Tuesday, April 20, 2010

on science, theories, beliefs and superstitions

The Origin of Species is a SCIENTIFIC theory, not just a theory. And there's a big difference in the two uses of this word:

In everyday language, a theory is a hunch or speculation. Not so in science! The SCIENTIFIC METHOD is a body of rigorous techniques for investigating phenomena. That means gathering observable, empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning. A scientific theory is not an assumption, opinion, view, belief or contention. It is, rather, a system of scientifically proven principles. A scientific theory is an explanation of a set of related observations or events based upon proven hypotheses. A scientific theory has been verified many, many times by different researchers. One scientist cannot create a theory; he or she can only create a hypothesis.

Evolution is NOT "just a theory." It is a fact. Even if you believe the Earth is only around 6000 years old, the science that species have evolved in that time according to the principals outlined by Darwin and others is irrefutable -- so irrefutable that theologians who teach the young-Earth creationist myth acknowledge that life on Earth has evolved in the last 6000 years .

Companies base their business decisions about where to find oil, where to mine for certain minerals, etc., based on the science that the Earth is about 4.5 billion years old and a whole buncha geophysical activities have happened in that time (yes, I believe scientists do use the term "buncha").

Here's a testimonial of a man who realized young-Earth creationism was not science when he became a geophysicist working for a seismic company. In addition to be a fascinating testimonial, it also is a reminder of one of the dangers of repudiating of science. Other consequences of repudiating science are uneducated students and unfunded science programs that are vital to our country’s prosperity and health, and communities and individuals that live based on fear and superstition rather than reason. It's thinking that is a danger to my country as well as to myself as an individual.

And, yes, you can be a Christian and believe in science (including the scientific theory of Evolution).

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