Is “Evolution” a “Theory” or “Fact” or Is This Just a Trivial Game of Semantics? (Part 4)

[Editor’s Note: This is a Part 4 of a 5 part series on whether evolution should be called a “theory” or a “fact.” For the installments, see Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5. The full article can be found here.] Darwinists love to bash Darwin-skeptics who call evolution “just a theory, not a fact.” The truth is that I rarely, if ever, hear people who are closely involved with the ID movement using this line to oppose evolution. The “evolution is just a theory, not a fact” phrase tends to come from the vox populi–intelligent people who studied this issue in their biology class or perhaps have read books like Darwin’s Black Box, Icons of Read More ›

Is “Evolution” a “Theory” or “Fact” or Is This Just a Trivial Game of Semantics? (Part 3)

[Editor’s Note: This is a Part 3 of a 5 part series on whether evolution should be called a “theory” or a “fact.” See: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5. The full article can be found here.] Darwinists claim that it is inappropriate to call “evolution a theory, not a fact” because a theory means “a well-substantiated scientific explanation of some aspect of the natural world.” In Part 1 and in Part 2, I discussed the fact that the word “theory” can have multiple meanings, ranging from a conjecture or guess (the soft definition) to “a well-substantiated scientific explanation of some aspect of the natural world” (the hard definition). In this installment, I will address the Read More ›

Christopher Hitchens and His Cave Myths

In his book God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, atheist author Christopher Hitchens calls intelligent design (ID) “tripe” and “a huge menacing lurch forward by the forces of barbarism.” While supporting the evolution of humans, he asserts that there is “[n]o divine plan” and that “[e]verything works without that assumption.” Hitchens laments the existence of religion because “millions of people in all societies still prefer the myths of the cave and the tribe and the blood sacrifice.” (pg. 282) In his debate against Jay Wesley Richards, Hitchens reportedly argued against God by alleging that God would not create certain features we observe, to which Richards aptly replied, “A sneer is not an argument.” Unfortunately, Hitchens is still using Read More ›

Is “Evolution” a “Theory” or “Fact” or Is This Just a Trivial Game of Semantics? (Part 2)

[Editor’s Note: This is a Part 2 of a 5 part series on whether evolution should be called a “theory” or a “fact.” See: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5. The full article can be found here.] In Part 1, I assessed the question of whether Darwinists are correct to define theory as a “well-substantiated scientific explanation of some aspect of the natural world” or a “comprehensive explanation of some aspect of nature that is supported by a vast body of evidence” (the hard definition of theory). I found that they are correct to use such a definition, but that Darwinists sometimes overly downplay the fact that theory can also legitimately mean merely “a proposed explanation Read More ›

Is “Evolution” a “Theory” or “Fact,” or Is This Just a Trivial Game of Semantics? (Part 1)

[Editor’s Note: This is a Part 1 of a 5 part series on whether evolution should be called a “theory” or a “fact.” See: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5. The full article can be found here.] Many members of the general public who are skeptics of Darwinian evolution are intelligent people with a decent understanding of some of the scientific weaknesses with neo-Darwinian evolution. In fact, a recent article in The Scientist suggests that, “public discontent with classical evolution as an inclusive theory stems partly from an intuitive appreciation of its limits.” (Eric Smith, “Before Darwin,” The Scientist, June 2008:32-38.) But in this highly nuanced debate, such Darwin-skeptics must avoid semantic land mines if they Read More ›