Gravity and Evolution (Expelled Follow-Up)

One of the most used arguments that I received in comments on my post on Expelled was that theory cannot be limited to “just a theory” because theory involves (as quoted from the Heritage Dictionary)

Theory: from American Heritage Dictionary–
A set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena, especially one that has been repeatedly tested or is widely accepted and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena.

The argument goes that the theory of evolution is much like the theory of gravity. It is a group of facts that are gathered together under an umbrella to explain it all nicely. Now this might be the English language getting in the way a bit here, but I have a problem with the scientific community using theory to apply to evolution here. Theory has at least 6 other definitions, not the least of which is:

Abstract reasoning; speculation: / An assumption based on limited information or knowledge; a conjecture / A belief or principle that guides action or assists comprehension or judgment (from the American Heritage Dictionary)

Like I said, this might be a problem with the English language more than it is a problem with evolution itself, and you might think that I am nitpicking. But there is an issue here beyond the language used to describe the ideas presented.

To use theory to group facts together, especially repeatedly tested ones, one must be able to produce results to back themselves up. Where is the reproducible proof of life starting in a puddle? Where is the proof of evolution from single-celled organism to complex human being? How can we see proof of this?

True, we do see micro-evolution (or adaptation) in nature, such as cave salamanders who do not grow eyes because they do not use them in their environment. But macro-evolution? How can we see that? Yes, apes and humans share remarkably similar DNA, but how close is an ape’s to the net step down the ladder in the animal kingdom?

It has been argued that if one were to take my logic to it’s extreme conclusion, I should tell teenagers that gravity is nothing more than a theory and that they can believe whatever they want keeps them on the earth. However, I can prove gravity simply by dropping something. It falls to the earth. The theory of gravity is proven to be true. But evolution on a large scale? It has not been proven beyond adaptation on a micro-evolutionary scale. No missing link. No real tie from one species up to the next (and no, similar DNA in apes and humans is not definitive). Where is the proof?

I realize that there are more questions here than answers, and I cannot offer you any more tonight.

UPDATE: I have locked this and other expelled-related posts to comments. This is not because I feel that my arguments are not worth commenting to, or because I feel that I am being unjustly persecuted for my beliefs. I simply am tired of putting up with people who feel that they have a right to come in here and insult my intelligence, my ability to think rationally, and my desire to grow in my education based upon their reading of one (or 4) posts I have posted on my thoughts on the subject of evolution. I have left the last straw up on this post and have left my comment to it as well. Feel free to read away. To those who have been gracious and humble in our limited dialogue, I apologize for taking this action. I have enjoyed the small conversation we were able to have (and had hoped to foster with these posts).