Uploaded on Jun 9, 2010
Sheldon moves down to Texas and plans on teaching evolution to creationists.
So many comments regarding evolution being a theory and not a fact, I thought I'd throw this in regarding the topic:
"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 do not go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein's theory of gravitation replaced Newton's, but apples did not suspend themselves in mid-air, 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."
-Stephen Jay Gould, Evolutionary Biologist
"That evolution is a theory in the proper scientific sense means that there is both a fact of evolution to be explained and a well-supported mechanistic framework to account for it."
-Richard Lenski, Biologist
"One thing all real scientists agree upon is the fact of evolution itself. It is a fact that we are cousins of gorillas, kangaroos, starfish, and bacteria. Evolution is as much a fact as the heat of the sun."
-Richard Dawkins, Biologist
"Today, nearly all biologists acknowledge that evolution is a fact. The term theory is no longer appropriate except when referring to the various models that attempt to explain how life evolves... it is important to understand that the current questions about how life evolves in no way implies any disagreement over the fact of evolution."
-Neil Campbell, Biologist
"The basic theory of evolution has been confirmed so completely that most modern biologists consider evolution simply a fact. How else except by the word evolution can we designate the sequence of faunas and floras in precisely dated geological strata? And evolutionary change is also simply a fact owing to the changes in the content of gene pools from generation to generation."
-Ernst Mayr, Biologist
In my own words: A "theory" is a model that explains how something works. Example: Einstein's General Theory, which includes a theory of gravity, explains how the fact of gravity occurs. Similarly, the "Theory of Evolution" explains how the fact of evolution occurs. Theories use facts, but don't become facts themselves. Facts and theories are completely different things and are not on some sort of hierarchical scale.
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