By Paul H.
There seems to be some type of debate whether Bigfoot is theory or fact,well it depends on how you look at it.
How did bigfoot “AKA Sasquatch” evolve on this planet,is he Primate or human? Lets see if we can figure that out.
Bigfoot is a FACT when describing WHAT happened and a THEORY when describing HOW things happened.
There is some confusion about evolution as a fact and evolution as a theory. Often you can find critics claiming that evolution is “just a theory” rather than a fact, as if this demonstrated that it shouldn’t be given serious consideration. Such arguments are based upon a misunderstanding of both the nature of science and the nature of evolution.
In reality, evolution is both a fact and a theory.
To understand how it can be both, it is necessary to understand that evolution can be used in more than one way in biology. A common way to use the term evolution is simply to describe the change in the gene pool of a population over time; that this occurs is an indisputable fact. Such changes have been observed in the laboratory and in nature. Even most (although not all, unfortunately) creationists accept this aspect of evolution as a fact.
Another way the term evolution is used in biology is to refer to the idea of “common descent,” that all species alive today and which have ever existed descend from a single ancestor which existed at some time in the past. Obviously this process of descent has not been observed, but there exists so much overwhelming evidence supporting it that most scientists (and probably all scientists in the life sciences) consider it a fact as well.
So, what does it mean to say that evolution is also a theory? For scientists, evolutionary theory deals with how evolution occurs, not whether it occurs — this is an important distinction lost upon creationists. There are different theories of evolution which can contradict or compete with each other in various ways and there can be strong and sometimes quite acrimonious disagreement between evolutionary scientists regarding their ideas.
The distinction between fact and theory in evolutionary studies is probably best explained by Stephen Jay Gould:
- In the American vernacular, “theory” often means “imperfect fact” — part of a hierarchy of confidence running downhill from fact to theory to hypothesis to guess. Thus the power of the creationist argument: evolution is “only” a theory and intense debate now rages about many aspects of the theory. If evolution is worse than a fact, and scientists can’t even make up their minds about the theory, then what confidence can we have in it? Indeed, President Reagan echoed this argument before an evangelical group in Dallas when he said (in what I devoutly hope was campaign rhetoric): “Well, it is a theory. It is a scientific theory only, and it has in recent years been challenged in the world of science — that is, not believed in the scientific community to be as infallible as it once was.
- Well evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world’s data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts don’t go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein’s theory of gravitation replaced Newton’s in this century, but apples didn’t suspend
- themselves in midair, pending the outcome. And humans evolved from ape-like ancestors whether they did so by Darwin’s proposed mechanism or by some other yet to be discovered.
- Moreover, “fact” doesn’t mean “absolute certainty”; there ain’t no such animal in an exciting and complex world. The final proofs of logic and mathematics flow deductively from stated premises and achieve certainty only because they are NOT about the empirical world. Evolutionists make no claim for perpetual truth, though creationists often do (and then attack us falsely for a style of argument that they themselves favor). In science “fact” can only mean “confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional consent.” I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.
- Evolutionists have been very clear about this distinction of fact and theory from the very beginning, if only because we have always acknowledged how far we are from completely understanding the mechanisms (theory) by which evolution (fact) occurred. Darwin continually emphasized the difference between his two great and separate accomplishments: establishing the fact of evolution, and proposing a theory — natural selection — to explain the mechanism of evolution.
There are many different theories about Bigfoot,some say bigfoot is hominid,some say primate and some say alien,well these are all theories and not facts but also it depends on how you describe it,here is an example:
If you see a beautiful woman and you say that “She is Hot” does that mean that she has a high temperature? of course not,everybody knows what you mean,so it’s all on how Theory and Fact is spoken.This debate on Theory and Fact will go on forever and some people may never know the real meaning of both.
I think I am going to stop here before I confuse myself HAHA! So maybe we have learned that it depends on how you say it or what words that you use or what evidence will determine Theory or Fact.