I was reading over Dawkins’ The Selfish Gene this morning when I happened upon a quote that sums up a lot of arguments about evolution. According to pg. 18, Jacques Monod once said
Another curious aspect of the theory of evolution is that everybody thinks he understands it!
Reading over some of my own writing, I realize that I fall into this category just like anyone else. Here I am, an aggravated undergraduate, pointing out how giants like Mayr and Dawkins are wrong and thinking that I’ve got it figured out better than they do. Even Dawkins and Gould found it hard to see eye to eye, and when you add creationists and id-advocates like Johnson, Dembski, Ham, and Wells to the mix, everyone thinks they know better than everyone else and they really know the inner workings of how life evolves. I even can find contention with Monod’s statement, as I can’t stand hearing the phrase “theory of evolution.” As far as I am concerned, evolution is what life does; it is what we observe. There are many theories to explain how this happens, but the fact is that life evolves, and continuing to say phrases like “Darwin’s theory of evolution” does not do justice to how important and encompassing such an idea is as far as the natural world is concerned. It’s akin to saying “the theory of gravity” every time you did a physics equation, and as such I think we should abandon the terms “Darwinism” and “theory of evolution” as they do not accurately reflect to current state of evolutionary thought.
I also realize that I tend to come off more angry on my blog than I actually am, being that I usually write when I am frustrated/aghast/horrified/angry at one subject or another. Much of this fact comes from the reality that right now I’m typing out words on the internet, not actually talking to anybody, so what’s going on here is little more than what exists in my own head. If I was engaged in dialog or giving a presentation, what I say and how I say it would probably change, and I should try to keep in mind that people who may disagree with me may read this and I would do will not to alienate them by being too harsh in my language or rhetoric.