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“Darwinist” Is A Rhetorical Trick December 22, 2009

Posted by Dwight Furrow in Dwight Furrow's Posts, Science.
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Brian Leiter complains about one of my pet peeves:

It is a shame when otherwise intelligent people fall prey to one of the favorite rhetorical ploys of the ID [Intelligent Design] conmen, namely, referring to one of the best-established theories in the natural sciences–the theory of evolution by natural selection–as “Darwinism” and referring to those (essentially all biologists, and almost all educated people) who accept the theory as “Darwinists.”  The phraseology is no accident on the part of the ID shills:  it is meant to suggest that a discovery about regularities in the natural world made originally by a man named Charles Darwin, and since confirmed and elaborated by thousands of other scientists, is something like the ‘ideology’ of an individual, so that “Darwinism” and “Darwinist” should have the vaguely pejorative connotation that, at least in American public culture, “Marxism” and “Marxist” have.

The theory of evolution is a well-confirmed, scientific fact precisely because it is not the ideology of an individual but the product of thousands of independent researchers.

It is not something that Darwin dreamed up. He was the catalyst only and the evidence supporting the theory has far surpassed anything available to Darwin.

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