An evolutionary biologist in the audience at the University of Toronto ID meet last Saturday wrote a most interesting post to the Post-Darwinist, saying, amongÃ‚Â otherÃ‚Â things,
I was the person who objected to your use of the term “Darwinist.” The word is loaded with all kinds of implications. To those of us who work on evolution it means a person who believes in natural selection as the most important thing in evolutionary biology. This would include people like Richard Dawkins and others who are often referred to as Ultra-Darwinians.
Many of us are not Darwinists in that sense and we would never refer to ourselves as “Darwinists” unless we were specificially referring to our acceptance of Darwin’s theory of natural selection. The term “Darwinian evolutionist” is even more objectionable because it labels someone as an evolutionst who tends to side with the Ultra-Darwinian camp.
And to think I had thought I was being polite by carefully referring to him and his colleagues as “Darwinian evolutionists”!
Now, after offering to investigate the complaint, I also explained thatÃ‚Â busloads of cranks prophesy Darwin’s name these days (examples are offered), so
I am sympathetic to your wish to reserve for evolutionary biology a level of respect due to a serious academic endeavor, and I would be happy to help. I do think, however, that you and others in your field might want to consider clearly distancing yourselves from the Darwin circus. If you don’t, no one can do it for you.
For the rest, go here.
HereÃ‚Â is a link for my U of T talk.