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Re: Flat earth next?



>>>          The Alabama state school board voted 6-1 with one abstention
>>          Thursday to insert a message in new biology textbooks telling
>>          students that evolution is a theory not a fact.
>
>Fine, as long as they not that a Theory is a collection of interrelated,
>highly corraborated hypotheses.  Other examples are the germ theory of
>disease and the atomic theory of matter.
>
>Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.

No, it isn't fine, though I take your point.  If you define "evolution" as
genetically-based change in a population over time, it is not a theory but
an observed fact (as Grant's work in the Galapagos, so buitifully written up
in "The Beak of the Finch", shows).  It may be theory to say that this
process can result in new species but even that is getting perilously close
to observed fact.

Darwin's "theory" was not evolution per se but an explanation of the
mechanism by which evolution operates.  In the same way the germ theory of
disease may be that germs cause disease, but not that germs exist as this is
a directly observable fact.
--
Ronald I. Orenstein                           Phone: (905) 820-7886 (home)
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