The·o·ry [thee-uh-ree, theer-ee] noun, plural the·o·ries. 1. a coherent group of tested general propositions, commonly regarded as correct, that can be used as principles of explanation and prediction for a class of phenomena: Einstein’s theory of relativity. Synonyms: principle, law, doctrine. 2. a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural and subject to experimentation, in contrast to well-established propositions that are regarded as reporting matters of actual fact. Synonyms: idea, notion hypothesis, postulate. Antonyms: practice, verification, corroboration, substantiation. 3. Mathematics . a body of principles, theorems, or the like, belonging to one subject: number theory. 4. the branch of a science or art that deals with its principles or methods, as distinguished from its practice: music theory. 5. a particular conception or view of something to be done or of the method of doing it; a system of rules or principles: conflicting theories of how children best learn to read. 6. contemplation or speculation: the theory that there is life on other planets. 7. guess or conjecture: My theory is that he never stops to think words have consequences.

Many people, when attacking the scientific theory of evolution, concentrate solely on definition number 7. Ignoring the more prominent definitions, they attack on the ground of number 7 definition because they are unable to grasp definition numbers 1, 2, and 3. As I have said before: in a religious culture, one must argue for mysteries’ sake lest the unexplained become the explained and religious indoctrination becomes challenged. That is not the sole purpose of this post, this post is to serve as some information for those who cling tenuously to their “facts” that evolution theory is a guess or conjecture. So, let us get to it then and without further ado.

The theory of relativity is correct, yet it is labeled as a theory, which confuses people because in their minds definitions number 1-3 are alien concepts of the word theory. The same is said of evolution, though a large cadre of creationists decry it as being defined by guess or conjecture. It is not. So, let’s explain it in some detail with the characteristics of another form of labeling, the medical theory. It is currently the theory of medicine to treat cancer with radioactivity because it kills the cancer, even though it kills normal and healthy tissue too. The reason this treatment is called theory is because there is room, scientifically, for development and refinement. The theory of cancer treatment does not mean that it does not work or that is not “true”. It is, by every sense of the word, true and a good way to effectively treat cancer. Medical science prefers to label it a theory because that is the best definition for any plausible, accurate, and true system to apply because they are obviously open to developments and refining the system as best they can. It can be said that labeling something a theory is science’s way of saying, “We don’t have all the answers, but this is a true and proven method that currently stands” because science does not create boxes for which all facts should be nicely and neatly black and white. In science, theory does not mean “guess or conjecture” as the word does colloquially. It means, “This is fact and correct which is subject to expansion and refining as scientific advances allow”.

Evolution, the development and refinement of a species to survive being defined by natural selection (or simply put: the strong survive), has been proven as correct or true. How you might ask? Well let’s observe an organism of a virus. In order for the virus to survive, it has change the way it effects people to avoid the immune system from recognizing it and killing it. The main drive for organisms, and humans too, is to survive. Survival of the fittest, which is natural selection in a simple form, is constantly at play worldwide. A lioness will catch the slow zebra or gazelle, forcing other zebras and gazelles to get faster. A whitetail deer will move from an unsafe place to a safe place during hunting season to survive. This is natural selection. The whitetail deer that stay behind in the hunting grounds might be killed to feed someone’s family. Natural selection happens when the smart deer hide and the stupid deer do not. Natural selection leads to evolution of a species in many ways. It can affect them physically, where the species is forced to become strong for its environment so it can survive; thus changing its physical appearance, immune systems, and what have you to succeed in surviving. It can affect their behavior, where the species takes action mentally to survive. In can effect them in many other ways that all lead to the primal instinct to survive. Evolution of a species, no matter what type, shows up everywhere across the board. So why not humans?

Creationists point to their text, which tells them humans were designed by god, and actively point to this as being the answer for how humans got to where they are today. This is, categorically, rubbish. The improbability that humans simply appeared on the earth is as ridiculous as claiming the world is only 6000 years old, that dinosaur fossils were placed by Lucifer to confuse and confound, that dinosaurs existed when humans did, and that we got different languages when god was angry that people attempted to build a tower that reached to heaven. Nature does not work that way. It is not the way one survives from generation to generation. Immune systems change and adapt to successfully ward off disease or illness. Brains evolve. Bodies evolve. People evolved. All of which happened because of the need to survive. The facts, if you like, can be found with paleontologists who are happy to explain what happened with each stage of the evolution of many species during geological changes by evidence gathered from fossils. Fossils are not a satanic creation, but in fact a testimony to evolution and are properly dated and categorized by proven scientific methods that are (ironically) called theories. The proof is in the paleontology. It doesn’t take much to fire up the search engine and get informed about it. The reason evolution is decried and questioned is because a group of people believes in an ancient, Bronze Age text that told them so. They fire up arguments that are ill-informed and not well conceived in order to poke holes in what they call “guess and conjecture” instead of firing up those neurons for real and actually learning something. It is far too important to some to continue to keep their heads buried in the bible instead of buried in real information not constructed from ideas of early humans which was used to explain the unexplainable of its day.

Humans, at base, are natural creatures that are required to obey the natural order of things and evolve as creatures that are bent on survival. They are not exempt from natural selection, that only the strong survive. They are, every day, practicing natural selection all over the globe. This can be proven by the person that says: “Hold my beer and watch this.” Natural selection at its best. Evolution is responsible for getting us here where we are today by selecting the strong to survive. In arrogance, developed from a religious text (yes, pick one), humans believe that they hold “dominion” of the world as everything was created for them. In arrogance, we have treated our world accordingly and are killing it slowly, but that is a post for another day. If you really want to see natural selection at its best, look for the Darwin Awards online. The strongest are surviving. With the evolution of medical theories, people are living longer than they have just several decades ago. Immunizations have destroyed the illnesses that once plagued us. Our science has carried us into a new age of evolution, expounding upon itself daily with breakthroughs and proof that help us survive and explain our survival in a manner that is intellectual, reasonable and rational; instead of preventing growth and development outside the definitions applied by the god theory, which is guess and conjecture.

As more knowledge comes to light, scientifically, the theory of evolution itself will evolve as that is what science intends by calling it a theory. It’s not so much that it can be proven wrong, it has already been proven to be right. It is that developments made by science could refine its proofs not abrogate its legitimacy. Once something is proven, it takes a lot of proof to tear down the theory, something which science encourages. Science encourages refinement, new developments and change that brings definition closer to realization. It is not inflexible, defined rigidly, or inalienable. It is something that is constantly improving, changing, and evolving if you will. It is misunderstood by the misinformed and denied its due process by those who wish to have rigid definitions, inflexible excuses, and irrational preconceived notions so that they can cling to the ridiculous and call out the rational. I am willing to concede that everyone is entitled to their own processes, but when that process impedes growth, flexibility, and truth, I just can’t see a way of justifying it. While the Creationist looks for new ways to ambush evolution, there are many scientists working to forward the survival of a species in the most ancient way possible: evolving processes to guarantee survival of the species.

That is what theory is all about.