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Just a Theory

High School ScienceIt must be admitted that some well-meaning creationists can be naïve in their criticism of evolution. For example, one common high-school criticism of evolution is that it is “just a theory.” The use of such an argument misses the point about what a theory actually is.

The National Academy of Sciences has defined a theory as “a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment.” A theory that fulfills these criteria is a good thing. Such a theory is not simply a made-up idea. It has purpose and meaning. An example of this would be the Wave Theory of Light.” It is often stressed that light may not necessarily consist of waves, but the theory that it does is very helpful in explaining phenomena such as light interference. Experiments can be performed, which appear to be consistent with this theory, and give results predicted by the theory.

This is not the case with the theory of evolution. The change of kinds from molecules to man is not actually seen in nature, by field observation or by laboratory experiment. Indeed, as evolution is alleged to have occurred by one-off unrepeatable events in history, it is not possible to devise experiments which will test it. Therefore, evolution is not “just a theory.” It is not even a theory by any definition.

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