Evolution as Fact and Theory

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Evolution as fact and theory summary In Stephen Jay Gould’s “Evolution as Fact and Theory” Gould argues that evolution is both a theory and a fact. Clearly distinguishing fact from theory, he argues that these terms have been misused by creationists in order to support their theories. Furthermore, Stephen Gould bases his belief in evolution on three arguments, the observable evidence of fossils, the imperfection of nature which clearly reveals evolution, and the transitions of previous species over time. Gould states that in American vernacular, theory means a fact that is not perfect. He also states that facts are the data that the world has gathered; while theories are organized ideas that attempt to describe and interpret facts. Gould adds to this by stating that a fact is not absolutely proven or certain. He further narrows this down by stating that a fact means a certain concept is proven to a degree where it would not be acceptable to disagree with it. A theory in evolution is ultimately trying to express the mechanism by which evolution occurred; while a fact in evolution states that evolution occurred and it is confirmed to a degree where it cannot be disagreed with. A fact of evolution has been confirmed many times, such as the famous British moths in which when dark soot from the factories covered oak trees in a darker color, a handful of British moths changed to a darker color to avoid detection from predators. This resulted in natural selection, and the darker moths survived longer and had better reproductive success. Additionally a theory of evolution is natural selection where a handful of individuals in a population have better suited genes for that environment and hence they survive longer and have reproductive success. This is a mechanism by which evolution occurred. Karl Popper states that the criterion for an idea to be scientific is that
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