Recently, Neil Rickert wrote to me:
“To me, the technical distinction between “Darwinian” and “Darwinism” is that “Darwinian” is a adjective while “Darwinism” is a noun.
Please start a separate thread to help clear this up.”
Similarly, this post was added recently at UD and has generated some feedback from TSZers who dialogue there:
“Everyone now knows that Darwinism, adn [sic] its parent materialism, are ridiculous, but for some people they are the only possible position. Those people would abandon the follies in an instant if they could just come up with a reliably non-theistic alternative. Meantime, the public face of Darwinism is dominated by anti-religious fanatics and self-condemned trolls. That is a key reason we can dispense with any notion that Darwinism is some kind of a science. A real science offers few attractions for such types.” – Denyse O’Leary
Elisabeth replied asking: “Do you seriously believe that this is true?”
Kantian Naturalist responded saying: “Elizabeth, of course Denyse seriously believes what she wrote in (7)! Everyone here believes that — that is the whole attitude of the ID movement!”
jerry piped in, saying: “The real reason is that Darwinism is not a science is because if fails the scientific process in any form usually considered science.”
Then Elisabeth replied, saying: “The vast majority of people who have a view on “Darwinism” don’t think it “ridiculous”…” adding that “my encounter with Darwinism has mostly been in science text books, lessons, and documentaries.”
So does Elisabeth think ‘Darwinism’ is a science or not? She wrote: “yes, I’m a Darwinist.” … “I don’t consider Darwinism an ideology at all.” … “I am not a Darwinist in any ideological sense of the word.”
Neil Rickert says: “I’m not quite sure what they [IDists] mean by Darwinism. I suspect they mean evolution by entirely natural means.”
Here is what I wrote previously on TSZ, and which prompted N. Rickert to suggest that I write a thread about it:
Darwinian evolution is the ‘natural scientific theory,’ while ‘Darwinism’ is the ideology.
technically, a ‘Darwinist’ refers to a person, not an ideology. A Darwinist is an ideologue for Darwinism, the ideology. Person/ideology.
Neil wrote: “It [As Gregory uses it] is not how I use “Darwinist”, and it is not how most biologists seem to use “Darwinist”.”
Yet I wrote to clarify:
Just as Thomism and Marxism, Malthusianism and Lamarckism, Taylorism and Fordism, Thatcherism and Cameronism are ideologies, so is Darwinism.
Should we give precedence to biologists’ usage of ‘Darwinism’ as the final say, as if Darwin said nothing about humanity, culture, society also? AFAIK, Neil is not a biologist anyway. Let me confess openly that I am not a biologist and do not idolise biology as holding the definitive meaning of ‘Darwinism.’
Walter Kloover wrote:
“I think that within the mainstream scientific community, Darwinism refers to the theory of evolution, colored by Darwin’s focus on natural selection. It can be contrasted to other scientific viewpoints on evolution. In this usage “Darwinism” is scientific, not ideological.”
So, which is it: science or ideology? Or both? Or neither?
I’d like to survey people at TSZ. Is this encouraged?
Survey Question – Is ‘Darwinism’ a ‘scientific theory,’ an ‘ideology’ or something else?
Bill Demsbki calls ‘Darwinism’ a ‘scientific theory’ (2004). What do participants at TSZ say about it?