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Science is, at base, an epistemology, a way of knowing. “Scientia” is the Latin word for “knowing” or “knowledge”; it is a method of gathering and evaluating phenomenological evidence to support or prove a “hypothesis”, which is a temporary supposition or speculation to be investigated (“my hypothesis is that the sun goes out at night and is rekindled each morning by the moon”); a hypothesis, when supported by all the available evidence and when contradicted by none of the available evidence, becomes a “theory”—the key word is “available”. If more evidence is gathered, and it contradicts the available evidence, the theory is disproven. My hypothesis about the sun did not stand up to all the available evidence and therefore never made it to “theory” status. Evolution is a theory that has stood up to all the evidence for about 100 years, but is always open to scrutiny. (As one of my students pointed out “God can make fossils.”) A creation myth is a “story” of an early culture that personified (made a human story of) the available visual evidence. An example of a modern “myth” that has been disproved is the atomic theory that assumed the electrons of an atom orbited the nucleus; the “myth” was based on the planetary model; the “field” theory of shared electrons superseded the orbital theory. Finally, creation myths are about how the universe began, but evolution is about how Life on this planet evolved into species.
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