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Author Topic:   Evolving the Musculoskeletal System
Member (Idle past 3550 days)
Posts: 344
Joined: 05-22-2003

Message 517 of 527 (600268)
01-13-2011 5:17 PM

Greetings ICDesign,
It is all too common for people to confuse the two meanings of the word "theory".
In popular terms, "theory" means a guess, or speculation. Thus the common phrase "just a theory" meaning "just speculation", "just an untested idea", merely a claim that might be true.
in scientific terms, there is another, different, meaning to the word "theory" - it means an EXPLANATION.
Theories EXPLAIN facts
Theories explain the facts we observe :
Gravity is a fact, we observe its effects.
Gravitational Theory describes how gravity works.
Electricity is a fact, we use it everyday.
Electromagnetic Theory explains the details of how it operates.
Germs are a fact.
Germ Theory explains how they cause disease.
Evolution is a fact, it is observed.
The Theory of Evolution explains how it works.
the ToE is an EXPLANATION, NOT speculation
The Theory of Evolution is NOT "speculation about evolution" - that is NOT what the phrase means at all.
Rather -
the Theory of Evolution is the EXPLANATION for how evolution works, it models the behaviour of the FACTS of evolution, and allows predictions to be made.
Just as Electromagnetic Theory is the explanation or model of how electricity works.
Would one say "electricity is just a theory" ?
Of course not.
And Gravitational Theory is the explanation or model of how gravity works.
Would one say "gravity is just a theory" ?
Of course not.
And Germ Theory is the explanation or model of how germs cause disease.
Would one say "germs are just a theory" ?
Of course not.
some people say
"evolution is (just) a theory"
as if it means
"evolution is merely untested speculation" (false)
when it really only means
"evolution is an explanation, or model" (true)
Claiming "evolution is just a theory" indicates lack of understanding of the word, and how science operates, and that the ToE is an explanation for observed facts.
Evolution is a FACT.
We observe evolution.
the Theory of Evolution is the EXPLANATION, or model, for the observed facts of evolution.
Edited by Kapyong, : No reason given.
Edited by Kapyong, : Minor adds.

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