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View Diary: Bill Nye (The Science Guy): Creationism is NOT appropriate for children. (203 comments)

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  •  The difference between theory and law (6+ / 0-)

    is NOT a difference of certainty, which is what the creationists constantly lie about and claim it is.

    The difference is in how basic and low-level the thing is, not how certain you are of it.  A law is a simple basic building block of the universe.  Laws happen in physics only.  You tend not to get laws in the sciences that are built on top of physics, like biology.  Even an absolute 100% certain biological statement like, "that animal is a dog" wouldn't be a law because it's only a statement about that one dog.  It's not a fundamental statement about the underlying universe itself.

    The reason the Theory of Evolution isn't a law is because it's only an explanation of what occurred on one little planet rather than being an explanation of  what happens across the whole universe.  It can't be anything more than that for the time being because we have only the one example to work from.

    •  There are laws in chemistry too (6+ / 0-)

      Avogadro's Law
      Boyle's Law
      Charles' Law
      Conservation of Energy* (1st Law of Thermodynamics)
      Conservation of Mass*
      Dalton's Law
      Gay Lussac's Law
      Graham's Law
      Ideal Gas Law
      Second Law of Thermodynamics

      Of course, some of this could be considered physics too.

      *(for ordinary chemical reactions, not nuclear reactions)

    •  That's a narrow definition of a law (5+ / 0-)

      Laws are simple, general statements based on evidence. They may only apply within certain limitations. For example, Newton's laws of motion do not take into account relativistic considerations, nor do the laws of conservation of mass and energy. But they are very useful in normal situations.

      The Theory of Evolution is a broad, complex explanation for what could be stated as a law of biology: Life evolves - populations of organisms change genetically and irreversibly through time. Whether that applies in some distant galaxy is irrelevant. It works on earth.

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