|MadSci Network: Evolution|
Was zipping down your list of categories to find some subject of interest
when I noticed that there is nothing relating to interest. I always
thought that true science is used to prove or disprove a theory. Evolution
is certainly only a theory as to date there is no proof that we evolved
out of nothing or a monkey or what have ya. But if one is indeed a
scientist then he is not afraid to be confronted with the truth, even if
it disputes what he has spent years learning. Truth can stand on its on
without having to be propped up. No matter what you may believe
personally, why not give both sides and let those who inquire, decide for
themselves. Rodney Halley
Evolution is indeed a theory, but we need to remember that a theory is not "something tentative or unsubstantiated." A theory is an explanation of known facts, and theories which explain a great many facts are on a pretty solid footing. Evolution is one of those theories. While it may not be quite as certain as, say, the laws of thermodynamics, it's certainly as well-supported as atomic theory, or the periodic law of chemistry. For more on the evidence for evolution as a scientific theory, spend some time with the Talk-Origins archive.
Disclaimer: I take no responsibility for the anti-theistic content of the so-called "humor" on the T-O site. By and large the scientific articles are well-balanced and reasonably polite; some are written by Christians and other theists.On the other hand, "creation" is not a topic which science per se is capable of addressing because it does not meet the requirements of a scientific idea or topic. This is not to say that scientific information do not bear on religious beliefs; for example, a religious faith based on the idea that the Sun moves around the Earth is clearly untenable, based on scientific data. But most religions are far more sophisticated than that.
Discussions of creation tend to lie in the areas of theology and philosophy, rather than science, because science, as Francis Bacon tells us in his 1605 work The Advancement of Learning, is concerned only with immediate ("efficient") causes and cannot detect ultimate causes, at least not unambigously.
What this means is that creation and evolution are not competing ideas; one is a theological concept and the other is a scientific concept. They work in different spheres and there is no scientific reason that they cannot be considered mutually consistent. Those who claim that evolution and creation are incompatible have theological or philosophical (that is, metascientific) reasons.
For more on this, you might consult a number of books and articles. Some are on the web, some are not.
Disclaimer: The contents of this answer may or may not be the opinion of anyone else associated with MadSci Network. To the extent that opinions are expressed here, they are my own; to the extent that facts are cited here, they are as accurate as I can make them.
Added by Lynn Bry:
My "reason", or our reason for not including "creation" is simply that creationism is not science. It is a literal interpretaion of the Bible that is used to explain how life formed on the planet. It is not subject to the hypothesis-driven, nor self-correcting aspects of scientific endeavor.
Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Evolution.