There seem to be a lot of people who don't understand the origin of the term "Neville Chamberlain School of Evolutionists." I've seen it attributed to PZ Myers and even to me.
For the record, it comes from The God Delusion and I'm going to quote from the Dawkins' book below. But before doing that I want to acknowledge that I don't like the term very much even though I used it several times last Fall. I think it does an injustice to Neville Chamberlain. Lately I've been referring to this group as just appeasers but now I prefer to use "accommodationist" to describe them.
If you recognize yourself in the description below and want to offer up a term that fits with your position then please make a comment and we'll see if we can reach an agreement about what to call you.
Another prominent luminary of what we might call the Neville Chamberlain school of evolutionists is the philosopher Michael Ruse. Ruse has been an effective fighter against creationism, both on paper and in court. He claims to be an atheist, but his article in Playboy takes the view thatDawkins agrees with Coyne, and so do PZ Myers, me, and many others. The real battle is between rationalism and superstition and that's why we have to point out the superstitious beliefs of Theistic Evolutionists just like we point out the superstitious beliefs of Intelligent Design Creationists.we who love science must realize that the enemy of our enemies is our friend. Too often evolutionists spend time insulting would-be allies. This is especially true of secular evolutionists. Atheists spend more time running down sympathetic Christians than they do countering creationists. When John Paul II wrote a letter endorsing Darwinism, Richard Dawkins's response was simply that the pope was a hypocrite, that he could not be genuine about science and that Dawkins himself simply preferred an honest fundamentalist.From a purely tactical viewpoint, I can see the superficial appeal of Ruse's comparison with the fight against Hitler: "Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt did not like Stalin and communism. But in fighting Hitler they realized that they had to work with the Soviet Union. Evolutionists of all kinds must likewise work together to fight creationism." But I finally come down on the side of my colleague the Chicago geneticist Jerry Coyne, who wrote that Rusefails to grasp the real nature of the conflict. It's not just about evolution versus creationism. To scientists like Dawkins and Wilson [E.O. Wilson, the celebrated Harvard biologist], the real war is between rationalism and superstition. Science is but one form of rationalism, while religion is the most common form of superstition. Creationism is just a symptom of what they see as the greatest enemy:religion. While religion can exist without creationism, creationism cannot exist without religion.
Some of you are only interested in the American struggle to keep Intelligent Design out of the schools—a serious tactical error, as far as I'm concerned. In that battle you may see the Pope as an ally. That's fine. You can be accommodationists if it suits you in order to win that fight. But don't assume that your fight is my fight. That's where you make a mistake in criticizing my position and that of Dawkins etc.