I guess I am arguing for the more restricted sense as well, except for what seems to be a different reason than what RAZD seems to be saying. My contention is that a person is a scientist by occupation. If a mechanical engineer spends 98% of his time using strictly applied science (ie. not using the scientific method) and then for a short period of time uses the scientific method to solve a complex problem, he does not then become a scientist for that short period of time and then revert back to non-scientist when the problem has been solved.
Another issue is what it means to be "engaged in a systematic activity." That doesn't mean going to the library and reading every book on a subject in alphabetical order. It means the methodology that generally follows the scientific method, although, as in the example of my job, doesn't necessarily use the scientific method directly. So engineers may be engaged in a systematic activity, but the difference is their primary output is not knowledge, it is a usable product.
An area of science where this distinction gets a bit blurry is geology. I don't think I would refer to petroleum geologists as scientists, since they typically engage in applied science with the primary output to be a definable product (petroleum). Certainly they engage in scientific activity, and certainly that doesn't discredit their occupation at all. However, a geologist who documents the rocks of the Grand Canyon simply for the sake of the knowledge that it provides, I would consider a scientist, because the primary output is knowledge.
So I guess my position is more expansive in the sense that it isn't just a person who engages in the scientific method - that's too restrictive, but also not so expansive that it includes everyone who works with science.
On the other hand, in EvC debates, there is another, even more restricted sense in which the term is used. In most cases, it is unimportant whether an economist is actually a scientist or not because we don't expect an economist's opinion on evolution, cosmology, or geology or other science relevant to a debate about Christian Science to be of any special relevance.
Well, unless there is an appeal to authority (such as what sparked this whole line of discussion) arguments should stand on their own regardless of the credentials of the individual. A person with only a high school diploma can have valid, relevant opinions on any topic we discuss here. So if an economist writes a book about evolution, it would be presumptuous to dismiss it because it was written by an economist. It should be judged on its own merits. Although honestly, I have pretty much gotten to the point where I automatically dismiss anything written by a YEC; experience has shown it is always of little value.
a mechanical engineer is not a mechanic, and an electrical engineer is not a tv repair man.
Indeed. In fact, engineers as a whole are the brightest and most gifted individuals on a college campus.
Whoever calls me ignorant shares my own opinion. Sorrowfully and tacitly I recognize my ignorance, when I consider how much I lack of what my mind in its craving for knowledge is sighing for... I console myself with the consideration that this belongs to our common nature. - Francesco Petrarca
"Nothing is easier than to persuade people who want to be persuaded and already believe." - another Petrarca gem.
Ignorance is a most formidable opponent rivaled only by arrogance; but when the two join forces, one is all but invincible.