Re: Evolution as fact

Jana Fortier (fortier@STUDENTS.WISC.EDU)
Thu, 7 Mar 1996 09:39:09 -0600

I've been a bit bemused by this hoopla over "evolution as fact" as well.
Since when did scientists speak of *facts* anyway? Theories, yes. But we
normally leave *truth* to the philosophers and *facts* to the
police/politicians. Most of us treat Darwin's theories as theories, or am I
being too presumptuous?

Plus,,, There's already a movement, started by quantum mechanics to show
that Darwin's work is ready for some revisions. And there are the wonderful
'epistemology of science' groups who show how Darwin's work is part of the
cultural fabric of its times, i.e., that metaphors of struggle and
evolutionism were part of colonialism and other political forces at the time.

Just the Theories, Ma'am (!)

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?