Re: [asa] The term Darwinism

From: Cameron Wybrow <>
Date: Thu Jun 25 2009 - 18:39:50 EDT


You say that you follow the thought of Miller, but you don't appear to know
it well. About the time of the Dover Trial, Miller described himself as
"100% Darwinian and 100% Catholic". What do you make of that, if, as you
say, no one could be a "Darwinist" today? Why didn't he say "100%
evolutionist and 100% Catholic"?

Behe, who has debated endlessly with Ken Miller, live, in print, and on the
internet, says that it would be hard to find a more orthodox Darwinian than

I agree with you in that I also appreciate Darwin, but don't follow him.
And that's why I don't follow Ken Miller.

P. S. Interestingly enough, Ken Miller tells us that he believes in
"Darwin's God" (FDG, last sentence). How do you believe in the God of an
agnostic? Oh, wait; there's a quotation immediately above; Miller means
that he believes in the "Creator" diplomatically inserted into the final
paragraph of the sixth edition of the Origin -- the Creator of those first
few life forms, the Creator whose very existence Darwin was hazy about, who
is gratuitous as far as the main part of Darwin's theory is concerned, and
whom the origin-of-life folks, all Darwinians, are working overtime (in line
with Darwin's private speculation about a "warm pool") to make into a
redundant hypothesis. Miller believes in *that* God. I wonder if the
current Pope would agree that belief in *that* God is "100% Catholic"?

By the way, speaking of Catholics, are there any statistics regarding the
percentage of ASA members who are Catholic? And are any of the regular
contributors to this list Catholic?


----- Original Message -----
From: "Dehler, Bernie" <>
Cc: <>
Sent: Thursday, June 25, 2009 5:39 PM
Subject: RE: [asa] The term Darwinism

>" Newtonianism? Copernicanism, Ptolemaic,"
> Aren't those terms all referring to historical ideas, whereas "Darwinism"
> is an attempt to make it sound like people today are following the Darwin
> of over 100 years ago? Come on, the theory of evolution has progressed so
> much since Darwin. Darwin is simply a father- a guy who got the ball
> rolling. Science is changing/updating so quickly... who could be a
> "Darwinist" today? "Evolutionist," yes. "Darwinist," no.
> I am an evolutionist, because I accept evolution. I don't follow Darwin,
> but I do appreciate him. I more closely follow people like Ken Miller,
> Francis Collins, Denis Lamoureux, George Murphy, etc.
> I think a better description than "Darwinist" would be "Dawkinist." But
> Dawkins probably can't call himself that- just like Darwin probably
> couldn't call himself a Darwinist. If Darwin was a Darwinist, then
> Dawkins should be a Dawkinist.
> ...Bernie
> -----Original Message-----
> From: [] On
> Behalf Of Michael Roberts
> Sent: Thursday, June 25, 2009 1:35 PM
> Cc:
> Subject: Re: [asa] The term Darwinism
> Newtonianism? Copernicanism, Ptolemaic,
> Some in maths too
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Alexanian, Moorad" <>
> To: "Ted Davis" <>; <>
> Cc: <>
> Sent: Thursday, June 25, 2009 9:12 PM
> Subject: RE: [asa] The term Darwinism
> Of course, there is no similar usage in Physics. Does that tell us
> something?
> Moorad
> ________________________________________
> From: [] On Behalf Of
> Ted Davis []
> Sent: Thursday, June 25, 2009 4:07 PM
> To:
> Cc:
> Subject: RE: [asa] The term Darwinism
>>>> "Dehler, Bernie" <> 06/25/09 2:13 PM >>> wrote:
> Personally, I think it is slanderous to Darwin to call anything
> "Darwinism."
> I don't think he would appreciate it if alive.
> ***
> Ted comments:
> Well, Bernie, you and Charles Darwin will just have to get over it. The
> term "Darwinism" was quite widely used in his day, both by people who
> agreed
> with him and also by those who didn't. Today of course the word seems to
> be
> used mainly as a pejorative, esp by IDists who use it in two quite
> different
> senses: "Darwinism" can mean simply evolution by natural selection,
> operating on random mutations; it can also mean an atheistic world view
> with
> all of the cultural ecoutrements. The fact that it's often unclear just
> which meaning is intended by the word is, I think, probably deliberate in
> at
> least some cases: some advocates of ID are happy to use the outrage
> generated by the latter meaning to enlist creationists and others who also
> think the former, non-ideological meaning is to be opposed.
> It's not unheard of in the history of science to refer to theories by
> name,
> in this way. That is, "Darwinism" is not unique. For example, after
> Mendel's work was rediscovered ca. 1900, his theory of inheritance was
> often
> called "Mendelism," although he was no longer living to have an opinion on
> the matter. Another example would be "Mesmerism," though of course its
> "scientific" status would be hotly contested today, even more than it was
> at
> the time. If I thought about this long enough I could probably come up
> with
> more nice examples.
> Ted
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Received on Thu Jun 25 18:41:39 2009

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