"The use of the term 'Darwinism' is holding back public understanding of evolution" Darwinism is a powerful term in the history of evolution. It is a genuine term when it comes to understanding evolution but evolution is far greater than Darwinism. Darwinism doesn't necessarily have a single definition, it can be viewed differently by each individual which changes from time to time. The word Darwinism defines the evolutionary process of formation of new and different species over the time. Evolution is a process of change in the descendents. It is a lengthy process where a single ancestor produces a range of descendents that differ from each other. So in a way we can say that the term Darwinism just defines evolution. Therefore, when people ask, what the real meaning of the term Darwinism is? It is actually just a definition of evolution given by Charles Darwin, but evolution isn't just limited to Darwinism. Darwinism is one of the small pieces which when added with other pieces gives us the true meaning of evolution. Darwinism is doubtlessly holding back the public understanding of evolution.
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The term Darwinism doesn't explain the true meaning of evolution. Evolution is not that simple and straight forward. It is a very long process that takes millions of years where a group of different species arises from a single common ancestor due to different genetic traits and mutation. The answer for the actual reason of evolution is found in molecular level, DNA. But Darwin wasn't able to figure that out. Darwin didn't know that the actual reason for the process of evolution was due to the changes in the DNA in other words mutation. It was George Mendel who revolutionized the genetic biology and explained the unanswered question that Darwin was unable to deliver. Darwin was just able to give his belief and theories of evolution. He defined evolution in terms of natural selection and survival of fittest. Darwin proposed a theory that the species have great fertility and they would produce offspring with variation. He also proposed that an environment comprised of limited source of food and resources and the species with the best adaptation and phenotypes were the only one to be able to survive. The scarcity of resources in the environment resulted in the variation amongst the species, which lead to introduction of new species within a group and later diverged to become an entirely new species. This was Darwin's theory.
So, he came up with a theory that stated that due to natural selection and variation a new species are produced but he wasn't able to propose how it actually happened. The answer was still unclear until the 19th century when George Mendel's pioneering work on the fundamental genetics gave the answer. It was his work on the pea plants that solved the mystery to the causes of variation and introduction of new phenotypes in the offspring. Mendel did various experiments on plants and insects and gave an explanation on the mutation causing variation in offspring and experimentally proved it. Sexual reproduction and mutation brought on the changes in the phenotypes of species resulting in evolution in longer term. So only after Mendel, the unanswered questions that were asked when Darwin proposed his theories were answered. Darwin wasn't able to give us the factual reason behind the evolution, he just gave his hypothesis and theories but he wasn't able to prove it. Hence, we can even argue that the term Darwinism is just evolution defined by Darwin and that's it, it doesn't nearly describe the whole true concept and causes of evolution.
Even when we talk about Darwinism, we immediately think about natural selection and survival of fittest. We don't think about the DNA, the genes and the mutations that lead to the changes in phenotype and the production of entirely different species. Yes, the theories of Darwin are the foundation for the understanding of evolution but it needs to backed up by Mendel's' genetic reasoning. Darwinism alone doesn't explain evolution, it is Darwinism (variation due to natural selection) and the causes for it (mutation) that gives us the proper, complete understanding and logical reasoning of evolution. The name of the term Darwinism itself has been criticized by people over the world. Some people are arguing that by giving a name Darwinism derived from Darwin, it is suggesting that there is another type of evolution which is obviously not true. Darwinism alone is a misleading in terms of understanding evolution and to think that there is another theory is completely ludicrous. It confuses people even more in terms of evolution by giving an idea that there is another theory of evolution. Darwinism also says that the variations which are not beneficial fade away but this has never been proven scientifically. So Darwinism has many arguable points to describe evolution properly.
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Having said all those things, what Darwinism is by no means a minor. In fact what Darwin had proposed and discovered was one of the most crucial moment in the history of evolution. Without his concept evolution would have never been simplified so much. It was a simple yet most significant knowledge of Darwin that described the cause of evolution. He said that sexual reproduction between individual would produce an offspring with random variations. Variation could be beneficial or harmful but those individual with the beneficial variation would have a better chances of survival in the ever changing and demanding environment. And those successful ones go on to produce more of its own kinds and leave its genetic mark for the further generation. This theory was the keystone behind understanding evolution. Darwinism without a shadow of a doubt is the root of evolution but it certainly doesn't give us the complete meaning and causes of evolution. Evolution is much more than just Darwinism and the term Darwinism doesn't truly justify it. So, Darwinism is definitely holding back the public understanding of evolution.