Talk:A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism

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Arbitration Committee Decisions on Pseudoscience

The Arbitration Committee has issued several principles which may be helpful to editors of this and other articles when dealing with subjects and categories related to "pseudoscience".

Four groups

Way too much bias in this article to be wikipedia[edit]

This article is really bad for wikipedia. Just read it. It's reads hit piece that could have been been written by "National Center for Science Education". Hardly an impartial organization in this dispute.

To write an article that contains a known controversy you need to turn off your bias and come at it like a true journalist. Wikipedia is not a forum for polemical disputes.

To the owner of this article. I don't have time to fix this article or engage in edit wars over polemical ideology. The first sentence that caught my attention was "The claims made in the document have been rejected by the scientific community."

The words "scientific community" I then find merely means "National Center for Science Education".

So I checked the degrees held by the people in that organization and found their degrees are no greater or more authoritative than the degrees held by people that signed the decent document. So how does how does the "National Center for Science Education" = equal the entire scientific community as claimed in this article?

To start with the sentence "The claims made in the document have been rejected by the scientific community." SHOULD BE CHANGED TO "The claims made in the document have been rejected by the National Center for Science Education."

That's just for starters. This article is a mess and not wikipedia at all. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mikearion (talkcontribs) 04:15, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

The introduction to this article is condescending, treating the almost 1,000 scientists with Ph.D's who signed the document as if they were children who were duped by creationists manufacturing dissent. A neutral rewrite is called for in the interest of truth and fair play. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:06, 2 November 2016 (UTC)


  1. First read National Center for Science Education#Staff and supporters and then peruse the DI's list of staff and fellows. Guess which organisation counts as a WP:RS on matters of science.
  2. Wikipedia does not "come at it like a true journalist", because Wikipedia refuses to give equal validity to every half-baked crank, unlike 'true' (truly witless or truly spineless?) journalists.
  3. Wikipedia articles have no WP:OWNER.
  4. Read List of scientific societies explicitly rejecting intelligent design. The scientific community has rejected ID, it has done so for years, it has done so in great detail.
  5. The claim that you inserted into the article that "As of the January 2010 update to the list all signatories held either a Ph.D or both Ph.D and M.D. degrees" is WP:BOLLOCKS. Bernard d'Abrera is still on the list, and he ain't got no PhD.

HrafnTalkStalk(P) 05:45, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

From mikearion back at you:

THIS ARTICLE NOTHING BUT A DIATRIBE!!! This is not wikipedia I'm sorry.

  • No, this is most certainly Wikipedia, giving WP:DUE weight to WP:RSs that state that the petition lacks scientific legitimacy. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 06:40, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

However, you are correct Bernard d'Abrera has two Bachelor of Arts and was allowed to sign due to his being a highly regarded scientist. The only exception I see on the list. Correct the section and put it back in, note any exceptions. Why are you attempting hide the fact there are over 700 Ph.Ds that signed this document? WHY? If not due to some very extreme bias on your part???

  • d'Abrera is only the most blatant example -- last I checked there was at least one economist in there, as well as numerous philosophers, mathematicians and engineers. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 06:40, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

You should NOT be contributing to this article if you don't think wikipedia should not engage in bias. And clearly you ARE very biased so check yourself or please check out of wikipedia. You do a great disservice to the community by doing this.

I never even heard of the list and came here to find out about it only to find a massive diatribe. What the hell?

  • Politiely ask specific questions and you may get an answer -- "massive diatribe. What the hell?" just makes people want to show you the door. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 06:40, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

I went to the list. I found that over 700 Ph.Ds signed the list the vast majority of which are not members of Discovery. Why is that section removed?

  • According to a NYT piece (cited in the article) most are religious conservatives and few have qualifications relevant to evolution. In any case 700 is a mere drop in the ocean -- see Project Steve for example. The section was removed because its sourcing failed WP:SELFPUB: "unduly self-serving". HrafnTalkStalk(P) 06:31, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

And why remove the signatory link and information? I cannot think of anything basic to the article than that. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mikearion (talkcontribs) 06:08, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

  • WP:MOSLINKS -- links go in references & external links sections. The list is already there, the "information" is demonstrably inaccurate and so not included. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 06:31, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

A New York Times Piece? LOL, your killing me these people are PH.Ds in BIOLOGY and other sciences. I didn't know that "religious conservatives" with Ph.Ds are not as good as ? with Ph.Ds? I would venture to say most Ph.Ds belong to one religion or another. So what's you point. Leave the signatory section IT's HIGHLTY RELEVANT as this article is about that list is it not? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mikearion (talkcontribs) 06:39, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

  • NYT: see WP:RS#News organizations. "these people are PH.Ds in BIOLOGY and other sciences" -- no they don't. The vast majority do not have a degree in biology. The majority do not have a degree in a field even related to evolutionary biology. And many of them do not even have a degree in a sicentific discipline (engineering, maths, philosophy and even economics). My (and the NYT's) point is that their support for this petition was demonstrated to be religious not scientific. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 06:45, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

What you personally think the credentials are or are not is irrelevant. You do not have the authoritative judgement to rule out a source only because it disagrees with your personal standing. You are ruling out sources only because they do not fit with your consideration of qualifications, which is irrelevant. By forcibly removing this information, you are essentially sweeping it under the rug and hiding it like secret police. If you stood for truth at all, you would allow the content and statements that go against your beliefs to show and let people sort it for themselves.

The reason they do not have degree fields related to "evolutionary biology" is because no such thing exists. There is no degree or specific study with any regards to evolution. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:57, 2 January 2017 (UTC)

Doing a find search on the list finds at least a hundred in biology others in related fields such as genetics. But what does that have to do with anything? Per their listing a requirement a Ph.D in the natural sciences is what they are looking form. Or M.D. Professors. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mikearion (talkcontribs) 07:41, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

mikearion, this is to be expected. It demonstrates exactly why wikipedia is sometimes regarded as unreliable source for many things. Definitely shows why some teachers will tell students not to use wikipedia as a source (though using sources from wikipedia articles is ok). Wikipedia has taken a stance on this issue and any article of this type or related is either lacking in information, lacking in objectivity or a mixture of both. I try to post on some of these article talk pages but really, I know it is how its going to be. The unfortunate thing is that wikipedia rules seem to support their behaviour. Eventually other wiki sites will replace it if this continues. Just takes time. -- (talk) 18:33, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

Holy crap, this is exactly what I was thinking. This is incredible. I've never seen anything like it before on wiki. I was reading it and wondering what was so weird about it until I realised it sounded virtually as if it was penned by every anti-creationist site I've ever read. This is the suckiest neutrality I've ever seen. Please fix. -- SuperMudz (Sorry if there's something magic I'm supposed to do here, but I've never posted before I don't think.) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:35, 21 May 2012 (UTC)

I have to agree fully with the original poster. This stinks of bias isn't written from a neutral point of view. About half of the introduction may have some justification in a criticism section, but doesn't belong in the main article. -- (talk) 10:06, 30 March 2013 (UTC)

This article is a good likeness of Darwin's theory itself, silly nonsense[edit]

Reading in the thread below the justification for this article is the claim that A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism is not actually rooted in science. But I see nothing in the article refuting the peer reviewed science used to support the organization.

FOR EXAMPLE: Scientist Douglas Axe has peer reviewed published data that PROVES that random mutations could not possibly produce new proteins to account for complex life on earth. I see nothing in this article refuting that data.

Who does the author of this article think he's fooling? Who do you think would even care to read this article? 99.9% of the people who want to know more about "A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism" are people interested in the movement like myself. And you have just proved to me beyond all doubt Darwinism now needs propaganda for support. The idea that bacteria slowly turns into people isn't even a coherent idea, never made any sense to me. I wasn't aware there were hundreds, I think thousands of scientists openly agreeing with that thinking. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:20, 9 January 2017 (UTC)

Please read Talk:Evolution/FAQ, Evidence of common descent and the "Arbitration Committee Decisions on Pseudoscience" header at the top of this talk page. This talk page is also not a general discussion forum (WP:NOTFORUM) so more specific article improvement suggestions are welcome. Thanks, —PaleoNeonate – 14:48, 1 September 2017 (UTC)

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POV tag[edit]

I'm adding a POV tag because this article is blatantly non-neutral. Sure it correctly treats intelligent desigas the fringe theory it is, but it goes way too far by "piling on" and giving completely undue emphasis to all of the criticisms. The "Responses" section is essentially a criticism ghetto dressed up with a neutral name. Most of it could be vastly tightened up. But what I'm most concerned about is the lead section, which is more than half about the criticisms and includes lengthy, unnecessary quotes that just so happen to be some of the most anti-ID content. This is completely inappropriate. The lead section can and should summarize the critics arguments in WP's own voice in a few sentences. This would not water down criticisms; rather, it would boost the article's credibility by taking away its hit-piece feel. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 16:43, 18 October 2017 (UTC)

Put more simply: Just because something is a fringe theory doesn't mean neutrality goes out the window. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 16:48, 18 October 2017 (UTC)

Please read the template at the top which says
  • "Scientific focus: Wikipedia is an encyclopedia and its content on scientific and quasi-scientific topics will primarily reflect current mainstream scientific consensus.
  • Neutral point of view as applied to science: Wikipedia:Neutral point of view, a fundamental policy, requires fair representation of significant alternatives to scientific orthodoxy. Significant alternatives, in this case, refers to legitimate scientific disagreement, as opposed to pseudoscience." Theroadislong (talk) 17:07, 18 October 2017 (UTC)
I don't disagree with any of that in the slightest. Intelligent design is pseudoscience at best. That doesn't mean we should be larding up the article with an unlimited anti-ID diatribe without any regard for WP:NPV or WP:ATTACK. The anti-ID consensus can be described much more succinctly and neutrally. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 18:59, 18 October 2017 (UTC)
Phrases like "this article is blatantly non-neutral" and "hit-piece" have been poisoned for years by extensive use by people who want to rewrite articles to make them treat ID equally or even favorably. When you use those phrases, it is no wonder that people take you for just another one in a long line.
So, when I feel that an article about a pseudoscience could be improved by replacing, say, a vicious attack by a more matter-of-fact statement, I avoid those phrases. You want to "make the style more encyclopedic and more concise", right? Maybe you could just make a concrete suggestion ("replace "XXX" by something more composed", "remove "YYY" because the paragraph above already says about the same"), as an example, and say that there are more passages that could be shortened, compressed, or calmed down a bit?
I, for one, do not know which sentences you mean. But the "Affiliations and credentials" part should be shorter. The second paragraph could be something like this:
"Several entries list the schools from which the signatories obtained their Ph.D. degrees, instead of their far less prestigious present affiliations, making them seem bigger than they are".
The details (names, schools) are in the source, they do not need to be made explicit here. --Hob Gadling (talk) 20:41, 18 October 2017 (UTC)
  • The tag was inserted on a basis contrary to WP:PSCI and WP:GEVAL policy, which are much more specific than the WP:FRINGE guideline. These policies are part of WP:NPV policy, and WP:ATTACK clearly doesn't apply – the article sets out the statements of ID proponents, and shows the majority view response to these claims. As it should. As Hob Gadling says, specific points can be discussed when concrete suggestions are proposed, taking care to fully meet policy requirements including WP:WEIGHT. The suggestion for the "Affiliations and credentials" part looks promising. . . dave souza, talk 21:56, 18 October 2017 (UTC)
I have been been in your position before on other articles, so I certainly sympathize with the urge to write off all POV complaints. (That doesn't mean we should.)
I don't have the comprehensive understanding of the sources to propose specific language at this time. However I would suggest we start with the lead section. Remove the Brauer & Brumbaugh and Alexander quotes and come up with a new, I don't know, three sentences that fairly summarizes all of the criticisms of the Dissent, not just the highlighted ones. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 22:20, 18 October 2017 (UTC)
Dave, WP:PSCI and WP:GEVAL are fully consistent with WP:FRINGE and I'm neither taking any issue with those policies nor suggesting that we give any additional weight to pro-ID sources or viewpoints. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 22:26, 18 October 2017 (UTC)
If the problem with the responses is that they're a "criticism ghetto", then the solution is to incorporate the responses into the main body of the article. Guettarda (talk) 22:48, 18 October 2017 (UTC)
I'm fine with that approach. My suggestion to tighten up the criticisms is more modest and can be done in tandem with that. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 17:23, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
I don't think that NCSE is a problematic source. —PaleoNeonate – 05:12, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
I don't think anyone has raised that issue. (?) --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 17:24, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
Sorry for being unclear. My comment was related to the edit summary of [1] (also published by NCSE); when I reverted changes it was also before noticing this discussion. —PaleoNeonate – 19:25, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
DrFleischman, since you don't have the comprehensive understanding of the sources to propose specific language at this time, why not raise your concerns on the talk page instead of using a tag which undermines the NPOV which you apparently support? I've added a recent and more general citation providing an overview of the basic criticisms, and as suggested have moved the Brauer & Brumbaugh and Alexander quotes out of the lead section. Always glad to help with improving the article. . dave souza, talk 13:07, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
p.s. have left Alexander & Numbers in, as Ron Numbers is as neutral a source as any on creationism & ID. . . `dave souza, talk
Regarding the tag: Tags are actually not generally for concrete proposals. If I had canned language readyu to go I would simply be bold and make the changes. However, I have enough knowledge of the subject matter and Wikipedia community standards to know that we have a neutrality problem. The tag helps to recruit and motivate editors to participate and work toward consensus. I'd like it to stay until there is consensus that the issue is resolved. I believe you will find me to be quite reasonable. Just please stop edit warring over the tag and let it do its job. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 17:28, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
Regarding the Alexander & Numbers quote: The neutrality of the source is not at issue. The issue is one of weight--not weight versus pro-ID sources, but weight versus other anti-ID sources, and the problem of "piling on." The quote appears to be redundant in the lead, and to any extent it's not, it quote should be readily paraphraseable and rolled in with other similar criticisms. Whether intended or not, right now the quote appears to be cherrypicked for its description of ID as a "fantasy of the faithful." Juicy language to be sure, and maybe even accurate, but it is also sensationalist, unencyclopedic, and unhelpful to the reader. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 17:36, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
"Its signatories, who include historians and philosophers of science as well as scientists, are a vanishingly small fraction of the numbers of scientists and engineers qualified to sign it." Is this verified in the body, and if so, where? The "vanishingly small" language also reads as editorial to me; if verifiable, the word "tiny" should suffice. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 17:48, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
The source actually does say "a vanishingly small percentage" we can put it in quote marks I suppose, so it's not in Wikipedia"s voice? Theroadislong (talk) 18:06, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
"The source" - which source? --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 18:24, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
Here [2] it's at the end of the next sentence maybe it needs to be at the end of each sentence. Theroadislong (talk) 18:35, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
Thanks, appreciated. So "vanishingly small" is verifiable but I think "tiny" avoids the editorializing language. We aren't required to follow the same language as Muehlenbein; after all, we're an encyclopedia, whereas academic writers like Petto (the author of the "vanishingly small" language--I'll fix the ref) are often given more leeway. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 20:54, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
If it's a quote, put it in quotes. That saves us the trouble of deciding whether "tiny" is an appropriate synonym, or whether "tiny" makes the level of support appear higher than it it. Guettarda (talk) 03:39, 20 October 2017 (UTC)
This goes against our guidelines. The lead is supposed to summarize criticisms, not detail them. For this reason quotes should generally be avoided in lead sections whenever possible, and when there are many criticisms along the same lines, they should be summarized together. Also see WP:QUOTEFARM. Is anyone seriously concerned that "tiny" wouldn't adequately summarize the criticisms? --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 16:05, 20 October 2017 (UTC)
I would prefer the actual words or maybe "minuscule", tiny doesn't seem small enough. Theroadislong (talk) 16:35, 20 October 2017 (UTC)
"Miniscule" seems a bit strong to me, but I'm ok with it. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 17:08, 20 October 2017 (UTC)
"Minuscule" is hardly too strong for less than 0.023 percent of the world's scientists, and why ask for sources for something already well sourced in the body text? . . dave souza, talk 06:31, 21 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Dave souza's most recent changes read problematic to me. I feel like this paragraph, which was originally supposed to describe the criticisms of the dissent, is being re-written as an essay adopting all of the arguments made by a few consensus sources about why the dissent is wrong. Put another way, it violates WP:IMPARTIAL. It's one thing to say, the dissent departs from the widely accepted consensus, and here's the consensus, and here are the consensus criticisms of the dissent. It's quite another for us to adopt those criticisms in our own voice. It's also undue. At least in the lead, we should conveying the central thrust of the criticisms rather than listing each and every argument made in one particular source. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 22:59, 20 October 2017 (UTC)
On the contrary, we should briefly summarise the main criticisms, and the same points are made by multiple sources. Just saying "detractors have criticised" is against NPOV, specifically WP:GEVAL and also stating facts as opinions. Please don't do that. . dave souza, talk 23:05, 20 October 2017 (UTC)
I understand GEVAL, and I like your change to the "detractors" language. Now if you would please stop scolding me maybe we could make some additional progress. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 23:11, 20 October 2017 (UTC)
(And by the way, you're twisting GEVAL into something that it's not in order to make a straw man argument of your own. I never suggested or even hinted that we should give equal validity to the pro-ID viewpoint. I believe the policy you're looking for is WP:YESPOV (Avoid stating facts as opinions). --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 23:47, 20 October 2017 (UTC))
Just to clarify, I referred to both parts of NPOV policy, as your edits had the effect presenting ID claims "along with commonly accepted mainstream scholarship as if they were of equal validity", in my opinion. As stated above, it's also important to avoid stating facts as opinions. . . dave souza, talk 21:51, 24 October 2017 (UTC)
As this edit indiecated, "its detractors" dismisses the mainstream view as "detractors". In another example, this edit completely changed the meaning, departing from what the source says: I've spelt it out now that the petition statement is a straw man, misrepresenting what evolution science says. This edit suggests you'd not read on in the source: also, note that source is a modern overview, already summarising the mainstream position presented in more detailed critiques. . . dave souza, talk 23:24, 20 October 2017 (UTC)
Agreed, —PaleoNeonate – 23:31, 20 October 2017 (UTC)
In part you're missing my point, and in part you seem to be just picking on me. I already said, thank you for getting rid of the "detractors" language. I see no basis for your statement that the Petto (Muehlenbein) source is summarizing the mainstream position. If the mainstream position is that the Dissent is bunk then sure, that's the mainstream position. But that doesn't mean that all of Petto's arguments are the same as everyone else's. Plus, the Petto treatment of the Dissent is three pages long. We can't include in the lead everything Petto says about the Dissent, let alone everything every other criticizer says. The right approach is to go through the sources cited in the Responses section and summarize the criticisms that are shared by multiple sources. The wrong approach is to cherry-pick the sharpest criticisms and state them in WP's voice. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 23:38, 20 October 2017 (UTC)
Dr. Fleischman, you started this recent discussion by accusing me of rewriting the paragraph in a problematic way "as an essay adopting all of the arguments made by a few consensus sources about why the dissent is wrong", and now you've twice complained that I'm picking on you?
The points summarised using this overview source are also stated in various ways in A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism#Statement citing various older sources, and more generally in the #Responses section. We should summarise them concisely, not change "misrepresents evolutionary science" to "departed significantly from the overwhelming scientific consensus in support of the theory of evolution" as you did.
The issue set out in the body of the article is that the petition is worded ambiguously so that scientists could read it as supporting the consensus with a focus on one specific mechanism rather than the multiple mechanisms incorporated in the theory. It's there in the body of the article, and shouldn't need sourcing in the lead, but just above this you've been asking for sources in the lead, at the same time as changing the lead to no longer fully summarise the article. . . . dave souza, talk 06:26, 21 October 2017 (UTC)


We can't include in the lead everything Petto says about the Dissent

- This is a good point, but I think this is the wrong way round. The lead should summarise the content of the article body, which this does not. In this case, the lead gets it right, the article body does not. As it stands, the article amounts to a collection of he said/she said statements that never actually give a reader a proper overview. It over-weights the DI POV by giving it a stand-alone section to present its case. This is not consistent with WP:FRINGE. Guettarda (talk) 18:39, 23 October 2017 (UTC)

Section break: sources needed to verify content[edit]

That may very well be true. I'm focused more on the lead section, where, the deeper I look, the more I see sources that kind-of-sort-of-but-don't verify the content. Take the first sentence for instance. I had, "The statement departed significantly from the overwhelming scientific consensus in support of the theory of evolution," with two sources that directly verified the content. This was replaced with, "The statement is misleading and ambiguous, using terms with multiple meanings," citing this source whose reliability is questionable for this point, that doesn't even verify the content, and that doesn't appear to represent a consensus view among the sources. The sentence is a stretch interpretation of the sources at best. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 23:01, 23 October 2017 (UTC)
In support of your edit, you now say it has "two sources that directly verified the content". The first source, as far as I can access it, is about Wells' Icons of Evolution and not about this petition. Please quote the words in that source that refer to this petition. The second source, New Mexico Doesn’t Want Your Kids to Know How Old the Earth Is – Mother Jones, is astonishingly enough about New Mex. science standards, not about the petition. Searches don't find the words "Darwinism", "random" or "complexity", so no evidence it discusses the petition at all. Please explain. . . dave souza, talk 23:33, 23 October 2017 (UTC)
The sources say that there is an overwhelming scientific consensus accepting evolutionary theory. It's true, these sources do not say that the Dissent departs from the theory of evolution. I assumed that the sources cited in the body of our article would verify this. If they don't then we have a much bigger problem. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 17:06, 24 October 2017 (UTC)
For goodness sake, please read the article and its sources carefully, and stop WP:SYN on the basis of your preconceptions. . dave souza, talk 17:29, 24 October 2017 (UTC)
I don't follow. What synthesis are you referring to? --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 17:33, 24 October 2017 (UTC)
In this edit, you synthesised the incorrect claim that "The statement departed significantly from the overwhelming scientific consensus in support of the theory of evolution", using two sources which don't mention the statement. Try reading the #Statement section and its sources to work out where you went wrong: if you find that too difficult, I guess we could try to clarify our article, though it looks pretty straightforward to me. . dave souza, talk 21:08, 24 October 2017 (UTC)
Like I said, the sources were not intended to verify that the Dissent varies from the overwhelming scientific consensus. It is intended to verify that there overwhelming scientific consensus accepts evolutionary theory. What you are calling synthesis is standard in lead section sentences, which often summarize multiple items in the article body. As an alternative, we could say, "The dissent departs significantly from evolutionary theory. There is overwhelming consensus among scientists for evolutionary theory." Would that satisfy you? --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 22:10, 24 October 2017 (UTC)
No, you've still got it wrong. Continued after outdent.... dave souza, talk 22:42, 24 October 2017 (UTC)

───────────────────────── The "dissent" statement is a straw man that is misrepresented by the DI as "dissent" from evolutionary theory. As Glen Branch says; [the statement] "could easily be agreed to by scientists who have no doubts about evolution itself, but dispute the exclusiveness of "Darwinism," that is, natural selection, when other mechanisms such as genetic drift and gene flow are being actively debated."
"Darwinism" to the layman suggests evolution itself, or mainstream evolution theory, but to scientists is the specific mechanism of natural selection.
The statement is "We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged"
That wording can be agreed by anyone –all scientists are skeptical, any claims get questioned, and any claim that only random mutation and natural selection affect the evolution would meet opposition within science. The evidence for natural selection, also called Darwinian theory, is of course carefully examined, and there are mainstream scientists who feel that other mechanisms should be given more weight.
The statement is slightly clumsy, apparently innocuous, but when publicised in the context of the "Dissent from Darwinism" advert it takes on a new meaning. Do you see what I mean? . . dave souza, talk 23:09, 24 October 2017 (UTC)

Yes, I see what you mean, but what does this have to do with the synthesis issue we're discussing, or the verifiability issues I raised at the start of this subsection? --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 00:30, 25 October 2017 (UTC)
Step 1; you said you had "The statement departed significantly from.... the theory of evolution" with "two sources that directly verified the content", but they don't – that's synthesis.
Step 2; since you now see what I mean, you realise your synthesised wording is wrong about the petition statement.
Step 3; I'd changed the wording to cover two points, the first of which is "The statement is misleading and ambiguous, using terms with multiple meanings," citing this source which says "The signatories appear to attest to a statement about the ability of natural selection to "account for the complexity of life" — in other words, a statement about how evolution takes place. Given the anti-evolutionary tone of the introductory paragraphs, a layperson reading the advertisement might well assume that the signatories objected to evolution itself... Many scientists — including many associated with NCSE — could in good conscience sign a statement attesting to natural selection's not fully explaining the complexity of life!"
Step 4; You now question the reliability and relevance of that source: step 3 shows it's directly relevant, and I assure you that the NCSE is a reliable expert source on ID. The same point is made by Petto in the paragraph that starts with "Like Behe's (1996) argument", but to understand that phrase you have to look back a few pages in the book to where that's covered, so for simplicity I added the NCSE source. The same point is made in the body text, cited to Gross PF, Forrest BC (2004). Creationism's Trojan horse, OUP. What made you say it "doesn't appear to represent a consensus view among the sources"? . . . dave souza, talk 07:45, 25 October 2017 (UTC)