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Monday, March 28, 2005

Evolution: A Fact?

Arthur Silber, over at The Light of Reason, writes: "Keep in mind the essence of this conflict: evolution is not 'just a theory,' it is scientific fact—supported by mountains of evidence, which grows almost every day."

Arthur doesn't seem to understand the nature of scientific facts. In 1500, it was a "scientific fact," supported by "mountains of evidence," that the Sun revolves around the Earth. The evidence was so overwhelming that basically there was not a single natural philosopher in Europe who doubted it. In the 19th century, a famous physicist (Maxwell?) said that no theory in science was as well-confirmed as ether theory.

One day, the "fact" of Darwinian evolution will seem as quaint as ether theory or phlogiston. I have no idea what will replace it -- most likely not Biblical creationism! -- but it will be replaced.

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