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Once Again, About the Word “Darwinism”

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The release yesterday of the new Discovery Institute documentary Human Zoos is a great occasion to revisit the word “Darwinism.” As evolutionist Nathan Lents has complained about us, “They try to use ‘Darwinist’ like an albatross linking evolution to Darwin’s Victorian white supremacy.” Another frequent ID critic emailed me the other day with the same gripe, claiming that ID proponents misuse the term, whose scientific content was long ago abandoned.

I answered that of course the science that constitutes Darwinism has evolved considerably since Darwin’s own time, but the term remains a convenient shorthand. Darwinists for the most part also seek to deny the heritage of pseudoscientific racism revealed by Human Zoos. (Alt-right Darwinists would be a different story.) But our use of the word “Darwinism” is not our invention or some mischievous idiosyncrasy. 

Don’t believe me? See the document, “Have Design Proponents ‘Invented’ Terms about ‘Darwinism’?” That Discovery Institute white paper should settle the question.

Photo: Darwin’s statue, Natural History Museum, by http://www.cgpgrey.com [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.