate?

Either way...I will await you.

(Doncha hate it when an Atheist knows more about the Bible than you do?)

AlofRI(3287) Disputed
1 point

I absolutely agree with everything you said. I can't believe you meant this for me, though it ended up on my profile. Well said.

1 point

The question above comes from a misunderstanding of what the words law and theory mean in the sciences.

A scientific theory is a strongly supported explanation of some natural phenomenon. This explanation has been upheld by rigorous tests and observations from many branches of sciences where all conclusions point to a similar conclusion. A theory will never become a law though.

That is because laws explain what will happen in special circumstances. Laws are analytical, often laws are mathematical in nature.

This can mean that we have a theory of gravity and a law of gravity. One does not turn into another though, they both address slightly different things.

Here is Berkeley's Understanding Science site, I have linked "vocabulary mix ups" and an explanation that theories do not turn into laws.

1 point

People got used to call it that way. We also have Atom Theory, Theory of Light, etc...

1 point

It's still a theory because it's difficult to observe it in a broad sense. This is why Christians falsify it, as they say things a long the line of 'show me a dog turn into a cat and I will believe you', when really it is impossible. Evolution can take thousands of years even to change an organism very slightly. There is a lot of evidence that points towards evolution, however, which is why the theory remains the current explanation for how life formed and changed over the course of the Earth's history.

I consider evolution to be a theory because no scientist nor group of astrophysicists have ever properly explained it's origins to my satisfaction. The so called big bang theory relies on everyone accepting the scientist's theorem that the universe started from nothing. For evolution to be regarded as factual the process must have a creditable starting point. To fog this issue the proponents of evolution are asking us to believe that the ''big bang'' came from nothing. Nothing can be created from nothing. Nothing plus nothing = nothing. Nothing multiplied by nothing = nothing and so forth. So until someone comes up with an irrefutable scientific formula explaining the birth of the universe and the ensuing evolutionary process it shall remain a theory as far as I'm concerned.

Cartman(18192) Disputed
1 point

The so called big bang theory

This is not evolution. It even has a different name for people like you to figure that out.

To fog this issue the proponents of evolution are asking us to believe that the ''big bang'' came from nothing.

There is nobody on the planet who has any idea how the universe was created that doesn't involve something from nothing.

1 point

Unfortunately arguing with someone like you who is incapable of joined up thinking is futile, but what the hell, here goes. No one, well certainly not me, said that 'The Big Bang'' ( described as an enigmatic object smaller than a pin head) was/is evolution. It is however being presented by scientists as the birth of the trillions of planets within the seemingly endless cosmos of which earth is an infinitesimally minute speck and upon which the evolutionary process is claimed to have developed. What's your explanation of how earth arrived? Do you think it developed independently from the rest of the universe which astrophysicists claim evolved from the 'The Big bang', ''the something from nothing'' theorem? Therefore 'The Big bang', the formation of the universe, which includes the planet earth, (you know, where we all live), and the theory of evolution are intrinsically linked. All the scientific publications and documentary programmes which I have read/seen on the subject claim that ''The Big Bang'' just happened from nothing. Everything, including the theory of evolution on earth, has to have a starting point. Scientists assert that ''The big bang Theory'' was that starting point, get the connection, Big Bang, Universe, Earth, Evolution? No, well I didn't really think you would/could. I'm not clear what you're trying to say in your second point, but as your comments graphically illustrate your inability to comprehend what's going on in the world in which you live please don't bother clarifying, I'm not interested. Instead, try something more commensurate with your arrested intellect such as yodeling up the canyon.

jacko(31) Disputed
1 point

The big bang theory does not say that something came from nothing; that is a popular account of what the theory actually says. What it says is that the universe emerged from some quantum state which replaces the singularity predicted by General Relativity, which does not yet have a quantum formulation. There is strong evidence suggesting that General Relativity must have a quantum formulation (which we call quantum gravity), and we expect the correct quantum formulation to resolve the singularity. Currently the exact formulation for quantum gravity is still a matter of debate among physicists.

While the big bang theory does not say that something came from nothing, the question of whether something can be created from nothing is a legitimate one, and can be made quite sensible. I'll offer some examples, though I don't know if any of these ideas meet the standards required to satisfy you--it's worth a shot, and it's good for me to revisit these ideas anyway:

Max Tegmark, in his Mathematical Universe Hypothesis, suggests an interesting explanation for our universe; if everything in our universe can be described by a mathematical structure, our universe is indistinguishable from that mathematical structure. If our universe is indistinguishable from a mathematical structure, why can't they (the universe and the mathematical structure) be the same thing? In short, our reality is just a bunch of mathematics, and the universe exists because the mathematical structure exists (in fact, if we can figure out the details, we can even prove that the mathematical structure exists).

Another possibility is hinted at in our current theories of physics. One can obtain the theory of General Relativity and the framework describing all the fundamental forces in physics (Yang-Mills theory) from the mathematical principle that a "boundary of a boundary is zero." Another way to put it is that the geometric boundary of some region of space has no boundary itself. It is remarkable that from a principle that has so little content, we can obtain the formulas describing all the fundamental forces in physics; I recall reading that some (I think John Wheeler said something akin to this) went as far to suggest that it might be possible to derive all of physics from a tautology, which would be the ultimate expression of the idea of getting something from nothing!

1 point

''The Big bang Theory'' relies on the assumed premise that it erupted from a minute particle smaller than a pinhead. From where did the particle originate, and for that matter how did the space into which the ever expanding universe is continually growing just happen to conveniently be there? So far all I have seen and heard is well presented, but unconvincing scientific rhetoric ( an euphemism for bullshit ) designed to confuse the scientifically uninitiated. When scientists can produce their clear and scientifically indisputable calculations on 'The Big bang' theory it, along with the theory of evolution will remain just that, a theory. I rest my case.

1 point

A study group of people known as Christians reject the theory of evolution. Since a lot of people do not accept it, it cannot be a law. Also, evolution is not 100 percent proven yet and there is not enough evidence that it is an actual happening.

1 point

well its not exactly we have fossil evidence and it seems right and this has been thought out very well by Darwin. and its still just a theory because we cant travel back in time and see for ourselves