Talk:Discovery Institute

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Pseudoscience[edit]

I see that defenders of the existing page dearly love the adjective "PSEUDOSCIENCE" and have tagged that unless you "talk about it," any attempt to remove it will be reversed! I don't know who is given authority to do this, but I will try to explain to reasonable people why it must be removed. It discredits the Point of View of neutrality to begin an article with an adjective like this. The pejorative term “pseudoscientific” is a value judgment being applied to the theory of Intelligent Design and does not meet Wikipedia standards of articles having a neutrality in introducing articles. It is analogous to an anti-Darwinian opponent using an adjective like “discredited” to introduce the theories of neo-Darwinian Evolution. These pejorative terms prejudge the cases before presenting the evidence. To later in the article quote some authority as having an opinion that ID is not true science, could be useful, but to introduce the article using that opinion is propaganda, not illumination. The Discovery Institute does promote what they claim is scientific evidence that falsifies Darwinian claims to explain the origin, complexity, and novelty of life. They do not do this based on religious texts, although the implications of this point of view do of course have philosophical consequences. Please have this article discuss the Discovery Institute in neutral terms and leave the opinions of "little Judge Johnny Jones" for later in the article--I have purposively used a pejorative way of discussing Judge Jones to demonstrate what this article must not do. Judge Jones may be big or little, and his family may or may not call him Johnny. but it would be very unfair to present him to the reading public this way. That is exactly what the anti-Intelligent Design authors have done this this article. "pseudoscience" has no place in the introduction, and should appear only later as a documented opinion, not from the omniscient anonymous author, who is sadly unable to restrain his/her bias to the loss of neutrality and objectivity. Jhoehn (talk) 03:21, 1 September 2017 (UTC)

I haven't analyzed this particular issue, so I don't know where I stand on it, but just reading your comment I'd like to make a suggestion: please review our neutrality policy closely before proceeding. You might be surprised by what it says. The gist of the policy is that we should reflect what the reliable sources say in a balanced way. "Pseudoscience" is not a pejorative term. It's factual and descriptive. If all reliable sources say that something is pseudoscience, then we say it's pseudoscience too. I don't know if that's the case in this situation, but I'm recommending that you focus your arguments on what our neutrality policy says, rather than your own personal views of what neutrality means. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 03:33, 1 September 2017 (UTC)
It is actually a policy. Please read WP:PSCI. Please also review the archives of this page and other pages where you might consider raising the issue. Discussion has been had before. Jytdog (talk) 03:41, 1 September 2017 (UTC)

I am not an expert on Wikipedia policy, I am an expert on propaganda. And the introduction of an article purporting to be about the organization known as the DISCOVERY INSTITUTE that begins with an attack on the very agenda the institute has, is not an article about the Discovery Institute it is an attack on the Discovery Institute. I am aware of the agenda the Discovery Institute has, and although the most egregious is allowing this pejorative "pseudoscientific" to poison the article based on the authoritarian views of its powerful opponents, there are many other errors of fact in the introduction.

The Discovery Institute is not "anti-evolution." Most of its fellows believe that "evolution" is real and has happened. [Michael Behe's later book is called THE EDGE OF EVOLUTION, and is not suggestion that life does not evolve, but that evolution has edges, limits, that Darwin's theory has transgressed.] It is also not an "evangelical" Christian organization. Many of its fellows are theists, some are agnostic, some are church going Christians, but as an "evangelical" Christian myself, this is NOT an "evangelical" organization.

Discovery Institute is anti-Darwinian-materialistic-suppositions on the Origin of life, the creation of Complexity seen in living mechanisms, the development of novelty suddenly and abundantly in very short geologic time. The Discovery Institute is anti-Darwinian because Darwinian-postulated-mechanisms for the creation of the information necessary for even the oldest most primitive life forms do not work. Mutations and natural selection as a motor for those challenges can be falsified by evidence. Many modern evolutionists recognize this. Scientists are not jumping into the baptism tank to become "evangelical" Christians to my knowledge, but many scientists are honestly and often quietly searching for non-Darwinian mechanisms to explain what they see in their science. The Discovery Institute is not sending out Bible studies, they propagandizing the scientific information that challenges Darwin on the origin and complexity of life. That is not anti-evolution, it is anti-Darwinian-evolution. That is not "evangelical" Christianity. That is a minority opinion asking to let the anti-Darwinian science be heard and thought about honestly, without being shut down before the conversation begins. Jhoehn (talk) 04:17, 1 September 2017 (UTC)

Please see your talk page. Jytdog (talk) 04:23, 1 September 2017 (UTC)

I agree that "pseudoscience" has been codified by listing a lot of para-science or alternative science organizations or beliefs. I do not wish to argue here if Intelligent Design belongs on that list. But this article is on THE DISCOVERY INSTITUTE, and to introduce the institute with an attack on its legitimacy is not neutral, even if the discussion will end with a consensus opinion that many have decided its advocacy in no deserving of the name of science. So I'll leave the topic to the Intelligent Design page, but I must insist that the Discovery Institute be presented fairly and accurately by a neutral point of view, not by starting the article with anti-ID advocacy. 68.189.142.62 (talk) 05:03, 1 September 2017 (UTC)

You would need to find reliable sources confirming that they are advocating real science (and enough such sources to outweight the reliable sources which describe it as a religious movement that is also promoting pseudoscience). —PaleoNeonate – 05:25, 1 September 2017 (UTC)

I am suggesting that this important question if the Discovery Institute is promoting pseudoscience or real science is irrelevant to the presentation of the Discovery Institute organization. The present article is organized adversarially by obvious opponents, by introducing them as " pseudoscientific" which is another way of saying "quacks" and suggesting from the start that they are also devious and scheming. That the Discovery Institute is an organization that has an open and public agenda including Intelligent Design is fact. That they are devious and trying to slip in religion clothed with science is the opinion of doctrinaire Darwinists and philosophical materialists. That should come down later in the article discussing controversy, opposition, and then clearly show what the Discovery Institute claims, and then what their opponents claim. I have no objection to listing the reasons the editors feel they belong on the list of pseudoscience, but the fact is that all scientific revolutions, including Darwin's, were initially opposed by the leading scientific organizations of the day, and were clearly minority opinions. Galileo can explain this to us. Or another way of saying it is that "scientific revolutions sometimes happen one death at a time" because scientists that have invested their lives in a theory are not quick to see its weaknesses, it takes younger, fresh minds often to grasp the need for change of paradigms. The Discovery Institute is a small organization with large goals, and that is to overthrow the dominant theory of the origin and complexity of life. They can be presented as a minority, and their opponents can continue to fight the science they promote. But the present article is as "neutral and unbiased" as having Trump write the entry for the biography of Hilary Clinton. Can't we find a neutral editor to present the Discovery Institute instead of a partisan?Jhoehn (talk) 14:59, 1 September 2017 (UTC)

I'd much rather we followed reliable sources, rather than ignore WP:PAG as you propose. -Roxy the dog. bark 15:07, 1 September 2017 (UTC)
Please stop using this talk page to state your opinions. Please suggest changes to content based on reliable sources and the policies and guidelines. I'll be closing this thread soon, as this Talk page is not for general discussion of the topic, nor for people's feelings about what the article says. Jytdog (talk) 15:19, 1 September 2017 (UTC)
One opinion holding that the Discovery Institute tried to "slip in religion clothed with science" came from a federal judge. In a discussion of science, it is seldom, if ever, fruitful to compare the underdog to Galileo. Sooner rather than later will be a good time to close this thread. Just plain Bill (talk) 16:12, 1 September 2017 (UTC)
"Darwin's, were initially opposed by the leading scientific organizations of the day, and were clearly minority opinions": evolution indeed became mainstream because good biology science continued, supporting, correcting and improving it (far beyond what Darwin could in his time). What the DI proposes is different. "Partisan" would be apologetics or supporters of the organization with a conflict of interest. "Can't we find a neutral editor": what matters is what reliable sources say; I hope that you don't consider mainstream schoolbooks and biology books "partisan". I highly recommend reading evidence of common descent and some of its sources. —PaleoNeonate – 16:23, 1 September 2017 (UTC)
  • The editor(s) complaining here are clearly not experienced in the ways of Wikipedia and we should try not to bite them. To the extent they are saying that intelligent design shouldn't be described as pseudoscience, I haven't seen any arguments supported by the policies and guidelines that have already been mentioned. However to the extent they are saying that this article should be re-written as it's essentially a coatrack to debunk intelligent design, I agree with that sentiment. It is the subject of the discussion immediately above. If we are to make headway I suggest we keep the two discussions separate. This one is about describing ID as pseudoscience. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 16:27, 1 September 2017 (UTC)

I thank you for the civility and patience offered me. I agree until the Discovery Institute is able to convince more scientists of the soundness of their scientific arguments it is appropriate to report to the reading public that the majority opinion is that they are promoting a "pseudoscience." But an article on the Discovery Institute that is a "coatrack" (an article denouncing Intelligent Design, instead of an article describing the Discovery Institute) as described above does need to be rewritten. The article on the Discovery Institute needs to fairly and clearly state the published and open points of view of the Discovery Institute as to what they are promoting and the tools they use. So I will close my comments on "pseudoscience" and let time and evidence clarify that. But I'll continue to request a rewrite of the article on the Discovery Institute that fairly describes exactly what they promote and the methods they claim to use, before tarring and feathering them as, in essence, "dishonest deceivers promoting junk" from the introductory paragraph.Jhoehn (talk) 15:43, 5 September 2017 (UTC)

I mostly agree with Jhoehn's scaled-back concerns. They are encapsulated by the second paragraph of WP:EVALFRINGE: "This is particularly true within articles dedicated specifically to fringe ideas: Such articles should first describe the idea clearly and objectively, then refer the reader to more accepted ideas, and avoid excessive use of point-counterpoint style refutations." --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 16:50, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
Pages like this end up this way because advocates for pseudoscience show up Protesting the Injustice. The article doesn't say "dishonest deceivers promoting junk" because that approaches a BLP violation; it is not a reasonable description of the article.Jytdog (talk) 18:03, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
What are the Institute's claims to notability, other than promoting Intelligent Design as a means of teaching the controversy? It would be a mistake to present that without noting the objective disingenuousness of it. Just plain Bill (talk) 18:13, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
I disagree with Jytdog. The article is really an effort to debunk the ID theory rather than an article about DI the organization. Yes the organization's reason for being is ID, and yes we should say ID is pseudoscience. But the article goes way beyond that and strays well into coatrack land. In any case, this is no longer about whether to label ID as pseudoscience; continued discussion about broader POV issues belongs in the thread immediately above. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 20:08, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
The article mostly describes what DI does. It spends little time on ID itself. Jytdog (talk) 23:40, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
You have to actually read the article before making that assessment. E.g. for a detailed breakdown of the lead section, read the discussion above. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 04:14, 6 September 2017 (UTC)
that was a remarkably silly thing to write, Dr F. Jytdog (talk) 04:39, 6 September 2017 (UTC)
As JPB says. WP articles on organizations cannot shy from identifying them as propagandists for a bankrupt idea as being such, particularly when that is their principal reason for being. LeadSongDog come howl! 21:43, 27 October 2017 (UTC)

Wikipedia and it's admins prove without a doubt their operational bias and hypocrisy in allowing "The Discovery Institute" and "Intelligent Design Theory" to be so blatantly slandered by unneutral sources. PROOF: "Multi-verse theory", "String theory", and "Simulated Reality Theory" - ALL receive treatment as legitimate scientific theories. Not ONE, not even "simulated reality theory" is labeled as pseudoscience! JonnyManziel (talk) 03:25, 29 November 2017 (UTC)

Of course. Because they're not pseudoscience, unlike "intelligent-design theory", which is. --Calton | Talk 15:51, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, proof of operational bias. As in, we wouldn't want to follow our community standards, would we? But seriously, this is not the place to take issue with community standards such as our policy on pseudoscience. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 19:16, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
Those above-mentioned theories and hypotheses do not attempt to distort much of science to conform to an ideology. Belief in deities and the supernatural are not pseudoscience by themselves either. If to justify my belief in Zeus I have to distort science with "alternative science", or if I start using a belief system portrayed as a science to heal my physical body, then I'm beginning to practice pseudoscience. You will find a number of reliable sources describing such as pseudoscience (some are used in this article). If by "biased" sources you mean sources independent of the DI, that's precisely one of the criteria for reliable sources... —PaleoNeonate – 23:41, 29 November 2017 (UTC)

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