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The Grumpy Old Man
markm
.:.::. .:.:..:.

August 2015
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The Grumpy Old Man [userpic]

It's all well and good to talk about a law of evolution but you'll still need a theory to explain why the law exists. We already know living things evolve. There is a theory to explain why they do. It's not perfect, and there is some disagreement even amongst scientists.

Is the suggestion then to simply equate the term 'law' with the term 'fact'? The "law of gravity" is a common phrase, although technically it's a theory. There is the fact that gravity exists, and then there's a theory to attempt to explain why. Does the "law of gravity" refer to the theory or to the fact? If the former, then the lay community is getting it wrong, and we just have to deal. If the latter, well, even laws are not absolute (e.g. Newton's "laws" have to be adjusted to take relativity into account), so even there it seems like a dodgy term to use.

I'll stick with "fact" and "theory" for now: The fact that life evolves seems to be explained by modern evolutionary theory.

Comments

Or perhaps, "The fact of changing species and populations seems to be explained by modern evolutionary theory." Seems a bit less redundant.

Yeah, I'm not sure which way I'd go. I mean, on the one hand, using the redundant phrasing shows how silly anti-evolutionists are being when they say 'evolution is only a theory'. And part of the article I linked to was attempting to point out that that group know perfectly well they're manipulating the language to their advantage. So why not manipulate it right back?

"The fact that gravity exists is explained by modern gravitational theory." Nobody doubts gravity exists, and no one should be surprised that Science posits a theory to explain it.

So, yeah, I dunno.