09 October 2009

Greatest Show on Earth

It's nice to see at least some finer distinctions being made in the popular culture (even as they're crafted in response to the precisionless rhetoric of that same culture). A great example of this is the review of Richard Dawkins' new book, written as a magnum opus of evolutionary argument, over at the Grey Lady:

Dawkins is aware that evolution is commonly called a theory but deems “theory” too wishy-washy a term because it connotes the idea of hypothesis. Evolution, in Dawkins’s view, is a concept as bulletproof as a mathematical theorem, even though it can’t be proved by rigorous logical proofs. He seems to have little appreciation for the cognitive structure of science. Philosophers of science, who are the arbiters of such issues, say science consists largely of facts, laws and theories. The facts are the facts, the laws summarize the regularities in the facts, and the theories explain the laws. Evolution can fall into only one of these categories, and it’s a theory.

Read the rest here.

No comments: