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.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
January 22, 2006 Good article nominee Listed
October 4, 2006 Good article reassessment Delisted
November 25, 2006 Peer review Reviewed
Current status: Delisted good article
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.
Version 0.5      (Rated B-Class)
Peer review This Natsci article has been selected for Version 0.5 and subsequent release versions of Wikipedia. It has been rated B-Class on the assessment scale.


Appeal to Consensus Section Added[edit]

I added a section regarding the appeal to consensus argument with notes regarding the attack on that argument based on Stein and Bergman as described in the Toledo Blade, the New York Times, and New Scientist. Clearly this is a notable part of the debate and widely covered. The above debate gets us nowhere unless we have an actual section and language which properly assigns assertions and beliefs to the people and sources making them. I have made a first crack at doing so, and invite other editors to improve on this new section. —GodBlessYou2 (talk) 15:24, 28 December 2014 (UTC)

Per WP:BRD I have reverted this Bold but no consensus edit by an editor with an obvious WP:COI(This edit made at approx 18:29 28th December and not signed for some reason, sorry) Roxy the dog™ (resonate) 20:59, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
Where do you come up with the accusation that I have a conflict of interest? I only came to this article because I saw a request for input at the Reliability talk page?
For the convenience of other editors, I added the following below the section titled "Appeal to consequences." As you will see, I used reliable sources and properly attributed claims made by those in the minority position.
--Appeal to Scientific Consensus--
There is a strong consensus in the scientific community, especially among biologists, that the origin and variation of life forms is adequately explained by evolutionary processes.
Some have argued that this consensus is complete.[citation needed] Others have argued that questions regarding the adequacy of evolutionary theory are suppressed by the fear of seeing one's career destroyed for making statements that might be used to support anti-evolution rhetoric.[1]
The latter view was the focus of the Ben Stein widely viewed documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. In the film, Stein interviewed several academics, including biologist Richard Sternberg, and astrobiologist Guillermo Gonzalez, who claimed, according to the Toledo Blade that "their careers were derailed for failing to follow the party line on evolution."[1] Jerry Bergman claims he has documented hundreds of cases of scientists "whose careers have been capsized for doubting Darwin." [1][2] Sociologist Rodney Stark has asserted that there is expectation within academia that nothing should ever be said that might be by creationists to undermine public acceptance of scientific consensus on evolution, adding: "My reluctance to pursue these matters is based on my experience that nothing causes greater panic among many of my colleagues than any criticism of evolution. They seem to fear that someone might mistake them for Creationists if they even remain in the same room while such talk is going on."[3]
The thesis that academics are systematically punished for voicing doubts about evolution has been widely denounced by many leading scientists and organizations.[4][5]

References

  1. ^ a b c Yonke, David (2008-04-28). "Expelled: Intelligent design film fuels debate over how life came to be". Toledo Blade. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  2. ^ Jerry Bergman. Slaughter of the Dissidents: The Shocking Truth about Killing the Careers of Darwin Doubters, 2nd edition, April 2011, 422 pages, Leafcutter Press.
  3. ^ Stark, Rodney. For The Glory of God: How Monotheism Led to Reformations, Science, Witch-hunts and the End of Slavery (Princeton University Press, 2003), p.176
  4. ^ Jeanette Catsoulis. Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (2008) Movie Review New York Times. April 18, 2008. Accessed Dec. 28, 2014.
  5. ^ Gefter, Amanda (12 April 2008). "Warning! They've Got Designs on You". New Scientist (London, England: Reed Business Information, Ltd.) 198 (2651): 46. Bibcode:2008NewSc.198...46S. doi:10.1016/S0262-4079(08)61555-9. 
I would also be interested to know where the COI comes from, not the editor's name I hope! A well referenced NPOV section reporting concerns about alleged censorship and discrimination meets WP:weight, though concerns about the pre-existing prolixity need remembering. Cpsoper (talk) 16:25, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
I believe the section could be added if we base ourselves on for example Expelled:_No_Intelligence_Allowed#Claims_that_intelligent_design_advocates_are_persecuted There are perfect examples where "the film alleges..." and " Stein says..." therefore this section can be allowed because if you check creationists websites, they cite the references extensively. As I've mentioned previously, I am quite biased. I find young Earth creationists without common sense however it does not change the fact that the references are in fact reliable sources for their beliefs and if there are reliable sources that contradict what they're saying (I believe there is a Scientific American reference somewhere in this discussion) they also can be added. Of course the wording will be debated however if we keep this rational and without emotional responses the section should be added as per Wikipedia policy. CanadianLinuxUser (talk) 17:31, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
Obviously, I believe the first draft of this section, as I wrote it, is well referenced and deals with a notable aspect of the evolution - creation controversy. Indeed, it is arguably a major part of the controversy as evidenced by Stein's documentary and the vigorous response to it denying the allegation. It is just that, however, a first draft, trying to show how the Bergman material suggested by Cpsoper can be incorporated in a manner that properly attributes the allegations made to Bergman relying on both the Toledo Post interview and his own book. The last paragraph is just a stub. Additional material can be added giving more details about the counter arguments. I put in two sources, and kept it brief, mostly because I thought others would have material they would most prefer to see used for the counter argument.—GodBlessYou2 (talk) 19:34, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
Why not start by basing your proposals on an academic treatment of this issue, if it's of any significance? If the point is that two creationists have made these claims and have received some coverage, that doesn't in itself show that it's sufficiently significant to the broader "controversy" to appear in this article. This page can't cover every creationist claim. . dave souza, talk 20:41, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
I like the draft that @Godblessu2, has suggested. It is well sourced with multiple RS. The language and tone is balanced. The 'Expelled' inclusion and coverage of the subject shows clear notability, (with it being in the top 20 grossing US Documentaries of all time). I hardly think this is being guilty of covering "every creationists claim". Using COI or UNDUE as a defense against the inclusion seems at best weak. JamieBrown2011 (talk) 21:15, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
Even conservative Christians don't assign that much weight to this, as evidenced by this article: [[1]]. While they are obsessed about being "persecuted", the section proposed above gives far too much weight to a subject that even conservative Christians consider low priority, and that is entirely ignored, or at best dismissed, by independent reliable sources. The proposed section serves merely to give a soapbox to the the extreme fringe views of extreme fringe figures, that are significant (and marginally significant to them, at that) only within their own twisted universe. Find multiple quality independent reliable sources that discuss this subject in depth, and I might agree to a very brief mention. Otherwise, all we have to go on is in-universe fringe propaganda and banal, quotidian conservative Christian pissing and moaning about being "oppressed", which is hardly worthy of inclusion in a serious encyclopedia. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 21:48, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
@DominusV, it doesn't really matter how conservative Christians view this issue. JamieBrown2011 (talk) 22:13, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
It does indeed, if it has been covered extensively in terms of the topic of this article by many high-quality reliable independent secondary sources. The problem is that few, if any, of the reliable sources discussing this topic mention these complaints at all, never mind take them seriously enough to treat them in depth. Hence the problem with weight. The sources that do mention them are either neither reliable nor independent, not high quality or comprehensive enough to assign them much weight, or merely briefly mention and dismiss the claims of the creationists. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 22:39, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
@DominusV, while I find Young-Earth Creationists views to be rather naive, there was a documentary movie made about the topic of discrimination against scientists who do not endorse Darwinian Evolution. Ben Stein, who has written for numerous publications including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Barron's magazine, was also the speech writer and Lawyer for presidents Nixon & Ford, is the writer and presenter of this Documentary. It is a highly NOTABLE coverage of this topic, making it into the Top 20 highest grossing documentaries. The coverage included a New York Times article [2] before the documentary even released! This topic has WEIGHT. And BTW, Stein is not a "conservative Christian" with "persecution" issues, he is Jewish. JamieBrown2011 (talk) 08:27, 29 December 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Perhaps if the film were a reliable source, instead of a silly publicity stunt that was ridiculed by just about every single reliable source that wrote about it, very few, if any, of which agreed that this was a serious topic rather than some extreme fringe conspiracy theory. According to our article on the film, The New York Times described it as "a conspiracy-theory rant masquerading as investigative inquiry" and "an unprincipled propaganda piece that insults believers and nonbelievers alike." Just because a film is notable doesn't mean that the subject of that film is notable as well, especially when their is wide agreement among reliable sources that the subject has been fabricated. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 11:29, 29 December 2014 (UTC)

You maybe missing an important distinction. The Reliable Sources are listed below. The Stein film, whether people agree with it's content or not, give WEIGHT and NOTABILITY to the issue. JamieBrown2011 (talk) 16:22, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
The accusation of academic bias is widely disseminated, as are the refutations of bias. All the sources I used meet the criteria of reliability in how they are used. Remember, reliable does not mean that the assertions are correct but rather that they have been made and are reported by third parties, such as Stein, much less by the Toledo Blade, the New York Times, and New Scientist.
Regarding the issue of weight, the way to address any perceived problems in weight is to ADD material, not delete it. If Dominus or others feel that there should be more citations, discussion, and quotes from those who deny the allegations made by the people Stein and Bergman have interviewed, go for it. But deleting well sourced material because you don't want to go to the trouble of adding material is not appropriate. I plan to reinsert the section per this discussion with the invitation for other editors to expand on it by adding rebuttal claims found in reliable sources.–GodBlessYou2 (talk) 17:28, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
  • You plan to reinsert it in the face of strong consensus against even the short version in the RfC? I really wouldn't if I were you. You will be sanctioned for disruptive editing if you do. Please stick with discussing it here. Bishonen | talk 17:46, 29 December 2014 (UTC).
I am discussing it here, and at least two other editors have agreed that it is well sourced and at least reasonably balanced. As noted, anyone who objects to weight should contribute material rather than delete appropriate material. Rather than threaten sanctions (a threat which is, ironically, similar to what Richard Sternberg, Guillermo Gonzalez and others have alleged when they attempted to call attention to these matters), why don't you make suggestions regarding how this section can be best presented in a neutral but complete fashion.
I really don't think the discussion regarding Cpsoper's earlier effort to cite Bowman, the short version is relevant First, Cpsoper made the mistake of not attributing the allegation to Bowmen in the text, relying simply on the footnote. Also Cpsoper did not put that claim by Bowman in the larger context of reliable sources, including Stein, the Toledo Blade, New York Times, and Rodney Stark -- a highly regarded and notable sociologist. In short, if you read the prior discussion carefully, it's clear that Cpsoper's efforts were hampered by inexperience and lack of experience in blending his contribution into a larger body of reliable source. I wouldn't have ever come to this page and helped edit it if other editors here had stepped up to help Cspoper work his contribution into the piece rather than simply objecting to everything he tried.
Finally, I would add that I don't consider the reversion of my edit by RoxytheDog very legitimate. Roxy had not participated in the discussion or given any reasons why the sources cited are not reliable.—GodBlessYou2 (talk) 18:10, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
It doesn't matter what you think about my legitimate reversion of your no consensus edit. It is clear that editors here oppose it. -Roxy the dog™ (resonate) 18:56, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
Bishonen - seems not correct about wiki policies and wording is ironically channeling the kind of attacks under discussion as not notable ;-) I recommend Bishonen edit or delete own post just to be cool and that we all go back to talking article substance. Markbassett (talk) 18:19, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Yes, GodBlessYou2, I understand that you think all the people who have opposed adding even a short mention of the supposed "silencing" (and who have provided many and varied arguments) ought to be doing something completely different, as instructed by you. I've got that. It doesn't work like that, though. We're all volunteers here, and ordering others to add material, or scorning them for "not wanting to go to the trouble" of adding material, simply won't fly. You need to respect the RfC, however misguided you think your opponents are. Markbassett, thank you for your advice, but I won't be taking it. Bishonen | talk 18:26, 29 December 2014 (UTC).

Dominus - the article is "Creation-Evolution Controversy" so put in what the notable events and controversies are -- that the NY Times covered it supports notable, and that they objected to it supports it is in controversy. Seems kind of obvious that it is prominence in the topic rather than prominence in personal likes or feelings of falsehood that should count in wiki sense, and equally obvious that isn't easy to do. Markbassett (talk) 18:00, 29 December 2014 (UTC)

The RfC was clear. There is not consensus support for including this content. This attempt to ignore the RfC and push content is tendentious. - - MrBill3 (talk) 18:52, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
MrBill3 - Please relax and look again -- the RfC on a different topic by different user Cpsoper is above and as only 3 days old seems going within tolerable behaviour. This new section add/delete/debate seems a bit of interjection to the RfC process so I have separated the two, and can see if you feel it was jumping the gun or that TALK has run a bit more amok, but I also see that it has a point in wanting to talk / post about content as needed context for considering RS or not. Markbassett (talk) 19:57, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
The RfC is on exactly the topic covered in GodBlessYou2's reverted edit. AndyTheGrump (talk) 20:17, 29 December 2014 (UTC)

GodBlessYou2 - I'd expect the article organization Definition of Science / Appeals to Consnensus to be more about Philosophy of Science and Nature of Science (NOS) materials that relate to appealing to consensus in the Creation-Evolution controversy, not just that we are having issues re consensus here ;-) . Markbassett (talk) 19:15, 29 December 2014 (UTC)

@Mrbill, I don't think the RfC was clear, it was split 7 against, 5 in favour, at my count (with some unsigned/unclear/depends votes). It seems GodBlessYou2 (talk) the best option is take this to the DRN. JamieBrown2011 (talk) 19:24, 29 December 2014 (UTC)

I make it 12 to 4 against inclusion - and we don't ignore an ongoing RfC just because some people don't like he way it is going. If the RfC is closed with no consensus, dispute resolution may be necessary, but as of this moment there is no reason to presume that is going to happen. AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:38, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
My count is 14 to 5 (including one 'depends') - I'm with Andy on this one. Unless secondary and reliable sources can be found showing that this is notable belief, it simply don't belong in the article. WegianWarrior (talk) 19:54, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
Mmm - weighing the merits of the inputs seems likely/supposed to throw out a lot of the material that instead of responding to the question ran off into wording, Bergman, Holocaust, calling for academic source to say academic suppression (???), too terse, or bickering. The RfC substance so far seems talking about if it weights enough, though often wanting to impose a filter on what gets to be weighed so maybe it is more that 'what gets weighed' is the question. Markbassett (talk) 21:00, 29 December 2014 (UTC)

@Jamie: The film does not give weight to anything, because it is not a reliable source. Reviews of the film in reliable sources also do not give any weight to the topic, because they almost unanimously dismiss the topic of the film as a fabrication. If anything, the overwhelming majority of the reliable sources state that the topic basically doesn't exist except in the heads of paranoid, delusional fringe proponents. @Mark: Weight is assigned by how much serious and substantial coverage of the topic there is in multiple reliable independent secondary sources. Unreliable fringe sources cannot be used for any purpose here on WP except to illustrate what reliable sources say about them. They certainly cannot be used to assign weight. And because the claim is exceptional, the sources needed to substantiate it have to be of exceptionally high quality, not tabloids or fringe films. Without serious and substantial coverage in multiple high quality reliable independent secondary sources, we have no way to assign any weight to this topic at all. Also, just because the film is notable to merit a WP article doesn't mean that the film is reliable or that the topic of the film is notable. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 21:39, 29 December 2014 (UTC)

Dominus Vobisdu Hanh ? Not related to my RfC weight of inputs post. Supposed to be RfC outcome is determined by weighing the merits of the arguments and assessing if they are consistent with Wikipedia policies. Responses to the RfC that were short or silly or off topic of the RfC as it is actually phrased -- not imagined or paraphrased or whatever -- seems likely/supposed to not give much to the RfC conclusion. This section of TALK is not the RfC section, but I did feel it might be useful to point out to folks talking about the RfC that it is supposed to be about getting substantive inputs rather than a blog match 5 screens lower mattering. Markbassett (talk) 17:01, 30 December 2014 (UTC)

Clarification of New Section History[edit]

I would call your attention to one of the earliest comments made in opposition to Cposper's RfC.

  • The specific edit in this case is "Creationists claim there is evidence of a widespread discrimination against research scientists and academics who oppose evolution." To be accurate, the statement would have to be "Dr Jerry Bergman, in his book Slaughter of the Dissidents, claims that there is evidence of a widespread discrimination against research scientists and academics who oppose evolution.". The source is a reliable source just not for the edit in question. CanadianLinuxUser (talk) 21:15, 27 December 2014 (UTC)

Quite right. Attribution is needed in the text. Another good comment:

  • I think the question here is whether such claims of discrimination are discussed in non-creationist sources. It is par for the course for proponents of fringe ideas to claim discrimination, but little weight needs to be attached to them unless they are reported elsewhere. AndyTheGrump (talk) 18:59, 26 December 2014 (UTC)

Quite right. More sources are needed.

With these comments in mind, I crafted a section relying on multiple reliable sources showing that Bergman's claims had been repeated and addressed, and criticized by multiple third party reliable sources, including many main stream media sources.

RfC comments justifying opposition to inclusion like "My objection is that the article is already too long." are simply silly and don't touch on the main issue of whether or not, or more precisely how, the source provided by Cposper can be properly integrated into the article. As shown, Bergman's and Stein's own reporting of the people they have interviewed has been covered by The New York Times and the Toledo Blade, and elsewhere.

I went ahead and drafted an example of how this could be done in the context of a larger number of related main stream, reliable, and notable sources. In my view, the old RfC should be closed and the discussion should shift to the entire synthesis of sources I have proposed, not just an argument over a Cposper's over generalization citing Bergman.—GodBlessYou2 (talk) 23:10, 29 December 2014 (UTC)

The RFC seems to be against inclusion of a sentence referencing Bergman or the concept in the article. An entire section devoted to it would give the topic hugely undue weight.Rwenonah (talk) 23:17, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
Exactly. And I would note that even if the RfC were to approve the inclusion of material on Bergman's claims, there is no way that GodBlessYou2's proposed content would be acceptable - it simply parrots Bergman's arguments, without reflecting the mainstream view on such claims. It also appears to be making assertions not supported by the sources cited. AndyTheGrump (talk) 01:45, 30 December 2014 (UTC)
Not true. Bergman, Stein, and Stark are all relevant. As mentioned before, if as you claim there are more sources disputing the charges they make, then the proper way to balance the weight is to expand the section describing the rebuttals. "Banning" legitimate material because some editors think it has undue weight when they refuse to supply the "counter weight" material is counterproductive. "Keep in mind that, in determining proper weight, we consider a viewpoint's prevalence in reliable sources, not its prevalence among Wikipedia editors or the general public."
There are many reliable sources, especially regarding "Expelled," discussing the accusations of those interviewed by Stein and the counter arguments. Editors arguing here that the accusations of bias must be proved to be true and wide spread and acknowledged by the academic community are missing the fundamental point: this accusation and the counter response are widely reported in the media, most prominently in regard to the Expelled documentary but also in many other places, as I have cited. I repeat, once more. Anyone who thinks my edit lacks sufficient proclamations of those who reject accusation of bias can and should be able to find more reliable sources upon which to build paragraphs or even pages of the denials. Please do so! That's the way weight is balance . . . by adding material, not blocking topics which some editors don't want to see raised.–GodBlessYou2 (talk) 05:04, 30 December 2014 (UTC)
Unless the RfC closes with a consensus to include material on this, it isn't going into the article. AndyTheGrump (talk) 06:00, 30 December 2014 (UTC)
The topic hasn't received the same amount of attention in reliable sources as the subjects of the rest of the article. By adding a massive back-and-forth debate to the article, we would be treating it as far more important than it actually is. Balance is not treating fringe ideas like mainstream ones, as the RFC seems to be saying. Rwenonah (talk) 13:33, 30 December 2014 (UTC)
I'm with Rwenonah,and AndyTheGrump. It has been repeated multiple times in this RFC, this issue isn't important enough to have traction with the mainstream media or academic study. Sure there are a couple of lines about the movie, in print, but there is nearly zero serious discussion about the issue. To give it any air play in this article is to give it more weight and attention then it deserves.--Adam in MO Talk 13:56, 30 December 2014 (UTC)

I'm just passing through, haven't read all the posts on this topic, and don't care if the material in question is included or not. Just thought I'd mention that there is a similar section in the Intelligent design article titled "Allegations of discrimination against ID proponents"; it might be worth a look. — MisterDub (talk | contribs) 16:26, 30 December 2014 (UTC)

So if I hear all the arguments being made here, they would not be too dissimilar to this analogy:

The Creationists = The Black Minority in the US, The Darwinists = The White majority in the US, Wikipedia editors = Some CNN journalists.

A Black professor writes a book about blacks experiencing prejudice against them by their white colleagues. The whites deny the charges and say it doesn't happen. A respected film maker makes a documentary about blacks experiencing prejudice from their white colleagues. The white press dismiss the the documentary as ridiculously exaggerated and unreliable. Some CNN journalists say, "I think we have a story here." The other journalists say "this is a fringe/minority claim not worthy of a mention on CNN". The other journalists disagree and say "yes, this is a minority group, but we have a reliable source in the professor who wrote the book and a few notable newspapers who mentioned the book, and a documentary, however well or poorly made that made it to the Top 20 Documentaries of all time in the US." The majority CNN news reporters outvote the others saying "keep moving people, there is nothing to see here!" and "This is a minority/fringe view, that has not received sufficient coverage in the mainstream press to be worthy of mention!" JamieBrown2011 (talk) 16:48, 30 December 2014 (UTC)
Hm. Thing is, discrimination against blacks has been brought up before and received a lot of serious discussion in reliable sources. This hasn't. A better comparison would be homeopathy advocates' claims of doctors discriminating against them being given equal weight on CNN to doctors' scientific proof that homeopathy simply doesn't work. It doesn't happen, for obvious reasons. Rwenonah (talk) 17:01, 30 December 2014 (UTC)
You don't see articles on Home Depot's website about dowsers being upset over having been denied entry into the plumbers' union. The same applies here.--Adam in MO Talk 17:31, 30 December 2014 (UTC)
So when there are court cases, federal laws passed, documentation in textbooks and substantial academic discussion of, legal and scholarly documentation of and other substantial discourse in reliable sources then the prejudice against "The Creationists" will receive comparable coverage to discrimination against "The Black Minority in the US". WP is not the place to break the news of a Great Wrong That Must Be Righted, it is an encyclopedia reflecting the consensus of mainstream academia. A movie widely dismissed as fabricated, a single author and some minor commentary are not of due weight for inclusion in an encyclopedia, particularly as there is no activity in the courts or academia. Your comparison falls short in many other regards, previous position of disadvantage of blacks vs dominant position of christianity, white majority includes those acting in a way to cause harm vs WP editors aren't the group "persecuting" creationists.
The sources don't provide due weight for inclusion and there is not consensus support for including any of this content. - - MrBill3 (talk) 17:48, 30 December 2014 (UTC)

Is Bergman's claim isolated, and therefore fringe?[edit]

AndytheGrump has repeatedly pressed this point:

  • "I think the question here is whether such claims of discrimination are discussed in non-creationist sources. "

18:59, 26 December 2014

  • I don't think anyone is questioning the reliability of the sources - the question is how significant are the opinions expressed in them. If there is a controversy involved, there must of necessity be two sides of the dispute - so where is the response from mainstream science? 26 December 2014 (UTC)
  • It is a reliable source for Bergman's opinion (almost all sources are reliable for the opinion of the author). What matters is whether Bergman's opinion is significant. That can only be demonstrated by providing evidence that this claimed 'discrimination' has been discussed beyond the creationist camp. 26 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Provide evidence that these claims have had significant coverage beyond the creationist camp, and they may merit inclusion. AndyTheGrump (talk) 21:02, 27 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Will you please stop going on about RS - nobody is disputing that the material is reliable for the author's opinions. That isn't the issue. What we need is evidence that anyone beyond the authors and other creationists consider this of significance - and for that, we need actual citations, not meaningless numbers. [4] Provide evidence that this has been discussed elsewhere. AndyTheGrump (talk) 21:29, 27 December 2014 (UTC)

Not that it would take anyone more than a few minutes to verify the widespread discussion of claims of discrimination, but just so those of you who are lazy can see it in black and white, here's what a few minutes of my own searching uncovered, excluding all creationist sources:

  • Rodney Stark, "Fact, Fable, and Darwin", The American Enterprise, September 2004. Writing: "Popper's tribulations illustrate an important basis for the victory of Darwinism: A successful appeal for a united front on the part of scientists to oppose religious opposition has had the consequence of silencing dissent within the scientific community. The eminent observer Everett Olson notes that there is "a generally silent group" of biological scientists "who tend to disagree with much of the current thought" about evolution, but who remain silent for fear of censure."
  • Jeanette Catsoulis. Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (2008) Movie Review New York Times. April 18, 2008.
  • Gefter, Amanda (12 April 2008). "Warning! They've Got Designs on You". New Scientist (London, England: Reed Business Information, Ltd.) 198 (2651): 46. Bibcode:2008NewSc.198...46S. doi:10.1016/S0262-4079(08)61555-9.
  • John Rennie and Steve Mirsky. Six Things in Expelled That Ben Stein Doesn't Want You to Know......about intelligent design and evolution. Scientific American. April 16, 2008.
  • Jeffery Kluger. Ben Stein Dukes it Out with Darwin. April 10, 2008.
  • National Center for Science Education. "http://www.expelledexposed.com/ Expelled Exposed." Numerous materials disputing the claims of discrimination reported by Stein. This link adds details about the six people Stein interviewed claiming that their views made them targets.*States
  • Yudhijit Bhattacharjee "Push Academic Freedom Bills" Science 9 May 2008: 731. [DOI:10.1126/science.320.5877.731a}
  • Yudhijit Bhattacharjee ID at the Box Office Science 25 April 2008: 435. [DOI:10.1126/science.320.5875.435a]
  • Michael Shermer Expelled Exposed Scientific American. June 2008. vol 298, 42-42 doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0608-42
  • Yonke, David (2008-04-28). "Expelled: Intelligent design film fuels debate over how life came to be". Toledo Blade. Retrieved 7 January 2014.

Personally, I'm not a creationist. And I actually fully understand why academics and department chairs would discriminate against those who are not teaching what they are expected to teach. I came into this just because I hate to see the railroading of editors like Csposper who bringing in relevant material--just because others are looking for excuses to keep the material out of an article. My general opinion is that the more material the better.

I didn't have a "dog in the fight" until I saw my own well researched contribution blocked without good cause. The assertion by editors that this issue has not been discussed outside of the creationist press and is easily verified. Too many are arguing that the assertions are not reliable, when the only question that matters is that the assertions have been reported in verifiable sources by third parties (ie. reliable per Wikipedia source standards). The list above of non-creationists publications covering this story could be increased ten fold, as you all know. Granted, much or most of this coverage was triggered because Expelled was big news and unleashed a big push back from science groups. But there is no reason to blank it now just because some people don't like Expelled or think it was false. That's for our readers to determine after they are given notice, by us, of this controversy.

Once again, I repeat, if editors want to expand on my draft of the section adding more of the rebuttal evidence/statements/conclusions they should do so. That's the proper way to balance weight, by adding sources, not blocking sources.–GodBlessYou2 (talk) 22:46, 30 December 2014 (UTC)

Why does a list "excluding all creationist sources" start with an article by Robert J Marks, who runs a website [3] on intelligent design? If you want us to look through a long list of sources, please don't waste our time by misrepresenting them. AndyTheGrump (talk) 22:57, 30 December 2014 (UTC)
Your sources prove that the film is notable, which is nothing new since we already have an article about it. However, they lend little, if any, weight to the subject of the film, which has not received substantial, serious and persistent coverage in multiple reliable independent secondary sources, which almost entirely dismiss the topic as a paranoid delusion or groundless conspiracy theory unworthy of serious consideration. As we base our articles on substantial, serious and persistent coverage in multiple reliable independent secondary sources, we are bound by policy to do the same and dismiss the topic as a paranoid delusion or groundless conspiracy theory unworthy of serious consideration, or of inclusion in Wikipedia.
For cry's ache, take the time to read our core polices and guidelines, especially those that pertain to fringe and pseudoscientific topics like creationism: WP:V, WP:RS, WP:NOTE, WP:NPOV, especially WP:WEIGHT and WP:GEVAL, WP:FRINGE, WP:OR and WP:NOT. Your arguments will fall on deaf ears here unless they are based firmly on the above. You are just making up your own bizarre rules based on a very faulty understanding of our policies and guidelines, and ignoring those who correct you. Also read WP:NOTHERE. You're wasting your time, and, more importantly, ours. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 23:29, 30 December 2014 (UTC)
@DV, I like GBu2, was drawn into this RfC by what seemed like unreasonably obstructionist behavior to simply a RS paragraph being added. WP:FRINGE states, Wikipedia summarizes significant opinions, with representation in proportion to their prominence. A Wikipedia article should not make a fringe theory appear more notable or more widely accepted than it is. Claims must be based upon independent reliable sources. If discussed in an article about a mainstream idea, a theory that is not broadly supported by scholarship in its field must not be given undue weight,[1] and reliable sources must be cited that affirm the relationship of the marginal idea to the mainstream idea in a serious and substantial manner.
My understanding of the policy is that while fringe issue should not receive undue weight in the article, but if it is reliably sourced, editors should not ENTIRELY exclude things that are fringe.ONE paragraph on this hardly seems giving it UNDUE coverage. JamieBrown2011 (talk) 23:55, 30 December 2014 (UTC)
Nope, it is, per Wp:GEVAL. Rwenonah (talk) 00:53, 31 December 2014 (UTC)
@Jamie: The topic of this article is the Creation-Evolution controversy. There has been an enormous amount of substantial coverage on this topic in countless reliable independent secondary sources. The proportion of that total that deals with the sub-topic of "suppression" of creationist scientists is microscopic, and consists almost entirely of brief, terse and repeated dismissals of it as a topic worthy of discussion. It is of tangential significance to the topic of the article as a whole, to the point where it is totally insignificant for an article the size of a WP article. It doesn't rise to the level of significance in terms of the big picture to warrant any notice whatsoever.
Of course, our policies prevent us from assigning weight to anything on the basis of coverage in unreliable sources. How much this has been discussed in the fringe literature is of no importance to us when assigning weight, per WP:GEVAL. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 01:47, 31 December 2014 (UTC)
This is totally absurd. First, Andy, I don't know anything about Andy Marks other than (a) his was the most recent published article I happened on and (b) his article was published in a reliable source that is not devoted to creationism. Second, Andy, why do you ignore all of the other sources, including New Scientist, Time, Science, and Scientific American? You previously asked "If there is a controversy involved, there must of necessity be two sides of the dispute - so where is the response from mainstream science?" Clearly I provided what you requested, and now you're moving the goal posts??!
Why are you all also ignoring the book and article by Rodney Stark, a very highly respected and much cited sociologist who has studied the intersection between science and religion? Because ignoring reliable sources is convenient?
So how do we take this to arbitration? It will be amazing to see how it is handled. As said before, it is very illustrative and ironic that a faction of editors insists on hiding a highly discussed fact that dissenters complain of bias precisely to maintain the pretense that such bias can't exist because those accused of it say that it doesn't exits. This is truly bizarre and sad, and totally out of line with policy. —GodBlessYou2 (talk) 04:30, 31 December 2014 (UTC)
Why am I ignoring Rodney Stark? Well, apart from the fact that someone who writes "There is no plausible scientific theory of the origin of species!" is self-evidently questionable as a source for the mainstream view, the article you linked says next to nothing about the subject under discussion here - creationist scientists supposedly being discriminated against. A mention in passing, no more. Given your apparent inability to pick a source without misrepresenting it, I see little reason to waste further time on your list. We already know that reviews of 'Expelled' widely dismissed it as the nonsense it clearly is, but that isn't evidence of anything beyond the fact that fringe nonsense is entertaining to write about - the film led to zero serious debate about alleged persecution of creationist scientists. This article is about the debate between science and religion concerning evolution (or rather, between science and some proponents of some subsets of religion), and not about the persecution complex of a small minority on one side of the debate. If people want to read about how 'Expelled' was trashed by critics, they can see the article on it - but such material, along with fringe claims that nobody but the claimants take seriously don't belong in this article - it is simply off-topic, and presenting it as somehow of significance to the wider debate is entirely undue. And as for arbitration, I see no reason why that is necessary - the consensus in the RfC seems clear. Though if this does come to arbitration, I may very well bring up your questionable use of sources, and your apparent inability to accurately summarise their contents. AndyTheGrump (talk) 05:03, 31 December 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────See WP:FRINGE § Unwarranted promotion of fringe theories, "A conjecture that has not received critical review from the scientific community or that has been rejected may be included in an article about a scientific subject only if other high-quality reliable sources discuss it as an alternative position. Ideas supported only by a tiny minority may be explained in articles devoted to those ideas if they are notable." This explains clearly and explicitly what we are dealing with here, ideas supported only by a tiny minority, not discussed in high quality sources as an alternate position but dismissed with passing reference. Policy clearly does not support inclusion of the proposed content (proportional representation based on prominence in reliable sources is core policy). Arbitration has been mentioned and anything to relieve this tendentious talk page editing and attempt to subvert an RfC would be welcomed. I note that an admin can impose discretionary sanctions if appropriate. - - MrBill3 (talk) 06:27, 31 December 2014 (UTC)

Discretionary sanctions can be imposed for arguing for inclusion of material on the talk page??? Also, creationism is a discredited theory, yes, but not a fringe theory. It is an ancient theory with a long history of documentation and debate. It is more than a conjecture, it is a full blown widely held claim. It is so notable that countless scientists have written many books to refute, dismiss, and discredit it. Conversely, many others (including far fewer scientists) have written counter arguments. This article is precisely about that notable debate.
I find it amazing that editors like AndyGrump will look through a list of 11 non-creationist sources, including articles from Time magazine, Science, New Scientist, New York Times, Scientific American, and Human Events, then pick just one, an article by highly regarded Rodney Stark published in The American Enterprise and use that one source as an excuse to ignore all of the other sources. Why, because he disagrees with Stark?! He doesn't even bother to understand Stark's comment. In full context, Stark's article acknowledges that natural selection describes the "evolution" of species but not the "origin" of the first species. (Without a first species, who does the second species evolve?) The problem of how inanimate matter became reproducing, evolving life is still a vexing one and Stark is alleging that that it has not been sufficiently solved.
That aside, just because Andy cherry picks a comment that, in his personal opinion, discredits everything Stark has ever said or thought, that does not change the fact that Stark is a very notable academic, published in many reliable publications, who is asserting that he and other academics (mentioning "Popper" and "Everett Olson") have witnessed and experienced academic backlash against anyone who dares to allege that there may be any weaknesses in the arguments of evolutionists --- precisely because any questions are perceived as giving aid, comfort, and encouragement to creationists which may then be used to provide further grist in the evolution and creation controversy, which is what this article is supposed to be about . . . at least in theory.
But now I'm beginning to see that I may have been mistaken. Instead of seeking to add reliable information backed my multiple source relevant to the title of this article, perhaps I should have instead suggested changing the title to reflect what a contingent of the editors insist the article should really be about. What do you think of retitling it to: "A response to critics of evolution including only those issues and sources we prefer to discuss." At least that would be accurate.—GodBlessYou2 (talk) 14:28, 31 December 2014 (UTC)
'In full context, Stark's article acknowledges that natural selection describes the "evolution" of species but not the "origin" of the first species.' Nope. You clearly aren't reading sources you are citing. He isn't discussing the origin of life at all - he instead argues that the alleged lack of "transitional forms" indicates that the Darwinian explanation for speciation is inadequate, and suggests that this is "probably the most disreputable scientific secret of the past century". Speciation - the change from one species to another. Not the origin of life. And no, I'm not trying to discredit Starks social science (though I think your assessment of his significance is somewhat exaggerated)- I'm pointing out that Stark is in no shape or form a representative of the scientific mainstream regarding Darwinism (a field in which he appears to have no qualifications), and accordingly cannot be cited as representing the mainstream in regard to the topic under discussion here - alleged systematic discrimination against creationist scientists. Not that the article cited says anything of significance anyway. AndyTheGrump (talk) 16:11, 31 December 2014 (UTC)
No one is ignoring any reliable sources, or that the information is relevant. It simply hasn't received enough mainstream media attention to merit a place in the article. The number of times this has been repeated to you is starting to become ridiculous. By adding this to the article, we would be giving equal validity to a fringe idea, thereby validating it in a way we, as a NPOV encyclopaedia reflecting mainstream (i.e. no-fringe) scholarly ideas, cannot.
Two more things. There's no such thing as an "evolutionist". That's a term creationists use to undermine evolution by making it seem that only a small group supports it. The words you're looking for are "99% of scientists" or "mainstream science". It's interesting you chose to use that particular term. Also, stop the ad hominem accusations of bias. It's a classic tactic to draw attention away from weak argumentation, but it gets annoying after days of discussion in which you choose to ignore policy-based arguments and overwhelming consensus in favour of such accusations. There's no bias here. It's just policy/consensus vs. your opinions. Rwenonah (talk) 14:49, 31 December 2014 (UTC)
Focus here. The persecution of creationists is the content being discussed and that is clearly a FRINGE theory supported by only a tiny minority and not discussed as an an alternative viewpoint but dismissed in passing in reliable sources. As a note creationism is indeed a FRINGE theory, flat earth and earth centrism also have a history but they are now clearly fringe theories, perhaps one day creationism will be consigned to the same ash heap and WP can have a historical article, but now creationism is a present day fringe theory. Source dumping without stating what each source says on the topic (persecution of creationists) is useless and without it few editors are likely to waste their time going through sources that are misrepresented to begin with. Discretionary sanctions are just that, discretionary. Disruptive editing includes tendentious editing and WP:IDHT. Misrepresenting sources and their handling of "persecution of creationists" is not acting in good faith. Ad homimen attacks are not in keeping with PAG. Subverting an RfC is not either. Add to that POV pushing with a lack of understanding or disregard for WP:NPOV, WP:FRINGE, WP:NOTE, WP:GEVAL, WP:DUE, WP:RS and WP:NOT reflects an editor who is not here to improve the encyclopedia. All of this together certainly rises to the level of consideration of discretionary sanctions. I thankfully leave that to administrators.
Provide reliable sources that discuss "persecution of creationists" as an alternative viewpoint or drop the stick and back slowly away from the horse carcass. Note: not passing mentions, not proponents, not dismissals nor original research synthesizing this persecution, particularly not personal anecdotes indicating a conflict of interest. - - MrBill3 (talk) 15:29, 31 December 2014 (UTC)
  • GodBlessYou2, I'm going to give a serious and I hope helpful answer to your question above about taking this dispute to arbitration. It comes in three parts:
  1. Anyone can request arbitration, though most requests are declined. This is where you file a request, if you decide to. Don't forgot to read the instructions and the guide.
  2. To put it bluntly, you'd be wasting your time. Dominus Vobisdu, provoked, said above that you're wasting your time as well as other people's on this page, but in going to arbitration you would mainly be wasting your own. Starting a request is pretty complex and confusing, whereas declining it (which is what will happen, with a certainty of > 99%) is quick and easy for the arbitrators.
  3. There has been an arbitration case about pseudoscience which is about these issues, which you might like take a look at. It was a long time ago (2006), but it's still often referred to, many of its decisions have made Wikipedia history re the way pseudoscience subjects are regarded, and alerts about the discretionary sanctions that this case created are still frequently issued (in fact, I posted one on your page recently) as well as acted on. The last time the case decision was amended by motion was a month ago, so it's very much live today.
Oh, and by the way, to your other question in your latest post above: yes, discretionary sanctions can be imposed for arguing on the talkpage, if it's taken far enough and uselessly exhausts too much of our most precious resource (=the time and energy of out volunteers). It's been done; I think I've done it myself a couple of times. But it's unusual, and I don't think you're near any such limit yet, even though the crabby bad temper of your last paragraph is eyebrow-raising. Please try to keep the level of discussion a little higher than that, even if you're feeling frustrated. Bishonen | talk 15:38, 31 December 2014 (UTC).
A sincere thank you, Bshonen, for your instructions and comments on arbitration. Obviously, I too am frustrated by how much time is being wasted on, what I think, is clearly well sourced and appropriate material. I've asked Csposper to close his RfC so as to clear the way for a new RfC which will be more clearly focused on the section I proposed rather than the one source he was making a query about. I've reworked my proposed section to expand on the statements rebutting the claims of bias, since everyone else here declined my invitation to expand on the lead and two sources I originally provided. I invite you and others here to make suggestions and changes at my sandbox, where the draft currently resides.—GodBlessYou2 (talk) 16:24, 31 December 2014 (UTC)
It is not open to Csposper to close the RfC in such a manner - and your suggestion that he should do so in order to enable you to ignore the result is entirely inappropriate. AndyTheGrump (talk) 16:28, 31 December 2014 (UTC)
Right, I just noticed your request to Cpsoper, but I'm afraid it doesn't work like that, just as Andy tells you; it's not "his" RfC just because he opened it, it belongs equally to everybody who has commented. None of them can close it, and not Cpsoper either, but only somebody uninvolved, a respected user from the outside. A close should then include a conclusion from the RfC, an evaluation of consensus. It's still being edited, though, so it's rather premature to close it. Meanwhile, there's no hurry, as the current consensus is obvious. And to me (and it seems to a majority of others), it's also obvious that the RfC is on the topic you propose to introduce to the article. If there's consensus that a sentence on the content is too much, it seems illogical to try to sidestep that by offering an expansion of the same content, with sources, and proposing a new RfC. The argument for excluding it isn't even mainly a matter of sourcing, but of weight. There's a limit to how many times people should be obliged to voice the same concerns. In that regard, you may want to consider what I said above about exhausting the time and energy of our volunteers. It can become disruptive. Bishonen | talk 16:45, 31 December 2014 (UTC).
You guys should read the policy for closing RfC's which specifically states that the person initiating the RfC can close it: "may be withdrawn by the poster." Which makes sense, precisely for cases like this if the original post stimulates efforts to go a different way.
Moreover, the original RfC did not request a comment on a topic but was specifically a request about the reliability of a single source, specifically Bergman, which Csposper proposed to use in a very specific single sentence entry which he offered up for comment. I am not seeking to ignore the prior result. In fact I agreed with the prior result. His proposed edit was not adequate.
My proposed contribution does not rely on Bergman, but does include Bergman in the context of several additional sources precisely in ways that Andy and other indicated would be necessary when they responded to the RfC. My contribution is also clearly far different and much more complete than anything Cspospers appeared to be suggestng. I think it is appropriate to ask for a new round of comments regarding my proposal...which is not the same as Cspospers.
I take note, once more, that neither of you have addressed the substance of all the sources I have used or how I have presented the material. Instead, you appear to just want me to go away and pretend that my contribution has no merit. Instead of continually raising objections, how about shifting gear to pitch in to help make the entry one that best reflects the available material? Once again: add more material if you like!—GodBlessYou2 (talk) 19:11, 31 December 2014 (UTC)
Since there is already strong consensus that what you are proposing is not appropriate per due weight, fringe, and giving equal validity it may be better not to start a new RfC. Such pointless persistence may be seen as disruptive editing.Charles (talk) 19:25, 31 December 2014 (UTC)
Charles beat me to it, but I agree that starting another RFC now would be disruptive since the consensus in the first is very clear and you have already received abundant feedback from many editors about the merits, or lack thereof, of your proposal. Continuing to peddle your proposal would also be disruptive, as it has been pointed out to you by many editors that it does not conform to our policies and guidelines by a wide mile.
Your best option at this point would be to WP:Drop the stick and carefully read the policies and guidelines I listed above so that you have a clue what other, more experienced, editors and administrators are saying to you. And so that you can talk to them in language that they can understand you, as well.
Right now, you are neither listening nor understanding and, as far as I can tell, have no desire to do so, which makes me serious believe that you are WP:NOTHERE. I invite you to prove me wrong. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 19:40, 31 December 2014 (UTC)
@GodBlessYou2 Your proposed contribution has been addressed, multiple times, at great length. The overwhelming consensus is that the substance of your proposal does NOT merit inclusion in this article. I don't know how any one can make it any clearer to you. The relevant polices have been explained to you, again, at great length. Your assertion that "... it is appropriate to ask for a new round of comments regarding my proposal.." is incorrect. Your proposal has been discussed and dealt with. You don't have to like it but it would behoove you to accept that your proposal has been soundly rejected. I implore you to take the advice of Charles, Bishonen, AndyTheGrump, Dominus Vobisdu and myself and back away from this.--Adam in MO Talk 20:29, 31 December 2014 (UTC)
  • All, and I include admins, please just take a breather for a day or three. May help discussion be more on content and more calm. I also request GodBlessYou2 then return, using any productive inputs among the mix so far. Markbassett (talk) 20:01, 31 December 2014 (UTC)
The answer to the question: Is Bergman's claim isolated, and therefore fringe? Is without any doubt NO. I am an atheist and I do believe in evolutionism, but creationism - even amongst people with strong scientific background - is not so little represented. It is not WP:FRINGE. Silvio1973 (talk) 16:50, 8 February 2015 (UTC)
Except that not all creationists are kooks indulging in paranoid conspiracy theories. Tgeorgescu (talk) 21:38, 8 February 2015 (UTC)
God bless you Tgeorgescu. I also think the same. The question here is to state is creationism is fringe. In views of the sources existing I think it is not. Silvio1973 (talk) 08:29, 11 February 2015 (UTC)
"Scientific background" is not the right criterion. Every person with a scientific background is a layman regarding most scientific subjects, and the vast majority of people with scientific backgrounds are laymen regarding evolution. The underlying set you want is evolutionary biologists, not "people with strong scientific background". Creationism is definitely fringe. --Hob Gadling (talk) 08:48, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
Creationism is fringe as science. It isn't fringe as theology. Besides, there are theistic evolutionism and agnostic evolutionism, which are compatible with the creation of the world (but not of the species) by God. Tgeorgescu (talk) 11:35, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
I tend to agree the creationism is fringe as science, but this is not the way WP works. The fact that a view if fringe is function of the sources supporting it. --Silvio1973 (talk) 12:05, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
There are plenty of WP:RS/AC sources which state that evolution is true, to my knowledge there isn't any such source for creationism being true. I mean official statements by academies of science and professional societies of biologists, university textbooks and peer-reviewed review articles. What I do not mean are theological treatises which aim to tell biologists that they got it wrong. Tgeorgescu (talk) 12:31, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
Tgeorgescu - not sure how you got there ... the thread was on whether other sources said claims similar to Bergman, not a scientific topic so RS in general would do. And I suspect that you're a bit off on the other (a) WP:RS/AC sources would seem not just 'state evolution is true' but rather talk aspects of it, and (b) RS other than theological do express doubts or discuss that doubts exist. There's a whole range of science topics that are known significantly distrusted by public, but such sources wouldn't fit this article which is looking for controversy with creationists. Though I have seen some text put anything doubting down as 'creationist', I think that would be dubious and not the article intent. Markbassett (talk) 04:30, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
I believe that God created the Big Bang/multiverse and the laws of nature did the rest. So I believe in creation and evolution. "Teach the controversy" fails because there is no controversy about evolution in the scientific community. There are a few creationist scientists who disagree with evolution, whether they are young Earth, old Earth or ID supporters. However, they did not produce a controversy inside the scientific community.

Steve Jones, a geneticist at University College London, called the papers "arts faculty science" in an interview with The Independent. "Never mind the hypothesis, give me the data, and there aren't any," Jones is quoted saying.

[4]
So, a more appropriate explanation for the lack of controversy (i.e. peer-reviewed publications) is the lack of data in support for creationism, it is more in accordance with Occam's razor than a paranoid conspiracy theory which found support only among kooks having a persecution complex. Since there are reliable sources discussing the film Expelled (if only to dismiss it as rubbish), it has its own Wikipedia article, but it would be WP:UNDUE to render it here. So, if you see the irony, it is not Bergman who is notable, but the film based upon his idea. And of course there are creationists who do not rely upon a persecution complex to explain their failure to convince the scientific community, see e.g. Non-overlapping magisteria. Tgeorgescu (talk) 15:27, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
  • If I might chime in briefly here, it seems that this discussion has lost its way rather badly, and it might just be better to avoid commenting here. This thread should be closed, in my opinion. Sławomir Biały (talk) 20:34, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Yup. Wp:Don't feed the trolls might apply. Rwenonah (talk) 23:13, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
Tgeorgescu - ??? Not getting it. Seems not part of the thread topic Bergman claim said elsewhere and discussion of citing and defining 'controversy'. Still not understanding from indents or remarks how things got restarted here. Anyway thanks for the input even with me not seeing how it fits. Markbassett (talk) 05:47, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

RfC -- Debate over claims of discrimination in academia[edit]

I don't need the clear consensus among contributors here to tell me that this is a very malformed RfC, but it's nice to not be alone. This RfC starts with a simple sentence, with two sources, but then jumps into a whole bunch of paragraphs of text (whose provenance is unclear, and whose relation to the original sentence is likewise unclear), followed by no fewer than three long questions, one of which is leading and another loaded. So whatever the real question was, the answer is--probably--no. Drmies (talk) 02:01, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

This article is about the evolution-creation controversy. A previous RfP by Cposper regarding this one sentence edit [5]had mixed reactions, with most negative comments suggesting that more sources than the two clearly one-sided sources cited by Cposper were needed. See for example AndytheGrump's comments[6][7]

My proposed section, copied below, attempts to address the deficiencies of Cposper's contribution using 14 reliable sources on both sides of the controversy. The outline is simple. The first paragraph affirms the overwhelming support for evolution in academia. The second paragraph cites sources asserting discrimination against academics expressing any doubts, the third paragraph cites sources asserting the claim of discrimination is false and/or exaggerated.

Personally, I'm not a creationist. I only came to this article because of Cposper's RfC with a desire to encourage the process described in WP:PRESERVE, trying to build rather than block it. I have persisted on this talk page and through this RfC because I put effort into my original contribution and believe opposition to it, is totally contrary to WP:PRESERVE and represents problems with ownership sentiments that discourage new editors.

My addition:

===Appeals to Scientific Consensus===
The vast majority of the scientific community and academia supports evolutionary theory as the only explanation that can fully account for observations in the fields of biology, paleontology, molecular biology, genetics, anthropology, and others.[1][2][3][4][5] (See Level of support for evolution.)
This consensus is so embedded in academia that some critics believe it has created a chilling effect on scientists who might raise questions regarding the adequacy of evolutionary theory.[6] For example, sociologist Rodney Stark has also asserted that a "fear of censure"[7] exists such that any questions regarding the adequacy of evolution may be perceived as support for creationism.[8] In Ben Stein's much publicized documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed the alleged discrimination against scientists who question evolution theory is presented as a major obstacle to serious engagement with the theory of Intelligent design. In the film, Stein interviewed several academics, including biologist Richard Sternberg, and astrobiologist Guillermo Gonzalez, who claimed, according to the Toledo Blade that "their careers were derailed for failing to follow the party line on evolution."[6] Similarly, Jerry Bergman claims he has documented hundreds of cases of scientists "whose careers have been capsized for doubting Darwin." [6][9]
The claim that academics are systematically punished for voicing doubts about evolution has been dismissed and refuted by many leading scientists and organizations.[10][11] In response to Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, the National Center for Science Education created a Expelled Exposed[12], a website with multiple resources criticizing the film including expanded biographical material on each of the six academics interviewed in the film who alleged that they had been discriminated against because of their views. Similarly, an article in Scientific American asserts that Stein provided only a "selective retelling" of Richard Sternberg's role with the Smithsonian Institution. The film failed to disclose, for example, that Sternberg's departure was planned before the controversy erupted over his decision to publish a paper on paper intelligent design by Steven Meyer.[13] Stein's assertion of widespread prejudice against scientists who hold religious beliefs was also dismissed by examples of the "[t]housands of other biologists across the U.S. who all know evolution to be true also still religious."[13] In a 2006 article published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, a group of scientists argued that the claim that “persecuted scientist against the establishment” allegation made by creationists is a "hoax.".[14]

References

  1. ^ Myers, PZ (2006-06-18). "Ann Coulter: No evidence for evolution?". Pharyngula (scienceblogs.com). Retrieved 2006-11-18. 
  2. ^ The National Science Teachers Association's position statement on the teaching of evolution.
  3. ^ IAP Statement on the Teaching of Evolution Joint statement issued by the national science academies of 67 countries, including the United Kingdom's Royal Society (PDF file)
  4. ^ From the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world's largest general scientific society: 2006 Statement on the Teaching of Evolution (PDF file), AAAS Denounces Anti-Evolution Laws
  5. ^ Fact, Fancy, and Myth on Human Evolution, Alan J. Almquist, John E. Cronin, Current Anthropology, Vol. 29, No. 3 (Jun., 1988), pp. 520–522
  6. ^ a b c Yonke, David (2008-04-28). "Expelled: Intelligent design film fuels debate over how life came to be". Toledo Blade. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  7. ^ Stark, Rodney (September 2004). "Fact, Fable, and Darwin". One America. Retrieved 31 December 2014. Popper's tribulations illustrate an important basis for the victory of Darwinism: A successful appeal for a united front on the part of scientists to oppose religious opposition has had the consequence of silencing dissent within the scientific community. The eminent observer Everett Olson notes that there is 'a generally silent group' of biological scientists 'who tend to disagree with much of the current thought' about evolution, but who remain silent for fear of censure. 
  8. ^ Stark, Rodney (2003). For The Glory of God: How Monotheism Led to Reformations, Science, Witch-hunts and the End of Slavery. Princeton University Press. p. 176. My reluctance to pursue these matters is based on my experience that nothing causes greater panic among many of my colleagues than any criticism of evolution. They seem to fear that someone might mistake them for Creationists if they even remain in the same room while such talk is going on. 
  9. ^ Jerry Bergman. Slaughter of the Dissidents: The Shocking Truth about Killing the Careers of Darwin Doubters, 2nd edition, April 2011, 422 pages, Leafcutter Press.
  10. ^ Jeanette Catsoulis. Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (2008) Movie Review New York Times. April 18, 2008. Accessed Dec. 28, 2014.
  11. ^ Gefter, Amanda (12 April 2008). "Warning! They've Got Designs on You". New Scientist (London, England: Reed Business Information, Ltd.) 198 (2651): 46. Bibcode:2008NewSc.198...46S. doi:10.1016/S0262-4079(08)61555-9. 
  12. ^ "Expelled Exposed". National Center for Science Education. Retrieved December 31, 2014. 
  13. ^ a b Rennie, John; Mirsky, Steve (April 16, 2008). "Six Things in Expelled That Ben Stein Doesn't Want You to Know...about intelligent design and evolution". Scientific American. Retrieved December 31, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Another plea often articulated by ID proponents is the idea that there is a community of ID scientists undergoing persecution by the science establishment for their revolutionary scientific ideas. A search through PubMed fails to find evidence of their scholarship within the peer-reviewed scientific literature. In the original Wedge document, a key part of the plan to displace evolutionary biology was a program of experimental science and publication of the results. That step has evidently been skipped." Attie, A. D.; Sober, E.; Numbers, R. L.; Amasino, R. M.; Cox, B.; Berceau, T.; Powell, T.; Cox, M. M. (2006). "Defending science education against intelligent design: a call to action" (FULL FREE TEXT). Journal of Clinical Investigation 116 (5): 1134–1138. doi:10.1172/JCI28449. PMC 1451210. PMID 16670753.  edit

Three questions for the RfC:

Q1. Is the above material relevant to the topic, the evolution-creation controversy?

Q2. Keeping in mind that WP:PRESERVE techniques can be used to improve this contribution and further refine the balance and sources, does this contribution and 14 reliable sources provided form a reasonable starting point for refining the contribution in a way that improves the article?

Q3. Does this contribution "actually make the article worse"? -- justifying reversion per Revert only when necessary? See the "Unacceptable reverts" subsection

Please Note: Q3 is framed in the negative, with a NO favoring inclusion of he above contribution. No, No, Yes, opposes inclusion on all grounds. Yes, Yes, No favors inclusion on all three grounds.

Please remember this is not a poll on the validity of the claims of discrimination, much less creationism. It is strictly a poll on whether the proposed content is suitable to the article, supported by reliable sources, and a reasonable first draft to improve the coverage of the subject for our readers.--GodBlessYou2 (talk) 22:23, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

  • COMMENT - This is a non-neutral RfC that argues to keep the content via questions 2 and 3. Should be trashed and done over. Jytdog (talk) 23:01, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
  • COMMENT - Looks immediately like undue weight to Expelled which is no more than an ID propaganda exercise lacking basis in reality: there's already an article about it, at most it would merit a link and a very brief summary style note in this overview article. It's not even that crucial to ID, let alone the other forms of creationism. . dave souza, talk 23:05, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

In the material quoted is the phrase "who all know evolution to be true also still religious". I think this quote is missing a verb. Rick Norwood (talk) 23:30, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

  • COMMENT - Persecution of scientists who don't believe in evolution is a paranoid conspiracy theory propagated by US Christian fundamentalists out of frustration with science and in order to advance their political agenda through public education, see [8], [9] and [10]. The paradigmatic example is Behe: although his whole academic department unanimously stated that ID isn't science, he is still employed there to teach his own specialism. Tgeorgescu (talk) 23:32, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
  • COMMENT Per Jytdog, this RFC is badly phrased and seems to have been constructed to make it virtually impossible to avoid some form of the content getting in the article. A virtually identical RFC has already rejected any such inclusion very recently. The possibility if a further RFC has been discussed at length too and also been rejected. I recommend that it be at a minimum restructured and probably removed entirely. Rwenonah (talk) 23:54, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
  • COMMENT. Invalid, partisan RfC created by a tendentious contributor who refuses to accept the clear consensus in the earlier RfC (which incidentally also failed to ask a neutral question). It should be noted that not only does the new so-called RfC not ask neutrally-worded questions, but that it misrepresents the nature of the previous one. I can see no reason why this nonsense shouldn't be summarily closed as the abuse of process it self-evidently is, with at minimum stern warning to the contributor that any more of this nonsense is liable to result in significant repercussions. AndyTheGrump (talk) 01:10, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment. Invalid and tendentious RfC by someone who has great difficulty understanding the abundant comments he has already received for his proposal, which violates our policies and guidelines on many levels. Yes, it makes the article worse, and no, there isn't a single word or even a single letter of this conspiracy theory nonsense worth "preserving". Flushing twice, shutting the lid and weighing it down with cinderblock so that this stinkbomb of a proposal never again sees the warm light of day is more in keeping with our policies. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 01:16, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment. The previous RfC, on the issue of "Should the section on public policy include a reference to concerns about the silencing of dissidents?", appears to have ended resoundingly with the answer of "No". The present RfC perversely proposes to address the concerns of earlier commentators with an even lengthier treatment than was suggested in the course of the previous one. Also, I think editors really ought to know better than to suggest that half a dozen or so movie reviews constitute good, reliable sources for an article of this kind. Sławomir Biały (talk) 02:16, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment No, just no. This isn't a real issue. GBU2 should be topic banned from Creationism/Evolution controversy pages. How much of this are we going to put up with, before we say 'enough is enough'?--Adam in MO Talk 02:45, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment No. Enough of this Ben Steinery already. Just plain Bill (talk) 03:04, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment Improperly formed, POV pushing RfC, rehashing issue that has been resolved in the previous thread and was essentially covered in the recent RfD. Tenditious editing of talk page and stunning IDHT. The idea of including the conspiracy theory nonsense has been thoroughly rejected. Support topic ban this has used inordinate amounts of time for multiple editors for no useful purpose, only to respond to a single SPA disruptive editor. Rather than continue this time sink I suggest taking this to ANI. - - MrBill3 (talk) 03:54, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment Partisan, malformed, non-neutral, and invalid RFC by a tendentious contributor whom seems unable to get it as far as what the conciousness on this issue is. WegianWarrior (talk) 05:07, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Yes,Yes, No It most certainly is a real issue, academic freedom and the summary dismissal of employees, intimidation or sabotage of the lab work of colleagues, despite excellent academic credentials over an interpretation of data is of direct and central relevance to this page. Experienced editors at the RS noticeboard and even the fringe theories noticeboard [11][12] indicate that Bergman and those societies that support and cite him are RS for creationist views on the subject. The proposed edit gives fair airing to both sides of the issue. Is there not also a danger here of advancing a religion of another kind, not intrinsic to the scientific method - that of materialistic fideism? Cpsoper (talk) 05:36, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
You appear to still be having a basic comprehension issue here. You have been told that Bergman is a reliable source for his own opinions. Everyone is a reliable source for their own opinions. Nothing in the links you provide supports the assertion that Bergman's opinions have any credibility amongst anyone beyond a fringe subset of Creationist conspiracy theorists. AndyTheGrump (talk) 05:44, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
I simple consideration of Due weight resolves any question. The subject of the article has received substantial discussion in weighty sources, the proposed content represents a tiny minority, fringe, conspiracy theory that has recieved coverage in sources which carry negligible weight in comparison. The consensus has been established, re-established and confirmed, enough. "fair airing to both sides" is proposing false balance and is not in keeping with policy. "a danger here of advancing..." irrelelvant soapboxing. Bergman and "those societies that support and cite him" constitute a fringe, tiny minority that have not recieved coverage, consideration or serious academic study or debate, regardless of their reliability on their own opinions those opinions are not due inclusion per policy that has been explained, re-explained... As above tendentious talk page editing, IDHT and failure to grasp policy does not demonstrate that an editor is here to improve the encyclopedia, quite the contrary. - - MrBill3 (talk) 07:29, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
@AtG. If you trouble to read the contributions by others at the noticeboards, you will find that Bergman was regarded as RS for other creationist opinion, based on the fact that he is widely cited by several different bodies. There is a somewhat neuralgic quality to these contributions.
@Mr Bill, if you think 46% of US college students and 25% of postgrad students are 'a tiny minority', I wonder how you define a large minority?! The issue being not whether such opinions represent the establishment consensus, but how widely they are held. Do you not think this contribution smacks of the very same problem of silencing legitimate dissent that Bergman is highlighting? Cpsoper (talk) 12:30, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
At the noticeboard, it says that the Bergman source "appears reliable that the view is held by the person" (which is reiterated by TFD). That's a bit different than it being a reliable source that there has been some sort of suppression. What weight do we assign the personal views of some random creationist? Basically none, I should think. If there are quality secondary sources concerning his opinion, then we should be discussing those instead. If 25% of post-grad students have really heard of Bergman, then it should be very easy to find reliable secondary sources concerning his opinion. Sławomir Biały (talk) 12:44, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
True, TFD was against, however another editor wrote 'it must be possible to source the views in question to that larger community rather than a single author. CMI and AiG would make a good start', see [13][14][15] for his enthusiastic endorsements by such bodies, and another editor of the two earlier 'it seems one source meeting some RS'. Cpsoper (talk) 13:17, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
Bergman's reliable for his own views, and maybe for the views of fringe, extreme young-earth creationists, but probably very little else. An endorsement by such blatantly partisan bodies as CMI or AiG, which already blatantly espouse young earth creationism, only reinforces this impression. The fact is, by assigning any Wp:WEIGHT to his or their fringe accusations of discrimination in the article, we would be giving it equal validity to true scientific discourse. Rwenonah (talk) 13:31, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
Book flap isn't really a "reliable source" either. And the comment at WP:RSN that you just referred to is unintelligible. Also, you asked that we should look at this as further evidence of the reliability of the Bergman source, meaning that you (apparently) agree with the clear consensus there. Since that consensus very clearly is that Bergman is not reliable, except for his own opinions, I should think that the matter of whether to use Bergman as a source is absolutely settled. Sławomir Biały (talk) 14:29, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
You've misread the comment I made, I simply restated the argument of another editor for clarity, as the context clarifies. The other comments are quite intelligible, but as usual on controverted matters highly nuanced. As to your 'absolute certainty' on RS issues, that statement speaks for itself. The issue was whether Bergman is RS for most creationist opinion, given he's widely cited and approved - remember they are subject of the other half of this page. Censoring their opinion is somewhat like having a page on Sunni-Shia divide but allowing no Shia quotes, because they are 'a small and irresponsible minority'. Sure, their views do not represent the establishment scientific consensus - but if that consensus is sustained by severe sanctions, as creationists are claiming, ones that violate the judgement and conscience of a large minority[16] how much is it worth? Truth stands for itself. Simply silencing that voice, without rebutting it in detail is not a small problem. Shouldn't Wiki rise above censoring reporting well sourced and documented disputed positions? Doesn't that give space and time to address them properly? Cpsoper (talk) 14:07, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
The comment you cited appears not to be written in proper English. In any event "meets some RS" is not elaborated on, and so is just a bald opinion, with no actual reason given. As you continue to maintain that 25% of post-graduates are familiar with Bergman's work, it should be very easy for you to find some scholarly accounts. I'm still waiting... Sławomir Biały (talk) 16:25, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
"if you think 46% of US college students and 25% of postgrad students are 'a tiny minority', I wonder how you define a large minority?! The issue being not whether such opinions represent the establishment consensus, but how widely they are held." What is the source for this assertion? Is there a reliable source that says anyone other than a tiny fringe minority considers the views held by Bergman and represented in the widely dismissed Expelled anything other than conspiracy theory rants not taken seriously by anyone (except that tiny fringe of conspiracy theorists)? This has been asked repeatedly by mulitple editors, yet without supplying any reliable sources discussing the persecution/suppression/chilling the IDHT behavior continues. This has become clearly tendentious and disruptive behavior. It is time to Drop The Stick or for this to go to ANI. - - MrBill3 (talk) 05:48, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, QED. Cpsoper (talk) 20:20, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Yes, Yes, No, but... I think it demonstrated these charges are part of things talked about externally often and at high level (see Expelled). The significance and being controversial are supported by there being organizational responses and number of (see NCSE Expelled Exposed) and that common media mention it as point of contention. The lengthy writeup above is a place to start, maybe not the best but it's a place -- I think it more appropriate to just note what is a point where difference exists and that length be about that of other points. I don't think that this subject or that presentation makes the article notably worse, I think it would add a tiny bit. But ... seems some fundamental disconnects with editors here over the WP:CONT practice. Markbassett (talk) 16:42, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
More like, some fundamental disconnects with editors here over the WP:WEIGHT and WP:GEVAL policy. Any coverage here has to be well sourced and not undue, the screed above isn't. . . dave souza, talk 17:44, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
dave souza - those were not asked about in this RFC, so you're seeming to dislike my input and giving side comment off thread of the RfC questions, kinda confirming it is some kind of point in controversy and the disconnects in WP:CONT practice, though lots more screeeds in this thread already did that in bigger ways ;-) Markbassett (talk) 21:35, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Yes, Yes, No, but... for me as well. Yes, we absolutely need to mention something about the alleged/perceived chilling, but I worry (1) this article is pretty long as is, and (2) this does seem to give undue weight to one movie, Expelled. By my count, out of the 13 sentences, 6 are about Expelled, 4 are nonspecific (and 2 of those are cited to sources clearly about Expelled!), and only 3 are about other specific instances (Stark, Bergman, and the JoCI). I am also not happy with the title "Appeals to Scientific Consensus" - this isn't about appeals to consensus, this is about the perceived chilling effect, right? I recommend (1) drastic shortening, (2) breaking off into a specific article, and just referring to it here, as most sections of this article do, and (3) in that article, making sure it's not so strongly focused on this one movie. --GRuban (talk) 22:29, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
    • The problems with the "alleged/perceived chilling" is that the Toledo Blade movie review never uses that term. All it has is a claim, unsupported by evidence, that Bergman says that there are "100 professors and teachers" who suffer in silence for fear of being persecuted for their beliefs. Bergman's book, "Slaughter of the Dissidents" was published in 2011, so it would be the appropriate source here, not a movie review. Except, of course, that it's published by what appears to be a vanity press. So it's likely to not be an RS. And neither is this. Guettarda (talk) 22:02, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
  • No, No, Yes. The first paragraph is inaccurate, so that's out. Evolutionary theory is not "the only explanation that can fully account for observations in the fields of..." That's a weird caricature of scientific thought. It's also not an accurate reflection of what PZ says (ref 1), not true of the IAP statement on the teaching of evolution (ref 3). Links 2 and 4 are dead, link 5 is paywalled. The most generous take on the first sentence is that it is SYNTH, and fails for one of the classic reasons SYNTH fails - because the average Wikipedian isn't knowledgeable enough about the topic to actually accurately synthesise multiple sources.

    Paragraph 2 builds upon paragraph one ("This consensus..."), so that's its first problem. The first sentence also attributes a "chilling effect" to something made up. Bit of a problem in itself, but a big problem when the source does not speak of a chilling effect. And even if it did, it's not an adequate source - it's basically a movie review, and it's written by the newspaper's religion editor. Not good enough. Sentence three has "sociologist" (not "sociologist of religion") Rodney Stark "assert", when in fact that article attributes the quote to Everett Olson. Who'd probably be a better source than Stark, but its impossible to say, since the source of the quote isn't given. Stark's comment is an Op-Ed, so we'd need to know why we cared about the opinion of an apparent non-expert. The remainder of the section(rest of para 2 and para 3) is about Expelled, both using it as a source and critiquing its accuracy (which undercuts it as a source). Whatever you think of it, Expelled isn't a high-quality scholarly source. In fact, the material in para three is basically reason not to use it as a source.

    So, per Q1 - no, the material isn't relevant since it's (a) SYNTH (not just the first sentence, but in fact, the entire thing), (b) UNDUE, because its almost entirely about one film, and (c) dubious (it attributes facts to sources that the sources don't include, and includes information that's just simply incorrect). Hence, Q2 - it's not a reasonable starting point. And yes, of course, Q3 - it makes the article far worse. Guettarda (talk) 21:50, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

  • Invalid RFC, as it is presented in a manner that almost obligates the inclusion of this nonsense. - Maybe time to WP:DROPTHESTICK on this one. - Cwobeel (talk) 01:49, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Invalid RFC This whole RFC is based on an "impression" of what scientists do as viewed by others. A sentence like "This consensus is so embedded in academia that some critics believe it has created a chilling effect on scientists who might raise questions regarding the adequacy of evolutionary theory" does not reflect the reality of scientific life. Berkeley university lists these types of misconceptions. I've highlighted this one in particular.Misconceptions "Science is based on the principle that any idea, no matter how widely accepted today, could be overturned tomorrow if the evidence warranted it. Science accepts or rejects ideas based on the evidence; it does not prove or disprove them. " Scientists WANT their scientific theories to be challenged. If someone comes up behind them and says, the theory on the book is wrong and here is the evidence, scientists will WANT and NEED to look in that new direction. That is the whole basis for science. If the evidence points in a new direction, that's where scientists will go. That is the reality of how science works. CanadianLinuxUser (talk) 10:56, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Well put, CanadianLinuxUser.Rick Norwood (talk) 21:42, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
I disagree with User:CanadianLinuxUser: notable theological views should be rendered, even if they are scientifically wrong; the only problem is that it has not been shown that Expelled would be notable as theology. There are respectable creationists who advance cogent philosophical arguments for creationism, there are theologians which have posited notable creationist views, but who, nevertheless, would never like to be associated with the lunatic fringe. Notable theological views should be rendered, but not views which are only supported by the lunatic fringe (such view tends to be fringe even among creationists). If according to WP:FRIND there are enough independent reliable sources about it, the fringe view could be discussed in its own article. Tgeorgescu (talk) 01:07, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
The problem is evolution is not theology. It's science. Just like religion belongs in the theology course not in the science classroom. The Fringe groups thinks their beliefs are the same as science but do not back it up with evidence. The fringe view IS discussed in it's own article. Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed even states what this so called documentary is: "the film is dishonest and divisive propaganda, aimed at introducing religious ideas into public school science classrooms" CanadianLinuxUser (talk) 02:29, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
  • COMMENT- The way the section you wrote is written with an easily discernible POV. That POV should be represented in the article, but the way you have written it is not encyclopedic. Elmmapleoakpine (talk) 01:14, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Question to editor who requested comment - I was pinged by a bot to this Rfc and am an uninvolved editor. Could you please tell me if I have a correct understanding of the issues at hand (numbers 1 to 3);
1. The proposed paragraph for inclusion is about a perceived discriminatory atmosphere within the scientific community.
2. You believe there are reliable sources for this assertion, as well as enough weight in sources
3. Other editors disagree with inclusion because they ascribe this assertion to fringe views which they say has no backing by reliable sources
Question: Are editors here of the impression that this is a black and white issue? Is there any common ground or are the sources completely against the assertions made in the proposed paragraph?
Question: Are the sources 6, 7, 8 and 9, reliable? If so, please explain why.
Question: The proposed addition states the second sentence as if it follows the first sentence by saying "This consensus is so...". Do the sources combine the two like it has been done, this is asked in light of WP:SYNTH.
Mbcap (talk) 01:07, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Q1 no as fringe conspiracy theories go, it is not relative / important enough to the subject to be included. Q2 with Q1 being "no" , moot, Q3 yes. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 12:34, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment. Scientists and other professionals generally show "widespread discrimination" against people expressing views that they consider obviously wrong. How far do we have to go in documenting a particular instance? The proposed paragraphs we are asked to !vote on have their good and poor points, but mainly, they are far too long. Maproom (talk) 07:32, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


The RfC conduct reminders[edit]

Only two schools of thought?[edit]

I am curious, has anyone proposed an origin of life other than creation or evolution? Or are these the only two choices? --Kaptinavenger (talk) 03:53, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

This page is for discussion of the article, and is not a general forum. Chris55 (talk) 09:55, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
Kaptinavenger - Not just two proposals for origin of life, but better to look elsewhere. There are many hypotheses on the origin of the first life. But this article topic is the creation-evolution controversy and so focuses on where those two aspects fight and how ... and is currently controversial so has difficulties in coverage. (Sorry, but it is better to google on some things and this is one of those times...) Markbassett (talk) 14:13, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
@Kaptinavenger: You could also try asking this question at the Reference desk. RockMagnetist(talk) 17:29, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
Imho, nobody proposed evolution for the origin of life. See abiogenesis. Tgeorgescu (talk) 22:13, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
TGeorge is correct, evolution isn't a theory for the origin of life, it's a theory for the origin of species. PiCo (talk) 02:08, 11 February 2015 (UTC)


External links, or how to handle dueling wikis ?[edit]

Under External Links I had added what seemed the major places of dueling wikis :

And got a delete, with notes "these do not meet WP:EL. Please read it, including ELNO 1, 2, and 12" and "TalkOrigins is fine as a See Also, however". So I'm wondering is there a preference to do things via make an article for wikis then see also instead ? And if so, what reasoning guides/bounds the approach -- I mean there are a lot of websites out there, too many to make pages for even all of the wikis. It had seemed to me a case of relevant to the article so give Ext Link, not that such websites were always going to be notable enough merit their own article or preferable to cite via See Also. [Tends to be mix of issues but re number of wikis out there and notability level, I do see topic-specific wikis as too many to do pages about -- for example Night at The Museum hasn't any external link to the http://natm.wikia.com/wiki/ but there's lots of other site subpages to sources that seem preferable as larger and also secondary reviews; and WP article for the monkey is at Crystal the name not the Dexter character name and it does not link to http://natm.wikia.com/wiki/Dexter.] There seems some seem approach for dueling petitions and dueling FAQ bits, now what thoughts do folks have on how to handle the dueling wikis ? Markbassett (talk) 18:45, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

As WP:ELNO #12 indicates, we do not generally include open wikis. The "See Also" and "External Links" sections serve different purposes. If you think a website meets our notability guidelines, feel free to create an article for it. I'm fairly certain that none of those wikis, aside from talkorigins, meet the GNG, but that has little to do with this article.   — Jess· Δ 19:17, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

Regarding the article title[edit]

Does anyone else besides me think that the title and URL of the "creation-evolution controversy" article should be changed to "creationism-evolution controversy"?

"Creationism" is a belief system.

"Creation" is a vague, general term.

Perhaps more people have been referring to a "creation-evolution controversy" than a "creationism-evolution controversy" but that doesn't make it "correct."

How do we change the language (terms) that people use? Can it begin with Wikipedia and one outside source, or do we have to wait 50 years for a majority of other groups to change the language (terms) first? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Scienceteacher3k (talkcontribs) 11:06, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia only reports on what the reliable sources say. Theroadislong (talk) 11:15, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Wikipedia as encyclopedia would seek collect what RS say and accurately convey it. Wording with "creation" does seems by google to be far more hits than "creationism". Yes, I agree it's improper English, and yes there has been wording wights over 'Darwinism' or 'Evolutionist' or what counts as 'Creationist' here, and 'irregardless' elsewhere, but think this title is at least reasonably close. Markbassett (talk) 01:34, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Technically, evolution is agnostic about creation (like in creation of the world). It is against creationism, but not against creation. Tgeorgescu (talk) 02:26, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Support for Creationist Accounts "Virtually Nonexistent"? By whose judgment?[edit]

Regarding the statement in the 2nd paragraph of the up-front summary, "Support for Abrahamic religions' accounts or other creationist alternatives is very low among scientists in general, and virtually nonexistent among scientists in the relevant fields.[9]"

This statement would appear outdated, as it is a 2004 reference to a 1987 article. It does not appear reflective of the current landscape. For example, I recently viewed a Blu-Ray video presentation that was released in 2014, more than 25 years after the study referenced in citation 9. The title was "Evolution's Achilles' Heel", Evolution's Achilles Heels. Regardless of agreement or disagreement with the positions they held, the program presents 15 PhD scientists, all in relevant fields, who not only support but lucidly argue for creationist alternatives and against evolution. Per the interviews, more than one of these scientists had formerly been adherents of evolutionary theory.

So what I think we need to review is the generalized statement in the 2nd paragraph of the introductory summary, stating that support for creationist accounts is "virtually nonexistent among scientists in the relevant fields":

First, that statement does not allow rebuttal because it is not quantitative. What percentage of a population qualifies as "virtually nonexistent"? (i.e. approximately equal to zero). This is a judgment statement and not a statement of fact and therefore resists rebuttal. Since we don't know if "virtually nonexistent" is being defined as anything below 40%, or below 20%, 12%, 2%, or 0.02%, then it cannot be independently verified or falsified.

Second, the statement "among scientists in the relevant fields" does not define what scientific fields are being considered "relevant" here. Molecular biologists? Geologists? What about information theorists and computer scientists who work on DNA decoding projects? Do philosophers of science count? So this also is a vague unqualified statement that resists rebuttal because the terms are not defined. It cannot be verified or falsified because the terms of qualification are not given. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 143.85.29.18 (talkcontribs) 21:47, 12 March 2015

The reference below it dates 2014 and is quantitative, citing the number of scientists who believe in creationism to be about a tenth of 1%. Professor marginalia (talk) 22:45, 12 March 2015 (UTC) Correction: the ref is 1987. Professor marginalia (talk) 22:48, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

This statement would appear outdated, as it is a 2004 reference to a 1987 article. It does not appear reflective of the current landscape.

There has bee no major change in the views of the scientific community.

the program presents 15 PhD scientists,

15 is an incredibly tiny number. Project Steve, which is a list of scientists who have the name "Steve" who support evolution, has 1,359 signatures.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Steve

Also, these scientists may have real degrees, but they are not publishing their criticism of evolution in scientific journals, but rather presenting them to the public. Creationists are a fringe group by any definition of Wikipedia's rule and have very little support in the scientific community. --Harizotoh9 (talk) 23:16, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

What would be needed to replace or update the number would be a reliable source that consists of some kind of survey showing the level of support for evolution among scientists. If such a source is provided the numbers can be updated. --Harizotoh9 (talk) 10:52, 13 March 2015 (UTC)