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May 24, 2005

Apparently, stating that evolution is a fact connects church and state

In Cobb's County, stickers claiming that evolution is a theory, not a fact, have been ordered removed from textbooks. What's worse, those who sued over the stickers claimed a connection between church and state.

Going back to my last post, I suggested the likelihood of other theories regarding the Earth's climate changes. Science runs greatly off of theory; law is incredibly difficult to prove because even one exception will disprove the law. Thus, theories often are run as absolute; while more study could prove it false, there is nothing conclusive doing so now, making it hard to bury bad theories. Global warming is taken as fact; this could be a local event, where global cooling is actually the reality, or a cyclical climate (suggested by a number of studies but always ignored) holds.

Likewise, evolution is seen as undeniable. Six parents sued to have the stickers removed from the textbooks, believing them to support a connection between church and state. Even if one disregarded religion (which I believe will always hold an impact on the lives of many people), a number of other ideas could come up for the origin of life. Perhaps Earth was seeded by alien life, perhaps evolution was not based on environment and random changes but on how long since the prior evolutionary change, or something completely different even. Now, obviously, all these theories are bad, but there is little to falsify any of them either. They could all be wrongly explained as if they were law. Now, what if evolution is wrong? Supporters of this theory get their feathers ruffled when creationism is even suggested; shouldn't they get just as mad about evolution if they found it disproven?

My guess: probably not. Despite this, schools should get back to the true meaning of theory and explain theories as strongly supported ideas, but not known to be the undeniable truth. It is not necessary to teach about creationism. But describing evolution as unfalsifiable could close out the true origin, and perhaps even the meaning, of humanity.