> John Caballero wrote:
> > In article <334d4782.2988928 at netnews.worldnet.att.net> S. O. Teryk,
> > alien.spydr at worldnet.att.net.nospam writes:
> > >For the Fundie, a theroy is a hunch. For the anti-theists then, it
> > > is not a hunch. That means that a Theory is a fact. By your reasoning
> > > then, Evolution al facts, as reported in the last 35 years, have somehow
> > > muted into a different form of facts.
> > What an interesting and unique straw man. Theories are not facts.
> > Theories attempt to explain actual phenomena. Gravitational theory is not
> > a fact - it's a working model, if you will, of how gravity works.
>> This is a very odd statement. I have always thought that the theory of
> gravity was simply an attempt to explain certain motions of objects.
> Your statement implies that gravity is first assumed to be an existing
> entity, and then the theory is derived to explain how the entity works.
At the risk of getting involved in a protracted battle of words
Nope, I don't think his statement implies that at all. The previous
facts remain, it is the interpretation and explatations for them that
change (generally subtly) over time.
Actually the way it (the scientific process) is supposed to work
follows this simplified sequence:
1) (an observation or fact) Things tend to fall to earth when you let
2) (form a basic hypothesis) Things fall because a force acts on
objects & draws them toward the earth.
3) (hypothesis testing) Experiments are conducted to support/refute
this hypothesis, and further observations (facts) are collected.
4) (revising/refining the previous hypothesis) Do the experimental
results fit the hypothesis? -- if so then you might have the right
idea, if not then The previous hypothesis must be revised to fit the
new data, or abandoned in favor of a more explanitory idea/theory.
---Repeat as necessary---
Exceptions to expected observations should, and must, be taken
into account. These are the observations that (gradually) let us get
a better working hypothesis (or hypotheses) as a basis for our
theories. Some theories have been around a very long time, and have
been generally supported (but continuously & subtly modified).
Other times "we" have realized that we were wrong, and completely
new theories have had to be developed. That is the whole point of
the scientific process.
The exceptions to the general theories can be, at least at times, the
most interesting part of doing science. They let us know what it is
that we haven't quite gotten right as yet. Any Theory that cannot be
tested in this manner is not science, and should not be debated as
> > Evolutionary theory, is not a fact - it's a working model of how
> > evolution works. Just as gravitational theory has to be modified when new
> > discoveries about gravity are made, so does the evolutionary theory have
> > to be modified when new discoveries about evolution are made.
>> Same reasoning.
And for the above reasons, his reasoning is still correct. Stress
the point "Working Model"
> > You need to check your premises.
>> You may have to check yours s well.
>Let's all go back and check our premises. And by the way, hasn't
this thread gone on more than long enough already?
Dept. of Plant Pathology
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506
<kzeller at plantpath.ksu.edu>
"Mock not the procrastinators,...
for they will be the last to die!"