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Title: Evolutionism  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Philosophy in the Soviet Union, Objections to evolution, Charles Darwin, Robert L. Carneiro, Arborescent
Collection: Biological Evolution, Biology Theories
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Evolutionism was a widely held 19th century belief that evolution.[1][2] The belief was extended to include cultural evolution and social evolution.[3] In the 1970s the term Neo-Evolutionism was used to describe the idea "that human beings sought to preserve a familiar style of life unless change was forced on them by factors that were beyond their control".[4]

The term is sometimes also colloquially used to refer to acceptance of the modern evolutionary synthesis, a scientific theory that describes how biological evolution occurs. In addition, the term is used in a broader sense to cover a world-view on a wide variety of topics, including chemical evolution as an alternative term for abiogenesis or for nucleosynthesis of chemical elements, galaxy formation and evolution, stellar evolution, spiritual evolution, technological evolution and universal evolution, which seeks to explain every aspect of the world in which we live.[5][6]

Since the overwhelming majority of scientists accept the evolutionary biology is a form of secular religion.[9][10]


  • 19th-century use 1
  • Modern use 2
  • See also 3
  • Notes 4
  • References 5

19th-century use

Evolution originally was used to refer to an orderly sequence of events with the outcome somehow contained at the start.[11] Darwin did not use the term in Origin of Species until its sixth edition in 1872, (though earlier editions did use the word "evolved")[12] by which time unilineal evolution used during the later part of what Trigger calls the Antiquarianism-Imperial Synthesis period (c1770-c1900).[13]

Modern use

In modern times, the term evolution is widely used, but the terms evolutionism and evolutionist are seldom used in the scientific community to refer to the biological discipline as the term is considered both redundant and anachronistic, though it has been used by creationists in discussing the creation-evolution controversy.[8]

The Institute for Creation Research, in order to treat evolution as a category of religions, including atheism, fascism, humanism and occultism, commonly uses the words evolutionism and evolutionist to describe the consensus of mainstream science and the scientists subscribing to it, thus implying through language that the issue is a matter of religious belief.[10] The goal of this argument is to equate the validity of the theory of evolution with the pseudoscientific concept of Intelligent Design.

The theistic evolution, uses the term "evolutionism" to describe "the atheistic worldview that so often accompanies the acceptance of biological evolution in public discourse." It views this as a subset of scientism.[14]

See also


  1. ^ Kirkpatrick, E. M.; Davidson, George D.; Seaton, M. A.; Simpson, J. R. (1985). Chambers concise 20th century dictionary. Edinburgh: Chambers.  
  2. ^ Carneiro, Robert Léonard (2003) Evolutionism in cultural anthropology: a critical history Westview Press pg 2-3
  3. ^ Allen, R. T.; Allen, Robert W. (1994). Chambers encyclopedic English dictionary. Edinburgh: Chambers.  
  4. ^ Trigger, Bruce (1986) A History of Archeological Thought Cambridge University Press pg 290
  5. ^ "Evolutionism"., Colorado Springs, Colorado 80949. 2002–2008. Retrieved 2008-12-05. 
  6. ^ Bitbol, Olivier; Darrigol (1992). ]Erwin Schrödinger—Philosophy and the Birth of Quantum Mechanics [Erwin Schrödinger—Philosophie et Naissance de la Méchanique Quantique. Atlantica Séguier Frontières. p. 134.  
  7. ^ "Nearly all scientists (97%) say humans and other living things have evolved over time", Public Praises Science; Scientists Fault Public, Media, Pew Research Center, 9 July 2009
  8. ^ a b J. B. Gough (1983). "The Supposed Dichotomy between Creationism and Evolution".   " say a person is a scientist encompasses the fact that he or she is an evolutionist."
  9. ^
  10. ^ a b Steven Linke (August 28, 1992). "A Visit to the ICR Museum".  
  11. ^ a b Carneiro, Robert Léonard (2003) Evolutionism in cultural anthropology: a critical history Westview Press pg 1-3
  12. ^ Darwin, Charles (1986). Burrow, JW, ed. The Origin of Species (reprint of 1st ed.). Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England: Penguin Classics. p. 460.  
  13. ^ Trigger, Bruce (1986) A History of Archaeological Thought Cambridge University Press pg 102
  14. ^


  • Carneiro, Robert, Evolutionism in Cultural Anthropology: A Critical History ISBN 0-8133-3766-6
  •   (on the applicability of this notion to the study of social evolution)
  • Review of Buckland's Bridgewater Treatise, The Times Tuesday, November 15, 1836; pg. 3; Issue 16261; col E. ("annihilates the doctrine of spontaneous and progressive evolution of life, and its impious corollary, chance")
  • Review of Charles Darwin's The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals The Times Friday, December 13, 1872; pg. 4; Issue 27559; col A. ("His [Darwin's] thorough-going 'evolutionism' tends to eliminate...")
  • Ruse, Michael. 2003. Is Evolution a Secular Religion? Science 299:1523-1524 (concluding that evolutionary biology is not a religion in any sense but noting that several evolutionary biologists, such as Edward O. Wilson, in their roles as citizens concerned about getting the public to deal with reality, have made statements like "evolution is a myth that is now ready to take over Christianity").
  • Singh, Manvir (2011). The Evolutionist's Doodlebook. New Jersey: Fuss Klas Publishing.  
  • Trigger, Bruce (2006). A History of Archaeological Thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.  
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