Monday, March 22, 2010

How Creationists Try to Undemine Evolution & Science

I posted a comment at Alasandra's Homeschool Blog Awards about evolution and the recent homeschool textbook bruhaha. One of the other commenters brought up the meme of "it's only a theory". Here is my reply (very slightly edited for type-o's and not edited for clarity, though it probably needs it):

Unfortunately, The Crimson Wife is using theory as a stolen concept. Scientific use of the word "theory" is thoroughly different than a layman's use of the same term. Creationists have successfully confused many people by equating the two.

It is similiar to using the word faith to mean you trust a friend & also using the word faith to mean unwavering belief in God. They are the same word but the context of the usage makes it clear that they do not mean the same thing. A scientific theory is not a supposition that kind of fits a small amount of known data and is on precarious footing. The type of theory that creationists would like their children and the public to think of is akin to waking up and only seeing blue cars out of your window and theorizing that all cars are blue even though there is nothing inherit in cars that would require color to be part of the definition, thus being easily toppled when a red car zooms by.

Many creationists conflate that use of "theory" with an entirely different use by scientists. When science uses the word "theory", it is more of a convention than an attempt to indicate any uncertainty. When a scientific hypothesis has enormous amounts of supporting data and no contradictory evidence, it is certain. Evolution's history is a long one and it was accepted for almost a century prior to Darwin's discovery of the process of natural selection. It does not need to have proof for all possible cases. It is enough to know that there has never been another *scientific* answer for them to still be considered consistent with the theory.

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