47 min

#33 | Discussion | "I have a theory"... do you, though‪?‬ Science! With Friends

    • Science

It’s Charles Darwin’s birthday, and the topic of this week’s episode is a natural selection to commemorate the occasion! As part of our recurring series featuring some of the most misunderstood words in science, we’re taking a closer look at that thorny word—“theory”—which is sometimes invoked to undermine the value and validity of Darwin’s pathbreaking work. Jocelyn and Bradley consider how the scientific meaning of the word “theory” differs from its common usage, showing how the progress of science relies on a robust feedback mechanism among facts, theories, and hypotheses. They also discuss how and why our contemporary cultural dialogue on scientific topics benefits from understanding the history of science—and, more specifically, the role celebrated individuals like Darwin do and do not play in that history. Ultimately, the hosts set the record straight on what it really means to say, “Evolution is a theory, not a fact.”

Links:

Darwin’s Darkest Hour (NOVA): https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/evolution/darwins-darkest-hour.html

Janet Browne’s Darwin biography
v. 1, Voyaging: https://www.amazon.com/Charles-Darwin-Biography-Vol-Voyaging/dp/0691026068
v. 2, The Power of Place: https://www.amazon.com/Charles-Darwin-Biography-Power-Place/dp/0691114390

The Onion on “Intelligent Falling”: https://www.theonion.com/evangelical-scientists-refute-gravity-with-new-intellig-1819567984

Contact Science! With Friends (especially if you’re a scientist interested in a lively conversation about your science and science story) at Gmail or Twitter!
• Gmail: sciwithfriends@gmail.com
• Twitter @SciWithFriends
• Facebook: Science With Friends

Science! With Friends Podcast is created and hosted by Jocelyn Bosley (@SciTalker) and Bradley Nordell (@bradleynordell) and Produced by the Basement Creators Network. You can find them at https://www.basementcreators.network/

Sound Editing by Vince Ruhl

It’s Charles Darwin’s birthday, and the topic of this week’s episode is a natural selection to commemorate the occasion! As part of our recurring series featuring some of the most misunderstood words in science, we’re taking a closer look at that thorny word—“theory”—which is sometimes invoked to undermine the value and validity of Darwin’s pathbreaking work. Jocelyn and Bradley consider how the scientific meaning of the word “theory” differs from its common usage, showing how the progress of science relies on a robust feedback mechanism among facts, theories, and hypotheses. They also discuss how and why our contemporary cultural dialogue on scientific topics benefits from understanding the history of science—and, more specifically, the role celebrated individuals like Darwin do and do not play in that history. Ultimately, the hosts set the record straight on what it really means to say, “Evolution is a theory, not a fact.”

Links:

Darwin’s Darkest Hour (NOVA): https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/evolution/darwins-darkest-hour.html

Janet Browne’s Darwin biography
v. 1, Voyaging: https://www.amazon.com/Charles-Darwin-Biography-Vol-Voyaging/dp/0691026068
v. 2, The Power of Place: https://www.amazon.com/Charles-Darwin-Biography-Power-Place/dp/0691114390

The Onion on “Intelligent Falling”: https://www.theonion.com/evangelical-scientists-refute-gravity-with-new-intellig-1819567984

Contact Science! With Friends (especially if you’re a scientist interested in a lively conversation about your science and science story) at Gmail or Twitter!
• Gmail: sciwithfriends@gmail.com
• Twitter @SciWithFriends
• Facebook: Science With Friends

Science! With Friends Podcast is created and hosted by Jocelyn Bosley (@SciTalker) and Bradley Nordell (@bradleynordell) and Produced by the Basement Creators Network. You can find them at https://www.basementcreators.network/

Sound Editing by Vince Ruhl

47 min

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