I don’t doubt that there is a convenient shorthand use of the word that we probably shouldn’t completely fault them for - or at least realize that we all have our casual shorthand phrases for things.
Perhaps this is related to what @aarceng is getting at, but I think it fair (necessary even) to acknowledge that no (or almost no) theory or “way of thinking” springs up devoid of precedent (whole cloth) from one human mind. So just as Erasmus (I had to look him up too to know who that was) may have unsurprisingly had what we now recognize as evolutionary undertones in his way of approaching the world, so could any movement, including any flavor of creationism, probably find some roots and veins of thought that predate its main century of widespread appearance. In fact, every one of us strives to be rooted ultimately in Christ and his apostles of 2000 years ago, right? -the only real “trophy” worth having when it comes down to it.
Since none of these modern movements with all their now-attendant particularities existed back then, all sides are stuck grappling only with the actual precedents of how those people actually did think and respond to the particularities of their own day, and then we try to capture that general attitude for emulation in our own context. I think we must grant that this happens (and certainly should happen) because it is the resource we are given. But it also should force on us some humility of admission that there is always at least some uncertainty (though not much it would seem in Maxwell’s case) in speculating what so-and-so would think were they here with us now. Maxwell, Faraday, and co. are no longer with us. Christ, however …
[Okay - and only after posting this do I see the flurry of responses above that I didn’t see before writing this - including your objection, @aarceng, to the one post violating forum standards. So noted. Given how much reaction (not entirely unfruitful?) is coming out of that, we can probably let it stand, though with the always attendant reminder that we shouldn’t belittle those who disagree with us - a thin line which I may be dancing close to myself even in this thread. So your reminder is appreciated.
I guess I just take too long to get my thoughts composed around here. The world refuses to stop while I’m writing. Even on an early Saturday morning!]