Meanings: “Believe In…”

June 29, 2011

Should we say “I believe in evolution….” in the same way we say “I believe in God…” or “I believe in the democratic process….?”  Mark Liberman at Language Log argues this may lead more to confusion than to clarity. Mostly we use the phrase “I believe in….” to refer to ideas that are not subject to empirical warrant.

Be sure to click through to the Faye Flam video, and the original that it spoofs.

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About Doug Bennett

Doug Bennett is Emeritus President and Professor of Politics at Earlham College. He has a wife, Ellen, and two sons, Tommy (born 1984) and Robbie (born 2003).
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