Boo! asked in Science & MathematicsBiology · 4 weeks ago

Is evolution a theory or fact? ?

Some people say it’s just a theory and not true. We all know gravity is a fact. 

16 Answers

Relevance
  • 4 weeks ago
    Favorite Answer

    Facts: 

    just the basic observation, no explanation

    We know something happens, we don't know how and why.

    Gravity:

    - The apple falls from the tree to the ground, never the other way round.

    - The Moon orbits the earth, the Earth orbits the Sun...

    Evolution:

    - The older the layer, the more archaic the fossil.

    - Local species are adapted to local food (Galapagos finches)

    Laws: 

    mathematical description of the facts. Still no explanation

    Gravity:

    . Newton and Kepler's laws. Still work fine for Solar System exploration.

    Evolution:

    - Lamarck's laws of use and disuse

    - Mendel's laws of inheritance.

    Theory: 

    the ultimate explanation, the top of the scientific knowledge

    Gravity

    - some recent developments of Einstein's General relativity, confirmed by the Higgs' boson observed by the LHC

    Evolution

    - Darwin's theory of Natural Selection, later confirmed by 20th-century genetics

    • Ted K
      Lv 7
      2 weeks agoReport

      And I know bullsh!t when I see it.

  • 4 weeks ago

    Since we cannot repeat the beginning, it is actually a "model", just as is creationism.

    You have to test something before it becomes a theory...

    Attachment image
  • David
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    Yes, the layman generally gets these terms confused. 

     A scientific theory is an explanation inferred from multiple lines of evidence for some broad aspect of the natural world and is logical, testable, and predictive. If you can find someone with a fact in evidence of evolution, please do tell. Most atheists don't know what a fact is, and rarely have evidence; usually they supply a link to opinion, not fact, like at talkorigins.com or Wiki.

    Note: Scientific theories can be tested, evolution cannot be tested, it is merely an assumption about the past. We cannot test evolution a billion years ago any more than we can test it in the present, and can't wait another billion years for it to be observed. Evolution is not a scientific theory because it cannot be tested in the present.

    In order to assert a "scientific theory", one must first propose a "scientific hypothesis". A key component of a formal scientific hypothesis is that it is testable and falsifiable. When this is done, then a working model can be designed. A valid scientific hypothesis has a working model.

    Evolution is not even a valid scientific hypothesis, or it would have a working model BEFORE it advances to the next level of scientific theory.

    If someone agrees with you that evolution is fact, they only have to supply that fact to prove their assertion, but you will find no verifiable facts here. No atheist I've ever heard here has a fact in evidence confirming evolution. Unwittingly or through ignorance, ALL atheists assert evolution is a "fact" and a theory, or they wouldn't be atheist, right?

    Those saying evolution is a fact are confused and generally point to natural selection. Natural Selection alone is insufficient to result in Darwinian evolution (Common Descent).

    Despite the claims of evolution, the appearance of antibiotic resistance in bacteria, pesticide resistance, and sickle-cell anemia are not evidence in favor of evolution. They do, however, demonstrate the principle of natural selection acting on existing traits, the Creation model using many of the same principles, something we agree on. But as a result of the Curse, genetic mutations, representing a loss of information, have been accumulating, but these do not cause new kinds or a new genus to emerge.

    There is no current explanation or hypothetical mechanism for Darwinian Evolution that has not been discredited by observation or experimentation..

    The observations and experimental evidence demonstrates with reproducible results (empirical evidence) that natural selection invariably produces a net loss in information over time and so is not only incapable of supporting Common Descent, it operates exactly opposite of what is needed for Common Descent to work.

    If you wish to convince me you need the same thing that all legitimate sciences require... Empirical Evidence. Any student of the philosophy of science will confirm this standard!

    Darwinian Evolution fails to meet the minimum criteria for Scientific Theory, Fact, Hypothesis, or Law and so is none of the above.

    • David
      Lv 7
      4 weeks agoReport

      Hey Anon, that email address doesn't work. Neither does yahoo.com instead of yahoo.ca. Please try again.

  • 4 weeks ago

    Each of the words "evolution", "fact" and "theory" have several meanings in different contexts. Many scientists and philosophers of science have described evolution as fact and theory, a phrase which was used as the title of an article by paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould in 1981. He describes fact in science as meaning data, not absolute certainty but "confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent". A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of such facts. The facts of evolution come from observational evidence of current processes, from imperfections in organisms recording historical common descent, and from transitions in the fossil record. Theories of evolution provide a provisional explanation for these facts.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • oikoσ
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    Yes, it is. The problem is that laymen often don't know what a scientific theory is. It is not a wild-assed guess ("I have a theory that the 49ers are going to remain unbeaten this season.") It is the explanation of why something happens, ranking above a law because of that. Some people contrast evolution with the Law of Gravity, not realizing that there is also a Theory of Gravity, which explains gravity in outer space as well as on Earth. Ask those "some people" how they feel about atomic theory or germ theory. Whatever they say, get your annual flu shot if you haven't done so yet. Remember that flu viruses evolve too.

  • Zirp
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    Both

    and what matters is that nobody has come up with proof that it is wrong, or with another theory that explains the observations better

  • Cowboy
    Lv 6
    4 weeks ago

    Population evolution is a well characterized and a readily observed fact - the theory is continually subject to change as we learn more - just like ALL scientific theories, including the theory of gravity.

  • Ted K
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    It's both.

    Evolution the undisputed FACT is the repeatedly observed change in allele frequencies in populations of organisms over time.  Sometimes that has led to speciation, in other cases not (at least not yet).  That fact is supported by scientific reports coming out all the time, hundreds-thousands of them every year.

    Evolution the THEORY is the current explanation for how evolution the fact has and is still occuring--i.e. the theory is about the mechanism whereby evolution occurs.  The current scientific consensus regarding that mechanism revolves around a modern version of Darwinian natural selection, updated to take into account modern molecular genetics.  That it has achieved the status of THEORY means that it has been found to be the best explanation we have.  There are other possible explanations, but so far, none of them have been shown to be as broadly applicable as natural selection.

  • 4 weeks ago

    In science, a well-documented series of observations is often called a theory.  

    For instance, we all know that electricity exists, but physicists explain electricity as the "theory" of electricity.

    Evolution is legitimate and as real as electricity.

    • Bulldog redux
      Lv 7
      4 weeks agoReport

      No, a theory isn't just a compilation of observations.  A theory explains the observations.

  • Evolution is a fact, supported by the theory of evolution.

    • Ted K
      Lv 7
      4 weeks agoReport

      Tom--Unclear why you think we contradict each other--what have I said that's wrong?

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.