Why is evolution considered fact if it is based on a theory?

I am not going to pretend to be an expert linguist, however I do find that before engaging in any dialogue the definition of the key terms should be agreed upon by the message sender and the receiver for clarification purposes. The key words are fact, evolution, and theory in no particular order. I like to tell my friends to have a good conversation we have to be on the same page in the same book. therefore, I have provided the definitions from the Merriam-Webster on line dictionary to assist with response that I will provide.

Definition of Fact:

: a thing done: as aobsolete : feat b: crime <accessory after the fact> carchaic : action 2archaic : performance , doing3:the quality of being actual : actuality <a question of fact hinges on evidence>4 a: something that has actual existence <space exploration is now a fact> b: an actual occurrence <prove the fact of damage>5: a piece of information presented as having objective reality

— in fact : in truth

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fact

Definition of Theory:

pluralthe·o·ries

 Etymology: Late Latin theoria, from Greek theōria, from theōrein Date: 1592 1: the analysis of a set of facts in their relation to one another2: abstract thought : speculation3: the general or abstract principles of a body of fact, a science, or an art <music theory>4 a: a belief, policy, or procedure proposed or followed as the basis of action <her method is based on the theory that all children want to learn> b: an ideal or hypothetical set of facts, principles, or circumstances —often used in the phrase in theory<in theory, we have always advocated freedom for all>5: a plausible or scientifically acceptable general principle or body of principles offered to explain phenomena <the wave theory of light>6 a: a hypothesis assumed for the sake of argument or investigation b: an unproved assumption : conjecture c: a body of theorems presenting a concise systematic view of a subject <theory of equations>

 http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/theory

Definition of evolution:

1 : a process of change in a certain direction <tumor evolutionand progression -- I. J. Fidler et al> 2 a : the historical development of a biological group (as a race or species) : PHYLOGENY b : a theory that the various types of animals and plants have their origin in other preexisting types and that the distinguishable differences are due to modifications in successive generations - evo·lu·tion·ari·ly/-sh-ner--l/ adverb - evo·lu·tion·ary/-sh-ner-/ adjective

http://jaguar.eb.com/medical/evolution

Due to the definition of evolution provided by the academic and scientific community many people would perceive human evolution as a fact. We can see the changes in ourselves from birth, youth, adult old age and death. That is the human life cycle and it applies to all of us. The scientific community tell us that the cells in our body change every seven years.

The answer to the question that I will provide is if a person reviews the biological and historical trends that have occurred on this planet with an analytical approach using scientific thoery, the person is very likely to observe that physically and mentally the "human" species have changed in a particular direction.

Change is an absolute fact. Evolution is considered a fact because in the definition the word change is a key component.

I have evolved

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Comments 9 comments

eaglegordon profile image

eaglegordon 7 years ago

Have you read anything on "irreducible complexity"? It is upsetting a lot of scientists.


Pete Maida profile image

Pete Maida 7 years ago

Yes evolution is a theory and not a fact and it should be taught as such. Their are no absolutes when considering the origin of humans and very theory should be taught as a theory. Why is it that out of all the statements about the origin of humanity that only evolution is held to this standard?


Lee Boolean profile image

Lee Boolean 7 years ago

This theory is the only one that seems intuitively feasible, although some of it still needs proving, it still beats the purely speculative alternative theories. And the only one with PROVEN predictions, for instance, Darwin predicted the existence of a moth based on the shape of a flower.. turns out he was correct. Like all theories, its not 100% but at least the argument does not make you giggle as much as some of the other ideas of where we came from.

I published a hub called Darwin was wrong, maybe you have an opinion on that?


Ethan 7 years ago

Evolution is both theory AND fact and should be taught as such. Evolution theory describes how evolution works and what results to expect in observation (like any theory).

Evolution is also a FACT because we have observed it in action! We have observed both adaptation (selection to fit environmental changes) AND speciation (creation of separate species of a common ancestor that cannot interbreed again successfully).

"Have you read anything on "irreducible complexity"? It is upsetting a lot of scientists."

As it turns out, there is no such thing. I highly recommend watching Ken Millers talk on the utter debunking of intelligent design/creationism:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVRsWAjvQSg

It covers all the major ID/creationist 'arguments' and proves them wrong.


Unabashed Liberal profile image

Unabashed Liberal 6 years ago from Chicago

When Intelligent Design meets the same criteria used to create the theory of evolution, and has the same weight of evidence behind it, it may then be considered as an alternate theory. But some people call ID fact and evolution theory. They are wrong. they have it backwards. There is absolutely no credible evidence supporting ID while there are mountains of evidence supporting evolution.

Shouldn't ID people be out there gathering their own evidence before compaining about how evolution is beating them? If this were a game, the score would be a whole lot of points on one side, (evolution), nothing on the other, (ID).


Unabashed Liberal profile image

Unabashed Liberal 6 years ago from Chicago

I also wanted to add that a theory in the common vernacular is a simple thing, a best guess, as it were. But the use of theory in science has more weight, depends upon many facts to back it up and must be accepted on its merits, of which evolution has thus far passed the test. There may indeed be a God or gods behind all that is, but science is not out there to prove whether or not deities exist. It is basically and fundamentally concerned with how things came to be, not who created them.

Remember also that there is no science of disproving God. There is however a religious department of debunking some science, especially evolution, because people are uncomfortable with it. Being uncomfortable with an aspect of science does not make it false. That is the realm of better research which supplants the current theory.


fatfist profile image

fatfist 6 years ago

Theory in science does not mean "speculation" as it does in other contexts. Just like "pool" and "relative" have different meanings depending on context.

The English language was hacked together from other languages 1300 years ago. Words have different meanings depending on usage people, so lighten up!

The theory of relativity is not the "speculation about your relatives".


melpor profile image

melpor 6 years ago from New Jersey, USA

Evolution is not a theory anymore. Evolution is a fact. It happens every time you get sick or catch a cold. Evolution explains why you regain your health after you are sick and why you will continue to get colds. I could go on and on with this one. The evidence is overwhelming.


Shahid Bukhari profile image

Shahid Bukhari 5 years ago from My Awareness in Being.

Thanks to Hollywood, and the Media ... People, are asking, Is 2012 really the year of the happening ... !

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