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To: Dimensio
Well, this (abiogenesis)is a seperate issue from evolution.

I disagree. It became another issue because it couldn't be replicated. All the materials needed to construct a falsefiable experiment are available.

Scientific theories are never proven

Sure they are...but they start calling them "laws."

40 posted on 07/03/2002 11:15:07 AM PDT by Woahhs
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To: Woahhs
It became another issue because it couldn't be replicated.

No, it is another issue because evolution is a very specific field. Evolution deals with existing populations of life forms. It does not deal with how those life forms ultimately came into being. It's kind of how like how studying electron flow in a circuit does not depend on the ultimate source of either the electricity or the components of the circuit.

"Scientific theories are never proven"

Sure they are...but they start calling them "laws."


No, scientific "laws" are theories that have withstood rigourous analysis and testing and have proven useful as a reference basis for further experimentation and testing. That does not mean that the theory was "proven", it means that falsifying that particular theory can have very broad implications.
44 posted on 07/03/2002 11:18:46 AM PDT by Dimensio
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To: Woahhs
Sure they are...but they start calling them "laws."

Nope, they don't.

49 posted on 07/03/2002 11:21:27 AM PDT by BMCDA
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To: Woahhs; Dimensio
Dimensio: Scientific theories are never proven

Woahhs: Sure they are...but they start calling them "laws."

Doesn't work like that. Theories don't become laws. Laws and theories are different kinds of things. Laws are descriptive whereas theories are explanatory.

A law says that, under defined conditions, a system of a defined type will behave in such a manner as the law describes. A law, properly speaking, has nothing to say about why the system should behave in that way. A theory, OTOH, seeks to explain why some system behaves as it does, or has the characteristics it does, usually by proposing some causal mechanism.

A theory can never be proven because, even if it were to explain all known and relevant phenomena perfectly, it is always possible that some not-yet-known phenomena are unexplained by the theory, or would even falsify it. In addition, even if a theory is uncontradicted by any known evidence, it is always possible that there is a better theory that has yet to be thought of or proposed that would explain the known data equally as well, and more data besides (a more general theory) or one that would explain the data more elegantly (a less "ad hoc" theory).

Laws cannot be proven because of the fact that they implicitly claim universality (all systems of the defined type must be behave as the law describes) and thus can be falsified by any instance of a "misbehaving" system.

In short, proving either theories or laws would essentially require omnipotence, an exhaustive and complete knowledge of all phenomena to which they are relevant.

245 posted on 07/03/2002 2:38:29 PM PDT by Stultis
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