Many Darwinists are now finding that it no longer suits them to be called “Darwinists.” But, as we all know, calling a tail a leg doesn’t change that fact that a dog still only has four legs. Likewise, backing away from standard terminology and assigning to themselves other labels doesn’t change the fact that most evolutionists are indeed Darwinists.
Denyse O’Leary has a nice blog entry about this increasing diffidence of Darwinists to own Darwin here. To expand on her point, check out my article “Unintelligent Evolution.” As further confirmation that O’Leary is right, here’s a revealing admission by Lynn Margulis at the recent World Summit on Evolution (as reported by Michael Shermer here):
The acknowledged star of the weekend [was] Lynn Margulis, famous for her pioneering research on symbiogenesis. Margulis began graciously by acknowledging the conference hosts and saying, “This is the most wonderful conference I’ve ever been to, and I’ve been to a lot of conferences.” She then got to work, pronouncing the death of neo-Darwinism. Echoing Darwin, she said “It was like confessing a murder when I discovered I was not a neo-Darwinist.” But, she quickly added, “I am definitely a Darwinist though. I think we are missing important information about the origins of variation. I differ from the neo-Darwinian bullies on this point.”
Thus, even though Margulis repudiates neo-Darwinism, she is still a Darwinist. And if she is, so is just about every other biologist who holds that teleology ought to play no substantive role in evolutionary theory.