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An evolutionist is a person who believes the idea of biological evolution to be true,[1][2] or, more generally, a person who holds an evolutionary worldview.

The term goes back at least as far as Charles Darwin, who used it twice in his book, The Descent of Man.[3] Although it is frequently used by creationists, often in the more general sense of one holding an evolutionary worldview, it is also used not infrequently by evolutionists themselves, as well as by people not directly associated with evolution. For example, it is used in numerous places on the anti-creationist web-site TalkOrigins Archive,[4] by individual evolutionists of themselves,[5][6][7] by the mass media,[8] and by Encyclopædia Britannica.[9]

Casey Luskin has pointed out that on-line searches of leading science journals Nature and Science show that the term can be found hundreds of times in those journals.[10]


  1. "a student of or adherent to a theory of evolution", Merriam-Webster dictionary entry for "evolutionist"
  2. "a person who believes in the theories of evolution and natural selection.", The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English entry for "evolutionist".
  3. Darwin, Charles, The Descent of Man, Second edition, 1874.
  4. For example:
  5. Max, Edward, Evolution vs. Creation: An Evolutionist View
  6. Stephen, Why I am an evolutionist, part 1, 12 November 2006.
  7. Mayr, Ernst, One Long Argument: Charles Darwin and the Genesis of Modern Evolutionary Thought, Harvard University Press, Cambridge Massachusetts, 1991. ISBN 0-674-63905-7, cited by TalkOrigins Archive
  8. Casey, Michael, Forgotten evolutionist Alfred Russel Wallace lives in Darwin’s shadow 29 June 2009.
  9. Britannica Online, article on Ernst Haeckel.
  10. Luskin, Casey, Busting Another Darwinist Myth: Do Scientists “Never” Use the Term “Evolutionist”? 12 December 2007.
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