Darwinism Is Not the Same as Evolution

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Darwinism Is Not the Same as Evolution

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A word of caution on the use of the term evolution: It can mean different things to different people. The dictionary first defines evolution as a process of change from a lower to a higher state and, second, as the theory Darwin advocated. But they are not the same. Evolution literally means simply the successive appearances of perfectly formed life without regard to how it got there. It does not have to refer to Darwinism, which is the doctrine that gradual change led to one species becoming another through the process of natural selection.

A species is generally defined as a living thing that can reproduce only after its own kind. So, although most scientists mean Darwinism when they use the term, the two definitions of the term are not synonymous and should be carefully defined by the context.

"Why is it," asks physicist Alan Hayward, "that the terms 'Darwinism' and 'evolution' are so often used (wrongly) as if they meant the same thing? Simply because it was Darwin who put the old idea of evolution on its feet. Before Darwin, evolution was regarded by most people as a wild, unbelievable notion. After Darwin, evolution seemed such a reasonable idea that the general public soon took it for granted.

"Many people since Darwin's day have tried to find an alternative explanation of evolution, but none has succeeded. Just as when he first proposed it, Darwin's appears the only conceivable method of evolution. It still seems that Darwinism and evolution must stand or fall together" (Creation and Evolution, 1985, p. 5).

This is a reason many Darwinists are so adamant about their theory. They know the implications if they fail: The alternative explanation for life on earth is a Creator God. Professor L.T. More has candidly admitted in his book The Dogma of Evolution: "Our faith in the doctrine of Evolution depends upon our reluctance to accept the antagonistic doctrine of special creation [by God]" (quoted by Francis Hitching, The Neck of the Giraffe, 1982, p. 109).

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