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#1 gilbo12345

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 04:52 AM

Why do evolutionists make the claim,

"gravity is just a theory" and then use this to attempt to show that the "theory" of evolution is just as solid as gravity?

Firstly I'd like to address the so-called similarities that enables such a comparison

Secondly I'll ask.... Isn't gravity a LAW? and thus is not able to be used in such a comparison anyway...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newton's_...sal_gravitation

http://www.jimloy.co...ics/gravity.htm

http://physics.about...s/a/gravity.htm


Furthermore the LAW can be summerised into a mathematical equation, (thus showing the mechanism and how it works), can evolution be summerised into a mathematical equation? If not then aren't they comparing apples to oranges?

#2 Qi Chin

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 07:30 AM

Why do evolutionists make the claim,

"gravity is just a theory" and then use this to attempt to show that the "theory" of evolution is just as solid as gravity?

Firstly I'd like to address the so-called similarities that enables such a comparison

Secondly I'll ask.... Isn't gravity a LAW? and thus is not able to be used in such a comparison anyway...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newton's_...sal_gravitation

http://www.jimloy.co...ics/gravity.htm

http://physics.about...s/a/gravity.htm
Furthermore the LAW can be summerised into a mathematical equation, (thus showing the mechanism and how it works), can evolution be summerised into a mathematical equation? If not then aren't they comparing apples to oranges?

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Apparently, gravity is now explained by the general theory of relativity.

A law, by definition, is a mathematical relationship in science (that includes math itself). Since maths can only really be used in maths and physics, and not so well in biology and chemistry, not to mention all sorts of other fields of science, having a law in biology would be unusual indeed.

Though really, the comparison is not to validate evolution, but to make sure people don't make the mistake of using the wrong definition of the word "theory." Seeing as how it has both a common and a scientific definition, and there is a startling amount of people who don't know the scientific definition, many people evolution opponents claim that evolution can't be true because it is "only a theory" (this argument appears pretty much everywhere). So one lists a number of other scientific theories which evolution opponents take as fact, in order to make a point about the definition of theory. Gravity just happens to be the most prevalent (though not necessarily the best example), but there are numerous other theories out there that can serve as a comparison.

So really, this is not about validating evolution in and of itself (you need to look at evolution itself for that), but about the definition of the word theory.

#3 MamaElephant

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 07:40 AM

So really, this is not about validating evolution in and of itself (you need to look at evolution itself for that), but about the definition of the word theory.

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Interesting. The thing is we can all observe and experience gravity and its affects. Do I have to tell you that we don't all observe and experience macro-evolution?

I think that something other than gravity needs to be used to serve this purpose. Besides the above, as you said biology is a field of science that is quite different, so maybe we should compare evolutionary theory to a theory in biology?

In addition as I have said before, the Theory of Gravity could well be in error, as it is describing the hows and whys. So comparing gravity to evolution does nothing to help people understand what a theory is, if they don't already know that.

#4 Scanman

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 10:03 AM

Interesting. The thing is we can all observe and experience gravity and its affects. Do I have to tell you that we don't all observe and experience macro-evolution?

I think that something other than gravity needs to be used to serve this purpose. Besides the above, as you said biology is a field of science that is quite different, so maybe we should compare evolutionary theory to a theory in biology?

In addition as I have said before, the Theory of Gravity could well be in error, as it is describing the hows and whys. So comparing gravity to evolution does nothing to help people understand what a theory is, if they don't already know that.

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In science, a 'Theory' represents the current 'best' explanation of a process based on available evidence. (The wiki definition is a lot more verbose then my simple explanation)

Theories are intended to be an accurate, predictive description of the natural world.


Any scientific theory can be overturned/revised by substantiated contradicting evidence.

#5 MamaElephant

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 10:29 AM

In science, a 'Theory' represents the current 'best' explanation of a process based on available evidence. (The wiki definition is a lot more verbose then my simple explanation)

Theories are intended to be an accurate, predictive description of the natural world.


Any scientific theory can be overturned/revised by substantiated contradicting evidence.

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I really have no idea why you felt the need to tell me that. :D

This is what I am saying in different words. Hopefully it will be more clear this time.

If people do not understand that when we say "gravity is a theory in the same way evolution is a theory" we are speaking about a fallable theory that explains how gravity works and we are not speaking about gravity itself, then using this comparison does not in any way help people to understand what a theory is.

#6 jason777

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 10:29 AM

Why do evolutionists make the claim,

"gravity is just a theory" and then use this to attempt to show that the "theory" of evolution is just as solid as gravity?

Firstly I'd like to address the so-called similarities that enables such a comparison

Secondly I'll ask.... Isn't gravity a LAW? and thus is not able to be used in such a comparison anyway...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newton's_...sal_gravitation

http://www.jimloy.co...ics/gravity.htm

http://physics.about...s/a/gravity.htm
Furthermore the LAW can be summerised into a mathematical equation, (thus showing the mechanism and how it works), can evolution be summerised into a mathematical equation? If not then aren't they comparing apples to oranges?

View Post


Here is a quote that you will like:

“…evolution is the backbone of biology and biology is thus in the peculiar position of being a science founded on unproven theory. Is it then a science or a faith? Belief in the theory of evolution is thus exactly parallel to belief in special creation. Both are concepts which the believers know to be true, but neither, up to the present, has been capable of proof.” L.H. Matthews, "Introduction to Origin of the Species, by Charles Darwin (1971 edition),


Something else that is quite telling is the fact that the "Science" of biology was pioneered by creationists.

Louis Pasteur - Microbiology
Gregor Mendel - Genetics
Carolus Linnaeus - Taxonomy

The list goes on.



Enjoy.

#7 Scanman

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 10:47 AM

If people do not understand that when we say "gravity is a theory in the same way evolution is a theory" we are speaking about a fallable theory that explains how gravity works and we are not speaking about gravity itself, then using this comparison does not in any way help people to understand what a theory is.


Aren't all 'Theories' potentially fallable?

#8 Qi Chin

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 11:10 AM

Something else that is quite telling is the fact that the "Science" of biology was pioneered by creationists.

Louis Pasteur - Microbiology
Gregor Mendel - Genetics
Carolus Linnaeus - Taxonomy

The list goes on.
Enjoy.

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They were also also all pioneered by Europeans. Does that mean that scientists from other continents are inherently wrong when doing science?

I just don't see the point of saying that certain scientific fields were pioneered by people of a certain belief system. That being said, are you saying that all of biology is wrong, because it's not a real science? ()r how else am I to understand your quotation marks around "science"?) So penicillin, cultivation, refrigeration, organ transplantation, glasses, aspirin, ecology, and numerous other fields are all fake?

#9 jason777

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 11:13 AM

They were also also all pioneered by Europeans. Does that mean that scientists from other continents are inherently wrong when doing science?

I just don't see the point of saying that certain scientific fields were pioneered by people of a certain belief system. That being said, are you saying that all of biology is wrong, because it's not a real science? ()r how else am I to understand your quotation marks around "science"?) So penicillin, cultivation, refrigeration, organ transplantation, glasses, aspirin, ecology, and numerous other fields are all fake?

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The science of biology has never been wrong because it can be empirically tested in the lab, evolution is not biology, and that's the point.


Enjoy.

#10 Qi Chin

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 11:38 AM

The science of biology has never been wrong because it can be empirically tested in the lab, evolution is not biology, and that's the point.
Enjoy.

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Wait, first you quote a passage saying that biology is based on an unproven theory (every theory is unproven, just as an aside), and that it's unclear whether biology itself is a science or a faith. And then you say "'science' of biology." And now you say that biology actually is a science? Evolution is a biological theory.


To get back on the topic, why the theory of evolution is often compared with the theory of gravity (or general theory of relativity, as the case is): While we might be able to observe things falling, the theory of gravity does not say that things fall. It explains why and how things fall. Or rather, why and how matter is attracted to one another. Just like how the theory of evolution explains all the similarities and other phenomena we find in life. It explains how species today came to be as they are today.

#11 MamaElephant

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 11:52 AM

Aren't all 'Theories' potentially fallable?

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Yes, but Qi Chin is saying that the statement "evolution is a theory just like gravity is a theory" is being used to clear up people's misunderstanding of the term theory. I disagree. I think it does nothing to clear that up. I think that most people who are using the term theory wrong do not know this:

While we might be able to observe things falling, the theory of gravity does not say that things fall. It explains why and how things fall. Or rather, why and how matter is attracted to one another. Just like how the theory of evolution explains all the similarities and other phenomena we find in life. It explains how species today came to be as they are today.

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Since they do not know this, comparing gravity and evolution does nothing to further their knowledge of the correct definition of a scientific theory.

#12 Seek123

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 11:54 AM

To get back on the topic, why the theory of evolution is often compared with the theory of gravity (or general theory of relativity, as the case is): While we might be able to observe things falling, the theory of gravity does not say that things fall. It explains why and how things fall. Or rather, why and how matter is attracted to one another. Just like how the theory of evolution explains all the similarities and other phenomena we find in life. It explains how species today came to be as they are today.

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Yea, it's kind of like how we know adaptation exists, and we know gravity exists, but peopls have different explanations of how they work with our worldviews.

If a person wanted to believe in Newtonian Gravity than they probably wouldn't believe space-time fabric exists, and if a person wanted to believe in Einsteins explanation than they would believe in space-time fabric. But both still believe gravity exists.

Just as a creationist believes in adaptation but not one solitary common ancestory. They both believe all of the facts just not the explanation of them.

#13 MamaElephant

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 11:56 AM

Yea, it's kind of like how we know adaptation exists, and we know gravity exists, but peopls have different explanations of how they work with our worldviews.

If a person wanted to believe in Newtonian Gravity than they probably wouldn't believe space-time fabric exists, and if a person wanted to believe in Einsteins explanation than they would believe in space-time fabric.  But both still believe gravity exists.

Just as a creationist believes in adaptation but not one solitary common ancestory.  They both believe all of the facts just not the explanation of them.

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#14 Qi Chin

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 12:14 PM

Yea, it's kind of like how we know adaptation exists, and we know gravity exists, but peopls have different explanations of how they work with our worldviews.

If a person wanted to believe in Newtonian Gravity than they probably wouldn't believe space-time fabric exists, and if a person wanted to believe in Einsteins explanation than they would believe in space-time fabric.  But both still believe gravity exists.

Just as a creationist believes in adaptation but not one solitary common ancestory.  They both believe all of the facts just not the explanation of them.

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Alright, that I can accept. Though I have to reiterate that creationism is not and can not be a scientific theory.

So how does creationism explain the phenomena being observed?

#15 MamaElephant

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 12:20 PM

Alright, that I can accept. Though I have to reiterate that creationism is not and can not be a scientific theory.

So how does creationism explain the phenomena being observed?

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That's easy. The same way evolution explains it, only in creationism instead of all life-forms evolving from one common ancestor there were several ancestors created by God. These ancestors were fully functional, unlike a single cell with no nucleus.

HTH

#16 Seek123

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 12:31 PM

That's easy. The same way evolution explains it, only in creationism instead of all life-forms evolving from one common ancestor there were several ancestors created by God. These ancestors were fully functional, unlike a single cell with no nucleus.

HTH

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Yea, many naturalists bend the definitions of super-natural and superstition to exclusively being used on deities and religion. They think that if we don't know how something works that it's more scientific to just say 'it happened because of nature' than 'it happened because of God', when in reality just because it says nature it doesn't take it out of the scientifically accepted definition of supernatural.

#17 Qi Chin

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 01:17 PM

Yea, many naturalists bend the definitions of super-natural and superstition to exclusively being used on deities and religion.  They think that if we don't know how something works that it's more scientific to just say 'it happened because of nature' than 'it happened because of God', when in reality just because it says nature it doesn't take it out of the scientifically accepted definition of supernatural.

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The thing with the supernatural is that it can't be observed through natural means. That's sort of how supernatural works. Is there a way god can be observed or tested? Is there a clean definition of god that can be used as the basis of experiments or hypotheses?

"Nature" and "Supernatural" are mutually exclusive things, due to their definitions. I include things like souls, ghosts, and psychics in supernatural, others might not. But gods seems to be quite clearly supernatural. A being that encompasses everything, knows everything, can do everything, is everywhere, and outside of time as well?

#18 Seek123

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 01:46 PM

The thing with the supernatural is that it can't be observed through natural means. That's sort of how supernatural works. Is there a way god can be observed or tested? Is there a clean definition of god that can be used as the basis of experiments or hypotheses?

"Nature" and "Supernatural" are mutually exclusive things, due to their definitions. I include things like souls, ghosts, and psychics in supernatural, others might not. But gods seems to be quite clearly supernatural. A being that encompasses everything, knows everything, can do everything, is everywhere, and outside of time as well?

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Right supernatural "can't be observed through natural means." Do you know of a natural way of observing our fish-like ancestor biologically evolve into an amphibian-like animal, or do you only have skeletons that show they could exist seperately and you assume that they came from the other? Just becasue in the explanation you say 'it was nature' it does not make an unobservable instance, observable. I'm not saying that God is scientific or not scientifically supernatural, if you notice, I did not contend to the scientifically accepted definition of supernatural but instead the naturalists use of it. I have no issues with God being unobservable, and untestable, it is the athestic naturalist that cannot accept their faith in nothing from nothing in several circumstances.

#19 Qi Chin

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 03:18 PM

Right supernatural "can't be observed through natural means."  Do you know of a natural way of observing our fish-like ancestor biologically evolve into an amphibian-like animal, or do you only have skeletons that show they could exist seperately and you assume that they came from the other?  Just becasue in the explanation you say 'it was nature' it does not make an unobservable instance, observable.  I'm not saying that God is scientific or not scientifically supernatural, if you notice, I did not contend to the scientifically accepted definition of supernatural but instead the naturalists use of it.  I have no issues with God being unobservable, and untestable, it is the athestic naturalist that cannot accept their faith in nothing from nothing in several circumstances.

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How about this: How else would you explain all the similarities between different lifeforms without referring to a supernatural creator? The theory of evolution and common descent is currently the best explanation for these similarities.

Common descent is not only the most viable conclusion in explaining similarities in life. Similarities in languages also lead to the conclusion of common descent. Similarities in culture also lead to a conclusion of common descent, if there is no better alternative explanation. There is a very small amount of stuff that is actually observable (we can't even observe atoms, yet we have theories about Quarks).

There has to be enough evidence to point to ideas. It's not like scientists looked at whales, threw darts at a board of pictures, and declared "Whales come from wolf-like animals!" There must be enough evidence linking wolves and whales, because really, without evidence, that's quite a jump in thinking to make.

#20 jason777

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 03:48 PM

Wait, first you quote a passage saying that biology is based on an unproven theory (every theory is unproven, just as an aside), and that it's unclear whether biology itself is a science or a faith. And then you say "'science' of biology." And now you say that biology actually is a science? Evolution is a biological theory.


No. The quote said if evolution is the backbone of biology, then biology is a unproven theory. That means biology is a science that stands on its own and evolution is not part of biology.

How about this: How else would you explain all the similarities between different lifeforms without referring to a supernatural creator? The theory of evolution and common descent is currently the best explanation for these similarities.


Then why did they need to backpedal and come up with convergent evolution? Randomness could never produce the same design in two completely different lines of descent, but a common designer could and would.




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