Sociology Journal: Why Lobbyists So Persistently Call Evolution a “Fact”

(Ashwin S) #1

I recently was discussing with @swamidass how the language/rhetoric used by scientists to promote evolution is counter productive and leads to loss of trust. The above article is about sociology paper on public discourse over evolution. I couldn’t access the original paper as it was behind a pay wall.
However, it is one aspect of the discussion that makes this subject one where people routinely talk across each other.

Edit: It was a bit of a happy coincidence that this paper was written about in ENV when i was thinking along similar lines.

(George) #2


Sometimes you sound like a climate Denier. It is difficult to imagine a human endeavor other than Evolutionary Theory that has been so demonstrated and confirmed by converging disciplines of human knowledge.

THESE theories are used by business to find petrochemical stores created millions of years ago. Medical institutions use these theories to correctly diagnose disease and formulate their cures.

People with and without Christianity use these theories to save lives or accumulate fortunes.

It is not erroneous to say that Evolutionary Theory is a fact.

When a replacement paradigm is outlined by you or anyone else, I’m sure we will all want to discuss it.

But right now ‘God’s Miraculous Ways’ is not a viable replacement in the secular arena.

The closest thing is as a complement to Evolution… as formulated by @swamidass right here!

(Bill Cole) #3

What do you think about this last sentence damaging the public’s understanding of science? My reality is the only solid word that I understand is hypothesis either initial then finally tested. I am not sure I could clearly delineate a theory from a hypothesis.

(George) #4


Evolution has MORE evidence that Einstein’s theories.

Yet we still consider Einstein’s theories as facts as well.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #5

I’m opposed to saying “evolution is a fact.” This seems to create more confusion that it helps. I certainly affirm evolutionary science, but I’m not sure evolution is a brute fact. It is a well established and validated theory of origins.


Evolutionary science is the entire present body of work done in acquiring further knowledge and insights into the Theory of Evolution. The Theory of Evolution will never be complete as new knowledge and new insights about how evolution works will always be added, modified, and expanded upon. There are certain truths or facts contained in the Theory of Evolution that seems, at present time, to be highly unlikely to be overturned or falsified.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #7

I’m much more okay with this than just saying “evolution is a fact.”


There are a lot of facts in the Theory of Evolution. You certainly know many more of them than I do.

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