Another Problem with the “Anti-Evolution” Label
Casey Luskin, writing here yesterday, is quite right about the term “anti-evolution.” In fact, I must admit that the so-called “anti-evolution” charge against intelligent design is what sparked my initial interest in Alfred Russel Wallace some years ago. I quickly realized that Wallace, co-founder of the theory of evolution by natural selection, advocated a strongly teleological biology, a sort of proto-ID, that could hardly be considered in any sense “anti-evolution.” So the term itself is not only inaccurately applied to ID, it is also grossly unhistorical.
I might suggest revising another term, “theistic evolution.” This phrase is bandied about as a way to make the world safe for Darwinism. Biologist Kenneth Miller has based his career on it. But actually I’d refer to the Ken Millers, the Karl Gibersons, etc., etc., as what they really are: Darwinian theists. I won’t now launch into the many problems with Darwinian theism, but the phrase is far more accurate and descriptive than simply “theistic evolution.” Wallace in this sense was a “theistic evolutionist,” but certainly NOT of the Ken Miller variety. So my point is that a lot of terms have become commonplace in discussions of evolution, many of them poorly descriptive, even deceptive, and wholly inaccurate.