Darwin’s Origin of Species in an Appropriate Setting

Scientists: Use Endorse or Affirm

Let the Word Believe Be Reserved for the People of Blind Faith

Tony Berard
3 min readFeb 22, 2024

--

A Work of Fiction that Many People Believe Anyway

I am in debate with a theist. I stated scientists don’t believe in evolution; they accept it based on evidence for it. He gave a dictionary definition of belief using the word acceptance. They are synonyms I guess, but they are not interchangeable. Faith is blind acceptance while some other word should be correct for what scientists are doing with acceptance. Can you help me out with this subtlety?

ChatGPT-4

You’ve touched on a nuanced aspect of language and epistemology (the study of knowledge). The distinction you’re making between “belief” in the context of faith and “acceptance” in the context of scientific evidence is an important one.

In everyday language, “belief” and “acceptance” can be synonyms, but their connotations differ significantly in specific contexts, especially in science versus religion.

  1. Belief often implies a trust or confidence in something without the necessity of empirical evidence. In religious contexts, belief is typically based on faith, which does not require empirical evidence and is not subject to falsification or testing.
  2. Acceptance, in a scientific context, refers to the acknowledgment of a concept or theory as valid or likely true based on the preponderance of evidence. It is provisional, meaning that it is subject to change with new evidence. Scientists accept theories and hypotheses when the evidence supporting them is strong, but they remain open to revising their views if new evidence contradicts the current understanding.

The key distinction lies in the basis for the acceptance or belief and the willingness to revise one’s position. In science, acceptance is based on evidence and is always provisional, subject to revision or rejection based on new evidence. This approach is fundamentally different from faith-based belief, which is not primarily based on empirical evidence and is often held as an absolute or unchanging truth.

A suitable word that captures what scientists do with theories and evidence is endorse. Scientists endorse theories when they have been robustly supported by empirical evidence. Endorsement implies a formal and reasoned approval that is based on evidence and subject to change if new evidence emerges.

Another term to consider is affirm, which indicates a declaration of support or truth of something based on evidence. Scientists affirm the validity of theories that are strongly supported by empirical evidence, but this affirmation is always subject to revision.

This distinction is crucial in debates about science and religion because it highlights the difference between holding beliefs based on faith versus accepting theories based on evidence.

Thanks for reading me.

--

--

Tony Berard

I have lately been constructing arguments against God and the supernatural. I have proven that stuff doesn't exist with science equations. I aspire to be great.