Re: Debate with Moorad

John W Burgeson (
Tue, 3 Nov 1998 15:57:07 -0700

I wrote:

> I meant "evolution-in-the-full-sense" to specifically include
> abiogenesis, of course, and not any particular theory. In particular, I
> do not include in it the theory of common descent.

Steve replied:

"I think you would be better off coming up with a new name for your
concept then, since it specifically includes abiogenesis, which is not
normally included by biologists' use of the term (if I understand their
usage correctly), and need include (as far as I can tell) nothing at all
that _is_ normally covered by their usage. I think most biologists would

be rather puzzled if, say, you told them that common descent and
descent with modification were both falsifiable, but that evolution
was not."

I concur with that, Steve. That is why I used "EITFS." I is in this
sense that the philosophical Darwinists such as Dawkins and Sagan use it.
Certainly Julian Huxley (see his book RELIGION WITHOUT REVELATION).

You are quite right that a new term is needed. That, in great part, has
been what this thread has been about -- at least from my viewpoint (I
think from Moorad's also). I've used "Darwinism" for the term but I'm not
real keen on it (Phillip Johnson apparently is) and others here seem also
to not like it/understand it.

It's one reason I seldom use the single word "evolution," as it means so
many different things to so many different people.

In hindsight, I think EITFS was not a very good choice either, since
"full sense" carries with it implications of current theory.

I am influenced, I admit, by the 1894 (1896?) Encyclopaedia Britannica
article I found recently in which Huxley was said to be arguing that
abiogenesis was properly subsumed under the term "universal evolution."
The article mat be over 100 years old; it made sense to me, at least, as
a useful definition. As you observe, of course, it is not a definition
that has survived to any extent (I believe the ICR folks use "evolution"
in this sense from time to time).

Meanwhile, we must use words with which to communicate! And sometimes
this is tough!


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