Why is evolution a theory and not a law

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Spoiler Alert: A Scientific Hypothesis, Theory, and Law Are Not the Same Thing

why is evolution a theory and not a law

Many scientific theories are so well-established that no new evidence is likely to alter them substantially. For example, no new evidence will demonstrate that the .

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Earlier I wrote here about the Scientific Dissent from Darwinism List , seeking to help students who have been misled into thinking there is no scientific disagreement over Darwinian theory. An old joke about the response to revolutionary new scientific theories states that there are three phases on the road to acceptance: 1. The theory is not true; 2. The theory is true, but it is unimportant; 3. The theory is true, and it is important but we knew it all along. Because the term can have multiple, conflicting meanings, understanding what it refers to in a given context can be confusing.

A hypothesis is a reasonable guess based on something that you observe in the natural world. In truth, hypotheses are the foundation of the scientific method. They then make a testable prediction, test this prediction over and over and over , and analyze the data. Once this is done, they can then state whether or not their hypothesis was correct. Even then, a hypothesis needs to be tested and retested many times by many different experts before it is generally accepted in the scientific community as being true.

Many scientists and philosophers of science have described evolution as fact and theory , a phrase which was used as the title of an article by paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould in He describes fact in science as meaning data , not absolute certainty but "confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent". A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of such facts. The facts of evolution come from observational evidence of current processes, from imperfections in organisms recording historical common descent , and from transitions in the fossil record. Theories of evolution provide a provisional explanation for these facts. Each of the words "evolution", "fact" and "theory" has several meanings in different contexts.

It is both. But that answer requires looking more deeply at the meanings of the words "theory" and "fact. When people say, "I have a theory about why that happened," they are often drawing a conclusion based on fragmentary or inconclusive evidence. The formal scientific definition of theory is quite different from the everyday meaning of the word. It refers to a comprehensive explanation of some aspect of nature that is supported by a vast body of evidence. Many scientific theories are so well-established that no new evidence is likely to alter them substantially.

I was kicked around the room by the admirable Edwin Kagin, unfortunately now dead. Theory, Sense 1: A scheme or system of ideas or statements held as an explanation or account of a group of facts or phenomena; a hypothesis that has been confirmed or established by observation or experiment, and is propounded or accepted as accounting for the known facts; a statement of what are held to be the general laws, principles, or causes of something known or observed. Theory, Sense 2: A hypothesis proposed as an explanation; hence, a mere hypothesis, speculation, conjecture; an idea or set of ideas about something; an individual view or notion. The party line among scientists arguing for evolution is to promote Sense 1, and I have followed it until today. But now I want to depart from the party line.



Is Darwinian Evolution "Just a Theory"?

Evolution is Just a Theory - Debunked (It's "Just a Theory" Refuted)

Evolution as fact and theory

Lewis, page 13 , it was stated that the term "theory of evolution" should be replaced by "principle of evolution. A theory is a plausible hypothesis that is supported by a considerable amount of evidence, while a principle is a scientific law that has been proved beyond reasonable doubt. Is evolution law or theory? To determine this, one must define evolution. If by "evolution" one means the observed genetic diversification and adaptation of species within a genus, this is a known fact. This would be in the category of principle or law.

You've been told that "evolution is just a theory", a guess, a hunch, and not a fact, not proven. You've been misled. Keep reading, and in less than two minutes from now you'll know that you've been misinformed. We're not going to try and change your mind about evolution. We just want to point out that "it's just a theory" is not a valid argument. The Theory of Evolution is a theory, but guess what?

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3 thoughts on “Why is evolution a theory and not a law

  1. Yet it is always called String Theory, not String Hypothesis. Evolution is not a law in that sense (although particular generalisations such as.

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