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September 25, 2005
JAMES D. WATSON'S evolution essay ("Why Darwin's Still a Scientific Hotshot," Book Review, Sept. 18) captured the majesty and wonder that one gets from studying how living things have evolved, but I was surprised to read the last paragraph where he denigrates calling evolution a scientific theory and instead prefers to use the term "law." As I understand it, a scientific law is a descriptive generalization about how some aspect of the natural world behaves under stated circumstances.
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SCIENCE
March 1, 2013 | By Joseph Serna, Los Angeles Times
A pair of NASA probes has discovered a previously unknown ring of radiation blanketing the Earth, upending a long-standing scientific theory about how charged particles coalesce around the planet, scientists reported Thursday. Just four days after the twin Radiation Belt Storm Probes were launched in August, NASA scientists looked on in amazement as instruments revealed a third belt of high-energy particles between the planet's inner and outer radiation belts, known as the Van Allen belts.
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SCIENCE
March 1, 2013 | By Joseph Serna, Los Angeles Times
A pair of NASA probes has discovered a previously unknown ring of radiation blanketing the Earth, upending a long-standing scientific theory about how charged particles coalesce around the planet, scientists reported Thursday. Just four days after the twin Radiation Belt Storm Probes were launched in August, NASA scientists looked on in amazement as instruments revealed a third belt of high-energy particles between the planet's inner and outer radiation belts, known as the Van Allen belts.
NATIONAL
March 27, 2009 | Associated Press
Texas science teachers will no longer be required to teach weaknesses of scientific theory, including evolution, under new curriculum standards tentatively adopted by the State Board of Education on Thursday. Supporters of evolution hailed the vote but were critical of amendments adopted by the board that they said could create new paths to teaching creationism and the similar theory of intelligent design in public schools.
NEWS
February 18, 1985
People for the American Way, a liberal lobbying group, charged that many high school biology textbooks have evolved into watered-down tomes as publishers cave in to pressure from fundamentalists. The group, which has battled with advocates of the biblical theory of creation for several years, complained that three of the 18 textbooks it examined made no mention of evolution, the scientific theory that humans evolved from apes.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 7, 1994
While I commend you for your editorial, "Why Bad Science Can't Be Good Education" (Feb. 27), on the threat to science education by pseudoscience from the left and right, I must take issue with your statement that " . . . evolution has been proven beyond any doubt . . . " The problem with this well-meaning but misleading sentence is that a scientific theory (in contrast to a mathematical theorem) can never be proved. We scientists prefer to use the term confirm. We confirm theories, we don't prove them.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 16, 1986
The Times published two letters (Dec. 29) from creationists who objected to the Darwinian theory of evolution being taught as "truth" in the public schools. These letters display a common lack of understanding of what scientific truth is. The theory of evolution by natural selection is almost as well confirmed by observation as the atomic theory or the theory of gravitation. To teach evolution as less "true" than these other theories is preposterous; it makes as much sense to teach biology without Darwin as to teach physics without Newton.
OPINION
September 19, 1999
Re "Kansans, Evolution Coexist Tenuously," Sept. 12: The Kansas Board of Education is right to delete testing on evolution. It seems to be a hypothesis unable to gather sufficient evidence to advance to the status of theory, much less fact, and unlike other scientific theories, has no proven predictive power whatsoever. Even as plausible theory, it stands alone in science. It can't be tested. It can't be proven. It has no practical application. Yet it can't be denied. At the urging of the National Academy of Sciences it is presented in the schools and the media as if it were fact better proven than any other scientific theory.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 24, 1993
Hearty congratulations to the Vista school board (Aug. 14). The people of Vista, and I might add California, want creation and evolution theories taught as theories. It's the skills to evaluate theories that must be taught, not the theories. It absolutely must be this way because in the finite mind of man, neither creation nor evolution can satisfactorily be proved as fact. Evolution theory is the secular, limited, physical knowledge of origins. Creation theory is the same knowledge viewed from the perspective that it was planned and is controlled by a master creator.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 20, 1985
Your editorial (July 10), "The Fires of Creationism," does little to promote an understanding of evolution or the scientific perspective. Evolution is not "correct" and creationist theories are not necessarily wrong. Evolution is simply the best conceptualization that critical reason and experiment can devise at present to account for the diversity of living organisms that inhabit our planet. Evolution is a theory and theories cannot be proven true (truths are demonstrated in logic and mathematics, but not the sciences)
OPINION
January 3, 2009
Christine Maggiore, who was diagnosed with HIV in 1992, waged a long, bitter campaign denouncing the prevailing scientific wisdom on the causes and treatment of AIDS. She fiercely contested the overwhelming consensus that the HIV virus causes AIDS, and that preventive approaches and antiretrovirals can help thwart the disease's spread and prolong the lives of those who suffer from it. Her campaign ended this week with her death at age 52.
BOOKS
September 25, 2005
JAMES D. WATSON'S evolution essay ("Why Darwin's Still a Scientific Hotshot," Book Review, Sept. 18) captured the majesty and wonder that one gets from studying how living things have evolved, but I was surprised to read the last paragraph where he denigrates calling evolution a scientific theory and instead prefers to use the term "law." As I understand it, a scientific law is a descriptive generalization about how some aspect of the natural world behaves under stated circumstances.
NATIONAL
May 6, 2005 | P.J. Huffstutter, Times Staff Writer
In this rural swath of northern Kansas, where the grass rolls thick and green to the horizon, a white cross dominates the landscape. Kathy Martin, a member of the state board of education, and her family built it on their farm this spring, gathering weathered chunks of limestone from the horse pasture and laying them on a hillside. The cross is a proud expression of Martin's faith.
BOOKS
June 13, 2004 | Richard Ellis, Richard Ellis is the author of "The Empty Ocean" and the forthcoming "No Turning Back: The Life and Death of Animal Species."
IN the Western world B.D. (Before Darwin), few questioned the Book of Genesis description of how God made every living thing. But it was more than a little difficult to understand (or explain) the fossil remains of all those animals no longer visible in Europe, North America, South America or Africa. There was evidence of gigantic swimming lizards, reptiles with wings, huge hairy elephants, sharks with teeth the size of your hand.
NEWS
December 18, 2001 | MEGAN GARVEY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The White House said Monday that it is "increasingly looking like" anthrax sent through the mail system came from a source in the United States, a clue that may signal a new phase in the investigation. White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said the belief that the anthrax came from a domestic supply was based on "scientific means," but declined to elaborate.
OPINION
September 19, 1999
Re "Kansans, Evolution Coexist Tenuously," Sept. 12: The Kansas Board of Education is right to delete testing on evolution. It seems to be a hypothesis unable to gather sufficient evidence to advance to the status of theory, much less fact, and unlike other scientific theories, has no proven predictive power whatsoever. Even as plausible theory, it stands alone in science. It can't be tested. It can't be proven. It has no practical application. Yet it can't be denied. At the urging of the National Academy of Sciences it is presented in the schools and the media as if it were fact better proven than any other scientific theory.
OPINION
January 3, 2009
Christine Maggiore, who was diagnosed with HIV in 1992, waged a long, bitter campaign denouncing the prevailing scientific wisdom on the causes and treatment of AIDS. She fiercely contested the overwhelming consensus that the HIV virus causes AIDS, and that preventive approaches and antiretrovirals can help thwart the disease's spread and prolong the lives of those who suffer from it. Her campaign ended this week with her death at age 52.
NATIONAL
May 6, 2005 | P.J. Huffstutter, Times Staff Writer
In this rural swath of northern Kansas, where the grass rolls thick and green to the horizon, a white cross dominates the landscape. Kathy Martin, a member of the state board of education, and her family built it on their farm this spring, gathering weathered chunks of limestone from the horse pasture and laying them on a hillside. The cross is a proud expression of Martin's faith.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 7, 1994
While I commend you for your editorial, "Why Bad Science Can't Be Good Education" (Feb. 27), on the threat to science education by pseudoscience from the left and right, I must take issue with your statement that " . . . evolution has been proven beyond any doubt . . . " The problem with this well-meaning but misleading sentence is that a scientific theory (in contrast to a mathematical theorem) can never be proved. We scientists prefer to use the term confirm. We confirm theories, we don't prove them.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 24, 1993
Hearty congratulations to the Vista school board (Aug. 14). The people of Vista, and I might add California, want creation and evolution theories taught as theories. It's the skills to evaluate theories that must be taught, not the theories. It absolutely must be this way because in the finite mind of man, neither creation nor evolution can satisfactorily be proved as fact. Evolution theory is the secular, limited, physical knowledge of origins. Creation theory is the same knowledge viewed from the perspective that it was planned and is controlled by a master creator.
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