At first glance this seems like a perfectly fine statement to me.
>Here is the opening statement on the web site:
>Can we improve on this?
>"When biologists refer to the theory of evolution, they use the word
>"theory" as it is used throughout science. It does not mean a mere
>speculation or an unsupported hypothesis. Rather, as The Oxford
>English Dictionary puts it, "a hypothesis that has been confirmed or
>established by observation or experiment, and is propounded or
>accepted as accounting for the known facts; a statement of the
>general laws, principles, or causes of something known or observed"
>(our italics). The complex body of principles that explain
>evolutionary change is a theory in the same sense as "quantum
>theory" in physics or "atomic theory" in chemistry: it has been
>developed from evidence, tested, and refined, and it accounts for
>literally thousands of observations made throughout the entirety of
>biological science and paleontology.
>Like all scientific theories, the theory of evolution is a current
>best explanation. It has withstood innumerable tests and attempts to
>disprove it, but it is still being refined, modified in the light of
>new knowledge, and extended to account for newly discovered
>phenomena. The theory of genetics has had such a history,
>progressing from Mendel's simple early principles to the complex
>body of molecular principles that constitute today's theory of
>inheritance, and it is constantly being refined and modified, even
>though its core principles have remained valid for a century. So it
>is with the theory of evolution.
>Is evolution also a fact? All but the most trivial facts begin as
>untested hypotheses—such as the hypothesis that the earth revolves
>around the sun. They acquire "facthood" as more and more evidence
>accrues in their favor, and as they withstand attempts to refute
>them. The evidence and attempt at refutation may take many forms
>besides simple observations; indeed, the most powerful evidence is
>not mere observations, but conformity to predictions that the
>hypothesis makes about what we should see if the hypothesis is true
>or false. We do not observe the earth making a circuit around the
>sun; we accept this hypothesis because of the numerous, verified
>astronomical observations—and more recently observations from
>spacecraft—that conform to the predictions of the hypothesis. So
>Copernicus's hypothesis is now a fact—a statement supported by so
>much evidence that we use it as if it were true.
>Biologists accept as fact that all organisms, living and extinct,
>have descended, with innumerable changes, from one or at most a few
>original forms of life. For Darwin in 1859, this was a hypothesis,
>for which he provided abundant evidence from comparative anatomy,
>embryology, behavior, agriculture, paleontology, and the geographic
>distributions of organisms. Since that time, all of the many
>thousands of observations in each of these areas have supported
>Darwin's core hypothesis. To these observations has been added
>copious evidence that Darwin could hardly have dreamed of,
>especially from paleontology and molecular biology. A century's
>accumulation of such evidence establishes descent, with
>modification, from common ancestors as a fact of science. How we
>explain this fact—what the principles and causes of it may be—is the
>theory of evolutionary process, parts of which are subject to
>various amounts of scientific debate, modification, and extension.
>To claim evolution as a fact is to confront controversy, for
>probably no claim in all of science evokes as much emotional
>opposition as biological evolution. Nonetheless, no scientific
>hypothesis other than common descent with modification can account
>for and make predictions about the unity, diversity, and properties
>of living organisms. No other hypothesis of the origin of biological
>diversity is supported by such overwhelming evidence, and no
>competing hypothesis spawns such richness of scientific study and
>has as many implications for the biological sciences and their
>applications to societal needs."
>Dick Fischer - The Origins Solution - www.orisol.com
>"The answer we should have known about 150 years ago"
-- _________________ Terry M. Gray, Ph.D., Computer Support Scientist Chemistry Department, Colorado State University Fort Collins, Colorado 80523 firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.chm.colostate.edu/~grayt/ phone: 970-491-7003 fax: 970-491-1801
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