it’s usually not a good idea to use popularized expressions in the classic sense unless the meaning is crystal clear ("begs the question,” I’m looking at you!).
I debated with myself whether or not to use the expression. I decided that it would probably be okay in this group--people would understand my meaning. I misjudged the extent to which the popularized usage had taken hold.
I’m reasonably sure there are counterexamples for just about everything Uncle Noam has ever claimed; this just happens to be one that’s gotten lots of publicity. Assuming the Big C is correct until proven otherwise is not (IMHO) a productive approach.
I’m assuming that if the consensus among linguists is that Chomsky’s theories are generally correct (but not necessarily correct in every detail; of course there will be controversies in any overarching theory), then the data exists to support that consensus. It’s not that I assume the Big C is right, but that I’m assuming the community of linguists as a whole is right.