Friday, September 25, 2009
A neat glean from Del Tackett and the Truth Project, tour 5
With respect to the discussion concerning definitions of scientific hypotheses, theories, and laws.... in the current vernacular, evolution (as in Darwin's work) [I don't know why it doesn't have a capital "E."] is referred to as a fact; whereas it was formerly called the theory of evolution. [I should look at this further to confirm this is not just my memory, but is indeed factual. :-) ]
Anyway, the item of note is how it is referred to as a fact in most textbooks today. Why isn't it called a law? Quite simply, evolution doesn't fit the criteria of a scientific law -- and this is what I had never noticed.
An excerpt from ask.reference.com: scientific laws must be simple, true, universal, and absolute. They represent the cornerstone of scientific discovery, because if a law ever did not apply, then all science based upon that law would collapse.
Perhaps it is a biology-thing. Are there laws in Biology? There are laws in Physics and Chemistry: i.e.: laws of thermodynamics; the law of gravity (and other Newton laws); law of Entropy; Maxwell's equations expressing Ampere's law, Gauss' laws, and Faraday's law; Coulomb's law; Boyle's law; Ohm's law; conservation laws (energy and matter); etc.
These laws certainly apply to the matter of which Biology is a study. So are there biological laws? It isn't my field, I'll have to ask the birthday girl this weekend.
So evolution cannot be called a law and yet it is called a fact. Is it called a fact because calling it a theory is problematic? (Similarly to how Global Warming is now called Climate Change?) It is worthy of contemplation.
For some reason Occam's razor comes to mind: pluritas non est ponenda sine necessitate or nature likes things as simple as possible.
Along the same lines... Fibonacci's Numbers appear in so many natural phenomena:
But given enough time this can occur? And this makes sense? to people of science no less?