Talk:Darwinism

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject Evolutionary biology (Rated Start-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is part of WikiProject Evolutionary biology, an attempt at building a useful set of articles on evolutionary biology and its associated subfields such as population genetics, quantitative genetics, molecular evolution, phylogenetics, evolutionary developmental biology. It is distinct from the WikiProject Tree of Life in that it attempts to cover patterns, process and theory rather than systematics and taxonomy). If you would like to participate, there are some suggestions on this page (see also Wikipedia:Contributing FAQ for more information) or visit WikiProject Evolutionary biology
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
 
WikiProject History of Science (Rated C-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is part of the History of Science WikiProject, an attempt to improve and organize the history of science content on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, you can edit the article attached to this page, or visit the project page, where you can join the project and/or contribute to the discussion. You can also help with the History of Science Collaboration of the Month.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
 
WikiProject Skepticism (Rated C-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Skepticism, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of science, pseudoscience, pseudohistory and skepticism related articles on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
 

Definition[edit]

I changed the word "concepts" in the first sentence to "theory". As it is, the word "theory" has a very specific meaning in science, not to be confused with a philosophical concept which this article describes. The rest of Darwinism should also be revised accordingly. --Yerpo (talk) 09:35, 25 March 2008 (UTC)


I found a really good site: [1] that gives a good definition of Darwinism. As explained in the article, many people misunderstand darwinism as a theory SOLELY FOCUSED on the process of natural selection. Using a quote found in Darwin's On the Origin of Species provided by the article.

"But as my conclusions have lately been much misrepresented, and it has been stated that I attribute the modification of species exclusively to natural selection, I may be permitted to remark that in the first edition of this work, and subsequently, I placed in a most conspicuous position -- namely, at the close of the Introduction -- the following words: "I am convinced that natural selection has been the main but not the exclusive means of modification."

I think it is important to acknowledge this and maybe change the definition. 218.250.156.137 (talk) 09:57, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

Thanks, we're already using that source as reference 4 for the second paragraph which sets out some of the shifts in usage, including the point that the term has been associated at times with specific ideas. This paper goes more into recent misuse of the term. The article needs to be revised to use the information in both of these references, if you can help by adding a summary of significant points that'll be great. . . dave souza, talk 12:24, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

Comment boxes[edit]

Most of the comments aplied to this article,like 'citation needed 'seem to derive from a position that is disbelieving of Darwinism. For example against a reference to Richard Dawkins' The Selfish Gene, in blue (therefore referenced in Wiki) is cited a 'reference needed'. Is this a very unsubtle way that disblievers in evolution are trying to make their arguments. If there are substantive arguments against the concept of evolution, they shouldbe clearly and openly made, so that they can be subject to proper scientific and forensic enquiry.—Preceding unsigned comment added by 213.78.145.81 (talkcontribs) 16:45, 11 January, 2008

Can I include that darwinismis a slang word? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.204.97.52 (talk) 04:32, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Not without a reliable source to verify it. HrafnTalkStalk 05:27, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
Overcoming Obstacles to Evolution Education. Don’t Call it “Darwinism” by Eugenie C. Scott1 and Glenn Branch provides a timely reliable source about the misuse of the term in one rather influential country. . . dave souza, talk 12:32, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

Automatic Archiving[edit]

Unless there is an objection, I'm going to set up automatic archiving for this article's talk page; all threads older than 30 days will be automatically archived by a bot. Vicenarian (T · C) 14:37, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Given there's only been one new thread in the last six months, I don't know if we really need automatic archiving. Also I'd suggest a longer (say 90 day) window if it is set up. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 15:30, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
Okay. Maybe a one-time manual archive? Vicenarian (T · C) 15:52, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
Done. The archive for the entire history of this Talk header is only 66k. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 16:02, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
That works. Thanks. Vicenarian (T · C) 16:04, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Bias[edit]

This article is totally biased, from a western-imperialist point of view. Desperately needs some balance. —Preceding unsigned comment added by MaseratiFerarri (talkcontribs) 07:21, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

This is a mature and exhaustively discussed article and as such tagging it {{NPOV}} and {{WEASEL}} needs more justification than just this. Removed. --Old Moonraker (talk) 08:17, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

Article on German Darwinism[edit]

Using Jonathan Wells (intelligent design advocate) as a source[edit]

As Wells, an opponent of Darwinism, is being used only to provide a source for nomenclature used by the opponents (and its favourable use in the UK) I am defending my choice of citation here. Propose to add a quotation. Non rhetorically, may I ask "who better"? If anyone can come up with something, I'll happily defer. --Old Moonraker (talk) 18:39, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

Which is why I didn't revert, but Wells is remarkably untrustworthy, and unsuitable as a source about others. Rather rushed, but this paper covers creationist misuse, and if it doesn't cover it being OK in the UK, Dawkins is a better primary source than Wells. . . dave souza, talk 18:49, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
The paper includes UK usage as well. Go ahead, or should I do it as I poked the wasps' nest in the first place? --Old Moonraker (talk) 19:03, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for checking that, if you can do it I'll be grateful – am struggling to get on with another article! . . dave souza, talk 19:37, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
Done, with due acknowledgements. --Old Moonraker (talk) 21:29, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
Thanks! . . dave souza, talk 23:32, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

"Conceptions of Darwinism" uses "phænomena" in quotation[edit]

A facsimile of the original page is here. It has the standard spelling. Calling for a RV. --Old Moonraker (talk) 04:49, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

If you think its right to make the change, do it. Add your source too. ValenShephard (talk) 09:09, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Oops, it seems to be an OCR error in the Darwin Online text version, their image of the page shows phenomena. Corrected, thanks for picking this up. . . dave souza, talk 11:06, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the fix. --Old Moonraker (talk) 16:02, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

Use of the term as an epithet or slogan[edit]

  • The term Darwinism is often used in the United States by promoters of creationism, notably by leading members of the intelligent design movement, as an epithet to attack evolution as though it were an ideology (an "ism") of philosophical naturalism, or atheism.[16]

I wonder if both sides of the controversy over "unguided evolution" are not guilty of the same kind of use of epithets (or even sloganeering). As a man I respect very much once said:

In order to defend themselves, the best thing, as has always been the case throughout history, is to paint the worst possible picture of their opponent's doctrine and method of operation. [2]

I wonder if we might create a dispassionate, objective, or at least neutral article on the way the major schools of thought in the origins controversy like to portray each other. Hey, why isn't there at least a redirect for "origins controversy"?

Anyway, promoters of evolution as "an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection" seem to be constantly attacking the arguments against them as being an ideology (an "ism") of religious faith in the supernatural.

So I think the article needs a link to the article which explains how the sides portray each other; or if no such article has been written, we'll have to write one together. --Uncle Ed (talk) 17:11, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

What is this unguided of which you speak? Is that creationist for not needing a supernatural creator? Is guidance needed every time a rockfall forms rock fragments of various shapes and sizes? . . . dave souza, talk 01:35, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the quick response; if we had an Unguided evolution article (even a short one) I could just refer you to it. I don't even know whether the definition I am quoting came from those Nobel Laureates defending evolution or that Roman Catholic Cardinal criticizing it. That's the problem I'm talking about here.
I'd like this article (or another one, if I'm in the wrong place) to define exactly what is meant by the terms used.
Snap! I just found out I was accidentally (and partly) quoting Darwin himself: "A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating ... the facts and arguments on both sides of each question ..." [3]
Anyway, I'd like to get a clear picture of the whole thing. --Uncle Ed (talk) 01:53, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
Seems we have an Unguided evolution article, see Evolution. Vsmith (talk) 03:38, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
And also a guided evolution article, see Progressive creationism. (For the intermediary view that it is guided, but in too subtle a way to be detectable -- and thus indistinguishable from unguided evolution, see Theistic evolution.) HrafnTalkStalk(P) 04:07, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
Thank you both for the information, and for taking my question at face value. --Uncle Ed (talk) 15:56, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
Always glad to assist, you'll have noted my reference to a rockfall, and indeed the good Darwin considered this theological issue in Variation, "Let an architect be compelled to build an edifice with uncut stones, fallen from a precipice. The shape of each fragment may be called accidental; yet the shape of each has been determined by the force of gravity, the nature of the rock, and the slope of the precipice,—events and circumstances, all of which depend on natural laws; but there is no relation between these laws and the purpose for which each fragment is used by the builder." As he said earlier to Asa Gray, "I own that I cannot see, as plainly as others do, & as I shd wish to do, evidence of design & beneficence on all sides of us. There seems to me too much misery in the world.... Not believing this, I see no necessity in the belief that the eye was expressly designed. On the other hand I cannot anyhow be contented to view this wonderful universe & especially the nature of man, & to conclude that everything is the result of brute force. I am inclined to look at everything as resulting from designed laws, with the details, whether good or bad, left to the working out of what we may call chance. Not that this notion at all satisfies me." There were wide views about this topic at the time, not the simplistic "two sides" that modern creationists tend to assume. . dave souza, talk 18:25, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
Well, I deplore any simplistic reduction of a controversy into "two sides" when there are three or more. In particular, I note that when contesting opposing views there is an all-too-common tendency for supporters of a view to put all who disagree with them into a single category:
  • Supporters of evolution tend to label all their opponents as "Creationists" (meaning someone with an a priori belief in supernatural causation of new major kinds of life or new major features of living things like the "molecular motor" of the flagellum or the camera eye)
  • Creationists tend to assert that one can either believe in evolution or be a creationist
On top of that is the tendency to lump all creationists into the YEC category, although in the USA there are roughly equal numbers of OEC and YEC (I pronounce these "oik" and "yecch", by the way ;-) --Uncle Ed (talk) 18:36, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

I would point out that:

  1. The 'motor' analogy for flagellum is considered to be a very poor one by experts in the field.
  2. The evolution of the eye has been studied in considerable detail, and the use by creationists of the eye is generally simply quote mining Charles Darwin.
  3. That a major source of the creationist=YEC conflation is supplied by ID creationists making the claim that they aren't young earth biblical literalists, so they aren't creationists. Added to this, YECs tend to be among the most vocal and most colorful of creationists, so tend to garner most of the attention.

HrafnTalkStalk(P) 18:53, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

Odd wording, "Supporters of evolution tend to label all their opponents..". Firstly, scientists accept the validity and fact of evolution, they don't "support" it. What opponents of evolution are there other than creationists, self professed "creation science" creationists, and of course "cdesign proponentsists"? Of course using term broadly many creationists fully accept the science of evolution, often reconciling it with theistic evolution. But opposition to acceptance of evolution or the science of evolution is a peculiarly fundamentalist view, whose proponents either call themselves creationists or whitewash the term as "design proponents". As in Pandas. . dave souza, talk 19:12, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

refers to various movements and concepts related to ideas of[edit]

We need a real definition. The sentence I edited was an absurd string of weasel words- "refers[how?] to various movements[which?] and concepts[which?] related[how?] to ideas[which?] of..." Bhny (talk) 18:18, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

Evolutionists' confessions regarding darwin[edit]

Charles Darwin's educational and scientific attainments were not exactly of the highest, particularly when compared to all the opportunities available in our own day. Darwin embarked on medical studies in Edinburgh, but failed to complete them and abandoned the course half-way through. For that reason, when he launched the theory of evolution, he was ignorant of many branches of science closely related to his theory.

Thomas Huxley was Darwin's closest friend and greatest supporter in terms of the theory of evolution. He is even remembered as "Darwin's bulldog" for his vociferous defense of the theory of evolution on Darwin's behalf. But even he admitted of this friend:

Like the rest of us, he had no proper training in biological science.1

From a letter written to Darwin by A. Sedgwick, his closest friend:

Parts of it I admired greatly, parts I laughed at till my sides were almost sore; other parts I read with absolute sorrow, because I think them utterly false and grievously mischievous... Many of your wide conclusions are based upon assumptions..2

References

1.Francis Darwin, The Life and Letters of

Charles Darwin, Vol. I, p. 315.

2.Francis Darwin, The Life and Letters of

Charles Darwin, Vol. II, p. 43. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Azreenm (talkcontribs) 15:23, 15 December 2013 (UTC)

Blatant nonsense, with no coherent proposal for improving the article. By the way, Adam would be severely offended at being called an "evolutionist", and is no doubt birling in his grave. . . dave souza, talk 18:51, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
p.s. from a quick hunt on the internets, looks like you got this quote mining from the well known comedian Harun Yahya. Were you hooked by a caddis fly?. . dave souza, talk 19:01, 15 December 2013 (UTC)