Evolution Misconception #3 – Only a Theory
Evolution is only a theory, not a fact or Law.
This claim is made quite often. The confusion arises because the word theory has more than one meaning.
In science, the word theory has a more technical meaning than in ordinary vernacular. When scientists talk of Scientific Theories, they do not mean that they are guessing, or hypothesising, or that somehow it is of less weight than a Law.
I wrote up an answer here.
Here is an article I thought explained the difference between a Scientific Law and a Scientific Theory in a simple way. A quote from that article:
The biggest difference between a law and a theory is that a theory is much more complex and dynamic. A law describes a single action, whereas a theory explains an entire group of related phenomena. And, whereas a law is a postulate that forms the foundation of the scientific method, a theory is the end result of that same process. [emphasis added]
To put it as simply as possible: A scientific theory connects up a set of facts and observations (in this case, evolution) and weaves them together into a coherent description/explanation.
The next time you hear/read the claim that evolution is only a theory (and not a fact/law) and therefore should not be taken seriously, tell yourself (and your childen), “The theory of evolution refers to the explanations of how life changed, not to the uncertainty of it.”