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Is the theory of evolution falsifiable?

Dirty.Harry
Posts: 1,585
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3/28/2016 7:15:07 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
Evolution has to be falsifiable in order to qualify as a theory.

A theory is falsifiable if there's one or more experiments or observations conceivable, that would contradict theoretical predictions or expectations arising from the theory.

So what kinds of things do you think could falsify this theory?

Does anyone consider the theory already falsified, if so please explain.

Harry.
DanneJeRusse
Posts: 12,609
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3/28/2016 7:18:15 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/28/2016 7:15:07 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
Evolution has to be falsifiable in order to qualify as a theory.

A theory is falsifiable if there's one or more experiments or observations conceivable, that would contradict theoretical predictions or expectations arising from the theory.

So what kinds of things do you think could falsify this theory?

Does anyone consider the theory already falsified, if so please explain.

Harry.

Falsify the postulates, Harry, Natural selection or diversity of species.

Go.
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Stronn
Posts: 318
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3/28/2016 7:32:37 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/28/2016 7:15:07 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
Evolution has to be falsifiable in order to qualify as a theory.

A theory is falsifiable if there's one or more experiments or observations conceivable, that would contradict theoretical predictions or expectations arising from the theory.

So what kinds of things do you think could falsify this theory?

Does anyone consider the theory already falsified, if so please explain.

Harry.

A good webpage that lays out the evidence for macroevolution is at http://www.talkorigins.org.... I like it because, for each of the 29 lines of evidence, it describes specific ways that each could be falsified.

One example is the chronological ordering of fossils in well-established phylogenetic branches:

"For example, we should never find mammalian or avian fossils in or before Devonian deposits, before reptiles had diverged from the amphibian tetrapod line. This excludes Precambrian, Cambrian, Ordovician, and Silurian deposits, encompassing 92% of the earth's geological history and 65% of the biological history of multicellular organisms. Even one incontrovertible find of any pre-Devonian mammal, bird, or flower would shatter the theory of common descent."
TBR
Posts: 9,991
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3/28/2016 8:33:51 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/28/2016 7:15:07 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
Evolution has to be falsifiable in order to qualify as a theory.

A theory is falsifiable if there's one or more experiments or observations conceivable, that would contradict theoretical predictions or expectations arising from the theory.

So what kinds of things do you think could falsify this theory?

Does anyone consider the theory already falsified, if so please explain.

Harry.

Why yes it is! And so too are all proper experiments that have been run.

How about that creation thing?
UtherPenguin
Posts: 3,682
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3/28/2016 8:44:46 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
The scientific definition of a theory is much more different than the vernacular definition of a theory.

If a hypothesis becomes a theory, that means it has undergone the scietiffic method numerous times and is the strongest explanation for the observation. It's the closest thing to fact that one could formally get to (for example, Germs are a theory, Gravity theory et cetera).

That's not to say that a scientific theory is infallible, but by definition it has to be logically valid. Which is why the argument that "Evolution is just a theory" doesn't hold up well because to a scientist you're basically saying "it's just a logical conclusion made after countless experimentation".

So yes, a theory is falsifiable, because it is based on human observation, which is subjective, limited, and constantly prone to error.

The vernacular definition of a theory is more equivalent to a hypothesis.
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Ramshutu
Posts: 4,063
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3/28/2016 8:45:55 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/28/2016 7:15:07 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
Evolution has to be falsifiable in order to qualify as a theory.

A theory is falsifiable if there's one or more experiments or observations conceivable, that would contradict theoretical predictions or expectations arising from the theory.

So what kinds of things do you think could falsify this theory?

Does anyone consider the theory already falsified, if so please explain.

Harry.

If a theory can be comprehensively falsified by hundreds of different measurements or observations, all of which are performed and shown to deeply and specifically conform as expected with the theory, to the point where there are now no reasonable or probable observations that one can make any longer to falsify it:

Would you consider that theory falsifiable?
Burzmali
Posts: 1,310
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3/28/2016 9:17:26 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/28/2016 7:15:07 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
Evolution has to be falsifiable in order to qualify as a theory.

A theory is falsifiable if there's one or more experiments or observations conceivable, that would contradict theoretical predictions or expectations arising from the theory.

So what kinds of things do you think could falsify this theory?

Does anyone consider the theory already falsified, if so please explain.

Harry.

Ironically, many of the forms of evidence that especially ignorant ID folks ask for would falsify evolution: cats giving birth to dogs, chimps giving birth to humans, etc. If the Lenski E.coli experiment spontaneously produces a novel species of yeast (without being contaminated), for instance, that would likely falsify current evolutionary theory, pending verification.

It's important to note that even if evolution were falsified, it still would not be evidence in favor of intelligent design.