The Big Bang and Evolution are just theories
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05-12-2013, 09:40 PM
RE: The Big Bang and Evolution are just theories
Evolution is "just a theory" like Gravity is "just a theory".

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


Magic Talking Snakes STFU -- revenantx77


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05-12-2013, 09:42 PM
RE: The Big Bang and Evolution are just theories
(05-12-2013 09:40 PM)Taqiyya Mockingbird Wrote:  Evolution is "just a theory" like Gravity is "just a theory".

No, gravity is a law.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newton%27s...ravitation

Evolution still needs some work I believe also, but why isn't it a law soon?
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05-12-2013, 09:46 PM
RE: The Big Bang and Evolution are just theories
(05-12-2013 09:42 PM)Istic Wrote:  
(05-12-2013 09:40 PM)Taqiyya Mockingbird Wrote:  Evolution is "just a theory" like Gravity is "just a theory".

No, gravity is a law.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newton%27s...ravitation

Evolution still needs some work I believe also, but why isn't it a law soon?

Gravity is both actually. There is a Law of gravity and there is gravitational theory. This link explains the difference between laws and theories.

http://science.kennesaw.edu/~rmatson/3380theory.html

Quote:LAW

1) An empirical generalization; a statement of a biological principle that appears to be without exception at the time it is made, and has become consolidated by repeated successful testing; rule (Lincoln et al., 1990)

2) A theoretical principle deduced from particular facts, applicable to a defined group or class of phenomena, and expressible by a statement that a particular phenomenon always occurs if certain conditions be present (Oxford English Dictionary as quoted in Futuyma, 1979).

3) A set of observed regularities expressed in a concise verbal or mathematical statement. (Krimsley, 1995).



THEORY

1) The grandest synthesis of a large and important body of information about some related group of natural phenomena (Moore, 1984)

2) A body of knowledge and explanatory concepts that seek to increase our understanding ("explain") a major phenomenon of nature (Moore, 1984).

3) A scientifically accepted general principle supported by a substantial body of evidence offered to provide an explanation of observed facts and as a basis for future discussion or investigation (Lincoln et al., 1990).

4) 1. The abstract principles of a science as distinguished from basic or applied science. 2. A reasonable explanation or assumption advanced to explain a natural phenomenon but lacking confirming proof (Steen, 1971). [NB: I don't like this one but I include it to show you that even in "Science dictionaries" there is variation in definitions which leads to confusion].

5) A scheme or system of ideas or statements held as an explanation or account of a group of facts or phenomena; a hypothesis that has been confirmed or established by observation or experiment, and is propounded or accepted as accounting for the known facts; a statement of what are held to be the general laws, principles or causes of something known or observed. (Oxford English Dictionary, 1961; [emphasis added]).

6) An explanation for an observation or series of observations that is substantiated by a considerable body of evidence (Krimsley, 1995).




Given my above arguments for how similar these two words are, it is nonetheless true that "law" and "theory" are different words that can or do have different connotations. So, what's the difference? Look above at the last definitions under Law and Theory. These definitions clearly differentiate the two words. Some scientists will tell you that the difference between them is that a law describes what nature does under certain conditions, and will predict what will happen as long as those conditions are met. A theory explains how nature works. Others delineate law and theory based on mathematics -- Laws are often times mathematically defined (once again, a description of how nature behaves) whereas theories are often non-mathematical. Looking at things this was helps to explain, in part, why physics and chemistry have lots of "laws" whereas biology has few laws (and more theories). In biology, it is very difficult to describe all the complexities of life with "simple" (relatively speaking!) mathematical terms.

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense
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05-12-2013, 09:49 PM
RE: The Big Bang and Evolution are just theories
(05-12-2013 09:46 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  
(05-12-2013 09:42 PM)Istic Wrote:  No, gravity is a law.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newton%27s...ravitation

Evolution still needs some work I believe also, but why isn't it a law soon?

Gravity is both actually. There is a Law of gravity and there is gravitational theory. This link explains the difference between laws and theories.

http://science.kennesaw.edu/~rmatson/3380theory.html

Quote:LAW

1) An empirical generalization; a statement of a biological principle that appears to be without exception at the time it is made, and has become consolidated by repeated successful testing; rule (Lincoln et al., 1990)

2) A theoretical principle deduced from particular facts, applicable to a defined group or class of phenomena, and expressible by a statement that a particular phenomenon always occurs if certain conditions be present (Oxford English Dictionary as quoted in Futuyma, 1979).

3) A set of observed regularities expressed in a concise verbal or mathematical statement. (Krimsley, 1995).



THEORY

1) The grandest synthesis of a large and important body of information about some related group of natural phenomena (Moore, 1984)

2) A body of knowledge and explanatory concepts that seek to increase our understanding ("explain") a major phenomenon of nature (Moore, 1984).

3) A scientifically accepted general principle supported by a substantial body of evidence offered to provide an explanation of observed facts and as a basis for future discussion or investigation (Lincoln et al., 1990).

4) 1. The abstract principles of a science as distinguished from basic or applied science. 2. A reasonable explanation or assumption advanced to explain a natural phenomenon but lacking confirming proof (Steen, 1971). [NB: I don't like this one but I include it to show you that even in "Science dictionaries" there is variation in definitions which leads to confusion].

5) A scheme or system of ideas or statements held as an explanation or account of a group of facts or phenomena; a hypothesis that has been confirmed or established by observation or experiment, and is propounded or accepted as accounting for the known facts; a statement of what are held to be the general laws, principles or causes of something known or observed. (Oxford English Dictionary, 1961; [emphasis added]).

6) An explanation for an observation or series of observations that is substantiated by a considerable body of evidence (Krimsley, 1995).




Given my above arguments for how similar these two words are, it is nonetheless true that "law" and "theory" are different words that can or do have different connotations. So, what's the difference? Look above at the last definitions under Law and Theory. These definitions clearly differentiate the two words. Some scientists will tell you that the difference between them is that a law describes what nature does under certain conditions, and will predict what will happen as long as those conditions are met. A theory explains how nature works. Others delineate law and theory based on mathematics -- Laws are often times mathematically defined (once again, a description of how nature behaves) whereas theories are often non-mathematical. Looking at things this was helps to explain, in part, why physics and chemistry have lots of "laws" whereas biology has few laws (and more theories). In biology, it is very difficult to describe all the complexities of life with "simple" (relatively speaking!) mathematical terms.

So evolution isn't a theory because we don't have an equation?
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05-12-2013, 09:51 PM
RE: The Big Bang and Evolution are just theories
(05-12-2013 09:49 PM)Istic Wrote:  
(05-12-2013 09:46 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  Gravity is both actually. There is a Law of gravity and there is gravitational theory. This link explains the difference between laws and theories.

http://science.kennesaw.edu/~rmatson/3380theory.html

So evolution isn't a theory because we don't have an equation?

No it isn't a law because simple math cannot cover all the variables in organic life. Theories are not really weaker than laws if anything they tend to be 1 order higher since most theories combine multiple laws into a working model.

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense
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05-12-2013, 10:29 PM
RE: The Big Bang and Evolution are just theories
(05-12-2013 09:42 PM)Istic Wrote:  
(05-12-2013 09:40 PM)Taqiyya Mockingbird Wrote:  Evolution is "just a theory" like Gravity is "just a theory".

No, gravity is a law.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newton%27s...ravitation

Evolution still needs some work I believe also, but why isn't it a law soon?

The point is actually more of an indictment of the use of "just" and of the equivocation of the word "Theory".

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


Magic Talking Snakes STFU -- revenantx77


You can't have your special pleading and eat it too. -- WillHop
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05-12-2013, 11:13 PM
RE: The Big Bang and Evolution are just theories
(05-12-2013 10:29 PM)Taqiyya Mockingbird Wrote:  ...
The point is actually more of an indictment of the use of "just" and of the equivocation of the word "Theory".

Yup.

Perhaps we should counter
"Evolution is just a theory"
with
"No, evolution is a just theory"

Except, of course, there is no justice in the world, or the OP would be able to change his family.
... which I recommend.

"If you can't change the people, then, change the people" as a wise old sage once said.

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05-12-2013, 11:38 PM
RE: The Big Bang and Evolution are just theories
(05-12-2013 11:13 PM)DLJ Wrote:  
(05-12-2013 10:29 PM)Taqiyya Mockingbird Wrote:  ...
The point is actually more of an indictment of the use of "just" and of the equivocation of the word "Theory".

Yup.

Perhaps we should counter
"Evolution is just a theory"
with
"No, evolution is a just theory"


I *like* it!

Quote:Except, of course, there is no justice in the world, or the OP would be able to change his family.
... which I recommend.

"If you can't change the people, then, change the people" as a wise old sage once said.

You can pick your friends, you can pick your nose, and you can pick your friends' noses, but you can't pick your family....

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


Magic Talking Snakes STFU -- revenantx77


You can't have your special pleading and eat it too. -- WillHop
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06-12-2013, 07:51 PM
RE: The Big Bang and Evolution are just theories
You can sure enough ignore them, though.

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07-12-2013, 12:00 AM
RE: The Big Bang and Evolution are just theories
Oh, the misunderstandings of 'theory', the definition so misunderstood.


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