Flintstones date humanist's diatribe

10th July 2009 at 01:00

I would like to make one small correction to the article on my talk, which highlights the problem of language in science. The article states that "in scientific terms, a theory is a clearly proven fact". Evolution is a scientific fact that has been observed in the wild and in the lab. The theory of evolution explains how evolution works, through natural selection - hence evolution is also a theory. A scientific theory is a well-evidenced explanation of a natural phenomenon and is accepted as correct by the scientific community as a whole; but a theory is not a fact, and facts are not theories. This minor error just goes to show how difficult it is to report science and how precise we must be when using the language of science in the classroom.

James D Williams, Lecturer in science education, University of Sussex, Brighton.

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