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NFC: Re: Evolution, Religion, Etc.

-----Original Message-----
From: Josh Wiegert <wiegerj at paul_paulsmiths.edu>
To: NFC <NFC at actwin_com>
Date: Thursday, December 24, 1998 12:06 AM
Subject: NFC: Evolution, Religion, Etc.

>  Occassionally, the subject of evolution pops up into this -- and many
>other - lists, eithr slightly off topic, on topic, or completely off the
>wall. :)  It happens.  Evolution is not a fact, its an idea, a theory.
>Its not even a law.  (Mind you, science states that nothing can ever be
>proven or disproven.)

Well, not quite.  The strictest interpretation is that ideas can be
disproven, and that even those ideas supported by evidence are subject to
refutation if further evidence shows that they do not apply in all contexts.
In other words, even the best data support a theory only within the range of
the data collected, and there is always the possibility that the theory
breaks down outside the range of currently collected data.

For example, experiments with air near room temperature and atmospheric
pressure support the ideal gas law (pV=nRT), but a wider scope of
experiments would show that this simple equation of state is accurate only
at relatively high temperatures and low pressures.

  Evolution, quite frankly, is just as plausible or
>laughable as the idea of a god sweeping his hand across the cosmos and
>creating it.  The half-bred idea of a god directing evolution is just as
>plausible or laughable too.
>  As any bunch of rational people, we have to keep an open mind about
>this, and respect other people's ideas.

However, as many others have said before, we shouldn't have minds so open
that our brains fall out.  It is certainly possible to come up with an
endless number of theories that could never be disproven (such as the
well-known example of Last Tuesdayism), but such theories are completely
useless.  Unlike real science, they are nothing more than games invented by
postmodernists and social critics--people who have contributed nothing to
human progress.

[\   Andrew Dalton
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