Re: [asa] The term Darwinism

From: Michael Roberts <>
Date: Fri Jun 26 2009 - 11:07:29 EDT


156 Hundpoopstrasse, Marienbad


Der Bed und die breakfaschist Kinder, ja! Der daschund ist verboten!



            Kiss me schnell!



Leibe Mütter,


Well, here were are on holiday again. Managed to get the same room as last year - Eva was afraid they'd put us in number 5, and she so hates that creaky bed!


Thought I'd tell you I brought some holiday reading. Giving Nietzsche a miss this year - can't sleep if I read that. Brought that old English scientist's book you gave me when I was a kid. What a laugh! I mean, come on, Mum, was that old nutter really hoping to get into my memoirs? He'll have to get famous some other way: he's certainly not influencing me. Anyway, what would it prove? I'd have to spend time turning his ideas round so I could use them and I've got more to do. What a prat I'm going to look if I stand up at Nuremberg and say everybody evolved out of the sea or the same bunch of monkeys or whatever. I'm not telling these lads Germans come from the same place as Poles and Gypsies. If the evolution thing's true, we must have evolved separately and that's all about it. If there was ever a single cell, it was a National Socialist cell!


Oh, that's the gong for tea, better go. Remember to water the plants. Eva says Heil.


Your loving son,

                                Adolf X


PS We're going to invade the beach after tea! Then build some sandschlössen! What fun!

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Dennis Venema
  To: Dehler, Bernie
  Cc: asa
  Sent: Thursday, June 25, 2009 11:52 PM
  Subject: Re: [asa] The term Darwinism

  Miller is referring to "Darwinism" in the gradualist sense. Simon Conway Morris uses the term in the same way.

Dennis R. Venema, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Chair
Department of Biology
Trinity Western University
7600 Glover Rd., Langley, BC
604-513-2121 ext 3446

  Dehler, Bernie wrote:

I think if you resurrected Darwin from the dead, and gave him and Ken Miller a test on evolution, Ken Miller would score much higher. If not, it means our educational system is worthless (if a modern Ph. D in biology and practicing scientist can't beat a scientist of over 100 years ago).

That's why I rather follow Ken Miller over Darwin. And when I say "follow" I mean he's a role-model of sorts, not that I believe and parrot everything they say. I don't see how anybody could follow and agree with someone 100%.


-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of Cameron Wybrow
Sent: Thursday, June 25, 2009 3:40 PM
To: asa
Subject: Re: [asa] The term Darwinism


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.


-----Original Message-----
From: [] On
Behalf Of Michael Roberts
Sent: Thursday, June 25, 2009 1:35 PM
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

From: [] On Behalf Of
Ted Davis []
Sent: Thursday, June 25, 2009 4:07 PM
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
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
with him and also by those who didn't. Today of course the word seems to
used mainly as a pejorative, esp by IDists who use it in two quite
senses: "Darwinism" can mean simply evolution by natural selection,
operating on random mutations; it can also mean an atheistic world view
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
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
in this way. That is, "Darwinism" is not unique. For example, after
Mendel's work was rediscovered ca. 1900, his theory of inheritance was
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
the time. If I thought about this long enough I could probably come up
more nice examples.


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Received on Fri Jun 26 11:08:28 2009

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