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Evolution is only a fact, not theory!

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posted on Feb, 14 2007 @ 08:48 AM
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"Evolution is a theory, not a fact"

I can't stand seeing people make this arguement. It happens repeatidly on this discussion board and elsewhere. Why don't people do some research before posting this kind of garbage.

The defintions of "fact" and "theory" in science are completely different than our everyday layman definitions. This seems to cause lots of problems and I would like to see everyone change.

A "fact" in science is an observation, or incoming information. I will use gravity as an example to illustrate this. An apple falling towards the earth is an observation that gravity is occuring. In that instance, gravity is a FACT. Anytime we see two objects with mass come towards each other we are observing gravity and therefore seeing it as a fact. Fact has nothing to do with proof, or theory. It is outside of a theory, not following it. Evolution is an observed peice of information and therefore makes it a fact. Whether or not God made evolution or not has nothing to do with the fact (pardon the pun) that it is a "fact". Note that I haven't even brought up the notion of a any theory yet.

A "theory" in science is a framework, that must be falsifiable, to explain why the "fact" of something happens. I will use gravity as an example again. The observed fact of gravity is best explained through the theory of gravity, which to my knowledge is best described by Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, at the present moment. I would like to emphasis the "at the present moment" because theories are constantly open to change. And so, the theory of evolution is currently the best framework to explain the fact of evolution. It has withstood falsifiable tests and continues to do so, and until a contradiction is experimentally confirmed, it will stay as the predominant theory to the fact of evolution.

Anyone who knows science and argues with it on their side would never make the ridiculous statement "Evolution is a theory and not a fact". To have a theory on something would mean the subject is already a fact. If anything, people should be saying "Evolution is a fact, not theory" when it comes to bashing evolution.




posted on Feb, 14 2007 @ 08:58 AM
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Evolution happens, yes.

But why or how are two questions that have yet to be answered.



posted on Feb, 14 2007 @ 08:58 AM
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Quick question: Can you elaborate on this?

"Evolution is an observed peice of information and therefore makes it a fact."

In other words, what is the observed [emperical] fact of "evolution" in the sense you use the term here?

Not trying to be an anti-semantic bastard or anything... honest injun. But if you're saying what I think you are nobody (creationists of any stripe included) would argue with you. Making your point/post moot, which leads me to think I've misunderstood you.

Hence my: care to elaborate? Thanks in advance.


Regards,
-Rob



posted on Feb, 14 2007 @ 09:02 AM
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All science is theory.

Therefore, by making this thread to say otherwise, you're being anti-scientific. Not very smart.

We've never seen a population evolve before. Never. Not once. Fossil records are great, but aren't definitive, as they're not very reliable (the chances of something being fossilized is astronomically low, and certain species would naturally be more prone to such a situation than others).

So it's the best possible explanation humans can think up, yes, but it's far from proven true, and far from being complete.



posted on Feb, 14 2007 @ 09:13 AM
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Originally posted by Johnmike
We've never seen a population evolve before. Never. Not once.


Depends what you mean by 'evolve'...

What do you think this means?



posted on Feb, 14 2007 @ 09:44 AM
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Originally posted by Johnmike
We've never seen a population evolve before. Never. Not once.



Viruses, bacteria, fungi, spirochetes - take a quick, totally superficial look at microbial evolution.




posted on Feb, 14 2007 @ 10:16 AM
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Originally posted by Rren

In other words, what is the observed [emperical] fact of "evolution" in the sense you use the term here?

care to elaborate? Thanks in advance.



While this thread was intended on clarifying the words "fact" and "theory" when it comes to using them scientifically, I will gladly provide an example for you

The Horse

There is actually a very nice and abundant fossil record to show the evolution, more specifically speciation, of the horse. Here is how it is set out scientifically:

In the past 58 - 60 million years, at least ten intermediate fossil genera have been discovered. The earliest genus goes by the name of Hyracotherium, which looked more like a dog than a horse. From that genus we have a progression to the modern Equus, or modern horse.
Hyracotherium(60mya) --> Orohippus(50mya) --> Epihippus(47mya) --> Mesohippus(40mya) --> Merychippus (30mya) --> Pliohippus (10mya) --> Modern Equus(1mya).
[1],[2 ].

So the observed data, listed above, is a scientific fact, regardless of the theory behind it. The evolution of the horse is a fact. The theory of evolution, which I like to refer to as modern evolutionary synthesis because its really a combination of Darwins work and Gregor Mendels, then makes a prediction as to how and why the horse changed throughout the ages based on these facts. The theory decribes it through: Adaptation, Genetic drift, Gene flow, Mutation, Selection and Speciation.

Here is a noteworthy quote from talkorigins regarding the falsifiability of the evolution of the horse:


Potential Falsification:
It would be macroevolutionarily devastating if we found in South America an irrefutable Epihippus or Merychippus (or any of the intermediates in-between) from the Paleocene, Eocene, Oligocene, the Miocene, or anytime before the Isthmus of Panama arose to connect North and South America (about 12 million years ago). Moreover, we should never find fossil horse ancestors on Australia or Antarctica from any geological era (MacFadden 1992; Brown and Lomolino 1998).


As soficrow stated, bacteria and viruses are also an excellent example of evolution as fact.



posted on Feb, 14 2007 @ 10:42 AM
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Hi Luda,


Originally posted by LuDaCrIs

While this thread was intended on clarifying the words "fact" and "theory" when it comes to using them scientifically, I will gladly provide an example for you

The Horse


Your example, the Horse, is fact? No offense but you've conflated fact and theory not clarified them. Your example is infact theory. Not saying/arguing its wrong mind you. Also as I stated no creationists (YEs would argue the ages of course) deny these "species" (poorly defined term) are related, agree? That's why I said its moot, in the context of the evo -vs- creation debate (ie, macro/universal common ancestry -vs- special creation/created ex-nihilo.)



So the observed data, listed above, is a scientific fact, regardless of the theory behind it. The evolution of the horse is a fact.


No it's [horse lineage] an extrapolation or inference based on emperical data [ie, the fossils], get it? Maybe I am an anti-semantic bastard after all, eh.



The theory of evolution, which I like to refer to as modern evolutionary synthesis because its really a combination of Darwins work and Gregor Mendels, then makes a prediction as to how and why the horse changed throughout the ages based on these facts. The theory decribes it through: Adaptation, Genetic drift, Gene flow, Mutation, Selection and Speciation.


AKA gradualism. I agree with you here, it's theory.



Potential Falsification:
It would be macroevolutionarily devastating if we found in South America an irrefutable Epihippus or Merychippus (or any of the intermediates in-between) from the Paleocene, Eocene, Oligocene, the Miocene, or anytime before the Isthmus of Panama arose to connect North and South America (about 12 million years ago). Moreover, we should never find fossil horse ancestors on Australia or Antarctica from any geological era (MacFadden 1992; Brown and Lomolino 1998).


You've made my point. You can't falsify emperical observations or "facts" as you call them here. Only theories and hypotheses.


As soficrow stated, bacteria and viruses are also an excellent example of evolution as fact.


A "fact" depending on its usage [read: interpret it] that nobody would argue. Even the YEs who actually accept a sort of hyper evolution/speciation would agree... its a part of most creation models that I am aware of. Outside of a argument over semantics and extrapolations.

To wit: Is Bacterial Resistance to Antibiotics an Appropriate Example of Evolutionary Change? by Kevin Anderson, Ph.D. Microbiology, researcher with USDA and NIH, author of over 20 technical papers on genetics and molecular biology of bacteria. Taken from: www.uncommondescent.com...

Regards,
-Rob


[edit on 14-2-2007 by Rren]



posted on Feb, 14 2007 @ 11:34 AM
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Originally posted by Rren
No it's [horse lineage] an extrapolation or inference based on emperical data [ie, the fossils], get it? Maybe I am an anti-semantic bastard after all, eh.


Is it not true that a successive line of species have come and gone to produce the modern horse? If it is, then it is a fact, scientifically, regardless of the theory behind it. If its observed to have happened, it is considered a fact in science.


You've made my point. You can't falsify emperical observations or "facts" as you call them here. Only theories and hypotheses.


Thats exactly what I am trying to say. Facts have nothing to do with falsifiability. They are merely what is observed. I think we are making the same arguement here.


Your example, the Horse, is fact? No offense but you've conflated fact and theory not clarified them...Outside of a argument over semantics and extrapolations.


The whole point of this thread has to do with semantics because people use these terms in arguements without realizing what the scientific meaning behind them is. They argue as if they are scientists or use scientific terms without realizing their semantics are wrong. As far as I am concerned, semantics play a huge role when it comes to arguements made against theories, such as evolution. The fact is: there is a recorded transition between earlier species of horse, through the fossil record, and modern horses. The theory then states what the proccess was that enabled such a transition. And that theory is modern evolutionary synthesis. Argue all you want about the theory, but, and I repeat, the observation of horses changing from one species to another is a fact. What you can agrue from here is on in is not where on not it occured, but what was the process (theory) by which it occurred.



[edit on 14-2-2007 by LuDaCrIs]



posted on Feb, 14 2007 @ 12:20 PM
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Hey Luda,

I thought I had this one in the bag. Tip-toed around so much I thought I'd even get an amen from melatonin (come on brother you gotta give me this one, please?)... I don't think I could be more PC.

...so much for my first O&C win


Anyway....

I'm out the door so I'll give a proper reply/rebuttal when I get a sec. V-day lovin' and all that plus it's our 10 year anniversary today, hope you understand.

I still say you're making some very fundamental errors. Also considering one of your opening lines was: "I can't stand seeing people make this arguement." I'm suprised to be the only one to see the irony of that statement followed by what you posted. But if nobody bails me out by the time I return I'll try and elucidate my position further.

Regards and talk to ya sson,
-Rob



posted on Feb, 14 2007 @ 12:25 PM
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Ai, Ai, Ai, another scientist sells his soul for jebus...


Resistance to antibiotics and other antimicrobials is often claimed to be a clear demonstration of “evolution in a Petri dish.” However, analysis of the genetic events causing this resistance reveals that they are not consistent with the genetic events necessary for evolution (defined as common “descent with modification”). Rather, resistance resulting from horizontal gene transfer merely provides a mechanism for transferring pre-existing resistance genes. Horizontal transfer does not provide a mechanism for the origin of those genes. Spontaneous mutation does provide a potential genetic mechanism for the origin of these genes, but such an origin has never been demonstrated. Instead, all known examples of antibiotic resistance via mutation are inconsistent with the genetic requirements of evolution. These mutations result in the loss of pre-existing cellular systems/activities, such as porins and other transport systems, regulatory systems, enzyme activity, and protein binding. Antibiotic resistance may also impart some decrease of “relative fitness” (severe in a few cases), although for many mutants this is compensated by reversion. The real biological cost, though, is loss of pre-existing systems and activities. Such losses are never compensated, unless resistance is lost, and cannot validly be offered as examples of true evolutionary change.

Kevin Anderson PhD.

I'm quite sure that monculture studies consistently show the acquisition of resistance de novo, this cannot occur by HGT, these changes must have been mutations.

He obviously accepts that bacteria have decendents (i.e. reproduce), he also seems to almost accept that genetic mutations do exist (he wants to see one before his eyes, I guess), which is modification. But he says this isn't 'descent with modification'.

Amazing.

The big red-herring about fitness cost is obvious, if certain bacteria live when all others die because of the loss or degradation of a non-essential function that enables survival, this must be a positive.


Progress
Nature 445, 383-386 (25 January 2007) | doi:10.1038/nature05451

Empirical fitness landscapes reveal accessible evolutionary paths
Frank J. Poelwijk1,4, Daniel J. Kiviet1,4, Daniel M. Weinreich2,3 and Sander J. Tans1

Abstract

When attempting to understand evolution, we traditionally rely on analysing evolutionary outcomes, despite the fact that unseen intermediates determine its course. A handful of recent studies has begun to explore these intermediate evolutionary forms, which can be reconstructed in the laboratory. With this first view on empirical evolutionary landscapes, we can now finally start asking why particular evolutionary paths are taken.


The paper goes on to talk about darwinian pathways to bacterial resistance.

ABE:


I thought I had this one in the bag. Tip-toed around so much I thought I'd even get an amen from melatonin (come on brother you gotta give me this one, please?)... I don't think I could be more PC.


Well, I think you're right that linking the horse series is, in essence, theoretical (i.e. the mechanism that links them). The mechanism of evolution is what is regarded as theory. The data is fact.

ABE2: I think Gould put it best...


Well evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world's data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts don't go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein's theory of gravitation replaced Newton's in this century, but apples didn't suspend themselves in midair, pending the outcome. And humans evolved from ape-like ancestors whether they did so by Darwin's proposed mechanism or by some other yet to be discovered.


[edit on 14-2-2007 by melatonin]

[edit on 14-2-2007 by melatonin]



posted on Feb, 14 2007 @ 01:01 PM
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Originally posted by Rren
I still say you're making some very fundamental errors. Also considering one of your opening lines was: "I can't stand seeing people make this arguement." I'm suprised to be the only one to see the irony of that statement followed by what you posted. But if nobody bails me out by the time I return I'll try and elucidate my position further.


I fail to see where I have made "fundamental" errors and don't see any irony at all in my replies and comments. Please point them out when you get back. (Hope you have a good time tonight).

You are merely spreading misinformation when it comes to what is "fact" and what is "theory" in science. I am not arguing a personal point here, but a scientific one which many people, like yourself, seem to be confused about. Forget what you think "fact" and "theory" means and do some research like I have. Forget the everyday, common knowledge, meaning of the words 'fact' and 'theory'.

Here is an excellent quote by Stephen J. Gould, who sums up my arguement quite nicely.


Well evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world's data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts don't go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein's theory of gravitation replaced Newton's in this century, but apples didn't suspend themselves in midair, pending the outcome. And humans evolved from ape-like ancestors whether they did so by Darwin's proposed mechanism or by some other yet to be discovered.


I am going to repeat my point once again:

Evolution is happening and has been happening for millions of years. This is known to be true, and as such is a scientific fact. The theory of evolution goes about describing the mechanism which dictates the process of evolution. This is what people need to be arguing against, if anything. It is the mechanism(theory) which is subject to arguing, not the observation that it is happening.



posted on Feb, 14 2007 @ 01:22 PM
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evolution is fact because it can be proven by science (ie. drug resistant bacteria)
Creationism is only a belief because there is no way to prove its truth.

feel free to believe what you wish, but creationism is not science



posted on Feb, 14 2007 @ 01:36 PM
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My opinion is - evolution for itself is fact, but Darwin's theory and other theories are THEORIES. There isn't proof beyond doubt to support them, at least not for big parts of it. There are many educated guesses and speculations within these theories. Scientific methods are powerful tools, but they aren't unmistakable, and todays science isn't all-knowing. Things that are scientifically proven are only a tiny atoll in an huge ocean.

Science itself must further evolve, in order to bring more complete and precise answers considering many things - including evolution!



posted on Feb, 14 2007 @ 03:26 PM
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For those staunch evolutionists answer this.......How is it that primates have 48 chromosomes and humans have 46?.......We evolved from an animal with more chromosomes and we exponentially leap frog them in all aspects of thought and behavior?...check out Lloyd Pye's site and his interventionist theory.

www.lloydpye.com...



posted on Feb, 14 2007 @ 03:41 PM
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Since we are all sharing our opinions about science.

Science is a concept that interprets our existence in a way that makes us forget what we truely are.

Eternal energy.



posted on Feb, 14 2007 @ 03:45 PM
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Originally posted by YIAWETA
For those staunch evolutionists answer this.......How is it that primates have 48 chromosomes and humans have 46?.......We evolved from an animal with more chromosomes and we exponentially leap frog them in all aspects of thought and behavior?...check out Lloyd Pye's site and his interventionist theory.

www.lloydpye.com...


I made a post a while back that can answer this question...

www.abovetopsecret.com...

This issue actually provides fantastic evidence for Darwinian evolution.



posted on Feb, 14 2007 @ 03:54 PM
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Originally posted by LuDaCrIs

A "theory" in science is a framework, that must be falsifiable ..................... It has withstood falsifiable tests and continues to do so,


There is so much wrong with your logic that I dont know where to start, but I do know that the first thing I want to do is ask you what good would falsifiable tests to for anything?



posted on Feb, 14 2007 @ 04:10 PM
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Originally posted by 11Bravo

Originally posted by LuDaCrIs

A "theory" in science is a framework, that must be falsifiable ..................... It has withstood falsifiable tests and continues to do so,


There is so much wrong with your logic that I dont know where to start, but I do know that the first thing I want to do is ask you what good would falsifiable tests to for anything?


You can show a theory/hypothesis to be wrong?



posted on Feb, 14 2007 @ 04:21 PM
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Originally posted by YIAWETA
For those staunch evolutionists answer this.......How is it that primates have 48 chromosomes and humans have 46?.......We evolved from an animal with more chromosomes and we exponentially leap frog them in all aspects of thought and behavior?...check out Lloyd Pye's site and his interventionist theory.

www.lloydpye.com...


pardon me, but as far as i'm aware, darwin never said we evolved from apes, only that we shared a common ancestor.if i'm wrong and you can point to a part in his theory that states so, i sincerely apologize, but i don't believe i am wrong. this is an overlooked point. and i believe it's worth correcting.




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