The term “Darwinism” was coined by Thomas Henry Huxley in April 1860. The meaning of “Darwinism” has changed over time, and varies depending on who is using the term [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darwinism]. Darwinism is very much contrasted to evolution, which is based upon science. Evolution is simply (and probably oversimplified) as a change of allele frequency in the genome of a population from one generation to the next.
If a change of allele frequency is the definition of evolution, then just about anyone would accept that much. The objection critics of evolution raise is not necessarily the science or the theory of evolution, but the long unobservable and unscientific range of macroevolution. Typically, critics usually do not find fault with the Darwinian mechanisms of natural selection, mutations, or genetic drift. Even creationists accept variations, adaptations, and speciation.
Darwinism is about atheism, secular humanism, is an anti-religious ideology and agenda, and based upon philosophy while masquerading in the name of science. One of the ideology’s leading evangelists is atheist, Richard Dawkins, whose Foundation’s mission statement is clear concerning their anti-religious intolerance.
Another evangelist for Darwinism is PZ Myers, who also states that “science and atheism belong together, and that good science is atheistic science, and good atheism is supported by science.” [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3U0MnBmSlhE]. And, yet another adamant Darwinist even admits that he is an “evangelist” for the cause, Dr. Phil Plait. Plait expressly states this about himself in this lecture here with a full outline of highly defined goals and objectives of skepticism as a movement, all which is fundamental Darwinism, http://vimeo.com/13704095. Yet another evangelist for the group is Eugenie Scott. And, the list goes on.
Scientists who are atheists need a creation story, and Darwinism is their nonscientific fictitious fable that they adopt. Such atheists include Neil deGrasse Tyson, Lawrence Krauss, and Stephen Hawking.
The term Darwinism is often used in the United States by promoters of creationism and intelligent design to reference atheism and the ideology of philosophical naturalism embraced by Charles Darwin. For example, Phillip E. Johnson wrote an essay to make this accusation of atheism with reference to Charles Hodge‘s book What Is Darwinism? Hodge concluded, “It is Atheism.”[http://www.theropps.com/papers/Winter1997/CharlesHodge.htm, and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darwinism#cite_note-17].
When ID proponents use the term “Darwinism,” they are referring to Neo-Darwinism, also called the modern evolutionary synthesis or Neo-Darwinian evolution (“NDE”), the basic tenants of which are described in the New World Encyclopedia as follows:
“At the heart of the modern synthesis is the view that evolution is gradual and can be explained by small genetic changes in populations over time, due to the impact of natural selection on the phenotypic variation among individuals in the populations (Mayr 1982; Futuyama 1986). According to the modern synthesis as originally established, genetic variation in populations arises by chance through mutation (it is now known to be caused sometimes by mistakes in DNA replication and via genetic recombination—the crossing over of homologous chromosomes during meiosis). This genetic variation leads to phenotypic changes among members of a population. Evolution consists primarily of changes in the frequencies of alleles between one generation and another as a result of natural selection.”
The New World Encyclopedia further describes speciation:
“Speciation, the creation of new species, is a gradual process that generally occurs when populations become more and more diversified as a result of having been isolated, such as via geographic barriers, and eventually the populations develop mechanisms of reproductive isolation. Over time, these small changes will lead to major changes in design or the creation of new taxa.
“A major conclusion of the modern synthesis is that the concept of populations can explain evolutionary changes in a way that is consistent with the observations of naturalists and the known genetic mechanisms (Mayr 1982).
“Though agreement is not universal on the parameters of the modern synthesis, many descriptions hold as basic (1) the primacy of natural selection as the creative agent of evolutionary change; (2) gradualism (accumulation of small genetic changes); and (3) the extrapolation of microevolutionary processes (changes within species) to macroevolutionary trends (changes about the species level, such as the origin of new designs and broad patterns in history). Evolutionary change is a shift of the frequency of genes in a population, and macroevolutionary trends come from gradual accumulation of small genetic changes.
Note, for example, the words of two of the leading figures in evolutionary theory, Ernst Mayr and Stephen Jay Gould.
“The proponents of the synthetic theory maintain that all evolution is due to the accumulation of small genetic changes, guided by natural selection, and that transspecific evolution is nothing but an extrapolation and magnification of the events that take place within populations and species.” (Mayr 1963)
“The core of this synthetic theory restates the two most characteristic assertions of Darwin himself: first, that evolution is a two-stage process (random variation as raw material, natural selection as a directing force); secondly, that evolutionary change is generally slow, steady, gradual, and continuous. . . Orthodox neo-Darwinians extrapolate these even and continuous changes to the most profound structural transitions in life.” (Gould 1980)
Definition taken from glossary of pro-ID website, Uncommon Descent, http://www.uncommondescent.com/glossary/.
Leon Wieseltier, literary editor of The New Republic, takes apart Daniel C. Dennett’s book, Breaking the Spell, in the New York Times. Wieseltier makes a vital point that the attempt to self-define science, which Dennett is equally as guilty of, turns science into scientism. Wieseltier explains, “The question of the place of science in human life is not a scientific question. It is a philosophical question.” Scientism (or materialism) is the issue that Darwinists and their media fans are resolutely avoiding in public policy discourse.
Here’s Ann Coulter, who checked in on Darwinism, linking it to liberalism. Ann might not be an expert in science, but then Darwinism has nothing much to do with science. Darwinism is based upon common philosophical beliefs among atheists. While Coulter might be less informed in science, she’s an expert on liberalism, and links Darwinism to be directly associated with liberalism. Here, she throws open the doors of the Church of Liberalism, showing us:
** Its sacraments (abortion)
** Its holy writ (Roe v. Wade)
** Its martyrs (from Soviet spy Alger Hiss to cop-killer Mumia Abu Jamal)
** Its clergy (public school teachers)
** Its churches (government schools, where prayer is prohibited but condoms are free)
** Its doctrine of infallibility (as manifest in the “absolute moral authority” of such spokesmen as Cindy Sheehan and Max Cleland)
** And its cosmology (in which mankind is an inconsequential accident)
“Then, of course, there’s the liberal creation myth: Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.
For liberals, evolution is the touchstone that separates the enlightened from the benighted. But Coulter neatly refutes the lie that liberals are rationalists guided by the ideals of free inquiry and the scientific method. She exposes the essential truth about Darwinian evolution that liberals refuse to confront: It is bogus science.
“Writing with a keen appreciation for genuine science, Coulter reveals that the so-called “gaps” in the theory of evolution are all there is — Darwinism is nothing but a gap.
“After 150 years of dedicated searching into the fossil record, evolution’s proponents have failed utterly to substantiate its claims. And a long line of supposed evidence, from the infamous Piltdown Man to the ‘evolving’ peppered moths of England, has been exposed as one hoax after another. Still, liberals treat those who question evolution as religious nuts and prohibit students from hearing about real science when it contradicts Darwinism. And these are the people who say they want to keep faith out of the classroom.”
Liberals’ absolute devotion to Darwinism, Coulter shows, has nothing to do with evolution’s scientific validity. Coulter instead declares that Darwinism has “everything to do with their refusal to admit the possibility of God as a guiding force. They will brook no challenges to the official religion” of Darwinism.
Coulter’s point is well-taken, even though that Intelligent Design offers additional conjectures and hypotheses that have nothing to do with the supernatural. For example, it is very possible extraterrestrials did interrupt natural processes. Also, information could be a result of quantized atomic particles, http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-01-scientists-erase-energy.html. ID Theory is open to other reasonable explanations that have nothing to do with the theism associated with creationism.
Wikipedia defines an ideology as follows:
An ideology is a set of ideas that constitutes one’s goals, expectations, and actions. An ideology can be thought of as a comprehensive vision, as a way of looking at things, as in common sense and several philosphical tendencies.
The article goes on to describe an ideology as a set of ideas proposed by a class of a society to all members of this society of a “received consciousness” or product of socialization. The description continues:
“The main purpose behind an ideology is to offer either change in society, or adherence to a set of ideals where conformity already exists, through a normative thought process. Ideologies are systems of abstract thought applied to public matters and thus make this concept central to politics. Implicitly every political tendency entails an ideology….”
There is very little difference between ideology and religion. For example, Confucianism is classified as a religion, and yet it involves no theism. The same holds true with Buddhism and many other religions, cults, sects, and philosophical belief systems.
In conclusion, Darwinism is very much distinguished from evolution. While evolution is based upon science, ID proponents employ the term Darwinism to reference the prevalent common ideological beliefs of the mainstream science community that has adopted atheism, secular humanism, and the philosophy of naturalism of Charles Darwin to be their philosophical belief system. It is essentially no different than any other religion in this regard.