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Location: Austin, Texas, United States

I'm a software engineer / partner working for a young company in Austin, Texas, USA. I spend most of my free time hanging out with friends and family, eating out, and partying in the Warehouse District. I should spend more time working on my house....

Thursday, August 11, 2005

More ID commentary

Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog has a post up about some recent article on Intelligent Design. Kevin links to a long article in The New Republic that describes some of the history of ID and "Scientific" Creationism as well as modern context. It is very good. If you want to get behind the subscription wall I recommend going to BugMeNot.com.

One of the more interesting paragraphs in the New Republic article is this one explaining the definition of a scientific theory is:
It is important to realize at the outset that evolution is not "just a theory." It is, again, a theory and a fact. Although non-scientists often equate "theory" with "hunch" or "wild guess," the Oxford English Dictionary defines a scientific theory as "a scheme or system of ideas or statements held as an explanation or account of a group of facts or phenomena; a hypothesis that has been confirmed or established by observation or experiment, and is propounded or accepted as accounting for the known facts." In science, a theory is a convincing explanation for a diversity of data from nature. Thus scientists speak of "atomic theory" and "gravitational theory" as explanations for the properties of matter and the mutual attraction of physical bodies. It makes as little sense to doubt the factuality of evolution as to doubt the factuality of gravity.

Maybe, due to the linguistic disadvantage that "theory" produces, people should simply stop referring to "Evolutionary Theory" and refer instead to the "Evolutionary Model". That removes the weak term theory, while retaining all of the important intellectual components. Additionally it allows for the use of the question, "Do you have a better model than evolution for explaining all the facts in genetics, geology and biogeography?" ID has no honest answer to that question.

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