Theoretically Speaking

Over at the hottest blog on the internets, John Howard’s got a great rant on Bush’s remarks about intelligent design.

Of course some tool had to immediately pollute the comments thread with the usual garbage:
Evolution can't be proven...

Quote: "Evolution is a scientific theory..."

A 'theory' is merely an assumption based on limited information or knowledge; in other words, it's strictly speculation.
I’m really just so fucking tired of dimwitted intelligent design aficionados conflating “theory” with “scientific theory” that I could puke—so tired of it, in fact, that the irony of such confusion, the existence of which might not exist if people had actually paid attention in the very science classes they now want to dilute with unscientific information, doesn’t even bring a bitter grin to my face anymore. So let’s get this cleared up once and for all, shall we?
In layman’s terms, if something is said to be "just a theory," it usually means that it is a mere guess, or is unproved. It might even lack credibility. But in scientific terms, a theory implies that something has been proven and is generally accepted as being true.


[A scientific theory] is an explanation of a set of related observations or events based upon proven hypotheses and verified multiple times by detached groups of researchers. One scientist cannot create a theory; he can only create a hypothesis.
Ergo, when something is described as a scientific theory, it is automatically imbued with the presumption of a certain level of demonstrable proof. Scientific theories are, by definition, not speculative, nor are they based on limited information or knowledge.

Attempting to play some semantic game of “gotcha” with thinking people by noting that evolution is “just a theory” only makes you look stupid—not to mention direly in need of a remedial course on the basics of the scientific method. Morons.

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