Talk:Creation–evolution controversy

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Former good article Creation–evolution controversy was one of the good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Creation–evolution controversy:

Here are some tasks awaiting attention:
  • Cleanup: *Arguments relating to the definition, limits and philosophy of science' section.
  • Expand: *'Forums for the controversy' section should go beyond debates, and eventually add an introductory sentence.
    • 'Public policy issues' & 'Issues relating to religion' sections require introductory paragraphs to provide an overview and give structure to their sub-sections.
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ourside the usa[edit]

i have deleted the bit that said this discussion is a debate in the Netherlands. It is not. I am from holland, read a lot of different newspapers, watch a lot of newsmedia on tv, and it's not an issue. Besides, i dont see the Netherlands named in the footnoted sources.

this link is dead btw — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:17, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

I did a quick search and found several sources supporting the claim that Creationism is debated in the Netherlands. I have added one. Thanks for pointing out the dead link - I have fixed it. RockMagnetist (talk) 16:51, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

Why the deletion Apidium 23[edit]

Apidium23 deleted the New York times statement that the Discovery Institute claim was signed by few scientists but many evangelists. NYT is a reputable source, why the deletion? Can you explain?John D. Croft (talk) 14:54, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

As best I can tell, Apidium23 did not delete anything, but rather added (or restored) a paragraph. Did the deletion you refer to happen some time ago? Can you explain what you would like more clearly? Rick Norwood (talk) 13:57, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
Apidium23 edited a {{cite web format which included a title of that text into a shorter ref format. Though I cannot say why, it does not change the prominent content of the article and anyone clicking through will get to the title anyway. Markbassett (talk) 19:57, 15 February 2014 (UTC)

Darwin's method of argument[edit]

I added the following to the bottom of a paragraph discussing quote mining of Darwin:

Darwin's didactic prose presentation often points out perceived problems with the aspect of the theory under discussion, and then proceeds to rebut those objections; quote mines often quote the objections without the resolutions, leaving the perception that Darwin heavily doubted his own theories. One such typical quote mine reads:

which I then followed with a quote from an existing webpage containing two such quote mines, referencing the site. The edit was deleted because of "not a reliable source". I imagine it is possible to delete my addition because I didn't include a reference which explicitly states the same point I was making about Darwin's writing, but that isn't what the complaint said; it was (I believe) targeted toward the reference which I did include. I could put the change back in with the quote but not the reference, but the quote looses its evidentiary message, as I could have made the quote up myself, making me the quote miner in not providing context. And I presume it's understood that such a quote will not, by definition, be found on any truly reliable source. What is it that I'm required to do here to make the valid point about Darwin's writing? SkoreKeep (talk) 16:40, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

You could use the TalkOrigins Archive, quote 2.6. Note that if you provide the objection, you should also provide the resolution. RockMagnetist (talk) 15:51, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Outside the United States[edit]

Per your request: How is the statement from the report (Qualitative differences between naïve and scientific theories of evolution) that I referenced taken out of context? Here is the last paragraph (from that report) in toto.

Devout atheists like Dawkins (1987) speculate that disbelief in evolution stems from a misunderstanding of Darwin’s theory, for anyone who grasps the explanatory power of natural selection cannot help but affirm its validity. However, studies that have measured both participants’ belief in natural selection and participants’ understanding of natural selection (e.g., Demastes et al., 1995; Lawson & Worsnop, 1992; Sinatra, Southerland, McConaughy, & Demastes, 2003) have found no significant correlation between the two. Consistent with these studies, participants in the present study were no more likely to endorse the statement “natural selection is the best explanation for how a species adapts to its environment” if they understood natural selection than if they did not. Indeed, 12 of the 19 transformationists endorsed the validity of Darwin’s theory of evolution, and 1 of the 11 variationists denied the factuality of evolution altogether. If participants in the present study are at all representative of participants in the evolutionist- creationist debates waged in local courtrooms, newspapers, and school board meetings, one must wonder which theory of evolution—variationism or transformationism— is actually being debated.

Personally, I don't see how "studies that have measured both participants’ belief in natural selection and participants’ understanding of natural selection ... have found no significant correlation between the two." is cherry picking, but I am willing to be educated. Dan Watts (talk) 17:46, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

I thought that was an interesting blog. I think what's missing in your statement is that the the people surveyed are not experts; their "understanding" is what you would get from a brief survey in a course on biology. I'm not sure why you put it in Outside the United States; a better place for it might be Science education. RockMagnetist (talk) 18:35, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
I note that, in an edit summary, @SkepticalRaptor calls the use of a blog as a reliable source "silly". In this case, I disagree. USERG states that "Self-published material may sometimes be acceptable when its author is an established expert whose work in the relevant field has been published by reliable third-party publications." This blog is hosted by the Cultural Cognition Project at Yale Law School, a group whose members do research on this issue; and much of the blog is summarizing material that is published in scholarly journals. RockMagnetist (talk) 18:48, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
The remark was put where the graphic was placed, and this quote is from Qualitative differences between naïve and scientific theories of evolution in the Journal of Cognitive Psychology, not the blog. Dan Watts (talk) 19:15, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
It is unlikely that the tabulated poll results were only responses from experts. Dan Watts (talk) 10:00, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
1) The sentence excised is supported by the reference.
2) It is germane to the subject (people's opinions).
3) Why is consensus in this referenced statement necessary? Are some facts BETTER than others (Orwellian Wikipedia?)
Dan Watts (talk) 14:19, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
At the very least, this is the wrong place for this information. This study was conducted by Harvard Summer School study pool. That being said, one study of 42 students is hardly definitive, considering that the average amount of biology classes taken by the group was 1.5 (range0-4), only 76% of participants claimed to be familiar with Darwin’s theory of evolution, the subjects were asked to answer in accordance with DARWIN'S theory (excluding Lamarck, ect.), and the author himself states "...the sample included two anti-evolutionists (most likely creationists) and at least thirteen students skeptical of natural selection." Thoughts? Mophedd (talk) 20:02, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
What do you think is the average amount of biology classes taken by the public that was polled, or the percentage familiar with Darwin's theory, or those likely creationists or skeptical of natural selection? Dan Watts (talk) 20:38, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
Or how about “misconceptions about even the basic principles of Darwin's theory of evolution are extremely robust, even after years of education in biology”. Quoting Ferrari and Chi (The nature of naive explanations of natural selection. Int J Sci Educ. 1998;20:1231–1256. doi:10.1080/0950069980201005) from T. Ryan Gregory's Understanding Natural Selection: Essential Concepts and Common Misconceptions Evo Edu Outreach (2009) 2:156–175 doi:10.1007/s12052-009-0128-1 where he references 42 tests, surveys of tests, and interviews of students age 12 through graduate university level as well as science educators. prospective teachers and scientists. Would that be a more comprehensive reference (which appears to have a similar conclusion)? Thoughts? Dan Watts (talk) 04:36, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
The author goes on to state, however, that "Our thesis for explaining students' failure to understand this concept, or evolution in general, is not that they necessarily fail to understand individual Darwinian principles; rather, they often fail to understand the ontological features of equilibration processes, of which evolution is one instance.". The studies you provided also focus on peoples answers in a Darwinian evolution (variationism) versus Lamarckian evolution (transformationism) sense. In other words, they got good scores for "Darwinian" answers and bad scores for "Lamarckian" ones. It's not that some of them can't explain evolution, it's that the ones that see evolution as event based resort to a mostly obsolete form of it (Lamarckian) as a framework to reason, because Lamarckian evolution IS more event based. I think this would make a good addition to some other articles. Very interesting. I'm not sure why it would belong in THIS article, however. Thoughts? Mophedd (talk) 05:58, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
The presence of the poll by countries graphic appears to give a message that beliefs concerning evolution are driving (or are strongly correlated with) science understanding and science literacy. The studies references point out that ain't (arsent per Brother Dave Gardner) so. By the way, the 'obsolete' Lamarckian answers are wrong, not just obsolete. Dan Watts (talk) 09:59, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
If you're interested, search for "Inheritance of Acquired Behaviour Adaptations and Brain Gene Expression in Chickens" or "Inheritance of acquired traits in plants: Reinstatement of Lamarck" to name a couple, or just read the Wikipedia entry on Epigenetic inheritance for evidence for Lamarckian evolution. That being said, none of these studies have anything to do with creationism. They analyzed responses in a event process versus a equilibration process, not in a creation versus evolution context. Since this is the creation-evolution controversy article, I don't really see the relevance. Thoughts? Mophedd (talk) 20:25, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
1) Remarks (facts) presented (and reverted by someone who hasn't deigned to enter THIS discussion) are supported by published papers, including quotes from aforementioned papers.
2) The remarks (categorized as edit warring) address the information contained in the poll graphic (apparently appropriate since no approbation of IT is seen).
Thoughts? Dan Watts (talk) 11:21, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
Not relevant to the section Outside the United States. Might be relevant for an article on biology education, but would need a connection to the topic for the Science education section of this article. Do the studies discuss or provide a connection to the topic of this article? Vsmith (talk) 13:12, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
Again, relevant to the poll graphic which was placed in Outside the United States. Disagree? Dan Watts (talk) 13:29, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
Those references do not support the graphic and are not relevant to the section. Vsmith (talk) 15:44, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
Those references DESCRIBE what you cannot reasonably infer from the graphic. How is that not relevant to the graphic? Dan Watts (talk) 16:13, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
Sez who? Do the refs discuss the graph? Seems akin to WP:OR or WP:SYN if not. Also agree with what User:Mophedd said above ↑. Vsmith (talk) 21:35, 3 July 2014 (UTC)