Talk:Creation–evolution controversy/Archive 21

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This article in its current form violates WP:NPOV, because it basically implies that evolution is a fact while creationism is only believed by a few crazy fanatics. This isn't true, and therefore, the article should be revised to give equal value to both sides. Furthermore, this article uses phrases like "The scientific community believes...", while WP:WEASEL prohibits such anthropomorphisms.

Evolution also has many flaws:

  1. Many complex structures are useless if missing even a single part, thus meaning that these structures couldn't have formed through evolution, which requires gradual changes. For example, the device for propelling bacterial flagella is highly complex (in fact, it's essentially a microscopic electric motor) and couldn't have evolved all at once.
  2. Closely related to this is the fact that wings couldn't have formed in a single evolutionary step and would thus have formed gradually. As a small or partially-formed wing is useless for flying, this wouldn't have happened.
  3. If evolution were true, morals wouldn't exist, since if all that matters is one's own survival to pass on one's DNA, theft, murder, rape, and many other heinous acts would be acceptable.
  4. An enormous number of beneficial mutations would be required to get from the first form of life to modern humans. As even a single beneficial mutation is extremely rare, the chances of humans forming completely by chance is extremely small.
  5. Evolution fails to explain the origins of consciousness. While it may be possible to use evolution to explain the formation of the brain, evolution fails to explain why consciousness would have formed or why consciousness is more beneficial than a system similar to a computer where all actions are performed based on reflexes and previous memory.

Since evolution clearly has flaws, it must be regarded with scepticism and therefore creationism must be at least considered as a viable alternative. --Oboeboy (talk) 18:25, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

Start your reading at Talk:Evolution/FAQ, then check out Evolution as theory and fact, Objections to evolution, Evidence of common descent, and Level of support for evolution. Hopefully, after you've read all of these you'll realize how the points you raise above have all been sufficiently addressed by the relevant academic communities and that WP:UNDUE and WP:FRINGE dictate the balance currently seen in this article. — Scientizzle 18:58, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
Nice list. I didn't know wp had these articles. Oboeboy, NPOV isn't an "equal time" rule, it's a "commensurate weight" rule so the content chosen must faithfully represent the amount of coverage or weight it gets in secondary sources. What you've itemized are some examples of arguments against evolution raised by creationists. The article isn't really meant to cover every debated detail argued between the two, only to give an overview or outline of the controversy. I think the first issue is addressed already in the article, but I don't think the "morals" argument is there yet. It has been a complaint raised by creationists as far back as the Scopes trial, and continues to today. It maybe should be included in the overview here as well. Good point. You sound as if you think the article needs to argue reasons, and that's not so. So when you say, "must be regarded with skepticism" and so forth, no. That's not the role editors play. They simply report, they don't analyze. So the article can't go there, and it won't repeat an exhaustive list of specific disputes one after another. I couldn't find "scientific community believes" so I'm not sure what the problem is there. Professor marginalia (talk) 19:16, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

I think the correct reply to this is "evolution is a fact while creationism is only believed by a few crazy fanatics." See evolution as theory and fact. --TS 20:12, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

  1. While it is perfectly true "that evolution is a fact while creationism is only believed by a few crazy fanatics", we're not allowed to (and don't) come out and say this. However we are required to give WP:DUE weight to the scientific majority opinion that creationism lacks any scientific merit.
  2. I am ambivalent as to "The scientific community believes..." versus "The scientific consensus is..." Any opinions?
  3. This talkpage is WP:NOTAFORUM for Oboeboy's purported "flaws" in evolution.
  4. His points #1 & #2 relate to the fallacy of irreducible complexity, and are dealt with in that article, and probably in objections to evolution and origin of avian flight.
  5. His #3, #4 & #5 are handled in objections to evolution

Nothing to see here, let's move along. HrafnTalkStalk 02:23, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

Evolution isn't just believed by a few crazy fanatics and evolution isn't a fact. Approximately 20% of America's population is Atheist or agnostic, while 70% is Christian and 10% have some other religion. Therefore, if you apply WP:DUE, we should in fact give 4/5 to Creationism and only 1/5 to evolution. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:05, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
WP:WEIGHT is about expert opinion, not opinion polls of the uninformed. . dave souza, talk 23:33, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
It generally isn't a good idea to insult 80% of the world's population (the amounts of various religions are different, but worldwide there's still only about 20% Atheists. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:57, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
It isn't 80% -- please read Theistic evolution. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 02:07, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
"The Problem with Evolution Surveys | LiveScience". Retrieved 2009-02-03.  ..... dave souza, talk 05:31, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

my recent edit

to link to [[politics]] in the sentence I edited does nothing to further illuminate what "political dispute" means in that sentence. I would redlink to political dispute but I don't think that would be terribly helpful to anyone looking to understand the relevant issues either. Codigo'll aka Huh? 01:51, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

I agree; good edit. Aunt Entropy (talk) 03:01, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Darwinism + Evolutionism

I think those terms should be removed from the article and replaced with "Evolution". Those terms are frequented in debates to make evolution seem like a cult or society, rather than the accepted scientific theory it is. Exceptions, of course, when they are used in quotes. (talk) 03:23, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

"Darwinism" is used only as direct quotes, and therefore should stay. "Evolutionism" was used (and linked to) once. Neither use nor link seemed appropriate in the context, so I've replaced both. HrafnTalkStalk 05:23, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

Rethink Unified Field Theory And Evolution

Please glance at the following four brief essays and then re-read this note.

I humbly suggest that the underlying, essential thought, of these essays deserves your attention:

- Earth's life is an up-phased matter of the inanimate matter, all matter being essentially a format of constrained energy.

- The cosmos is an evolving energy affair consisting of endless intertwined evolutions.

- Culture is a ubiquitous trait of all matter, the driver of Evolution, of all evolutions. This is an extension of Darwin's and Broken Symmetry concepts.

- The further comprehension of Culture and Evolution is the essence of the quest for a Unified Field Theory.

Respectfully yours,

Dov Henis (A DH Comment From The 22nd Century)

(1) On Complexity

(2) "Broken Symmetry" Is Physics' Term Of Biology's "Evolution"

(3) More On Forces-Matter-Life Unified Theory

(4) Why 'Life' In Forces-Matter-Life Unified Theory (talk) 16:16, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

No it must be Darwinism because there are other models of evolution with slight variations. If you don't like the term use Darwinian evolution; Newtonian mechanics are not the same as relativity and thus gravity must be properly labeled as well. Sfvace (talk) 04:34, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

What "other models"? WP:PROVEIT HrafnTalkStalk 06:36, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Isn't it modern evolutionary synthesis anyway as the 'correct' name for the theory? Darwin was the initial seed for much of the theory but theres been countless advancements and additions and fine tuning since. Your example of Newtonian mechanics according to classical mechanics is only used when referring to the initial stage in the development of classical mechanics. Same logic would apply for 'Darwinian evolution' if you was talking about theory as it pertained 150 years ago, but if your talking about modern evolution, it's simply evolution or more accurately modern evolutionary synthesis. — raeky (talk | edits) 10:53, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

Attempt to cut the gordian knot

The question as to whether creationists hold to myths or narratives, or whatever, seems off topic to me, and the cited reference was too non-specific. This edit with more explicit sourcing attempts to clarify the main issue, of those accepting scientific consensus natural explanations as compatible with their beliefs, and those rejecting that consensus on the basis of a wide variety of revealed truths and beliefs, some of which contradict others on the "same side". . . dave souza, talk 15:47, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

Sorry to revert dave, but your edit really didn't make sense to me. I have nothing against the type of edit in principle, I just think it needs a little work. Here it is:
The creation-evolution controversy (also termed the creation vs. evolution debate or the origins debate) is a recurring political dispute about the origins of the Earth, humanity, life, and the universe,[1] between those supporting the scientific consensus whose religious beliefs accept explanation of origins through natural processes such as evolution, and those holding a wide range of views who contest the validity of purely natural explanations as conflicting with their various beliefs in revealed religious truths.
Aside from being deathly long, I really can't follow it. It seems to me this is saying it's only a dispute between religious people, which isn't right. I'll think about changes, I just wanted to say something here first. Cheers, Ben (talk) 16:08, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
Sure it isn't right? The debate is founded in the fundamentalist-modernist controversy, and scientific naturalism is supported by those whose religious beliefs accept non-overlapping magisteria as well as those whose belief rejects religion. Perhaps "religious beliefs" can be improved, but we mustn't give the impression that it's a debate between the religious and the irreligious. . . dave souza, talk 16:23, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
I totally agree, it's not a religious vs. irreligious debate. In fact, I don't think we should be mentioning religion at all in the first sentence. It's a science / creationism clash, which we can cite to Brian J. Alters' Defending Evolution in the Classroom. Of course, we can and should expand on this a little for the uninitiated, so blindly pulling the intro from creationism across, we could simply:
The creation-evolution controversy (also termed the creation vs. evolution debate or the origins debate) is a recurring political dispute about the origins of the Earth, humanity, life, and the universe,[1] between those supporting the scientific consensus that offers explanations of origins through natural processes such as evolution, and those who believe that these things were created in their original form by a deity.
Now, I have more problems with this intro. It seems to build in the misconception of evolution being related to the origin of the universe, for instance. So, while we're here maybe we can give this intro a thorough rewrite? Cheers, Ben (talk) 16:44, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
I've pulled some of your suggestion into the above. Ben (talk) 16:49, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
For information, the references used in my proposal were Mark Isaak (2000–2002). "What is Creationism?". TalkOrigins Archive. Retrieved 2009-02-20.  and John S. Wilkins (1997). "Evolution and Philosophy: Naturalism". TalkOrigins Archive. Retrieved 2009-02-20. . Your rewrite works up to "and those who believe that these things were created in their original form by a deity", but supporters of evolution can believe that life was initially created by a deity. Perhaps revise on the lines of "and those who believe that the mainstream scientific view contradicts revelation of supernatural intervention." . . dave souza, talk 17:09, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
Ok, can I suggest a tweaking of the wording though. Something like:
The creation-evolution controversy (also termed the creation vs. evolution debate or the origins debate) is a recurring political dispute about the origins of the Earth, humanity, life, and the universe,[2] between those supporting the scientific consensus that offers explanations of origins through natural processes such as evolution, and those who believe that the supernatural intervention of a deity or deities lead to these events.
This is a delayed response since Wikimedia is giving me hell when I try and post at the moment. I haven't read over Professor marginalia's comment yet, so sorry if this seems like a nonsense suggestion in light of his/her comment. Cheers, Ben (talk) 17:53, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
That is making progress. I have also run into some people who believe that God created the basic laws and principles of the Universe and then stood back and let things happen. Northwestgnome (talk) 17:42, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
We have so many articles already about anti-evolutionary creationism. This article is directed specifically to the political clashes over what kinds of views should hold sway in a particular context. The intro should get right to the key themes and events in the political sphere, shouldn't it? So we don't need to go into every nuance about who holds what particular views in the intro. There are article after article at wp that do this, and the key views can be summarized in a "background" section. But in this article, I think it best to say what kind of "political controversies" they are, which primarily means over what's taught in public schools, and who gets to set that educational agenda, correct? Now it's spilling into "academic freedom", employment protections and "free speech" type arguments in legislation. The philosophical debate influences and overlaps with the political somewhat. The anti-evolutionist creationists do have religious objections to evolution. But only those who are involved parties in the political events need to be described here. This is because this article is not really about the "differences of opinion about origins", it's about how some of these "differences of opinion" have played out in the political clashes, such as court cases, legislation, and school board policies. The suggested edit now isn't strictly correct. Not everyone with an opinion is involved in the controversy...for example, not everyone who believes in divine creation subscribes to the opinion that it needs to politically oppose evolution be taught in school, and not everyone who subscribes to evolution believes creationism shouldn't be taught alongside. In other words, the dispute isn't between competing views of origins, it's between those who hold that one or more specific view should be included or not included in some political/governmental context. In plainer terms, the statement should say something along the lines of, "the creation evolution controversy refers to political debates over what kinds views of origins belong in public schools, academia and science". Professor marginalia (talk) 17:44, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
Ok, that sounds reasonable, but I'd like to try and keep things as clear as possible in the first sentence. Reading that sentence on its own, it comes across a little vague. Perhaps we can combine the above suggestions and yours to give some sort of idea what these views of origins are? Cheers, Ben (talk) 09:23, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
I would disagree that "this article is directed specifically to the political clashes over what kinds of views should hold sway in a particular context" -- this article is meant to be a general overview of the controversy. If you want politics specifically, you need to go to Politics of creationism & Intelligent design in politics. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 15:37, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
I'm boggled...two more articles? Must be a hundred articles by now. Every time I think I've finally understood what the topic of this article is, I find I'm wrong again. The topic sentence here reads, "The creation-evolution controversy (also termed the creation vs. evolution debate or the origins debate) is a recurring political dispute about the origins of the Earth, humanity, life, and the universe,[1] between the proponents of evolution, backed by scientific consensus, and those who espouse the validity and/or superiority of a creation myth." Can someone explain what the topic of this article is about if it's not the political clashes then? What is this article meant to focus on that isn't already covered in another article? Professor marginalia (talk) 17:49, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
I wasn't aware of Politics of creationism either, until I went looking for articles on the political side of it to list here. The lead may over-emphasise the importance of politics to this article. It might be more appriate to characterise it as a "cultural" dispute (i.e. part of the 'Culture wars'). While the forum that the dispute plays out is nearly always in some way political, the underlying dynamics are religious/social/cultural. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 18:03, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
I need to get a better sense of what's here then; it seems to me that the same topics, the same claims, are recycled over and over.Professor marginalia (talk) 22:55, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

Macroevolution expansion

The edits by User:Clayheart I think should be discussed before implemented, and definitely should include some references. This section has a template that it should be expanded. Such is a delicate topic, I know the general science consensus on macro and micro evolution (there is no difference, both is the same, evolution). I know that creationists (at least most) don't deny microevolution (observed different breeds of dogs, as an example) but don't accept macro (speciation).

However, most creationists define Macroevolution as a major change from one type of animal to another (ex. an ape to a man) and not just variation from one rabbit to another rabbit. The underlying issue is that of genetic information gain. Small changes resulting from a loss of information from the genetic code can and does cause speciation. Yet no amount of lost information can change a reptile into a bird. Thus information gain is necessary. However, no example of speciation resultant from genetic information gain exists.

This would be Clayheart's addition. This is clearly inaccurate, "However, no example of speciation resultant from genetic information gain exists." so obviously I reverted the changes. — raeky (talk | edits) 15:01, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

Explanation of TS's revert of an edit by changed the phrase "creation myth" to "creation story" and "fring theories" to "religiously-influenced theories".

I've reverted. Perhaps "creation story" is fine, too, but the normal phrase is "creation myth" and our article is there. But whilst the fringe theories in question may be religiously influenced (and this must have affected the Supreme Court's judgement) the important factor is that they're fringe. --TS 18:37, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

I disagree. The CIA world factbook says that over half of the Earth's population holds to a religion that states the universe was created by some kind of higher being. (you can look this up if you want) That being said, Creationism is not fringe, but quite mainstream. I think you are referring to the scientific community, in which case, yes Creationism could be considered fringe, but what percentage of the world's population are members of the scientific community? Which begs the question, does WP state (not attest to, mind you) what the general masses believe or just the scientific community?Prussian725 (talk) 00:26, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not some sort of aggregate blog, reflecting what the masses think. As an encyclopaedia, it reflects what reliable sources have to say on the matter. It's the only sensible option - I want to know what the expert consensus is, not what Joe Laymen thinks. Ben (talk) 00:41, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps half of the world’s population do subscribe to a religion that has a supreme creator. However it is not true to say that they all reject evolution, or that they are all creationists. In fact if you look it up you will find that Christianity and Judaism are divided on the issue. Islam seems less divided but still many Muslims accept the possibility of the evolution as a process started by god. Sikhism seems to embrace a form of intelligent design, thus does not wholly reject evolution.[[Slatersteven (talk) 14:37, 6 February 2009 (UTC)]]
Please note that not all people who believe in a creator believe in Creationism. Many believe in theistic evolution. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 14:57, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
The creationist articles sometimes attract sub-consciously disparaging turns of phrase that aren't used by the source cited, but words added by editors accustomed to hearing antagonistic comments against creationism. Naturally it's perceived as a poke, not NPOV, a "tightening the screws" against creationism. "Creation myth" is not "more normal" than "creation story". The term is more negative sounding because of the connotations the word "myth" has today, but it's not really the more "normal". As per NPOV, "As an encyclopedia, Wikipedia articles about religious topics should take care to use these words only in their formal senses in order to avoid causing unnecessary offense or misleading the reader. Conversely, editors should not avoid using terminology that has been established by the majority of the current reliable and notable sources on a topic out of sympathy for a particular point of view, or concern that readers may confuse the formal and informal meanings." And technically myth works in the strictly academic sense too, but it's not obvious that it's more "normally used". Google scholar and google books searches just now were consistent that "creation story" was the somewhat more often used phrase. If "creation story" is perfectly proper, somewhat more often used, and less off-putting to some readers, why not go ahead and use it?
And science and the US courts haven't opposed creationism because its fringe, they've opposed it because it isn't a science and because it is a religious endeavor, not empirical. The term "fringe" is given more emphasis at wikipedia than outside of it. I have a lot of references on this topic written from scientific and philosophical povs, and the term "fringe" appears very limitedly, if at all--whereas the theme that creationism is based on fixed religious views rather than empirical evidence predominates throughout almost all of them. Sources who are admittedly anti-creationist largely do a pretty good job of "writing for the enemy", whereas here at wikipedia where we have a firm NPOV policy, sometimes the edits in these articles go a little overboard. I think, though, "religiously based theories" is maybe better than "religiously influenced". Professor marginalia (talk) 15:29, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
Sure. I'm not trying to start a fight here. I just think that a little more clarity in exactly what is stated on WP might be warranted. I don't doubt at all that the general scientific community is of the opinion that evolution is true, but that's not what I'm here to discuss. What I'm saying is that I see a lot of statements saying certain things to be true, false, myth...whatever, but little to no explanations of where these statements came from, who states them...etc. Right now I'm not talking about what should and shouldn't be said, I'm just saying that what is said needs to have sources. I've seen many creationist-evolutionist debates on WP, and I'll bet all of us have, where the creationist, and rightly so most of the time, is criticized for not having sources. However, in these same arguements, I do not see the evolutionist showing his sources either. (the creationist is often told to go out and look them up himself) I do not doubt at all that they exist, the number is probably mountainous, but all I'm saying is that both sides should have ready sources, in the discussion pages and in the articles.Prussian725 (talk) 17:35, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
The choice of terminology can't be "cured" with a couple of cites. Let's take "fringe". We've established that "how many people believe it" is irrelevant here. The more pertinent issue is whether "balancing mainstream science with fringe" is "the important factor" of the controversy, which was the reason given for the change. "Fringe" was a secondary issue raised in Kitzmiller v. Dover, relevant to the case only because ID curriculum was found to have a religious purpose--per the Lemon test. This "fringe" is mentioned in the intro, but there's no real elaboration given further down in the article. I don't know why it's there at all. On to "creation myth". That would be relevant to the pre-ID aspect of the controversy, and the main sources I checked that were covering those (Ruse, Numbers, Larson, Gilkey, Nelkins, Scott) don't use "creation myth". What authors clearly say most often is just plain "creation", with the more specific "Genesis creation" or "Mosaic creation" given in places to underline what kind of creation the author's referring to. And the authors I listed (and others) will use some form of "creation story"/"creation account" once in awhile, and sometimes use phrases like "the story of the six day creation". But they steer clear of "the myth of the six day creation". This article is trying to encompass more than "Genesis creation", but in the sources, it's far and away the variety of creationism that is most focused on in discussing conflicts with evolution. Professor marginalia (talk) 00:15, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
I would like to suggest something like "accounts of creation in religious texts." Most people will react negatively to their beliefs being called a "myth" and will stop reading the article. Northwestgnome (talk) 15:09, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
Nonsense. Ben (talk) 15:25, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
Not. ;-) Northwestgnome (talk) 19:05, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Ben, if you are going to call what someone says nonsense, then please grace us with an explanation. I happen to agree with Gnome because I am a Christian and I do not necessarily appreciate my beliefs being lightly referred to as myths.Prussian725 (talk) 20:54, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

The point I was trying to make is that the purpose of an encyclopedia article is for people to read it and learn something they didn't know. I wasn't taking a stand on the Book of Genesis being or not being a "myth." Northwestgnome (talk) 21:17, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
I know you weren't. You're talking about the wording right?Prussian725 (talk) 02:10, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
Yes, It's much better to have neutral wording, give the facts, and let people think for themselves. Northwestgnome (talk) 06:12, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
I agree.Prussian725 (talk) 13:52, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
Are you both suggesting the lead sentence doesn't "give the facts" or that you don't like the way the facts are worded? Creation myth is a perfectly acceptable term. If it offends you for some reason, so much so that you would just up and stop reading the article, then so be it. Most people will not, as Northwestgnome suggests, react like that, and most people will not be offended by it either. Can I suggest you check your dictionary for the word 'myth'? With respect to religious topics it is a very useful term. Cheers, Ben (talk) 14:35, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
I do not plan to get embroiled in this debate. Those of you have encountered me before know that I have very strong views on the use of "myth" in religious articles and have argued against it. However, despite my history, I find no reliable objection to using the term in this context. "Creation myth" is a "standard" term used in many reliable sources that lacks the connotations I find objectionable in other areas. It is also true that existing, objective scientific analysis overwhelmingly supports a universe that is billions of years old, in contradiction to the seven day event of Genesis. Most Christian scientists and academics now support the scientific view. In this context, the Genesis Creation is best defined as a myth. The opposing view remains significant and should certainly be mentioned; but there is no good reason to exclude the term in this context.--FimusTauri (talk) 15:08, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
Northwestgnome and Prussian725, I'd ask you to please still check your dictionary. The word myth and the scientific consensus on the age of the universe are not related. Cheers, Ben (talk) 15:20, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
I believe that most of the most widely cited references I've accumulated that have written about the controversy do not refer to it as "creation myth". If necessary I can list a survey of these sources for the terminology they use, but won't bother if editors are pressing for the terminology that suits best their own personal tastes. Neither the age of the earth or findings of science play any part whatsoever in which term is more apt here. Professor marginalia (talk) 16:19, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

Ok, two things. It's funny you bring up the dictionary, Ben, because the softest definition in there describes myth as ostensible. Even Webster's 1828 dictionary ties the word "myth" to "fables". So I encourage you to look up the word "account", which is used quite often to describe Creationism. That being said, what does everybody think about using the word "account" in place of the word "myth"?Prussian725 (talk) 17:18, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

Creationism isn't an account or a myth. And I think Webster's gives that a fable that has been received as historical as an example of a myth, which actually works here but is very specific. It's a shame you threw away the rest of the definition:
A story of great but unknown age which originally embodied a belief regarding some fact or phenomenon of experience, and in which often the forces of nature and of the soul are personified.
Account doesn't do the theme justice, creation myths are so much more. Cheers, Ben (talk) 17:37, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for explaining your views better Ben. I do own a dictionary. :-) I just think the purpose of an encyclopedia is not to do themes justice, but to present facts in a calm neutral way. Northwestgnome (talk) 18:32, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

I've replaced "accounts of creation in religious texts" with "creation narratives" as the text piping to creation myth, as:

  1. All myths are narratives, but not all myths are contained in religious texts (some are oral traditions, others like Greek myths never made their way into canonical religious texts).
  2. Disagreement exists within religions as to how to interpret these texts, and the phrasing might be considered to be taking sides on this.

HrafnTalkStalk(P) 03:33, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

Might be considered to be taking sides? How is that? Creation myth is the standard and most apt term. Our article is there, Encyclopaedia Britannica's article there, plus countless other reference works use the term freely. Narrative is way too general, though referring to myth's as narratives and stories is generally considered ok once the fact has been established. With these things in mind, I've reverted. Cheers, Ben (talk) 05:43, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
"Standard apt term"-- how so? Encyclopedia Britannica? How so? "Countless other references"? Such as? Cheers. Professor marginalia (talk) 05:56, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
What are you looking for? I can give a URL to EB's creation myth article if you really want, but surely you can confirm that. Or are you looking for works that explain it is a standard term? Sticking with EB, its Old Testament article notes that
The Old Testament is usually regarded as embodying much material that anthropologists would regard as containing mythical themes in just the same way as the practices of the ancient Greeks, Chinese, or Abenaki Indians are bound up with myths.
Oxford's dictionary of the Bible?
In Gen. the Creation and the Fall are myths, and are markedly similar to the creation stories of Israel's Near Eastern neighbours.
If you want something a little more specialised and about the term myth in particular, in the Collected Works of Northrop Frye: Writings on the Bible and Religion, ISBN 9780802079206, he notes that
It sounds absurd to say that the Bible is a work of art or an epic poem like the Iliad or the Mahabharata, although the statement is really less absurd than it sounds. "Epic poem" is clearly the wrong classification, but the sense of absurdity comes mainly from the total critical ignorance of the literary and rhetorical issues connected with scriptures and sacred books. A structure of myth and metaphor is what we have: it is all that we have.
Marcus Borg notes here that
David Strauss's claim that many of the gospel narratives are mythical in character, and that "myth" is not simply to be equated with "falsehood" — have become part of mainstream scholarship.
If that isn't what you're looking for, please clarify. Cheers, Ben (talk) 06:21, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

Just to make it clear, I personally have no problem with "myth". "Narrative" was an attempt at compromise, given that I do have a problem with "accounts of creation in religious texts". HrafnTalkStalk(P) 06:04, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

That's fine. I'm just not convinced it is something we need to compromise on, especially if Prussian725 and Northwestgnome are just looking to give their beliefs an air of authority at the expense of useful terminology. Cheers, Ben (talk) 06:41, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

On the myths-in-the-dictionary thread, OED has this to say:

Myth, n.

1. a. A traditional story, typically involving supernatural beings or forces, which embodies and provides an explanation, aetiology, or justification for something such as the early history of a society, a religious belief or ritual, or a natural phenomenon.
Myth is strictly distinguished from allegory and legend by some scholars, but in general use it is often used interchangeably with these terms.
b. As a mass noun: such stories collectively or as a genre.
In later use coloured by sense 2a.
2. a. A widespread but untrue or erroneous story or belief; a widely held misconception; a misrepresentation of the truth. Also: something existing only in myth; a fictitious or imaginary person or thing.
b. A person or thing held in awe or generally referred to with near reverential admiration on the basis of popularly repeated stories (whether real or fictitious). Cf. LEGEND n. 8.
c. A popular conception of a person or thing which exaggerates or idealizes the truth.

I think 1a makes it a clear fit, though I can see how 2a might make people uncomfortable. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 07:01, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

That is understandable, but religions do not contain untrue stories, they only contain true stories, which immediately rules out that definition. As you mentioned earlier, what that truth is is left to the respective believers to decide, and the interpretations differ a great deal. In this way, definition 1a demonstrates why the term myth is so good. It makes no value judgements or attempts to give interpretations, describes the relevant properties of the story, and distinguishes the labelled story from a mere account, story or narrative, which really should be important for those who hold it to be sacred. Cheers, Ben (talk) 07:20, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
Yes, but people often see "myth" as a conflation of 1a & 2a, labelling other people's "traditional stor[ies]" as "untrue or erroneous story or belief". There's only one 'true story', but by some sublime miracle every religion has it, and each of them are different, and each of them can't see how all those other religions fail to see the halo surrounding this true story. As I said before, I'm happy with "myth". That I can understand others' discomfort with it does not mean that I share that discomfort. I would also be happy with "narrative", but if there's no stampede to draft it in as an alternative, it worries me not at all. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 08:31, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
I don't think any of the three suggestions (creation myth, narrative, or account) is wrong. Northwestgnome (talk) 13:47, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

<outdent>@Ben Tillman-I asked "how so" because we need to get serious here and let the references guide content, not personal opinion. This article is about the creation-evolution controversy. We need references about - "creation-evolution controversy". We can't juxtapose the two views ourselves. We have to defer to sources which have done so. The EB article that does this, that puts the two ideas together, creation and evolution, do not call it a "creation myth". They call it "creation story". Put the dictionaries away. Find sources about this topic, the "creation-evolution controversy", and use the issues, tenor, and terminology that are found in them. Professor marginalia (talk) 15:36, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

Uhh, we need to be careful here Professor marginalia. Consistency of terminology is important, but I don't care to argue about it since dave's proposal (with a little work) is likely to make this moot. Cheers, Ben (talk) 16:04, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
Ben, as far as I can tell, you are the only one here who has a problem with the word "account". You say it doesn't do the subject justice, but I'm fine with it and I'm the only Christian here! I'm not trying to claim special authority over this, don't get that idea, but I, like most others here, am trying to find neutral ground. One thing you must take into account when writing things for the general public is how they will interpret the wording. I know people should have good knowledge of their language, but news flash: most of them don't! When most people hear the word myth, it almost immediately implies falsehood, which obviously is not WP's aim. This is now where you must cater to your audience, to a degree. Now, you could go by strict definition of words and tell everybody who reads to get stuffed and go find a dictionary, but like I said before, most people do not know that much about vocabulary! So I reiterate my question: what are we trying to say here?Prussian725 (talk) 20:34, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
No Hrafn does not like "account" either. And I agree with him. I think "myth" is best myself. I would grudgingly accept "narrative." Aunt Entropy (talk) 23:00, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
From an outside point of view, the word "myth" first thing that comes to mind is untrue. It fit's the classic definition of myth perfectly. As a non-Christian I can see myth being the best choice (which I'm leaning towards), but a Christan reading it will not like their belief being called a myth. It doesn't matter what myth's dictionary definition is or where it's used, they won't like it. If the idea of the article is to not offend the reader, then I would stay away from the word "myth." If that isn't a concern then go ahead use it. — raeky (talk | edits) 06:12, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
If the purpose of the article is to make scientificly minded people feel proud that they are smarter than religious people and to make religious people feel that science is a tool of the devil using the word "myth" right off is a great thing to do. If the purpose of the article is to present facts so that people would learn something by reading it then a more bland, neutral word would be better here. Northwestgnome (talk) 14:15, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
@Raeky--"myth" as classicists and anthropologists intend it to mean, such as in "creation myth", "prometheus myth", "norse myth", does not mean "untrue". A myth, by definition, is believed to be true by the culture that holds it. Professor marginalia (talk) 15:32, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
In that case, I don't think most modern Christians (or Jews) believe that everything in the Bible is literally true. Northwestgnome (talk) 00:39, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

Human evolution

I've tried to bring a little more coherency to the Human evolution section, but it's largely synth right now so it can't stay long and we need sources. I've poured through stacks of books and don't recall ever seeing creationists worked up over Miocene ape fossils. I don't know what the intent was for the section, but in its original form, I found very obscure ape fossils listed and some molecular dates of divergences posted, the 98% genetic similarity, and creationists making a claim that Java man was really an ape. It was a disjointed mess, and probably just some residual holdover from an article draft split long ago. Does anyone remember what the intended point was to that section? If not, it needs a new direction. Professor marginalia (talk) 21:37, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

I think it's there because it's the most theologically & emotionally significant 'there are no transitional fossils' argument -- 'I'm not related to no God-darn monkey!'. Science narrates a reasonably steady series of changes, creationists attempt to demonstrate an unbridgeable 'gap'. Are the sources listed in Comparison of all skulls of any use for further drill-down? HrafnTalkStalk(P) 11:28, 24 February 2009 (UTC)


The Lactantius section is referenced to a 2000 year old primary source. I've been unable to find any secondary sources verifying this interpretation. The interpretation of this discussion in Lactantius I have found does not consider it an argument against abiogenesis, but against pre-Adamites.[1] It was interpreted as a treatise against Roman partialities, and a theological argument for the "unity of man". It wasn't about abiogenesis. To keep that section, we need to find a source that links Lactantius's views to the evolution/creation controversy. Professor marginalia (talk) 17:28, 23 February 2009 (UTC) Never mind - it's been removed, which is fine. It's probably not sourceable. Professor marginalia (talk) 17:30, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

I removed it because, besides the WP:SYNTH question, its applicability to the topic was extremely tenuous at best. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 11:29, 24 February 2009 (UTC)


I request protection of some sort for this article as I just reverted vandalism by an IP.Prussian725 (talk) 20:50, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

Judging by the article history it does not look like it is hit bad at the moment. Every article gets the odd IP vandalism now and again, but its easy to revert and no grounds for article protection. --Saddhiyama (talk) 20:56, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Very well.Prussian725 (talk) 20:58, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

Talk Page Archives

The talk page archives need moved to the new En Dash name! The last one I think is page 21. Otherwise the talk page header won't find and the archive bot will likely go haywire. — raeky (talk | edits) 00:24, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

Strangely page 12 wasn't made? — raeky (talk | edits) 00:27, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

Another page that needs moved — raeky (talk | edits) 00:28, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

Sorry for the mistake. --Hans Adler (talk) 00:39, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
No problem, just something that needed done since the page was moved, didn't want it to get overlooked. :P — raeky (talk | edits) 00:51, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
I found Archive 12, but I can't move it because you created a fork and I'm not an admin. As the only contributor you can ask for speedy deletion, see WP:SPEEDY. --Hans Adler (talk) 01:00, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
PS: For this to work, you can simply put {{db-self}} on Talk:Creation–evolution controversy/Archive 12. --Hans Adler (talk) 01:03, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
Ooops.. will do. — raeky (talk | edits) 01:11, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
I hope everything is fine now. --Hans Adler (talk) 07:49, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

"By far"

I'm in favour of getting rid of these two words. Not only are they unsupported by the current source, but they're ambiguous (what exactly is "far" in this context, and how do you accurately measure levels of debate?), and make the sentence unnecessarily clumsy. Can we develop a WP:CONSENSUS for their permanent removal? HrafnTalkStalk(P) 16:48, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

I noticed when they were added but wasn't feeling bold enough to remove them. I agree with removing them.Quietmarc (talk) 17:03, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
Me too - I just about deleted them myself, but didn't. I do, however, agree with their removal. Dawn Bard (talk) 17:06, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Agree. "Most prevalent" already makes the point, "by far" is fluff so can be removed as unnecessary. If a source gives some sort of comparison that would be detail for the body of the article, not the lead. . dave souza, talk 17:05, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Agree. The graph down in the Outside the United States section shows the comparisons, and "by far" is probably an overstatement. Agathman (talk) 17:28, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

Fair and Balanced?

No specific recommendations. No complaints that have a legitimate basis in policy. Archiving per WP:TALK: "not relevant to improving the article"
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

This article is as objective as Fox News or CNN. The underlying contempt for the creationist point of view is so obvious this should be either re-written or deleted. One of the most interesting and to some infuriating aspects of this debate is the flippancy of the evolutionary world view, which presumes the truth of evolution (solely on the 'scientific consensus' argument, which is itself misleading) and the rediculousness of Creationism. This attitude is pure perscriptivism, and exposes the bias of the author. There are and always have been great minds and convincing argument on both sides of the debate, otherwise it would be over. As Huxley, aka 'Darwin's Bulldog' stated in 'Ways and Means' "I choose to accept evolution because it frees me to my erotic desires". (sic) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:28, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

Please read WP:DUE, WP:GEVAL & WP:FRINGE. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 14:40, 10 May 2009 (UTC)
Indeed, supernatural explanations for the origins of life have no place in science. These articles address the science behind evolution, you can't test a supernatural origin myth so it's not science. The debate on both sides boils down to side (a) believes that their soul will be tortured for eternity if they don't accept a supernatural explanation and side (b) believes that the explanation can be explained without supernatural influence. Side A will never accept side B, to do so results in death and torment. The argument will always be about that. Scientists who don't accept a supernatural but a natural explanation for the diversity of life actually are not debating the issue, the issue was resolved a hundred years ago in their minds. There is no debate. The only controversy/debate is purely on the creationists who are either (1) trying to save more lost souls or (2) trying to save their own soul, or a combination of the two. The scientists are just following the scientific method to explain what they see in the world, there is no debate in their minds. These articles address that, that there is no debate, that it was settled a 100 years ago in the eyes of science and that any argument a creationist has against evolution is based on supernatural untestable theories or bad and poorly represented misunderstandings of the science. — raeky (talk | edits) 16:57, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

Your response shows you missed the point of my critisism of the article. You stated that the article addresses the science behind evolution, but that is not the point of the article. The article should address the debate, not the views of the author on the debate. You also assume I am a creationist in the fundamentalist sense of the word, according to the position postulated by the major Christian denominations. This is a false assuption on your part. Why you saw the need to interject Christian dogma on a totally unrelated subject belies a desire to belittle and mock what you assume are my beliefs, and this is not acceptable under the guidelines Wikipedia has set for this forum. If there is "proof" of evolution that is 100 years old, Ive never heard of it. I have, on the other hand, heard of the outright frauds so-called science has used to decieve people about the varacity of thier THEORIES. This is not the place for a debate, not a place for me to list numerous atheistic scientists regarding the improbability of spontaneous biogenesis, but it is a place to discuss the article, and I have stated my criticism above. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:22, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

This page is to discuss what might be done to improve the article, so please give a specific example of what you think is a problem, preferably after reading the first few paragraphs in Introduction to evolution. Johnuniq (talk) 00:27, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

My criticism is based on the general approach of the article which presents evolution as a completely rational, plausable, and honest approach to explaining the origin and develoupment of life on the Earth, and creationism as fringe, closed minded and ignorant. The most concise example I can give is the paragrah on transitional fossils, which presents the creationists assertion to the lack of transitional fossils in the fossil record, and the off-hand, simplistic rebuttal which is assumed to be air tight and completely ratonal. The whole article takes this 'heres the objections of those silly creationists and why they are wrong' kind of approach, while never giving a single example of junk science, false assumptions and outright frauds propogated by evolutionists. I think the Piltdown Man fraud is a legitimate stain on evolutionary science's record, and should be included in an article on the controversy between two flawed and suspect points of view. My criticism is not that creationism is represented unfairly, but that evolution IS represented unfairly. It is represented without flaws. Im also not sure why it was necessary for me to read the opening paragraphs of 'Introduction to Evolution'. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:55, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

  1. There would be few (if any) WP:RSs that describe creationists as "completely rational, plausable, and honest", so it is unsurprising that the article's general tone is (per WP:DUE) to the contrary.
    • There are likewise few (if any) WP:RSs that describe evolution as "fringe, closed minded and ignorant."
  2. To claim that "the Piltdown Man fraud is a legitimate stain on evolutionary science's record" is absurd. Firstly it is largely peripheral, being only one of hundred of thousands of pieces of fossil evidence for evolution. It sparked no major new development of evolutionary biology, it was merely yet another extraneous buttress, not a foundation. Secondly, although it wasn't completely dismissed for several decades, serious doubt was cast upon it almost immediately.
  3. For the article to pretend that evolution is a "flawed and suspect point[] of view" would be to accept the WP:FRINGE claims of religious cranks of the likes of the DI, ICR, AiG, etc.

HrafnTalkStalk(P) 03:27, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Im going to try this once more. This article should obstensibly be a clear presentation of the debate without making either side seem "fringe" or "reasonable" because to do so would betray a preferance for one side or the other, which would undermine the objectiveness of the article. This seems a reasonable and undeniably obvious expectation. The responses to my criticism of the lack of objectivity are from sources sypathetic to the evolutionary worldview, and are thus suspect in thier own objectivity. This is not the forum for describing opponents to your view as "crank". It is, however, an appropriate forum for underscoring the many differing evolutionary views, and that thier supporters and detractors are as diverse and fractionated as creationists. Evolutionary science is NOT as unified, harmonious, and verifiable as you or the article purports. And by the way, I am not a creationist as you think of them, so your vain attempts at backhanded insults, although humorous to me, only show your despirate emotional connection to the issue, which is not very scientific. —Preceding unsigned comment added by [[User:{{{1}}}|{{{1}}}]] ([[User talk:{{{1}}}|talk]] • [[Special:Contributions/{{{1}}}|contribs]])

This page is written to follow the Fringe guidelines and due weight guidelines of Wikipedia. And according to reliable sources, not the opinion of the editors here, creationism is a fringe topic, and is treated accordingly in this 'pedia. Also, I don't see any backhanded insults directed at you. Please do not take personally any comment that isn't directed towards you, and assume good faith of the editors here. Aunt Entropy (talk) 22:52, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Irregardless of whether or not creationism is a "fringe topic" it should still get a fair hearing in an article which is supposed to relate its views accurately. If the article was titled "Why creationism is stupid" I wouldnt be objecting to the presuppositions it makes about its views or adherants. I dont see the same contempt for other creation myths, just the Judeo-Christian one. If the editors of Wikipedia cannot take criticism without becoming defensive and abrasive, perhaps they should admit thier bias. I am not supporting or disparaging either view, I am simply pointing out it is obviously tendentious. I have not read a coherent rebuttal of that assertion, which has been my point from the beginning. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:05, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Creationist point of view misrepresented

Off-topic. This page is for discussing (preferably specific) improvements to this article, not who is a "real scientist"
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

In this article the creationist point of view is obviously presented by an evolutionist therefore rendering the article useless in understanding the debate and the points of difference between intelligent design and evolution. The holes in the fossel record, of which there are multitudes, are glossed over. The probability against evolution is totally ignored. And the repeated mention of "scientific consensus" renders the article itself as a non-scientific political piece. To improve it you must throw it out and start over and honestly present both sides of the issue. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:07, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

The two long-debunked arguments you mention are presented (along with the scientific community's evisceration of them) in Objections to evolution. Per WP:GEVAL, wikipedia does not give "equal validity" to viewpoints that have been overwhelmingly debunked and rejected by the relevant academic community. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 18:19, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

The tone of the article, particularly from the section "Arguments relating to the definition and limits of science" to the end, is decidedly biased against creationism. Regardless of content or current favor in mainstream academics, the writing does not give the impression of objectivity. A similar tone can be found in the above comment. The article certainly does not need be thrown out, but reexamining the style would be prudent.
I have also noticed this. Not only are creationists regarded as "less than scientists" by adding quotes around "scientist," it also completely neglects to offer any scientific evidence creationists actually have come up with. It also only shows counter-evidence of creationism, and gives no counter-evidence towards evolution, of which there is plenty. Also, the common reference to being "rejected by the scientific community" means absolutely nothing. Most of our "scientific laws" we have today were at one time rejected by the scientific community, while obviously inaccurate views were accepted.
Also, the article is inconsistent with the facts. At one point it will say that many aspects of evolution are untestable, but then refer to evolution as a "testable fact" when attacking creationism's untestability. In the section about quote mining, it fails to neglect that evolutionists also find statements said by the "radical creationist" that has absolutely no scientific backup, or take a solid argument out of context. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Vidyogamasta (talkcontribs) 00:24, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
Creationists aren't merely "less than scientists", they are pseudoscientists. There is no "scientific evidence creationists actually have come up with", which is why the article offers none. If you believe that there is "plenty" of "counter-evidence towards evolution", then by all means cite reliable scientific sources that establish this. The claim that "Most of our 'scientific laws' we have today were at one time rejected by the scientific community" is a misrepresentation. Whilst a number would have been viewed with intitial skepticism until evidence for them mounted up/experiments replicated, etc, I doubt if many (any?) of them would have been rejected outright by the scientific community before such information came in. Where does the article (not merely creationists cited by the article) state (without later contradiction) "that many [or any] aspects of evolution are untestable"? Your claim about quote-mining is (i) hopelesssly garbled & (ii) most probably unsubstantiated even when ungarbled. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 01:45, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
First of all to label anyone as less than scientists or pseudoscientists already shows a bias or POV that does not belong in here. Many of the socalled "pseudoscientists" referred to have degrees in science and some hold higher scientific positions. It is only proper to treat them with the same dignity. It has been well established that creationism has been rejected by the scientific community, or at least by groups within the scientific community. To then claim that it is subject to scientific scrutiny is very ironic if not hypocritical. I don't see scientists giving critique on art pieces and literary works, we leave that to art critics and literary professors. For the same reason the opinions on creation is better left for those that have not unequivocally stated it is not part of their area of expertise. Biofase flame| stalk  19:49, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
That creationism is pseudoscience is well established. Thus, creationists, who practice and advocate creationism, are pseudoscientists. That some of them have scientific qualifications is not particularly relevant, especially as most of them are not qualified in a field relevant to their creationist claims, do not research these claims as part of their "higher scientific positions", and/or have abandoned scientific research entirely to follow their creationist pursuits. Given that creationism (particularly in the forms of ID and Creation Science) purports to be scientific, the "scientific scrutiny" is fully justified. Your claims are both unsubstantiated, and increasingly off-topic -- as it has increasingly little to do with the actual material in the article. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 03:53, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
The FACT that someone has scientific qualifications is the ONLY relevant fact. Referring to it as "higher scientific positions" again clearly illustrates what Vidyogamasta was talking about. Given that the subjects and references used to attemp to disprove it in the article has completely rejected it as part of their field overstating their view in it is completely unjustified. What is of more relevance is the general opinion which is either left out or played down in most of these articles. Your claim that my claims are unsubstantiated and off-topic is rather hypocritical when you increasingly show only your point of view and continue using the real scientist fallacy. Biofase flame| stalk  16:02, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Recent edit

I reverted a recent edit because I think it needs further work before being incorporated. Examples: I think linking Christian clergy is overlinking. The Clergy Letter Project does not seem to be directly related to Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial documents (if it is, we need a reference because a quick looks at its web site did not support that). This wikitext broke the link, and introduced a broken external link with text that I don't understand (external links should be in references or in the "External links" section): [[kansas citizens for science]], who [ exclusively sell their opinions]). I don't think the youtube link to a video can stand (should be in a reference, and needs a secondary source rather than having us write our own conclusion about what the video does. Johnuniq (talk) 00:52, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

I concur with the reversion. I think if we're going to cite Dawkins directly for his specific opinions it should be on the basis of his books, not some speech that got put up on Youtube, and I agree with your preference for secondary source interpretation. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 05:28, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

NOMA move

Please note discussion to move nonoverlapping magesteria at Talk:Non-overlapping magisteria#Move?. Just because I'm afraid of an overall lack of input, I'm trying to get some interest on other talk pages. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 16:36, 20 July 2009 (UTC)


Yet again another article purporting to be un-biased which is nowt of the sort. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:36, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

Who said the article was un-biased? It's NPOV, which is in line with the policies here, but there's no "un-biased" policy.Farsight001 (talk) 21:15, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

Un-biased or NPOV (neutral point of view, I presume, Livingstone) is merely semantics. Discuss.-- (talk) 15:38, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

Also, can anybody please tell me how the signature thing works? This particular Luddite can't get it to operate. Ta.-- (talk) 15:41, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

Discussion and answer as requested on your talk page. See also talk page guideline. . dave souza, talk 16:36, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

39% of Americans say they "believe in the theory of evolution"

A new Gallup Poll shows that only 39% of Americans say they "believe in the theory of evolution".[2]. Also, a 2006 study found that evolution is less accepted in the U.S. than other Western countries.[3][4] --Atomic blunder (talk) 21:58, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

The 2009 poll belongs in Level of support for evolution, I think. The 2006 study is given ample coverage across several articles, including this one (it's the basis for this image). Gabbe (talk) 06:21, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Also, as a teacher of probability and statistics, what jumps out at me is the wording of the question. What numbers would they have gotten if, instead of describing evolution as a "belief", they had asked. "Do you accept the scientific evidence for evolution?" Rick Norwood (talk) 17:57, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Opening sentence

The archived talk on this page is excessive, and so I apologize if this has already been discussed. I would like to propose a change in the opening sentence to spotlight the key in the controversy - a priori commitments. Creationists have an a priori commitment to the existence of God. Evolutionists have an a priori commitment to metaphysical naturalism. So, instead of saying

The creation–evolution controversy (also termed the creation vs. evolution debate or the origins debate) is a recurring theological, scientific, and cultural-political dispute about the origins of the Earth, humanity, life, and the universe,[3] between those who espouse the validity and/or superiority of literal interpretations of a creation myth, and the proponents of evolution, backed by scientific consensus.
The creation–evolution controversy (also termed the creation vs. evolution debate or the origins debate) is a recurring theological, scientific, and cultural-political dispute about the origins of the Earth, humanity, life, and the universe,[4] between those with an a priori commitment to the existence of God and those with an a priori commitment to metaphysical naturalism.

Thoughts? DrFrankencelery (talk) 17:52, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

I do not like your change that inserted "scientific", and I was just about to undo when I noticed you had posted here. So, I am discussing first. A dose of reality is needed: if certain theological and cultural-political sources kept quiet, there would be zero scientific interest in this topic, so claiming that the issue is a recurring scientific issue is totally incorrect. I also do not see the need for your proposal above because casting the issue in philosophical terms misses the point. The controversy is not about a priori anything. Johnuniq (talk) 22:04, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
Johnuniq - A priori is important, because that's the starting point. When discussing geometry, two people can argue whether or not a triangle only has 180 degrees, but it's only when they realize that one is using Euclidean geometry and the other is using non-Euclidean geometry can they start understanding what the other is saying. It's only by stating the assumptions/axioms and then proceeding with the argument from there will we be able to understand each other.
The proposed change is factually inaccurate. The 'evolution' side includes theistic evolutionists who have "an a priori commitment to the existence of God" and a pragmatic commitment to methodological naturalism. I agree with Johnuniq that there is no scientific dispute. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 02:25, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
Hrafn - I was debating whether it should be methodological naturalism or metaphysical naturalism. In regards to theistic evolutionists, would it be correct to say that in the creation-evolution controversy, their commitment to methodological naturalism supercedes their commitment to the existence of God?
  • No, they generally take a compatibilist view of the two ideas. They would take strength from their belief in God (and would not consider it to be 'superseded'), but limit their scientific work to what is empirically demonstrable -- naturalistic phenomena and naturalistic explanations. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 17:16, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
In the creation-evolution controversy, the theistic evolutionist is limited to methodological naturalism (see NOMA). DrFrankencelery (talk) 19:57, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
(see note below to Gabbe about theistic evolutionists after the edit conflict) DrFrankencelery (talk) 17:49, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

Framework is important. This article starts by saying creationists espouse the validity of creation, where as evolutionists espouse the validity that "might makes right". That's not an accurate contrast. Evolutionists espouse the validity of methodological naturalism, which brings their consensus. DrFrankencelery (talk) 14:16, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

FrFrankencelery, if you were to describe the creationists as having "an a priori commitment to the validity and/or superiority of literal interpretations of a creation myth" your dichotomy would be more correct. However, I'm not sure that this would make the intro more easily read. Gabbe (talk) 15:11, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
Gabbe, I agree that changing the creationist description isn't necessary. The dichotomy in the creation-evolution debate hinges on the starting assumptions: 1) Creationists say God intervened in nature, 2) Evolutionists say God cannot interfere (Methodological naturalism). I have revised my proposal below. DrFrankencelery (talk) 19:57, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
I would also disagree that methodological naturalism is an 'a priori' assumption. It would appear to be a pragmatic 'a posteriori' assumption, necessary to make the inquiry tractable (in that there could be an infinite variety of equivalent competing supernatural hypotheses) & falsifiable (in that as an omnipotent God could do anything, his actions provide a perfect fit for any conceivable outcome). Oh and please do not refer to the scientific community as "evolutionists" -- it violates WP:GEVAL, by granting a false (and completely unearned) equivalence to creationists. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 17:16, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
Hrafn, "Methodological naturalism is the principle underlying all of modern science." It is a priori.
It was developed as part of the process of developing modern science from proto-science.
With all due respect, where have I referred to the scientific community as evolutionists? I realize that not everyone in the scientific community is an evolutionist. There is a very small minority that are creationists, and I would be excluding them if I would say that. DrFrankencelery (talk) 19:57, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
Everywhere that you have used it. Evolutionary biology is science. Creationism is pseudoscience. People who practice pseudoscience are excluding themselves from the scientific community, regardless of their prior qualifications. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 03:23, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
Hrafn - I'm not seeing what you're seeing. Please quote me and explain how I have done that. DrFrankencelery (talk) 17:49, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
"I realize that not everyone in the scientific community is an evolutionist." Evolution is a fact (or more precisely a large body of facts, plus a theory that explains these facts). Accepting it no more makes a scientist an 'evolutionist' than accepting the fact of gravity would make them a 'gravitist' or accepting that the Earth is round would make them 'round-Earthists'. The existence of a religious fringe that feels the need to deny this does not make evolution an -ism (cf Flat Earth). HrafnTalkStalk(P) 02:02, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

After all this, I would propose to change the opening sentence to say, "between those who espouse the validity and/or superiority of literal interpretations of a creation myth, and those with an a priori commitment to methodological naturalism." I think this most clearly shows the dichotomy of the creation-evolution controversy.DrFrankencelery (talk) 19:57, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

I admit that I'm not very learned in the subject, but when I come to an article about a social phenominon, I'm not very interested in reading about the philosophical arguments about the nature of reality. Adding the a priori bit makes the article less readable and accessible, and, frankly, the whole "methodological naturalism" reeks of creationism apologetics. It essentially puts evolution and creationism on the same ground (look! Both sides make assumptions! They both could be right!) when they very much are not. At least from an encyclopedic point of view. Quietmarc (talk) 20:30, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
Quitemarc - Methodological naturalism is used against creationists. Read the article for it's use by Robert T. Pennock. I originally used metaphysical naturalism in the proposal, and based on Hrafn's comment I changed it to methodological naturalism. DrFrankencelery (talk) 17:49, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I think this is still problematic. There a quite a few creationists who claim that they accept methodological naturalism and other facets of science and still come to the conclusion that (for example) evolution didn't happen or that the Earth is younger than 10,000 years old. The whole point of creation science is that it purports to follow the scientific method to the letter. So saying that those with an a priori commitment to methodological naturalism solely refers to evolution proponents is misleading. Gabbe (talk) 20:37, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
Anyone invoking the supernatural is not adhering to methodological naturalism because "[i]t requires that hypotheses be explained and tested only by reference to natural causes and events." Creationists follow the scientific method except in the case of methodological naturalism, and therefore by definition cannot say they follow the scientific method. Also, stating that theistic evolutionists adhere to methodological naturalism is consistent with the rest of the article. Does this need to be changed? DrFrankencelery (talk) 17:49, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
Quietmarc is correct. This article is not about some academic debate where the logical basis needs to be spelled out in the lead. A hundred years ago the a priori points would have been great, but now the issue is purely a social phenomenon. Your proposed wording would not be recognized by any of the current protagonists. Johnuniq (talk) 02:53, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
Then remove the reference to the creationists' a priori. DrFrankencelery (talk) 17:49, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

At the end of the day, all this amounts to is creationists wanting to say/have said about them that 'we're scientists too'. The scientific community has however denounced their efforts as unscientific, going back to the day of scriptural geologists, through George McCready Price and getting its fullest-throated articulation in the amicus curiae brief to Edwards. There is neither factual nor policy basis, nor a WP:CONSENSUS, for granting them the WP:GEVAL recognition they crave. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 03:23, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

I personally find it insulting for my beliefs in the scientific method and it's outcomes like evolution to be equated with stone age belief systems. By trying to label people who prescribe to the fact of evolution as some sort of religion or "evolutionists" or "metaphysical naturalism" or any other nice label creationists like to put on the scientific community to bring it on a level playing field with their stone age supernatural beliefs is not doing anything to advance the human race and is quite frankly insulting. Maybe I'm reading to much into the push to label anyone who prescribes to science but to me it just reeks of a creationist trying to POV push. Science is backed up with hard physical verifiable facts and supernaturalism is not, plain and simple. — raeky (talk | edits) 04:36, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

Per Francis Bacon,[5] no one should presume that it is possible to search too far either in the "book of God’s word or in the book of God’s works."[6] . . dave souza, talk 05:17, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
Let me spell that out in black and white. Just because you shouldn't have a science of God, because you have to prove everything with physical evidence, and God isn't supposed to be physical, doesn't mean there can't be a God at all, or that he can't do physical things if he wants to. You can't make that a rule. Alfarero (talk) 00:28, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

Another difference is that the scientific theoies come together, with a time line that new discoveries confirm and refine. The "scientific creationists" can't even agree among themselves whether the earth is 6 thousand or 6 billion years old. Rick Norwood (talk) 12:33, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

As much as I would like to discuss this with you Rick, we aren't permitted to debate the "scientific" theories here. DrFrankencelery (talk) 17:49, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

This isn't about evolution. This isn't about creationism. This isn't about creationists seeking recognition as scientists. This is about the controversy between evolution and creationism. The controversy between evolution and creationism begins with the a priori. Stating the a priori does not violate NPOV. It's not stating that the axioms bear equal weight. It's simply stating the axioms. The article clearly states the level of scientific support in this debate, and so I'm not trying to eliminate that or downplay that. The axioms are part of the controversy. The way the article is currently introduced, it states the axiom of the creationists but not the axiom of the evolutionists. I propose stating both axioms, and to ensure that it is NPOV the amount of support for each axiom can be stated. For example:

"The creation–evolution controversy (also termed the creation vs. evolution debate or the origins debate) is a recurring theological and cultural-political dispute about the origins of the Earth, humanity, life, and the universe, between those who espouse the validity and/or superiority of literal interpretations of a creation myth backed by a large part of the general public in America[7] with a small minority in the scientific community (<.2%), and those with an a priori commitment to methodological naturalism, also backed by a large part of the general public in America[8] and the vast majority of the scientific community."

This is consistent with how the article is currently written, shows where the controversy starts, and does not violate NPOV. Unfortunately, this gets a little wordy. Stating:

"The creation–evolution controversy (also termed the creation vs. evolution debate or the origins debate) is a recurring theological and cultural-political dispute about the origins of the Earth, humanity, life, and the universe, between those who espouse the validity and/or superiority of literal interpretations of a creation myth and those with an a priori commitment to methodological naturalism."

would be more concise as an introduction and not violate NPOV because the scientific support is elaborated as part of the introduction. If you want the explicit support for each side, it can be indicated in the following paragraph of the opening. DrFrankencelery (talk) 17:49, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

The crux of the issue is labeling scientists as "methodological naturalists" which I personally have a problem with. — raeky (talk | edits) 18:02, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
Why is that? DrFrankencelery (talk) 18:04, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
Because labeles like that of the scientific community reek of creationist propaganda, like the "evolutionist" label. — raeky (talk | edits) 18:37, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
raeky - my use of the term "evolutionist" describes all who "believe" in (see first heading at the top of this page) or are proponents of evolution. This is not just the scientific community; this also includes the general public. The label "evolutionist" is the efficient way of saying "public supporters of the general theory of evolution and the scientific community." It's not propaganda. I don't use it in a derogatory manner. If there are others that do, I apologize, and please suggest what I should be saying instead. DrFrankencelery (talk) 19:33, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
DrFrankencelery, your proposed phrasing gives undue weight to a pseudoscientific fringe view, misrepresents creationist theology as literal, and omits theological opposition to the anti-evolution sects mainly based in the US. Saying that the Vatican has "an a priori commitment to methodological naturalism" is patently absurd, but that's implied by your phrasing. Science by definition employs what has been termed "methodological naturalism", and even creationist pseudoscientists will employ it where it doesn't conflict with their interpretation of scripture. . . dave souza, talk 18:47, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
This doesn't give undue weight. In an article about a controversy with a mainline theory and a fringe theory, you need to discuss both sides of the controversy. I also propose to state the support for both sides to ensure there isn't undue weight given to the creationism. If "[s]aying that the Vatican has 'an a priori commitment to methodological naturalism' is patently absurd," then fix this article where it states that theistic evolution "does not generally exclude the viewpoint of methodological naturalism." The Catholic schools teach evolution, not even theistic evolution. By definition, creationists don't adhere to methodological naturalism because they allow for the supernatural - although they don't require it. The article currently omits "theological opposition to the anti-evolution sects mainly based in the US." Add it in as you see fit. DrFrankencelery (talk) 19:33, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
Scientifically, there is no difference between theistic evolution and evolution, so saying Catholic schools teach evolution not theistic evolution is a non sequiter.JPotter (talk) 02:14, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
I agree that most religious people (of many mainstream denominations) do not have a problem with the scientific study of evolution. Most do NOT see a controversy, only a very vocal minority. Grantmidnight (talk) 21:40, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
In some religions, it's the minority. In other religions, it's the majority - according to the Support for evolution by religious bodies. DrFrankencelery (talk) 03:48, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
Interesting discussion. I see the idea coming up again and again that creationism cannot be taken seriously because it came from a "myth" but nobody is tackling that line in the article. Doesn't anybody remember that it's a logical fallacy to discredit an idea just because of who said it?Alfarero (talk) 00:09, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
Please bear in mind that this is not a general discussion forum, see WP:FORUM and WP:TALK. Do you have any specific edits to the article you wish to discuss? Gabbe (talk) 08:04, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

Lack of Neutrality

I was quite under the impression that Wikipedia was supposed to be neutral... maybe I was mistaken, because the Creation/Evolution Controversy page is anything but neutral. In the opinion of a curious observer (me), this page appears to be an outlet for those with liberal tendencies to bash Creationists. It certainly gives the appearance of a specific agenda, and makes the entire site loose credibility in my eyes. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:16, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

Please read WP:NPOV. This article gives WP:DUE weight to the overwhelming scientific consensus as to the Age of the Earth and Evolution. Per that policy, it does not give equal validity to creationism. Per WP:FRINGE, it discusses the "current level of [creationism's] acceptance among the relevant academic community". HrafnTalkStalk(P) 02:09, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
You explicitly implied that the reason this article is supremely biased is because Creationism is a "fringe theory". However, according to Wikipedia's entry on Creationism,
"According to a 2001 Gallup poll,[101] about 45% of Americans believe that "God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so." Another 37% believe that "human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God guided this process",[102] and 14% believe that "human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God had no part in this process".[101]"
Thus, we find that over 3 times as many American's believe in a form of Creationism than those who believe in a pure form of evolution. It seems to me, once again, that this article betrays a specific agenda if it counts the opinion of almost half of America as a "fringe theory".
Please take closer notice of the phrase "acceptance among the relevant academic community". Creationism has no acceptance among the scientific community. Wikipedia bases its material on the preponderance of expert opinion, not argumentum ad populum & truthiness. If you want the latter two, then I suggest you go to Conservapedia. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 03:10, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
Moreover, Wikipedia is a global project and outside the US creationism is generally regarded as a form of religious extremism by a majority of the population (including most Christians) and only believed in by a small minority. Have a look at this resolution of the Council of Europe, for example. AFAIK the mainstream churches in Europe generally reject creationism. Hans Adler 09:57, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
Posted NPOV tag. If one of the views is "fringe," then it's hardly worth so much discussion, debate, and evidence ridiculing the opposing view. The Lead paragraph is a dead giveaway as to the bias of the article. Then, to stamp it with "scientific consensus" is such an overkill. I am not defending either "side" in this ongoing and emotionally-laden debate. But fair is FAIR, and Wiki policies demand FAIR and neutral terms. Afaprof01 (talk) 23:26, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
I don't get it. Scientific consensus regarding the validity of evolution is a fact, not an opinion. Facts are not point of view, therefore mentioning them in the text can't be a NPOV violation. Joegoodfriend (talk) 01:42, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

As to the "opinion of most Americans", in addition to Wikipedia not being Americapedia, there's also the issue of argumentum ad populum. The majority of Americans also don't know what a lepton is or how the chemical processes in a battery work, but we do not write that those things are unknown simply because many are ignorant of them. Rather, we utilize the scientific consensus on the matter, and the overwhelming scientific consensus, based upon volumes upon volumes of evidence, is that evolution did occur and still does. It is a notable fact that many still believe in creationism, but their opinion is not based upon evidence or science, and is a fringe theory. As such, giving the two "equal weight" would be to elevate the position of creationism to the same position of authority as evolution, and that would be undue weight. That's not unfair (though it may initially seem so), it's giving due credence to the respective positions. It's notable that there is such a debate over the matter, but the two positions do not have equal credibility or scientific evidence. Seraphimblade Talk to me 02:11, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

Not dichotomy

I took this out of the "Dichotomies" category because it is not exactly a dichotomy. A true dichotomy might be a "naturalistic vs. non-naturalist" approach as to the development of complex life. Creation also deals with the origin of life (and the Universe) while evolution restricts itself to what happened after it got going. Creation sez it knows while evolution does not talk about it. Even a naturalistic veiw would be that we do not know about the origins, just the gradual progressive development of complexity. You could also suggest "abrupt vs. gradual", but again, it is a stretch.--Findaknow (talk) 10:05, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

From memory, an editor was bulk-adding articles to that cat a while back, often without rhyme or reason. I see no problem with removing this article from it. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 11:28, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
Good idea to remove it. Plenty more to do, see Category talk:Dichotomies! Johnuniq (talk) 20:58, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

This article isn't neutral at all !!! i just changed the word creation myth into something else, and bang some nervous atheist guy change it back in secconds, wow wow this article is taken hostage by atheistic cowards. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:23, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

Describing creationists as "those who espouse the validity and/or superiority of literal interpretations of the bible, or other religions believing in creation, backed by scientific consensus" is inexact. Creationism is not backed by scientific consensus, and "literal interpretations of the bible, or other religions believing in creation" is more verbose than "literal interpretations of a creation myth". Gabbe (talk) 22:36, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
"backed by scientific consensus" is unsourced and an unnecessary stretch. Let the article present its evidence without prejudice in the Lead paragraphs.Afaprof01 (talk) 23:17, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
The phrasing is "…and the proponents of evolution, backed by scientific consensus" -- that the proponents of evolution are one side of this controversy is undisputable, so I would venture is the fact that evolution is "backed by scientific consensus." HrafnTalkStalk(P) 02:53, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
I now can see your point. Thank you. This wording has been misunderstood multiple times and needs rewording for less ambiguity. Afaprof01 (talk) 03:19, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

Recent changes to lead

I would suggest that recent changes to the lead have:

  1. Contained material of questionable verifiability; and
  2. Have made the lead less coherent and less easy to understand.

HrafnTalkStalk(P) 08:23, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

I'm reverting back to the latest stable version so proposals for change have a chance to be checked against what you listed above, and a chance to gain consensus. Ben (talk) 09:06, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
We have no concrete proposals to change. Let's leave it as is and work from those concrete changes. Afaprof01 (talk) 09:11, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
That's not the way it works. So far, you have no consensus for your edits. The burden is on you to convince the rest of us that your changes are valid. Auntie E. 20:21, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Science and the supernatural

I disagree with this edit. None of the philosophies of science accept supernatural "explanations", because such "explanations" are neither falsifiable nor observable, and fail to produce testable predictions. - Soulkeeper (talk) 15:31, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

Exactly. Science does not accept supernatural explanations. However, the question of the existence (or non-existence) of the supernatural is typically regarded as beyond the scope of science. Gabbe (talk) 15:40, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
Both theistic and naturalistic evolution 'correspond with the scientific understanding of evolution' (as far as they overlap with what science makes claims about), but 'go beyond' that into the realm of philosophy with claims that science neither accepts not rejects (but which are outside the realm of science). Neither statement therefore distinguishes naturalistic evolution, and I would further point out that neither is sourced. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 15:51, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I would have agreed if it said "... to add the observation that the supernatural is irrelevant to science.", which would mean that naturalistic evolution does correspond with the scientific understanding of evolution. I cannot see how it "goes beyond" the scientific understanding of evolution. It does not add any assumptions about the non-existence of supernatural phenomena, it merely rejects assumptions about the existence of supernatural phenomena. See also Null hypothesis. - Soulkeeper (talk) 15:56, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
I would suggest that if you want to say something about 'naturalistic evolution' it should (i) be sourced & (ii) say something that doesn't likewise apply to theistic evolution (except adding 'without God' instead of 'with God') -- incidentally, TE arguably also stipulates that 'the supernatural is irrelevant to science' -- as it likewise keeps the supernatural out of the science lab (but accepts it in the church on Sundays). HrafnTalkStalk(P) 16:06, 15 November 2009 (UTC)


While it is frequently stated what creationist's views are on evolution (although it is adequately defended), the opposite is not true. A better name for this article would be "Criticism of Evolution". Part 2 needs to be expanded (at least the "Naturalistic Evolution" part (and possibly moved to the top of this part. Part 4 needs to be deleted or, a similar part added in which Evolution adherents "attack" creationism. Even if evolution were to be false, this would not validate creationism in any way, and I'm not sure it's relevant anyway. A more encyclopaedic article would simply mention the dispute and its rough nature, rather than going into the details. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Feyre (talkcontribs) 05:47, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

Have you read WP:DUE, WP:MNA and WP:GEVAL (all parts of WP:NPOV)? Gabbe (talk) 07:01, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
Wait a minute, now I see your point. Yes, this article isn't really an encyclopedia article per se. It's more of a "look, we have dozens of articles on Wikipedia related to Evolution as well as Creationism, have a look!" kind of article. But that's Wikipedia:Summary style for you! Gabbe (talk) 07:11, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
The controversy is pretty much confined to the minds of creationists though, not to mention that mainstream supporters of evolution don't normally go out of their way to "attack" creationism. Sure, supporters of evolution are likely to indirectly attack creationism when debunking creationist arguments against evolution, but there is a big difference between defending ones position, which often includes analysing arguments put forward, and deliberately going on the offensive. This article should reflect this "creationist offensive", "evolution supporter defensive" and "analysis of argument" nature of the controversy, as opposed to turning it into a critical evaluation of the concept of creationism, the article for which is creationism :) Ben (talk) 10:45, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
You have tagged the article with {{Neutrality}} which asserts that "The neutrality of this article is disputed". I do not understand how your above comment justifies that assertion. Instead, you seem to suggest that the name might be changed, or that certain content might be changed. What is it in the article that violates WP:NPOV? If no substantial neutrality violation can be identified, the tag should be removed and a normal discussion about content should occur. Johnuniq (talk) 07:20, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
While Feyre (talk · contribs) has some interesting suggestions for improving the article listed at the top of this thread, I see little in this discussion warranting the {{Neutrality}} template. Any objections to removing it? Gabbe (talk) 23:29, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
Gabbe, please give it a week to see what happens to text re: the biblical side added today in the Lede. I have long been concerned about lack of neutrality in this article. For starters, although consensus ultimately allowed biblical "account" to replace the offensive and misunderstood word "myth" in Creation according to Genesis, editors on the present article would not even discuss it. Similarly, when a simple explanation (not defense) of what IS the controversy from the religio-theological side, the eruptions were Vesuvian. The general tone, IMO, in places comes across as anti-JudeoChristian. It seems fine to explain all we want to about the Evolution science perspectives, opinions, findings, etc.; but the flip-side of the controversy is not tolerated.
I also see what some have called "Criticism of Evolution" tonal text. That's not OK, either!
I, like most of you, want TRUE NEUTRALITY in the best tradition of Wikipedia. I have appreciated the recent polite tone of most comments. Looking up the page, that is a refreshing change of direction. I'll be watching, but if I miss an overzealous, POV, outlandish, or otherwise totally inappropriate edit from the Creation side, please post a note on my Talk page. Thanks and regards. Afaprof01 (talk) 00:55, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

The Bible should not be included in the lede, or at least not to the extent proposed by User:Afaprof01. Creationism definitely encompasses other religions than Christianity; the lede should reflect this, in keeping with the goal of presenting a worldwide view of the subject. Mildly MadTC 06:07, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

Most creationists base their beliefs on a literal interpretation of the book of Genesis, and are "people of the book", that is, Christians, Jews, or Muslims. Maybe "Genesis" would be better than "The Bible" as the source of almost all creationist beliefs. Rick Norwood (talk) 14:24, 14 January 2010 (UTC)
Do you have a reference that says "most creationist" views are based on Genesis? I agree that the term "creationism" in its American colloquial use carries a connotation of Christianity, but again, the article must be a worldwide view of the subject, and there are many creation myths besides that of Christianity. I think it's adequate that the lede states: "The debate also focuses on issues such as... theology (particularly how different Christians and Christian denominations interpret the Book of Genesis)." Mildly MadTC 18:01, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

This is a hard question to answer with certainty, but most creationists I have heard of, not only in the US but also in Italy and Turkey, use Genesis. Do you know any creationists who don't? Rick Norwood (talk) 14:34, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

Perhaps Hindu views on evolution can give a valid example? - Soulkeeper (talk) 10:31, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for the link. This quote from the article you mention seems to support my point: "While evolution vs. creationism has seen much debate in the US and other countries, it has not been a significant issue in India, with its majority-Hindu population." Rick Norwood (talk) 14:06, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

"An exception to this acceptance is the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), which includes several members who actively oppose "Darwinism" and the modern evolutionary synthesis." - Soulkeeper (talk) 08:48, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

Yes, this organization, founded in New York, is an exception. Which is why I said "most". Rick Norwood (talk) 16:18, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

Relationship between religion and science?

The recently-added quotes by Polkinghorne and Heller, not to mention the Galileo comparison, all have more to do with the topic of Relationship between religion and science rather than Creation–evolution controversy, a distinct topic. Going into such detail on the relationship between science and religion in this article risks leading the reader astray. Gabbe (talk) 10:24, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

Thanks, Gabbe, for your courtesy in explaining your point. ─AFA Prof01 (talk) 20:09, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. It would be nice if Afaprof01 ever got around to reading WP:BRD too. Round, round we go. Cheers, Ben (talk) 13:37, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
Comment on content, not on the contributor. Personal attacks do not help make a point; they only hurt the Wikipedia community and deter users from helping to create a good encyclopedia. Derogatory comments about another contributor may be removed by any editor. Repeated or egregious personal attacks may lead to blocks. ─Per WP:NPAAFA Prof01 (talk) 20:09, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

Science has been spectacularly successful. We've landed men on the moon, f' goo'ness sake! To deny science requires a powerful motivation. In the case of the creation-evolution controversy, I can't think of a single case where religion didn't provide the motive. In the case of the global-warming controversy, by way of contrast, money seems enough to do the trick. Rick Norwood (talk) 18:26, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

Name change?

Can I propose a name change to this article? It shouldn't be called a "controversy" as there is no controversy among the scientific community. The only controversy is the religious people who oppose teaching scientific consensus in schools. Apparently, all mention of an earth older than 6,000 years old should be removed from history classes, anthropology, biology, physics, geology, etc. to appease these history deniers. The name of this article should be "Evolution Denial." Anyone agree? Wikipediarules2221 22:45, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

I'd go with that name change. Nemogbr (talk) 11:32, 6 February 2010 (UTC) --Nemogbr (talk) 11:32, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

Controversy exists, though of course not in the scientific community. I think someone looking for information on the subject would by likely to look under a title such as this one. Rick Norwood (talk) 14:11, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

Hopefully this is not a serious proposal. The rationale offered is flawed. Just as there are multiple theories of evolution, there are several interpretation theories of Creation. "History deniers" is POV and certainly misses the point. ─AFA Prof01 (talk) 02:42, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
Wrong: There is only one theory of evolution. There are no theories of creation; there are several creation myths but that is quite different from what science is about. I think Evolution denial might be a more accurate name for the article. - Soulkeeper (talk) 14:08, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
Evolution denial would not be correct or helpful, IMHO. People look to this page to get information on specifics on the "controversy" between evolution theory and creation. The article makes it clear that evolution is the accepted scientific theory, and that creation is considered pseudoscientific and unfalsifiable and unverifiable. The name is correct, because it is what the Average Joe would be looking for to find this topic. Evolution or history denial would be pejorative and unnecesarily contentious. - DenaChemistry 07:08, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

benfinn Creation vs. evolution debate in the age of Darwin: The controversy was fueled by one of Darwin's most vigorous promoters, Thomas Henry Huxley, who opined that Christianity is "a compound of some of the best and some of the worst elements of Paganism and Judaism, molded in practice by the innate character of certain people of the Western World". Perhaps the most uncompromising of the evolutionary philosophers was the German, Ernst Heinrick Haeckel, a professor of biology, who dogmatically affirmed that nothing spiritual exists.

A watershed in the Protestant objections to evolution occurred after about 1875. Previously, citing Louis Agassiz and other scientific luminaries, Protestant contributors to religious quarterlies dismissed Darwin's theories as unscientific. After 1875, it became clear that the majority of naturalists embraced evolution, and a sizable minority of these Protestant contributors rejected Darwin's theory because it called into question the veracity of Scriptures. Even so, virtually none of these dissenters insisted on a young Earth, as that position had already been ceded.

The greatest concern for creationists at the turn of the twentieth century was the issue of human ancestry.

   "I do not wish to meddle with any man's family matters, or quarrel with any one about his relatives. If a man prefers to look for his kindred in the zoological gardens, it is no concern of mine; if he wants to believe that the founder of his family was an ape, a gorilla, a mud-turtle, or a moner, he may do so; but when he insists that I shall trace my lineage in that direction, I say No Sir!...I prefer that my genealogical table shall end as it now does, with "Cainan, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God."       

Creationists during this period were largely "premillennialists", whose belief in Christ's return depended on a quasi-literal reading of the Bible. However, they were not as concerned about geology, freely granting scientists any time they needed before the Edenic creation to account for scientific observations, such as fossils and geological findings. In the immediate post-Darwinian era, few scientists or clerics rejected the antiquity of the earth, the progressive nature of the fossil record. Likewise, few attached geological significance to the biblical flood, unlike subsequent creationists. Evolutionary skeptics, creationist leaders and skeptical scientists were usually either willing to adopt a figurative reading of the first chapter of Genesis, or allowed that the six days of creation were not necessarily 24-hour days. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Benjaminfinn (talkcontribs) 17:15, 3 March 2010 (UTC)


Wikipedia is not the place for scientific debate. There are other forums for that. The purpose of Wikipedia is to report what reliable sources say. In the case of science, the most reliable sources are refereed journals. They aren't perfect, but they're better than anything else we've got. We should only suggest that the science is not well established when refereed journals disagree. Anything else is just hot air. Rick Norwood (talk) 13:32, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

remove bias in article

what is the point of looking up an article if you know you are going to get biased results?Ref ward (talk) 22:56, 24 February 2010 (UTC) i only ask that you remove words such as:myth, and denial and that you show evidence for both sides and not refer to creationism as unscientific.Ref ward (talk) 22:59, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

RFC after RFC and decision after decision including multiple policies and guidelines (e.g. WP:WTA#Myth and Legend, WP:RNPOV) support the formal use of the word "Myth" and formal academic terms like Creation Myth. Scientific consensus and WP:UNDUE both support Creationism being categorized as unscientific. Because some creationists claim there is scientific support for creationism does not make it so. Some claim to have scientific evidence of a flat earth but that to is determined unscientific, why is creationism any different? Nefariousski (talk) 23:12, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
I've restored this edit as it appears to be from a reliable source. If you (i.e. Ref ward) disagree, please discuss here before removing. -- MarcoTolo (talk) 23:18, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

you must realize that creation is not entirly based on god. much of the information in the bible does have scientific consensus, such as the rapid decay theory. i understand that evolution in the dominating theory for the origin of life, but this article should only point that out instead of using information only from an evolutionistic point of view, as to give the reader the whole story. Ref ward (talk) 18:35, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

Please don't read this as me being argumentative or trying to call you out but I'd love for you to explain to me where / how Rapid Decay Theory has "scientific consensus". I can't find a single scientist who isn't also a self-identified ID proponent or creationist that supports the idea (so not very many at all). Nefariousski (talk) 18:56, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

I would largely agree that most people who start out with a certian belief structure won't come out with a diffferent opinion on the subject no matter what he finds. however, if someone is right to begin with (in both spectrums), or sees no problem with a theory, it would be absurd to change his beliefs. nevertheless, one of the scientists who I have not seen religious bias keep him from exploring the truth, is Dr. Jay Wile.Ref ward (talk) 19:14, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

Dr. Wile seems to have pretty extreme religious bias in favor of creationism [9] and considering that he's catagorized as an apologist and makes no bones about trying to fit science into a creationist framework [10] I would hardly consider him a good example of a scientist, without a religious bias that supports anything in the creationist realm. Nefariousski (talk) 19:32, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

can you show me an example of him disorting the outcome of an expireiment?Ref ward (talk) 19:54, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

I'm not in the business of proving negatives but considering what he writes in the first link above is rife with logical fallacies (his 1 in 10^152 chance of ribonuclease happening "naturally", assuming a roll of the dice, and "poof" it's there vs a long process of development). Additionally his statements regarding the detection power of Ampullae of Lorenzini are blatantly false and it only takes a simple grasp of math / electrical engineering to understand why. Voltage doesn't see linear decrease over distance in water. If his assumptions were correct imagine what the hundreds of daily oceanic lightning strikes are doing to the sharks... His "fossil record shows extinction / not change" arguement is blatantly false, multiple transitional fossils (us humans are a prime example) have been found. His cherry picking of quotes that are over 100 years old and out of context is wholly unscientific as well. Not to mention his PhD in chemistry hardly makes him any more qualified to talk about evolutionary biology or geology than someone with a PhD in Art History. Nefariousski (talk) 20:17, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

[1]. you were not "proving negatives", you were simply not using the "proof by lack of evidence" fallacy. [2].why does the monkey live on but not a more specific transistional species, who was problably more advanced than the monkey? [3]. why do we see man and monkey and no more specific "transistional" species, if indeed we are a transistional species? Ref ward (talk) 22:40, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

Re (2)/(3): This is simply because species as a whole change their properties (and sometimes split or die out). Talking about different species only makes some sense when looking at the individuals at one point in time. When we compare an individual from now and one from several million years ago we don't know whether they could have procreated together, and it doesn't make much sense to say whether they belonged to the same species or not. Our more monkey-like ancestors no longer exist in this form because their children were (on average) a little more similar to us, and their children's children even more, and so on for a very long time. Or perhaps some of them lived in the forest and became ever more similar to orang-utans, until at one point the more human-like descendants in the savannah and the more orang-utan-like descendants stopped mating among each other, even if they met by accident. Even later, even in the rare cases that they did mate, their offspring wasn't fertile. At that point there were two different species. Hans Adler 23:14, 1 March 2010 (UTC)
"The monkey" is not a species. The monkeys and apes that are alive today are descendants of the last common ancestor they have with us, and they have evolved just as much as humans have in the intervening millions of years. Of course, as soon as someone starts trotting out "if we evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys" and similar blatant idiocies, it becomes increasingly difficult not to try to apply Poe's law.--Dr Marcus Hill (talk) 15:42, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

Appeal for non-biast content

I would like to appeal that topics such as this one, where the topic is one being debated, be checked to be non-biast. I believe that topics such as this should be viewed from a completely neutral standpoint as it is of debatable nature.

Wikipedia is a site that many people visit in search of information and fact. Let not one's views be closed by it, but rather encourage further research into topics. If one were to do a google search and find only biast articles and reports on topics of this nature, the internet would be a sad thing indeed, a source of propoganda rather than information. State the theories as theories, the ideas as ideas. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Truthza (talkcontribs) 17:57, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

It isn't biased, it reflects Wikipedia's policy. WP:UNDUE and many others, and this has been discussed to death. — raeky (talk | edits) 18:09, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
Truthza: Do you have any specific suggestions for improvement you would like to discuss? Gabbe (talk) 18:25, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

Truth -- part of has to do with the skill of the editors. For instance, it is completely impartial to say something like, "microevolutionary changes are accepted by creationist authors and even evolution skeptics such as the writer of 'The Origin of Species Revisited,' which argues that changes and adaptations can extend to the chromosome barrier -- beyond which offspring would become unable to continue to reproduce. The author argues that speciation, which by definition is a barrier to reproduction, would require the identical mutations in both a male and female at the same time and location, who happen to select each other as mates. While not impossible, such an event happening is far more unlikely than suggested in standard works (ref the page). Evolutionary biologists, however, argue that intermediate offspring gradually produce generations that can reproduce with each other, even though generations widely separated in the lineage would not. Speciation is not, therefore, a sudden event (ref). Universities are nearly universal in their understanding of this gradualist view, which is not violated by such theories as punctuated equilibrium, which is only punctuated in geologic time, rather than the time of a single generation (ref)." This shows in a neutral way, complete with refs, WHAT the issues are, and that the due weight of consideration falls on the side of evolutionary biology. The fault, then, is merely in the skill of the editors to put their own egos aside and simply let the REFERENCES bear the brunt of argument. We spend far too much time arguing with each other, rather than merely helping each other ref the arguments of notable and reliable sources.EGMichaels (talk) 03:34, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

"Creation myths (such as the Book of Genesis) frequently posit a first man (Adam, in the case of Genesis) as an alternative viewpoint to the scientific account."
Why is the book of Genesis reffered to as a creaion "myth". In my opinion, unless evolution is proven 100% without a shadow of a doubt and not a single question remaining unanswered, then the word myth should be removed here. Far removed. Also, evolution should not be viewed as the truth if it isnt proven. It shouldn't be stated on this website that evolution is the truth, just define evolution. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Truthza (talkcontribs) 18:58, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
The scientific consensus is that evolution happens. If you have a problem with the biblical creation story being refered to as a creation myth, this article is the wrong place to address that issue; see Genesis creation myth. - Soulkeeper (talk) 23:24, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

Soulkeeper, I think you are confusing scientific references with your own bias. I believe the whole evolutionary shebang and find a title such as "Genesis creation myth" to be confusing to editors on both sides of the issue. Those who believe it to be a myth quite often leave the focus of the subject to be the narrative itself, rather than the mythological aspects of the narrative. Those who don't believe it to be a myth find the title inappropriate as well. While I DO believe it to be a myth, I find the title inappropriate to use for a living religion -- precisely because it creates unnecessary confusion for editors on both sides and creates a very sloppily focused article. Hopefully we will fix this focus issue in the near future, but I'd suggest you don't get too confident pointing people to an article in such a disastrous state of conflict until we can fix it. You won't win a point that way. It's like pointing to China as a shining example of religious freedom. Pick a better example. You're welcome to check back after a while and see if we can fix the mess, but until then...EGMichaels (talk) 23:59, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

Those who don't believe it to be a myth, have no scientific reason for their beliefs. I'm sorry if I sent anybody into a "war zone", but I find the title appropriate. Most religious people are able to see the world secularly, as well as in a religious light. If they're not, they should be reading their favourite religious texts, not an encyclopedia. Encyclopedias are about describing reality. Some people find this offensive. There's not much to do about that, IMO. - Soulkeeper (talk) 23:55, 22 March 2010 (UTC)

scientific consencus does not make for proof. please give creationism a chance, such as state icr or aig to give an evidence of sorts for creation, as they have provided some scientific material, and it would help make the article appear to have less of a bias to people who don't have a lot of knowledge on the subject. you don't have to regard it as scientific, but they are prominent in the creation field. thank you Ref ward (talk) 19:07, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

The problem with your argument is, neither AiG nor ICR have produced a speck of evidence for anything other than their own willingness to quote mine real scientists, and distort reality. They haven't produced one single peer reviewed scientific article. They're all about politics, not science. Please feel free to correct me if you know about any science that these institutions have produced. - Soulkeeper (talk) 23:55, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not the venue for "proof", but for scientific consensus. The policies say that we should include statements because they are affirmed by sources, not because it is the "truth". See WP:A. Gabbe (talk) 20:11, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

While I am not a scientist or claim to be some sort of subject matter expert, I would like to say that evolutionist haven't provide a speck of evidence as well. Therefore, unless any part of evolution has been observed or can be recreated through experimentation then it is religion (in other words you believe in it). And just because the majority (so called) believe it to be true because they do not believe in God doesn't make it the right answer. the peered sources described above, well, that doesn't make it true either...unless they were alive at thebeginning of time and observed it themselves...they are also going off of their beliefs (again, religous in nature). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:15, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

Actually, there is plenty of evidence for Evolution, which you can read about in our Evidence of common descent article. In fact, Evolution has been both observed in nature and recreated by humans. Mildly MadTC 02:59, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

Pope Leo dispute

To help sort out the dispute in these reverts[11][12][13] - the problem isn't the source itself, it's that an incorrect inference has been drawn from it. Pope Leo didn't affirm evolution, and neither did the Catholic church officially during this period. The source reads, "In the late nineteenth century Pope Leo XIII acknowledged the ancient Christian principle that earlier scriptural interpretations could be mistaken in the light of new scientific knowledge." This is correct, but Leo's statement addressed theology and scriptural interpretation, not an endorsement of evolution. Evolution isn't mentioned. A better characterization of the Encyclical might be something like "scripture is infallible, while human interpretation is not, so scripture cannot be disproved but human interpretations of it can."[14] And that interpretation by no means supported science over interpretation--noting the infallibility of science as well, the best that can be said is it left open the possibility science interpretations can be better than a pre-existing scriptural interpretation in some cases. The significance to the statement is that the Catholic Church is committed to seeking truer interpretations when evidence comes to light to show earlier interpretations cannot be true. Catholic acceptance of evolution is very much oversimplified in the current wording here (see for examples, Teilhard de Chardin and re Pope Leo/Evolution). Professor marginalia (talk) 19:13, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

Source Used

Source used needs to quote Pope Leo XIII, just saying he did something is not enough, especially concerning the publication does not typically deal with Catholic issues. If no new material is provided in 7 days, I feel comfortable removing the words in dispute. Any objections? ~Beaven —Preceding unsigned comment added by Beaven (talkcontribs) 02:09, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

Pope Leo didn't say anything about human evolution from animal ancestors in the encyclical so no suitable quote available there. As I explained above, the AAAS source is good but it didn't say Leo said anything about evolution. Apparently an editor inferred Leo said this, but he didn't and the source didn't claim he did. Leo's statement was significant but explaining why is just too subtle to summarize in a single sentence. To avoid further confusion, I've replaced it with claims and sources that leave less room for guesswork about the Catholic position during this period. Professor marginalia (talk) 19:55, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

Neutrality Dispute

The neutrality of this article is disputed because it only offers counter arguements to the Scientific/Evolution side of the arguement. Someone went through this article and added counter arguements for everything in support of Creationism but not vice versa. It reads as if it where written by someone that supports Scientific/Evolution and is attempting to disprove Creationism instead of maintaining a neutral stance on each side. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:48, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

It's written to comply with WP:NPOV giving due WP:WEIGHT to the overwhelming majority expert view of the relevant science, and dealing with the pseudoscience of creationism in accordance with WP:PSCI. Your objection has no grounding in policy. If there are specific points you think can be improved, please make proposals here. However, the tag is unjustified by your blanket statement, and so I've removed it. . . dave souza, talk 23:00, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Nuclear Physics

Statement no. 3 is self defeating. Relativity shows that time is a function of speed (likely speed and not velocity). If that is true then:

  • What speed is our solar system moving through the Galaxy?
  • What speed is the galaxy moving through the universe?
  • What speed is the Universe itself moving?

Then ask yourself:

  • What speeds were they moving moving 4Ba ago?
  • What effect would this have on the passage of time?

We 'know' that the length of day on the Earth has changed in 4Ba so it is likely that the speed of everything else has changed. If this change is great enough then by the laws of relativity the passage of time (such as the one experienced by the atomic clock moving at a considerably faster speed than it's local reference, Earth).
Since everything is likely slowing down then it can be assumed that the Universe was moving faster 4Ba, time was moving slower so the universe is actually older than we believe.
Proving this might be a little more difficult and accepting it even more so.
User:Kendroche (talk) 21:27, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

Please see WP:NOTFORUM and WP:OR. This isn't the place to discuss the topic, nor can original research be included. Please find reliable sources. Jess talk cs 20:42, 8 July 2010 (UTC)


I reverted[15] a lengthy addition to the "Limitation of the scientific endeavor" because it seems to be original synthesis. Guettarda (talk) 04:38, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

The part on quantum superposition may be. Try as I may, I cannot find any reference to back it up other than common sense. The Megalodon part, however is backed up by many references and I believe it should be left in.Where is WikiOpinions? (talk) 18:45, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Arguments relating to the definition and limits of science

As a student of science, I find it surprising the NAS wrote the description of science it did, the one that needs expanding. Science can be described as explanatory, but a scientific theory is defined solely by it predictive abilities. Scientists, as opposed to philosophers of science, still use the methods described in W.S. Jevons (1913) and W. Whewell (1897).

First, some terms: a description gives a picture of an object; while a definition allows it to be recognized in whatever form it may appear. Explanation may drive hypotheses, but predictions test them. Science is objective rather than subjective: this allows everyone to share observations or measurements of natural objects or phenomena. One seeks hypotheses that connect these observations. Science seeks relationships.

The most convincing theories will arise from hypotheses that require the fewest assumptions and produce the most predictions. (Predictions are, of course, valueless if they can't be false.) The reason is simple pragmatism: such a theory is most useful, until a better one replaces it. (Some founders of thermodynamics continued to use caloric theory, just because it was simpler and adequate for their needs.)

Explanation can be a meta-scientific, subjective concept; or it can simply be the prediction of observations already made. (A prediction of far less value in evaluating an hypothesis.) Good geological predictions often state what geologist will find in particular locations. (Petrology predicts the rarity or absence of ferrosilite basalts.)

Classification founds science. Geologists map regions of continuous change, bordered by discontinuities. These are termed 'formations'; and to each is assigned a 'dual' origin. If these equivalence classes are so organized that their duals predict large geological processes seen elsewhere, especially in action today, such classifications gradually unify theories into a physical or natural science.

My apology for having no access to references, but science should be predictive, not explanatory; it should not be circular in definition; and its terms should be explained. The above definition should be found in many good sources. Geologist (talk) 22:45, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

Replaced phrase

I put back the phrase "this debate is most prevalent in the United States". Its omission messed up the sentence. If you want to take it out, you need to restructure the sentence so that it makes sense without it.Ordinary Person (talk) 07:13, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

Request for more context given.

The section about falsifiability, specifically the rabbit example, seems like it must be missing some context from the original article it was posed in.

However, simple falsifiability tests for common descent have been offered by some scientists: For instance, biologist and prominent critic of creationism Richard Dawkins and J.B.S. Haldane both pointed out that if fossil rabbits were found in the Precambrian era, a time before most similarly complex lifeforms had evolved, "that would completely blow evolution out of the water."[75][76]

I can see how finding a rabbit fossil from Precambrian rock could be used to dispute the current organization of evolutionary lineages (and that's if the fossil isn't used to dispute the tenets behind fossilization or geology instead), but how would it actually disprove the process of evolution itself?

I'm guessing that this must have occurred to the people who posed the example, so if they do cover that, can someone with access to the original material add the missing context.

Sorry if this sounds forum-y, I'm honestly trying to stick to the article here. (talk) 17:09, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

It would falsify the Theory of Evolution because it would represent a massive discontinuity, and evolution is a continuous process (albeit one that runs faster or slower under particular circumstances). HrafnTalkStalk(P) 17:54, 15 November 2010 (UTC)
Is that what they say in the source, though? I don't see how that would disprove it, since you could just say that evolution must be able to go faster than previously thought, and I guess I'd much rather know if the source goes into more detail about it. (talk) 18:06, 15 November 2010 (UTC)
The Precambrian fossilized rabbit has been used in many contexts related to falsifiability. You're right to say that, strictly speaking, it is more narrowly relevant to answering the challenges against evidence for evolutionary prehistory and common ancestry. The TIME magazine reference claims Haldane first used it to challenge "Popperian zealots"-not Popper. Popper's issue with falsifiability wasn't posed as a challenge against all theories related to evolution, or all of the evidence of common ancestry, but strictly about the theory of natural selection. Many anti-evolutionists were eager to apply Popper's "falsifiability" question to challenge the evidence for common ancestry. In the cite given, Dawkins used it in response to creationists asserting that the "gaps" or absence of fossils in the Precambrian is evidence against. Dawkins asserts the opposite: that the presence of such fossils would be damaging. He uses the term "evolution" here in the same way the general public does, to refer to evolutionary history. Professor marginalia (talk) 19:48, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

Synthese on 'Evolution and its Rivals'

Synthese Volume 178, Number 2 / January 2011 is an entire issue devoted to 'Evolution and its Rivals'. It includes articles by such heavyweights as Robert T. Pennock, Wesley Elsberry and Jeffrey Shallit, Sahotra Sarkar, Niall Shanks, Barbara Forrest & James Henry Fetzer. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 04:19, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

Evolution Day article threatened with deletion

In case anyone else is interested, the Evolution Day article is being threatened with deletion: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Evolution Day. Please help rescue it! -- Limulus (talk) 22:42, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

Controversy outside the US?

An IP tagged the article for a problem.[16] While the type of tagging was not correct, the problem should still be solved. Currently the lead says the following:

Though also present in Europe and elsewhere,[5] and often portrayed as part of the culture wars,[6] this debate is most prevalent in the United States.

  1. ^ See Hovind 2006, for example.
  2. ^ See Hovind 2006, for example.
  3. ^ See Hovind 2006, for example.
  4. ^ See Hovind 2006, for example.
  5. ^ Curry, Andrew (27 February 2009). "Creationist Beliefs Persist in Europe". Science. 323 (5918): 1159. doi:10.1126/science.323.5918.1159. PMID 19251601. News coverage of the creationism-versus-evolution debate tends to focus on the United States … But in the past 5 years, political clashes over the issue have also occurred in countries all across Europe. … "This isn't just an American problem," says Dittmar Graf of the Technical University of Dortmund, who organized the meeting 
  6. ^ Larson 2004, pp. 247–263 Chapter titled Modern Culture Wars. See also Ruse 1999, p. 26, who writes "One thing that historians delighted in showing is that, contrary to the usually held tale of science and religion being always opposed…religion and theologically inclined philosophy have frequently been very significant factors in the forward movement of science."

I do not think that this is an adequate description of the situation outside the US. Dittmar Graf's statement "This isn't just an American problem" must be seen in a European context in which nobody ever speaks about creationism other than as a curious problem those stupid people on the other side of the pond have. Andrew Curry's paper makes a convincing argument that we do have a problem with creationism, but so far it's completely under the radar and there is nothing like a public controversy. Hans Adler 10:03, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

I think what is happening is that, outside the US, creationism is marginalised, rather than being on display in the public square, legislatures, etc. This means that there's far less coverage of it in WP:RSs (which in turn must affect the relative WP:WEIGHT the article gives). And being marginalised and scattered, it is also more difficult to weave it into a cohesive narrative than the US situation. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 10:28, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

opinion removed

I removed an apparent opinion:

This argument usually involves scientists either who were no longer alive when evolution was proposed or whose field of study didn't include evolution. The argument is generally rejected as specious by those who oppose creationism.[1]

The ref given is simply a list of names, and does not elaborate on what the poster of this section says. Not sure if it is weasel words as i am fairly new. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Overseer19XX (talkcontribs) 15:10, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

The cited source states:


Morris, Henry M. 1982. Bible-believing scientists of the past. Impact 103 (Jan.),

That source is titled "Bible-Believing Scientists of the Past" and contains a list of purported "creationist scientists". 15:19, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

they were not alive when evolution was proposed? Where does it say that? also where does it say the argument is rejected as specious?Overseer19XX (talk) 22:01, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
Please read the reference properly, it notes Morris's fringe claims, and then gives a mainstream position. For eample, "Many of the scientists in the above list lived before the theory of evolution was even proposed. Others knew the theory, but were not familiar with all the evidence for it. Evolution is outside the field of most of those scientists." Do not delete this, Morris's claim is notable enough to have been discussed by this third party and should be shown in that context. If you feel the wording can be improved to reflect the source more accurately, proposals will be welcome. dave souza, talk 22:20, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
Additionally, I have seen many, very similar, claims made by other creationists. Morris/ICR therefore serves as a good, prominent, representative example of this type of claim. I would suggest that you do not remove material without thoroughly having read the source that they are cited to (including, where appropriate, the sources they explicitly cite). Your last comment clearly demonstrates that you have not done so in this instance (as it asks questions that were clearly answered by the source). HrafnTalkStalk(P) 06:57, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

Carbon 14

I know this belongs in this wiki someplace, however i have not found a suitable home for it. Carbon 14 has a half life of 5,730 years, however is still found in unmineralized dinosaur bones. this would wildly throw off date estimates for the age of life of dinosaurs, and would be relevant to this wiki. If dinosaurs lived less then 48,000 years ago, and humans have been found to have lived as long as 400,000 years ago, i believe this should be mentioned in this article. It is relevant.Overseer19XX (talk) 00:11, 17 April 2011 (UTC)

Reliable sources, please. --Saddhiyama (talk) 00:13, 17 April 2011 (UTC) Overseer19XX (talk) 00:29, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
Self-published creationist apologetics are not reliable sources. It might be interesting to offer those sites for cognizant inspection and comment at Talk:Radiocarbon dating. __ Just plain Bill (talk) 01:50, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
Its not a religion paper, its a scientific research paper, please see link 2Overseer19XX (talk) 07:09, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
Creation science is Christian apologetics, not science -- as can easily be seen by the 'Statements of Belief' or similar that major Creation Science organisations subscribe to (generally compulsorily). HrafnTalkStalk(P) 07:16, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
Formally, they are inadmissible, as sources that are both self-published and "questionable", used to support claims that are "unduly self-serving", in an article that is not "about themselves". HrafnTalkStalk(P) 07:19, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
We will have to agree to disagree, science by definition is an enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the world. so yes, C14 research that i mentioned is in fact science.Overseer19XX (talk) 07:23, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
The self-serving "research" of a bunch of religious fanatics lacking any experience in experimental geochronology does not count as science. Even the state of Texas (hardly a liberal hotbed) acknowledges that the ICR (ultimate source of your 2nd paper) has no credible claim to being scientific. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 07:30, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
If you want to dispute this assessment, you're welcome to take it to WP:RSN -- but be prepared to be laughed at there. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 07:32, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
Are you proposing their research is flawed, Based solely on the ground of their religion? I am not aware of any research contesting the research paper.Overseer19XX (talk) 07:37, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
"lacking any experience in experimental geochronology" -- EXPLICITLY NOT "Based solely on the ground of their religion". HrafnTalkStalk(P) 08:20, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
BTW if religion discounts research, atheists cannot conduct research either, being a religion.Overseer19XX (talk) 07:42, 17 April 2011 (UTC)

Overseer, atheism is not a religion. A religion is a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs. A-theism (i.e. no gods) denies that there are no supernatural agency or agencies involved. It is by definition anti-religion. Check out the atheism wiki entry for yourself. John D. Croft (talk) 08:14, 17 April 2011 (UTC)

Atheism is a system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith. Overseer19XX (talk) 13:56, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
Says who? See apatheism and ignosticism. __ Just plain Bill (talk) 15:27, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Overseer19XX: The sources you provided are not disregarded because they are religious adherents, nor because their findings have implications for religion, but because the sources are self-published. While it is possible for self-published sources to represent accurate science, self-published sources are nevertheless explicitly disallowed on Wikipedia (see WP:SPS). Do you have anything from a reliable third-party source? Gabbe (talk) 08:22, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
If people would hold off on the non sequiturs perhaps their point would be better understood.Overseer19XX (talk) 13:56, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
Overseer19XX: you are the one throwing non sequiturs into the mix -- specifically your claim that I was impugning the sources "Based solely on the ground of their religion" and dragging the claim that " Atheism is a system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith". Do not be surprised when people choose to rebut your off-topic claims. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 14:51, 17 April 2011 (UTC)

As Overseer19XX is having trouble understanding the point, the point (made by both Gabbe & myself) is that & are WP:SPSs, not WP:RSs. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 14:53, 17 April 2011 (UTC) (Parenthetically, as the second source was presented at Fifth International Conference on Creationism, it is possible that it was published as part of the proceedings of that conference. However, such a WP:FRINGE source is still not considered reliable. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 14:56, 17 April 2011 (UTC) )

(EC)Here are some sequiturs for you: Overseer's second link,, espouses an idea which is massively inconsistent with the geological record. Any text using the word "uniformitarian" should be scrutinized for creationist bias, and considered questionable. Calling that one a reliable source is laughable, as pointed out above.
Overseer's first link to "paleo group" may be dressed up and painted as science, but it reads like apologetics. Saying, as it does, that "Creation science is a belief system just as is Evolutionary Science" is disingenuous, bordering on willful ignorance, and raises serious doubt about the validity of its conclusions. Evolutionary science is a system based on an overwhelming mass of believable empirical data. Creation "science" has no such support. __ Just plain Bill (talk) 15:27, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
Overseer, let's make this clear. Creation science isn't a science, it is a pseudoscience. The theory of Evolution is a scientific fact based on empirical data, repeating of that data, and publication in reliable peer-reviewed journals. Your arguing here is tendentious. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 15:58, 17 April 2011 (UTC)

Real science

Considering the technical limits of radiocarbon dating, responsible scientists will not report a carbon age greater than 60,000 years. That limit may be lower in some cases, depending on the size and handling of the sample and the nature of the process blank. Simply put, background effects make everything look younger than a hundred thousand years (or so) when measured by that method. Radiocarbon dating is not an appropriate way to measure the age of fossils millions of years old. Any claim that radiocarbon dating is relevant to dinosaur bones is either ignorant or deceptive. __ Just plain Bill (talk) 17:32, 17 April 2011 (UTC)

I think this whole discussion started because the OP was using a woefully unreliable source that claims it did C14 measurements on various dinosaur bones, and showed them to be around 10-14000 years old, thereby concluding that dating dinosaur bones is worthless, and proving creation is real. Of course, if this were published in a real journal, we'd have a story. Since we haven't, and we don't know anything about the methodology or techniques, we have no clue what they did. However, even if they were real scientists with real data, undue weight would state that the 1 million other articles published, dating dinosaurs to 65.5 million years ago at least, take precedence. And, as you imply, C14 dating is more useful in archeology than it is in paleontology. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 17:52, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
Technically, C14 dating could well be applicable to the bones of avian dinosaurs, but we suspect our creationist chums are once again trying to mislead the public about extinct dinosaurs. . . dave souza, talk 17:56, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
Thank you. I should have known better, sitting as I do in a room with two budgies, a canary, and row upon row of finches. __ Just plain Bill (talk) 18:02, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
A whole room of dinosaurs! I guess Noah forgot the non-avian ones.  :) OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 18:05, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
Indeed. That must be why I am having a hard time finding theropod saddles at my local tack shop. __ Just plain Bill (talk) 18:13, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
You know, life is just a pain these days. I think that saddle might not work well with the canary. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 18:18, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
It's all a matter of scale, dincha know? :) HrafnTalkStalk(P) 19:03, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
WP:NOT#FORUMOverseer19XX (talk) 20:59, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
ROFLMFAO. Overseer, read the links that you post. You're not exactly understanding them.OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 21:01, 17 April 2011 (UTC)

Well its odd that "REAL" science has not tested for C14 in dinosaur bones, they have also not explained soft tissue samples in 300 million year old bones, when a non-creation scientist proclaimed her discovery she was shunned. Overseer19XX (talk) 21:02, 17 April 2011 (UTC)

Moved your comment, because you don't interrupt conversations in the middle without indents. Minor point. Science doesn't test for C14 in dinosaur bones, because 100 million year old fossilize bones do not contain C14, which has a half life of 5000 years or so. After 20,000 half lives, NO C14 exists. And this is why science rules, and pseudoscience is good for comedy routines. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 21:06, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
Ok, so they hypothesize it does not contain C14. that would not rule out testing for it, and any other particles they might find that they propose are not there. Perhaps dinosaur bones are made of hersheys kisses? in that case i think hersheys has only been around for about 100 years.. i am not very good with unrelated examples... either way they should be looking for it because as has been stated, todays facts could be debunked tomorrow with just a little evidence. oh, and you should have seen what happened to this page when i used {} in place of [] lol.Overseer19XX (talk) 21:14, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
You're using a logical fallacy. I do not know that there's a teapot on the far side of the moon, but I'm going to make a reasonable guess that there's not one there. There is no reason to test for C14 in dinosaur bones, because there is no scientific reason for them to be there, and if there was, Occam's razor would tell us that we should look for a simpler explanation like contamination. On the other hand, giving the affirmative logic on this issue, we have tons of data using real science, like Ur/Pb ratios, sedimentary material dating, and other real science. Moreover, fossils are rocks, they contain almost no carbon, unless it's precipitated in a sedimentary layer, like chalk. It would be a waste of time to use C14, since it wouldn't be there. But again, if you bring us a reliable source in peer-reviewed scientific journal that shows C14 extant in dinosaur fossils, then we can critique it, or even use it. I'm going to have to say, I'm not holding my breath waiting for this. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 21:36, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
Testing Paleozoic or Mesozoic fossils for 14C would amount to testing for contamination from a more recent epoch. I doubt that anyone capable of doing that work would see it as a worthwhile use of their time. __ Just plain Bill (talk) 21:46, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
Not all dinosaur bones are mineralized. In fact actual bones with soft tissue have been found. There would be carbon 14 in those. The real reason to look? Because these 4 scientists have found C14 in unmineralized dinosaur bones. We should assume good faith in these scientists until research is done to prove them incorrect. Overseer19XX (talk) 22:01, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
The dinosaur "soft tissues" have been cast into serious doubt. __ Just plain Bill (talk) 22:27, 17 April 2011 (UTC) (talk) 22:42, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
There is also C14 present in diamonds and coal that is thought to be millions of years old, let not throw that away.Overseer19XX (talk) 22:47, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
Need to see a reliable source that says those 14C levels exceed the background, and are not a result of contamination. Regarding Asara and Schweitzer's claim of finding "chicken-like" proteins in T. Rex, see here. __ Just plain Bill (talk) 23:09, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
Overseer, you're parroting ICR claims, all of which have been so thoroughly debunked that they may as well be comic books. Any C14 in diamonds are a result of contamination. We can go round and round and round with your arguments, but you have not brought a single, not a single, reliable piece of evidence. Not one. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 00:11, 18 April 2011 (UTC)
Also, the great thing about science is that it is tested, repeated, reanalyzed, retested, published, discussed, debated—then the hypothesis is revised. In this case, someone claimed that they found proteins in a fossil. Current research on it shows...ooops, not quite true. That's what makes science so much different than faith, which is untestable and unmoveable. If you're going to come to this discussion with any chance of prevailing, then don't use National Geographic from 5 years ago as your source. Because all of us here have access to peer reviewed publications from last week. And we use them. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 00:18, 18 April 2011 (UTC)
Evolution requires much faith as well. its not as hammered out as you or some scientists say it is. In fact evolution has no beginning. Why? Because evolution cannot test a beginning, there is no math to explain it, in fact Einstein was even agnostic. Why? Because he knew a part was missing. Your right thou, science calls everything 100% figured out, until they realize that the new (insert discovery here) says it is not, then they say we are 100% now. Such as the age of modern humans, they found milled grain, and dated it back 400,000 years. Before that they were sure we were only 200,000 years old. Just because you do not like the results of the PHD that did the research, and cry fowl because its not in the journal of science, does not discredit it.Overseer19XX (talk) 22:35, 18 April 2011 (UTC)
By saying "cry fowl" do you mean to chicken out? Science requires empirical evidence and peer reviewed publication in recognised scientific journals, and of course it's always provisional until another better theory stands up to empirical examination. Keeping up the avian dinosaur theme, your assertion about evolution requiring faith is another old creationist canard. <ducks> . . . dave souza, talk 22:43, 18 April 2011 (UTC)
Please do not use any page on Wikipedia to discuss your views (see WP:NOTFORUM and WP:TPG). You have been invited to supply a reliable source, and you should not avoid that by presenting other opinions. Johnuniq (talk) 22:45, 18 April 2011 (UTC)
I agree. Conversation done. Overseer just provides random statements, none of which are supported by anything verifiable. Let's move on to something else. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 01:54, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

Observations on objective phrasing

It is nice to see that an article on such a controversial issue has remained fairly neutral and I applaud the editors on this page who have managed to keep it so. I do have a couple of thoughts on biased wording I'll toss out. I think it is particularly important that the opening paragraphs be worded as carefully as possible to maintain an objective tone. The wording currently is the following:

The creation–evolution controversy (also termed the creation vs. evolution debate or the origins debate) is a recurring cultural, political, and theological dispute about the origins of the Earth, humanity, life, and the universe.
The dispute is between those who, despite contrary evidence, support a creationist view based upon their religious beliefs, versus those who accept evolution, as supported by scientific consensus. The dispute particularly involves the field of evolutionary biology, but also the fields of geology, paleontology, thermodynamics, nuclear physics and cosmology. Though also present in Europe and elsewhere, and often portrayed as part of the culture wars, this debate is most prevalent in the United States.
While the controversy has a long history, today it is mainly over what constitutes good science, with the politics of creationism primarily focusing on the teaching of creation and evolution in public education.

Specific concerns:

  • "The dispute is between those ..." - This sentence shows a pretty deliberate bias and there is no real reason for it. Something like the following is adequate without showing any form of favoritism.
This disputes generally pits those who support the view that life was originally created by an intelligent being (the creationist view) against those who support the view that life came from inanimate materials about through natural processes (the evolutionist view). Creationist arguments are almost invariably closely tied directly or indirectly to religious doctrines, particularly those that adhere to very literal interpretations of scriptures.
  • "today it is mainly over what constitutes good science ..." - Problematic statement (bold assertion that's hard to prove) and the first part doesn't exactly tie into the last part. Maybe something like the following would be better:
The controversy has a long history, particularly in recurring debates regarding biology curriculum in U.S. public schools. These debates have spawned legislation and court cases such as the Scopes trial.

-- (talk) 21:17, 12 July 2011 (UTC)

It's not favoritism. Wikipedia has responsibility to represent The Truth about WP:FRINGE and WP:PSEUDOSCIENCE theories (read Creationism). -Abhishikt 21:44, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
  • The proposed rewording fails to reflect that one side has the vast weight of scientific evidence, scientific research, scientific consensus and the scientific community on its side. It is no more the "evolutionist view" than modern physics is the "gravitationist view" -- it is the scientific view. Giving equal weight to the pseudoscientific "creationist view" is against Wikipedia's NPOV policy. Also I would point out that a large swathe of creationism, Old Earth creationism (which includes progressive creationism and intelligent design), is not "tied" to "very literal interpretations of scriptures". I would further point out that given the vast number of books that have been written on whether or not Evolution (and/or uniformitarian Geology) or Creationism "constitutes good science" demonstrates the truth of this assertion, and given that a significant subset of these books are cited in this, and related, articles, it is easily verifiable. It would be very difficult to find a book touching on the subject of creationism, from George McCready Price's Illogical Geology (1906) onwards, that does not address this subject. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 04:44, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
Let me repeat - It's not favoritism to one side of view. Wikipedia has responsibility to represent The Truth about WP:FRINGE and WP:PSEUDOSCIENCE theories (read Creationism).
After you understand that please provide WP:RS supporting "creationist view" in form of published papers in respected journals, providing evidence that creationism is a fact and not a myth. -Abhishikt 05:36, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, everything you just said is deliberate bias. Preloading the statements about the two sides with implications of who has the better argument is intentionally trying to push a point of view. Read Wikipedia:Neutral point of view. And remember that this article is not about evolution. There is already an article about that. This article is about the controversy.
The point is that you should let the facts speak for themselves. You can state very clearly that the majority of scientists discredit the creation idea without having to attack creationists in every sentence (or attack them at all). Wikipedia is not a soapbox. -- (talk) 16:18, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
I would similarly be critical of starting out an article on Hitler saying "Adolf Hilter was a psychopath who murdered millions of innocent people and spawned waves of ethnic hatred that last to this day". Frankly I agree with every word of that but it is horribly inappropriate to introduce the subject that way even if you can back it up with references. -- (talk) 16:27, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
And this article doesn't open by pointing out that "Creationism is the bigoted fantasy of religious cranks, designed to indoctrinate religious beliefs and instil a distrust of science." Similarly, the article on Hitler (I don't know who this Hilter character is), makes prominent mention in the lead of his antisemitism and "the systematic murder of as many as 17 million civilians". HrafnTalkStalk(P) 16:46, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
The point is that the Hilter article does not lead with how bad a person he was. It brings up the murders appropriately and in a factual way. But these don't even come up in the first paragraph. In other words that article attempts to let the facts speak for themselves, not try to push any particular opinion.
I'll reiterate that I think for the most part this article is pretty neutral. I was simply trying to point out a couple of instances where bias has crept in and suggest fixing these. That's all. -- (talk) 18:48, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
And this article does say 'how bad a people creationists are'. It brings up the fact that they are contradicted by science "appropriately and in a factual way. But these don't even come up in the first paragraph." Per WP:FRINGE & WP:DUE we are required to give some indication of relative scientific support of the competing claims -- and in fact this is also entirely consistent with WP:LEDE. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 19:14, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
(undent)That is rationalizing. Those problematic sentences are deliberately conflating issues. That is, they are trying to push a point of view rather than relate facts. Trying to push a point of view with facts does not make a statement neutral (this is the difference between letting facts speak for themselves and using them as weapons). -- (talk) 17:42, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

Nylon-eating bacteria and creationism

Can anyone think of a good way to de-orphan this article: Nylon-eating bacteria and creationism? Considering the implications I am surprised it has not garnered more notice on WP. Colincbn (talk) 04:18, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

Not really -- it simply is not a major (or even anything more than a a very very minor) topic in any form of creationism, or creationist argument, or to any major creationist. Find sources: "Nylon-eating bacteria" creationism – news · newspapers · books · scholar · HighBeam · JSTOR · free images · free news sources · The Wikipedia Library · NYT · WP reference turns up almost no coverage, and none relevant to any wider topic. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 05:30, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
In fact, that article is looking like a good candidate for deletion. The pertinance of nylon eating bacteria to the general subject of evolution makes it worth of potential inclusion in a number of articles. On it's own, it's not really an encyclopedic subject. Should I propose a merge? If so, where? i kan reed (talk) 16:15, 22 July 2011 (UTC)


In the introduction, there a lot of links that don't go to their subject. In particular, I feel like the name's of the linked articles would make more sense than the text that is actually shown. Anyone else got any input on this? i kan reed (talk) 13:09, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

Liberty University

I was surprised to see that this article does not include any reference to Liberty University, while the wikipedia of Liberty university does refer to this 'debate'. Since I'm new to this, could someone give me clearance to write about this subject in this article? I don't want to spend hours writing something, and then find out it's not appropriate. The mentioned LU wikipedia section can be found here Helemaalnicks (talk) 10:33, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

I'm sorry, but I don't see any evidence that Liberty University has played a notable role in the controversy. The only creationist at LU who is at all notable is Marcus Ross, and in the grand scheme of things, he is a small-time player. Unless you can provide solid reliable independent secondary sources that LU has indeed palyed an important role in the debate, there is no good reason to mention it in this article. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 14:05, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
Some topical connections are only notable in one direction. A hypothetical article on the Sharp R-426LS Microwave would almost certainly link to Electromagnetic radiation, as that's an important factor of the former- but that latter, more notable topic needn't include a link to an individual application of its topic. --King Öomie 15:22, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

I would think an accredited university offering majors in biology teaching creationism to >50.000 students while it also is a YEC university would be considered an influential party in the controversy. EDIT: nevermind, apparently my source about LU 'teaching' 'creation science' isn't reliable. Helemaalnicks (talk) 15:57, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

"“One of the distinguishing fac-tors of Liberty is that every single student here takes a class called creationist studies,” said Campus Pastor Johnnie Moore." How are they accredited to provide degrees? Who on earth let that happen?
I'd love to start this school- 'We offer several mathematics degrees. Also, all students are required to take our course, 'Why math is Satan's work and all clearly false'. --King Öomie 15:31, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
How many articles are lacking discussion of LU now? Is this some sort of stealth advertising campaign? i kan reed (talk) 16:19, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
Be Gentle :-). I think it's just a matter of an inexperienced editor doing their best to improve the encyclopaedia. Mildly MadTC 16:44, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
Ok, I get your point. i kan reed (talk) 18:43, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

What controversy?

I think the title of this article is misleading, because as we all know, beyond reasonable doubt evolution is greatly superior to creationism and of course, factual. The scientific community is who we rely on, and there is no controversy with them. The title should be changed to something such as "supposed controversy" or "attempted controversy" or "religious controversy", because there is nothing scientifically controversial about evolution. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:12, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

Yes, I guess.....Sadly that's true. It's what ruins our society, having little value for reason and science. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:01, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

  • I too object to the title. There is absolutely no 'controversy'. I understand what the article is presenting, but the word choice is poor. What about "debate"? (talk) 04:34, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
  • There is no scientific controversy -- but there is clearly a social and political one (hence "a recurring cultural, political, and theological dispute" in the lead). "Debate" gives the impression that the dispute is more narrowly defined than it is. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 04:46, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Is there any real live controversy? It seems to me there are just two camps: a creationist camp which spends all its time denouncing evolution and all the others who occasionally try and educate the creationists, with more or less good humour. I've just updated the Hovind 2006 dead link, which is the first reference in the article. This is just a deceitful wager - certainly not a debate. (Only 1 of the 5 issues he suggests you have to prove is even about evolution in the commonly accepted sense.) Can someone substitute a reference that actually indicates a controversy? Chris55 (talk) 23:00, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Hovind is at the extreme-flaky end of the creationist spectrum -- and isn't taken seriously by even most other creationists. For articles covering somewhat less flaky recent efforts, I would suggest you read Expelled, Academic Freedom bills & What Darwin Got Wrong. I think that the scientific community does consider this to be a serious issue -- but a serious issue in terms of systematic flaws in the way that science is currently being taught in American schools -- see the NCSE website for more details. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 03:26, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
  • I would however agree that it would be better to have more widely accepted and/or a wider range of creationist sources, or better yet an independent source, for the extent of the controversy. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 03:32, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
  • I'd missed that article by Jerry Fodor. But even he starts by saying "The story of the consequent fracas is legendary, but that argument is over now. Except, perhaps, in remote backwaters of the American Midwest, the Darwinian account of our species’ history is common ground in all civilised discussions, and so it should be. The evidence really is overwhelming." (Why Pigs don't have wings) I'm not really surprised to find him in the Gould/Lewontin camp - he has vested interests. Accepting the broad brush of Darwinism doesn't end controversies. Chris55 (talk) 11:18, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
  • I think Jerry somewhat understates the geographic extent (and intensity) of this issue -- recent activities of the Texas State Board of Education come immediately to mind. Never underestimate people's ability to deny overwhelming evidence. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 12:16, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Also, the general consensus is that Jerry Fodor's talking through his hat (the main group citing his book positively seem to be creationists). HrafnTalkStalk(P) 12:18, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
Would Creation-evolution struggle be a better title for the article? It is the title of a recent book, but it doesn't have the somewhat loaded connotation of Creation-evolution conflict which is another possibility. Chris55 (talk) 20:40, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
What problem would renaming this article solve? Johnuniq (talk) 22:51, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

OED defines controversy as:

The action of disputing or contending one with another; dispute, debate, contention.

I would suggest that creationists and supporters of science are disputing, debating and contending with one another on this issue. Does anybody suggest the contrary? If not, then we have a "controversy". HrafnTalkStalk(P) 04:14, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

Maybe, but what kind of controversy? It's certainly a social and political issue, but the topic is ultimately scientific and the controversy is not. If anything, it is a controversy between biblical literalism and science itself. Dylan Flaherty 21:11, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
Already answered:

The creation–evolution controversy (also termed the creation vs. evolution debate or the origins debate) is a recurring cultural, political, and theological dispute about the origins of the Earth, humanity, life, and the universe.

There's no reason to insist that a controversy about a scientific topic must be internal to science in order to be a "controversy". HrafnTalkStalk(P) 05:48, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
I think it's the time element that is the difficulty. Historically "disputes" are usually the cause of some other form of confrontation, e.g. a war. The most obvious exception is a border dispute, as with neighbours arguing over a fence or nations over a border, which one might refer to as an "ongoing dispute". This has been going on for 150 years. People seem to dislike the idea of a 'conflict', but to me the most obvious metaphor is a guerrilla war. The disputants have lost the argument in the conventional channels and continue to try and sabotage it from outside, casting around for any ammunition that might serve their cause. "Teach the controversy" underlines the somewhat artificial nature of the campaign.
But ultimately, what's in a name? I'm not making a big thing about it. Chris55 (talk) 09:37, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
I think the article already covers this, by calling it a "recurring ... dispute" ("undead, keeps rising from the dead and we can't seem to put a stake through its heart, dispute" being somewhat unencyclopaedic in language ;) ). HrafnTalkStalk(P) 11:42, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
Hrafn - I find much irony in your quote "undead, keeps rising from the dead and we can't seem to put a stake through its heart, dispute" and it's coloration to the Biblical story about man's inability to kill Jesus Christ. However I digress. In this argument I do agree with you in that this is not a scientific issue. I also agree that this may be more directly linked to a war. It's no secret that this debate has much more to do with the human condition and pride than it does science. One view point may put a person in a place where they must come to terms with an ultimate right and wrong, where another viewpoint lends to a lack of any moral code at all. I believe the debate, controversy or more accurately "war" to be about one's view of human liberties and whether submitting to something greater is appealing or even an option. For this controversy to cease being a war each side must see the opposite side's viewpoint. The creationist must see life alone with no moral code and no greater cause, and the evolutionist (I don't mean evolutionists who ascribe to a creator) must see life with a greater cause and an absolute moral code. In my experience this is near impossible on either side. Therefor this controversy (war) will continue. Controversy is a perfect word, and I see no danger to the evolutionists side of this war, for I don't believe one word on Wikipedia will change anyone's mind. We can leave that for something greater. (TSB178 (talk) 00:27, 26 January 2011 (UTC))
(i) My allusion was quite clearly to vampire mythology not Christian mythology (I'm sure many atheists would find a joke somewhere in your inability to distinguish the two). (ii) For the rest of your discussion, I find it neither particularly relevant, particularly accurate, particularly npov nor even particularly coherent in places. Particularly: (a) The argument here is not between theism and atheism (as there are theists on both sides). (b) Many (most?) atheists would deny that their "viewpoint lends to a lack of any moral code at all." HrafnTalkStalk(P) 07:42, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

I too agree that names are not that important, but they can be misleading and used to promote false ideas/manipulate people (ie "teach the controversy"). For example, "creation science" should be called "evolution deniers" and if I were to rename this article, I would give it something to that effect as well. However, that is just me. I know wikipedia isn't to be used to promote individual viewpoints, but it is used to promote facts, of which this is one. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:59, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

There is NO scientific controversy on evolution, the current "controversy" exists solely in terms of religion and politics. I rewrote the intro to reflect this. Cheers, BatteryIncluded (talk) 18:58, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
  • This is a long list of scientists of various disciplines who have expressed belief in, or openness to a creationist view (posted on a Creationist website, but nobody has yet made a Wikipedia page for it.) It includes well-known pioneers of science and mathematics such as Galileo, Newton, Kepler, Pascal, Farady, Joule, Pasteur et. al. The fact that these scientists, whose authority in their respective fields is universally accepted, contend against the origin argument that evolution presents should in my opinion be considered as evidence enough that there is actually scientific controversy regarding this topic (even though the mainstream organizations and scientific journals are stacked in favor of evolution as the most likely explanation of the origin of life.) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jaydge (talkcontribs) 18:18, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
You seem a little muddled: citing Galileo et al. to support your view that there "is actually scientific controversy" suggests you think the present goes back a few hundred years, science has moved on a bit since then. Of course Answers in Genesis isn't in any way a reliable source about science, and evolution doesn't explain the origin of life – try abiogenesis. . . dave souza, talk 18:30, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Project Steve, a contemporary list that dwarfs the creationists' lists, is an elegantly tongue-in-cheek counter to such a facile argument from authority/Argumentum ad populum. And, honestly, populating a list with any pre-Origin scientists is a cheap trick: would you accept arguments on the veracity of germ theory from anyone prior to Pasteur? — Scientizzle 18:40, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Actually all I was saying about Galileo, Newton, Pasteur, et. al. is that they held a view that strongly favored or explicitly believed the creation account, and they are historically renowned scientists. There are also thousands of present day scientists (a few of whom are on the referenced list) who hold to a Creation belief to explain the origin of the species as opposed to a belief in macro-evolution to explain it. By pointing that out I'm not making an ad-populum argument to discredit evolution; rather I'm saying there is legitimate (and vehement) controversy on this topic within as well as outside the scientific community, even though the Creationist scientists are a minority. jaydge (talk) 05:47, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
@Scientizzle: I find it rather odd that Project Steve used the name of a Christian martyr (also a Creationist) : ) Wekn reven i susej eht Talk• Follow 17:12, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
@Hrafn: AiG's list had a huge section of scientists who lived after the publication of On the Origin of Species. Wekn reven i susej eht Talk• Follow 17:14, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

Why has no one mentioned [[17]]? It could potentially be considered an original source, but it does point to verifiable people, books and organizations who are in some way involved in science and believe in creation. That should serve at least to prove that there is a controversy within the scientific community. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Gurupilgrim (talkcontribs) 22:34, 12 August 2011 (UTC)

Maybe because (i) it is an unreliable source, (ii) such sources typically grossly misrepresent the scientists and views portrayed, particularly including scientists who lived long before The Origin of Species was published, those working in fields other than biology and/or exaggerating their views. (iii) The scientists listed represent only a "tiny minority", so can be ignored per WP:DUE. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 04:24, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
Good point. It is definitely unreliable as it is most likely self published and is not reviewed or checked by anyone. (I'm kinda new). Would it be reasonable to consider 'creation-scientists' a notable minority in that it is borderline as per wp:fringe? Footnote 9 suggests 700 out of 480,000 which is a very small minority, but it is not completely absent. It seems to me it deserves to be considered for borderline notability. That is, without giving it any undue weight. Gurupilgrim (talk) 12:29, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
Footnote 9 also says: "Virtually no secular scientists accepted the doctrines of creation science". The source of the 700 figure is a petition by the DI, and many of the signatories have no expertise in relevant fields, or were duped into signing the petition because of its ambivalent wording. See A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism and the corresponding scientific counter-petition, Project Steve. Creation scientists have published practically nothing in peer-reviewed scientific journals. They are not borderline fringe, but unambiguously fringe as far as their scientific output is concerned. The reliable sources are practiacally unanimous that creation science is not science and that there is no debate within the scientific community. You're also mixing up notability with reliability. The leading creation scientists are indeed notable, but creationist sources are notoriously unreliable due to their penchant for deliberate fabrication and misrepresentation. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 12:54, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

Maybe we should add a section to the article, maybe "the controversy controversy", detailing the arguments about calling this a controversy...Dr Marcus Hill (talk) 09:30, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

  1. ^ Index to Creationist Claims - Claim CA114 edited by Mark Isaak. 2005