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Author Topic:   Evolution: Science or Religion?
Posts: 19793
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.3

Message 10 of 41 (46514)
07-19-2003 3:05 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by EndocytosisSynthesis
07-19-2003 1:57 PM

Hi, Endo!

There were a few misstatements in your post.

Endo writes:

What about the Supreme Court's Ruling on Creationism in Schools:
They said that 1. The science must be observable and 2. Must be scientifically proven.

The word "observable" does not appear in the Supreme Court ruling on Edwards vs. Aguillard, the only time the high court has had an opportunity to rule on this issue. While the Supreme court made no statement about observability, you are otherwise correct in saying that evidence is that which is in some way apparent to the five senses, in other words, observable.

The word "proven" only appears in excerpts from the original Louisiana statute, revealing that that legislature had little understanding of the nature of science. Science is not about proving things. In fact, nothing in science is ever proven. Even more, it is a fundamental requirement of science that its findings be held tentatively, always open to change in light of new information or improved understanding. Your phrase "scientifically proven" is a contradiction in terms.

So any time you see someone saying that evolution isn't science because evolution hasn't been proven, then you know they don't know what science is.

Science is the building of frameworks of understanding (theories) around bodies of evidence (data collected from observations). New data usually fits within the framework of existing theories, but when new observations are inconsistent with existing theory then for a while the new observations will be questioned, but if the observations are repeated and verified sufficient times then it is the theory itself that comes into question and is changed. That's why theories are tentative. After all, you couldn't change a theory that was already "100% assured truth."

By the way, the Supreme Court did not attempt to define the nature of science in their ruling. You may be thinking of the federal court ruling in the case of McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education where Judge Overton included a characterization of science. Quoting from the ruling:

Judge Overton writes:

More precisely, the essential characteristics of science are:
(1) It is guided by natural law;
(2) It has to be explanatory by reference to nature law;
(3) It is testable against the empirical world;
(4) Its conclusions are tentative, i.e. are not necessarily the final word; and
(5) Its is falsifiable. (Ruse and other science witnesses).

Moving on:

If a scientific fact isn't proven, then its not a 100% assured truth.

Science is not about truth, but about understanding the world and universe around us as best we can. Nothing in science is "100% assured truth." We become more and more certain with more and more data, but that certainty never reaches 100%.

If it's not, which Evolution isn't, then It's not the scientific fact proven to be true which so many claim it to be.

This is pretty much the same statement I earlier said indicates when you know someone doesn't know what science is.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by EndocytosisSynthesis, posted 07-19-2003 1:57 PM EndocytosisSynthesis has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by EndocytosisSynthesis, posted 07-19-2003 5:28 PM Percy has responded

Posts: 19793
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.3

Message 14 of 41 (46523)
07-19-2003 6:01 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by EndocytosisSynthesis
07-19-2003 5:28 PM

Endo writes:

If science is not 100% assured truth than that means Evolution isn't 100% assured to be true, so that means that all those at put faith into to be 100% true are nothing more than religious zealots, because by science Evolution hasn't been proven to 100% true.

Think about it for a minute. If science isn't "100% assured truth", then not only is evolution not "100% assured truth", neither is physics, cosmology, chemistry, geology, biology, astronomy, thermodynamics, relativity, field theory, plate tectonics, gravity, light, all the physical laws that make possible the computer you're using, and all the rest of science. So if you want to toss out evolution for this reason, you have to toss out everything else, too.

If I may slip into Admin mode for a minute, I'm not going to let an uninformed conversation go on for too long where one side accurately describes science while the other side just rejects all explanation. You don't have to accept the explanation. In fact, you can dispute it all you like, but you have to do it within the confines of the Forum Guidelines. If you'd like to have a discussion about the nature of science before launching into the specifics of evolution as a science, then by all means let's get started. But if you choose to continue in your current vein, which so far has included violations of rules 2, 4 and 6 of the Forum Guidelines, then we have a serious problem that will have to be dealt with. You might want to review the section on enforcement.

   EvC Forum Administrator

This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by EndocytosisSynthesis, posted 07-19-2003 5:28 PM EndocytosisSynthesis has not yet responded

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