Dwight Read is another academic who uses the word Darwinism to refer to evolution by natural selection. During his plenary talk this morning, Read spoke of “Universal Darwinism,” Dawkins’ term for the idea that natural selection is not substrate-specific and can in principle be applied to non-biological things, like cultural memes.
As I mentioned earlier, it’s folklore among the science-blogging community that British academics are more likely to use “Darwinism” in this sense than Americans are. (Over here, hearing the D-word is a pretty sure sign you’re dealing with a creationist, or at least somebody whose knowledge derives too much from creationist sources. I wonder if there’s also a bit of national pride at work.) Read is currently at UCLA, but in 1999 was a visiting professor at the University of Kent, Canterbury.