They’re just “theories”, right? Why should we believe them? 🙂
1. The Atomic Theory
2. The Theory of Matter and Energy: Conservation of Matter and Energy
3. The Cell Theory
4. The Germ Theory
5. The Theory of Plate Tectonics
6. The Theory of Evolution
7. The Big Bang Theory
The problem is the misunderstanding of the word “theory.” Many use it interchangeably with the word “idea.” It’s gotten to the point where they actually think a theory IS just an idea.
It’s not the same.
Well, most atheists will accept mathematical proofs as well, as any reasonable person would. That’s not quite the same thing as scientific evidence. In mathematics, ideas can be proven; in science, by contrast, any hypotheses must be testable (and therefore subject to disproof, if the evidence indicates that such hypotheses are incorrect). Other than these two methods, I know of no good reason to accept a proposition. If the president, or the pope, or whomever, tells me that the moon is made of snow, for example, I’m still going to want to examine the evidence that supports this claim. Arguments from authority (which includes ancient texts, often called “holy books”) are completely non-persuasive to me.
I’d just rather not even have this conversation with so-called “religious” people anymore. If they want to dismiss the theory of evolution because it’s a “theory,” and they refuse to absorb what is actually meant by the term “theory” in the scientific sense, so be it. You can’t teach the people who need to be taught. The sole practical issue at hand is that sectarian nutcases shouldn’t be allowed to impose their willed ignorance on secular institutions like public schools.
For the record, though, the simplest way to think of a scientific theory is as a “model” whose imaginary properties you test against the real world; insofar as they correspond and there are no discrepancies, you’ve got a good theory. There’s no question of “belief” or even “acceptance.” It either fits the evidence or it doesn’t.
In the case of evolution, all the evidence hitherto obtained fits the theory. When “religious” people talk of “holes” in the theory, they’re merely referring to the fact that we haven’t found fossil evidence for every single stage in the proposed evolutionary timeline. It’s as if they were to insist that even though a watch tells the correct time every time it’s checked, it can’t be considered reliable unless one actively verifies every single second. Sure, it would be nice if one could; but it’s ridiculous to suggest that the watch is “unreliable” on that account.
The Theory Of Intelligence.
Some are acceptable, others are unkowable, such as the big bang theory. Isn’t there a genetic theory that is more evidential than the theory of evolution?
Anyone who knows what “theory” means in science, would know they are not to be dismissed lightly. Sadly, they are mislead by common usage of the word.
A fact, in science, is an observation.
A theory, in science, is an explanation of the observations.
Just because there is a theory of evolution, doesn’t make evolution a theory, it is just the explanations for the fact of evolution- such a natural selection, and not the actual process itself.
They’re just theories and should be replaced with the following:
1. Intelligent Atoming
2. Intelligent Conserving
3. Intelligent design
4. Intelligent sickening
5. Intelligent quaking
6. Intelligent Design
7. Intelligent Expanding of space and time
8. Intelligent disordering
9. Intelligent sustaining
10. Intelligent Waving (referring to the Schrodinger wave function)
11. Intelligent curving of Space-time
12. Intelligent lighting
13. Intelligent currents
14. Intelligent Decaying
15. Intelligent bonding
16. Intelligent phasing
17. Intelligent heating
18. Intelligent Falling
I have also given up attempting to teach the meaning of the word theory to the willfully ignorant.
Meh. Whatever. All I know is that anything that outrages reason, logic, rationality, and science is to be rejected. That would encompass all organized religious beliefs, since there is no rhyme nor reason for their existence.
I accept theories which are widely accepted by the scientific community.