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Talk:Darwinism

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Perjorative

Really? I am not a Darwinist, but I (and those I know) only use it descriptively. Maybe it is only taken as perjorative by those so called, because to them it is the default "true" view of reality and to classify it as an "ism" casts doubt on that. Conversely, I think that perhaps many Darwinists use the terms YEC and Creationist perjorative intentions, but generally accept the terms as descriptive. I am not reverting the addition at this stage, but I do question it.BradleyF (LowKey) 01:44, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

It's pejorative because it's a term used pretty much exclusively by those who don't agree with evolution, in order to imply that those who do are doing so based on a dogmatic following of Darwin. It isn't comparable with the terms YEC or Creationist, because you will find many, many people who self-identify as YEC or just plain-old Creationist, but you will rarely find scientific-minded people who self-identify as Darwinists. Dreaded Walrus 01:58, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
If you don't mind reading Wikipedia, there's mention of the term's use as a pejorative here. Dreaded Walrus 02:02, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
I don't mind reading it, but I found editing it almost made my head explode :D
My point was that just because it is used by those who disagree with it doesn't mean that they being insulting or negative by using the term itself. I think what you are getting at is particularly the "ism" part being perjorative by implying dogmatism. The thing is that generally YEC's are not being insulting by calling it a belief, because simply acknowledging that it is a belief is not perjorative. It is the merit of the basis of that particular belief that we call into question, not the fact that it is a belief (dogmatic or not is an additional issue). To illustrate, my sister always got angry at school when people mentioned her red hair. She thought they were insulting her because she thought red hair unnattractive and considered her hair "auburn". My niece has a similar reaction (but apparently her hair is "strawberry blond"). To us plain browns red is red is red and no insult is intended. YEC's see subscription to Darwin's propositions as a belief in them, no insult intended. But like I said I am not removing the term from the article.BradleyF (LowKey) 02:37, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
Darwin fathered modern evolutionary theory, but that doesn't mean he knew squat about modern evolutionary theory. Calling belief in evolution "Darwinism" implies that everything known about evolution came from Darwin. It implies that evolution is not amenable to scientific discovery. Putting one man's face on a theory that has largely been and is constantly being developed by countless others is an inappropriate and unfair portrayal. Neveruse513 04:21, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
Then again, many evolutionists use the term Darwinism and its just fine. It's only when creationists use it that it's considered a pejorative. More accurately, Darwinism describes Darwin's theory of evolution. I think even Richard Dawkins called himself a Darwinist. AddisonDM 06:32, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
Dawkins has been taken to task for this many times. Addison, no one is talking about "Darwin's theory of evolution" outside of a historical survey. It's like insisting on calling a butterfly a caterpillar. If you want to use the word "Darwinist" during rational discourse to describe people who believe in modern evolution, you're sending a clear message that "I am prepared to discuss a distorted and mischaracterized version of your position". Neveruse513 12:50, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
Dawkins has been taken to task for using it? So you admit that it's used by one of the leading evolutionistsDarwinists today, but still consider it pejorative? Not only that, but in your link Dawkins mentions other evolutionists who agree with him. Some people imagine offence where none is intended. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 13:40, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
An association fallacy strikes. So glad we have an article on it. Just because Dawkins uses it doesn't mean that all scientists use it, no matter how prominent he is. (There are a lot of other scientists in the world, after all). Sterile 16:01, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
The term has a useful distinguishing function. Yes it gets used pejoratively, then so does "fundamentalist". "Fundamentalist" gets used in an approving way and so does "Darwinism" (Popper used it and, contrary to what others may try and get you to believe, he thought it was fabulous). This "pejorative" thing sounds way too sensitive. Toffeeman 17:10, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

I think part of the problem is that there aren't a lot of theories that are referred to by the person. (Einsteinism for relativity, anyone?) Evolution is more descriptive than Darwinism. Furthermore, evolutionary biology has progressed a lot further than where it was in Darwin's day, especially since the modern synthesis incorporating genetics. There are grammar parallel issues as well: Creationism is more properly parallel with Darwinism, and not evolution. On the other hand, the word evolution has awkward connotations as well, especially with the notion of "evolving toward something". I do think Darwinism has a different connotation that evolution, but that's more my opinion. Sterile 19:31, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

I think it's true of science: theories aren't often named after their creators. In philosophy it's different, just about everything is named after somebody. Perhaps that's why scientists don't like the term but philosophers use it all the time. I think scientists could make an exception for Darwinism. Darwin removed that "evolving toward something" concept and, despite modern advances, evolutionary theory is still recognisable as an explanation of the origin of species by means of natural selection (or, indeed, the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life). Toffeeman 19:58, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps part of the "problem" is that Darwinism is more philosophy than science. I also had this feeling that it was used, perhaps even by Dawkins, to distinguish slow-and-gradual evolution from punctuated equilibrium: Gould was a punctuated equilibriust, Dawkins is a Darwinist. Then there's "neo-Darwinism" that Dawkins mentioned in the link above.
No, just because Dawkins uses it doesn't mean that all scientists use it, but that doesn't makes it an association fallacy. And Dawkins wasn't the only one, as has been pointed out. But neither does not all scientists using it mean that it's used pejoratively. That's a non sequitur fallacy (oh, no article yet).
Perhaps the article could say that some people consider its use to be pejorative, or, if there's reasonable grounds for this, that some people to use it pejoratively. But as it stood, the article started off saying that it was pejorative, which is clearly incorrect.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 23:51, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

Cutting POV

Along with TOPS latest troll, I have removed the statement about the term implying religious veneration. I am a YEC, and generally keep up to date, but the statement is not accurate. Darwinism is seen as part of an atheist worldview, and that atheist worldview is seen as a religious (or rather theological) belief. So there is some religious (theological) aspect in the term's usage, but only second hand.BradleyF (LowKey) 03:37, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

I disagree. I believe there are Christians who accept evolution. There are even YEC's who accept evolution (albeit microeveolution) and so I don't think "Darwinism" is an atheist dogma. Crundy 14:43, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
Accepting "Darwinianism" in no way implies atheism. You are incorrect in your argument, Brad. You are painting with too broad a brush. ħuman Number 19 04:27, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
People are too sensitive. If that word means you believe in descent with variation, then fair enough, even if Darwin's theories have been refined since then. Mega 21:32, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
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