Evolution is just a theory. Coming up with just a theory has a disturbing (to some) tendency to pique the interest of the Nobel committee. It also has a tendency to result in the awards of honourary doctorates from Columbia and Oxford and The Sorbonne. Knighthoods and advances from major publishers for what they hope will be the next “Brief History of Time” may even follow in it’s wake.
Bloody hell! A mathematician of my acquaintance once opined that he’d die extremely happy if he had a mere lemma named for him.
But of course evolution by natural selection is just a theory. So is universal gravitation.Sir Issac Newton dabbled in mere theories and it was clearly only by some bizarre bureaucratic cock-up that he had a state funeral in Westminster Abbey and that Alexander Pope wrote his epitaph. It happened again when they put Charles Darwin on the ten pound note a few years back. Civil servants eh? Mere theories no better nor worse than it being turtles all the way down or Marduk doing something with mud.
I therefore humbly propose that before newtonian gravitation (yes, it does take the lower-case – guess why?) is included in text books it be thoroughly tested. All we’d need is a bunch of creationists and me with a stop-watch and a note-pad. They can leap from a tall building and I shall do the timing and the math, confirming to the bloody remains that they did, indeed accelerate at 9.81 m/s/s. Hell, if enough of them do it I can present them with a load of graphs complete with error bars and figures corrected for wind-shear and everything.
Perhaps the warning signs at the top of tall buildings should have disclaimers:
Newtonian theory predicts that if you throw yourself off this building you shall subsequently impact the ground with a sufficient velocity to sustain probably fatal traumatic wounds but this is just a theory and we are officially mandated to give equal space to the idea that a flight of angels, Superman or a female Gelfling might prevent your grisly demise.
The IDers challenge us to prove evolution (just remembered, these are pentadactyl things I’m typing with) so I’m asking them to disprove gravity. Deal? They’re both just theories afterall.