If we can just eliminate ALL facts, think how much brainspace the kids would have for concepts!
Except it doesn't work that way. Science is tedious. You observe, observe and observe, and try to tease some facts out of those observations. Put those facts together and soon a structure begins to emerge -- a concept which will might have some predictive value. And then you confirm that prediction with more observation.
It is nice to be able to learn facts directly, reading the observations of others and not having to invest the time they did to arrive at a conclusion. But to skip to concepts directly? Kind of like reading literature before you have a reading vocabulary. Come to think of it, that's been tried as well.
I'm going to have to agree with SamG's comment above. Good teachers can put some structure to a long list of facts and get the students to understand the overriding concept. But there is a place for committing facts to memory in education. It's not a random coincidence that people who are good at trivia and spitting out facts also are usually very smart people. If you want to speak a foreign language, you need to know the vocabulary, and that takes memorizing. If you want to speak science, you need to know a bunch of facts in a certain area of science.
Wole siebie lubiaca ludzi niz siebie kochajaca ludzkosc.