I wish you would ask this in a science section (like Biology). The fact that a concept of SCIENCE is debated on political or religious terms is appalling! Science isn't determined by political ideology, or by vote. Scientific principles are not decided on what "moral message" we want reinforced.
Science is NOT a political issue, it is NOT a democracy. The theory with the most evidence wins.
>"If evolution is a scientific fact, then it is replicatable and reproducable. How close are we to evolving or transforming a species into a new one? "
Let's define our terms.
When a biologist says "evolution is a fact" it's fair to ask what HE *means* by the word evolution in that sentence. It is not fair to judge his statement based on YOUR definition of what you think 'evolution' means. True? Isn't that fair?
To a biologist, the word "evolution" just means "genetic change". That's it.
Here is the definition of evolution in biologyonline.org:
"(1) The change in genetic composition of a population over successive generations, which may be caused by natural selection, inbreeding, hybridization, or mutation.
(2) The sequence of events depicting the evolutionary development of a species or of a group of related organisms; phylogeny. "
So evolution CAN include "you know, transitional forms" ... but evolution ALSO includes the breeding of seedless watermelons and chihuahuas.
It is in THAT sense of the word 'evolution' that scientists will say that 'evolution is a FACT'. It is a FACT that species change genetically over time. It is replicatable and reproducible. (By the way, those mean the same thing.)
>"How close are we to evolving or transforming a species into a new one? "
We have reproduced speciation many times in the lab ... the splitting of a species into two species that to not interbreed. We can do this with fast-reproducing species like plants and various kinds of insects.
And we are pretty close to achieving speciation in dogs by use of reproductive isolation of breeds. Chihuahuas and great danes are theoretically able to cross-fertilize, but usually with fatal results. So if we have not yet achieved a ring species, in another couple-hundred years we will have.
If you mean a Homo erectus "transforming" into a Homo sapiens, then of course we can't reproduce 1 million years of evolution in a laboratory. But again, that is not a requirement to demonstrate the FACT of evolution ... the FACT that species experience genetic change over time.
>"If evolution is scientific theory, then it is a testable theory (experiment) and not a fact. We can't make it happen (experiment) but we can see large amounts of evidence that show that it did."
Yes. Very nicely put.
My only objection is that you position the word 'theory' as if it is 'not a fact'.
A 'theory' in science is not the opposite of 'fact.' It is not a statement of confidence in the truth of a statement. A 'theory' is not an 'unproven fact' or a 'fact in dispute'.
A 'theory' in science is an *EXPLANATION* for facts.
So the 'theory of evolution' is the EXPLANATION for the 'fact of evolution.' They are two separate things.
Just as the 'theory of gravity' is the EXPLANATION for the 'fact of gravity'. They are two separate things.
>"We call gravity a theory also because we cant make it. But we can see facts like a ball falling. "
No we call it a 'theory' because it is an EXPLANATION for facts like a ball falling.
>"Now, many people will say evolution is a fact. Period. Even though they can't evolve something. These people are religious because they accept evolution as fact based on faith,"
No. These are people who are using the word 'evolution' and 'fact' in very specific, scientific ways. They are using the word 'evolution' to mean "genetic change", and they are using the word 'fact' to mean *repeatable observation*.
There's no faith involved at all.
Again, this is why debating this in a *political* context is a disaster. In the halls of science, EVERYBODY SPEAKS THE SAME LANGUAGE. They have very precise meanings of what words like 'evolution', 'fact', 'theory', 'law', 'evidence', etc. all mean.
I.e. in science, whenever there is a discussion, everybody stops and asks "if we are debating X, then what do YOU mean by X when you support it, and then I will accept YOUR definition as what I am disputing." If the two parties don't even agree on what the terms mean, then they don't even start the discussion.
That's why scientists arrive at consensus, while in politics we are losing daily our ability to reach any kind of agreement in politics at all.
>"I actually have a faith the humans evolved from a past primate."
I don't. I don't accept ANY scientific claim on "faith." Ever.
"Not a fact and not a good theory though."
What makes a "good theory" is evidence. And the evidence for humans having evolved from earlier primates is abundant.
"No one has made an ape into a human."
And nobody has ever created gravity or a star or made a crater on Mars. But that doesn't mean that we don't have good "theories" (explanations) for falling objects, the formation of stars, or what causes craters on Mars.
Again, you are confused about what words like 'fact' and 'theory' MEAN in science. You don't have to replicate something to qualify as either a fact or a theory. You have to replicate *observations*, not the theory itself!