Saturday, October 08, 2005

Scientific Theory No Longer Provisional at the University of Idaho

In a remarkable development, Timothy White, the president of the University of Idaho has declared "evolution" unique among scientific theories. As noted previously, he made this dramatic pronouncement:
At the University of Idaho, teaching of views that differ from evolution . . . is inappropriate in our life, earth, and physical science courses or curricula.

If "views that differ from evolution" are no longer permitted, "evolution" can logically no longer be considered a provisional theory at that university. On the other hand, academic freedom was apparently very provisional.

There seems to be no truth to the rumor that the descendants of Jean-Baptiste Lamarck have petitioned the president of the University of Wyoming to give their ancestor's theory known as Lamarckism non-provisional status at that university.

6 Comments:

At October 07, 2005 10:20 AM, Anonymous Anthony Zacharzewski said...

'Theory' here does not mean 'something that people aren't sure about'.

Compare:
* Theories about the Kennedy assassination - which are debatable
* Newton's Theory of Gravity - which is a description of how a process works
* The theory of music - meaning, the technical and scientific underpinnings of music.

No-one is going to claim that the theory of music is 'just a theory', and that perhaps there's a C major scale that has an D# in it.

Darwinian evolution is a theory like the theory of gravity - a well-supported description of a natural process.

 
At October 07, 2005 1:39 PM, Blogger Lawrence Selden said...

Anthony, as my sidebar makes clear, microevolution has been observed and is not controversial.

Macroevolutionary theory is historical in nature, has never been proven with any degree of certainty, and many scientists believe it has serious problems. Take a look at my Challenges post on the sidebar.

You seem to be ignorant of, or are ignoring, the distinction.

In any case, banning discussion of problems, challenges and alternatives is always a bad idea.

 
At October 07, 2005 6:08 PM, Blogger Mike said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At October 07, 2005 6:09 PM, Blogger Mike said...

"Darwinian evolution is a theory like the theory of gravity - a well-supported description of a natural process."

Absolutely false. We can directly feel gravity's effects. We cannot directly feel the effects of evolution. We infer that evolution is "fact" when in deed it's merely assumed to be. Besides, evolution has failed the "testable" standard so many evolutionists place on intelligent design. No one has been able to evolve inanimate matter into irreducibly complex life forms. Not a one! Therefore, evolution fails. Hence, it's a theory supported by indirect evidence, conceptual precursors and assumptions. Evolution is simply a faith-based belief system to a large extent.

 
At October 07, 2005 6:11 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Lawrence,

"Macroevolutionary theory is historical in nature, has never been proven with any degree of certainty, and many scientists believe it has serious problems."

Scientists who are void of ignorance and who do not submit to conviction of evolutionists *know* macroevolution can't stand up to any real scientific scrutiny. Why else does only 34% of the population believe in evolution? And no, it's not all because of religion!

 
At October 11, 2005 1:25 PM, Anonymous Jim said...

"Theory" in science has a technical definition that seem to be ignored by most of the people commenting here. The initial comment has a point. A theory in science is a hypothesis that has stood the test of time.

Gravity is not a theory, it's a "law." A "law" in science has a stronger foothold than even a "theory" but both are always (or supposed to be) subject to revision.

 

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