Talk:Creationism/Archive 21

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Creationism as a metaphysical hypothesis

I'm not going to critique the present article except to say that I would style the introduction differently, something like:

Creationism is a metaphysical hypothesis that the universe and all it contains were created by beings which exist outside of spacetime.Kretzmann, Norman (2001, Published online 2003), The Metaphysics of Creation, ISBN 978-0-19-924654-0, retrieved 2008-07-15  Check date values in: |date= (help) (Naturally the reference would be enclosed in <ref></ref> statements but I left it bare for purpose of illustration to the discussion group.) What do the usual editors think?Trilobitealive (talk) 02:29, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

First we'd require some evidence that Kretzmann and/or his position have some degree of prominence within either the communities of creationists or scholars who study them. Secondly, we'd need a more precise reference to the page where he makes this statement and preferably a quote. HrafnTalkStalk 03:37, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply. There's no concise quote as this is a distillation. So it would probably take a couple of other references to meet WP:SYN and WP:NPOV criteria for approval by such a polarized audience. Kretzmann's critique of Aquinas itself is pretty much standard fare but I don't know how well known it is among creationists, and needless to say, both writers predated most of the modern creationist jargon. The concept of creationism being a metaphysical hypothesis et cetera is pretty widely accepted in the outside world but I don't know if its even mentioned in the creationism debating community. Will put this on my to-do list to see if I can support it well enough to pass inspection but I tend to back off from editing such hotly contested articles.Trilobitealive (talk) 05:13, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
A hypothesis has to be testable by it's definition - and Creationism claims simply aren't; metaphysics itself is a branch of philosophy dealing with nature of reality.
Creationism may qualify for a belief or maybe claim categories. --Draco 2k (talk) 16:30, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

I would agree with this change, as the first sentence of the current page specifically connects creationism with a religious belief. You do not have to be a part of any religion to believe that the universe was created by a force outside of our understanding. Its not just science vs religion, others factors have a role in this article. The lake of scientific proof is only a burden to those that seek that proof from a scientific perspective. Though we use science in our modern times as the answer to our questions it cannot be assumed to be the only viable means; philosospy, anthropology, and other areas of study have strong connections to creationism. Salted Dragon (talk) 03:55, 25 October 2008 (UTC)


I hold a bachelor's degree in anthropology with high honors from UC Davis, and I can tell you definitively that no branch of anthropology, whether cultural anthro, archaeology, primatology, or linguistics, considers itself to have any "strong connection" to creationism. To suggest otherwise is to show that you know little or nothing of the broader discipline. Within the University of California system the topic isn't even considered worthy of scientific mention. KDS4444 (talk)--KDS4444 10:35, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

I was actually referring to theological anthropology [[1]] which Im guessing you know little or nothing of ;). I do appreciate that you have a degree in in anthro, but I find it rather doubtful that creationism is not talked about. Religion plays a role in social hierarchy and other anthropological areas of study. Also your last statement boarders on supremacism. cheers Salted Dragon (talk) 05:12, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

Over-intellectualization

The discussion above has been lured off into some quasi-intellectual never-never land based on an over-weening demand for citations and references to "experts". The article goes through all kinds of contortions to be "fair" and to cover a wide range of opinions on the subject. A plethora of opinions is offered but nothing really concrete is presented. At the bottom, the Scientific Critique is virtually empty. What is missing is a scientific critique based on basic scientiific philosophy and common sense.

The modern Creationist movement is based on the mistaken notion that science (specifically Darwin's Theory of Evolution) does, or even can, disprove religion. Creationism, as manifested in classrooms where it is taught, attempts through quasi-scientific arguments to discredit the theory of evolution and science in general.

Science and religion arise from fundamentally different ways of thinking. Science strives for an objective understanding of the world and the universe around us through the mechanism of the scientific method. This is why science cannot disprove religion. Start at the beginning: A formal, objective proof of God's existence cannot be written. This goes back to Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason where he wrote, "We can make no statement regarding the metaphysical (or supernatural) because we have no way of experiencing it". Jesus of Nazareth said, God is spirit (John 4:24). The word in Koiné Greek is "pneuma" , which carries the allegorical connotation of a gentle zephyr breeze barely rustling the leaves of a tree. Beyond that, we have no idea what spirit is or what God's supernatural realm might be. We call it Heaven but know nothing more about it. We can't make a spirit detector or a meta-telescope to look into supernatural realms and therefore have no way of testing a proof (or disproof) of God's existence.

For explanations of the supernatural, people turn to subjective religious belief. Belief takes up where objective reality leaves off and science can't provide answers. The problem with this is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder as evidenced by the many, many religious systems in the world today. Religion has a valid place in our experience but is misused when it attempts to inject itself into the political arena. Virgil H. Soule (talk) 02:19, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Nice quasi-intellectual essay, perhaps even an intellectual essay, but this ain't the place for such "original research" – we need verification. .. dave souza, talk 18:22, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Dave. Still ... I have had run-ins with many creationists and it does seem to me that they are often motivated, at least in their own minds, not first and foremost by the question "How was the universe created" but rather by a desire to defend religion against science. If I wrote this in the article I too would be violating NOR. But I am suggesting that there probably are a variety of reasons people become creationists that are more sociological than scientific. So the question is, IS there any significant research on creationists that explore thse issues? Zbvhs, Dave is right, Wikipedia is not for personal essyas. But if you are right it is possible that some sociologist or anthropolgoist has done research on creationists - as a social movement, not as a set of intellectual propositions - and may have published analysis that should go into this article. So with respect, I would like to suggest a way you may be able to help us improve this article: do a search of academic journals in the social sciences and humaitis to see what scholarship exists on creationists, the people (i.e. not just the literature on why creationism is bad science). You may bind research that really would be relevant to this article. Just be sure to comply with NPOV, V, and NOR. I think you raise some interesting points, interesting enough to set off a search in a library for published research. I really encourage you to do that, Slrubenstein | Talk 19:23, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
I too must agree with Dave. I, and perhaps Dave, have noted that the article appears an extremely knowledgeable and detailed definition of varieties of creationism. It has ignored the huge elephant in the room: why is creationism religion and not science? A creationist would likely be very disappointed to read the article only to be tersely referred to legal decisions about why why courts consider creationism religion and not science.
In 2006, the Alaskan Daily News wrote: 'The Republican Party of Alaska platform says, in its section on education: "We support giving Creation Science equal representation with other theories of the origin of life. If evolution is taught, it should be presented as only a theory."'
The phrases 'with other theories' and 'only a theory' display the failure of Alaskan creationists, at least, to understand what a scientific theory is, and why it distinguishes subjective faith from objective science. In my experience, the most influential scientists (as opposed to philosophers of science) were positivists, as Dave is: objective measurement and observation founds science, which is a collection of theories; theories we hope will change tomorrow. Science advances as these theories change. While some philosophers are realists, believing that science describes not theory, but reality, most scientists just call this bad science. There are certainly enough references extant on these subjects, from William James's 'Varieties of Religious Experience' to a short article by Albert Einstein defining science in 'Science'.
The 'Scientific Critique' at the end of the article might be better expanded using the content of its references and actually discuss the elephant in the room, moving it to the front of the article, where creationists and scientists would likely prefer it. Once science, as it should be presented in schools, is defined, there should be no need for the complex (and inexplicable to me) views of fundamentalist religious sects that support divine creation so passionately that they insist it be 'science'. Discussions of religions, vastly complex, would be unnecessary. No 'opinions' need be in the article.
Sirubenstein's excellent idea of including a social science discussion of why creationism is necessary, as opposed to a religious discussion, would be a brilliant replacement of a discussion on religions, if one could find studies acceptable to both creationists and scientists. (Otherwise, one has lost one's audience.)
Lest one think the above does not express a neutral point of view or not be verifiable, it really is. Unless creationists think that 'science' is more valid than 'faith', knowledgeable creationists simply ask that science teachers present scientific theories, such as Darwin's theory of natural selection, in the positivist manner. That positivist science is acknowledged and practiced by the vast majority of good scientists is verifiable. (It's my personal opinion that creationism arose from ignorance of what science is, either by some religious people or by science teachers themselves.)
In any case, I, too, suggest that a 'Scientific Critique' of creationism deserves more than four lines at the end of the article. Geologist (talk) 11:44, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

Thanks to whomever removed the recent damage to this article by someone whose religion appears to be science. To anyone else who quotes scientists as proving the Earth is over 4 billion years old, we didn't. We don't prove anything: we offer ideas, based on assumptions, useful for predicting things. One of the assumptions used here is that the decay rate of radioactive isotopes does not change with time. These are big assumptions. They don't undermine geology, they were always part of it. It is perhaps the failure of students to realize this that created a misunderstanding and disrespect for geology that some creationists appears to display. Geologist (talk) 22:06, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Creation-evolution table

I've removed a See also link to Wikipedia:Creation-evolution table as the table isn't ready for prime time – it's very confused and / or confusing.[2] . . dave souza, talk 18:19, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

Undesired outcomes

Gareth I made a few changes to the article and they were reverted back on the basis that: "those aren't "bad refs", and that wasn't a minor edit". Well, I'd like to say that the refs are indeed bad. But to talk about the article itself, they are some problems that I did try to remedy [3].

1. From the article it suggests that Creationism is a fairly new beleif, which it isn't. Creationism is a traditional belief. Traditional in respect to the fact, that those who professed beleif in the Bible would have all replied that the word "yom" mentioned in Genesis 2 means a literal day.
2. The sentence:

"They believe the days in Genesis Chapter 1 are 24 hours in length, while Old Earth creationism accepts geological findings and other methods of dating the earth and believes that these findings do not contradict the Genesis account, but reject evolution."

is improper because there is no "but" about it. it's not "but" it's "and". Also, Creationists do not reject evolution, but a certain aspect of it. They often give examples such as “an Indian Elephant isn't an African elephant but it's still an elephant”.

3. Apparently, you find these "refs" acceptable:

"When scientific research produces conclusions which contradict a creationist interpretation of scripture, the strict creationist approach is either to reject the conclusions of the research,< ref>Flaws in dating the earth as ancient</ ref>"

We don't use a answersingenesis website to substantiate the claim that creationists reject conclusions of research.

[I suggest one read the above critique, substututing the word '106 years' for '4.3 billion' years, 'person' for 'crystal', and 'village' for 'rock'. Geologist (talk) 03:46, 29 October 2008 (UTC)]
4.Also see following: "its underlying scientific theories

So let's not use the excuse: "those aren't "bad refs", and that wasn't a minor edit" to keep this article from achieving it's accuracy. Let's pool our knowledge rather than revert all the time. [4]Safeguarded (talk) 12:42, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

You misrepresent the article and the extent and effect of your proposed changes. Will respond in more detail to your detailed points when time permits. . . dave souza, talk 15:16, 28 October 2008 (UTC)


For starts, the claim that creationism is "traditional" needs support. Do you know that the re are expressions and beliefs people hold today that were uncommon thirty years ago? Sixty years ago? Now lets go back further - five hundred years ago? A thousand? Is there any reason to assume that people 1,000 years ago had the same interpretation of the Bible as people 2,000 years ago? A thousand years is a VERY long time. And three thousand years ago? Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, it is not based on guesswork, and no original research (please see our NOR policy). We cannot say that people 1,000, 2,000 or more years ago were "creationists" unless we have reliable evidence, a reliable source for a significant scholar who has made this argument. Slrubenstein | Talk 16:18, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
As Slrubenstein says, "traditional" is a misleading peacock term for a wide range of contrasting beliefs, some of which were reinvented in the 20th century. Safeguarded, you don't seem to realise that many creationists reject the "literal day" interpretation – saying that both views are traditional is arguable and uninformative.
Old earth creationists accept science on the age or the earth, but reject it on evolution. Simple and grammatically correct.
AIG is cited as a primary source for the views of YEC proponents – they're certainly a leading YEC organisation, and related points were covered by the large number of reliable secondary sources that you deleted for no apparent reason.
Your edit to #Scientific critique went against the sources and misrepresented the scientific position in what looks like a blatant piece of pov pushing. Not a good change. . . dave souza, talk 17:54, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

As the person whose reversion User:Safeguarded is objecting to, some further comments:

First off: making a bunch of substantive changes and marking them as a "minor edit" is abuse of the system, plain and simple. Frankly, your changes deserved reverting for that, even if nothing else. Now:

1. Not calling something "traditional" doesn't in the least imply that it is a recent phenomenon. (Obviously.) Calling something "the traditional religious belief that ...", however, creates some danger of implying that those who think otherwise are being unfaithful to their religious traditions. This is, to say the least, not obviously true.

2. Of course there's a "but" about it. Old earth creationists are unlike YECs in some ways (they accept various bits of standard science that YECs reject) BUT like them in others (they reject evolution -- or, as you say, some aspects of evolution).

2a. Some creationists reject evolution outright. Some reject most of it. Some reject just bits of it (though obviously important bits, or they wouldn't be creationists).

3. What do you mean "we"? I dare say *you* don't. Why shouldn't WP? It's an example of some creationists responding to research whose conclusions conflict with their creationism by rejecting the research.

4. I don't know what's happened to your text here, but it doesn't make any sense. Sorry.

Also: Your edit deleted a whole lot of material -- not just "refs" but actual content -- without any justification. (A fact which you curiously omit to acknowledge in your defence of that edit.) It added the unsubstantiated, and in fact clearly false, claim that creationists accept evolution and merely disagree with the idea that humans evolved from (other) primates. It added an almost entirely irrelevant remark about the fact that many religious authorities "back the theory of evolution although it has little basis in the Bible". This is NOT a "minor edit". It is NOT a matter of "bad refs". Re-doing it is NOT justified by saying "see talk" and pointing at your remarks above. Can we have a bit more honesty here, please?

Gareth McCaughan (talk) 00:11, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Why is 'Creationism' an article?

Why is this article here? That is: Why is the content of 'Creationism' extracted from mythology, philosophy, and religion (where it belongs), and given it own, long article? The article is longer than the article 'Science' and longer than 'Religion'. No where in the 'Scientific Critique' does is state clearly and unequivocally that 'creationism' is not a natural science. Would clarifying why no version of 'creationism' is a natural science of any kind violate the neutral point of view of this Encyclopedia?

Science is founded on objective observations and measurements and ends with testable predictions. Objective just means they can be shared, and reproduced by others: it does not imply 'better'. Subjective is often more accurate than objective. Scientists 'quietly' use subjective observations to get ideas, as they do religious faith and artistic beauty; but they never allow these to affect their published arguments. Are scientists less religious than those in other professions? The idea never crossed my mind until, when introduced to a couple, the people stepped back in horror and said 'Oh! An atheist!'

This section I add because of the brief edit of the 'Scientific Critique' that referenced 'Flaws in dating the earth as ancient'. If these really were flaws, this reference would be only a trivial note of a bad scientific paper. Of what relevance has this to 'creationism', unless 'creationism' is an attempt to raise the belief that 'creation science' uncovers truths superior to flawed 'natural science'. Is a deeply mystical experience religious or neurological? Both can be true: science deals with the latter; it has no business expressing an opinion on the former, just as religion has no business expressing an opinion on science.

Though 'creationism', or 'creation science', probably deserves a separate article on its attempt to replace or compete with natural science in American education (at least), should the article be so detailed, and should it avoid clarifying (on tip toes) whether 'creationism' is mythology, philosophy, religion; but not a 'natural science'? Geologist (talk) 04:34, 29 October 2008 (UTC)


The group of people defined by the term 'Creationist', was (IMO) nicely defined above, by HrafnTalkStalk (though using formal logic): those who believe in a creation myth that they feel is threatened by science. (These are my words.) His logical consequence is that they must invalidate the science:

'Looking at this with formal logic: <SNIP> It is this conflict that is determinative of creationism, not the precise contents of the myth/interpretation. HrafnTalkStalk 07:38, 5 September 2008 (UTC)'

This statement would appear to greatly clarify the current use of the word 'creationism'.

It seems reasonable to me that creation myths be discussed under 'Mythology' or 'Religion', and science under 'Science'. If the essence of a Creationist is a conflict between religious belief and scientific acceptance, that conflict and its proposed resolutions should compose the bulk of this article. It doesn't.

Many peoples' faith does not depend upon a particular creation myth, and many evolutionists' acceptance of Darwin's theory has no effect upon their religious faith. It would be nice to characterize creationists by social group and population, as Slrubenstein (pretty much) suggested.

The word 'truth' is used with two very different meanings by scientists and by those who have had religious experiences. When a scientific theory is expressed deductively, a statement is true if (and only if) it is consistent: that is, it cannot be proved false as well. Scientific truths thus change with the theory that is currently best at predicting. The 'truth' of a religious experience is a transforming, permanent, personal (subjective, not objective) and transcendental experience (inexpressible using language). In this confusion of 'truth's, IMO, lies the heart of the Creationist dilemma; and surely some papers have been written on this.

These links are to some expanded discussions of religious and scientific truths, with dissenting opinions that illustrate HrafnTalkStalk's definition of Creationism as conflict. Though many definitions of science are referred to below, they all share the properties of the scientific truth discussed above: properties that distinguish all scientific truths from religious truths. Some who incorporated these properties into their scientific truths were Alfred Tarski (its creator), Albert Einstein, & Percy Bridgman.

Truths from sci.geo.geology (with Dissenting Opinion)

Clarification of Truths from sci.geo.geology

Dissenting Opinion from sci.geo.geology

More balance required in this article, edits twice reverted by DVdm

You twice reverted my creationism edits. The comments added balance to the article, by noting that there are in fact scientists who dissent from Evolution and also those who believe in Creationism (albeit a minority but regardless). The added references/links simply show that these scientists do exist and show what their views are -- there is no indication that these scientists or views are 'right' or 'wrong', just that they exist. The article was unbalanced is it presents creationism as if there are no scientists who believe in it and no scientists who dissent from evolution (including non-creationists). Why are you reverting the edits? Do I need to proceed with page protection, as the article, as is without my additions, is in fact unbalanced. Hassandoodle (talk) 18:27, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

You're trying to promote an extreme minority viewpoint, and Neutral point of view policy (which shows and balances viewpoints rather than adopting one idealised viewpoint) has specific requirements for NPOV: Pseudoscience, avoiding giving it NPOV: Undue weight or NPOV: Giving "equal validity", while NPOV: Making necessary assumptions about the validity of science. At the same time we must also avoid original research by being careful to provide a verifiable source for facts and for assessments, opinions or analysis of these facts. The sources you've added are not reliable sources for anything other than the fact that their authors make these claims. Oh, and have a look at the amusing A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism propaganda exercise. Since a number of the signatories are dead, have disowned the list, or have turned to theology rather than doing any scientific work, bit hard to call the tiny number of "scientists" with relevant expertise "growing". . dave souza, talk 18:55, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
See also my non-technical reply - DVdm (talk) 19:22, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
I think it's reasonable to record that there are scientists who believe in Creationism here. In the context of an article on science in general, they would be an extreme minority and mentioning them would be undue weight: in the context of an article on Creationism it is reasonable to report how many scientists espouse it. However I would caution that "rapidly growing number..." is extremely close to weaseldom. DJ Clayworth (talk) 19:51, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

The point is that there are no evolutionary scientists who doubt evolutionary theory. The word "scientist" is too vague. It would be like my saying "several engineers do not consider the bridge stable" without adding that these are chemical, not civil or mechanical engineers. There is no scientist who rejects the theory of evolution for scientific reasons; every notable person who rejects the theory of evolution has done so for religious reasons. So the way this is worded it is misleading. Slrubenstein | Talk 20:02, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

I'm not defending the wording as added. But saying "no evolutionary scientists doubt evolutionary theory" is a bit misleading too. A bit like saying no Christian theologians accept Islam. Can you be absolutely sure that nobody with a PhD in evolutionary biology ever changed their mind? Nobody? Ever? DJ Clayworth (talk) 20:14, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

None on record, none active in their field. The wording seems to be suggesting that there are people with established and credentialed expertise in the field who reject the theory. I know of people who are not established and credentialed experts in the field who reject it, so if it were worded to make this claim I would have no objection. But I know of no people with established and credentialed expertise in the field who reject the theory, so if we are to write anything that is open to this interpretation, whoever wants to introduce this into the article had better provide evidence. You know, it's the whole "verifiability" thing. Slrubenstein | Talk 20:24, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

There are, from my understanding, hundreds of scientists around the world with PhD's from reputable establishments, who reject evolution (yes they are a minority but they do in fact exist). To suggest otherwise is highly misleading, if not biased. Most of the "creation" organizations have lists of some of these scientists, for instance, here: Scientists alive today who accept the biblical account of creation. The authenticity of this list of scientists could perhaps be cross-referenced with the universities and establishments out of which many of them work (albeit many on the list are also independent). Hassandoodle (talk) 20:38, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
Be careful not to confuse "Scientists alive today who accept the biblical account of creation" with "Field-qualified/competent/experienced scientists alive today who accept the biblical account of creation and reject the modern scientific theory of evolution". I can imagine that this list might be somewhat shorter, and that a list of "Scientists alive today who accept the modern scientific theory of evolution" might be overwhelmingly longer.
And of course there is the question whether this list is a reliable source. DVdm (talk) 20:54, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
Since "competent" is a subjective judgement you're really not going to get far with that.
I repeat, in my opinion it's useful to the article to give some measure of how many scientists reject evolution. Let's not assume our readers are too dumb to make their own judgements about how relevant the opinion of scientists in general are to the debate. I would also say that the list is a reliable source for what it claims, i.e. to represent the specific fews of a few people. While we're here, maybe a reliable source for "there are no evolutionary scientists who doubt evolutionary theory" would be in order. DJ Clayworth (talk) 21:01, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
[EC]There are, no doubt, "hundreds" of PhDs out there who believe in any random topic, but since there are hundreds of thousands of relevant biologists that accept evolution, the former group has the same effect on scientific consensus as those that reject HIV as the causative pathogen of AIDS have on the medical community or free energy proponents have on physics...namely, none. We treat fringe beliefs and pseudoscience by disallowing any undue attention. — Scientizzle 21:05, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
It is reasonable to consider those who believe in Creationism as an insignificant minority in an article about general science on the basis of undue weight. However to make no mention of those who believe in Creationism in an article about Creationism is not neutral. Just as we consider the views of those who believe in a Flat Earth in the article Flat Earth. DJ Clayworth (talk) 21:09, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
I'd certainly want to see something better than this exercise in weasel words. What would be best is sources that put the variety and extent of scientists' creationist beliefs within real context. It is at best at best confusing, at worst deliberately misleading, to say "X number of totally real scientists reject evolution" without adequately delineating what type of scientists, of what qualifications, within how large a community, and with what infulence upon that community. If we were to accept creationontheweb.com as a reliable source, the best that could be responsibly attributed to that source would be a general statement along the lines of "There are a non-zero number of scientists that accept the biblical account of creation and reject the scientific consensus regarding evolution." Better sources might be some sort of academic study or poll that can put all the relevant variables in context. — Scientizzle 21:24, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
Agreed. This is an article specifically about Creationism, so reference to them is warranted. Again, that list of scientists could be cross-referenced with the universities and establishments out of which many of them work (the list includes their establishments), which would potentially make it a reliable source.Hassandoodle (talk) 21:10, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
Yup, creationists are experts in creationism, no question. But the issue here is who is an expert on evolutionary science. Competence is determined by the field or profession - there is nothing new in this, lawyers determine who is a competent lawyer, physicians determine who is a competent physician. When a court of law considers "expert" testimony, it does not ask lawyers to decide who is an expert orthopedic surgeon, or psychiatrist, it relies on the professional criteria developed and used by orthopedic surgeons or psychiatrists. Same goes for evolutionary scientists. And yes, we have to be specific: someone with a PhD. in chemistry or physics earned that PhD by doing intensive research on a very specific field. Point: knowledge at this level requires years of training and supervised research. If a chemist also has years of training and supervised research in evolutionary science, then they have expertise. But a PhD in chemistry (just for example, we could also say physics or engineering) is no more qualified to judge the theory of evolution than a great poet, chef, or carpenter. Let's stop throwing terms like "PhD" or "scientist" as if they were magical dust. In this context we need specificity and "scientist" or "PhD" is simply too vague to be meaningful. Slrubenstein | Talk 21:16, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
Sure a family lawyer is best to judge on a matter of family law. But a corporate lawyer also has some competency; so might a paralegal. Likewise a geneticist or a biochemist or a paleontologist has some competence in the matter of evolution. But you are insisting that only people who have chosen evolution as their special study are permitted an opinion; which is a self-selecting sample because nobody who disbelieved evolution would make it their special study. DJ Clayworth (talk) 21:31, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
How about the words something like, "There are those with PhD's in various scientific disciplines who dissent from the evolutionary view of origins, and specifically believe in biblical creationism," or something like that. And a reference to the above-mentioned list of "creation scientists" could be warranted as a reliable source based on those 'scientists' allowing their name to be included in such a list.Hassandoodle (talk) 21:37, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
Let's also remember that this article is about the whole of Creationism, not just the literal 7-day young-Earth creationism. I would be prepared to bet that there are plenty of evolutionary biologists who would accept that some form of creator had a hand in getting the whole process going. DJ Clayworth (talk) 21:42, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
I have raised two issues: one is specificity, and DJ Clayworth I have no objection to your crafting more specific claims - as you point out this article describes many different kinds of beliefs, and just as we need to specify what kinds of scientists (or paralegals) we also need to specify what they believe, "creationism" too may be too vague. The other issue is verifiability and if you have a verifiable and reliable source, go for it! But Hassandoodle's source doesn't meet our standard for reliability and is too vague, so vague as to be misleading. (Philip Skel;l, for example is a biochemist; his training and research makes him no more of an authority on evolutionary theory as a lawyer or nutritionist, so why suggest that his opposition is any more meaningful that anyone else's? Slrubenstein | Talk
I'm fine with Hassandoodle's sentence above. DJ Clayworth (talk) 22:16, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
What of the counter? Should we quantify and reference the number of PhD's various scientific disciplines who dissent from biblical creationism? If a source that could do this actually exists, would it be worth adding? I ask because this appears to be an attempt at an appeal to authority that has little relevance beyond trying to "one-up" the competition in a sociopolitical battle that doesn't, in fact, exist within biology. — Scientizzle 23:11, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
Any statement about the number of biologists who believe in creationism must be placed in context, which is a) it's a ridiculously tiny minority b) most are not practicing scientists and c) the tiny number of disseinting scientists are grossly inflated by creationist organizations to falsely portray evolution as somehow weaker or less accepted than it actually is within mainstream science. To do otherwise is WP:UNDUE. The opinions of these dissenting scientists have no impact on the process of biology and are essentially meaningless for acutal science. But creationists do misrepresent, and outright lie about the significance of those few. WLU (t) (c) (rules - simple rules) 23:20, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
It appears this entire discussion is more about opinions and less about fact. For instance, saying that "creationists do misrepresent and outright lie" (as above) has nothing to do with this topic. Perhaps there are Creationists that do that, and perhaps there are also evolutionists who do the same (for instance, look into the most recent developments on the whole peppered moths story and how they were glued to trees). In any case, it's doubtful this discussion will actually lead to any consensus. But how can there be anything wrong with adding something like this statement: "According to one Creationist organization, there are scientists with PhD's in various disciplines who dissent from the evolutionary view of origins and specifically believe rather in biblical creationism," and then we can add the reference to their own list which they provide. This way the source is just refering to their own alleged list, and does not violate the reliable source rule (in fact it IS a reliable source as it points directly to the creationists' own list, which is exactly what we're saying: it's their own list. Hassandoodle (talk) 01:25, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
On another note, to suggest that only someone with a PhD in Evolution is qualified to discuss evolution, is quite a moot point because evolution encompasses many (if not most) scientific disciplines, and each discipline specializes in their own component of evolution (for instance, biological evolution, chemical evolution, geology as it relates to evolution, etc.). Each discipline in and of itself makes discoveries and contributions toward the theory of evolution, and a professor of evolution would be someone who has general knowledge of all of this, but not specialized knowledge of each and every discipline. It is obvious that comments made about evolution by scientists within these varying disciplines are entirely relevant and in fact have everything to do with Evolution. Any suggestion to the contrary would seem awkward and misleading. Hassandoodle (talk) 01:25, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

I notice Hassandoodle tried to push the creationists list in again. I don't think there is a consensus on this, so I took the liberty to remove it again. DVdm (talk) 14:49, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

As per DVdm's revert, No one contested my latest comments on the talk page above (yet), which included the general added wording, specifically, "However, according to creationist organizations, there are scientists with PhD's in various disciplines who dissent from the evolutionary view of origins and specifically believe rather in biblical creationism; this is known as their list of "creation scientists"." As is, I don't see how this specific wording is in any way not neutral, it's simply pointing out the fact that creationists maintain such a list. Hassandoodle (talk) 14:59, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
The fact that no one had contested does not mean there is tacit consensus. Indeed, your edit violates WP:UNDUE which states that tiny-minority views do not even need to be included, let alone be given an entire paragraph. A handful of "creation scientists" out of the millions of scientists on this earth is indeed a tiny minority.--Ramdrake (talk) 16:07, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
<Edit conflict> Hassandoodle, your proposed paragraph gave undue weight to one particular creationist claim, based on a primary source without any reliable secondary source showing context. Belief isn't science, regardless of what one particular creationist orginisation claims as shown in your source. . dave souza, talk 16:12, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
[EC]I contest it. Did you see my comment above? I shall quote myself from 3 days ago:

What of the counter? Should we quantify and reference the number of PhD's various scientific disciplines who dissent from biblical creationism? If a source that could do this actually exists, would it be worth adding? I ask because this appears to be an attempt at an appeal to authority that has little relevance beyond trying to "one-up" the competition in a sociopolitical battle that doesn't, in fact, exist within biology.

Scientizzle 16:18, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
Ramdrake, read what was written above. Although mentioning the views of a small miniority of scientists would be undue weight in an article about science in general, mentioning the existence of scientists who hold creationist views is not undue weight in an article about Creationism. DJ Clayworth (talk) 18:12, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Ok, if the anti-creationists can't even allow the one sentence in the article that I want to add, even when the entire purpose of the article is to discuss "Creationism", then the bias of others is obviously showing through simply to suppress the information that is contrary to their own point of view (of course this will be denied with a plethora of unjust reasons). Alas, the Wikipedia too is not free from bias. It just has the 'appearance' of such. I don't believe it can rationally be argued that the specific wording of my sentence above is anything but neutral and factual and shouldn't be included in a discussion about Creationism. By the way, there isn't just one, but many creation organizations who maintain such lists. Do a quick search on Google. Hassandoodle (talk) 16:39, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

That there are people who hold advanced professional degrees and accept literal biblical creationism is not in dispute. What is disputed is whether that is remotely relevant to inclusion within this article. If you'd care to substantively address the points above, stop edit warring, and slinging about accusations of bias, perhaps there is a middle ground that may be reached. — Scientizzle 17:24, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
The problem is that the lists, for the most part, are highly questionable. The Discovery Institute's list, for instance--although frequently portrayed as a list of scientists who reject evolution--is, in fact, simply a list of scientists who are skeptical of the ability of natural selection to entirely account for observed variation. That's a statement most evolutionary biologists could subscribe to; it certainly doesn't mean that they reject evolution. A number of those whose names appear on the list have protested their names being included, precisely because they don't reject evolution.
Some of the other lists (such as that maintained by Answers in Genesis) are, to put it charitably, very liberal in their definition of "scientist." While being a good plastic surgeon, computer software engineer, or aerospace engineer is certainly a worthy accomplishment, it lends no particular insight or expertise when it comes to issues of evolution; nonetheless, these lists are full of such individuals.
If a list could be found that consisted entirely (or at least primarily) of qualified scientists with expertise in relevant fields (biology, genetics, physical anthropology, paleontology, and so forth), and if that list were properly vetted to ensure that the individuals listed do, in fact, reject common descent and natural selection, then I would have no objection to citing the list as a source. --BRPierce (talk) 17:32, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
If you have a look at the list provided, almost all have advanced degrees (PhD's). Also, the same source (namely creationontheweb.org) of the list as well has already been used in the article for other references, and has not been contested. So there is no consistent reason to contest this as a reliable source here. Hassandoodle (talk) 17:41, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

I have already provided the reasons why I believe my addition is entirely relevant to be included in this article; namely because the article is entirely about the very topic of Creationism itself. This has already been addressed above, here:

I think it's reasonable to record that there are scientists who believe in Creationism here. In the context of an article on science in general, they would be an extreme minority and mentioning them would be undue weight: in the context of an article on Creationism it is reasonable to report how many scientists espouse it. However I would caution that "rapidly growing number..." is extremely close to weaseldom. DJ Clayworth (talk) 19:51, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

I would prefer to see such a list included in an article relevant to the specific organization in question; for example, the Discovery Institute's list is covered in some detail in the article about the Discovery Institute. I will also note that, if it's the list I think it is (I can't check it at the moment due to work-related filters) many of those PhDs are in fields not germane to evolution (I seem to recall, for instance, a great many mathematicians.)
While I would have no objection to mentioning these lists in a general way in the article (it is, as you note, about Creationism,) I would also want the problems with those lists mentioned. --BRPierce (talk) 17:52, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
I have just deleted (and I'm not the only one to do so) "However, according to creationist organizations, there are scientists with PhD's in various disciplines who dissent from the evolutionary view of origins and specifically believe rather in biblical creationism." Well, they would claim that, wouldn't they? No doubt they also claim that lots of politicians, doctors, lawyers, you-name-its believe in creationism. It would be worth including such a statement if there are in fact several scientists in relevant fields who subscribe to creationist views, and if it could be quantified - but I'd want to see a more reliable source for such a claim. As added, it was mere argument from authority (see Project Steve). SNALWIBMA ( talk - contribs ) 17:55, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
I agree with BRPierce. As for [User:Snalwibma|SNALWIBMA]], see above:

to suggest that only someone with a PhD in Evolution is qualified to discuss evolution, is quite a moot point because evolution encompasses many (if not most) scientific disciplines, and each discipline specializes in their own component of evolution (for instance, biological evolution, chemical evolution, geology as it relates to evolution, etc.). Each discipline in and of itself makes discoveries and contributions toward the theory of evolution, and a professor of evolution would be someone who has general knowledge of all of this, but not specialized knowledge of each and every discipline. It is obvious that comments made about evolution by scientists within these varying disciplines are entirely relevant and in fact have everything to do with Evolution. Any suggestion to the contrary would seem awkward and misleading. Hassandoodle (talk) 01:25, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

To suggest that Dr Thomas (Tong Y.) Yi, Ph.D., Creationist Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering, is qualified to discuss evolution, suggests an unusual degree of credulity. Presumably creationist aerospace includes the flight of angels, but that does not require insight into evolutionary mechanisms. More to the point, taking one creationist list, in itself only a reliable source for what that particular organisation has said, and extrapolating from it a general claim with no context of the significance or otherwise of that claim, fails WP:NOR. Find reliable third party sources on this not uncommon creationist claim, giving the majority expert context, and we can review what's included in the body of the article. Very significant evidence will be needed to justify the added weight of setting out this particular issue in the lead. . . dave souza, talk 23:44, 10 November 2008 (UTC)


Undue weight

It needs to be made clear that the weighting of an opinion, for purposes of WP:UNDUE needs to be relative to the subject being discussed. While it is not necessary to consider the views of the tiny minority of creationist scientists in an article about science, you cannot exclude their views in an article about Creationism. Otherwise we might see the views of atheists not considered in the article about atheism - they are after all in a minority. DJ Clayworth (talk) 18:19, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Agreed. While I don't think this article should become a platform for apologetics, I do think that Creationist claims of scientific support are relevant to this specific topic, given how frequently they're cited by Creationists. While I absolutely agree that those calling for "balanced presentation" in articles about evolution are off-base, this isn't an article about evolution; it's an article about Creationism, and it should accurately reflect the arguments advanced by Creationists. Can we find a phrasing that will satisfy everyone? --BRPierce (talk) 19:43, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
To be clear, as I've indicated repeatedly above, the existence of people who hold advanced professional degrees and accept literal biblical creationism is not in dispute. However, I and others have indicated that proper inclusion of this necessitates appropriate context. Simply stating "x number of PhDs believe y" exists only as an appeal to authority no matter what x or y may be. My question above, perhaps taken as rhetorical but actually meant in earnest, addresses this. I can cite that only 7% of National Academy of Sciences members (the cream of the PhD crop)--and only 5.5% of NAS biologists--have personal belief in God; no doubt the numbers reduce further for specific beliefs along the old-earth to young-earth creationism spectrum. Project Steve alone indicates that the bean counting that organizations like the Discovery Institute do to prop up their stances reflects a numerically, if professionally, insignificant group within "science", broadly, and evolutionary biology in particular. The Clergy Letter Project provides "x number of Christian clergy accept evolution"...would this be relevant?
I'd argue that inclusion of the above information isn't necessary, either. There's currently a whole prevalence section within the article (a bit US-centric, I might add) that gives contextual information regarding whole country populations and various subgroups. For example:

In 1987, Newsweek reported: "By one count there are some 700 scientists with respectable academic credentials (out of a total of 480,000 U.S. earth and life scientists) who give credence to creation-science, the general theory that complex life forms did not evolve but appeared 'abruptly.'"

If there's anything more that needs to be said, perhaps sources like those I've provided and these[5][6][7][8] would be useful.
Hassandoodle's attempted inclusion lacked any nuance. There's no need to link to some fringe organization's site of 50 so-and-sos who believe y to make the claim that's already made in article. In response to DJ Clayworth in particular, given what's already in the present article, we have "record[ed] that there are scientists who believe in Creationism". — Scientizzle 20:02, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
Furthermore, the continuance of Hassandoodle's edit warring by DJ Clayworth (talk · contribs) is regretable. It's clear you disagree with several of us regarding the application of WP:UNDUE, but it's also clear that many have registered on this page and in reversion edit summaries that inclusion of that version of text is not currently supported. — Scientizzle 20:22, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
Please remember that this article is not an argument or a dispute, so you cannot reject statements based on the grounds that they are disallowed under the rules of debate, such as claiming they are an "appeal to authority". This article is a record of facts about the belief. An indication of the number of scientists who believe in Creationism is surely relevant to it, and more useful than simply stating that "some" believe it. It might also be helpful to to indicate what fraction of scientists this number represents, if you can find a referenced source for that.
I'm sorry you think my contribution part of an 'edit war', but you had certainly not established that recording the views of scientists constituted 'undue weight' which was the reason given for your statement removals. DJ Clayworth (talk) 20:26, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
Please read all the sources I linked to above--they are each far superior to the one you just added. As I said, we can disagree regarding the application of WP:UNDUE, but it's clear that current consensus rejects the inclusion of the particular addition. It has received support from you and Hassandoodle. BRPierce above seeks a middle ground. The info has been rejected by me, Ramdrake, Snalwibma, DVdm, Slrubenstein, dave souza & WLU. WP:CONSENSUS is evident--at best, there is no current consensus for inclusion, at worst, it's a complete rejection. — Scientizzle 20:34, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
I'd have substantially less of a problem if these sources replaced the ones above, rather than just taking the less-reliable sources out. DJ Clayworth (talk) 20:43, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
Do you have any specific suggestions for improvements to Creationism#Prevalence? Also, Level of support for evolution deals specifically with the "level of support for evolution among scientists, the public and other groups". I'd suggest that detailed or large offerings may be appropriate there as Creationism should be a broader article that may not be able to effectively absorb too much. — Scientizzle 23:11, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
I believe a mention is warranted if it has prominence with Creationists. After all the article is about them. I would caution that lists provided need to be tempered with the nuances and qualifications that come with individuals. Many here know of Bob Davidson who was on a Discovery Institute's list of scientists rejecting evolution, when in fact it was quite the opposite. - RoyBoy 00:54, 11 November 2008 (UTC)


Agreed. What I'd like to see is a brief mention that covers both the argument and the very real flaws in the Creationist lists(possibly with a link to Level of support for evolution) without lapsing into ridicule. I know it's frustrating to have to engage in constant edit-warring over the same points, but we should really make a concerted effort not to let the article itself become acrimonious. --BRPierce (talk) 13:20, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
The #United States section covers this in principle, "In 1987, Newsweek reported: "By one count there are some 700 scientists with respectable academic credentials (out of a total of 480,000 U.S. earth and life scientists) who give credence to creation-science, the general theory that complex life forms did not evolve but appeared 'abruptly.'"[71][72]", but a more explicit reference to the claims to scientific qualifications by creationists could be added as a second paragraph of the #Scientific critique section, following on from the mention of scientific consensus. . . dave souza, talk 14:16, 13 November 2008 (UTC)


That seems reasonable. I'll be honest, though--I'm having a hard time coming up with a sufficiently-concise wording. Perhaps something like:
Various Creationist organizations produce lists of such scientists as evidence of controversy within the scientific community; however, these lists have been criticized for including individuals without relevant qualifications, or occasionally individuals who do not endorse Creationism at all.
...with appropriate citations, of course, and maybe the aforementioned link to Level of support for evolution. Thoughts? --BRPierce (talk) 16:25, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

←I think this might be close to a reasonable solution. This section of Level of support for evolution deals with these assorted "lists of scientists who __" and provides relevant links to major ones. Here's my minor tweaks to your suggestion:

Creationist organizations have challenged the scientific consensus supporting the evidence for evolution, producing—as evidence of an alleged controversy within the scientific community—lists of scientists who dispute evolutionary theory. However, these lists have been criticized for including few individuals with relevant qualifications, or occasionally individuals who do not endorse Creationism at all.

Scientizzle 20:46, 13 November 2008 (UTC)


That works for me. Does anyone else have objections to Scientizzle's proposed wording, or can we call it consensus? --BRPierce (talk) 13:04, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

Suggested Edit

In the section that reads:

"When mainstream scientific research produces conclusions which contradict a creationist interpretation of scripture, the strict creationist approach is either to reject the conclusions of the research,[4] its underlying scientific theories,[5] and/or its methodology.[6] For this reason, both creation science and intelligent design have been labeled as pseudoscience by the mainstream scientific community.[7]"

I think it might be useful to point out the reason why the rejection of "conclusions of research" or "scientific theories" or "methodologies" is relevant to making creationism pseudoscience - i.e. that creationism is thereby rendered unfalsifiable and not being falsifiable is a hallmark of pseudoscience. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.166.51.39 (talk) 07:19, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

Should 'Creationism' be organized as a Recruitment Booklet?

The above unsigned article brings the subject back to my point: shouldn't 'Creationism' be a discussion of a dispute itself: it's basis, reason, &c? I suspect one can find many references that support the view by very good scientists that scientific realists, those who turn science into a religion, are very bad scientists or not scientists at all. This article doesn't give the impression that Creationists are a fringe of society, and there are no religious conflicts among the vast majority of scientists.

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/scientific-realism/

I'm a positivist and have great interest in reading of scientific explanations of events in Exodus and even Genesis, which, having been a volcanologist, I have no trouble imagining true; and I have always given great respect to anecdotal evidence of animals being able to anticipate earthquakes. There is nothing 'creationist' about the former, or 'realist' about the latter.

However, I wish to examine the claim by Scientizzle that "I can cite that only 7% of National Academy of Sciences members (the cream of the PhD crop)--and only 5.5% of NAS biologists--have personal belief in God." Many of my religious friends were in the Academy; and no one has ever questioned the quality of my science or methodology. My personal experience has been that the best scientists are highly religious, their faith helping them in science. I consequently find this statement inflammatory and bigoted. I should like it's details examined. If a 'personal belief in God' mean scientific, or provable (as it once meant), I believe few or no scientists (nor Buddhist monks) would have this belief. (If it were provable, of what value would be 'faith'?)

Mine are discussions about the cause of dispute. Shouldn't discussion about the validity of Creationism be discussed elsewhere?

Bruce Bathurst, BSc, AM, MA, PhD Geologist (talk) 22:25, 15 November 2008 (UTC)


The usual dispute is covered in Creation-evolution controversy, the question of creationism fully compatible with science is shown in Creationism#Theistic evolution. Any polls should be taken with a large pinch of salt, and while it's come up on the talk page it doesn't seem to be mentioned in the article. Not sure what Scientific Realism has to do with it, who are they in dispute with, if anyone? The question of expectation or otherwise of physical evidence supporting or proving religion is an interesting issue going back to the theological empiricism of the late 18th century, and that might be an area worth exploring as part of the theological debates or disputes around creationism. . . dave souza, talk 23:27, 15 November 2008 (UTC)


Scientific realism is what creationists believe science is. It's the belief that there is a unique explanation for every phenomenon, which 'scientists' believe their theories are. It is the crux of why religion appears to conflict with science. It is the reason we have creation myth, religion, and an historical outline of philosophical differences filling 'Creationism'. The belief that 'scientific realism' is good science is the crux of the conflict that creationists have with scientists.

'Looking at this with formal logic: <SNIP> It is this conflict that is determinative of creationism, not the precise contents of the myth/interpretation. HrafnTalkStalk 07:38, 5 September 2008 (UTC)'

"I can cite that only 7% of NAACP members (the cream of the crop)--and only 5.5% of civil rights activists--have personal belief in God." How does that sound? Were that the statement, should I not even question it, but just let it stand and leave quietly? Geologist (talk) 01:21, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for the reference to Creation-evolution controversy. That is the article that should be titled 'Creationism', and I believe you should make reference to it as early as possible in this article (perhaps in the first line). If 'Creationism' is indeed religion, as stated, why isn't most of this article an offshoot of Creation myth#Judaism and Christianity?

It is instead, a summary of Judean-Christian creation myths to choose from: support of Creationism (even before it existed) by various scientists, various sects' ways of coping with science, opinions of courts & lawyers -- in short, it might give some readers the illusion of being a soft-sell of Creation science.

This is not helped by the essential hiding of Creation-evolution controversy, and the huge number of offshoot articles (far in excess of their importance) that appear to offer the reader a choice of beliefs, when the simple article Creation-evolution controversy covers what the encyclopedia reader wants to know about Creationism.

It's my opinion that the title 'Creationism' should be assigned to the article 'Creation-evolution controversy', to direct the reader to the most appropriate article on the subject.

Geologist (talk) 03:51, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Don't agree.
Regarding your changed heading, the article is organised as an explanation of the various forms and meanings of creationism as shown in expert secondary sources. If you think that serves as a recruitment booklet presumably given your stated convictions you'll be delighted at the exposure it gives to Fr. George Coyne's illuminating statement that "in America, creationism has come to mean some fundamentalistic, literal, scientific interpretation of Genesis. Judaic-Christian faith is radically creationist, but in a totally different sense...."
Can't find this statement by Hrafn you keep snipping – diff to the original, please.
Regarding the reference to Creation-evolution controversy, have you looked at the first two sentences of this article?
'Creationism' means more than 'Creation-evolution controversy', as this article explains. We summarise expert opinion on the subject, not your unsupported opinion on "what the encyclopedia reader wants to know about Creationism".
Hope that helps, . . dave souza, talk 08:21, 16 November 2008 (UTC)


The problem here is that "Creationism" is a polyseme. On the one hand, it can apply to anyone who believes the universe was created by a divine power; on the other hand, it applies specifically to those who believe in the Genesis account of Creation.
On the third hand, though (darn those mutations!) it applies to a very specific political and religious movement which is defined primarily by its opposition to the theory of evolution and methodoligical naturalism, and by active efforts to undermine the same. As this is one of the types of Creationism being examined in the article, it's virtually impossible NOT to devote a large part of the article to discussing evolution. --BRPierce (talk) 13:26, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

←...I've been out of town for a week and haven't yet had time to review all the new content on this page. Id did notice, however, that my citation of a correspondence in Nature (here) seems to have inflamed things (or at least one person) somewhat. The point of that citation was simple: Hassandoodle (talk · contribs) was quite adamant and willing to edit war over the inclusion of a particular list of people with PhDs that accept YEC tenets and reject evolution, and an associated cadre of weasel words. The general response, from me and others, was to criticize the proposed inclusion for several reasons.

  • It promoted a particular organization
  • It would have been WP:OR to extrapolate the existence of creationist scientists as a class from a small, agenda-driven data set
  • These lists, as a class, are notorious for inclusion of people with advanced degrees but no relevant qualifications or input into the field of evolutionary biology, are used to make claims stronger than that which the scientists signed on for, and occasionally even include individuals that reject that which they are asserted to support
  • Most of all: the existence of people who hold advanced professional degrees and accept literal biblical creationism is not in dispute, but appropriate discussion of the phenomenon necessitates clear context. Whether "x number of PhDs believe y" matters depends on their relative impact within a particular field, which is a function of their qualifications, the strength of their case, and the prevalence of their view. The NAS citation and the other sources I provided were a way of showing that relevant reliable sources, that provide substantially more context, it is clearly demonstrated that the mainstream view is highly supported within fields relevant to evolutionary biology and the scientific community in general. The NAS source was useful to counter the constant appeals to authority in the conversations with Hassandoodle & others.

My personal experience has been that the best scientists are highly religious, their faith helping them in science. I consequently find this statement inflammatory and bigoted. I should like it's details examined.

If you find it "inflammatory and bigoted", take it up with Larson & Witham. I quoted them accurately, so if you feel your anecdotal experience is sufficient to counter their claims, or question their methodology, Larson's email is provided in the source. — Scientizzle 17:24, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

The Science of Creationism

I would like to ask permission to provide the science that shows the way the Creation was accomplished and is supported even now by Hubble photographs. The Hubble pictures show the on-going process of how matter is created from the beginning "nothing" starting point that is obviously required in the universe. Since this Creationism article has absolutely no science provided at all I am asking for consideration to at least provide the science involved so there is a fair and balanced coverage of the topic. As for the science I do know how matter is created from nothing, and even how cold objects of atoms then are used to make all life forms like plants, animals and humans. I am not describing whimsical science or anything like that, but instead the actual physics and real science that is involved. Thank you for your consideration. ~~SteveCrum (talk) 7:21, 17 November 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 63.26.161.24 (talk)

Unfortunately, what you are requesting permission to do violates Wikipedia's policies on original research. If you have any claims that have been published in reliable, third part sources, we will be happy to include them, as long as they are presented in a neutral, unbiased way. Erik the Red 2 ~~~~ 22:26, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
You can do anything you like as long as you comply - fully - with our core policies of WP:NPOV, WP:V and WP:NOR. That said, you seem to be mixing up two things. This article is about creationism, which is a set of beliefs primarily (though not entirely) about the creation of different species of animals on earth. This is different from what you are talking about, which is the creation of the universe. Slrubenstein | Talk 22:25, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
Science, by its rules, must consider living things only objects, so your claim doesn't appear to mix things to a scientist. Geologist (talk) 05:59, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
This is not an article on science, it is an article on creationism. The article on evolution is not an article on science, it is an article on evolution. Science itself is broken down into different disciplines and fields, which have different objects of study, employ different methods, and are guided by different theories. Slrubenstein | Talk 21:40, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
Mr Crum, I thought wrote that his was a scientific argument designed to bring a neutral point of view to 'Creationism'. Mr Red's remark is correct, though Mr Crum's request does bring up whether to treat a subject that conflicts with a vastly more acceptable one as neutral just by presenting it (qualified with a few words, like 'claims' or 'appears'). There was an excellent argument, presented in symbolic logic, that Creationism is a 'conflict', so creation-evolution controversy should be the principal article, renamed 'Creationism', and this article given a different name and referenced from that one. However, even if this article is considered more balanced than creation-evolution controversy, it isn't considered appropriate, in Mr Rubenstein's core policies, to mix extreme views to balance an article. So, I should say you should publish it in the primary literature instead. Geologist (talk) 01:35, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

Here is the internal reference to what 'Creationism' is that I find very compelling. This is what I am basing my suggested improvements upon. Sorry, time for kitty-cats again, so I use the old-fashioned link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Creationism/Archive_19#The_core_definition_of_Creationism

Geologist (talk) 01:35, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

This article appears a classification of creationists: which aspect of science offends your religious beliefs, what name you should call yourself, and which famous people support your beliefs. Pick and choose. The scientists' description of what they do has been relegated to creation-evolution Controversy. Here you can reference others' scientific papers on cosmology and evolution, if they explain in the articles clearly what science is. If you should be referring to the article's false statement 'Creation science is the attempt to present scientific evidence interpreted with Genesis axioms that supports the claims of creationism', qualified only by the word 'attempt', you have been mislead.
Science is essentially a game, played with axioms based upon observation and measurement only, not upon statements in 'Genesis'. These axioms are chosen so the theorems predict observations and measurements that one has found true, and predict more that have not yet been tested, but can be. (The more the better.) The scientific theory that is currently the best holds the 'true' trophy, until overthrown. Science is a tool for prediction: many famous scientists have used theories known to be false for years, just because they were close enough (19th Century chemists preferred Caloric Theory over Thermodynamic Theory). 'True' in science involves no belief; for we hope our theories will be replaced by a better one, when the current one will then be 'false'.
There is no belief system in science: the above is all there is. However, it is often entertaining (and helpful) to actually assume a theory is correct, until proven otherwise. One shouldn't overdo this. Consequently, attractive theories in cosmology and evolution cannot possibly tell you how the universe was created or life evolved (if it did). You'll need to rephrase that.
It should have been nice to see in this article a discussion of whether and which particular scientific theories currently labeled 'true' by the rules of science, actually conflict with religious documents in their original languages, or whether this is caused by ignorance of each. It does not. The statement that scientists believe the existence of any 'factual' theory (a belief in the domain of philosophy, but not science) would only provide the 'mechanism' for theistic phenomena (acts of God) is irrelevant here, for creationism appears to refute such a theistic belief. My apology for not answering earlier queries; I was going to this evening, but devoted my time to this reply.) Geologist (talk) 05:59, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
Of coursde science is a language game, so is religion. But these games have rules and one game is different from other games. The mainstream view is that creationism does not play the science game. There may be a fringe view that says it does. "Mainstream" and "fringe" are terms in the Wikipedia language game, and if you want to play our game you need to use these terms appropriately. If we wikipedians consider a certain view of creationism as fringe, it will not go into the article. I believe I have just listed a consistent set of propositions concerning different "games" to use your term. Slrubenstein | Talk 14:53, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
Areas of dissonance between religion and science vary over time, and there are many different religious views held by some creationists and not others. Thus Newton's explanation of the rainbow conflicted with the introduction of the rainbow as a miraculous sign of the Covenant not to repeat the Flood. There is also a longstanding principle that the study of natural history, geology, and science in general, should be pursued without reference to the Bible. That the Book of Nature and Scripture came from the same Divine source, ran in parallel lines, and when properly understood would never cross.[9] That principle was current when Darwin was still a university student, but has been rejected by the anti-evolution creationists of the 1920s onwards. . . dave souza, talk 15:55, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
Science is no more a language game than military science, but at its core are a set of procedures that the best scientists agree upon, according to the NAS quote in creation-evolution controversy. As an example, theoreticians must be careful in using language. Considering science a language game (which only mathematic is) leads one to many unintuitive statements, paradoxes. One, known as the 'Gibbs Paradox', was shown to be easily explicable by Bridgman, a Nobel laureate in experimental physics, if one remembers that science is a game founded upon observation, measurement, testability - and is not a 'language game'. Geologist (talk) 19:17, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
It was you who called science a game, first. From what you wrote, I do not think you understand what Wittgenstein meant by a language game. He would certain say that mechanical engineering, geology, and military science are all language games, or have distinct and defining language games, just as religions do. In any event, you are evading the real issue, which is compliance with our NPOV, V, and NOR policies. If you have no interest in complying with those policies I suggest you are better off finding a chat room - Wikipedia is not a chat room. If you are committed to our core policies, you have to explain how your proposed edits will put this article more in alignment with our core policies. That would indeed be constructive. Slrubenstein | Talk 21:37, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
Did I miss a reference to Wittgenstein? I'd rather discuss improving the article, but I was fortunate enough to have read Russell's 'Principles of Mathematics' before reading Wittgenstein's 'Tractatus'. Wittgenstein was attempting, like Russell, to show the equivalence of logic and mathematics; but show it without resorting to Russell's awkward 'types'. If I remember correctly, he stopped writing after enthusiastic followers mistook his logical 'molecule' for a chemical one (his words, more or less). I'll give a reference, if anyone cares. It's been decades, but I can't remember Wittgenstein using 'language game', or 'game' at all. Geologist (talk) 01:35, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
Religious belief, of monks at least, is difficult to define; but it is as far from a language game as a 'knowledge' can be. For this reason, I describe the 'truth' of science with the word 'acceptance', and that of and religion with the work 'belief'. The latter is far too weak a term. There are, perhaps, personal rules. These are rules that define the divine to one. They assist one in interpreting religious literature (and I draw upon ideas from science and many other religions to help me understand those parts of scripture that I can't understand (conflict with my personal experiences, or 'rules'). This is not uncommon. The Amish of Pennsylvania, I understand, base their common 'rules' solely upon the Book of Matthew in the New Testament (of Jesus). This they use to individually interpret the rest of the Bible.
You write: 'If we wikipedians consider a certain view of creationism as fringe, it will not go into the article.' My use of 'fringe' here, new to English, is 'the tail of a population'. I choose about 5%. According to the Creation-evolution Controversy (and if I remember correctly), this fringe characterizes creationists in Australia, where creationism is strongest. Similarly, according to Scientizzle's citation that 93-95% of the NAS scientists are atheists. Consequently, good scientists who draw upon their theistic view of reality as a tool form a fringe group: their use of faith as a tool should not be 'gone into' in any discussion of creativity in science.
Creationism, however, it was argued (in symbolic logic), is a conflict; and its content, which your article shows varies greatly, is only ancillary to the subject of the article. Again, my apology on not providing references now: it's time for 'kitty-cats' with my Granddaughter. However, I should greatly appreciate, if it's convenient, a reference to the Wikipedia's definition of 'fringe' - and I'm still witing for Scientizzle's citation on the NAS survey I used here. The definition of 'creationism' I use, and the brilliant reasoning used to argue it (by an editor apparently drummed from the Wikipedia) has been archived. I need a little more time to learn how to reference it with a link. My apology again. Geologist (talk) 19:17, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
You have obviously not read our polices, or you have read them and do not understand them, or have read and understand them and do not wish to comply with them. Any of these three possibilites shows contempt for Wikipedia and those of us collaborating in writing articles. When you can tell us which significant views from notable and relevant authorities found in reliable sources support your claims about relgion, for example, and creationism, perhaps we can move forward. You admit your use of fringe is new to English, but so what? Your use of fringe is as relevant as my personal use of fringe, all that matters here is Wikipedia's use of fringe. Enjoy playing with the kiddtens and your granddaughter. Whenever you want to contribute to Wikipedia, just comply with our policies and provide the sources that support your claim that the views you have shared here are notable and significant according to the standards and definitions of terms of our policies, and we have something to discuss. Until then, there is nothing to discuss. Enjoy the kittens! Slrubenstein | Talk 21:46, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm not a editor, because I read 'your' policies long ago. Later. Kitty-cat time. Geologist (talk) 01:35, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
It is fair to ask Scientizzle for his source, but I am not sure the NAS survey is even necessary here. Even if all scientists believed in God, I do not think it would change the basic elements of this article at all. That some scientists believe in God does not negate the fact that some believers in God do not believe in science, or at least that portion of science called the theory of evolution, which is the point here. Slrubenstein | Talk 21:49, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
No, it would not. The point of Creationism is no problem. It's the way it is presented here. If all scientists believed in God, why does the article present statistics that attempt to prove scientists are mostly atheists, and this proportion increases with education? This is inflammatory, and unproved. What has it to do with Creationism? Geologist (talk) 23:34, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
Geologist, I want to apologize if I have misunderstood you. I think at first I confused you for Steve Crum but now I see that you are not. Going through your comments a second time I fear we have just gone off on a tangent, but I just do not see what changes you are proposing to the article. 22:11, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
The "tail"? WTF and OMZ. The offered def of fringe fitsvery nicely with all of the known defs. As for what 5% of Wikipedians think, who cares? I might believe that the sun is flat and green: relevance? &#0149;Jim62sch&#0149;dissera! 21:54, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

Bruce Bathurst/Geologist's concerns

Geologist (talk) 11:31, 21 November 2008 (UTC) here. I should like to review my initial concerns about this article.
1. Is there such a topic as 'Creationism', or are there just 'creationists'? Slrubenstein has remarked 'some believers in God do not believe in science, or at least that portion of science called the theory of evolution, which is the point here'. When a minority group disagrees with a majority of people, is this not a conflict? Is 'Creationism' a conflict or an alternative option for the religious? If it's the former, should not the article focus on the conflict itself: the content of creation-evolution controversy. This article could be branched out from that one, for people interested in the minutia of all the many kinds of refutation.
2. Again, if 'some believers in God do not believe in science, or at least that portion of science called the theory of evolution, which is the point here', should you not know what science is? The initial query in this section, which was to balance the creationist view with a scientific view, is discouraged by the Wikipedia, for it suggests there is not a huge, normal population of scientists who are religious. SteveCrum used the work 'know' (just a 'faux pas' in formal scientific speech), but used religious axioms. Sirubenstein took objection to my remarking that science (not creation science), which Mr Crum was discussing, required as axioms sentences involving observable or measurable, natural phenomena. This is serious.
Axiomatic theories are almost never how science is expressed, but I've personally used them to separate the science (the axioms & theorems) from the mathematics. Only within an axiomatic theory can scientific 'truth' be simply defined. My suggestion to an editor who knows what science is to define it early in the article. It's always nice to know what you don't believe in. :-)
a. Look up 'empirical evidence' and 'science' in the Wikipedia, or examine
b. Pierre Duhem's 'The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory, 1954 (translation of 2d 1914 ed), Princeton: Princeton University Press. (Duhem wrote how his science was greatly helped by his devout Catholicism.)
c. Percy W. Bridgman's 'The Logic of Modern Physics', 1927. NY: Macmillan. (Bridgman was represented on American TV as one of the dark, scary government men in the shadows of the X-Files.)
For an excellent presentation of natural science, accepted by everyone I know, see
d. Carl G. Hempel, 'Fundamentals of Concept Formation in Empirical Science'. 1952. v.2, n.7 of the International Encyclopedia of Unified Science, Chicago: Chicago University Press.
For scientific theory as an interpretation of an axiomatic theory, (as well as the scientist's definition of 'truth'), see
e. Alfred Tarski's 'Introduction to Logic and to the Metholology of Deductive Sciences. 1941. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
If you really want to understand even more what a scientist means as 'true', you may wade through this
f. Alfred Tarski's 'The Semantic Conception of Truth (and the Foundations of Semantics)'. 1944. 'Symposium on Meaning and Truth', Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, v. IV.
3. The article should not give the impression that most scientists are not religious. The queries posed in the polls cited reveal nothing, for they add such qualifications as 'but God had no part in this process'. Almost all early scientists were members of the clergy, and many still are.
Particularly troubling is the outrageous statistic 'cited' in the talk section made by one of the article's editors (that about 95% of outstanding scientists don't believe in a 'personal God'). That another editor should minimize it, that and no other editor should object troubles me. Combine that statistic with 'by one count there are some 700 scientists with respectable academic credentials (out of a total of 480,000 U.S. earth and life scientists) who give credence to creation-science, the general theory that complex life forms did not evolve but appeared 'abruptly' Combining these two statement makes it appear that essentially every PhD is an atheist; so if you're religious, run down the page and choose your classification. This is unacceptable, and gives me, at least, the impression that this article was accidentally structured so it recruits 'creationists'.
My bias is stated clearly in my user page, and it has prevented me from editing articles on subjects I'm expert in. For those who would like to edit section 3, I can mention some scientists considered by me as 'great', who were geologists, evolutionary biologists, and cosmologists & astronomers, and were very religious. These are listed to illustrate why I question the implications of your statistical surveys, that 95% of very good scientists are atheists. The key is your definition of 'personal God', which I should like to see defined in the article.
William Whewell (first to coin the word 'science')
Nicolas Steno (geologist beatified in 1987)
Edward Hitchcock (New England geologist, Congregationalist pastor)
Adam Sedgwick (Cambridge professor & founder of the most ancient of geologic periods)
Charles Darwin (accepted theory of coral atolls & much more)
Carolus Linnaeus
Fr. Gregor Mendel
Asa Grey, MD (Contributor to the 'Origin of the Species', 'Grey's Manual of Botany', 'Natural selection not inconsistent with Natural :"theology')
Charles Darwin ('On the Origin of Species')
As with all Christians, Darwin questioned his faith at times, but here is some correspondence with Asa Grey, courtesy of :'Christians in Science': 'In my most extreme fluctuations I have never been an Atheist in the sense of denying the existence of a :God. (Darwin, F., 1958:59)' To Asa Gray: 'I can see no reason why a man, or other animal, may not have been expressly designed :by an omniscient Creator, who foresaw every future event and consequence. (Brooke, 1985:56).'
Nicolaus Copernicus
Fr. Johannes Kepler
Galileo Galilei
Isaac Newton
Robert Millikan (Nobel Laureate in Physics, 'Evolution in Science and Religion'
Arthur Compton (Nobel Laureate in Physics, Baptist Deacon, 'Christianity Takes a Stand')
Charles Coulson (Davy Medalist, 'Science & Christian Belief, 1955')
Edward Arthur Milne (cosmologist, 'Modern Cosmology and the Christian Idea of God')
Fr. Georges Lemaître (Cosmologist, proposed Big Bang theory, Roman Catholic priest)
Should you wish to know your enemy better, so you can present better arguments again science, my gratitude to 'Christians in :Science'. (Good luck, Mr Phelps.)

4. The article could be reorganized so it's structure, with single qualifying words in key sentences, the 'Scientific Critique' at the end are eliminated. As is, it gives the impression of a conflict of interest by the authors, an accidental violation of the Wikipedia's core policies.

http://cis.org.uk/about

The Language of God: A scientist presents evidence for belief, Francis Collins , Simon And Schuster 2006, 295pp, £18. ISBN 0-7432-9639-1 Parameter error in {{isbn}}: Invalid ISBN.

This is an excellent introduction to the relationship between Christianity and science, interwoven with personal stories. Francis Collins, head of the human genome project describes how he started student life as an atheist, but discovered Christianity. He tells how his discoveries in genetics, and the human genome project have increased his view of the glory of God.


Coming to peace with science, Darrel Falk, IVP (USA) 2004, 235pp, £12. ISBN 0-8308-2742-0

Darrel Falk is a lecturer in biology at Point Loma Nazarene University, California. In this book he explains evolutionary biology very clearly, covering the fossil record, population genetics and molecular biology in detail. He sympathetically picks his way through the various theological arguments on all sides of the debate, and comes to the conclusion that Christianity is compatible with evolutionary biologist. He stresses that although Christians are bound to disagree on this issue, views on the mechanism of creation should not be used as a test for Christian orthodoxy.


Does evolution have any religious significance?, Denis R Alexander , Christians in Science 2006 (1998), price £1.00, ref. no. L9801, obtainable from the Publications Secretary, CiS, 16 Walter Road, Wokingham RG41 3JA

Some Christians think that accepting evolution is incompatible with their faith. Some atheists think that any religious faith is incompatible with evolution. This booklet, by a professional biologist suggests otherwise. After explaining the meaning of biological evolution, and related concepts such as natural selection, mutation and speciation, the author deals with the following issues: the claim that evolution is intrinsically atheistic; "evolution depends on chance"; the origin of Life; the origin of Species; the origin of Humankind; and the problem of Pain, Suffering, Death and the Fall.


Responsible dominion: a Christian approach to sustainable development, Ian Hore-Lacy, Regent College Publishing 2006, 170 pp, £15.00. ISBN 1 57383 342 8.

For a long time most Christians left concern for the environment to secular pressure groups. Now that environmental awareness is becoming more widespread among Christians, the question arises whether there is a specifically Christian approach. Ian Hore-Lacy argues that Christian stewardship of the earth differs from the secular programme because the latter does not put enough emphasis on the value of human life, which is stressed throughout the Bible. As a practitioner in the energy industry, he writes from experience on such aspects of sustainable development as energy transfer, food production, obtaining minerals and the use of land, always placing human values to the fore in caring for God¹s creation.


Can we believe Genesis today? The Bible and the questions of science, Ernest Lucas, IVP 3rd Edn 2005, 192 pp, £8, review S&CB 14 (1) p.96. ISBN 1 84474-120-6

This book has been written by a research scientist who is now a tutor in biblical studies at Bristol Baptist College. It provides a very readable exploration of the main interpretations of the early chapters of Genesis and suggests how a choice can be made between them. In addition to considering the literal, the concordist and the literary cultural approaches to understanding Genesis, the author addresses the general question of how to interpret the Bible in a scientific culture, and also deals with such issues as design and chaos in relation to creation, and various problems which have been perceived in these chapters. Highly recommended. Available from Christians in Science at the special price of £5.


Caring for creation, Sarah Tillett (ed.), Bible Reading Fellowship 2005 (Nov), £8.99. ISBN 1 84101 439 7

Compiled by the director of Tearfund UK and published in conjunction with the international Christian conservation organisation A Rocha, this book links the Bible and environmental issues. It includes a wide range of stories of environmental transformation around the world drawn from the work of A Rocha.


Can we be sure about anything? Science, faith and postmodernism, Denis Alexander (ed.), Apollos 2005, £12.99. ISBN 1 84474 076 5

Postmodernism suggests that truth is a personal, subjective matter: there are no objective universal truths, a view which is clearly inimical to Christianity. This book, derived from a CiS conference which addressed the issues, considers from a Christian stance such questions as: Can science really be objective? Has science anything to do with human values? What does quantum physics imply about the nature of reality? Who's telling the truth about BSE, the MMR vaccine and GM foods? How can belief in truth be maintained in a postmodern world? How do the media influence perceptions of truth claims in science, and in Christianity? Are Christianity and science inevitably in conflict? And (of course): Can we be sure about anything?


Designers of the future, D Gareth Jones, Monarch 2005, £8.99. ISBN 1 8542 4708 5

Playing God is a familiar phrase used about some scientists in the field. This book addresses the ethical issues surrounding such topics, including stem cell research, clones and cyborgs, designer babies, what is special about the human embryo, and the extent to which one should go in repairing and enhancing people. Professor Jones adopts a clear biblical viewpoint in this book, but does not fall into the trap of over-simplifying complex issues.

Geologist (talk) 11:31, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

WP:TLDR. Instead I will ask, what is suggested as a change to the page, specifically? And if these sources are to be used, do they represent the relevant mainstream position or do they place undue weight on a fringe or minority position? But before anything, the question is, what specific changes are suggested? If none are, then wikipedia is not a chatroom, and this is a mis-use of the talk page. WLU (t) (c) (rules - simple rules) 12:15, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

Remind the religious reading your article that there are more options to them than becoming a creationist. That towers above all others. Geologist (talk) 22:49, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

Every comment I have made (but to correct Wittgenstein) has been to point to you (the editors) major problems, not typos, for you to consider and either decide to fix or not. Undue weight is indeed a great problem. This article accepts authority for declaring science and religion incompatible, scientists atheists. An editor's proof that the vast majority of the best scientists are atheists is yet to appear. I present contrary evidence and question your authority. The references by scientists at the end are to help editors understand what science is (a basic problem at the moment) and what scientists (not creationists) think of its conflict with the religion of Christianity. Those books on religion written by the founders of geology, cosmology, and evolutionary biology are difficult to find. Parts of 'Creationism' are very well written (in my experience), but other parts create problems:
  1. Consider renaming this article, such as 'Kinds of Creationists' and referencing it from 'evolution-science controversy'.
  2. Define science in the article and correct the sentence I quoted that defines it incorrectly. One user used this sentence and confused 'creation science' and natural science.
  3. Note that the several famous scientists listed in those fields creationists see as conflicting with religions were religious. If they were not, please define 'personal God' for us religiously challenged. :-) Then we shall know why we are atheists and the religious person has no choice but to become a creationist.
  4. Consider restructuring your article so subtle terms, qualifying adjectives, placement in the article, and misleading statistics do not accidentally mislead the reader into believing, for example, that a religious person (please define) cannot be a scientist, and a scientist cannot be religious. Do not indicate that the reason 'Creation Science' isn't a natural science is only because of lawyers. This is what the article very strongly tells me, and it can be proved by one of the editors placing into the Article the statistical survey he sited on the Talk page, that about 95% of NAS members are atheist (or don't believe in a 'personal God') -- and are these the same?
Because your statistics incorrectly imply, and you do not correct, the statement that science and religion cannot both be accepted, :to the advantage of each, I offer what I hoped were more than enough references, courtesy of the British organization 'Christians :in Science', whose Cambridge and Oxford branches might have better statistics on how atheism increases with education. This is :very important: unless true, there is a possibility of your article being improperly used as hate literature.

Geologist (talk) 22:49, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

If there are creationists, then their subject is creationism. dave souza, talk 13:16, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
If your believe religion conflicts with science, are you conflict-ors? Geologist (talk) 22:49, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
As stated below, it's a commonly used term for their "-ism". . dave souza, talk 09:56, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
It's a well attested term, as shown by references. As for the rest, for any of it to feature here we need a reliable source making the connection of each point to creationism, and showing that it's significant enough to feature in this article rather than in a sub-article. dave souza, talk 13:16, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
My apology for confusing you. I suggest creation-evolution controversy be renamed 'Creationism', for it addresses the subject. This article is more on 'Kinds of Creationism'. Geologist (talk) 22:49, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
Ah, you seem to have confused this overview article, which does indeed cover all kinds of creationism, with the sub-articles or related articles specifically about the "controversy". Both have to be covered, and this has been accepted as the best way to organise the articles. . dave souza, talk 09:56, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
Couple of points – William Whewell was not "first to coin the word 'science'", he did coin the term 'scientist'.dave souza, talk 13:16, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes, thank you. (It was late.) :-) Geologist (talk) 22:49, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
Christians in Science' are mistaken if they think '"In my most extreme fluctuations I have never been an Atheist in the sense of denying the existence of a :God." was sent to Asa Gray – Francis Darwin describes it as Addressed to Mr. J. Fordyce.[10] dave souza, talk 13:16, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
Those brief quotes were not from them. Only the second was sent to Grey, the first to Fordyce, as I indicated, too awkwardly perhaps. Geologist (talk) 22:49, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
While the second statement is extracted from a letter to Gray, it lifts "I can see no reason why a man, or other animal, may not have been expressly designed :by an omniscient Creator, who foresaw every future event and consequence." out of context. The whole letter is worth reading, but this is the most relevant section:
"....I feel most deeply that the whole subject is too profound for the human intellect. A dog might as well speculate on the mind of Newton. Let each man hope and believe what he can. Certainly I agree with you that my views are not at all necessarily atheistical. The lightning kills a man, whether a good one or bad one, owing to the excessively complex action of natural laws. A child (who may turn out an idiot) is born by the action of even more complex laws, and I can see no reason why a man, or other animal, may not have been aboriginally produced by other laws, and that all these laws may have been expressly designed by an omniscient Creator, who foresaw every future event and consequence. But the more I think the more bewildered I become; as indeed I have probably shown by this letter."[11]. . . dave souza, talk 13:16, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for the elegant continuation, which to me continues the context. My article was long; and I didn't want to violate an acronym, or have it disappear into an archive before anyone could benefit from it. :-) If you felt my quote out of context, what was the purpose of your continuing it? This is very important to a problem with the article. Geologist (talk) 22:49, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
The reason for the context is that the Christians in Science extract implies that Darwin can "see no reason why a man, or other animal, may not have been expressly designed :by an omniscient Creator," but in context Darwin is seeing no reason why the creator may have designed laws which then produced mankind and animals. A very significant theological difference, the difference between intelligent design and theistic evolution. . dave souza, talk 10:06, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
This is article is not about science, and any discussions about science or scientists are - at best - in the wrong place. SHEFFIELDSTEELTALK 18:57, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
No, it's about a fringe group (reportedly less than 5% of the population) who believe their religion conflicts with science. The definition of natural science presented here, which with they conflict, is wrong and should be corrected. Their statistics that attempt to prove the best scientists (those who create theories) are less religious than the normal population make discussions about scientists extremely relevant. There is a danger here. Geologist (talk) 22:49, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
Please briefly summarise your proposed changes to the article and the sources you wish to cite. Regards, SHEFFIELDSTEELTALK 23:19, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
Based on the sources cited, I don't see a reason to change the page. "Kinds of creationism" would be redundant since creationism isn't monolithic, so it is appropriate that the different kinds of creationism be discussed here. Sources about science from the 50s and before, when positivism was still in full swing, aren't appropriate for now. Talk pages aren't reasons to change main pages. The comment about "religious readers" is unclear and irrelevant - wikipedia is aimed at all and no readers, it does not adjust content to a specific group. Wikipedia is not an appropriate or reliable source for itself, so we are obliged to discuss the intersection of creationism and science per that found in reliable sources. The list fluffed by the ICR of "scientists who disagree with evolution" is bullshit, and has been repeatedly criticized as bullshit, misleading to lay persons, misleading to signatories and misleading to scientists, missing the point, and blatantly a logical fallacy. I think we're done here without something more coherent. WLU (t) (c) (rules - simple rules) 04:04, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
SheffieldSteel, You will have to excuse my leaving this topic because of my health. The only changes I'm qualified to propose are scientific and religious. Consequently,
1. The sentence 'Creation science is the attempt to present scientific evidence interpreted with Genesis axioms that supports the claims of creationism' is unacceptable. This sentence is false if 'scientific evidence' refers to physical or natural science, because (in short) the axioms of a deductive theory contain the only substantial statement; the rest just follows from logic. Consequently, scientific axiomatic theory must contain at least one observation or measurement (as scientists rather than philosophers say), or 'empirical' from the tiny section on science at the bottom of the page. Only a creation scientist can fix this. Either replace 'scientific evidence' with 'creation-scientific evidence', or I have no solution.
For reference, see the positivist Duhem, Ch 2, Sec 1, 'What is the True Nature of a Physical Theory and the Operations Constituting It', which impressed Einstein to write an early positivist paper I can't find, which impressed Bridgman, who expanded Einstein's paper into the positivist book referenced above. (Bridgman later couldn't believe that he had discussed only measurement, and left out observation. Can't remember where I obtained this information.) The philosophy of science and bad science may not be positivist, but all good science is; and the best scientists, eclectic, know to cull for ideas from old primary literature of brilliant scientists. Ask for expert advice.
2. Remove the thinly disguised hate literature. These would be any remarks on the scientific beliefs of individuals (scientists), and meaningless statistics designed to give the false impression that there are significantly more atheists among scientists than the normal population. This has led to a labeling and persecution of me, at least, for being a geologist. This inflammatory material should be removed.
For reference, I can only cite the 'Natzi Youth Handbook', where I learned early to recognize the soft sell of evil. Geologist (talk) 08:00, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

However, I offer a last personal opinion. What little I know of Creationism came from my friend of the late '60s, an English major at Dartmouth College, where I was studying geology. His belief, that God placed fossils in rocks & such on 'the sixth day' (which has a special meaning in Hebrew) is possible, and can be of use in 'connecting oneself' with God. In matters of faith, probability theory is not applicable. Scientific theories are ephemeral. There is no need to attack science or scientists, for no good scientist believes his theory will certainly last. There is more than enough slack for any religious belief.

Creationists here see a need to undermine natural science, apparently at any cost to integrity, ethic, and morality. This entire agenda of creationist authors producing innumerable articles of questionable intent, using knowledge to skirt pretty much all the rules of the Wikipedia but 'conflict of interest' deserves, in my opinion, a good look by those who wrote these rules. Do these articles serve the Wikipedia and its readers, or do they serve creationist recruiters? This question should be investigated by someone qualified. I'm sorry my health and consequent reclusion prevents my helping in what little way I could.

Bruce Bathurst, PhD Princeton University —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bruce Bathurst (talkcontribs) 08:00, 22 November 2008

Bruce, thanks for bringing these various sources and ideas to our attention. I think your biggest concern is "statistics that attempt to prove the best scientists (those who create theories) are less religious than the normal population make discussions about scientists extremely relevant. There is a danger here." I can't see where this idea appears in the article, the nearest seems to be in the Prevalence section which states "Belief in creationism is inversely correlated to education; of those with postgraduate degrees, 74% accept evolution.[73][74] In 1987, Newsweek reported: "By one count there are some 700 scientists with respectable academic credentials (out of a total of 480,000 U.S. earth and life scientists) who give credence to creation-science, the general theory that complex life forms did not evolve but appeared 'abruptly.'"[75][76]" and of course "creation science" is a euphemism for anti-evolution creationism. The article emphasises that most religious bodies support the "theistic evolution" view which is fully compatible with science, while still creationist in the broader meaning of the term, and many scientists hold that view. If you can point to specific wording that might be strengthened, that would help to enable action to meet your concerns. . dave souza, talk 10:21, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

N/A under Humanity for ID in summary table?

In the summary table under "Types of Christian creationism", the intelligent design row has "N/A" for its origin of humanity column. Can this be clarified in the table, does it mean "ID explicitly doesn't cover this", or "ID treats humanity in the same way as other biological species" or something else? It isn't clear from the text on ID in the article. Lessthanideal (talk) 12:29, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

Good point, I've changed it to "Proponents hold various beliefs, Behe accepts evolution from primates" as a reasonably obvious answer. Since some are YEC and they share the anti-evolution stance of other creationists, presumably the others claim there's no common descent – opposition to "macroevolution" was a feature of Caroline Crocker's martyrdom. . dave souza, talk 13:06, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

How to classify ID

Should we touch on the dispute between ID proponents and evolution proponents, about whether ID = Creation Science? The NCSE refers to ID as "Intelligent Design Creationism", indicating their position that ID is nothing other than Creationism wearing a disguise. My thought is that they are confounding (perhaps deliberately) motivation with methodology.

Perhaps a personal anecdote will shed some light on this. When I worked at ABC, one of my tasks was to test software. So I would look hard to find some way of running the software to "break" it: to make the program crash or give incorrect results. My motivation, however, was not to embarrass the programmers in front of the boss or to make the project take longer to complete. Rather, it was to protect the development team as a whole from the embarrassment of delivering a faulty product, as well as to protect the user community from the inconvenience or distress of using a faulty program. Neither my boss nor the programmers ever brought up my motivation when it came time for me to submit test results. All they cared about was: "Is the program perfect, or are there reproducible errors in it?"

If a scientist says evolution can or cannot explain a phenomenon, it does not (or should not) matter what his motivation is. As long as his data collection methods and reasoning are sound, other scientists should respect his work. If they find errors, they should point them out; and other scientists should learn about these errors. It is this approach that distinguishes modern science from the conjectural or speculative approach taken by Aristotle; I believe it was Galileo who first tested the "heavy things fall faster" idea nearly two millenniums after it was first adopted by natural philosophers. But many times in the history of science, pioneers have met with resistance from the mainstream; supporters of the established paradigm would refuse even to consider or examine contrary evidence or reasoning. Pasteur's germ theory of disease comes to mind as an example. --Uncle Ed (talk) 16:19, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Hi Ed. We have many reliable sources, including a conservative judge, who say that ID is just creationism in a thin disguise. I agree with you about "As long as his data collection methods and reasoning are sound, other scientists should respect his work" - but ID has not, so far produced anything but useless nonsense. IDists have not found any significant "errors", what they do is use redefined terminology and non-sequiturs to appeal to a semi-literate audience. I've e.g. looked at a number of the claims that have to do with information - initially IDists did not understand the scientific meaning of information. Then they moved to "specified information" that is only defined in a Stewardesque sense, but still try to apply Shannon-Weaver like theorems. That is complete bogus, and obviously so to anybody who knows a bit about information theory. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 16:40, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
(Edit conflict) Ed - by this reasoning, when ID scientists are shown that their ideas are wrong (which, as Stephan points out, is running at 100% so far), they should learn from this and move on. That they don't, and that they ignore what "mainstream" scientists say, in large part explains why they are often judged on their motivations. Simply put, their motivations have corrupted their ability to properly do science. Anyway, given that we have an ID article, I think that's probably the best place for "ID = a particular flavour of creationism" material. Cheers, --PLUMBAGO 17:01, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
The reason that ID is equated with Creation Science and referred to as "Intelligent Design Creationism" is that all their "data collection methods", "reasoning" and "work" is a re-run of old creationist arguments with minor modifications, mainly changing "creationists" to "design proponents" or "cdesign proponentsists". See Pandas. It should also be noted that when a creationist says evolution can or cannot explain a phenomenon, it does not prove that creationism is correct. There's a line of court decisions on that point. dave souza, talk 19:07, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

So all 3 of you are saying that the NCSE viewpoint is correct? --Uncle Ed (talk) 19:52, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Well, I do (but then they gave me a T-shirt). So do the United States National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society - maybe they too got T-shirts, but maybe this is just a fact accepted by the vast majority of people who ever looked into the issue. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 20:29, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
Ed. you might be interested in this article about a creationist who gathered data on the basis of creationist assumptions, and went to considerable lengths to test his theory of intelligent design. . dave souza, talk 22:25, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

ID is classified as Neo-Creationism. It is to some extent a descendant of Creation Science (having Biologically-orientated Creation Scientists among its founders), but is by no means synonymous with that term. HrafnTalkStalk 12:31, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

Why this article exists

In prior threads, editors have questioned the reason that this article exists, when there are other articles that cover related material. Part of the reason lies in the contrasting treatments:

  • Creation-evolution controversy attempts to present a topical overview of the areas of dispute between creationism and science
  • Objections to evolution attempts to cover specific creationist "objections to" (or "weaknesses of" to use a phrasing currently a hot topic in Texas) evolution
  • There are likewise articles that provide a narrative History of creationism
  • This article in contrast attempts to provide a (largely taxonomic) overview of the topic

Same general topic, completely different way of pulling the facts together, and thus very little overlap of detail between them. HrafnTalkStalk 13:11, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

If there was argument to delete any of these three articles, this would certainly be the last one to be considered. Many encyclopedias have articles on creationism, few on 'objections to evolution' or the 'creation-evolution controversy'. Richard001 (talk) 01:52, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Fix the references

Whoever messed up the references, please unmess them. The first footnote is a mysterious "Hayward 1998, p. 11", who has apparently been deleted, and I suspect there will be others. Richard001 (talk) 01:50, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

I don't know who did it (it happened several months ago), but I've fixed it. What happened was that Hayward was a single cited reference in among a large number of uncited ones in the 'Further references' section that got deleted. Incidentally, it appears to be the sole Havard-reference in this article. Should the Havard format be stripped out for consistency? HrafnTalkStalk 03:21, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

Ann Coulter is used as a citation? Seriously? Richard.decal (talk) 01:35, 27 December 2008 (UTC)Richard.decal

Coulter is not used as a citation. PZ Myers' comments on her are. HrafnTalkStalk 03:21, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

Creating a graph for section

I reordered this section of the page, so the largest percentage was on top.

"A 2000 poll for People for the American Way found 70% of the American public felt that evolution was compatible with a belief in God. The poll estimated that: 20% of Americans believe public schools should teach evolution only; 17% of Americans believe that only evolution should be taught in science classes—religious explanations should be taught in another class; 29% of Americans believe that Creationism should be discussed in science class as a 'belief,' not a scientific theory; 13% of Americans believe that Creationism and evolution should be taught as 'scientific theories' in science class; 16% of Americans believe that only Creationism should be taught."

I'm a pretty visual person and I had trouble visualizing which group was the largest. However, Hrafn undid the change, saying that ordering by spectrum was clearer. I agree with Hrafn somewhat; I think a combining them would show both the spectrum and size. I have no idea how to make these diagrams, but a spectrum graph somewhat like the diagrams for wavelengths of light would be extremely helpful. From left to right, we could have mainstream to Creationist, then each section would be labeled and proportionate to size.

--76.93.130.28 (talk) 05:55, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

Converting this to an easy-to-read bar-graph is dead easy. Anybody know how to convert an MS-Excel graph to SVG? Or alternately, how to create bar-graphs directly within wiki-markup? HrafnTalkStalk 09:01, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

Here it is as a raster image: <image deleted as no longer needed>

What do people think? HrafnTalkStalk 09:48, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

Imageless graphs and charts can be done with CSS, but I know very little about it. [12] rossnixon 01:33, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
Can CSS be massaged into wiki-markup? This chart looks reasonably similar to what we want. HrafnTalkStalk 01:59, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
Some possibility seems apparent [13] rossnixon 02:06, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
What about the easy way! [14] - no CSS required. rossnixon 02:12, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

Here's the basic code for bar-box, but I can't get the widths/spacings working properly for it to look right:

Americans who believe that:
Public schools should teach evolution only
20%
Only evolution (not religious explanations) should be taught in science classes
17%
Creationism should be discussed in science class as a 'belief,' not a scientific theory
29%
Creationism and evolution should be taught as 'scientific theories' in science class
13%
Only Creationism should be taught
16%

HrafnTalkStalk 03:47, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

Hows that? Cheers, Ben (talk) 04:30, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
Still rather blobby, I'm afraid. HrafnTalkStalk 06:44, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
Less blobby? rossnixon 03:04, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
Better. Do we have a consensus for using this in the article as a replacement for the current, equivalent, text? HrafnTalkStalk 03:59, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
Looks great to me. I liked Hrafn's original graph, though, that showed the percentage marks. 76.93.130.28 (talk) 04:09, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
I did too, but bitmaps have a tendency to look awful at different resolutions, so I have a strong preference for a non-bitmap version. Also per policy, representations that have the text searchable (as the bar-box version does) are to be preferred over those that don't. HrafnTalkStalk 04:22, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

AfD for True.Origin Archive

FYI, True.Origin Archive has been recreated again (after being a redirect for more than a year. If you are interested, you can comment at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/True.Origin Archive. HrafnTalkStalk 17:50, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

"Intelligent design creationist/-ism" is not a neutral term

It is specifically used by opponents of ID as an invective and is in no way in line with Wikipedia's policy on NPOV. 67.135.49.198 (talk) 19:05, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

Nope, it's been documented and used in peer-reviewed publications. Guettarda (talk) 19:28, 1 February 2009 (UTC)
Why is it used? It it a disambiguation due to "intelligent design" being used to describe other ideas? rossnixon 02:05, 2 February 2009 (UTC)
I'm sure you'll provide proof of that the next time you revert the edit. 67.135.49.198 (talk) 21:47, 2 February 2009 (UTC)
It is needed to disambiguate. I believe in intelligent design, just as I believe in dumb design and bad design. Of course this is when referring to man made objects but xxx design is so frequently used in that context we do need to clarify the intention at certain points. In any case, there is nothing derogatory about it: ID is a creationist stance. The central tenet is that there must be a creator. Whether that creator is a deity or some other entity is irrelevant to its status as a creationist theory. To pretend otherwise is to protray the theory as somethign other than it is: that would be POV. CrispMuncher (talk) 21:46, 2 March 2009 (UTC).

protection

I request a form of protection for this article. I saw that an IP apparently made a vandalistic edit and then 1 minute later reverted it. I don't know what he/she was trying to do but I doubt we have seen the end of it.Prussian725 (talk) 20:53, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

This happens all the time on many articles, not just this one. Someone makes a change and for some reason is surprised to learn that their change has taken effect. I don't know why people bother if they assume that is not going to be the case. This article has had to put up with far more abuse than odd test edits like the last one in the edit history. In any case, if you want this page protected WP:RPP is the place to ask for it. CrispMuncher (talk) 21:29, 2 March 2009 (UTC).
Thank you. I just didn't know exactly what to do or what would happen.Prussian725 (talk) 04:54, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

Impotence

Recently, I came across this article (as part of my routine favorite topic trawl) and discovered an exceedingly odd anomaly towards the end of it: the scientific critique. Considering the size of the debate over creationism and evolution, and the even larger mass of evidence for evolution, I would have expected this section to be a lot beefier, not the meek end note that it is; it, in my opinion at least, severely understates the scientific opposition to creationism, relying on the opinions of a few high profile scientists, particularly Stephen Jay Gould (the foremost evolutionary biologist, in the eyes of the United States public), relegating it to 'we can't touch them.' Why? Because theologians and Stephen J. Gould said so. The writer (or writers) clearly do not understand what a scientific critique is; this critique looks more like a journalistic opinion piece. My fellow Wikipedians must realize that when it comes to science based wikipedia articles or sections, scientific referencing must over-ride opinion referencing (i.e. it matters not what they say, but how relevant, accurate, trustworthy and non-biased their evidence is) and quality rules over quantity.

P.S. the recently added last paragraph may need some references, specifically to Daniel Dennett's skyhook concept. NonChalance (talk) 12:13, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

P.P.S. I spoke too soon. That paragraph did have a point, and it may need formalizing; It is not the personal reflections of the author, merely a representation of the aforementioned Dan Dennett and Richard Dawkins. NonChalance (talk) 12:33, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

You must also keep in mind that there is an article for the creationism-evolution controversy. This article is specifically about creationism.Prussian725 (talk) 16:09, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

Please add link in External links, Evolution"

Please add link in "External links, Evolution":

Ziegelangerer (talk) 08:50, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

Creationism outside Genesis

The article should maybe explain that Christian creationism does not historically always rely on the Genesis account. For instance, in the beginning of the Gospel of John, there is a narrative on the divine Word that forms the basis for a great deal of early Christian theology, especially in Church Fathers like Clement of Alexandria. Also, many of the early apostles that had met Jesus in person accordingly believed that he was the living Creator, and therefore their early preaching had very little to do with contemporary literalist interpretations of the Genesis book. There are related beliefs about the Holy Trinity that require a more philosophical and intellectual hermeneutic of scripture. ADM (talk) 07:07, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

A secondary source is needed for such a claim. The closest I've seen is William Dembski's 'Logos' quote, which places Intelligent design creationism (but not creationism more generally) in the context of John's gospel. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 07:30, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
Such as " Cook, Frederic Charles, ed. (1881), The Holy Bible According To The Authorized Version (A.D. 1611) With an Explanatory and Critical Commentary and a Revision of the Translation by Bishops and Other Clergy of the Anglican Church, 3, pp. 656–657 " ? Dan Watts (talk) 09:53, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
John 1:1 - "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" - is a gloss on Genesis 1, which has God creating the world "in the beginning" by the power of the divine word ("God said, Let there be light! and the was light," and so on). So I'm sorry, but your point is not valid. PiCo (talk) 07:19, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

Multiple creators?

The article suggests that some creationists believe that multiple "deities" created the Universe. Is this true? The Classical gods of polytheism generally are not seen as creators. Steve Dufour (talk) 15:23, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

I think you're discounting some very notable polytheistic creation myths. For instance, in the Ancient Egyptian religion, you've got your pick of several different versions of creation involving one or more gods, such as Ptah. I imagine most religions have a creation myth of some sort. In old polytheistic religions, they seem to mostly involve the creation of the lands the beliefs originate in, rather than creation of the entire world, but the difference is probably academic, as I doubt they had any idea the world was very big at all. --GoodDamon 18:40, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Check out Creation myths for a buffet of various creation myths. KillerChihuahua?!? 18:59, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Are you saying that creationism existed in ancient Egypt? I have no problem if you are, but I think most people would think of it only refering to modern times, like the last 200 years or so. Steve Dufour (talk) 23:35, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
The Sumerians had creationism, about 20 centuries ago (1800 BC) which is 10 times the past you are giving creationism. I don't know what "most people" think. KillerChihuahua?!? 13:45, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
It depends on your definition of "creationism." The first sentence of this article defines it this way: "Creationism is the belief that humanity, life, the Earth, and the universe were created in their original form by a deity (often the Abrahamic God of Judaism, Christianity and Islam) or deities." By that definition, you could definitely have had strict creationist ancient Egyptians. In fact, without modern scientific knowledge, I imagine the majority of them attributed the existence of the world to their gods. I think the article on Young Earth creationism is more in line with what you're thinking of. --GoodDamon 15:28, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
No problem then. BTW I have heard it said that there were some atheists in ancient Egypt. Also does the belief that the Universe was created by supernatural agency, but not by specific "deities", also count as creationism? This is what some Buddhists and New Agers seem to think. Steve Dufour (talk) 14:07, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

I think that we need to distinguish between creation myths generally, and 'Creationism', a group of movements that grew out of religiously-motivated 'Anti-evolutionism' in the 20th century. However, as at least one strand of creationism, Hindu creationism, is polytheistic, I think including the possibility of multiple creators is appropriate. Creationism does not entail monotheism. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 04:05, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Thanks. That was the point I was trying to make. I think most people when they hear the word "creationism" or "creationist" are going to think of modern anti-evolutionists, not ancient Egyptians or Hindus.Steve Dufour (talk) 15:14, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
Ummm, some Hindus are "modern anti-evolutionists" -- again, see Hindu creationism. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 17:36, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
Then include them. :-) Steve Dufour (talk) 18:23, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
Ummm, they're already included: Creationism#Hinduism and creationism. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 02:48, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

On the subject that creationism doesn't imply a monotheistic notion, (i think) it should be understood that there is an interesting possibility that the wider notion of creation as an event might be seen to do so< creation will presumably refer to the primary creation, that is, the creation of the possibility of there being a creator alongside (as the same event) the creation of everything else (including any other possibilities!). Although this clearly begins to outline the paradox of the absolute existence of anything, it is easier to agree with this notion if it is seen to imply the creator as a single entity.

No doubt those who agree with the reduction of the definition of "creationism" to the views espoused by those with an agenda focusing on the rebuttal of the supposed contrary notions of evolutionary theory, will mark the above idea as one not consistent with being within the wider theory of creationism, by their definition. I, however, don't think such a reduction is necessary, nor indeed conducive to furthering the intellectual rigour of any or all of the people in either or indeed neither camp.Dubfeather (talk) 17:46, 4 June 2009 (UTC) my last post was probably mostly hot air of a decidedly soapy nature, in summary though i don't think it is necessary to define (nor treat)creationism as being wholly existent as a way of trying to refute evolutionary theory, not least as it clearly pre-dates the latter theory . I think the two notions co-exist quite happily as entirely seperate theories, rather than being totally at odds as they clearly try to explain different areas of thinking. Dubfeather (talk) 18:14, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Literal?

I removed the word "literal" from the text. When Genesis 1 clearly states that the solar day was not created until the 4th day, you cannot take the Bible literally and believe that the first 3 days are solar days of 24 hours each. It does not say that if you take it literally. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 92.11.151.136 (talk) 02:09, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

Creation days and Orthodox Jewish tradition. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 03:27, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
You can if you're an ancient Israelite and don't believe that the sun is all that important for creating light. PiCo (talk) 06:44, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

Bias of representing Christian views

Why does this article only represent what some Catholic and Anglican beliefs are? It should also include that many Pentecostals, Baptists, Orthodox and Brethren advocate creation science.

1. Pentecostal: The largest church in Australia adheres to creationism (20,000 people). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillsong_Church#Beliefs

2. Baptist: The most famous Baptist Pastor in the USA at the moment also supports creationism. [1]. This statistic could also be included: "54% of creationist churches in the UK are Baptist of some form"[2]

4. Orthodox: The position of “scientific creationism” in Russian Orthodoxy is maintained by traditionalists. Its adherents set up an Orthodox “Shestodnev” (Creatio) in May 2000 blessed by His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and Russia Aleksii II. [3]

--Lskil09 (talk) 15:32, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

  1. "Pentecostal: The largest church in Australia" -- irrelevant: Pentacostalism is not the largest denomination in Australia -- Catholicism is (Pentacostalism is only the 8th largest, see Religion in Australia).
  2. "The most famous Baptist Pastor in the USA at the moment also supports creationism" -- but Warren is not prominent for his advocacy of creationism.
  3. "This statistic could also be included: '54% of creationist churches in the UK are Baptist of some form'" Given that less than 2.3% of the UK is Baptist (Religion in the United Kingdom) this does not appear to be particularly relevant (nor is it particularly surprising).
  4. Lacking any third-party information on these creationist traditionalist Russian Orthodoxes, let alone information on their prevalence, there's little reason to include them.

None of this information appears to be particularly relevant. Appropriate information would be official doctrinal pronouncements of the ruling bodies of significantly large Christian denominations. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 16:16, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

A missing dimension to the article?

The article deals with the conflict between science and creationism ("mainstream scientific research produces conclusions which contradict a creationist interpretation of scripture..."), but doesn't touch on the conflict between biblical studies (in the academic sense) and creationism. This essentially boils down to creationism's insistence on a literal reading of key passages of scripture - this is totally at odds with modern biblical studies, and has been for a very long time. The mainstream of contemporary academic study treats the bible as literature - the creation of a group of people (not God's word - that's a crucial difference) working within a specific culture. I think this needs to be reflected in the article. PiCo (talk) 06:42, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

Possibly because Biblical scholars are (i) less well known than scientists working in the evo/creo debate & (ii) less interested in going head-to-head with creationists. If you can find commentary to this effect from a reasonably prominent & mainstream Biblical scholar, then by all means include it. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 07:25, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

This article is unbalanced and editing reveals POV

This article is unbalanced and puts the argument from a particular POV.

It focusses too heavily on a certain kind of creation belief, i.e. Christian (sic.) and on certain controversies emanating from one country, i.e. the United States.

I am not American and I do not want my kids to learn about this subject in such distorted terms. Creationism is an age old belief system that has appeared in many cultures, and presumably has changed greatly over time (though it is hard to know how this has been).

The most aggregious is the sequencing of the history section which paints intelligent design as emerging after evolution. This categorises evolution as a belief system (because it is presumably supposed to be a history of creationism) and the sequencing is undoubtedly meant to imply that the intelligent design has superceded evolution historically. I hate to remind you that evolution and creationist theories do not belong side by side. Evolution is a scientific theory based on evidence. All the others listed are belief systems. Evolution by natural selection is NOT a belief system in the same way as the others are.

I also object to Christianity claiming ownership of the biblical creation myth. Genesis is accepted by SOME Christians (but by no means all) but it is not per se a Christian belief but an adopted Jewish one.

The particular tumult that has engulfed the United States is primarily local to that country and therefore parochial as far as readers outside the U.S. is concerned. Discussion of it should be moved to an article Creationism disputes in the United States. All the stuff anout New earth creationism and intelligent design belongs in there. It can only be understood from that perspective. People in Europe, Asia, Australasia etc are not going through the same torment and this should not be painted as if it were a worldwide phenomenon. It just isn't.--Hauskalainen (talk) 22:15, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

There's a note at the top of the page that explains some of this:
"Creationism" can also refer to creation myths, or to a concept about the origin of the soul. For the movement in Spanish literature, see creacionismo.
The article attempts to give due weight to relevant sources. If you believe that there are important sources that have been left out or that were not given due consideration, please do point us toward those sources (and you are, of course, always welcome to add material yourself, or discuss proposed changes). Thanks. Guettarda (talk) 22:38, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
I do not understand what you are trying to say. Either that or you have not actually read what I said. Creationism is the sum of creation myths. Now I don't use the term "myth" with the intention to offend people - it doesn't imply untrue but just unevidenced. This is of course the essense of faith. I am not arguing that the article needs more references. It needs to be stripped of its over emphasis on material related to Christianity and the debate in the U.S. Those are interesting but do not reflect a global perspective. We do not need to get it out of Wikipedia but it needs to be discussed in its proper context. If my kids read the article as it stands now it does not really reflect a proportionate view of this subject and in a way that will enable them to explore the minefield of information out there as they discover it. That should be in another article where it can be read and understood in perspective.And we must not portray evolution as a myth because it is supported by an overwhelming body of evidence.--Hauskalainen (talk) 00:07, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

Another example is that the history section completely ignores the huge advances in the area of the physical (non-biological sciences). We have theories about the creation of the universe that make very precise predictions in the area of astrophysics that can trace events right from the very first nanoseconds of the big bang right thru to the universe as we see it today and the universe as we have good reason to believe it will be many billions of years ahead. There are still mysteries but very few serious scientics arounf the globe will attribute that to supernatural deities. I am deeply disgusted by the way this is presented. I am new to editing this article so I reallý would like to open up these issues to discussion before changing the article.--Hauskalainen (talk) 00:23, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

These theories that you think are so 'precise', are very tentative. For example, it may yet be discovered that there is no dark matter and no dark energy. Astrophysics and cosmology present major and constantly changing challenges. Wikipedia articles state what reliable sources state (from all relevant viewpoints), not just what the current scientific consensus is. rossnixon 02:39, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
Sounds pretty good to me, really, seeing as reliable sources in favour of Creationism are few and far between. — NRen2k5(TALK), 02:45, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

47 percent?!

I find this figure to be HIGHLY dubious. The source it cites is a creationist site expressing its outrage at how few Christian colleges and universities teach YEC given the purportedly large percentage of the American population that ascribes to it. This coupled with the fact that I've lived in the US all twenty four years of my life and have met literally ONE young earth creationist (the manager at my local Radio Shack, FWIW). And yes I've even met a handful of Evangelical Christians, but they all accepted something resembling intelligent design or theistic evolution. Is there a more credible source to back this up or (hopefully) a more credible source to refute this high estimation? Wormwoodpoppies (talk) 17:48, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

Does Theistic evolution belong in this article?

Theistic evolution is normally not considered part of Creationism and in fact many TEers are prominent anticreationists. Does this section belong in this article? HrafnTalkStalk(P) 04:02, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

See refs. 48 The Creation/Evolution Continuum, Eugenie Scott, which the NCSE have updated now, but continues the theme that it's a range of views, not hard boundaries. The article was largely based on the original version of that. Ref. 50 Who Believes What? Clearing up Confusion over Intelligent Design and Young-Earth Creationism, Marcus R. Ross, shows a more complex analysis with weak and strong TE, and the strong variety is further into the "creationist" range. Tne issue needs further clarification in the section, and in my opinion it would be better positioned after the Types of Christian creationism section: note that it's shown as the last item in the table at the start of that section. . . dave souza, talk 08:02, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
The former merely places TE in a spectrum of views that also includes 'Agnostic Evolutionism' & 'Atheistic Evolutionism' -- neither of which would be considered 'Creationism' by an stretch of the imagination. Therefore mere inclusion in this spectrum does not classify a viewpoint as 'Creationism'. Further, to the 'Creationist' side of TE in the spectrum lies 'Evolutionary creationism', of which Scott states: "Despite its name, evolutionary creationism (EC) is actually a type of evolution." This clearly places EC, and thus also all positions to the 'evolutionary' side of it (including TE), within the 'evolution' (rather than 'creationism') side when dividing the spectrum into a dichotomy.

The Ross paper's definitions appear to be rather more idiosyncratic, with his 'Weak TE' & 'Weak DE' equating with what is more generally viewed as TE, while his 'Strong TE', ' Strong DE' and 'Intrinsic Design', as they explicitly affirm the "detectability of real design", necessarily falling under the category of (and constitute the Theistic, Desistic and Pantheistic forms, respectively, of) Intelligent Design. If Ross's definitions can be shown to have wider acceptance, then we will need to include his 'strong' TE/DE here as subforms of ID. As yet, I see no reason to include his 'weak' TE/DE (= TE/DE without qualifier, elsewhere) within Creationism. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 13:15, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

We merged evolutionary creationism into TE because there didn't seem to be a substantive difference between them. In my opinion we need TE here if only to show the distinction between antievolution and mainstream religious positions, which hold belief in creation without opposing science. Hence the spectrum. Agree that Ross seems to be making the thing more complex than needed, so the NCSE approach appears to be more generally accepted, and we don't need more than a passing reference to Ross. . . dave souza, talk 14:08, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I remember the history. My point was that Scott gives us explicit reason to (name notwithstanding) place EC, and thus by implication TE, into the 'evolution' side of a dichotomy -- and thus no reason to include TE to an article on the 'creationism' side (TE is still covered in creation-evolution controversy‎ -- which covers the whole spectrum). HrafnTalkStalk(P) 01:38, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

Yes, Theistic Evolution belongs in the article. It also belongs in the Christian section as many manistream denominations support this view. "Theistic" states belief in a Creator, thus it is a broad version of Creationism. It does not conflict with science or evolution. This does not fit some people's restsrictive definition of Creationism but this is a subject with many fuzzy boundaries. Rlsheehan (talk) 14:15, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

"In relation to the creation-evolution controversy the term creationism is commonly used to refer to religiously motivated rejection of evolution as an explanation of origins." TE is not a "rejection of evolution" but rather an acceptance of it. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 14:22, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
That sentence from the article is too restrictive and tries to lock Creationism into a convenient corner. It seems that this sentence could be a straw man which allows easier arguments against creationism. The reality is fuzzier. Rlsheehan (talk) 15:25, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
No, it is a well-substantiated view, cognizant of the history of creationism. The creationist movement started out calling itself 'Anti-evolutionism' (and variations thereon), only taking on the name 'Creationism' as they started to develop their own alternate (generally YEC Flood geology-related) hypotheses. See the history contained in the book The Creationists for details. The sentence is cited to that book's author, Ronald L. Numbers -- generally considered to be the foremost historian of creationism. If you want to overturn it, you will need to come up with multiple bullet-proof RSs stating the contrary. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 17:35, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
Hrafn is right, and in most usage nowadays creationism means antievolution in a variety of forms. We cite Ron Numbers as saying that the term was contested up to the 1980s, and various believers in creation who fully accept the science of evolution may still wish to associate the term with their variety of what we'd call theistic evolution. In my view it's important to describe all these positions, and be careful not to give any credence to the idea that religious views are inherently anti-evolution.
Can't see where we cover this, but Ron Numbers says "As late as the 1920s antievolutionists chose to dedicate their organizations to "Christian Fundamentals," "Anti-Evolution," and "Anti-False Science," not to creationism. It was not until 1929 that one of George McCready Price’s former students, the Seventh-day Adventist biologist Harold W. Clark, explicitly packaged Price’s new catastrophism as "creationism." In a brief self-published book titled Back to Creationism Clark urged readers to quit simply opposing evolution and to adopt the new "science of creationism," by which he meant Price’s flood geology. For decades to come various Christian groups, from flood geologists to theistic evolutionists, squabbled over which camp most deserved to use the creationist label. However, by the 1980s the flood geologists/scientific creationists had clearly co-opted the term for their distinctive interpretation of earth history."[15] That clearly dates the modern antievolution use of the term from 1929, but "creationist" was in use earlier in that sense among proponents of evolution.[16][17] Darwin used the term in his unpublished essays of 1842 and 1844,[18] in correspondence in 1856,[19] and in a review published by the Linnean Society in 1853.[20] Evidently the term had currency in scientific circles by then, and it is used by Asa Gray in his 1888 collection of essays.[21] All of these cases use it for antievolution. Pretty sure there are some references to such usage in modern Darwin biographies. . . dave souza, talk 00:00, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
Ah, the reference to Darwin and friends using the term was actually from Ron Numbers.[22] Anyway, so far the changes seem ok to me, it makes sense to have TE as part of the history: there was early use of the idea by Baden Powell, and theistic support of natural selection was published by Asa Gray. Something to add. . . dave souza, talk 20:19, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Except for the fact that the section portrays TE from a modern-day perspective, rather than a historical one. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 02:03, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
Yup, will need to cover that by appropriate revision, noting at some point that TE as developed to leave out supernatural intervention became and remains the mainstream religious viewpoint. So much to do, will try shortly. . dave souza, talk 03:00, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

Lead and references

The second sentence of the lead was not supported by the reference cited to it, and there was no reference for the third sentence. I've added references giving basic definitions, cited to the NCSE and Ron Numbers, and have modified these sentences accordingly. . . dave souza, talk 20:19, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Christian critique.

Am I the only one who doesn't understand the argument in the section labeled "Christian critique"? --Hauskalainen (talk) 01:07, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

The stuff sourced to the Bible seems unnecessary, the whole section sourced to Murphy is poorly sourced (some sort of bulletin?), has only one reference, who is George Murphy and why should we care, and the entire thing looks like Christian apologetics aimed at a Christian audience. I'm perfectly willing to see it culled to Kierkegaard and Rowan Williams, and leave it at that - though I'm sure there are good sources addressing the Christian scientist (note lower case) view on things - Kenneth R. Miller's Finding Darwin's God was good, but I read it a while ago. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 01:22, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

Non-"religious" creationism?

Hauskalainen states "One can have a creationists belief without being religious". I do not think that this is correct. I'm not sure if I think that it is worth belabouring the religious aspect of creationism in the first sentence of the lead, but I do not think that it is possible to have any of the "wide range of interpretations of beliefs that a supernatural force such as a deity intervenes, or has intervened, directly in the natural world" (my emphasis) -- without it being "religious". HrafnTalkStalk(P) 11:53, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

I agree. I am equally puzzled by the assertion. Presumably you have a source for this, Hauskalainen? Guettarda (talk) 12:11, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
I guess it hangs how you define religion. But there are certainly peoples who have certain beliefs about things at various that could not yet be proven such as creationism, reincarnation or the belief that stress is the leading cause of stomach ulcers and depression. These stem as much from cultural norms as much as from religion. I may think there may be a God who may have created the world but that does not mean that I have to have personal adherance to that God or worship him or do acts to please him. The first part is deism and creationism but second aspect of that belief may not make me religious. I might accept that God exists just as I accept that my next door neighbor exists, but I do not worship or pay homage to my next door neighbor. The Ancient Romans inhabited a world of many Gods who mostly did not involve themselves in human matters and whom humans did not worship even though there may have been a certain deference to them. The Roman belief in deities did not really form a coherent religion. Maybe your own cultural norms tell you that religion is intricately bound to religion but I can assure you that that is a false belief. That they are often connected today in Western thought one cannot doubt, but they are not absolutely one and the same.--Hauskalainen (talk) 12:20, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
I would consider any belief about "a supernatural force such as a deity" to be religious. I also believe your argument to be irredeemably muddled. Any belief in 'a God who created the world' (or in any other god) is a religious belief, whether you worship that God or not. But in actual fact, belief in a creator-god, without worship of it, is very rare (and quite possibly non-existent) in this day and age. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 12:36, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
(ec)Creationism, as used here, describes a particular set of beliefs which derive from various religious teachings. So whether one's personal philosophies are "religious" or not is beside the point. These are teachings which derive from particular religious groups. That's the way creationism has always been described. Claims to the contrary need very strong sourcing. Guettarda (talk) 12:37, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
(ec2)And no, it does not 'hang how you define [a] religion'. Any number of religious beliefs are not tied to any one religion. And I would certainly assert that any belief pertaining to a "god" or a "supernatural creator" of the universe is sufficiently substantial and core a belief that it amounts to a 'religious belief' rather than a mere superstition or similar. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 12:43, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
Our fellow Wikipedians in the Religion article define religion as "an organized approach to human spirituality". The key here is that religion is "an organized approach". I know lots of people regard themselves as spiritual and believe in God and some form of creation but reject organized religion as being the only way to enlightenment and spirituality. Hence God and religion are interwined for those belonging to an organized religion, but there are many people out there who do not adhere to any organized approach to expressing or experiencing their connection to the universe to their fellow man and possibly to God. You could argue (and I suspect that you are one of them) that the fact that there are people seeking enlightment to God outside of an "organized faith" (religion) does not mean that they are not religious. My answer to that is that the English language has different words for expressing these things. Deism is one and Religion is another. They are not the same thing a all!

What part of "it does not 'hang how you define [a] religion'" did you fail to understand?

The definition at issue is "religious belief" NOT religion. Creationism IS a "religious belief". It is NOT, nor has anybody claimed it is, a "religion. Therefore what "the Religion article define religion as" is a COMPLETE non sequitor. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 17:49, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Religious belief: "Such a state may relate to: … 2 divine intervention in the universe and human life" I think the creation of the universe qualifies as such a "divine intervention". HrafnTalkStalk(P) 17:59, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

I am disturbed by the tone you are adopting which does not assume good faith.
Whether "religion" or "religious belief" is neither here nor there. You are asserting that belief in God is synonymous with religious belief. But as our friends who created the religious belief article point out, religious belief is associated "with a faith in a creed". The very word "religion" implies being tied or obligated to something. I can assure you that there are many people who consider themselves spiritual and who have not rejected the concept of their being a god or gods which may have created the universe and possibly life itself who do NOT put faith in any religious creed and are not tied to anything. In fact many of them spurn religion (and their creeds" as being a form of mind control. I accept that creationism MAY ORIGINATE from a religious belief and clearly in many cases it does. But it is NOT AXIOMATIC. Again you are equating "religious belief" with "theism". Theism is belief in God. Religious belief is one sinks faith in a creed and adheres to its principles. Clearly they are not the same thing.--Hauskalainen (talk) 21:47, 9 July 2009 (UTC)


Hauskalainen: if you want me to assume good faith, then I would suggest that you stop putting words into my mouth:

  1. "You are asserting that belief in God is synonymous with religious belief." I am not. I asserted that all beliefs in a God or gods are religious beliefs, not that all religious beliefs are beliefs in a God or gods.
  2. "Again you are equating 'religious belief' with 'theism'." No I bloody well am not! I never made such an equation and I explicitly disavow and deny it.

Further, I would dispute you on your overly-narrow interpretation of the use of "creed" in the religious belief article. Many religions do not have formal creeds, and therefore their beliefs are not contained in such a formalised creed. This does not stop their beliefs being religious beliefs. It merely means that the underlying creeds may be informal, and often unwritten, ill-defined, and in some cases completely idiosyncratic. In fact creed mentions that whether Judaism has a creed is under dispute. Could that mean that Judaism's beliefs are not "religious beliefs"?

Creationism is the "mental state in which faith is placed in a [formal, informal or idiosyncratic, explicit or implicit, "statement of belief", taken in a wider meaning, per above] related to the supernatural … divine intervention in the universe" to create said universe. As such, Creationism is clearly and without ambiguity a "religious belief". HrafnTalkStalk(P) 05:42, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

First of all I did not intend to put words into your mouth but I am trying to understand your argument and to understand why we differ about this. I am sorry if I have upset you. You clearly think that if I believe in God I must have a religious belief. To me a religious belief is all the things associated (in whole or to a greater or lesser extent) with a religion. Where we seem to differ is that you have implied that a peron who merely believes in God must have a belief that can be labeled as "religious". Here I disagree with you. Using the term "religious belief" in this context cannot be construed to be something vague and and only loosely connected with religion. I think that there are many people that believe in God who are not "religious" because that belief does not guide their actions. People with religious beliefs DO modify their behaviour as a result of their religion. The very word "religion" has its origins in "being tied" to something. But some people do believe in a God without being tied to anything. --Hauskalainen (talk) 00:57, 11 July 2009 (UTC)


  1. I would suggest that such gross distortions of my actual statements do not help your 'understanding' of my arguments, and mean that you are in fact arguing against straw man versions of what I was in fact saying.
  2. "You clearly" are not understanding my thinking. I do not argue that "if I believe in God I must have a religious belief ", but rather that to "believe in God" IS "a religious belief". Can you point to any concrete example where 'belief in God' (capitalised, therefore definitive article, therefore monotheistic) is not attached to some religious belief system? At a further extension, can you point to any concrete example where 'belief in any god' is not attached to some religious belief system?
  3. I think your jumping straight from 'religious belief' to 'religion' is muddling the argument. Many (most?) religious beliefs aren't specific to a single religion, and their presence, absence, or particular form, in combination, creates a whole constellation of religions, denominations, sects and heresies. Insisting that the linkages of a specific belief to all of this be well-defined, before accepting that the belief is "religious", would appear to be unreasonable.
  4. You are conflating the question of whether a belief is religious with the extent to which an individual is "religious". The two are only tenuously related. Any religion, and by extension any belief of that religion, will have adherents that run a range from devout to nominal. This does not make those beliefs non-religious. If it did, then no beliefs would be "religious", as it is highly unlikely that any religion has not had at least one only-nominal adherent.
  5. I think you're wrong to claim that to be a "religious" belief a belief has to guide their actions. (i) As stated above, somebody may not have any particular strength in their beliefs, and so not act upon them (or believe, but lack the strength of will, self-awareness, etc, etc, to carry them out), and (ii) many religious beliefs are sufficiently peripheral or non-prescriptive as to require no specific actions. A Biblical literalist has the religious belief that Ashur was the son of Shem, and that both existed as a matter of historical fact. This belief does not however require any specific "behaviour" of the literalist.

I would conclude by stating that your arguments appear to all be on issues that are non-determinative to whether a belief is religious. [belatedly signed HrafnTalkStalk(P) 02:54, 13 July 2009 (UTC) ]

Replacement charts

It is clear that at least one editor is unhappy with two of the charts currently in the article. They do not however appear to have achieved any consensus for any of their individual changes. I am therefore creating this section as a venue for presenting any possible replacements, debating their rival merits, and thereby reaching a consensus, rather having this debate conducted via edits and edit-summaries on main-space. Such talkpage presentation and discussion was how the original 'Americans believe' graph was developed, and I can see no better alternative methodology. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 16:47, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

a possible solution for the International comparison chart would be to create another bar chart like the one used for the teaching question to present ALL the countries in the relevant source article (and not a sub-set of them). Either with just the "Agree" percentages (one per country) or both the "Agree" and "Disagree" percentages (with two per country with Agrees in one color and the Disagrees in another). Sequenced in the same order as the original source article. I don't have any software to create any complex graphics. The problem as I see it is that this is tantamount to a copyright infringement (as is the current chart). I am not sure how far one can push the limit. That is why I thought the link to the original chart is actuslly the preferable solution.--Hauskalainen (talk) 17:05, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
As for the Education chart I would be happier if the chart reflected bars relative to the 100% vertical line on the right hand side and if they were ordered high to low. This also reflects what I think Hrafn claimed he wanted - an organisation which reflects the creationist views at one end and the evolutionist views at the other.--Hauskalainen (talk) 17:05, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

"I am therefore creating this section as a venue for presenting any possible replacements…" -- present your alternative, then we'll discuss them. (i) Because I rather doubt if you'll get any consensus for removing the existing graphs until a replacement is actually available. (ii) Because it is far easier to have a discussion about the rival merits, and readability, of charts when you are actually looking at them. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 17:22, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

I think the chart provides helpful information. If someone wants to remove or replace it, I think a good reason would need to be given. Johnuniq (talk) 23:39, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
Which of the two charts are you referring to?--Hauskalainen (talk) 00:25, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
I was talking about the "Response to the Statement" chart, but if someone questions the removal or replacement of any chart, a clear explanation is required in order for the change to occur. Johnuniq (talk) 01:49, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Outside the United States - deleted chart

I deleted the chart (again) which purports to come the a New Scientist article and reinstated the link to the similar chart in the journal Science.

Firstly, I went to the chart posted at Commons. It purports to be the work of someone who is not the New Scientist article author. Secondly I have traced the orginal article at New Scientist http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn13621-evolution-myths-it-doesnt-matter-if-people-do-not-understand-evolution.html and the chart does not appear there. The Science article has many more countries listed and is therefore more informative and indeed less misleading than the chart from Commons (because the Commons chart shows the US as more or less in line with a third of the countries listed whereas the Science article chart shows the US to be very much an outlier.

For these reasons the deletion and reinstatement of the other link better reflects a full knowledge of this subject which is in the public domain.--Hauskalainen (talk) 21:04, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

You found the wrong New Scientist article. The chart is here. I've put the link into the image description page. As far as I can tell, the New Scientist/Common chart gives a very similar impression to the Science chart - I'd suspect they come from the same source. I have no strong opinion, but I understand why some people like to have the image directly in the article. It's easier to see, more visually appealing, and we have no control over other sites, so the link may break. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 22:04, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
  1. And I have restored it again, because you have not gained a WP:CONSENSUS for this disputed change.
  2. I have also removed, again, the 83% figure. The source in fact contains a variety of overlapping summations of the data, particularly: 83% (well apart from the tabulation) & 66% (as part of the tabulation). It is confusing to include results, both individually and part of totals, in the same graph -- and this is decidedly non-standard practice. I would not however object to the 83% figure being mentioned in the article text. (Incidentally, is there any desire to have the 5% 'Unsure' divided up into its constituent 4% 'Evo + Creo, but not sure how' & 1% 'no opinion' parts?)
  3. I personally prefer the light grey/dark grey colour scheme (to which there was no objections when the graph was originally discussed) over the more garish red/green. However, I will not object to the change if there is a consensus to make one.

HrafnTalkStalk(P) 03:50, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

They ARE from the same source. The original link has the FULL data which shows the United States as second bottom from 30 countries data presented. The chart that has been added to the Wikipedia article makes it look that the U.S. is much less of an outlier. Hence it is less accurate than it could or should be. As for not having WP:CONSENSUS, I don't think you have achieved consensus for keeping the limited and distorted view of the data you want to preserve either. I would have no objection to the table being presented if it contained the full set of data from the source. The chart you want added in to the article has only 18 countries in it. If you want the chart in, then you should modify it so that it reflects the true reported position. Also you should still have the original reference and not an incorrect one.
As for the 83% figure in the bar chart it is totally accurate. The summations are not unfair summations. Are yoiu saying that they are? What the article is reporting is "what Americans believe" according to that survey. It is not confusing at all to include the answers to several questions. You want us to see only the "best fit" choices where people had to choose from several pre-determined options so that the answers added up to 100%. I do not agree with you that that is somehow "standard practice" and my presentation of a more complete picture is "non-standard practice! The "don't knows" were relatively insignificant and we do not lose much by not including or mentioning them.
As for the colours, my PC did not show one of the colours on the old listing. I see grey bars on a white background and did not see white bars on the white background (though they are visible if I use the mouse to select the area. The red and green are visible - that's why I changes the colours when I presented the more informative chart. --Hauskalainen (talk) 14:18, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
I see that Hrafn has again reinserted the misleading and incomplete chart. I have deleted it again. Please lets try to get this sorted before restorting to a 3RR dispute.--Hauskalainen (talk) 14:38, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Hauskalainen:

  1. "The original link" is in violation of WP:MOSLINKS#Link titles.
  2. For important data such as this, it is better to have it explicitly in the article, rather than simply linked to.
  3. "As for not having WP:CONSENSUS, I don't think you have achieved consensus for keeping the limited and distorted view of the data you want to preserve either." This is a STUPID argument. If we followed it then we'd be at the mercy of every editor wanting to change things, as the consensus-not-to-change would always be trying to play catch-up. Consensus first, then change. The alternative is chaos.
  4. It does not matter that the "83% figure in the bar chart it is totally accurate" -- as its inclusion makes the bar-graph as a total inaccurate. It means that some of the 83% is counted twice, making the graph add up to well over 100%. This is both inaccurate & misleading.
  5. I just took a look at the grey graph in 640x480 @256 colours (the lowest I could find a monitor capable of displaying) and the separation was perfectly clear. What display are you using? EGA?

HrafnTalkStalk(P) 14:51, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Oh, and the WP:CONSENSUS for the existing 'Americans believe' graph can be found at Talk:Creationism/Archive 21#Creating a graph for section. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 15:00, 13 July 2009 (UTC)


The grey/silver color rendering seems to be a problem with Internet Explorer on my machine (version 7). I can get it to render appropriately with Firefox so I have left the colors as grey and silver. I have moved the bar chart to the section on education as all the questions were related to the stance that should be taken on teaching. Also I have again put the bars into some sequence high to low and rendered the bars correctly to proportion correctly to the 100% line. This gives a better view overall.--Hauskalainen (talk) 15:33, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
The graph was originally ordered according to where the views lay on the evo-creo spectrum -- a far more informative ordering than "high to low". and NO you have not NOT "rendered the bars correctly to proportion correctly to the 100% line" as there is no explicit "100% line" (nor any solid convention that the high-value on charts has to be 100%) -- you have just cramped the results (something we explicitly moved away from in the original discussion). I will correct these botches as soon as I can do so without violating WP:3RR [giving the appearance of WP:EDITWARing]. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 16:01, 13 July 2009 (UTC) I would however point out that Hauskalainen has already (i) violated WP:3RR, (ii) reverted repeatedly against the WP:CONSENSUS & (iii) made repeated and repeated and repeated changes to the article in spite of requests that he get a WP:CONSENSUS FIRST! HrafnTalkStalk(P) 16:31, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
1. Please explain what you mean about "where the views lay on the evo-creo spectrum". As I see it, they are not ordered in that way currently. In the order I had displayed them (highest to lowest) it just happened also that they WERE in an order which mirrored "the evo-creo spectrum" as you put it, with evolutionary views first and creationist views last. I really do not understand your point so further explanation IS NEEDED HERE.
2. I seem to have resolved the problem of color rendition by changing "grey" to "gray". I trust that this is OK for other browsers other than the 3 I have tested it on.
3. There is a 100% line. You can see it to the right of the bars. We should be honest in the presentation by making them proportional to that line.
4. As for 3RR I pointed out your own 3RR violation. As I made the change first it was you that reverted and thus eventually broke 3RR first. I was just putting the article where it should have been. I see that another editor has again reinstated it saving you the trouble.
5. IMHO your edits show a bias in favor of presenting creationism as being more main stream than it really is. This is apparent from the absence of almost half the countries from the international table (which would, if it were complete, show that creationism is a minority view in many more countries and that the US is an outlier), and from the view of the bar chart where the order of entries and the display of the bars relative to the 100% line is distorted (even though the bars are proportional to each other).--Hauskalainen (talk) 16:50, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
  1. Evo 'evo only' → 'only evo in science' → 'creo in science but only as a belief' → 'creo as a scientific theory' → 'only creo' creo
  2. It is not an explicit 100% line as there is no label saying what that line represents. Graphs quite frequently have a 'maximum' line that is less than (and in some cases greater than) 100%. All that it really represents is that the creator of the template assumed that the max-line would be at 100%.
  3. And I pointed out that it was malformed. (i) Your first batch of edits in the 24 hour window included an explicit reversion -- so you reverted first. (ii) You were also reverting Gabbe within that window, as well as myself.
  4. Your claim of a pro-Creationism bias would be considered ludicrous by anybody with a knowledge of my editing history. My preference is for graph-visible-in-article over graph-only-linked-to(-against-MOS). I have expressed no support for any, or any specific, truncation of the data set. I would suggest that you WP:AGF instead of jumping to (false) conclusions as to my motivations.

HrafnTalkStalk(P) 17:18, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

I note that, in spite of the fact that Hauskalainen has not even attempted to address my points above, and have garnered no support for their views, they continue to edit-war on the 'Americans believe that:' graph. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 13:58, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Relevance of views on evolution

  • "In relation to the creation-evolution controversy the term creationism is commonly used to refer to religiously motivated rejection of natural biological processes, in particular evolution"
  • "In the United States the term started to become associated with Christian fundamentalist opposition to human evolution and belief in a young Earth in 1929."

Views rejecting evolution (especially for religious reasons) can therefore be considered 'creationist' & accepting evolution 'anti-creationist' & surveys of such views are clearly relevant to this article. Eliminating such surveys without discussion, and a consensus, first would appear to be disruptive. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 13:50, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

I'd nearly stated the same thing independently below re [23]. Now all I can do is agree ;-). In the US evolution and creationism are indeed "polar opposites", or as close as it comes in real life. Thus, polls on the acceptance of evolution are relevant to the discussion. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 14:06, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

"Americans believe that" graph

Let's keep discussion of the two graphs separate. This section is about the plot visualizing the People for the American Way poll in Creationism#Education_controversies. There are two points of discussion:

  1. Order of entries: The current version from "teach evolution only" to "only Creationism" (with "unsure" as the last item) reflects the presentation in the original source. It also reflects a spectrum of opinions in order of increasing support for creationism (evo only, evo only in science classes, evo and crea (as a belief) in science classes, evo and crea as science, crea only). I think this organization makes sense, and was not chosen deliberately in the original source.
  2. Normalization of bar length to 100%: Hauskalainen supports rescaling of the bars so that the line at the right always represents 100%. I disagree. It's common practice to scale plots to show relative differences. This makes sense - otherwise imagine how hard a 10 or 20 way plot will be to read. There is clearly no deception, since the bars are clearly labeled with the absolute percentages.

--Stephan Schulz (talk) 13:54, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Agree on both points. There are a wide range of situations where a max-line at 100% makes no sense. This is a mild example of this, more extreme ones are where you are measuring growth rates (where a maximum may be well in excess of 100%) or mortality rates (where even a rate of a few percentage points is horrendously high, and the rates would be indistinguishable with a max set at 100%). HrafnTalkStalk(P) 14:08, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

I accept the order of entries issue but have therefore coloured the common orientations, where the orientation is determined in the source. But not the irrelevance of the 100% line. However, I will concede on this point if the pair of you accept the compromise of color coding the orientations as grouped in the source.--Hauskalainen (talk) 14:45, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

The proposed colour-scheme (as it was previously introduced into the article) does not allow any colour-differentiation between adjacent members of the same 'common orientation', so turns them into 'blobs'. I would recommend against any colour scheme that did not allow such differentiation. Alternating dark/light between each member might provide this -- and if Hauskalainen were to give an actual visual representation (as they have been requested to, a number of times), I would consider it. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 15:36, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
I was working on that colour scheme while Hrafn reverted. What do you think about this:
Americans believe that:[4]
Public schools should teach evolution only
20%
Only evolution should be taught in science classes, religious explanations can be discussed in another class
17%
Creationism can be discussed in science class as a 'belief,' not a scientific theory
29%
Creationism and evolution should be taught as 'scientific theories' in science class
13%
Only Creationism should be taught
16%
Unsure
5%

Orientation key: Pro-evolution Evolution and Creationism equally Pro-Creationism

It reflects the source, it differentiates the bars, and it looks less garish to me. My taste in colours has been commented upon, though ;-) --Stephan Schulz (talk) 15:48, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

(ec)The trouble Hauskalainen is that you did not wait to see if a consensus accepted your "compromise", but went ahead an unilaterally imposed it. This in spite of the fact that you were aware that :

  1. this was a 'controversial' edit; and
  2. that it had previously been opposed, by its earlier reversion,

…so that it should have been discussed and a consensus reached FIRST!

I'm trying really hard not to allow your appallingly bad wikiquette to prejudice me against your 'proposals' (in inverted commas because they are almost-exclusively made after the fact), but it isn't easy. As you're already winning little (if any) support for your changes, I would suggest that you cannot really afford to alienate it further by such high-handed tactics. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 15:53, 16 July 2009 (UTC)


On Stephan's proposal:

  1. The blues are too similar. It needs to be darker(-than-any-current) blue, lighter(-than-any-current) blue, darker blue (again), or similar to allow separation (similar to the earlier differentiation between the greys).
  2. "Creationism and evolution should be taught as 'scientific theories' in science class" is a creationist viewpoint (see the 'equal treatment' laws ruled unconstitutional in Edwards v. Aguillard, 'Teach the Controversy' & similar) so should be a tone of the same colour as 'Only Creationism should be taught'.

HrafnTalkStalk(P) 16:02, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Thinking about it further, colour-as-differentiation (meaning that maximum differentiation between adjacent bars is desirable) is pretty much perfectly mutually-limiting with colour-as-representing-place-in-spectrum (which would imply that each bar should be a blend of the colours of the bar on either side of it). I don't think that we can, as a matter of practicality, do both. I'm willing to keep an open mind with examples that try to balance the two, but suspect that they will end up confusing the issue rather than elucidating it. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 16:13, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

My advice, gentlemen, is to go plaid. Slrubenstein | Talk 16:20, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
*grin*
I've made the blues differenter (what? you still speak OldEnglish?) here:
Americans believe that:[4]
Public schools should teach evolution only
20%
Only evolution should be taught in science classes, religious explanations can be discussed in another class
17%
Creationism can be discussed in science class as a 'belief,' not a scientific theory
29%
Creationism and evolution should be taught as 'scientific theories' in science class
13%
Only Creationism should be taught
16%
Unsure
5%
As for the description of the three groups: The differentiation comes from the original source, page 15. Maybe (to stick closer to the source):Orientation key: Evolution-oriented Positions Treating Evolution and Creationism Equally Creationism-oriented Positions--Stephan Schulz (talk) 16:27, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

The differentiation between the blue is better (but still insufficient to make me prefer it to the original graph). Two further points:

  1. Green is closer to blue than it is to red -- implying that the 'equal' position is closer to the 'evolution-orientated' -- when in fact it is a creationist position. Orange might be better.
  2. I would suggest that if the colour-scheme requires a 'description', rather than being self-evident, that it has become too complicated & will just confuse matters further.

HrafnTalkStalk(P) 17:46, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

If you are seriously concerned that green is closer to blue than red, why suggest orange, which is closer to red than blue? The obvious pick is yellow, which is between the two. That said, did you know that the human eye/brain is capable of discerning more shades of green than any othe color? I suggest forest green for pro-evolution, sea green for people who give equal importance to evolution and creationism, and lime gren for creationists. I realize that limes can be found in forests, but these are still two distinct shades of green. Most of the earth's surface is water, so sea-green really is the obvious choice for people who give equal attention to both (not because they are the largest group, just because they would promote the largest range of curricular materials). Forsts are all tangly and chaotic so I think forest green is a good choice for evolutionists. And really, only God could have created a lime. This is clearly the most reasonable arrangement for the graph. Slrubenstein | Talk 10:00, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

The first of Stephan's revisions was just fine. I'd go along with it.--Hauskalainen (talk) 20:46, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

  • The trouble is Hauskalainen, that you did not simply "go along with it" -- you WP:DISRUPTively and unilaterally imposed it on the article after it was rejected by the comments below. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 05:18, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
  • I'm not a fan of the color-coding. I know of plenty of individuals that would consider even discussing Creationism in science classes to be uncomfortably pro-Creation. Furthermore, "Treating Evolution and Creationism Equally" could mean the same as "Creationism and evolution should be taught as 'scientific theories' in science class", but that's not necessarily true (i.e., 10 week class with 9 weeks of evolution + 1 week of ID, for example). I just think this whole endeavor trapses into WP:NOR and the bare chart can speak for itself. — Scientizzle 21:12, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
Agree, and have undone this coding and key, which essentially looks like original research. "Creationism and evolution should be taught as 'scientific theories' in science class" isn't treating them equally, it's a capitulation to the creationist position being pushed by the DI campaigns, and is blatantly unconstitutional. The bare chart is OK. . dave souza, talk 21:40, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
On checking the pdf, that's their wording but it's now misleading as it predates the rise and fall of ID, and predates the whole teach the controversy scam. Also note there is a "Context For Understanding The Main Findings" highlighted before and after the detailed findings, so I've added that into the desrcriptive note before the graph. . dave souza, talk 22:06, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
The colors are back. This is one of those unfortunate circumstances when the reference clearly says something that is wrong. Teaching evolution and creationism as scientific in schools is clearly and undeniably a pro-creationist viewpoint and yet, in the original article, the authors claim it to be "Equal treatment". I suggest removing the colors and the legend or we will need to add a disclaimer that others consider the teaching of both creationism and evolution as science is a creationist position.Desoto10 (talk) 04:14, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
Got an edit conflict as I was going back to silver and gray, but it looks fixed now.Desoto10 (talk) 05:02, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
'Equal treatment' is a pro-creationist position (the law overturned in McLean v. Arkansas was entitled 'The Arkansas' Balanced Treatment Act', and the one overturned in Edwards was the Louisiana 'Balanced Treatment for Creation-Science and Evolution-Science in Public School Instruction Act'). My take is that it is more interpreted as 'equal status' than 'equal time'. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 05:18, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
Desoto10 is treading on dangerous ground when he says the source got it wrong. If there are two possible views of this, by all means express the other view (if there is a WP:RS of course). As I see it, there was one question and 5 possible answers. Three of the five defintitely were status quo positions which the science community could accept. IMHO these have been correctly labeled as pro evolution. There were 2 other possible answers one of which was definintely pro creationist, and the other allowed both to be taught in science which is a change in the status quo . This clearly sits between the two poles. Colouring it as "creationist" is not in the original text and is in some sense insulting because those that answered with this option clrealy saw no problem with the evolution AND creationism side by side in science. It IS a midway position even if it seems extreme when compared to the status quo. In short, if people answered BOTH to be taught in science class we have to represent that as BOTH and not a creationist position. That is only fair, it represents what is in the source, and it represents what the people answering the survey actually said (and not how you would like it to be interpreted). Putting your personal interpetation on this is quite contrary to WP policies. I have therefore added the graph back with a comment to reflect your position, but you really need to produce a WP:RS which has made this allegation about the report misrepresenting the "centrist" position as being one-sided. --Hauskalainen (talk) 01:09, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

Hauskalainen is wrong on several points:

  1. "Creationism can be discussed in science class as a 'belief,' not a scientific theory" is unlikely to be accepted by the scientific community. It is quite similar to the viewpoint that led to Michael Reiss' resignation. The claim that they are "correctly labeled as pro evolution" is therefore doubtful.
  2. 'Equal treatment' is a close synonym for 'balanced treatment', the explicit self-description of laws that were deemed to be unconstitutionally creationist (see court cases cited above). The Creationists (p6) in fact explicitly uses "equal treatment" to describe the laws in question. "Colouring it as 'creationist'" is therefore quite correct. Let me reiterate: we have a cast iron source that 'equal treatment' is creationist.
  3. Further, I would point out that a polling company (DYG Inc) does not constitute an expert source on what does, or does not, constitute a creationist or pro-scientific position. It is therefore perfectly appropriate that we don't include their characterisations where we have good reason to consider them to be inaccurate.

HrafnTalkStalk(P) 06:16, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

Hauskalainen edit-warring against consensus

I would note that in spite of a solid consensus in the above thread against the colour changes, Hauskalainen continues to unilaterally attempt to impose them. I am sick to death of this ongoing pattern of in-WP:CIVIL behaviour in this regard (which I have repeatedly commented upon above), and would suggest that we investigate appropriate sanctions, should they continue. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 06:16, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

No amount of consensus can override WP policies on reference to sources. My changes reflect the source and did have some support on this page. It was not unilateral. It did not in any way distort the presentation in the source. If you think it does then you should say WHAT. So far you have only appealed to your own judgement about the categorization of one of the answers. That is NOT valid when it comes to WP editing. I have used this pages to make plain that I am editing in line with the source. The edit you added makes no reference to the relative position that the source alloted to the answers. Your argument about the "equally" answer categorization is interesting and may not be without merit. Buut so far it is without a WP:RS. I remind you that it takes two edit war and you have been as guilty of this too. I strongly argue that your revisions back to a dull version which does not convey the interesting fact highlighted in the source that 83% of the people surveyed said that evolution should be taught in public schools. That was in my edited version of the bar chart here but you took it out on the grounds that it "would be confusing" because the numbers would not add up to 100. You also claimed that this was a summation of other answers but I see no evidence of this in the source document- You did not seek to obtain any concensus for omitting this fact. You claimed it could go into the article but not in the table but gave no valid reason for this. The fact is that you are being highly selective about what you will and will not allow to be reported and how it is reported. To me it seems to indicate bias against how little support creationism has amongst the public at large.
By all means try and seek sanctions against me. I doubt very much that you will get very far. --Hauskalainen (talk) 18:05, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

Hauskalainen:

  1. You have given no evidence that this consensus is overridden by any wikipedia policy. To my knowledge, there is no policy that would compel inclusion of the polling company's (demonstrably inaccurate) categorisations, particularly given that the company has no particular expertise on such categorisation.
  2. As to your "takes two [to] edit war" claim -- I would point out that I'm not the only editor reverting you.
  3. As to your rehashing my reversion of your inclusion of 83%: (i) inclusion of the results comprising the 83% twice in the same graph (both individually and as part of the 83% -- 83=66+13+4 -- as you seem to be unable to work it out for yourself) is misleading (ii) get a consensus for controversial changes (this does not mean reversion to the status quo ante before the controversial change) BEFORE you make them.
  4. Yes, I am unapologetically "selective" -- in that I choose to exclude information that misrepresents the facts, inexpert opinions that are contradicted by expert ones, and other problematical material. That is part of what being an editor entails.
  5. "To me it seems to indicate bias against how little support creationism has amongst the public at large." ROFLMAO! I'm arguing against your favoured colour scheme because it misrepresents a creationist position as a neutral one, and you're claiming this? That's absolutely clueless. Have a WP:TROUT.

HrafnTalkStalk(P) 18:47, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

Yes I had not paid attention to the breakdown of the "don't knows". But the 83% figure therefore seems to be a fair interpretation. I do not accept that it is necessary to understand what is and what is not a "concensus" on change. I did try my best to take on board your objections to my edit and incorporate then put it into the article. I prefer WP:BOLD but I clearly do pay attention to TALK usually and do make extensive use of TALK. I do not accept that EQUAL TIME is a neutral position. But the edit did not say that. You said it. That does not make it WP:POV. Your trout comment is inappropriate.
Rather more interesting from the survey of opinions (to me at least) is Americans' apparently complete ignorance of the status of THEORY in science! They seem to think that because it is a THEORY it is not PROVEN - this as evidenced by the answers to this question:-
Question: Do you agree or disagree with the following: Evolution is commonly referred to as the Theory of Evolution because it has not yet been proven scientifically?
Among those who have heard of evolution (95% of total)
  • Agree 74%
  • Disagree 20%
  • Not sure 6%
And the relative differences in the answers regarding the scientific evidence supporting the theories of Evolution and of Relativity. AFAIK there is huge variety of evidence for evolution (and very little against it) and comparatively little evidence for relativity (which is not to say that relatively is any less in doubt than evolution, but just that the scope and variety of scientific testing is not as wide because of the nature of the subject). I am used to Americans being fooled by stories about public health care (an area which I am well familiar with) but their ignorance about science is stunning. --Hauskalainen (talk) 21:51, 19 July 2009 (UTC)