Here is the definition of Darwinism provided by Eugenie Scott of the National Center for Science Education:
MK = Mike Kinsley
PJ = Phillip E. Johnson
ES = Eugenie Scott
ES: Now hearing Phil define evolution is a little bit like having Madalyn Murray O’Hair define Christianity. Let me define evolution the way scientists define evolution, the way we’re going to use it on our side of the table. Evolution is used two ways: one, is a bigger idea, that the present is different from the past, that the universe has had a history, that stars, galaxies, the planet earth, plants and animals on it have changed through time.
Biological evolution is a subset of the idea of change through time, saying that living things, plants and animals, have shared common ancestors, and have descended with modification from those ancestors.
Now notice in this definition, I talked about what happened. I didn’t talk about “who done it,” and I didn’t talk about “how.” Because those are separate issues. Scientists are very much united on what happened. Evolution happened – to modify a bumper sticker. But how it happened is something that we argue about a lot in science – how important is natural selection, how important are other mechanisms. “Who done it” is something that as scientists we can’t comment on as scientists. We can put on our philosopher’s hat and comment as individuals, but as scientists we can’t deal with ultimate cause. So I think we have to be very clear about what we mean by evolution, what they mean by evolution is some sort of a metaphysical system that we do not recognize.
MK: Thank you Ms. Scott. You have five minutes to question Ms. Scott, Professor.
PJ: Yes, do you say that Darwinian evolution does not have a profound religious implication of discouraging belief that there is an intelligent Creator who brought about our existence for a purpose?
ES: I think that to some people, yes. Natural selection –“Darwinism” is evolution through natural selection – does cause problems. If your theology requires you to interpret the Bible literally, six 24-hour days, 10000 years ago, and so forth, you’re going to have a problem –
PJ: But only for biblical literalists. Not for the proposition that I asked about, which is that a Creator brought about our existence for a purpose.
ES: I don’t think so, in the broader sense. Because, for example, there was a survey done not too long ago, of American men and women of science. And one of the questions that they asked was something on the order of – Evolution occurred – human beings were – human beings evolved, but God directed the process. 40% of scientists agreed with that, which is the same as the general public. So clearly the idea of evolution can’t be totally –
PJ: Well – we don’t know whether they were evolutionary biologists, do we? They weren’t – we aren’t talking about Richard Dawkins, Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Lewontin, in that poll, are we?
ES: There are evolutionary biologists who have made something of a philosophical statement out of evolution. You and I both agree with that. But I think you have to be careful about not tarring all evolutionary biologists with that brush.
So what can we conclude: Darwinism is descent with modification by natural selection. I guess I was right. Nothing about philosophy, nothing about metaphysics, nothing about metaphysical “materialism” or philosophical “naturalism” in the definition used by the biggest defender of evolution in the country: Eugenie Scott of the NCSE, who is herself an atheist or agnostic.
BTW, Biologist Kenneth R. Miller of Brown University and author of Finding Darwin’s God: A Scientist’s Search for Common Ground Between God and Evolution has called himself an “orthodox Darwinist and an orthodox Catholic.” What you gonna do? Throw him out of the Church too?
No, your definition of “Darwinism” is very inadequate.
The Firing Line Creation Evolution Debate