If "only a theory" were a real objection, creationists would also be issuing disclaimers complaining about the theory of gravity, atomic theory, the germ theory of disease, and the theory of limits (on which calculus is based). The theory of evolution is no less valid than any of these. Even the theory of gravity still receives serious challenges. Yet the phenomenon of gravity, like evolution, is still a fact. Via

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My roomate is constantly using this arguement and telling me not to be so atheistic. Saying we don't really know anything is a fact. I find it to be very, very annoying. Mostly becuase he is also an atheist. But it could be argued that he is an anarchist by defualt.
I've heard an argument that a religious person talked to a scientist and that the scientist "confessed" that they don't have any evidence to back up their theories.
I must understand quantum mechanics to design semiconductor circuits. I can use semiconductors without understanding electricity or even without understanding how to read - that is tangible evidence in the validity of the theory. My computer and router connected to the internets constitute a galaxy of facts produced by theory.

Someone, somewhere has the evidence for quantum mechanics, general relativity and all of the theory in the scientific canon. Even before Google all of this chain of evidence was available. If you are moderately careful you can resolve disputes over evidence with the help of moderators or peers who review scientific theories.

On the other hand, supernatural beliefs stop all inquiry at the willing suspension of disbelief.
BTW here is the We Think Atheist vid for this one: Enjoy
Scientific theory over time becomes more valid and powerful than religious scripture because scientific theory is allowed to and expected to self-correct and improve based on newly discovered evidence. Whereas science texts are corrected or re-written to accommodate new evidence and updated theory, scriptures are proclaimed to be infallible and unchangeable, regardless of evidence.

The word "theory" does not even exist in scripture, and the word "faith" is meaningless in science (except perhaps as a data point in sciences of human behavior). Science describes and predicts reality in finer and finer detail over time, while religion can only prescribe unchangeable moralistic judgments. Science and religion were not designed or intended to agree with each other.

The formal scientific definition of theory is quite different from the everyday meaning of the word. It refers to a comprehensive explanation of some aspect of nature that is supported by a vast body of evidence. Many scientific theories are so well established that no new evidence is likely to alter them substantially. For example, no new evidence will demonstrate that the Earth does not orbit around the sun (heliocentric theory), or that living things are not made of cells (cell theory), that matter is not composed of atoms, or that the surface of the Earth is not divided into solid plates that have moved over geological timescales (the theory of plate tectonics). One of the most useful properties of scientific theories is that they can be used to make predictions about natural events or phenomena that have not yet been observed.

 

United States National Academy of Sciences

 

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