Letter: Using the word 'theory’ underplays scientific findings - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Letter: Using the word 'theory’ underplays scientific findings

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Posted: Friday, January 27, 2012 11:05 am

Scientists are not in the business of deliberately debunking religion, nor do they gather in a secret meeting each week to try to reveal stupid religious beliefs. What scientists actually do is look at the natural world. Using current observational data and knowledge acquired from the past, they form hypotheses. These hypotheses are then subject to experiments designed to falsify the hypotheses if possible. Over time, if the hypotheses stand up to this experimental scrutiny, they are promoted to the status of "theory." The word "theory" used in this context refers to a group of tested propositions regarded as true.

Many creationists point out that evolution is only a "theory" - trying to make the point that the whole idea of evolution is pure speculation. Unfortunately one of the other English language definitions of the word "theory" is a "conjectural explanation." No one would argue, however, that the "theory of gravity" is simply a "conjectural explanation." We all know gravity exists.

The theory of evolution also falls into this category. The most recent evidence in evolution's favor comes from DNA analysis, something Darwin could not have known about.

God gave mankind brains and one of the many ways to worship Him is to use these brains to study His creation. I have not yet found a PhD in biology (and these include many Christians) who does not accept evolution as fact.

Yes, it is possible to be an "evolutionist" and a Christian at the same time.

Steve Ball


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