Re: Evolution as fact

Bill Lesley (rwl2@AXE.HUMBOLDT.EDU)
Wed, 6 Mar 1996 11:48:00 -0800

I agree w/ Adrian's assessment of what I always considered the "scientific
method". As a biologist by background, I have found that many discussions
of this sort run up on the shoals of semantics and it becomes a case of:
" I know you heard what I said, but did you hear what I meant?"
I know it is near impossible to always define the terms one uses, but it
helps to know what is being discussed.
Addendum: I have to get my two-bits in on the fiasco in the Tennessee
legislature. It strikes me thay are trying to make the truth a lie!
Shades of Big Brother. Can't say more as I feel that obsenities have no
place on e-mail.
Back to lurking!

On Wed, 6 Mar 1996, Adrian Tanner wrote:

> I have also wondered about calling evolution a 'fact'.
> Once upon a time there was born in someone's head an 'idea'; it developed to
> become a 'hypothesis', and later joined together to become a complex set of
> hypotheses called a 'theory'; finally, when enough confirming observations,
> and no disconfirming ones, had been made, it became a 'law'. To avoid
> confusing it with it's legal namesake, it is often spoken of a 'scientific'
> or 'natural' law.
> Evolution is such a law, rather than a fact, isn't it?
> Adrian Tanner, Dept of Anthropology, Memorial University, St John's,
> Newfoundland, Canada. A1C 5S7. email Tel 709 737
> 8868 fax 737 8686