Quotes and links to two very good articles i read today
Well evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are
different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are
the world's data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret
facts. Facts don't go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain
them. Einstein's theory of gravitation replaced Newton's in this century, but
apples didn't suspend themselves in midair, pending the outcome. And humans
evolved from ape-like ancestors whether they did so by Darwin's proposed
mechanism or by some other yet to be discovered.
Moreover, "fact" doesn't mean "absolute certainty"; there ain't no such animal
in an exciting and complex world. The final proofs of logic and mathematics flow
deductively from stated premises and achieve certainty only because they are not
about the empirical world. Evolutionists make no claim for perpetual truth,
though creationists often do (and then attack us falsely for a style of argument
that they themselves favor). In science "fact" can only mean "confirmed to such
a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional consent." I suppose
that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit
equal time in physics classrooms.
-- Stephen Jay Gould
full article: http://sandwalk.blogspot.com/2011/08/evolution-is-fact-and-theory.html
What makes me libertarian is what makes me an atheist -- I don't know. If I
don't know, I don't believe. I don't know exactly how we got here, and I don't
think anyone else does, either. We have some of the pieces of the puzzle and
we'll get more, but I'm not going to use faith to fill in the gaps. I'm not
going to believe things that TV hosts state without proof. I'll wait for real
evidence and then I'll believe.
And I don't think anyone really knows how to help everyone. I don't even know
what's best for me. Take my uncertainty about what's best for me and multiply
that by every combination of the over 300 million people in the United States
and I have no idea what the government should do.
-- Penn, of Penn and Teller