Talk:Objections to evolution

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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Objections to evolution:

Here are some tasks awaiting attention:
  • Cleanup:
  • Expand: *Write a subsection on the Cambrian explosion complexity argument for the 'Creation of complex structures' section.
  • NPOV:
  • Other: *Consider other major objections as possible sections, such as "evolution presupposes..." arguments (currently discussed briefly under "Evolution is unfalsifiable"). Discuss possible alternative section schemes, particularly to remedy ambiguity in "Objections to evolution's plausibility" and "Objections to evolution's possibility" oversections.


Criticisms from a minority of scientists[edit]

There have been criticisms from a minority of scientists. "Since then, nearly all criticisms of evolution have come from religious sources, rather than from the scientific community"- where is the reference or evidence for this statement? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 60.242.143.88 (talk) 13:13, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

It is referenced later in the article, the lede does not need refs, it is a summary of the article itself. Dbrodbeck (talk) 13:45, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
Statements made in the lede do not need references or citations if they are further explained (and given appropriate references and citations) in the appropriate section later in the article, as per Manual of Style--Mr Fink (talk) 15:11, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
There seems no such material later in the article so rather than presenting the summary up front of later material this seems simply making up a conclusion. Could be just a vague lead-in because the para structure is poor -- it could have started the para with line 3, then line 2 and not needed this line at all. Markbassett (talk) 23:13, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
I'd be interested to see what are the non-religious criticisms or what timeframe the line refers to -- but I think reality is this was just filler. Markbassett (talk) 23:15, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
I suppose I could change the vague "Since then" (as not clear whether that means 1859, 1889, 1900, or 1930) to "currently", but since it seems uncited I am going to delete this line since is has no support and seems just filler outside the thread. Markbassett (talk) 17:07, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────It's likely you haven't been getting responses because you're replying to a 7-month old thread. You should generally create a new section at the bottom of the page for new proposals. That being said, the current sentence seems very clear to me. "Since then" is "Since its acceptance within the scientific community nearly a century ago." It follows from the last two sentences. I would be open to clarifying the wording if others think it is too vague, but it certainly shouldn't be removed.   — Jess· Δ 17:42, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

It is outside the para thread and uncited, so deletion looks to be no impact and appropriate. The vagueness distracts from the thread as it causes te question of what it is referring to, and seems just meaningless filler since "nearly a century ago" timeframe of 1914 to maybe 20 years later doesn't have anything of note in Evolution#History_of_evolutionary_thought. (Publication of DNA is 61 years ago in 1953, and modern synthesis by 1947 is 67 years ago.) It also distracts from the thread in causing the question of "OK, so what are those minority of scientists objections", which is not presented later.
So again, I am intending deletion, thinking that para thread and article thread are not changed and are better for losing a bit of what seems ultimately meaningless fluff. Markbassett (talk) 14:33, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Reordering the second para -- Move 'although many religions accept' from behind line 2 list of creationists to before it ass more logical flow; remove the 'since then nearly all objections' as no cite, not clear which event refer to, and leaves question of what are the other (scientific) objections Markbassett (talk) 00:12, 5 February 2014 (UTC)

The reordered wording on para 2 start seems to flow better. I'm not sure about the US-centric part, the Islamic views on evolution seem to be sidelined under History here -- but that's a different Talk topic. Markbassett (talk) 00:34, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
The lead isn't required to have sources, as it summarizes the body. The sources you're looking for can be found in the History section and Creation-evolution controversy. I'm not sure that rearranging the text on religion in the way you're proposing would help with clarity... but it's hard for me to picture it since I'm not 100% sure where you're proposing the sentences go. Could you either make a bold edit to the article, or put your proposal in <blockquote> tags here? (Again... this is a very old thread. It would be best to put new proposals at the bottom of the page in a new thread. Thanks.   — Jess· Δ 00:35, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
Ok, I took a look at your change. I don't have a preference for the order either way, so I'm fine with leaving it as is (or deferring to the opinion of other editors). Thanks.   — Jess· Δ 00:40, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
Jess - You are misreading the norm on two points (1) Talks are separate topics not a single running blog, so the most recent posts are better seen in History; and (2) If the lead does not summarize from the article it is unsupported and needs it's own cite. In this case the line "nearly all criticisms of evolution have come from religious sources" is unsupported by later content or by cite (though the nearby Numbers book cite may be a place to look) and does not connect to it's paragraph or the article subject so I view it as an improvement to delete. It lead to this Talk thread asking so what are those minority of objections from non-religious sources, as well as wondering what is the ratio or count of "almost all", and what counts as "religious sources" -- is it just sacred texts like Genesis or is it religious leaders like Papal decrees and ministers or what -- so I will again take out that line as being off the article topic and confusing. Markbassett (talk) 19:10, 15 February 2014 (UTC)
All of the precious, precious, treasured few non-religious objections to evolution stem from either a) a gross, crippling, inanity-inducing misunderstanding of basic biology/science, b) trying to peddle their own pet crackpot theory for fun and profit, or c) a+b.--Mr Fink (talk) 19:53, 15 February 2014 (UTC)
Well, that goes back to the issue of the line of if it mentions them, then what are those other objections ?

Markbassett (talk) 20:09, 15 February 2014 (UTC)

Mark, as I've explained already, the sentence you removed follows directly and clearly from the History section, and ties together the preceding sentence in the first paragraph and the following content in the second paragraph. If you believe there is a notable scientific objection, or there have been consistent non-religious objections since Evolution came to prominence, then please present a source backing up that assertion. I'm sorry, but I'm not going to continue repeating myself here. You need to follow WP:DR if you are unhappy with the responses you've received thus far.   — Jess· Δ 20:00, 15 February 2014 (UTC)
Mann -- I appreciate the level of response but the deletion of the claim 'Since then, nearly all criticisms of evolution have come from religious sources' is from being unsupported by cite or article and off-thread, not whether I will have more to enter like an opposing cite. I could credibly believe it became true in the 1940s but that does not make it properly supported. The history in this article doesn't seem behind it, as that section ends with a para saying that in 1920s objection of 'contradicts bible' happened in America, followed by a para that later objections happen of 'unscientific', 'infringes on creationists religious freedoms', and 'is a religious stance' -- neither of these speak to what proportion of objections come from what sources at any point in history. I will look for something in Numbers but for now -- just take the edit as an improvement to the article, or please provide some cite or content to make it's presence not be vague and detracting. Finding I had to guess at what might apply and then vastly reword for clarity and it STILL did not really fit the thread / advance the article just made deletion obvious to me as the way to go. Thanks. Markbassett (talk) 21:20, 15 February 2014 (UTC)
I've already showed you where it's derived from, and honestly, I'm not sure how the article could be any clearer on that front. You should seek dispute resolution if you disagree, or, as I suggested, bring sources that demonstrate our current coverage is lacking.   — Jess· Δ 21:44, 15 February 2014 (UTC)
Mann -- feel free to quote out exactly which passage in History you think has a count of some kind on objections from which source and when that would support the line. As I wrote, I've been there and do not find text to support some count of the kinds of objections, so I think the start of para 2 is just poor filler, with lesser possibility of author opinionating rather than any actual count or perhaps it is also from Numbers but was not cited. I will still look for something in Numbers but for now -- just take the edit as an improvement to the article, or please provide some cite or content to make it's presence not be vague and detracting, which would save me the trouble of checking in Numbers. Markbassett (talk) 23:11, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
Markbassett - Your response to Jess' request that you prove your point or goto WP:DR CANNOT be you telling him to prove HIS point. I think Jess has been very clear with his responses back to you and putting the onus on you as the requestor to prove your reason for editting the lede. I don't see that you've done that in any of your responses. So please provide the information that he is requesting or take it to dispute resolution. Ckruschke (talk) 19:24, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Ckruschke
Ckruschke Obviously not "CANNOT" since I did so. What's more I should do so - since I was the editor putting in the edits of a non-supported phrase that led to question for what the minority of scientific objections were. The hat is not exempt from being wrong or getting edits and asking for me to disprove a negative is not only a logical fallacy, it's about a line that nobody has traced to a meaning so what would I disprove ? I've looked, it did not seem supported or for that matter something really measurable, so I asked what line he was looking at when saying he thought something reflected a count of some kind on objections from which source and when that would support the line... And not gotten back a cut-paste yet so I'm thinking it's not coming. Meanwhile I'm looking in Numbers on the off chance that the nearest cite also had something about this. Markbassett (talk) 02:58, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
p.s. I am still looking in the Numbers text, still intending to either cite or delete the 'almost all' line as vague line still seems not in the paragraph thread and confusing, plus just not supported by any apparent count apparent or in cite. Markbassett (talk) 04:18, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
I have gone thru Numbers and it was a wrong turn -- "The Creationists" was not the source of "Since then, nearly all criticisms of evolution have come from religious sources." It turned out this is from a rather sorry bit of miswiki behavior in wording and citing. "The Creationists" is per title covering them for the last century -- a covering of history limited to creationists, not summary of evolution views, has no counts or summary conclusions about science. I have also concluded this the cites were misplaced here long after the edits were done.
Conclusion -- the wording was 'most', uncited, changed to 'almost all' about 6 months later, uncited, and cites to IAP and Ronald Numbers appeared unrelated to the wording, from Souza. The time line of article wording seems to be:
  • 22 January 2007‎ Silence (22,903 bytes)moved Misunderstandings about evolution to Objections to evolution
  • 22 January 2007 Silence (73,353 bytes) (+50,450)‎ . . (Incorporating text from draft on User:Silence/Evolution to accomodate newly-expanded article scope.)
  • Text read without cites as "The observation, or fact, of evolutionary processes occurring, as well as the current theory explaining that fact, have been uncontroversial among biologists for nearly a century. // Since then, most criticisms and denials of evolution have come from religious, rather than scientific, sources."
  • 13 July 2007‎ Silly rabbit (79,515 bytes) (+6)‎ . . (strengthened wording from "most" to "nearly all".)
  • (this seemed in a heated exchange of posts/reverts ... not serious thought or Talk
  • 14:31, 25 July 2007‎ Orangemarlin wording is "The existence of evolutionary processes and the current theory explaining them have been uncontroversial among biologists for nearly a century.// Since then, nearly all criticisms of evolution have come from religious, rather than scientific, sources. "
  • 15:03, 25 July 2007‎ Dave souza wording is "The existence of evolutionary processes and the current theory explaining them have been uncontroversial among biologists for nearly a century.[3]// Since then, nearly all criticisms of evolution have come from religious, rather than scientific, sources.
  • 07:22, 25 December 2007‎ Hrafn (90,313 bytes) (+282)‎ . . (Reference to settle a rather pointless dispute)
  • So in response to previous pointing this as WP:OR, a irrelevant item was fairly blatently pasted in.
  • Wording was then "The existence of evolutionary processes and the current theory explaining them have been uncontroversial among biologists for nearly a century.[3]// Since then, nearly all criticisms of evolution have come from religious, rather than scientific, sources.[4]"
I will proceed to revert wording to "most criticisms and denials" Markbassett (talk) 02:38, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
Reverting again to the 'most' of base article - someone put in 'nearly all' uncited with comment ("Most" is a gross understatement.)

instetead of the 'almost all' uncited ...

  • I do not see relative frequency as relevant but
  • reverting what seems unsupported personal opinions about what it might be and how to say it as best able
  • expecially if it's lacking participation of TALK ...

Markbassett (talk) 16:24, 20 May 2014 (UTC)

Creationists, creationists everywhere.[edit]

This article seems to express that in many cases these views are exclusively held by creationists. While this is mostly true it is a generalization, these points aren't held true by solely creationists. My point being the use of the word creationists is in place where "some" or "many" will suffice and fits better. Essentially this article needs a minor tidy up. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 178.167.254.85 (talk) 04:19, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

Please suggest where you think word changes should be made or feel free to WP:BE BOLD and make the changes yourself if you think they are not controversial. Ckruschke (talk) 17:49, 21 March 2014 (UTC)Ckruschke
The Talk seems to want discussion over edits to remove the word in 38 locations of 'creationist' outside of the cite titles. For example:
- -
  • Creationist sources frequently define evolution according to a colloquial, rather than scientific, meaning.
Many sources frequently define evolution according to a colloquial, rather than scientific, meaning
  • Creationists have argued for over a century that evolution is "a theory in crisis"
Some have argued for over a century that evolution is "a theory in crisis"
  • creationist explanations involving the direct intervention of the supernatural in the physical world are not falsifiable
explanations involving the direct intervention of the supernatural in the physical world are not falsifiable
- -
I think that some of them would be simple and ways to better show the objection, and some of them are more embedded. Suggest mechanically better to go ahead and do in chunks, starting with several of the more clearly removable ones. Markbassett (talk) 00:13, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
178.167.254.85 - I think I can explain the 'creationist' everywhere as from two things
  • Dichotomy / partisan language - I finally finished reading Numbers book The Creationists, and basically anything creationist is just the term for anything that disagrees. This dichotomy of language is an oversimplification in that it does not reflect actual diversity of discussions nor that real folks have a not absolute stance but rather a mix or undecided or simply do not care on many points. This seems partly to label which side a point is on rather than the statement actually being one about creationism or the beliefs of the person sourced. Unfortunately it is also that people pursuing partisan ends want oversimplification word games oversimplification or confusion for points where putting things accurately or in proportion would not be in their favor. The article recently had a talk discussion over whether the title should just change to reflect content or vice-versa expand content to match the title and conclusion was to keep the title and include non-creationist objections. (We'll see what happens when I actually try that ;-) )
  • Sourcing and direction of article - the language of objections began with more neutral wording[1], but rapidly shifted to [2]. In today's article the sourcing and content structure is largely from an anti-ID advocacy group using 'creationist'. Of the 179 cites, I think 21 are Index to Creationist Claims, 14 are Talk Origins, and 4 NCSE directly. So the article seems not doing well on NPOV, and slightly so on Copyright or Sockpuppet concerns.
Hope that helps Markbassett (talk) 15:33, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
Hi Mark, due WP:WEIGHT requires that we show majority mainstream expert views, and the Index, TOA and NCSE are all good sources for that majority viewpoint. Perhaps you should refresh your memory of WP:NPOV and WP:FRINGE. . dave souza, talk 15:55, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
Dave those sources are from an self-proclaimed biased source -- anti-ID advocacy group. For explaining where the 'creationists everywhere' comes from, they in following their core mission speak with that language and where the article is honestly conveying from the cite it will too. Their Index is an excellently organized structure and extensive content of responses but it is not an NPOV source for neutral wording and adds their own wording twists because their job is anti-ID advocacy. Ultimately they are experts on the topic but with an agenda so an article that pulls so heavily on it naturally suffers in NPOV. Markbassett (talk) 21:00, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
NPOV does not mean we do fair and balanced. Please refer to WP:FRINGE and WP:UNDUE. Dbrodbeck (talk) 22:23, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
Dbrodbeck - this Talk thread topic is about use of wording "creationists" so much, explained by me in part from it's drawing heavily on NCSE wording. If you want to Talk balance please start a different thread and spell out what and where in the article your concern is, thanks. Markbassett (talk) 13:19, 28 April 2014 (UTC)

Nominated to be checked for its neutrality[edit]

Redo Evidence subsection titles ?[edit]

I suggest redoing the title to match content here. Under "Instability of evidence" the material dopes not seem to be instability -- it starts by saying "A related objection is that evolution is based on unreliable evidence.", and goes on into the frauds such as Piltdown man. Under "Unreliable or inconsistent evidence" the material seems to be more about the methods for determining dates of events, radiology and geology. So how about these changes:

  • "Instability of evidence" to "Unreliable evidence"
  • "Unreliable or inconsistent evidence" to "Chronology evidence"

Markbassett (talk) 14:53, 28 April 2014 (UTC)

Sound logic - I agree. Ckruschke (talk) 17:45, 29 April 2014 (UTC)Ckruschke
Done -- After a week wait, I've made the titles "Unreliable evidence" and "Unreliable chronology" to better fit the content and to be in the form of an objection. Markbassett (talk) 22:02, 6 May 2014 (UTC)

Criticisms from a minority of scientists cont. - paleontologists[edit]

Cambrian explosion[edit]

So folks know it's there and look so maybe improve it: I have written a subsection for the Cambrian explosion complexity argument for the 'Creation of complex structures' section as requested at top, at least enough to present the Cambrian Explosion and some of the scientific struggles with it. The complexity argument seems to be about the phyla level occurrences so rapidly then (and none since). I have put in readable substantial sources, but would have liked to include that counts up to 100 phyla (attributed to Valentine; Clark 1997), or get Valentines latest. Markbassett (talk) 04:04, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

No adds from anyone on Valentine and complexity argument is getting lost with speed inserts and false blaming the cites so trying to clarify ...

Markbassett (talk) 23:17, 17 July 2014 (UTC)