Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Evolution — Why Theory, Not Fact

An oft-repeated question by Muslim apologists who propound the case for creationism over Darwinian evolution is: "Why is it called the theory of evolution and not the fact of evolution?" Well, the very question itself is based off farcical suppositions that anything proven to be true in science is termed to be a fact.

The reason why we use the phrase "Theory of Evolution" is the same as why we use phrases like Theory of Gravity or Pythagoras' Theorem. The word "theory" in ordinary English and in scientific jargon has vastly differing definitions.

In English language a theory equates to a hypothesis in scientific jargon, basically an assumption predicting the end result of an experiment. If the prediction after numerous peer reviewed experimentation and data proves to be true or accurate to an acceptable level of probability, the hypothesis is accepted as a theory, doesn't mean it isn't true.

Scientific data and the results of scientific experiments are based on fluid, ever-changing variables, some of which are beyond our control hence nothing that we conclude from experiments are termed as established facts even though the chances of it not being a fact are less than 1%.

— Fahim Ferdous Promi

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