Is evolutionary theory really just a theory?

First of all, unfortunately, one has to clarify the terms, otherwise there are misunderstandings, because the general (colloquial) and the scientific concept of theory differ:

One theory is generally “eine knowledge gained through thought as opposed to knowledge gained through experience.” [1 It can be described as an unsubstantiated thesis or rather the same hypothesis.

Scientific theory: “In general, a theory creates an image (model)of the Reality . As a rule, it refers to a specific part of reality. A theory usually contains descriptive and explanatory (causal) statements about this part of reality. On this basis, predictions are made” [2.

So a theory provides

  • Descriptions
  • Explanations
  • Predictions

These predictions can then be tested by observation and experiments.If the predictions cannot be found in nature/reality and cannot be explained, the theory is considered falsified[3 . It is not right.
However, if the predictions of the theory can be observed in nature, the theory is considered NOT FALSE.The more often different predictions of theory are confirmed by experiments and observations, the more firmly it is integrated into the scientific world view.
So we can never say whether a theory is “true” or proven, but only whether it is not false.After all, it can also make other statements against it, which also explain this without contradiction, which we have not yet found.

The following paragraph sums it up:

There is never any universal proof in science that is beyond doubt.

Science will therefore never be able to rest on its laurels and say: the world is just like that. Scientists know that their descriptions are at best good approximations of reality and that there will always be something we do not know. This may seem unsatisfactory, but it prevents science from becoming entangled in dogmatism and closing in on innovations.

So it is primarily the positive tests of predictions that convince us that a theory is not wrong.

So now we come to the Theory of Evolution (ET)*:

What about ets with predictions?AFAIK bad. I am not aware of any predictions, only explanations and descriptions.

What does that mean?Is the ET not a theory in the scientific sense? I don’t like to judge that, I’m not a philosopher, but it’s not a really good one.

However, it describes and explains the formation of the species very precisely and can be documented with observations (e.g. fossils).Even if the explanation could be even more detailed. Thus, it fulfils 2 of the 3 prerequisites of a theory (see above). The fact that no predictions can be derived from this may be due to the fact that we have not (yet) understood the mechanisms underlying evolution. Work is also underway to develop the ET[5 .

Since we currently have no other explanations that describe the origin of the species so well and without contradiction, explained and backed with supporting documents – the creationism (intelligent design) does not provide this – like the ET, I use it as an explanation until a better or expanded, which in addition to the non-contradictory explanation and description also allows predictions that can be checked.

*These statements only reflect my opinion.I am neither a biologist nor a special evolutionary biologist and it is not my hobby.


[1 http://Brockaus

[2 Theory – Wikipedia

[3 Falsification – Wikipedia

[4 What is a theory?

[5 Opinion: Do we need a new theory of evolution?

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