What will I read? Carl Safina had a very relevant article in the New York Times last month (Darwinism must die so that evolution may live, Feb. 9), which I need to read carefully. When it came out I didn't take the time to read it properly because I expected to agree with everything it said. But I also need to read a bit more history of the use of the term Darwinism, maybe in Ernst Mayr's The Growth of Biological Thought.
What do I think? Maybe biologists started referring to evolutionary theory as Darwinism as a way to give credit to a truly exemplary scientist. But now the creationists are turning this against us, claiming that we 'worship Darwin like a god', and that any evidence that Darwin made any error is evidence that evolutionary theory is wrong. Using the term Darwinism also lets people put evolutionary biology in with a pile of what are now largely discredited ideologies and belief systems (Marxism, Raelism, Freudian psychology, etc.).
Unfortunately the cat is out of the bag. Getting evolutionary biologists to forego using Darwinism will be easy, but re-educating the general public will be much harder. The real problem is still that the creationists are much better publicists than we are, and they are determined to keep the public believing that evolutionary biology is synonymous with Darwinism.