Talk:Creation Museum/Archive 2

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3 Archive 4 Archive 5

Dinosaurs and humans claim

Here are the relevant points in our policy:

From WP:NPOV: "While pseudoscience may in some cases be significant to an article, it should not obfuscate the description of the main views."

"Ideas that have been rejected, are widely considered to be absurd or pseudoscientific, only of historical interest, or primarily the realm of science fiction, should be documented as such, using reliable sources."

We must document that the claim that dinosaurs (which became extinct around 65 million years ago) had ever coexisted with humans is a false one. It's policy. We have a duty to our readers to acknowledge the facts on these pages which deal with fringe subjects. Auntie E. 22:13, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

Please look at this 2007 article, and more specifically, its poll from the USA Today. According to it, and dozens of other available polls online, 66% of people believe "Creationism, that is, the idea that God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years". If it has been rejected, why do 2/3 of the United States believe it?
The fact is, it disputed. 2/3 of America believe one way (including many scientists; with differing numbers worldwide, some more, some less), and 1/3 of America opposes it (including many scientists). We must present both sides of the argument and not endorse either one. To say Creationism is indentical to a Flat Earth (in both the number of adherents, and evidence) is, to put it colloquially, absurd. American Eagle (talk) 05:02, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Why do 2/3 of the United States believe it? Because they've been deprived of science education in favour of religious fundamentalism since 1925, to a greater or leasser extent. Creationism may indeed be absurd, but it's not to be given equal validity as science, per WP:PSCI. . . dave souza, talk 11:22, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Science, like history and geography, is not established by public opinion polls. I have read a number of news stories about public opinion surveys that reveal surprising ignorance of basic facts of science, history, and geography. If a sizeable percentage of the US public believes that Spain is located in Latin America, should Wikipedia present that as a respectable alternative view? I think not. Plazak (talk) 17:58, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Exactly. I remember seeing an analogy about this: To determine the distance of the Earth from the moon, we can either ask the relevant experts, or take a poll of 1,000 people and use the average. Which would be more accurate? Auntie E. 18:49, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Browse through AnswersInGenesis.org, or listen to Jonathan Park, or read about some of the scientists that formerly were evolutionists, and now believe in Creation. Many, many scientists now agree with Creation. 2/3 of America does. There is loads of evidense for Creation, as well. This is not another case of a Flat Earth; there's more evidence supporting it than you know. You three have a POV that Evolution is fact, but most people (as USA Today's poll indicated) believe Creation is truth. Wikipedia strives for NPOV, and if it is not changed back to a "false claim"-less sentence, I will be seeking higher opinion. American Eagle (talk) 20:27, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
You may as well seek your higher opinion, as you are not likely to change any opinions here. Plazak (talk) 20:31, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
If you check, the Vatican has said many years ago that evolution and the bible are not at odds and that the science behind it is valid. In addition the US seems to be the only country that has people who believe in creationism. I also want to restate what was said above, science is not established by popular opinion and I have not been able to find any valid evidence that would in any way support creationist theory.


Thats what the controversy and criticism sections are for. No need to get filled with rage when the topic of God and creation comes up. Portillo (talk) 10:46, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

"the false claim"

While I agree, this can be said neutrally. One alternative might be "the claim, not accepted by scientists" or "heavily condemned by scientists" or other objectively true wording. Please remember that science changes, so "false" would imply something proven... rather than extremely well supported by evidence.- Sinneed 04:48, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

No such wording should be in here. We don't disparage others' legends and myths, nor do we assume that readers are so dumb that they need be given guidance on what or how to think. Besides, it's either "pointy" or "pointless" -- the article on Hitler does not describe him as a "deranged maniac" nor does it include the word "asshole", no matter what you think of him. Just say he arranged for the murder of six million people, that's bad enough. Similarly, this article should simply describe what's on display in the Creation Museum. Let whoever reads it do the thinking. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 05:27, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
That approach would violate a whole slew of policies. You Hitler analogy is, unsurprisingly, a strawman. It's our policy to document the current consensus of science in any article about a subject which attempts to deny it. Auntie E. 08:09, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Link to that policy is where? Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 08:11, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
See WP:PSCI, WP:GEVAL, WP:FRINGE.
Trouble is, this article is not about a pseudo-scientific theory, it's about a museum. Particularly, if you want to apply WP:GEVAL, this article should not exist at all. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 19:06, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
I can't see anywhere in WP:GEVAL where it says we need to delete articles. According to WP:GEVAL, "we must not take a stand on these issues as encyclopedia writers; but that does not stop us from describing the majority views as such". So we can't say it is false, as that would be taking a stand, but we can say "The museum exhibits are at odds with the determination of the scientific community". --GRuban (talk) 19:19, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
I agree with GRuban's opinion, and endorse the change. American Eagle (talk) 19:46, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
I've implemented a change in accordance with the point GRuban raises, taking care to comply with NPOV requirements including WP:GEVAL and WP:PSCI and making it clear who's saying what. . . dave souza, talk 22:59, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Slight misunderstanding: I am in agreement with these changes. My objection was to the unattributed word "false"; my suggestion for deletion should probably more clearly have included "in this form" or "as it stands." The current version is certainly better and much more neutral. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 23:59, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
It is a false claim. Saying "scientists agree this is false" is the same thing as saying "false" if we are using the scientific consensus as our basis of knowledge. False is shorter and clearer.72.187.99.79 (talk) 19:26, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

It seems to me that scientists should be open minded and if an alternate theory is proposed then it should be scutinized not disguarded as false because you don't agree with it. There is evidence which is hard to dismiss in which dinosaurs do seem to have existed alond side of man. These include but are not limited to ancient drawings and writings (laymans terms). Evolution can't by definition be considered a fact and aging techniques have their critics and by themselves are hard to prove. The facts are that dinosaurs did exist and man does exist. When and how are not provable by either side and anyone who claims they are provable is confusing faith with fact. In other words, you have faith in evolution or you have faith in creation. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 206.176.97.195 (talk) 20:25, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

"Central tenets" of evolution?

I'm going to rephrase this part of the lead as soon as I can think of a succinct way to do so. I'd welcome suggestions in the meantime, but I'm pretty sure it needs changing, especially coming immediately after a sentence talking about the tenets of religions, the context in which the word is usually found. Evolution doesn't have tenets in that sense. Maybe "principal consequences"? I'm not too happy with how that reads (a bit more wishy washy than I'd like, pandering to the "only a theory" crap). I'll give it a bit of thought... Dr Marcus Hill (talk) 09:41, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

Very good point, in the interim have changed it to "scientific findings regarding evolution". If you can think up a better phrasing that will be appreciated. . dave souza, talk 12:25, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
How about "pillars"? It lacks the religious overtones of "tenets", but still gives the impression of being foundational/central. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 12:50, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
Not sure that it's "foundational", Darwin always allowed for "a few" origins rather than universal common descent, and of course other ideas like Lamarck's original formulation incorporated multiple lines of descent. It's firmly established by the evidence to the point where it's the normal explanation, but if it wasn't that would not invalidate evolution. "Pillar" almost suggest a central support or prop, which is misleading. . dave souza, talk 16:22, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
This is my exact quandry. I'm trying to find a succinct phrasing that conveys the two concepts that are needed for the context, namely that common descent is an absolutely central notion in evolution AND that it is a consequence of following the evidence where it leads rather than a presupposition or necessary axiom. I think it's important to convey both these aspects, but it needs to be done without verbosity otherwise the lead starts to read like an argument, which is stylistically undesirable.Dr Marcus Hill (talk) 11:05, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
Now that I come to read it again, I think Dave's phrasing is actually pretty good. On a similar note, though, I think "at odds with the determination of the scientific community " is a little weak. I think I'll go ahead and change that.Dr Marcus Hill (talk) 09:23, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

Deletion

This museum is an utter disgrace to evolution, science, and even religion. It is not deserving of an article on wikipedia — Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.36.148.242 (talk) 21:02, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

You're wrong per WP:NOTCENSORED and WP:NOTABILITY. Besides, from a non-Creationist perspective, shouldn't you want others to be aware that such a thing as the Creation Museum exists? People have publicly protested outside of the Creation Museum when public school buses have unloaded children there, but who would be able to protest it if they didn't know about it? So, I don't see how it is in any way sensible to propose its deletion on grounds that the museum is a disgrace to science or religion. John Shandy`talk 22:44, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

I have to admit that you may have a point. Even if what I'm saying is true, I'm no longer sure if simply being a disgrace is a good enough reason for article deletion. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.36.148.242 (talk) 23:13, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

Cost of the Museum

At first I felt there was undue emphasis on the cost of the museum (as if any similar museum is a cheap undertaking), and on the value of donations some gave. The strong sense I get is that this is a deliberate attempt to discredit the museum by implying that it is all about money. But then I looked up the page on the Smithsonian just for comparison, and there I read that museum requested $797.6 Million from Congress! Since the Kentucky Museum is privately funded and they are asking neither the general public nor the government for funding, how much individuals contribute should not be of concern. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.34.206.90 (talk) 03:12, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

I appreciated that bit because it helped me to understand the size of the undertaking and its backers. -- ke4roh (talk) 01:51, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

Severe bias in the "Date Night" paragraph

On February 11, 2011, a heterosexual Louisville man attempted to enter the museum with his male friend as part of the museum's "date night" event, but was denied entry, as the security guard thought the heterosexual man was gay. Mark Looy, the museum's Communications Director, later said that everyone is welcome at the museum. The group that the two men were part of sought refunds for the $71 total admission fee for the unused tickets—the museum refused to refund them the money, but they invite the group to come back, as long as they do not make a scene.

This paragraph completely ignores the fact that the two men had conspired to disrupt the event by acting "flamboyantly gay," almost completely ignores the Museum's side of the incident, and paints the Museum in a very negative light. 184.7.167.28 (talk) 05:24, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

The two men were denied entry in the first place, so the assumption that they planned to act "flamboyantly gay" to disrupt the event is just that, an assumption. There is no bias here as it just presents the facts: two men were denied entry because the museum made the assumption that they were a gay couple. Even if it does cast the museum in a negative light, it is still noteworthy because it exposes their discrimination. Cadiomals (talk) 05:48, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
Statements from the Museum show that they did not turn away the men because the assumed that they were a gay couple, but that they had a credible source -- one of the men's own words -- warning them that these men were out to disrupt the event by acting "flamboyantly gay." No assumption was needed and the Museum wasn't discriminating against anyone other than egotistical troublemakers. They were protecting their private property and their guests from unwanted disrupters. I'm sorry you are too biased against them to see and admit this. 184.7.167.28 (talk) 17:51, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
I looked at the blog and stand corrected. As long as you have a source to back up your claims. Cadiomals (talk) 19:58, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
Did not notice this before, but blogs are NOT reliable sources. SkepticalRaptor (talk) 19:13, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

Final sentence in lede's first paragraph

The scientific consensus is that the earth is approximately 4.5 billion years old, and that the dinosaurs became extinct 65.5 million years before human beings arose.

Is it actually needed? The statement really has nothing to do with the museum per se and the citation for it makes no mention of the Creation Museum. 67.233.245.93 (talk) 17:57, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

It's there as balance and neutrality of the article. The Creation Museum represents an evolution-denialist POV, and for balance the article must state what the neutral position is, the scientific consensus is that the earth is 4.5 billion years old. It does not have to mention the Creation Museum specifically, since the museum makes claims that are not supported by one tiny bit of evidence. So, now the article is neutral. Good for Wikipedia, good for the casual reader. SkepticalRaptor (talk) 19:11, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
I thought the balance and neutrality was in addressing the article's subjects themselves, not what the subjects' POVs might be. For example, does the article about Ken Ham, which discusses at length his Creationist beliefs, include stating what the "scientific consensus" is? Of course not and it would be silly to add them. It's pretty obvious that your defense of the inclusion is based upon your personal POV against the Museum and Creationism instead of any sort of rational and reasoned thoughts guided by Wikipedia rules. 67.233.245.93 (talk) 20:19, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
Please review WP:NPA, WP:FRINGE, WP:NPOV. Enjoy. SkepticalRaptor (talk) 02:24, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
None of which have anything to do with this issue. You can claim they do until you're blue in the face, but your claim doesn't make it so. In fact, your pointing to WP:FRINGE is rather laughable given the fact that the majority of Americans accept strict Creationism or Creationism along with evolution and it is actually strict, atheistic evolution which is the fringe minority: link. 67.233.244.191 (talk) 04:03, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
Evolution has no religion, and we rely on reliable sources which generally in subjects like this means mainstream academic. It appears that you would be happier somewhere like Conservapedia, as on Wikipedia Creationism is deemed fringe. Dougweller (talk) 06:47, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
Science is always based on evidence, not rhetoric. Stating that a poll of evolution denialist Americans is equivalent to science is rather interesting. The poll is a reliable source for the lack of science education in America. SkepticalRaptor (talk) 07:43, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

That statement is from an 'evolution teaching' spacific document. Why include such things as this by authors that have been laughed out of teaching positions & lost any respect in the futile search for (quote from evolutionist author) 'science's only chance of removing God from the equation, as that would be unimaginable to be truth'? The same testing manner that is used in the mentioned docuemnt has tested 'known' dated items to be that of dates such as: 18,000 years old, 1.6 million years old, ect... - and some of these items were still alive when tests conducted! ha. The entire attempt to undermind any article that is a Christian based article on this 'wiki encyclopedia' is appearant & it is really sad to see people attempting to throw 'evolution' in every chance they can find. lame. 71.170.217.149 (talk) 02:21, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

We write articles based upon reliable sources. Until such time that you can provide reliable sources that show any dates other than 4.5 billion years for the age of the earth, we would be willing to add them to the article. And, as best as I can tell, not one single evolution scientist has been laughed out of a science position in a respectable university, unless, of course, they were trying to promote a creationist point of view, that isn't supported by science. One more thing, you might want to check out WP:NOTAFORUM.SkepticalRaptor (talk) 22:21, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

Undue weight to criticism section?

Let me start by sincerely saying I think this museum is a load of horse-hocky. Its existence does not make me happy. On any discussion forum, I would be happy to rail about it. I am open and honest about this POV, and thus wouldn't be editing this article because I don't think I could be truly objective about it.

However, that being said, I wonder if the size and extent of the criticism section(s) here have grown a little too large. They dwarf many of the other sections about the museum itself. I think tsome serious editing down could be done, or duaghter articles created (though I would question whether wiki really needs a "Criticism of the Creation Museum article".) As much as I personally smile to see all the great criticism of this head-in-the-sand travesty, even I was a little taken aback at how much of the article is focused on negative content concerning the Museum. I have absolutely not problem with criticism of it, given its supreme silliness, but I think we have to hold ourselves in check a bit to maintain NPOV. It's notable to say that there are a lot of individuals and groups that thing this is a foolhardy exercise in delusion. However, I'm not sure that it's needed to go into such detail in an article about the museum (as opposed to an article about the creation/evolution debate).

Can we trim this up a bit? As much as I hate to admit it, I think if some of the YEC crowd were to set down the Jack Chick tracts for 10 minutes and read this, they would make a pretty reasonable argument that there is some POV pushing going on here. At some point, the equine is deceased. 204.65.34.34 (talk) 21:25, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

In years of watching people argue on the internet, whenever one starts a discussion by saying "I am blah blah blah, but….", it usually means that everything prior to the "but" is worthless. Don't bother. The criticism is valid. Anyone who visits this page ought to know that the vast wealth of science stands in direct opposition to whatever Ken Ham is saying, and it is truly a fringe theory. In fact, I'd argue we're giving undue weight to the creationist POV. Let it be, all that will happen will be a huge edit war, people will call each other names, and after a couple of sentences are adjusted, the net result will be the exact same thing. Wikipedia is not about changing minds. It isn't about fixing delusions, we'll leave that to psychiatrists. NPOV is not about "balance", it is about providing information in the exact proportion of weight between what is verified by evidence and what is not. So, every description about what is in the museum requires the reams of evidence to counterbalance it in the appropriate amount of weight that is required to balance a fringe theory. Remove all of the junk science of the creation museum, then you've got about one sentence article. It's kind of boring. That's the basic viewpoint.SkepticalRaptor (talk) 21:33, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
I agre with SkepticalRaptor that the large section on criticism is important because the museum is based on widely discredited premises. The main difference between this article and those for other hairbrained ideas is that this article, to be neutral, has to specifically discredit the claims of the museum, which is distinct from Creationism (and related articles) which addresses a more universal view than the museum's faults. -- 02:09, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

Poll: "Ficticious" in the first sentence?

There has been some editing going on regarding the first sentence this past week, with "fictive", then "ficticious", then no adjective describing the "account of [creation]". The sentence goes on to clarify the opposing viewpoints. Here is one version, for your convenience, from [1].

The Creation Museum is a tourist attraction near Petersburg, Kentucky which presents an account of the origins of the universe, life, and humankind, particularly emphasising a 'creationist' perspective based upon a literalist interpretation of the Book of Genesis, rather than scientific knowledge.

Is it POV to claim that the museum is making stuff up? I'd think not, because scholarly research is very clear on the point, and the Bible, fine book it is, is not a science book of any sort. The museum attempts to present Genesis as science, which makes about as much sense as presenting a seahorse as an angiogram. A poll, then. Should the first sentence describe the account as fictitious (regardless of the synonym used)? -- ke4roh (talk) 01:20, 21 April 2013 (UTC)

No: It is fair to say in the first paragraph (not the first sentence) that the creationist exhibits have no support from, and are contradicted by, modern science. But calling the account "fictitious" says that the museum keepers are liars. I have no reason to believe that they are insincere in their beliefs as represented in the exhibits, or are, in their own minds, "making things up." Also, to call it a "tourist attraction" is belittling pov: the facility is a museum, however much we may disagree with its viewpoint. Plazak (talk) 14:59, 21 April 2013 (UTC)

I'm not sure that a poll is going to be helpful here. Turning this into a dichotomous conflict between denialists and scientists is only going to lead to trench warfare. I suggest we just discuss it logically, as the best Wikipedia talk pages do. The Book of Genesis is, literally, a fiction - a story. It was, inevitably, 'made up', although this does not necessarily detract from its enduring value as a work of literature. But it is a creation myth, rather than a legend. An attempt to portray the events in the Genesis narrative as real is definitively counter-factual and it seems quite reasonable to identify that, neutrally, by pointing out that such an account is itself fictional - i.e., based upon a fiction. As for calling the instalation a tourist attraction, that's the most neutral descriptor I can think of; there surely can't be a 'museum' about something that never happened, never will, and never could. John Snow II (talk) 09:18, 22 April 2013 (UTC)

I'm happy with the suggested change. It should say in the first sentence that it has no scientific support. It is a tourist attraction which is what the lead says at the moment and I don't think anyone can disagree about that, although we may disagree with it being called by Wikipedia a museum. Dougweller (talk) 13:07, 22 April 2013 (UTC)
Rather than "fictional", my suggestion is "unscientific". Fiction implies shared understanding that something is imaginative rather than purely factual, and the place portrays a myth which is apparently fully believed by its proponents. . . dave souza, talk 16:24, 22 April 2013 (UTC)
Dave, a myth is defined as a fictional narrative; this is what distinguishes it from a legend. Identifying the facility as presenting a fictional narrative is, I would argue, accurate. It is not necessarily pejorative, either - it would have to be a memorable myth to have endured this long.John Snow II (talk) 06:34, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
As to the "museum" issue, the Creation Museum is a museum in the common and accepted usage of the term. What are my sources for this usage? Just two examples in the mainstream press coverage are from: Scientific American [2], and the New York Times [3]. Neither of these journals, I think, can be accused of pro-creationist bias. As John Snow II makes clear in his post above, his replacement of "museum" with "tourist attraction" is a reflection of his negative POV toward the Creation Museum; this should be unacceptable. I have linked a couple of WP:RSs for correct usage of the term museum. I can supply more. Are there any WP:RSs that say that this is not a museum? Thanks. Plazak (talk) 01:45, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
Please don't assume bad faith, or 'negative POV', Plazak. I have suggested a number of edits which respect the given title of Museum (capitalised) as the proper noun, while trying to find neutral alternatives to the obviously debatable use of museum as a descriptor. A theme park celebrating a fantasy world-view is not a 'museum in the common and accepted usage of the term', is it? John Snow II (talk) 18:34, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
I cited WP:RSs to document my position. Please prove me wrong by citing yours. Plazak (talk) 18:47, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
John, it seems you're on a crusade - removing chiropractors from "Doctor", removing "museum" from "Creationist museums". The dictionary says: [4] "mu·se·um [myoo-zee-uhm] - a building or place where works of art, scientific specimens, or other objects of permanent value are kept and displayed." The exhibits may not be scientific specimens, but they're at least works of art, and they clearly have value as that at least. So this is not only a Museum, but also a museum. --GRuban (talk) 20:47, 2 May 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────A myth it not defined as a fictional narrative. To quote our article on mythology, "In folkloristics, a myth is a sacred narrative usually explaining how the world or humankind came to be in its present form,[2] although, in a very broad sense, the word can refer to any traditional story.[3] Bruce Lincoln defines myth as "ideology in narrative form".[4] Myths may arise as either truthful depictions or overelaborated accounts of historical events, as allegory for or personification of natural phenomena, or as an explanation of ritual. They are transmitted to convey religious or idealized experience, to establish behavioral models, and to teach." Dougweller (talk) 05:11, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

Hmm, that's an interesting interpretation. The usual dictionary definitions would indeed give the 'overelaborated account of historical events' as a legend, rather than a myth, but you're not actually suggesting that the narrative depicted in Genesis was an actual historical event, are you? Or are you? Either way, the discussion does prove one thing, which is that the term 'museum' is at the very least contentious. When there is avoidable contention as a result of a loaded term, it behoves us to use a neutral one instead if we can. My replacement of several iterations of 'museum' with 'facility' arguably lacked stylistic elegance, I'd be the first to admit, but how about we collaborate to improve upon it, rather than falling into 'for' and 'against' camps?John Snow II (talk) 19:00, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
You appear to be the only one who sees anything wrong with using the word "museum" in this article. As I have documented above, the mainstream media (examples: NY Times and Scientific American) apply the word "museum" here, without finding it "contentious." Despite repeated invitations, you have yet to cite a single source to back up what appears to be your own odd definition. Without some outside source, your definition is, at best, WP:OR and does not belong in a Wikipedia article. Plazak (talk) 22:37, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
Come on Plazak, give us a better argument than "I don't like it" if you want to contest a good faith edit. Thanks. John Snow II (talk) 16:49, 10 May 2013 (UTC)"
He did. There is no "us". It's only you. All our reliable sources that we are supposed to write the article from call it a museum. You're the one who "doesn't like it". --GRuban (talk) 01:49, 12 May 2013 (UTC)
John, you reverted to your version with the comment "let's discuss" but without answering the point that this is the language our sources use, or for that matter otherwise discussing at all. If you keep this up, we will have to ask for administrative action to help. --GRuban (talk) 08:05, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

RfC: "Biblical" or "Mythical" and "museum" or "facility"?

Per a request at WP:ANRFC, this RfC is closed with the consensus to described the Creation Museum as "Biblical" and "museum" in the lead sentence. There is no consensus as to whether "elegant variation" should be used outside the lead. Whether to describe the museum as "unaccredited" is currently being discussed in another RfC. -Nathan Johnson (talk) 14:22, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

This is an attempt to resolve an edit war that has been taking place over the last two months. One side attempts to insert the word "mythical" or "fictitious" into the first sentence and to replace all uses of the word "museum" with "facility" or "tourist attraction"; the other side attempts to revert those changes. --GRuban (talk) 14:20, 30 May 2013 (UTC)

This RfC is very like the section immediately above, #Poll: "Ficticious" in the first sentence?, but unfortunately one side has stopped discussing there. They have kept reverting, however. So I'm hoping making this a more formal RfC will settle the issue one way or the other, when it is formally closed by an admin with the power to enforce whatever decision has been reached. The second part of this edit war, attempting to remove the word "museum", has spread to other creationist museum articles, and I'm hoping this decision will apply there too. --GRuban (talk) 14:26, 30 May 2013 (UTC)
I've posted links to this discussion at four WikiProjects: [5], [6], [7], and [8]. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:33, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
Something that occurs to me, about the wording of the RfC, is that it presents the issue as being one between two "sides". I fully accept that it is a good-faith description of what happened in the edit warring that preceded and prompted the RfC. However, I'll point out that it is possible that editors coming to this RfC with fresh eyes could, perhaps, take a position that agrees in part with one "side", and in part with the other. Of course, your mileage may differ. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:10, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
The bot has now removed the RfC listing, after being open for a month. I've posted a request for an uninvolved administrator to close the RfC, at WP:Administrators' noticeboard/Requests for closure. If editors here want to add anything to what I said there, please do so. --Tryptofish (talk) 16:39, 29 June 2013 (UTC)

Survey

  • Biblical and museum. In writing for the Wikipedia, whatever our personal views, we follow the reliable sources. The sources we have for this article use the words "biblical" and "museum". For example, the New York Times; Sydney Morning Herald; and NPR articles all say "biblical" and "museum". There are good arguments as why these are just better - "biblical" is just more specific: it's not just any myth, it's not the Hindu myth or the Aztec myth or the Norse myth, it is the Biblical creation story - and a museum doesn't have to be scientific, it can be artistic or cultural, as you can see in any museum of art - but in the end the real reason is that this is the language that our sources use, and our personal views aren't more important than those of our sources. --GRuban (talk) 14:36, 30 May 2013 (UTC)
  • RfC comment. I came here from the RfC notice, have otherwise had no involvement with this page, and I just now read the talk section immediately above this one. I have no problem at all with the word "Biblical" here. I think that it's more NPOV to say it that way than to say "mythical" or "fictitious", at least for in the lead section. As for "museum", it's a more complicated question. I think that there's a good case to be made for "tourist attraction" (but not for the rather imprecise "facility"). It's already clear from the page name that we are talking about a museum here, so there is less information for our readers in repeating the word. It's not factually wrong to call it a museum, of course, which is why the word comes up in sources. However, it has more in common with, perhaps, the Museum of Bad Art or the Icelandic Phallological Museum than with museums that are devoted to presenting scholarly knowledge to the public, which is what most prominent museums do. However, there's no good reason to keep using only one word in each case throughout the page, and it's important to bring out the controversies and WP:FRINGE issues. Taking a quick look at the lead section, I'd also like to suggest getting rid of the scare quotes, because here they have the same kind of effects as discussed at WP:ALLEGED. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:50, 30 May 2013 (UTC)
    • Tryptofish's personal TL;DR of the threaded discussion, below: It's clear to me that it's appropriate to call it a "museum", but I've become concerned over resistance of a few other editors to ever calling it anything else. Mainstream, reliable sources, the Los Angeles Times and USA Today, also call it a "tourist attraction" (hardly a nasty pejorative!). The subject of this page unambiguously falls under WP:FRINGE, and our coverage of it needs to comply with that. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:20, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
    • And given that TL;DR, I want to make sure that whoever closes the RfC sees these: [9], [10], and [11]. I also urge whoever closes it to consider, in relation to WP:NOTAVOTE, the extent to which each survey comment supporting the word "museum" has or has not addressed the question of whether other terms should or should not be used along with "museum". --Tryptofish (talk) 18:47, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Biblical, for sure; prefer museum, but can live with tourist attraction; oppose facility Full disclosure: I'm a creationist, but that doesn't mean I don't strive for neutrality and best practice in Wikipedia articles. This case reminds me of a long-running debate I had at Talk:Confederate government of Kentucky over whether to refer to that irregular government as "provisional" or "shadow". Some people thought "provisional" made it sound more legitimate than it was; others thought "shadow" was pejorative and degraded the work of some folks with sincerely held beliefs. (The government was legitimate enough for Kentucky to be admitted to the Confederacy.) Anyway, the point is that, in the face of passionate and conflicting views, the only means of resolving the issue was to go with what the reliable sources use. In that case, the sources used both, but provisional was used more often, so we tried to split the usage of both terms in about the same proportion in the article. In this case, despite repeated requests for reliable sources using terms other than "biblical" and "museum", none have been produced. In the absence of those, I feel Wikipedia guidelines compel us to use the terms "biblical" and "museum". As mentioned above, it's not like they are fringe, right-wing publications.
Additionally, I agree with the above commenter that "myth" is over-general. "Biblical myth" would be preferable, although the use of "myth" in general makes me cringe as a fundamentalist. There are some Christians who subscribe to theistic evolution and such, but the creation account portrayed at the Creation Museum is still distinctly biblical (as in, originating from the Bible). "Fictional" – from the above discussion – is far too inflammatory; there's no reason to use it if we can avoid it. The scientific dissent is obvious, both from the lead and from the controversy section.
Also, as someone who has been to the Creation Museum, I think it is fair to call it both a museum and a tourist attraction. Again, I think "museum" is more widely used, is defensibly accurate, and is preferable, but if "tourist attraction" is needed to keep the peace, so be it. "Facility" is needlessly generic and, as the editor who originally added it has conceded, inarticulate. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 14:00, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Biblical and Museum - I'm not sure how "Biblical" is in question at all. Per the definition of "Museum" it should be called a museum. The definition states "a building or place where works of art, scientific specimens, or other objects of permanent value are kept and displayed." http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/museum.  Missing or empty |title= (help) (which is verbatim what the Museum article says. I don't see reason why the Creation Museum doesn't fit this description. ReformedArsenal (talk) 15:46, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Biblical and Museum - The 'Biblical' part seems pretty obvious - that's the source of the material presented at the Creation Museum. As a long-time editor of Christian articles (though I'm not a Young Earth Creationist), I cannot think of any other article on Christian doctrine or a Christian organization where the belief(s) at hand are referred to as 'myth'. Understanding the debate, using 'myth' is somewhat offensive to those who actually support this particular institution. 'Museum' also seems to work, as well, since the actual place refers to itself as a 'museum' and since the definition (as noted above) fits. Using a wikipedia page as a proxy war for the battle between Young Earth Creationism and Atheistic Creation seems to be contrary to the purpose of Wikipedia. In general, using the generally approved terms of the subject of the article is the standard followed at WP.--Lyonscc (talk) 02:23, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Biblical and Museum - "Museum" is the standard usage in the mainstream media, as documented by a number of sources. "Museum" is more specific than either "facility" or "tourist attraction" (all museums open to the public are tourist attractions, or hope to be). "Biblical" is more precise, descriptive, and NPOV than "mythical," and each reader brings his or her prior judgement to the term anyway. Plazak (talk) 03:39, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
  • It clearly is a tourist attraction, and a facility, even Ken Ham describes it as a facility. It's arguable that it's not a museum at all; but I don't have a problem with limited use of the word 'museum' and it's perfectly ok capitalised as 'Creation Museum' because that's the name. But it is an unaccredited museum, which does raise the question as to whether it really is a museum. It's better to use inarguable terminology as much as possible in articles, that means facility and tourist attraction and similar terminology.GliderMaven (talk) 03:11, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Biblical and Museum is fine. "Museum" itself is a pagan term, named for an Ancient Greek myth, the Muses. "Biblical" is merely descriptive. Abductive (reasoning) 22:36, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Biblical and Museum - I don't think accreditation is relevant at all - museums are not universities. StAnselm (talk) 02:04, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Random House defines a museum as "a building or place where works of art, scientific specimens, or other objects of permanent value are kept and displayed."[12] The "Creation Museum" displays none of these things, and even if it did, it would not be its primary activity. Certainly since they call themselves a "museum", one can probably find newspaper articles about them that call them that, but we would need to show that it is normally considered to be a museum before calling it that. TFD (talk) 01:22, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Biblical and Museum and non-accredited anyone with anti-creationist views stronger than mine had better see a shrink and maybe I should too, but that is not the point here; I am here for the err... oh yes, RFC. We are supposed to be making edifying information available in a constructive and civilised manner, not nailing the skins of dissidents to the barn door. (What? "Making edifying information available in a constructive and civilised manner" isn't one of the WP Pillars?" Hush ma mouf! So we should avoid doing that too, should we...?) As a matter of good sense and good faith to ourselves and our readers, whether our views, religious or otherwise, are Abrahamic, atheistic, Buddhist, Enteric, latterday, Mandaean, Olympian, or Zoroastrian, we can't get righter than right or honester than honest. To attempt to do so is not a mark of zeal, but of betrayal of the cause to the other side, namely the wrongers and liars. (Can anyone remember why we didn't like those? There was a reason, I am sure...) SO: Could one classify the organisation in question as being biblical in some reasonable sense? (It is logically impossible to be biblical in every sense, please note.) Yes certainly; unless someone demands that it be mentioned in the sermon on the mount or the commandments before it counts as biblical, mentioning that it is biblical or that the relevant organisation proclaims it to be biblical is quite reasonable. Most of those who would forbid the term shouldn't be regarding such classification as complimentary anyway, so what is the point of arguing? Is it a museum? It walks like a duck, quacks and quacks and quacks like a duck... Is it "accredited"? Actually it took me a while to find out what this mystical accreditation was all about, but I tracked it down. Now, it seems that this accreditation is widely seen as a Good Thing for a museum, right? Like an Oscar for an actress? Then mentioning it would be relevant, and mentioning that it has not been accredited mutatis mutandis would also be relevant, making those silly blighters at the accreditation office shuffle and blush and mumble and hurry up with their accreditation, right? All it should take to mention it to everyone's satisfaction should be a sentence or two in the right context and terms to make it as encyclopaedic as the rest of the text. If we cannot manage that, then what are we doing here in the first place? Gotta go. Gimme my skinning knife, nails and hammer. There is a new barn down the road... JonRichfield (talk) 14:39, 17 June 2013 (UTC)
Except that we don't generally report on actresses not winning Oscars... StAnselm (talk) 19:18, 18 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Biblical and Museum. Top-tier sources use those terms and we should too. Niteshift36 (talk) 01:49, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Biblical and museum. I am a non-creationist Christian, but I respect that reliable sources have no problem using the words "Biblical" and "museum" in describing the article's subject. They have made the decision for us and we should follow it. Andrew327 22:23, 22 June 2013 (UTC)

Threaded Discussion

Comment originally made in response mainly to Plazak's survey comment above, and subsequently moved here. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:40, 4 June 2013 (UTC) As I indicated in my comment above, I don't have a problem with "museum", but I want to point out that there are different nuances to "museum" versus "tourist attraction". Of course it's true that museums that are open to the public are open to tourists. But museums typically have scholarly substance, whereas tourist attractions typically cater to popular tastes (one can also do both of these things, as they are not mutually exclusive). Here, the bulk of mainstream sources call into question the scholarly substance. Therefore, it is not unreasonable for us to say "museum" some of the time, and "tourist attraction" some of the time on this page. I worry that the !voting formatted as "Biblical and Museum" in bold is leading to the view that this page must settle on a single word for each, and use only that single word throughout the page, and that seems to me to be needlessly inflexible and counterproductive. --Tryptofish (talk) 00:05, 4 June 2013 (UTC)
While I understand your concern and having read the article in more depth, it seems that this article is becoming (or has become) a coatrack for the debate of "Creation vs. Evolution", particularly Young Earth Creationism (the viewpoint of the museum's curators) versus other theistic and atheistic creation views. In this particular case, labeling it a "tourist attraction" is probably somewhat NPOV, particularly when the justification is that "museums typically have scholarly substance". While I disagree with their viewpoint, tagging it as "lacking scholarly substance" is probably too harsh, as "scholarly substance" in this case is only considering scientific scholarship and not theological scholarship - both of which are "scholarly" disciplines. At the very least, it *seems* like the desire to label it a "tourist attraction" is a byproduct of the coatrack issue, and the desire to insert the POV that the viewpoint of the curators is invalid. As such, "museum" is still probably the better choice.--Lyonscc (talk) 01:00, 4 June 2013 (UTC)
Please note that I never said that the page should actually say, in Wikipedia's voice, that the museum is "lacking in scholarly substance". All I'm saying is that it is reasonable to use the phrase "tourist attraction" some of the time, and the word "museum" some of the time. And I really do not accept that mainstream theological scholarship argues for what this museum presents in its exhibits. It now seems to me that any insistence that the page stick exclusively to the use of the word "museum" may actually reflect a POV. --Tryptofish (talk) 01:30, 4 June 2013 (UTC)
I did understand that you weren't literally saying that the article should state that the museum is "lacking in scholarly substance", I was simply noting that your rationale was, by definition, NPOV. I'm simply saying that they've chosen to call their enterprise a "museum", and thus it only makes sense to call it one, since it does meet the minimal English definition (which does not include "of scholarly substance" - "A building in which objects of historical, scientific, artistic, or cultural interest are stored and exhibited." - and in this case, it can be easily argued that it is "of cultural significance", insofar as it is culturally significant to at least one major Christian subculture). For example, the article on Ripley's Believe It or Not! uses the word "museum" to describe Ripley's attractions around the world, even though it would be pretty hard to argue that the Ripley attractions are "of scholarly substance", and are explicitly sideshow tourist attractions. Or the article on the Museum of Jurassic Technology, which could hardly be considered "of scholarly substance", yet which is consistently described throughout as a "museum". Let it be called what its exhibitors have chosen to call it, since it meets the minimal definition.--Lyonscc (talk) 10:29, 4 June 2013 (UTC)
I'm guessing that you actually meant that you feel my rationale was POV, but I'm always happy to have my positions recognized as NPOV (neutral point of view). And I, in turn, agree with you to the extent that we both are in favor of the word "museum". Where we differ is that I recommend using the word "museum" some of the time and the phrase "tourist attraction" some of the time, whereas you appear to be arguing that we should use the word "museum" exclusively. The two museums to which you linked, like the two that I linked in my survey comment, treat their content with a sense of humor, as opposed to treating creationism as full-on fact with utter seriousness. Our guideline on WP:Fringe theories specifically identifies creation science here as something that Wikipedia ought to cover, but ought to identify as pseudoscience. Merely saying, some of the time, that this museum is also a tourist attraction is a very mild, very gentle, indication of what it is, far gentler and milder than actually calling it pseudoscience. And that's all that I'm arguing for in response to this RfC, with respect to what I think should appear on this page. On the other hand, arguing that we must never use the phrase "tourist attraction" because (1) the dictionary definition of "museum" correctly applies (the dictionary definition of "tourist attraction" does too), and (2) because the operators of the museum use the word "museum", means that we would be adopting the non-neutral POV of the operators of the museum. And given that their POV falls afoul of WP:FRINGE, that's a POV that we should not adopt. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:11, 4 June 2013 (UTC)
Unless you have some scholarly theological articles that state that argue against this, or state that mainstream theological scholarship does not argue for this position, then that statement doesn't belong in the article. The word "museum" is in the title or the organization, it fits the description of what a museum is, and in every WP:RS I've seen that references it they use museum... it seems pretty cut and dry to me. ReformedArsenal (talk) 10:17, 4 June 2013 (UTC)
If you reread what I said, you will see that I was not arguing that that statement should go in the article, so we don't need to argue the merits of that. All I am saying (as a previously uninvolved editor who responded to the RfC) is that it's appropriate to use the phrase "tourist attraction" some of the time, while also using the word "museum" some of the time. A quick search led me to articles in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today that each use the phrase "tourist attraction" to describe the place, so there is clearly some mainstream reliable sourcing for the phrase. Wikipedia's Arbitration Committee ruled here that "Theories which, while purporting to be scientific, are obviously bogus, may be so labeled and categorized as such", and that "Theories which have a following, such as astrology, but which are generally considered pseudoscience by the scientific community may properly contain that information and may be categorized as pseudoscience." And I'm not even saying that. I'm just saying "tourist attraction", just some of the time, in accord with the LA Times and USA Today. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:28, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

Even though "Creation Science" is treated as fringe, the main point of the article is that it is still notable, even if it would be categorized by scientists as "fringe", simply because it *is* such a widespread belief. I would recommend, though, that - in terms of tone and NPOV - we treat the subject of the article as one of theology, rather than of geology. In such cases, it is considered NPOV to use the terminology used by the subjects of the article in question. As such, "tourist attraction" would bear an obvious non-neutral bias against the article's substance. The article, itself, is not supposed to be about "Creation vs. Evolution" - or even be a WP:COATRACK for its exploration. Rather, it is supposed to be about a physical entity that is, in its own right, a museum that explores one particularly theological interpretation of Creation. Whether or not it takes its subject matter seriously or not is of no consequence. For example, the article for the Mormon Church History Museum does not make commentary on the beliefs of the Mormon church, even though much of that museum makes the assumption in the full truth of Mormon history.--Lyonscc (talk) 17:01, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

I fully agree with you that this page subject passes WP:N, and no one in this RfC is arguing for page deletion. I followed with great interest your very apt link to the Mormon museum. I assume (but please correct me if I'm wrong) that there is little or no mainstream, reliable source material concerning controversies specifically about that museum, as opposed to controversies about that particular faith. Here, we have source material about controversies over this museum itself. You've stated a couple of times in this discussion that you have concerns about WP:COATRACK. For the narrow purposes of this RfC, the main unresolved question (given, so far, unanimous agreement over the word "Biblical"), is whether or not to allow the phrase "tourist attraction" in addition to the word "museum". The problem with treating the museum as something that Wikipedia would characterize, in Wikipedia's own words, as a theological museum is that doing so is actually to engage in just the kind of coatracking to which you would object, because doing so adopts a non-neutral POV. Not only is there a large quantity of mainstream and reliable source material about theology in which the theology does not treat Genesis as literal truth, but there is a great deal of mainstream and reliable source material that discusses this museum in terms other than the theological. We have source material that assesses the museum in scientific and other terms, and it would be pure coatrack to generate a page that selectively omits all of that source material. Just above, I've provided sources from the LA Times and USA Today in which the phrase "tourist attraction" is used, neutrally, along with the word "museum". And "tourist attraction" is hardly a harsh term, after all! It's not like calling it by some insulting name, just a phrase that follows the mainstream, reliable source material in noting some differences between this museum and some other museums. I'm afraid that insistence against this phrase ends up being a violation of WP:NPOV. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:10, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
Wow - that's convoluted logic (logic, I would note, could just as easily be said of your stated POV). I don't know who asked for the RfC, but it seems pretty obvious everyone agrees the term "museum" is, at some level, acceptable, but disagreement on the POV related to "tourist attraction" (which the proprietors of the establishment would likely consider offensive). While it specifically deals with biographies of living persons (my primary editing interest), the basic of gist of WP:DO NO HARM seems to apply in this case, where we have a choice between a non-offensive term everyone can agree is basically accurate and a term that some would find offensive. It seems the only import I can gather from the desire of some to use "tourist attraction" is for the purpose of POV-pushing a particular view of the subject of the article. As you've rather clearly stated, the reason you want "tourist attraction" more than "museum" is because (in your opinion), the word "museum" grants some level of legitimacy to the subject of the article. This is part of why I bring up WP:COATRACK - because this is just one facet of POV-pushing against a particular view of Creation - one I disagree with (in terms of its literalist view), but nonetheless think should be treated fairly in a neutral manner. It is both neutral and fair to present - apart from specific criticism sections - the basic mission and description of an enterprise in a manner that it would say "yes, that is what we are about".
(Side note, nothing to do with "tourist attraction" vs. "museum") The reason I brought up the Mormon museum is because there is actually quite a bit of reliably-sourced material critical of Mormonism included in other WP articles, but not rehashed in the Mormon museum article. Conversely, the article on the Creation Museum is predominantly criticism and condescension. Two of the three paragraphs in the lede are criticism, primarily against the literal ("young earth") Creationist interpretation espoused by the museum's curators - a distilled rehash of parts of the Creation–evolution controversy article. The rest of the article is no better. It's not about the "reliable sources", but rather arguing about the subject of the museum and not so much the museum, itself. A good deal of the criticism is valid and reliably sourced, you've got no argument from me on that. My only observation is that it belongs in the Creation–evolution controversy article, and not so much in this article.--Lyonscc (talk) 04:03, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
Wow, just wow. I came to this page from the RfC notice, thinking that I would make a reply and that would be that. But now it's going to stay on my watchlist. My stated POV?? Disagreeing with your rigid insistence on excluding a simple phrase used repeatedly by mainstream sources isn't a POV, except to the extent that I am arguing for neutrality in the face of what is, from you, becoming a clearly one-sided POV. You are acting like "tourist attraction" is some kind of vicious, insulting epithet. Poor Disney World! --Tryptofish (talk) 17:33, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps a compromise would be to include in the controversy section any WP:RS backed statements that call the "museum" status into question. ReformedArsenal (talk) 10:48, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
There are no WP:RS backed statements that call the "museum" status into question. The only controversy is from a few Wikipedia editors who decided to go and have a controversy. Every one of our Wikipedia:Reliable sources calls it a museum. They don't all, as properly noted, only call it a museum, some of them use elegant variation, to call it a museum, and a tourist attraction ,and a facility, and a whatever as well, but not a single newspaper, magazine, television program, or book, has ever said it is not a museum. --GRuban (talk) 14:34, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
Although I support "museum" as the primary descriptor, I have no objection to mixing in the label "tourist attraction" after the lead sentence. My original objection in this matter was to the exclusion of the term "museum" by one editor, because of his own unsupported definition of "museum" and his negative view of the contents of this one; which I saw as violation of NPOV. As noted above, some mainstream news publications use "tourist attraction" in addition to "museum," and I see nothing wrong with that. Plazak (talk) 15:32, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I think that's a very reasonable position to take. Thank you, and I agree with you. --Tryptofish (talk) 17:27, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
Since it's unaccredited, I think we should greatly minimise the use of the term 'museum'. The purpose of calling something a 'museum' is usually intended to imply quality, but in view of the pseudoscience nature and the lack of accreditation I think we should mostly try to avoid that here, but it is clearly somewhat loosely called that by quite a few sources. Basically phraseology is up to us the editors, but we should try very hard to avoid spinning the terminology something as something it isn't, which I don't think 'facility' or 'attraction' does at all, but we should also avoid using spins that others have placed on it, provided we don't go outside the references.GliderMaven (talk) 03:25, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
The purpose of calling something a museum is not at all to imply quality, it's simply an accurate descriptor of its purpose. I cited the dictionary above; here, from our article, it's "an institution that cares for (conserves) a collection of artifacts and other objects of scientific, artistic, cultural, or historical importance and makes them available for public viewing" - the word "quality" is neither stated nor implied. Calling a "facility" or "tourist attraction" doesn't describe it well enough, there are plenty of "facilities" or "tourist attractions" that don't preserve collections of articles. Of course the owners think the exhibits have great scientific value, but we don't have to decide whether they're right or not, merely that they certainly have cultural value. For an example of a museum that makes no claim to "quality", see the Museum of Bad Art from my neck of the woods. Similarly, that conserves articles it considers of cultural importance, but it comes right out to say that they're of "low quality" in its title. You'll notice that or article on it is a Wikipedia:Featured article and it refers to the Museum of Bad Art as a museum in almost 100 places, never as a "facility" or "tourist attraction".--GRuban (talk) 03:43, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for commenting, Glider Maven. In response, I can only write that even the accreditation list you cite still refers to unaccredited museums as museums, so I'm not sure where the "question as to whether it really is a museum" comes from; it seems to be only from our editors' personal views. The American Association of Museums accredits only about 10% of the 17,500 American museums, but it still calls them all museums, it doesn't claim accreditation is a requirement for the title.[13] --GRuban (talk) 03:43, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

I don't think you quite understand. Although not all museums may be accredited, the fact that it isn't accredited and the nature of the attraction does raise the question of whether it truly is a museum. Just because Ken Ham refers to it as a museum doesn't actually make it a museum. And clearly it's highly unlikely that this facility will ever be accredited. Meeting the dictionary definition of something doesn't make it that. Dictionary definitions are descriptive, whereas encyclopedias are stipulative. We require a stipulative definition. If we say that it actually is a museum, we really require a reliable source with no vested interest that proves that it's a proper museum, or at the very least it should be described as such and we should have no reason to doubt it. But here there is doubt, and there is no such reliable source, the reliable source would be something like the the AAM, and they haven't accredited it. I would be very, very surprised if the 'Creation Museum' meets their standards about how exhibits are displayed.
Note, I'm not saying that they're not a museum, only that there are serious concerns and that we don't actually have to state it, so we should not do so. We can say that they claim they are, and we can point out that they are not accredited and refer to them maximally neutrally.GliderMaven (talk) 04:30, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
GliderMaven, I'm glad to see that I'm not the only editor who has reservations about uncritical use of the word "museum". GRuban, I see your reference to the Museum of Bad Art; please note how I also referred to it, in my response in the survey section of the RfC. This most recent exchange points out vividly why I have been arguing why we need to recognize that simply insisting on the use of the word "museum" to the exclusion of any alternative term is problematic. The fact that this museum is unaccredited, but the source about its lack of accreditation still employs the word museum to describe it, is very telling. Unambiguously, it is a museum, and I disagree with GliderMaven in that I'm perfectly comfortable having us call it that, even in a majority of the references to it on the page. But there are different kinds of museums, and the rigid insistence of some editors that calling it by the very mild term "tourist attraction" – not a POV or derogatory term (the way that, for example, "carnival sideshow" would be), and one that is used by such mainstream reliable sources as the LA Times and USA Today – is something that we must expunge from the page, pretends that such differences do not exist. Of course, the proprietors of the museum would like to pretend that, but we cannot place their POV above the breadth of reliable source material any more than the page on Osama Bin Laden should only describe him in terms that he would have used to describe himself. (Before anyone starts complaining, I'm not equating him with them.) Bottom line: proper, NPOV, encyclopedic style should utilize a variety of terminology to capture what the reliable sources say: "museum", "unaccredited museum", "tourist attraction", and so forth. Multiple editors in this discussion have now agreed that this approach is reasonable. The partisans on each side who won't come to middle ground really ought to drop the stick. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:08, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
The problem I have with "tourist attraction" is not related to it's connotation as "not a museum" or "non-academic" or anything like that. The term simply is too broad. It would encompass stadiums, amusement parks, art galleries, monuments, flower gardens, landmarks, etc. It is called a museum because of its function, not to indicate the quality by which it does its function. Museums by definition are tourist attractions, so this would be akin to going into an article about a particular breed of dog and insisting that because sometimes WP:RS refer to the breed with the generic term, that we also should refer to it in the generic term some of the time... Also, your references to the LA Times and USA Today are dubious at best... the LA Times one is an unsigned editorial with a clear bias against the museum, and the USA Today article is unsigned and in the travel section and the term in question only appears in a caption to a photo. The first is definitely not WP:N nor is it WP:RS... the second is definitely not WP:N and very likely not WP:RS ReformedArsenal (talk) 10:24, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
About connotations, I'm glad, at least, that you agree that "tourist attraction" is not an insult, since it isn't. And I agree with you that it's a broad term. But "museum" is a broad characterization, as well, and this museum is not a typical one. Actually, I cannot imagine a discussion at the talk page about, for example, beagles, in which there were arguments like the ones here over whether or not to say that they are also dogs. Hardly sounds like a difficult argument, does it? But here, the broad term "museum", while applicable, fails to convey all of the necessary nuance – as would never calling the place a museum, and only calling it a tourist attraction. And you can't have it both ways: on the one hand, you agree that "[m]useums by definition are tourist attractions", but on the other hand, you claim that the LA Times has "a clear bias against the museum" because it calls it a tourist attraction. Are you arguing that the LA Times is out of the mainstream of sources, that it is a WP:FRINGE source?
I don't think that you really understand WP:N and WP:RS. WP:N applies to Wikipedia articles, not to the sources that our articles cite. WP:RS does apply, but there is no question that these two major newspapers are reliable sources, as defined there. What I think you may be trying to argue is that they are not reliable for the specific purpose of deciding whether to use, as they both do, the words "tourist attraction" in addition to the word "museum". Yes, the LA Times piece is an unsigned editorial. There's nothing sinister about it being unsigned. That simply means that the views are those of the editorial board, the editorial board of a major mainstream newspaper. And why is it a problem if the USA Today piece is from the Travel section? Isn't that where one would find coverage of something to which people (tourists!) would travel? Yes, "tourist attraction" appears in a photo caption. Isn't that consistent with us using the term some of the time, as opposed to all of the time or none of the time? --Tryptofish (talk) 21:09, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
I'm not saying that the LA Times has a bias against the museum because it calls it a tourist attraction... I'm saying it has a clear bias against the museum because of the content of the editorial. They clearly are attacking and undercutting the museum, which is fine for an editorial, but does not have a place on Wikipedia. I'm not at all arguing that the LA Times is not a mainstream source, I'm arguing that Editorials are not a valid WP:RS according to WP:NEWSORG which says "Editorial commentary, analysis and opinion pieces, whether written by the editors of the publication (editorials) or outside authors (op-eds) are reliable primary sources for statements attributed to that editor or author, but are rarely reliable for statements of fact." ReformedArsenal (talk) 11:26, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, I meant WP:NPOV. As I said above, the LA Times is definitely WP:RS... but the editorial section is not. As far as it being an unsigned article, what makes an unsigned article problematic in terms of WP:RS is that we have no idea who is making the statement. It could range anywhere from the head of the AAM to Joe who lives in LA. Since WP:NEWSORG specifically says that Editorials are generally not WP:RS and the first thing that should be done to identify if a particular article is WP:RS is to identify the article... it seems like an unsigned editorial would be prima facia out of bounds. The problem with it being from the Travel section is that the travel section is not making an analysis of the Museum's validity, rather it is making an assessment of its tourism value. Even if they were making an assertion of the Museum's validity, they would still be inclined to call it a tourist attraction. Furthermore, it is again unsigned, and the phrase appears in a caption of a photo (which was probably added by the page formatter, not the author of the article). As above, an unsigned article is dubious not because of any sinister reasons, but because we cannot assess the expertise or neutrality of the author. An article written by a conservative Christian working for USA Today (or in this case the AP) would be biased in a different way than an article written by the Science Adviser of USA Today. An article written by the head of the Arts and Culture department would be better positioned to judge the validity of the museum than the Sports writer. We simply don't have the information needed to assess the source. ReformedArsenal (talk) 11:26, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
I really think you need to drop it. As for editorial bias, the "statement of fact" we are dealing with here is that the museum is also a tourist attraction. It's downright ridiculous to claim that an unbiased newspaper editor would claim that this place does not attract tourists. If the editorial board of a major mainstream newspaper considers it appropriate to describe this museum as a tourist attraction, then we have reliably sourced that calling it a tourist attraction is within mainstream opinion, not something that is an atypical or outlandish view. Yes, they are also finding serious fault with this museum, as any mainstream reliable source will do, because the museum is WP:FRINGE, but that doesn't make it an NPOV violation if we take from them that the museum is also a tourist attraction. If someone here were arguing that we should quote them in the lead sentence as calling the subject of the page "Yabba-dabba science", then that would be an NPOV violation, but all we are considering here is calling them a "tourist attraction". (Oh, the horror!) It being unsigned does not mean that some kind of nutcase wrote the editorial. It means that someone on the editorial board of a major, mainstream, respected newspaper wrote it, no matter how hard you try to cast aspersions on it. If it were written by a staff member who was not, on the face of it, qualified or non-neutral, then it would have been signed, as a minority view within the editorial board. It's a tortured argument that a Travel section editor, who would have reviewed any photo caption, would be unable to assess the appropriateness of calling it a tourist attraction.
But here's what really does violate WP:NPOV: insisting that the only sources that we should consider are those that are sympathetic to a WP:FRINGE subject, when the majority of mainstream sources consider the subject to be fringe. And, insisting that "museum" is the only word we should use, because even such a mild phrase as "tourist attraction" might lead our readers to recognize that our sources regard the subject as fringe. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:15, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
According to your logic we should be using the term Tourist Attraction for the Smithsonian and the Louvre... If anyone needs to drop it, it is the person who has no consensus behind him. ReformedArsenal (talk) 22:30, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
Agreed. I really don't have a dog in this fight, but where I typically fall in a discussion is when it seems that one side has an axe to grind, I take a rather skeptical view of the arguments presented. In this case, the stated argument is "we really should use 'museum' along with other terms, like 'tourist attraction, simply for the sake of keeping the prose interesting." The rather obvious, somewhat unstated, argument is "these guys are quacks and we need to make sure that the article doesn't give the slightest whiff of legitimacy to this crazy enterprise. We need to make sure that people don't think this is really a 'museum'". While I do severely disagree with the theological arguments (and methods) of Ken Ham and company, I can see no reason to give the article a POV-push to (even subtly) delegitimize the subject of the article.
So, perhaps the best question to ask here is "Why?". Why is it necessary to use terms apart from "museum" (which is used by every WP:RS referring to the subject of the article)? Why does it need to be called a "tourist attraction" (a term w/o editor agreement) when "museum" (a term everyone has agreed it, even if only barely, acceptable)? What is the burning need here for a variety in terms?--Lyonscc (talk) 01:42, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
Maybe I should start by pointing out that I do realize that some other users, not me, have come to this page with an agenda of changing every occurrence of the word "museum" to either "tourist attraction" or "facility", and I actually agree with both of you that that would be POV-pushing to portray the subject negatively. I'm against that, and it's not what I'm arguing for here. So it's probably helpful to recognize that, just because there has been a push to use the phrase "tourist attraction" in a manner that is hostile to the subject, not every editor who endorses that phrase has that agenda. It's not, on the face of it, an insulting thing to say! OK?
No consensus behind me? At this point, it seems like it's the two of you who are refusing to compromise, whereas multiple other RfC respondents have expressed a willingness to include the phrase "tourist attraction" in addition to the word "museum". WP:CONSENSUS is determined by the validity of the argument, and I've shot down the reasoning behind every one of your objections. The Smithsonian and the Louvre are tourist attractions! And they also are museums! But they are museums founded on principles that are in the mainstream of our source material, whereas the Creation Museum is a WP:FRINGE subject. As I've explained repeatedly, using the phrase "tourist attraction" here, a phrase that is well-sourced to mainstream reliable sources, conveys the nuance that this museum is not the same kind of museum as the Smithsonian or the Louvre. If you think that I've said that because I want to make "the prose interesting", or if you think that I'm saying that it is not "really a 'museum'", then you aren't listening. Yes, it's a museum, and we should call it a museum. But if that's all we call it, then we are legitimizing a topic that falls under WP:FRINGE as being not-fringe. The two of you are clearly pushing the POV that it's a museum like any other museum, and that's a fringe POV. Do I have an axe to grind? I came here from the RfC notice, and I'm insisting that we apply WP:NPOV.
It's true that, at this point, I'm just going around in circles with the two of you. We can extend the RfC discussion if editors would like to get input from more Wikipedians. We can list the RfC under more topic areas. If you would like to invite more editors with interests in the subject matter, there are WP:WikiProject Museums, WP:WikiProject Creationism, WP:WikiProject Christianity, and WP:WikiProject Evolutionary biology. If you are concerned about the sourcing, there is WP:RSN. If you are concerned about neutrality, there is WP:NPOVN. If you are concerned about whether we should treat the subject as "fringe", there is WP:FTN. And if you think that you are right and I am wrong, there is WP:DRN. I would welcome more editor eyes on this discussion. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:56, 11 June 2013 (UTC)

Well, it does seem we're getting somewhere, now that you seem acknowledge that the purpose of using "tourist attraction", in part, is to demonstrate that it is NOT a museum like any other institution that has chosen the word 'museum'. Now, we're at least seeing the POV being pushed. Is there a burning need to treat this differently than every other museum listed in Wikipedia (most of which are "unaccredited" - a complete red herring)? The real question is: Why must we use a word to describe the institution apart from the one generally used to describe it? To this point, the only answer given is one that pushes a specific POV (i.e. "it should not be treated like a 'serious' museum".) By Wikipedia's standards, that doesn't hold water. So, again - what is the burning need to use a term other than 'museum' to describe this particular museum? Why is it even worth arguing for an exception to the norm?--Lyonscc (talk) 21:18, 11 June 2013 (UTC)

(Sounds like you're not that enthusiastic about inviting more editors to the discussion.) You think that I just now "acknowledged" that? It's what I've been saying from my very first comment in this RfC. That's pushing NPOV, not POV pushing. This is a subject covered by WP:FRINGE. Most museums are not covered by WP:FRINGE. So the "norm" to which you refer does not apply. The phrase you dispute is used by mainstream reliable sources, not at all at odds with how the museum is generally described. You seem to be arguing that this particular WP:FRINGE topic should be treated by Wikipedia as though it is just like any of the other museums that are not subject to WP:FRINGE. That's the actual POV pushing. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:08, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
Er ... what? I've looked up the definition of museum in dictionaries, and in our article Museum, and none of them say anything about "not covered by WP:FRINGE". Here's the Merriam-Webster definition, for example [14] :"an institution devoted to the procurement, care, study, and display of objects of lasting interest or value; also : a place where objects are exhibited". Now I'm sure you don't think the Biblical creation story is of any value, but it's at least clearly of lasting interest, for thousands of years now. It looks like you made up your own definition of museum, and then decided that this one doesn't meet it. --GRuban (talk) 06:55, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
Not at all. It would be strange indeed if we were to write on every page about biology, chemistry, and physics, that they are "not fringe". That's generally the default assumption, not needing to be spelled out. On the other hand, even though its advocates are adamant that it's a real science, they don't get to decide that our page on astrology is exempt from WP:FRINGE. As for our pages on science, so too for our pages on museums. Unless you have acquired marvelous mind-reading abilities, please don't assume that I "don't think the Biblical creation story is of any value". I wouldn't be making these arguments about a museum showing Biblical scholarship or archeology. And I didn't make anything up. I've provided sourcing from the LA Times and USA Today. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:06, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
Also, I want to repeat: I disagree with those users who were edit warring to replace every occurrence of the word "museum" with something else. I'm not them. I can understand how their edits would be troubling. But this is not an issue in which there are only the two diametrically opposed positions. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:52, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
Thank you, Tryptofish. I appreciate you've provided sources, but I don't see why you think they support the "not a museum" argument. In fact, both the LA Times editorial and the USA Today article keep calling it "museum" over and over. Clearly they - and we - are not defending creationism by accurately describing the museum as one. --GRuban (talk) 06:52, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
And thank you, too, because I recognize that you have been making a clear effort to be civil and collaborative in this discussion. The thing is: once more, I've never argued for "not a museum"! I'm in favor of calling it a "museum"! But, like those two mainstream sources, I believe that it's most accurate to call it both a "museum" and a "tourist attraction". --Tryptofish (talk) 17:34, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
I find it telling that Ripley's Believe it or Not does not refer to the subject of the article as a tourist attraction... the fact is that this place fits the definition of a museum, and we have no reason to call it otherwise (your "well-sourced to mainstream reliable sources" are dubious as I pointed out above, and you didn't respond to other than to accuse me of axe grinding...). We are not making any statement about the veracity of its claims, the validity of its cultural value, or anything of the source by calling it a museum. We are simply stating that it is an institution devoted to the procurement, care, study, and display of objects of lasting interest or value. Either it fits that description, or it doesn't (I'm not seeing how Ripley's would fit and this would not...). Now, I'm a creationist and even I will acknowledge that Ham's theology is garbage, his argument is weak, and what he calls science is shameful. His museum is not even close to being on part with a place like the Smithsonian... but then again, my local museum isn't either. You seem to think that since it is not as good of a museum as other museum that we should somehow refer to it as not a museum some of the time. If this is the case, following by your logic, I should also go to the Pilgrim Hall Museum museum and add the word "tourist attraction" sometimes, because it isn't on par with the Louvre. What you're doing is assessing the quality of the museum and insisting that because it is a substandard museum that we should not always refer to it as a museum... assessing the museum is not your job, and you're not qualified to do it. The Washington DC official website lists the National Museum of Women in the Arts as a tourist attraction... should we assess how valid of a museum that is in comparison with other museums and insist on using tourist attraction to show how this one is substandard to others? Your argument is ridiculous and the fact that you are trying to push your own perspective of what the Creation Museum is or isn't into the article is laughable. Find me a legitimate (non-editorial) source that critiques the museum and calls into question if we should call it a museum (even your bunk sources don't do that) and we can continue the discussion... until then you don't have any consensus behind you, you don't have any wikipedia policies behind you, you don't have any sources behind you, and you don't have an argument that holds water. ReformedArsenal (talk) 10:22, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
And I smell bad too. At this point, you are just repeating things I previously rebutted, pretending that I didn't explain things that I actually did explain, and casting aspersions. It's time to get more opinions from more editors. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:09, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
Tryptofish - I think you've missed a couple of things. The subject of this article is not WP:FRINGE, but rather the argument of Young Earth Creation vs. Natural Science has been deemed WP:FRINGE. The subject of this article is a museum operated by people who espouse YEC, but it is not the YEC philosophical argument, itself (which has been thoroughly coatracked into the article). Even so, the MUSEUM is not a fringe item. It literally exists, and thousands of people visit it each year. There is already a page dedicated to Young Earth Creationism, so there's no need to re-fight all of its battles on this page, which is NOT about Creationism, but about a specific museum in a specific location.
To this point, you're rebutted nothing, but go ahead and ask for more opinions. But before you hold your breath doing so, perhaps you can finally answer my question: What is the burning need to use a term other than 'museum' to describe this particular museum? Why is it even worth arguing for an exception to the norm? Why MUST we use other terms to avoid pushing a POV, when it seems the only POV being pushed for is "please don't think of this place as a museum"?--Lyonscc (talk) 23:06, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
You may think that I've rebutted nothing, but you are wrong. Yes, the ideas, the argument, behind this museum are fringe, but the fact that the museum presents those ideas as fact means the museum is fringe too, just as a book arguing for those ideas would be. Indeed, the word "museum" is not a fringe term, which is why arguing that it is the only word that can ever be applied to this particular fringe enterprise seems to me to be non-neutral. You want me to explain the "burning need"? I don't particularly think there is a "burning need". I came to this RfC, endorsed the words "Biblical" and "museum", and pointed out that I didn't think that the argument for "museum" was clear-cut. Then I was surprised to see other editors insisting that "museum" is the only word that could be used, to the exclusion of "tourist attraction" or anything else, and those views appeared to me to have a "burning" quality about them, that was inconsistent with NPOV editing. I know there have been editors who have edit warred to remove every instance of the word "museum" from this page. But I'm not one of them. I don't want to tell readers "please don't think of this place as a museum". I've supported use of the word "museum" all along. But I do want to tell readers that this particular museum is not entirely the same as what most people think of when they think of museums in general. That's not the same thing as what you are attributing to me. It's not an exception to the "norm". It's consistent with WP:FRINGE and with past ArbCom rulings on fringe topics, and it's consistent with mainstream newspapers. It's just good encyclopedic style. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:28, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
Well, I guess this makes you a hero in your own mind, but here in the land of reality, we follow the basic rules of neutrality and try to avoid edit warring. Since there *is*, as you admit, no "burning need" to use multiple terms, and since it is only your bias which seems to desire "warning" people that the subject of the article has a view that might be WP:FRINGE, we should just go with the basic consensus (along w/ basic logic) and stick with the neutral term consistently used by *all* reliable sources, even though, in your own mind, you seem to find this term to grant some sort of fantastical credence to the subject of the museum.--Lyonscc (talk) 01:52, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
Wow: I'm a hero in my own mind, I apparently do not live in the land of reality, I lack basic logic, and I'm given to fantastical credence. And I'm the same as the people who edit warred on this page. Bless you. As I said above to someone who agrees with you: and I smell bad too. I do very much look forward to seeing how an uninvolved administrator will determine "the basic consensus". --Tryptofish (talk) 02:13, 13 June 2013 (UTC)

Well, I probably wouldn't go any further than this: Webster's definition ("an institution devoted to the procurement, care, study, and display of objects of lasting interest or value; also : a place where objects are exhibited") vs. Tryptofish's apparent definition ("a title that embues legitimacy upon its subject of study"). So, unless we've gone through the looking glass ("When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty Tryptofish said in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less."), it seems pretty clear which definition contains a non-neutral POV.--Lyonscc (talk) 06:38, 13 June 2013 (UTC)

And this is the way you make an argument about content on Wikipedia: by calling me Humpty Dumpty. How very charitable of you. --Tryptofish (talk) 17:36, 13 June 2013 (UTC)

I've given more thought to the issue of reliable sourcing for "museum" and for "tourist attraction". In the opening comment of the survey section, above, three undeniably mainstream reliable sources are cited as using the word "museum": the New York Times, Sydney Morning Herald, and NPR. Absolutely true, as far as that goes. I've pointed out that, in my opinion, two further mainstream reliable sources use both the word "museum" and the phrase "tourist attraction": the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. A few editors dispute these two additional sources, as being "bunk sources" in which we cannot determine whether or not the sources are using the term out of hostility to the subject of this page (and also by calling me names). I went back and looked again at the first three sources, the ones that are non-controversial here. They all express contemptuous views of the Creation Museum. The NY Times and Sydney Morning Herald positively drip with sarcasm. And that should come as no surprise: the subject of this page is WP:FRINGE. Although it's true that the LA Times calls the museum "Yabba-dabba science", the three sources that never say "tourist attraction" make it clear that the mainstream view is the same as that. So the LA Times and USA Today are no more POV than the other three news sources. What we have here are five sources, all of which are in the mainstream, and all of which satisfy WP:RS, and they all reflect mainstream views of the Creation Museum. Three of them use the word "museum", while two of them use the word "museum" much of the time, and the phrase "tourist attraction" some of the time. To me, it seems clear that Wikipedia, likewise, should use the word "museum" most of the time on this page, while also using the phrase "tourist attraction" some of the time. If those editors who are on a crusade to omit "tourist attraction" would like, I'd be happy to take this question to WP:RSN or WP:FTN. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:45, 14 June 2013 (UTC)

And in fact, this source, one that is clearly one with a point of view that places it in a different category than those news sources, provides some credibility for the argument that there is not universal agreement that the Creation Museum should be objectively classified as a "museum". Please understand that I am not pointing this out to argue that we should follow what that source says in writing this page – again, I'm in favor of us using the word "museum" most of the time – but it calls further into question the claim that it is indisputable that "museum" is the only word that the source material allows us to use here. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:18, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
I've opened a discussion about these sources at WP:RSN#Creation Museum. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:33, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
I can live with a bit of elegant variation in proportion to the way our sources use the terms. --GRuban (talk) 00:12, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
Even noting the negative connotations of "elegant variation", I thank you for that helpful comment. In fact, it means even more, in that you offer it, not with enthusiasm, but with helpful intent. --Tryptofish (talk) 00:26, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
Likewise. I'm sorry about any personal shading, such as the user name thing, I think this issue has raised a lot of unnecessarily heated emotions. We're each trying to improve the encyclopedia in our own way. --GRuban (talk) 01:41, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
I can also live with some proportional "elegant variation" when obviously not being used in a POV manner (though my earlier statements about coatracking and WP:UNDUE still suggest the entire article needs to be edited down to about a third of its current size and scope). Also, I'm sorry if you interpreted my previous comment as name-calling - I was quoting Lewis Carroll's "Through the Looking Glass" to make a statement about holding others to our own arbitrary definitions. No name-calling was intended. My apologies.--Lyonscc (talk) 13:40, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
Both of you, thank you very much. I sincerely appreciate that. I'm looking forward very optimistically to editing collaboratively with you. --Tryptofish (talk) 17:21, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

Response to TFD: It's strange how I support your methods, yet come to the exact opposite conclusion. (1) I think going to a dictionary is a great way to find the meaning of a word; however, I also think the Creation Museum meets the Random House definition perfectly well. It's clearly a building or place that keeps and displays objects right? Then the objects are clearly, if not scientific specimens, at least works of art. (Illustration of the Genesis story has always been a foundation subject of art, for many examples http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Creation_according_to_Genesis) Finally they're at least as much "permanent value" as the interactive exhibits at my local Museum of Science which are destroyed and replaced regularly, because the value embodied in them is the principle they illustrate, rather than the specific gears and buttons that get worn out by enthusiastic kids using them for their intended purpose. The Genesis creation story is clearly of permanent value, whether or not you believe it is literal truth, or merely the inspiration of a good chunk of the world's religions. So where do we disagree? (2) I also strongly agree we need to show that it is normally considered to be a museum - but I think we've done that: almost every single reliable source article about the museum calls it a museum. (I'd write just every, since I've only seen ones that do, but there are hundreds and I've only seen dozens, so possibly much work could be done to find one or two that don't; but clearly the "normally considered" test has been met.) Where do we disagree here? --GRuban (talk) 05:42, 18 June 2013 (UTC)

By 1838, the Museum of Science had "700 specimens in mineralogy and geology, besides the rich collection of Dr. C.T. Jackson, and the state collection; botany, 5,000; mammalia, 30 entire skeletons and 30 crania; birds, 200 species; reptiles, 130; insects, about 15,000; crustacea, 130; radiata, 190. Library, 600 volumes and pamphlets." It is the collection of "objects of permanent value" that make it a museum, not the representations. A dinosaur museum should have fossils, not just models, a picture museum should have original paintings, not just prints. The creation museum does not have artefacts of the Garden of Eden, preserved fruit taken from the Tree of Knowledge, specimens of animals and plant life created by God, films of animals being created, etc.
"Normally considered" seems a good standard. For example, Guy Adams, the Independent's LA correspondent, referred to the Tea Party as extremists. Does that mean we can call the Tea Party extremist?
TFD (talk) 16:02, 18 June 2013 (UTC)
I was very interested in TFD's comment about the Random House definition. One way of looking at this is that the determination of whether or not the CM satisfies the dictionary's definition is subjective, and possibly vulnerable to WP:SYNTH. TFD originally made the point that the primary purpose of the CM is different from what the dictionary says. I interpret that statement to mean that the CM's primary purpose is to promote the views of Young Earth Creationism, and I think that's a difficult point to disprove. Actually, the Jennings source gives credibility to the argument that it is at least possible to define "museum" in such a way that it excludes creation museums. That may be where saying "the dictionary proves that it's a museum" or "the dictionary proves that it isn't a museum" reaches a point of diminishing returns. As I see it, when we write this page in Wikipedia's voice, we shouldn't really take a side as to whether or not this "museum" is a "museum", and, for me, that's as good a reason as any for, well, inelegant variation – and not going to either pole of never calling it a museum or always calling it a museum. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:48, 18 June 2013 (UTC)
If we sometimes call it a museum then we are taking sides - we are calling it a museum. The point of bringing up the dictionary definition is that the nature of the organization is so far removed from being a museum that we would need a good source saying that the mainstream view is that it is a museum. That problem does not arise for example with the British Museum. It is not that the CM promotes creationism that excludes it from being a museum, it is that it does not contain a creation collection. If they had clothing and household articles owned by Adam and Eve, Adam's skeleton missing one rib, preserved mammals without navels (because they were created hence had no umbilical cords), etc., then it would be a museum. One cannot imagine an ancient history museum that had no ancient relics. TFD (talk) 04:01, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
The problem then becomes that, if we never call it a museum, we are also taking a side. I would argue that if we, in effect, contextualize the word "museum", then we are not taking the side of calling it a museum. We can accomplish that contextualization by, for example, explaining both sides of the arguments about the definition. Thus, Wikipedia can use the word "museum" without taking a position on whether or not it is a museum in the conventional sense. And: I hope that the other editors who have followed these discussions can see here that my view that we can call it both a "museum" and a "tourist attraction" is not such a one-sided view. --Tryptofish (talk) 17:29, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
Another thought, however: where GRuban suggested that the definition might be met in terms of the CM containing works of art, I think that what TFD says makes a valid distinction in that the CM exhibits are not so much works of art, as would exist in an ancient history museum, as being things that the CM created instead of having collected. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:09, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

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