Talk:Andrew McIntosh (professor)

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[Moved from User talk:Hrafn ]

You have removed A. McIntosh from cathegory YEC by arguing: "Already in subcat Category:Answers in Genesis fellows and advisors". However, the AIG and YEC is not the same, hence such reasoning is quite unfit. It is demonstrable that at Andrew McIntosh (professor) page there is a statement: "McIntosh is a young-earth creationist.[3]". Does your argument hinge in an assertion that if a certain person fulfills criteria to be meber of some cathegory then he should not be placed in that cathegory? Sounds like nonesense to me, pls. explain what are you after in discussion here.--Stephfo (talk) 18:11, 16 July 2011 (UTC)

  1. Article discussion belongs on article talk.
  2. Category:Answers in Genesis fellows and advisors is a sub-category of (i.e. its members are a subset of the set of) Category:Young Earth creationism -- so adding the latter is REDUNDANT. Your argument that "the AIG and YEC is not the same" fails to acknowledge the fact that AIG is a YEC organisation so all "Answers in Genesis fellows and advisors" are Young Earth Creationists.
  3. See WP:Categorization: "Pages are not placed directly into every possible category, only into the most specific one in any branch. This means that if a page belongs to a subcategory of C (or a subcategory of a subcategory of C, and so on) then it is not normally placed directly into C."

HrafnTalkStalk(P) 18:30, 16 July 2011 (UTC)

YEC and AIG are not the same categories and it is demonstrable that there are numerous members in both categories.
Just have a look: YEC AiG--Stephfo (talk) 19:04, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
AiG is a subcategory of YEC. Look at the top of YEC.   — Jess· Δ 19:09, 16 July 2011 (UTC)

(edit conflict)

Category:Young Earth creationism

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This category contains articles related to Young Earth creationism.

This category has only the following subcategory.

[×] Answers in Genesis fellows and advisors (14 P)

What part of "Category:Answers in Genesis fellows and advisors is a sub-category of (i.e. its members are a subset of the set of) Category:Young Earth creationism" and we do not include articles in both a category and its subcategory do you fail to comprehend? HrafnTalkStalk(P) 19:14, 16 July 2011 (UTC)

It is demonstrably quite opposite:
Jonathan Sarfati, John Woodmorappe etc. are included in both categories, by the way, are u 100% sure McIntosh is from AiG, what is a proof for that? Is he member of both AiG and Truth in Science? Isn't it possible that AiG only invited him as speaker on some occasion?--Stephfo (talk) 19:26, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
I've corrected both Sarfati & Woodmorappe. Whether or not McIntosh is legitimately an 'Answers in Genesis fellow or advisor' is a separate issue. Do you wish to dispute it? HrafnTalkStalk(P) 19:35, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
Regarless of whether he has an official position at AIG or not, he is intimately connected with the organization. According to Ken Ham himself, "Actually, Dr. McIntosh has spoken for AiG many times in the UK on creation, plus his own speaking engagements all over the world. Andy is also a dear personal friend." [[1]]. That sure sounds like he has acted as an agent of AIG. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 19:42, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
Add. "Andy is also a dear personal friend" -Sorry, but are you sure such sourcing is fulfilling the WP standards? If McIntosh accepts invitation of some University, does he become member of such University? I noticed you have created havoc - you left Sarfati in AiG but in the article devoted to Him there is mention he has nothing to do with AiG anymore: " Sarfati works for Creation Ministries International (CMI), formerly part of Answers in Genesis (AiG)". That's quite confusing how you leave people in categories - you remove them from ones were they currently belong to and keep them in ones they are not associated with anymore. --Stephfo (talk) 19:53, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
The operative word is "for". When a guest professor speaks at a university, he does not speak FOR that university. Andy McIntosh is listed as a "UK Associate Speaker" on AiG's website [[2]]. That is a lot more than just a causual relationship. AiG's website is a reliable source for the makeup of its own organization. If you can find a source in which McIntosh states that he is no longer associated with AiG, than, by all means, remove him from the category. As it is now, though, he is still associated with AiG, and should be listed in that category. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 20:27, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
I agree, I was just not sure about it as I expected that he is more associated with Truth in Science and not AiG. This source sounds OK to me. Thanx --Stephfo (talk) 21:39, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Actually, I think it goes beyond this -- as far as I can tell (can somebody correct me if I'm wrong) there is no "Fellows" or "Advisors" list or similar at the AiG, making the entire category potentially WP:OR. This is in stark contrast to the Discovery Institute, for which we have a similar category, which publishes explicit lists of them on their website. If nobody can come up with a WP:RS-based inclusion criterion for this category, it needs to be deleted (and its contents merged with Category:Young Earth creationism). HrafnTalkStalk(P) 08:44, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
@Hrafn: It may be just a matter of renaming the category to "AiG Speakers" based on this page [[3]]. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 10:03, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
That would seem to be sensible. There're a few in the category who aren't on the list -- but they can either be either otherwise-verified, or removed from it. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 10:12, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
I would however suggest 'Answers in Genesis staff and speakers' (as there seems no reason to exclude AiG staff), and that the Category's introduction reads "Past and present staff and speakers who have represented Answers in Genesis."HrafnTalkStalk(P) 10:43, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 12:00, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
CfD discussion at WP:Categories for discussion/Log/2011 July 17#Category:Answers in Genesis fellows and advisors. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 14:50, 17 July 2011 (UTC)

WIT Press[edit]

WP is exceedingly biased[edit]

Broken links to his University of Leeds page?[edit] is either down or has been deleted. It appears in the article as a reference and under "External links". — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pluvialis (talkcontribs) 19:19, 7 January 2012 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done I've updated the address. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 19:27, 7 January 2012 (UTC)

Int. J. of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics[edit]

Copied from WP:RSN

The aim of the journal is to be a channel of communication for researchers from around the world working on biomimetics and a variety of studies involving nature and its significance to design in engineering. The editorial board consists of respectable scientists and engineers (including a noble prize winner) from over 15 nations and 40 institutions including world leading Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Duke University and The University of Bristol etc... [1]

I came across a problem with editing this article on a wiki-page about the bombardier beetle. Whilst the editor agreed with the inclusion of the link, he felt we could not refer to it as a "scientific journal" or even a "journal" because he considered it unreliable. However, I bring this up here with a view that other might want to reference articles for other pages.

The following claims are made against journal’s reliability:

  1. An article on the web which provides evidence that the review process for one of WIT's conferences in 1995 was not good. (WIT is the publisher of the journal) [2]
  2. The journal has published a couple of papers which are sympathetic towards [ID] (intelligent design)

I agree that the review process for this conference, which WIT was directly responsible for, was unsatisfactory. WIT ran the conference and chose the reviewers. This shouldn’t affect the reliability of the journal, however, as the content of a journal is decided by its editorial board and not its publishers. It is the editorial board who decide what content gets published, who reviewers are and the addition of any further editors to the board. The publisher takes care of the printing and distribution not the content. As the editors (see above) are respected scientists, I have no issue for including this journal as [WP:R].

The ID argument isn't by itself a good argument because there is no direct evidence that these journal editors themselves are friendly to ID. The journal itself actually carries an editorial comment before these papers saying that the editorial board does not agree with *all* the conclusions of these papers. However, it has published them because the editors believe they present scientific problems of our current understanding of some aspects of evolution.[3]

In fact, the scientific community takes the publications in this journal seriously. For example, Bejan, who is no friend of ID, publishes in this journal and refers to it on his webpage [4]

See contents page of journal for more examples.


  1. ^ "Journal Author List". Retrieved 17 October 2012. 
  2. ^ "Critism of VIDEO Conference (1995)". Retrieved 17 October 2012. 
  3. ^ "Notice msg on paper which could be seen as sympathetic to ID" (PDF). Retrieved 17 October 2012. 
  4. ^ "Bejan page". Retrieved 17 October 2012. 

WikiJonathanpeter (talk) 13:17, 17 October 2012 (UTC)

The journal is carried by the institutional subscription of a major university, so it is not total junk. However if you go to this site, you can see a bunch of citation metrics for the journal. If you combine that with the rankings for journals in the environmental sciences here, you can see this one is ranked 200th or so. With other metrics it may rank better, but clearly it is low quality. Note that, at least in psychology, credible journals do publish papers on things like parapsychology (supporting, not opposing). The problem is credible researchers at times find statistical flukes supporting such stuff and journals then accept the paper, sticking to the letter of their criterion for acceptance. Churn and change (talk) 17:12, 17 October 2012 (UTC)
  • First, you're being a bit disingenuous about what brought you here. Although there's plenty of editor conflict over at bombardier beetle regarding the creationists' stance, this reference hasn't been inserted there, and you haven't edited that article. Rather, what's going on is a sort of slow-motion edit war over the section title of a list of articles published by intelligent design advocate Andrew McIntosh. Are they "journal articles"? "Scientific articles"? Just plain "articles"? I note that IRWolfie- has already attempted to solve this problem by formatting the publication listings somewhat differently. An alternative, and what I would recommend, is to simply strike the list of papers and patents entirely; while consensus tends to include lists of published books for academics, there is rarely an onus to include full lists of articles ("journal" or otherwise). Wikipedia is not, after all, an full index of published research. Squeamish Ossifrage (talk) 18:04, 17 October 2012 (UTC)

Citation score comparison at this stage isn't completely fair as the journal is relatively new (5 years old). It takes time for articles to be referenced. Remember, the peer-review process can take from months to even years. The fact of the matter is that the journal is a peer-reviewed journal by a high quality scientific community. Squeamish Ossifrage, your comments are unfair - I stated above that the reasons for bringing it here wasn't about the article you mentioned but because of references and possible future references elsewhere. I'm not asking for a recommendation on the paged entiled Andrew McIntosh, I'm asking whether we can regard the journal as WP:R. As the scientific community do, I struggle to see why we can't. Please provide evidence. WikiJonathanpeter (talk) 09:03, 18 October 2012 (UTC)

See page header. We need to know the precise source you are thinking of using, and the statement you want to source from it. We don't do the kind of general yes/no you seem to be looking for. Itsmejudith (talk) 09:13, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
The issue at stake here isn't whether the content of the article or the journal is accurate. The issue isn't even whether the journal can be regarded as 'scientific'. The issue is whether or not it can be regarded as a 'journal'. If it's carried by a major university then surely it has that right? Whether or not I agree with the premises and conclusions of the papers published in it is irrelevant. Saying that, the way that the page is laid out currently looks like a reasonable compromise to me. --PalavaNet (talk) 09:42, 18 October 2012 (UTC)

OK, I notice that the subject of the article tried to add a referenced statement regarding another paper from the same journal (see discussion page of article). Was that really unacceptable? WikiJonathanpeter (talk) 10:16, 18 October 2012 (UTC)

To add clarity. The following comment was added under the dawkins statement: "The issue at stake is that the second law of thermodynamics concerns entropy increasing in an isolated system. The proponents of evolution insist that because the earth is in an open system (where heat and mass transfer are allowed through the boundary) that entropy could readily decrease in such a system since outside there will be a compensatory overall increase, and that this could lead to the development of the necessary sophistication for living systems. Those scientists arguing against this hypothesis maintain that even in an open system, random energy input will not produce complex and mutually dependent systems required for life without there being an existing or embryonic system there to begin with. A full discussion is in the paper Information And Entropy – Top-down Or Bottom-up Development In Living Systems?[7]".
The comment was reverted because this journal was considered unreliable. Is this really reasonable? WikiJonathanpeter (talk) 10:46, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
When and where was this? Diff please, as your contributions going back to April 2007 don't appear to include Bombardier beetle. . dave souza, talk 11:19, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
It was another users contribution. This is a separate issue from the Bombardier beetle. Diff Here WikiJonathanpeter (talk) 11:30, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
The article is reliable for describing what stances McIntosh has taken. It's a primary source, but this is a valid use of a primary source. On no account must we endorse any of the article's arguments in Wikipedia's voice. This particular article is fringe science although other articles in the journal might not be. Write it up as "In an article of (date) McIntosh wrote that...". By the way, the section headed Biography contains little biography. Most of the material should be in a section Views. Itsmejudith (talk) 11:43, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
I agree that this a way forward and will edit article accordingly. Have you read the paper and come to the conclusion that the individual paper is a fringe science? I've personally read the paper and its a bit more tricky than to simply state its a fringe science. The majority would disagree with the conclusion of the paper but the main article itself presents a very valid problem with the current understanding of evolution. I think it is a valuable contribution to the field and so do the editors of the journal. WikiJonathanpeter (talk) 12:01, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
"The majority would disagree with the conclusion" = fringe science of some kind. It doesn't really matter what kind. Itsmejudith (talk) 12:26, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, I should restate that. "The majority would disagree with some conclusions". Yes a sentence or two in the conclusion could be considered as "fringe science". However, the rest of the article isn't fringe science and would be acceptable to most scientists. Indeed, this is the reason for the notice on the paper but at the same time, letting the article be published. I hope my edits are acceptable. WikiJonathanpeter (talk) 12:29, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
Tweaked the edit to avoid giving undue weight to McIntosh's fringe view equating thermal physics with "the necessary sophistication for living systems", a common creationist misunderstanding of the second law of thermodynamics. Ok as a primary source, but not to be given undue weight. . dave souza, talk 12:45, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
OK, I think we can close this discussion. Thank you for everyones contributions. Will copy this over to the talk page of the article in due course WikiJonathanpeter (talk) 13:22, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
Well, the RS aspect seems handled, but please do keep in mind that there might be other very valid editor concerns with using this source. Consider WP:NOTE, and WP:DUE. WP does not aim to include summaries of every paper ever published of course.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 11:05, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
Indeed. I do resent the fact that the article was orginally written with the intent to discredit the professor i.e. a personal attack. It's also very bad that the two editors dealing with the original discussion did what the could do belittle the prof in their discussion with rather than dealing with it as it was done here (see article talk page). What's wikipedia's policy on dealing with people writing/editing articles for this kind of reasons? WikiJonathanpeter (talk) 12:56, 20 October 2012 (UTC)
Relevant articles can be found at WP:BLP and WP:AGF. In general, of course, WP:NPOV applies. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 13:06, 20 October 2012 (UTC)
I think I am saying the same thing, but edits which belittle a theory, should not be deleted just because such edits can be construed as insults to living people who agree with that theory. Some theories are controversial, and we must report controversial ideas as controversial ideas (if we report them). In such cases, WP:BLP should not be abused so as to protect controversial theories.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 19:52, 20 October 2012 (UTC)
Belittle a theory - absolutely fine. Belittle a person - that's got to be wrong. WikiJonathanpeter (talk) 20:53, 20 October 2012 (UTC)
Well, right and wrong are things people disagree about in this type of situation. For WP, it depends on how well sourced and notable the belittling is. We just report it. For controversial ideas we have a responsibility to make it clear that they are controversial. If that can be argued as belittling someone who associates with such theories, then for better or worse that is just part of being involved in controversy. WP itself tries to avoid creating controversies, but we do report them.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 09:13, 21 October 2012 (UTC)}}
So what? It's not a reliable source for science. . . dave souza, talk 14:01, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
Issue has already been discussed on WP:RSN. Please feel free to re-raise it there if you would like to discuss the issue further.WikiJonathanpeter (talk) 18:41, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

Views: Critique of mcintosh article on thermodynamics[edit]

"This common creationist claim is based on the failure to understand that complexity can arise from simplicity in a way fully compliant with thermodynamics" to "views" section as proposed by dave souza.

  1. Please read the article where McIntosh states his views (its open access). This comment is not relavent because he is not talking about pattern formation like other creationists. He is simply talking about the rise of free energy able to do work – that this never occurs in open systems just by energy coming across the boundary. If you can find a reference which opposes the argument in his article, please do include it.
  2. As this is a biography of a living person, we do need to be careful how we we word the statement. See policy on biographies of living persons

As this is a biography about somebody's view rather than a scientific article, I think what we have at the moment is sufficient.

WikiJonathanpeter (talk) 19:02, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

The work he's talking about is the formation of complexity, and the reference describes just that. A biography isn't an excuse for a POV fork, and we're required by WP:WEIGHT to show how these views are received by the majority scientific view. Alternatively, I've no objection to the paragraph being deleted. Either way, we should not show pseudscientific nonsense out of context. dave souza, talk 20:35, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
The material in McIntosh’s article are based around fundemental definitions - not analogies (i.e. your reference). A better reference is needed which deals with these, especially as this is a biography of a living person. With regards to WP:WEIGHT - absolutely. However, as indicated in policy for biographies of living persons, the material must be written responsibly, conservatively, and in a disinterested tone. I do think the previous wording (without your additional statement) sufficently brings out that this is a disputed matter. Words like "in a discussion", "with Richard Dawkins" in the text sufficently satisfy the WP:WEIGHT criteria for me. WikiJonathanpeter (talk) 23:39, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
Please could I request that the matter was discussed fully before you add the comments back to the article as has been done WikiJonathanpeter (talk) 23:41, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
It's appreciated that McIntosh’s views are based around fundamental definitions, but they have no credence in science and if they're shown in this article they have to be shown as fringe views, with the mainstream context explained. The sources of this section are poor: a religion correspondent's blog, which at best provides opinion pieces about religion, a Dawkins blog item that doesn't mention McIntosh but merely linked to a the religion programme which is no longer available so I've removed that as a dead link, and McIntosh's self-published religious "journal" which isn't a reliable source for anything but his pseudoscientific views. The fact that McIntosh has at one time discussed these views with Dawkins on a radio programme doesn't explain how these views differ from science, and there's neither warrant nor need to show these views out of the required context. . dave souza, talk 14:04, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
Just out of interest, McIntosh's "paper" claims that "The genetic information needed to code for complex structures like proteins actually requires information which organises the natural forces surrounding it and not the other way around", something directly contradicted by a rather more credible paper from an evangelical Christian perspective. . . dave souza, talk 19:08, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
I don't agree with all your comments but glad we both agree that the opposing sources could be much better. I have updated the text to reference two relevant journal papers and have rewritten the statement so that the tone is in accordance with WP:BLP
WikiJonathanpeter (talk) 19:30, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
Your dois failed, so it's hard to see the reference, and your representation of these publications fails WP:WEIGHT by trying to give them less weight than the fringe views of McIntosh. For the moment I'll leave in the point that he had a discussion with Dawkins, but setting out fringe arguments with inadequate context fails weight. . dave souza, talk 20:07, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

Dawkins article[edit]

We allow critical external links even in BLPs. We've already mentioned Dawkins but not said anything about what Dawkins said. The link just removed[[8] gives readers a chance to see in more detail. We allow critical links in BLPs. Alternatively we can use it as a source and quote some of it. Dougweller (talk) 11:41, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

Dr McIntosh and thermodynamics[edit]

I will not bother trying to edit the main page, as any edit I make will probably be deleted by trolls.

However, the page currently criticizes McIntosh's view of thermodynamics and evolution, referring to "a well-understood misunderstanding of the second law of thermodynamics and closed versus open systems." Yet, as the article begins, it should be noted that Dr McIntosh is Professor of Thermodynamics at the University of Leeds! (This is one of the UK's most prestigious universities). I might opine, therefore, that Dr McIntosh's knowledge of thermodynamics and its correct application is probably at least as good as that of Richard Dawkins, and it most certainly exceeds that of the writer of the sarcastic put-down! You might not agree with him, but at least have the humility to recognize that this man is a great scientist. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pftaylor61 (talkcontribs) 23:31, 11 October 2014 (UTC)