Thursday, June 1, 2017

Evolution Misconception #2: It's Just a Theory

;I recently started a series of evolution misconception posts on this blog.  The first evolution misconception was posted last week and focused on the the 'argument' of why are there still monkeys.  I put argument in quotes because it's not really an argument.  It's a misunderstanding on the part of evolution denialists and frankly an intentional misunderstanding.  A small amount of research will show that evolution does not state that humans come from modern monkeys.  Today's misconception is another intentional misunderstanding.  The misconception goes as follows:

Evolutionary theory.  It's just a theory so why should it be accepted?

Ug.  This is a complete lack of understanding on the definition of a scientific theory.  It's also very easy to do a bit of research on the definition.  There's a difference between a lower case 't' theory used in everyday language and a capital 'T' Theory used in science.  A 'theory', with a lower case 't', is often used to describe someone's thoughts or ideas.  For example, I have a theory that my dog could win a race against other dogs.  Do I have any evidence to back that up?  No.  At this point it's not even a hypothesis.

A capital 'T' Theory used in science is far, FAR more than just someone's random idea.  From we have:

"a coherent group of propositions formulated to explain a group of facts or phenomena in the natural world and repeatedly confirmed through experiment or observation:"

The key phrase here being 'to explain a group of facts' and 'repeatedly confirmed through experiment or observation'.  

In other words, a scientific Theory is a description of the data acquired through multiple experiments and often different experiments coming to the same set of conclusions.  It is NOT a wild guess by any means.

The evolution denialists refuse to make any effort at all to understand the definition of a scientific Theory.  They think they are being witty in their 'arguments' against evolution, but instead they are simply knowingly knowledgeable.  It's okay to lack knowledge in an area.  That is all of us at some point, and likely many points, in our lives.  But when faced with evidence and you still choose to use the same arguing points, well, that's intentionally misleading and not okay.

To sum this up, yes, evolution is a Theory, but so is gravity.  It's all in how you define Theory, and the correct way is the definition posted above.  Data, experiments, and observations.

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