Re: virus: Free thought and control

David McFadzean (
Fri, 17 Oct 1997 10:23:44 -0600

At 09:23 AM 10/17/97 CST+6CDT, chardin wrote:

>David, let me put it this way. It is a fact that certain birds
>change colors to fit their environment. It is a fact that a body in
>motion tends to remain in motion unless an outside influence is
>exerted. It is a THEORY that mankind may have evolved from a
>different species and it is a THEORY that some 19 billion years ago
>there was a huge bang and the universe began to fly apart. While

Facts are observations that need to be explained. Theories are
conceptual models that explain the facts. The fact that life
exists today has at least two competing theories: evolution and
creation. (Of course there are many variations of each, including
combinations of the two.) One theory is not objectively better
than the other, it depends entirely on the criteria used to judge
them. If the criteria are logical consistency, explanatory power,
fruitfulness, and other scientific-type criteria, then you can
safely say that evolution is better. If the criteria are tradition,
mythological beauty, simplicity, etc., then you can safely say
that creation is a better theory. In any case, merely knowing that
something is a theory doesn't tell you anything about how well
it explains the facts. After all, the existence of the sun is
"just" a theory that explains that big yellow thing in the sky.
See what I mean?

>this theory does seem to explain why we have an
>expanding universe, I cannot claim that it is a fact that 19 billion
>years ago a big bang did happen. I can say that if the Big Bang is
>true, then such and such. That is permissible. But I cannot in all
>honesty assert it as a known fact. It is my understanding, BTW, that
>Stephen Hawking is very uncomfortable with the idea of the Big Bang
>because of its implications for a creator. Yet, he believes facts

>From what I have read of Stephen Hawking's I don't think this is
a fair characterization.

David McFadzean       
Memetic Engineer      
Church of Virus