American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A theory of biological evolution developed by Charles Darwin and others, stating that all species of organisms arise and develop through the natural selection of small, inherited variations that increase the individual's ability to compete, survive, and reproduce. Also called Darwinian theory.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The body of biological doctrine propounded and defended by the English naturalist Charles (Charles Robert) Darwin (1809-1882), especially in his works “The Origin of Species” (1859) and “The Descent of Man” (1871), respecting the origin of species. It is, in general, the theory that all forms of living organisms, including man, have been derived or evolved by descent, with modification or variation, from a few primitive forms of life or from one, during the struggle for existence of individual organisms, which results, through natural selection, in the survival of those least exposed, by reason of their organization or situation, to destruction. It is not to be confounded with the general views of the development or evolution of the visible order of nature which have been entertained by philosophers from the earliest times. (See
evolution.) That which is specially and properly Darwinian in the general theory of evolution relates to the manner, or methods, or means by which living organisms are developed or evolved from one another: namely, the inherent susceptibility and tendency to variation according to conditions of environment; the preservation and perfection of organs best suited to the needs of the individual in its struggle for existence; the perpetuation of the more favorably organized beings, and the destruction of those less fitted to survive; the operation of natural selection, in which sexual selection is an important factor; and the general proposition that at any given time any given organism represents the result of the foregoing factors, acting in opposition to the hereditary tendency to adhere to the type, or “breed true.” See selectionarid Survival.
- n. Belief in and support of Darwin's theory. Also Darwinianism.
- n. Various concepts of development or evolution popularised by Charles Darwin's publication of On the Origin of Species in 1859.
- n. The principles of natural selection set out in Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species (1859), more strictly defined by August Weismann and developed by other authors into a central part of the modern evolutionary synthesis.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Biol.) The theory or doctrines put forth by Darwin. See above.
- n. a theory of organic evolution claiming that new species arise and are perpetuated by natural selection
- Darwin + -ism (Wiktionary)
“˜Darwinism™ as it is used today is isomorphic to Darwin's Darwinism, as Gayon puts it, is that each of these questions is still hotly debated, and has been throughout the theory's history.”
“One reason why people believe in Darwinism is proof that mankind existed prior to 4004 B. C., thus, we must have evolved from apes!”
“It doesn't help that the term Darwinism is actually used by scientists, although only to differentiate between early evolutionary hypotheses.”
“Judson's criticism was not of Darwin or his work, but of the term Darwinism which she described as misleading.”
“One of the difficulties with the word Darwinism is its ambiguity.”
“You'll never erase the word Darwinism from the lexicon, but people who know the story of Darwin's and Wallace's near-simultaneous inspirations — and there are an increasing number of those people now — accept that the ideas of survival of the fittest and the origin of species were the work of two people, not one.”
“The term 'Darwinism' is more politically and philosophically polarized.”
“Dembski's logic and most ID arguments very much hinge on the concept that "Darwinism" is a chance hypothesis of nature.”
“So the move from RM/NS to "Darwinism" is slightly adrift.”
“Worse still, DR Witt’s straightforward answer does little to reassure me of his probity: In the very same venue where I asked that question, DR Witt had used the term Darwinism to clearly refer to a school of thought in philosophy, as for example when he said “Thus, in practice the materialist/Darwinists’ fourth … “ and this is just one of many such statements threatening the consistency of his self professed definition.”
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