Talk:Evolution/Archive 14

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It seems every week or so, someone either tries to insert POV content, biased and unencyclopedic links, or outright vandalism. Many of these edits are made by unregistered IPs. Has there been any discussion of getting this article semi-protected? Teflon Don 04:32, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

Don't think that's necessary, the current rate of vandalism is not sufficient to warrant protection. Moreover, inserting POV is not really a good reason for semi-protection - it should be reserved for bona fide vandalism. Mikker ... 15:59, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
Doesn't even come close to the level required for sprotect; that would be more on the order of 10 times a day. What you're talking about is extreme POV, once or twice a week. If there were extreme POV to the extent of 3RR (or nearly) several times a day, by the same people, that would be an edit war and very likely merit protection. This is just part of the nature of Wiki. You might want to visit any of the pages on WP:MVP to see serious levels of vandalism. It can be an eye-opener. KillerChihuahua?!? 16:07, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
Actually this page is listed at WP:MVP. However, I'm still inclined to not favor semi-protection.
Ah, so it is. So is Abortion, which I don't semi. Levels are well below the "non-handleable" level. KillerChihuahua?!? 16:29, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
Just a thought from basicly a bystander in the "protect or not" discussion - those who unprotect are responsible for the resulting needed "mopping up". Don't unprotect if you aren't going to be there to deal with the consequences. And if you aren't there, why shouldn't another person protect the page on the basis that you aren't willing to babysit the page and neither are they. I know I have no such patience (and no such ability, but that's another story). WAS 4.250 20:06, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
Actually, I've been trying to slightly babysit the page, but everytime I'm about to revert, someone else seems to catch it a few minutes before I do. Makes me feel quite redundant. Bottom line, its not an issue right now. JoshuaZ 20:10, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
Agreed, so many people will have this on their watchlists that Vandalism/POV material is not going to be a problem. --Jpowell 20:42, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
I second Jpowell, can't remember how many times I've rv-ed the page only to see someone caught the vandalism before me. There are enough sitters so this page can remain unprotected/unsemied in the hope that an ip will make a useful edit. (I'm yet to see one, but hey, let's be positive! :). Mikker ... 20:08, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
We just had a useful copy edit by an anonymous IP. JoshuaZ 21:16, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

I agree that semiprotection is not necessary. I too have tried to watch for vandalism on this page, but I'm rarely if ever fast enough to catch it. I'm not sure I understand WAS's comments about unprotection—the page is not currently protected; it's semi-protection that's being discussed. — Knowledge Seeker 23:38, 5 March 2006 (UTC)


The section about misconceptions suggests that "blindness" is implicit in the theory of evolution. Does anyone else believe the idea of blindness (in respect to chance) metaphysical rather than scientific?Leon... 01:24, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

Existing evidence shows no foresight in the evolution of species. WAS 4.250 03:59, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
Both "chance" and "blindness" here are attempts at the same concept. As Darwin specified in Origin, it is not "chance" or "randomness" in a true sense, but rather an attempt to convey the idea that the variations in organisms are not based upon any particular structure or plan (i.e., against orthogenesis). Personally I think "blindness" works better than "chance" to get at this — "chance" seems to lead to all sorts of misconceptions about random arrangements of matter, tornadoes in junkyards, etc. — but perhaps the right solution is to list both (I've seen "blindness" discussed in the context of evolution before, so it's not a neologism) and explain a bit more specifically what they mean in this context. --Fastfission 05:49, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

A good example is a book called "The Blind Watchmaker", by Dawkins. Alienus 06:01, 9 March 2006 (UTC)


I've semi-protected the page for now. Drop me a line on my talk page when you think it should be lifted; I may forget about this. --Cyde Weys 05:41, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

Nevermind, I've un-semi-protected and blocked the offending user instead. --Cyde Weys 05:47, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

NPOV Dispute

I will be posting a notice regarding the biased point of view of this article. I will be doing this because the way the article is written, it is as if everybody agrees with this topic and considers it to be true. Regardless of your personal opinion, it should be changed to a format which will show that many people disagree with the topic. The beginning of the article should mention that what it says evolution is is believed by some people. (The italics don't need to be included in the actual article.) Other changes of that sort should also be added throughout the article. AH9 15:32, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

Evolution is as much a fact as relativity or Earth history prior to 6,000 years ago. You are not disputting this article's contents as being POV (which just means "biased") as the term is used and understood in the context of encyclopedia writing. No encyclopedia can write every article with disclaimers for every possible point of view. WAS 4.250 16:08, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
But the other points of view are significant enough that they should be mentioned. Scorpionman 03:28, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Yes. And they are mentioned, in Evolution#Social and religious controversies, which seems to me to be the appropriate place to discuss non-scientific issues of a scientific theory. — Knowledge Seeker 04:18, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Absolutely. Speaking as a practicing Christian I have absolutely no problem with this article whatsoever. It reflects, as policy says it should, the dominant view. I have compassion for those whose faith is not strong enough to survive the idea that evolution exists; my Bible does not state that the Lord thinks we are stupid - I see it as one of the great challenges laid down by God and one of the most marvellous mysteries of His creation that He has given us so much to work with and understand the workings of the universe. Just zis Guy you know? 22:35, 13 March 2006 (UTC)
I tried banging the "This article doesn't show other POV's correctly!" drum once, gave it all I had too in the last archive, im afraid there's not much in the way of fighting to do about POV here that I can see anymore :/. If you've (the OP) got something useful to say on NPOV with this article, by all means, feel free to lay out whatever you have, but im just warning you beforehand, I think this issue was beaten to a pulp quite awhile ago, im not really so sure if it's much of a battle worth fighting. Homestarmy 00:30, 14 March 2006 (UTC)


I recieved this request:

Do you have access to the full article for Van Valen, Leigh M. & Maiorana, Virginia C. (1991): HeLa, a new microbial species. Evolutionary Theory 10:71-74.. I always wanted to read the full text. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) 22:04, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

I also would enjoy reading it, but if someone wants to mail him a copy and not make it available in any other way, I understand (copyright paranoia). Passing a copy to a friend is fair use; but, you know, whatever. Anyway, thanks in advance for spreading knowledge. (My mail is not activated, I would guess his is. Pointing to a place I could copy it from for a very short period of time would do the trick.) WAS 4.250 00:54, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

I just checked my university's database as best as I could and I wasn't able to find the full text of the article anywhere. The closest I was able to find was the journal Evolutionary Theory, but they don't keep years worth of back issues. --Cyde Weys 04:38, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for trying. I checked out Richard Arthur Norton a bit and he seems like a nice enough chap. He freely lists his home address. Google hits show employment data. With the home address, I suppose one could even mail him a copy if someone could locate a hard copy (or micro-fishe?). Anyway, lots of us are tight with a dollar for obvious reasons. Thanks again. WAS 4.250 04:46, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
I have been digging as well, and I pretty uch can not find a single trace of this article, either in libraries (world wide search through OCLC firstseach) or at the internet. I am actually getting suspicious about the article.....--KimvdLinde 06:10, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
I could n't find the article either. I could find a homepage of the first author (Van Valen) website at Uni-of-Chicago. . Perhaps this helps you in finding the paper Arnoutf 09:31, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Strangly enough, he is not menitoning it as one of his major articles.... confusing KimvdLinde 19:30, 13 March 2006 (UTC)
Not too strange, many senior scientist have many dozens of papers. Perhaps this is not one of his major personal achievements, but it may nevertheless be very well be the best one for the argument in the article. Arnoutf 20:14, 13 March 2006 (UTC)
Van Valen's email is I'm sure he'll send it to you if you ask. Mikker ... 14:23, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

Eureka: it exists: I just dug up a copy in our university library. Here's the abstract:

Consistent application of our criteria for species seems to require that HeLa cells, a vigorous clone of human origin, be regarded as a separate species. We propose new taxa for it to the level of family. This species has been unusually successful in its niche, but the existence of other, less extreme, examples raises several problems which await resolution. Our concepts should incorporate the diversity of real phenomena.

Frankly, it strikes me at first glance as slightly wacky, and not solid proof of anything. It would probably not be fair use to post the pictures I took of the four pages, but if anyone's interested... well, I just confirmed my email account, so you can reach me there if you'd like. bikeable (talk) 21:54, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

I posted this on Richard Arthur Norton's talk page so if he still wants it he can contact you (his email and even home address are readily available if you want to be proactive). WAS 4.250 22:20, 13 March 2006 (UTC)
As for it "not proving anything"; well, what is and isn't a species is a matter of definition and the article apparently says using defintion X, this is a species so let's discuss it as a species and see where that leads. WAS 4.250 22:20, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

On the slaughter of the English language

" means of political policies." Huh? —Preceding unsigned comment added by PiCo (talkcontribs)

May I direct you to the "edit this page" button? Mikker ... 12:57, 13 March 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps he doesn't know what meaning was intended. Perhaps he thinks it too vague, and would like like additional specificity from someone who knows what policies are being refered to. Perhaps he sees everything being reverted and is cautious about deleting something that may have been bitterly fought over, resulting in "language by committee". Then again, maybe you are right, Mikk, and he simply wasn't aware that he could edit it himself. WAS 4.250 19:06, 13 March 2006 (UTC)
I meant that "political policies" is nonsensical. I have no idea what meaning was intended here, so I won't try to edit. But someone who does know what's meant should make this more specific. PiCo 01:54, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
Re PiCo: I've fixed it... Please have a look & let me know if it has been adequately explained. Regards, Mikker ... 13:01, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
Re WAS 4.250: yeah you're right. I guess I was a bit, erm, snippy there... The title of the section ("On the slaughter of the English language") seemed to suggest he had a minor problem with the wording... Anyhow, sorry PiCo. Mikker ... 13:01, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

While we're on the topic of language, I personally find the phrase "supporters and detractors" to be cumbersome and unneeded, since it implies "everyone." Maybe other people don't see it as poor writing, but I'd like to change it where possible. By the way, nice edits Mikker. --Ignignot 15:08, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Thanks Ignignot... Yeah, I agree with you. The "supporters and detractors" phrase was there before I edited the section but I can't find an alternative wording. Thought about "Some supporters and detractors" but that's even more cumbersome. Suggestions? Mikker ... 15:12, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
I like WAS 4.250's wording. Although may I suggest that we make the previous sentence "Given that some religious people — especially devotees of the Abrahamic religions — believe evolutionary origin beliefs are incompatible with their faith, the debate is often heated and seemingly endless." Or is that too much? ;-) joking of course --Ignignot 20:25, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Why reduce see also?

The see also section shouldn't be reduced by putting them into the body of the text. That's the point, you get a nice list of related topics altogether and you don't have to go fishing through the text for a link to some specific thing whose exact name you temporarily forgot. Even if they are already mentioned in the text they should also be in the See also section. --Cyde Weys 07:09, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

Though I agree with Cyde overall, I think the 40+ see also links may be somewhat excessive... Additionally, there are even more links in the box at the bottom. Are all these really necessary? At what point do we start getting diminishing returns with respect to such links? Mikker ... 18:29, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
I aggree that putting links into the text where they do not fit is bad. However we do have too many... and if you look at the bottom of the page you will see the category "evolution" which contains an even more extensive list. Maybe we should just reduce the See also section to the 10-20 most important topics, and then put a reminder in the See also section that the category is available. Thoughts? --Ignignot 19:14, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
Seems fair to me Homestarmy 19:28, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
10-20 seem a reasonable number to me. Now we just have the massive task of determining which half of the links should go! Mikker ... 20:24, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
Where are you coming up with this 10-20 number? What is the basis for choosing that? Evolution is a large and complicated field, and trying to shoehorn it into a small, arbitrarily-chosen number of links is doing a huge disservice. And categories function entirely differently than lists such as this See also. Categories are almost invisible and I would estimate that a large proportion of users who benefit from See also lists would simply not find or use the category. The category is something we have no control over anyway, and contains a lot of irrelevant stuff. Having a thorough See also list is essential. And since it's already at the bottom of the article I don't understand the complaints that it is "too long". --Cyde Weys 21:22, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

Well then here is the list, so we can comment directly on it. I'll put a few in to start I guess. --Ignignot 20:40, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

It occurs to me that we can also put some of these into subsection see alsos. There are already a few in the article, but we could put a few more in. For example in the Ancestry of organisms, it says "see also: common descent." --Ignignot 21:11, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
  1. Abiogenesis
  2. Altruism in animals
    Delete --Ignignot 20:40, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
  3. Anagenesis
  4. Argument from evolution
  5. Atavism
  6. Animal evolution
    Delete --Ignignot 21:11, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
  7. Behavioral ecology
  8. Catagenesis
    Delete Poor article --Ignignot 21:36, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
  9. Cladistics
  10. Cladogenesis
  11. Convergent evolution
  12. Creation-evolution controversy
    Keep Even though this is already in a main article I think we should make an exception for this topic, since I think we want as many people as possible to go to that page when they are looking for the controversy instead of adding to this one --Ignignot 20:40, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
  13. Dual inheritance theory
  14. Endosymbiont
  15. Eugenics
    Keep--Ignignot 20:40, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
  16. Evolution of sex
    Delete since it is already linked in a Main article: --Ignignot 21:11, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
  17. Evolutionary algorithm
  18. Evolutionary art
  19. Evolutionary biology
    Delete since it is in the disambig --Ignignot 21:17, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
  20. Evolutionary medicine
  21. Evolution of multicellularity
  22. Evolutionary psychology
    Delete since it is in the disambig --Ignignot 21:17, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
  23. Evolutionary tree
  24. Evolvability
  25. Experimental evolution
  26. Fitness landscape
  27. Genetic algorithm
  28. Genetics
    Keep--Ignignot 20:40, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
  29. Gradualism
  30. HeLa
  31. Human behavioral ecology
  32. Human evolution
    Delete since it is in the disambig --Ignignot 21:17, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
  33. Instinct
    Delete --Ignignot 20:40, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
  34. List of publications on evolution and human behavior
  35. Modern evolutionary synthesis
    Delete since it is already linked in a Main article: --Ignignot 21:11, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
  36. Natural science
  37. Natural selection
    Delete since it is already linked in a Main article: --Ignignot 21:11, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
  38. Neutral theory of molecular evolution
  39. Niche construction
  40. Origin of life
    Keep--Ignignot 20:40, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
  41. Parallel evolution
  42. Punctuated equilibrium
    Delete or move to subsection since it is already linked in the article --Ignignot 21:11, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
  43. Quantum evolution
  44. Quasispecies model
  45. Scientific method
  46. Sexual selection
  47. Social effect of evolutionary theory
    Delete since it is already linked in a Main article: --Ignignot 21:11, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
  48. Teratogenesis
    Delete Poor article --Ignignot 21:36, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

Ignignot, some of your deletion "votes" are bad. Did you even read what I read? It's not enough that they are linked in the article. It's a long article, and to get a general overview of the field takes about a minute as it is now perusing the see alsos. Your idea, removing all links that are already linked in the main document, would require tens of minutes for someone to read the whole article before they got a good overview of related concepts, and even then, the links would be scattered about and if they didn't remember the exact link name they'd have to go searching for something in any number of sections. That's unacceptable. The see also list is already at the bottom of the article; I don't understand these claims that it is "too long". so long as everything in it is relevant, it's not too long, it's just a good source of information. --Cyde Weys 21:17, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

Well, independent of the question of whether there are too many links, several of the linked to articles are just horrible. Like:
  1. Atavism
  2. Catagenesis
  3. Cladogenesis
  4. HeLa
  5. Teratogenesis

Mikker ... 21:28, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

Bleh, I ruined my response due to an edit conflict. I'll rewrite it slightly shorter - I think that the evolution category can better show interesting topics to people who are looking for additional articles. I think that if we add in a note in the see also section to look at the category, we can get rid of many of the see also links which are not as important / relavant / already linked in "Main article:" / are in the disambig. I put down my sort of votes just to show what I thought about the links and a rationale behind it, to reach a consensus instead of to count popularity. It would be nice to see what people think is important and what people think is frivolous before just cutting out links. --Ignignot 21:36, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
While I am not sure they should be in the see also, I think HeLa and Atavism are not that bad. --Ignignot 21:45, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
I will agree with you that the HeLa link isn't really relevant and can be removed, but the others are solid links. So what if the articles aren't up to featured standard; the more eyes browsing them the better they'll get. Your solution, to corner them off and have nothing link to them, would hurt their chances of becoming better. This is the same rationale for keeping redlinks ... hopefully someone will come along and create the article. --Cyde Weys 23:56, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
I am not suggesting a complete exclusion of the links, instead I am suggesting that we put a notice on the top of the See also section loudly telling people to check the evolution category for a larger range of articles, and limit the See also to the best, most relevant, and diverse articles. I think of this as a compromise between outright deletion and leaving it as it is. And while I also think that it is important for articles to have visibility so that people can modify and improve them, I think that when a See also section gets too big, people don't use it. By limiting the size, readers may be less intimidated. I think if we do it well, it will result in an overall increase in traffic to the articles in the See also section, even if the range of articles is smaller. --Ignignot 16:21, 17 March 2006 (UTC)
I think HeLa can definitely be removed (is not directly related to evolution, is only related via the intermediary topic of observed speciation); I also don't think atavism is needed here (not important enough for a see also link to be useful here); and while altruism in animals has been a fertile topic of discussion in evolutionary thought I'm not sure it needs to be elevated to a "see also" here. I think the general philosophy here is that things which would rightly fit as subcategories of other topics here should be culled a bit, because having this many "see alsos" is really not useful for the reader, I don't think. --Fastfission 00:05, 17 March 2006 (UTC)

I have added in a note to see Category:Evolution and Category:Evolutionary biology at the top of the See also section. I think that even if we do not remove any see also links, the note will be helpful to some people.

As the discussion seems to have died down. Where do we stand at removing some of the see alsos? --Ignignot 16:05, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

I'm for deleting some, but several others disagree. Mikker ... 21:04, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Laws of Thermodynamics question the beginning of the universe not Evolution.

I am not sure how any one could argue that evolution (of life) disproves the Laws of Thermodynamics. I only believe that the Laws of Thermodynamics disprove a universe void of God. If matter and energy have existed for an infinite amount of time, wouldn't everything have already exchanged energies and only entropy exist?

No, they don't do that either. One could have it always approaching but never reaching a totally entropic state. Handwavyness: One could have a f(t) measuring total entropy such that lim f(t)=2 as t goes to minus infinity and f(t)=1 as t goes to 00 and the function is decreasing. JoshuaZ 20:56, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

Who is the father of evolution?


In the context of this article, I guess either Mendal or Darwin, relations between genetics and evolution and whatnot, I dunno. Homestarmy 20:04, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
I don't understand the point of the question? I think Charles Darwin is commonly accepted as the most influential person in the modern theory of evolution, but using a word like "father" is kind of inappropriate and inaccurate. --Cyde Weys 20:06, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
No one is the "father of evolution" just as no one is the "father of grass" or "father of sun". WAS 4.250 21:03, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
I think our anom means father of the theory of evolution in the sense that Einstein might be said to be the father of the theory of relativity. In this case, the answer is probably no one, since the relevant ideas in the modern theory are in fact a product of many different people all of which lead to the body known as the modern synthesis. JoshuaZ 21:22, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
Evolution, grass, and sun are all things as well as concepts/ideas that have developed from prehistoric conceptions to modern scientic conceptions. Neither the things nor the concepts we have of them have such a clear originator that any single father could be selected. WAS 4.250 21:36, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
If you are looking for a "father" in the usual hand-wavy metaphorical sense, your answers are usually either Lamarck or Darwin, depending on whether you want evolution to be written broadly or precisely. If you want "who is the creator of the current model of evolution" then you are getting into an issue of seriously mixed fatherhood. --Fastfission 23:04, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
So evolution's a bastard? -Silence 23:16, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
No, just a fairy tale for grown-ups. If it needs a father, it is Satan. rossnixon 01:31, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
Actually religion is the fairy tale for grown-ups. Satan is a religious concept and doesn't have anything to do with science. --Cyde Weys 00:08, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
Most people will be surprised to discover that evolution is a religious concept. It just pretends to be scientific. rossnixon 01:24, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
Sigh. Please take it to Usenet, this is not the place. Mikker ... 01:34, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
Which Darwin? Ras or Chas? ;) ..dave souza, talk 06:25, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
Neither. I'd have to say that the "father" of evolution was most likely Anaximander. Scorpionman 16:15, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

Update on correcting a miss-spelling (evolve!)

There is still an error in this article. I previously wrote above about it. The word Antibiotics was replaced with "antibodies". I have read the words of Darwin that he wrote to Alfred Russel Wallace who was in the Australia area. He wrote to him: "Long after we are dead and gone, this debate will continue. ,,,.Great is the power of Misrepresentation." In the 1860's a Frenchman was his Nemesis in the public, forum debates, the genesis of his comments. The Frenchman was still living in whatever world, the frenchman was referring to.

I Now, Know how to find the three "antib- " words, with the find function. Sorry for being a dummy. So if you put in antib , you get the first "antibiotic" resistance, or whatever, The find next–goes to the "antibody" word. When I first read the sentence in Nov/Dec, ...I did a doubletake, and had to reread what I had read....The third "Find Next" takes one again to 3rd use of "antibiotic resistance" now with the 2nd of antibody resistance.

Here's the point, I could hardly ever find where these references were hidden in the article. I evolved. But nobody else has read every word in this article,...and not being an author of it, and having read Darwin, and the Great Mr. Wallace, I would prefer other items of my time...... So somebody else can still remove this antibody reference.

I still like going beyond a discussion of Evolution and would rather discuss speciation, Law of superposition, Law of faunal succession or geological topics. Any way, that is my latest "Talk" on the Evolution discussion page.MMcAnnis,YumaAZ--Mmcannis 02:10, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

AAAAlllrighty then... Mikker ... 02:22, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Should we have a notice on top of the talk page pointing to

But why do we should leave Wikipedia to discuss this or other subjects? Wikipedia is not enough so big for this? I find the very important the opinions, and I think that this talk page (or other specifically for this) should be as a forum of discussions and not a mere discussion on how to do a good article, that is a subject of very smaller significance! Berton 14:10, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
I think some people might of gotten annoyed at the archive size so they decided to squish the debate before it started again :/. Homestarmy 14:37, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
Also without the above, this page basically devolves into a creationism v. evolution page and it seems to be much harder to get stuff done on the talk page. JoshuaZ 14:43, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
Put another way -- it's fine to use this talk page to discuss what goes into the article. That's what talk pages are for. It's not fine to use it as a general-purpose debate/ranting forum for excoriating biologists or creationists. The talk page is for collaborating with one another to build an article; it isn't for arguing about radiometric dating or transitional fossils. --FOo 03:51, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

"Theory of Evolution a Misnomer"

The "Theory of Evolution" Is a Misnomer - Wayne Getz, BioScience 56(2): 97 (Listed as Open Access content, so this link should work for anyone)

It's an interesting piece which might have some bearing on the article (he also cites Wikipedia, albeit not this article). Guettarda 03:23, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

That link doesn't seem to work... I've found the article here though. Mikker ... 13:49, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
While the article makes sense in saying it is anachronistic to refer to the current body of biological evolution science as a theory of evolution meaning defintion one "A set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena, especially one that has been repeatedly tested or is widely accepted and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena." at; it does make sense to talk of theory of evolution or evolutionary theory in the same way as one talks of musical theory or theory of music meaning definition two "branch of a science or art consisting of its explanatory statements, accepted principles, and methods of analysis" which contains within it untold numbers of what are theories by definition one. WAS 4.250 01:26, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

Evolved to evolve

The selective pressure to evolve to evolve has created rates of evolution that make no sense unless the fact of having evolved to evolve as explained in PNAS's August 10, 2004 Evolvability is a selectable trait article is understood as well as specific cellualar mechanisms like spliceosomes that can turn the cell's genome into a vast workshop of billions of interchangeable parts that can create tools that create tools that create tools that create us. WAS 4.250 01:54, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

This is very interesting, will you add it to the article? (I don't quite know enough about this to be confident enough to do so). Mikker ... 13:47, 26 March 2006 (UTC)
I created Evidence from studies of complex iteratation with the above in it. What do you think? WAS 4.250 20:01, 26 March 2006 (UTC)
Good job... I think paraphrased + reffed paragraphs are better than large quotes, but good nonetheless. Mikker ... 20:54, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

"Social and religious controversies" section

There seems to have been a veritable renaissance of editing on this section lately. I'm wondering whether people have comments to make? My main worry at the moment is that we lack refs for the section - I think Dennett's "Darwin's Dangerous Idea" should cover a lot of it, but other sources are still needed. (book info would be great for those of you who own it, my copy is currently deep in a box 1500km away). Additionally, several weasels are still in evidence, and I'm a bit worried about whether the last paragraph satisfies NPOV. Mikker ... 15:47, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

Hmm, the first paragraph to me really seems like it is begging for either some serious citations or some well deserved deletion, its far too much of a long string of absolute statements. Homestarmy 16:03, 26 March 2006 (UTC)
Could you please elaborate? Sentence 1 seems indisputable (but we do need a ref, maybe we can steal one from Creation-evolution controversy or something?). Sentence 2 through 4 say, essentially, evolution (in either its explanatory or factual sense) is not controversial among biologists/scientists and hence the controversy surrounding evolution is societal/philosophical, not scientific. Dennett will cover the philosophical nature of the debate bit, whilst I think there are some nice refs at Intelligent design that biologists don't find evo controversial. Mikker ... 16:12, 26 March 2006 (UTC)
Well, I fully recognize that among most scientists today the science behind evolution is rock solid, but one of the most frequent charges I hear against creationists is that they "don't understand evolution". So it would then seem to me the controversy somewhat has something to do with evolution being mis-represented scientifically, which does have to do with science i'd think. Most creationists i've seen seem to think the issue has alot to do with science, and since this paragraph is about the societal and religious conflict, it seems like it should at least note many opponents of evolution feel like it is a matter of science even when almost all biologists supposedly disagree with this compleatly. Homestarmy 16:27, 26 March 2006 (UTC)
I disagree... what you are referring to is a problem of education, not science. In the context of the section under consideration, "science" refers to "what scientists do", if non-biologist arm-chair critics claim there is a problem with the science, that doesn't mean there is one. That said, I think you make a good point, we should add a bit about how people think it is really about the science. Mikker ... 16:33, 26 March 2006 (UTC)
I also think the third paragraph shouldn't be trying to quantify "some people's opinions", im sure "Degrading" isn't the only word people who are opposed to evolution use. Homestarmy 16:07, 26 March 2006 (UTC)
  • I worked over it one more time to make it a bit more precise and clear (I also felt it necessary to add that some religious people have managed to reconcile it -- it isn't inevitable that religion and evolution conflict). In any case, since this is in summary style I think we can get away with some weaseling here -- the full citations and discussions of who-believes-what can go into the specific articles about this subject. This is just meant to be a little acknowledgment and overview of some of the big issues. I weakened the "not scientifically controversial" line a bit -- biological evolution of some form was not controversial by the early 20th century, but natural selection as the mechanism did not become in vogue again until the 1940s with the modern synthesis. On the last paragraph, if you can tell me what you are having NPOV doubts about I can hopefully clarify or cite. I can provide citations for anything anyone finds needing of citation in this section; in my opinion it is pretty fair and straightforward; I've added a few general overview references which would be appropriate to someone coming to the topic for the first time. --Fastfission 16:44, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

Lack of Neutrality

Okay, I'm not trying to start a debate on the validity of evolution here. But the article is biased! It says that evolution is a fact, without mentioning that all it is is a theory. Also, the article states only the evidence for evolution, while it should contain a section that discusses evidence against it too. PLEASE DO NOT START ARGUING ABOUT THE VALIDITY OF EVOLUTION HERE. THAT'S NOT WHAT I'M TRYING TO DO. THE ARTICLE NEEDS IMPROVING. Scorpionman 16:20, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

I agree with Scorpionman, there is lack of neutrality, and to send the discussion for proves this. Berton 17:46, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
Um, is a general discussion forum for this topic. Whats wrong with it? JoshuaZ 17:49, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
It is out of Wikipedia! Berton 17:54, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia is notb a discussion forum, or a online course on evolution. KimvdLinde 17:57, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
(edit conflict with Kim) Er, yes, that's the point. We don't want creation-evolution arguments cluttering up the talk page, the talk pages are for discussing improvements to the articles not for general free for all arguments. JoshuaZ 17:59, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
Once again: What Wikipedia is not, bla, bla, bla ...; and the editors are not certainly also robots and do they have opinions unavoidably (inclusive to improve articles as this), which should be discussed, in a forum, inside Wikipedia, why not? It is not enough big for this? Berton 18:06, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
Indeed, Wikipedia is not, bla, bla, bla .... KimvdLinde 18:39, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
Evidently that all the opinions are important (they are not bla, bla, bla), except bias and lack of neutrality as the yours. Berton 18:47, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I have a bias towards people who claim that evolution is just a theory and fail to distinguish between a scientific theory and the popular usage of that same word. KimvdLinde 18:51, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
And I have a great bias towards pseudo-science! Berton 18:54, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
Good, me too! KimvdLinde 18:55, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
Example: Piltdown Man. Berton 18:59, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
Yup, solved. Forgery. KimvdLinde 19:02, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
Furthermore, note that Pildown Man was seen as problematic well before it was declared a forgery precisely because it didn't fit in with other known trends and relationships. Thus, if anything this is an example that shows how robust evolution is, that is allowed scientists to correctly dismiss Piltdown man even before they knew for sure it was a forgery. If that's the best example, this article is staying as is. JoshuaZ 19:12, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
It perhaps is not the best example, but certainly it demonstrates that there is many interests involved behind a theory as the evolutionism. Berton 19:24, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
If you don't have a specific suggestion to improving this article, please take this elsewhere. If the best you can come up with is saying that Piltdown man "demonstrates that there is many interests involved" then I don't think you have much. --Fastfission 19:34, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
elsewhere? Is you exiling me? Did I get right the point, not? This proves categorically the that I said: lack of neutrality: if you disagree with these evolutionists go to elsewhere! Berton 19:39, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
Still more the evolutionism has a great disadvantage with relationship to the creationism: it has to prove that is true, while the creationism, no, the people have to believe that God created all the things, and that is enough. Berton 20:31, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
And that is why it is not science. KimvdLinde 20:33, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
A little secret: I am not creationist. I am here just defending the neutrality of this article.Berton 20:38, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
My opinion on this subject is: Genesis says that the world was created in 7 days, and that is full evolutionism, because they are 7 cosmic days. Berton 20:59, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
Ok, so you are somewhere between day-age creationism and theistic evolution. So? Your personal views are not really relevant to the neutrality of the article. JoshuaZ 21:07, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
Nor the yours, if it is that has some. BTW, you are me labeling, that is a typical bias. Berton 21:23, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
You brought the topic up, its a bit hard to accuse me of some form of bias when 1) you brought it up and 2)I explicitly said that it doesn't matter. Now can we please get back to the matter at hand? JoshuaZ 21:33, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
JoshuaZ, I only want that Wikipedia to be neutral, and that there is a place for the people could express your opinions, if it is not adequate to use this talk page, that is other! Just that. Berton 21:47, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
As to theistic evolution, I think that is an excellent way to conciliate faith and science. Berton 22:52, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

What specific addition do you think should be made? WAS 4.250 16:25, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

As before - the fact/theory thing is dealt with. In addition, you should read the link I added higher up this page. As for evidence against evolution - care to supply some? Guettarda 16:27, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

Scorpionman! Please see the responses to these common creationist charges: Evolution is only a theory and Evolution has not been proved. This has all been covered thousands of times before. You're not the first person to misunderstand what the word theory means. --Cyde Weys 16:32, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

I agree completely with Guettarda and Cyde. Also be aware that not having every answer is not proof a current understanding does not have some answers; and that the fact of evolution is not just the fact of micro as oppossed to macro evolution. That is also dealt with in the article. WAS 4.250 16:38, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
Whenever a new archive is made, this discussion pops up again. Maybe we can just leave it in next time we archive? --Ignignot 17:21, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
If people won't listen to the notice at the top of the page they won't take note of the discussion on the page. It's just one of those things that keeps coming around. The only possible thing I could think of is to compose a type of 'standard' message which deals with the criticisms (and they are nearly identical each time) which someone could then post whenever it came up, in order to try to reduce the amount of time spent on it. --Davril2020 18:26, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
The discussion also keeps popping up just becasue they do notb have to bring something substantial to the table, so it becomes easier to arttack the messengers.KimvdLinde 18:39, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I guess I agree with your reasoning. They aren't here to have a conversation anyway - witness the blatant trolling above. --Ignignot 20:28, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
None of you paid any attention to what I said in bold print. I am not debating the validity of evolution for the sake of debating it! Otherwise I would go to Talk:Origins. I don't even want to bring this up again, but I have to because the article is biased toward evolution! Evolution has not been proved, but this article states that it has! I respect all your opinions but please leave them out of here if it is not relevant to improving the article. The article needs to be neutral, and every time I bring this up I start a debate on the validity of evolution because the liberal evolutionists on Wikipedia get heavily offended and start shouting at me for disagreeing with their belief. So, stop this argument right now unless it involves making the article neutral. Scorpionman 02:05, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
Evolution has been proven. Evolution is an observation, a fact. Natural selection is a theory - the most powerful theory to explain the observed fact of evolution. Natural selection is a theory, it's not "proven" (since the scientific method does not allow for proof). Guettarda 02:19, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
P.S. And Cyde Weys? The responses to common creationist charges are common evolutionist bigotic comments! [personal attacks deleted by Guettarda] Scorpionman 02:12, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
Please refrain from personal attacks. You know better than that. Guettarda 02:19, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
While unproductive, I don't think his comments violate WP:NPA since they weren't directed at another Wikipedian. However, they did probably violate WP:CIVIL, which I don't think allows for refactoring of comments. It seems borderline enough that I am certainly not going to restore his comment since by any standard it was highly inflammatory. JoshuaZ 02:50, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
Not sure who they were aimed at - "The scientist (ahem, fool) who said that "creationism is...only an opinion scientifically useless" knows nothing!". I take that personally. He appears to be calling many of us involved in the page fools and a bigots, and people who know nothing. How is that not a PA? Guettarda 03:53, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
From my possibly over literal readings of the comment he was mainly attacking the individuals who had made the index to common creationist and attacking scientists. This may have been woefully bad misintreprtation on my part. (And I'm not quite sure, but I think Cyde has actually helped out slightly with the index anyways). Consider my earlier comment withdrawn. JoshuaZ 04:01, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
You're probably right, but the fact that it's pretty easy to read otherwise. Guettarda 04:09, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
Actually they're not "bigotic comments" (LMAO), they're the truth. And You can't handle the truth. --Cyde Weys 02:55, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
Neither can you, Cyde! And I was not attacking other Wikipedians. Evolutionists get really touchy! I was referring to the "scientist" who said that creation is nothing but an opinion. I don't know why every time I try to get the article changed it has to turn into this big debate. I put that in bold print at the top and no one paid any attention to it. Now look, I know that evolution does occur within species. That's been proven. Bacteria change to become more resistant to antibiotics (I have had personal experience with useless antibiotics), and the grapefruit is a "mutation" of the pummello. But they don't become an entire new species! This article says that evolution causes one species to change into another, and that has not been proven. If you think it has, give me an example of this "proof". Scorpionman 14:46, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
Actually, we have many examples of speciation and have examples since about 1900, second, please understand that when you put messages in all caps and then start calling people fools, that is a WP:CIVIL problem and also will make people much less likely to listen to you. JoshuaZ 15:13, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
Scorpionman, to save time, just Google "observed speciation". You will see events all over the place. The fact is that the changes you want to make are just plain wrong and belong in the Creation-Evolution Controversy, which is linked. Putting non-scientific critcisms in this article makes about as much sense as putting in biological and geological criticisms in the article on Genesis. Varith 15:25, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
I don't think we've observed any speciation where bacteria becomes a fern, im pretty sure somewhere around there is where the line gets drawn. Homestarmy 15:30, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
That's like only looking at a clock for a half-hour and then saying that you agree that the clocks hands can change but not that it can go a full circle. What is the magical reason for thinking that one can't have such behavior? We have observed single-celled species becoming multicelled, have observed the reverse, have observed large scale genetic similarities highly consistent with what one would expect from common ancestry. JoshuaZ 15:44, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
Ape-Man, Ape-Man, Ooh-Ooh-Ooh! We are smart, smarter than you! Evolution, Evolution must be true! Ape-Man, Ape-Man, Ooh-Ooh-Ooh! 15:34, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
Ahem, ignoring the silly comment above I would like to say that the criticisms are scientific. The page should state that evolution is believed to be responsible for the species divergence in the world, it shouldn't say that is is responsible! It's a belief. Scorpionman 15:38, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
I would have to say that a lack of proof against something does not equal proof for something. Therefore just because none can disprove it does not make it proved. Secondly the article claims that a bacteria resistant to a certain poison is a new species, this is false, I am immune to Poison Ivy, I am not a New type of species merely a human immune to Poison Ivy. Thirdly I think it is nessecary to distinguish between micro-evolution (I.E. the variation in species, which is genetically and selectively accomplished) and Macro-Evolution (The Idea that one species turns into another, which is unprovable and therefore therory not fact). Lifeling 11:14, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
Actually we have many examples of speciation. For example, the Faeroe Island mouse which has speciated into at least three species since the introduction of mice to the island about 300 years ago. A classic example of fly speciation is given in Dobzhansky, T. 1973. Species of Drosophila: New Excitement in an Old Field. Science 177:664-669. We also have tens, if not hundreds of examples of plant speciation. As for it being unprovable, of course it isn't "provable" science isn't in the business of proof for anything. Proof is for mathematicians and alcohol. Science never gives proof of anything, at best it gives overwhelming evidence. See Scientific method for more about this. Now, this really isn't the correct forum for this, so can you please take it elsewhere like to which is an evolution/creation discussion forum? Thanks. JoshuaZ 16:28, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
Then maybe that's the flaw in the article - sloppy use of the word "evolution". Evolution is the change within and between species, which is an observed fact and is demonstrable experimentally. The "belief" is that natural selection and other processes (drift, mutation, sexual selection, etc.) are capable of producing the observed evolutionary change. The change is not a belief, it's a fact. The processes which are believed to be responsible (based on the fact that they are supported by observational, experimental and theoretical studies) are not "facts", they are proposed mechanisms (which happen to be, for the most part, well-supported). Guettarda 16:07, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
Evidence against evolution would be to find modern species in ancient strata. While their absence can be explained by either repeated events of special creation or by the fact that the fossil record is just an elaborate practical joke, these are not workable assumptions for any modern epistemology of science. Guettarda 16:19, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
Haha! It looks like the athiest liberal evolutionist bigotesque "scientists" have once again managed to squash even more proof that "the theory of evolution" is just another one of their lies used to undermine religion and also that they hate ignorance. We need to band together to educate people about the truth of this vast conspiracy. I feel sorry for people who worship at the alter of Darwin and Mendel, in their evolutionist anti-churches. Seriously, they have anti-churches and stuff and they do unnatural things like play god with their GMOs which were never meant to be. And doesn't that disprove evolutionism? --Ignignot 16:58, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Boy, I don't visit Wikipedia for, like, a day and this happens! I'm sorry I missed it! :) Oh, and in case this isn't clear already, my opinion is that the article is perfectly in line with WP:NPOV. We are about as certain about the occurrence of evolution as we are about the sky's being blue, and we have overwhelming evidence that the theory of natural selection (and other less important mechanisms) account for this occurrence. To my knowledge, no qualified scientist doubts evolution. In short, the article is not biased in the sense defined by NPOV. Scorpionman, you might want to read Larry's Big Reply if you doubt this. Mikker ... 18:54, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Look, I don't know where you people get these crazy ideas but I'm wasting my time trying to convince you. I'm not trying to personally attack anybody but evolution is the excuse a lot of people use to do whatever they want because without any God there's no accountability. A lot of people like this idea therefore they fiercely defend it, calling it "proven" and saying that "we're sure of it" and when it is threatened they get very touchy and say that the countering view is "bigotry" and "scientifically useless". And if there is overwhelming evidence, then give me a few good examples of it. And your Faroe Island mouse doesn't even begin to verify evolution! Were you there for three hundred years watching the thing speciate? What kind of species did it turn into, lizards? If not, then your "proof" doesn't exist. Scorpionman 02:24, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
90% of Christian collages do not believe in old earth creationism[1]. Instead, they teach evolution. Perhaps this is because they don't believe in God and just want to do whatever they want, but I doubt it. You have been directed various times to talk origins which has ample proof. Please stop lying.

Scorpionman, you are wasting your time. You're wasting our time too. Arguing from personal ignorance isn't helping your case either. (For an explanation of what this is, read "The Blink Watchmaker" by Dawkins). In any case, please raise these concerns you have at, take some bio courses, take some philosophy of science courses, read some credible books on evolution, read some Nietzsche. Please just don't keep doing what you're doing now. Mikker (...) 02:38, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
If you think you are wasting your time, go do something else. Please. This talk page is for improving the article, not for arguing your POV. Now, as to your other points (and since we now both seem to agree that you are wasting your time, this will be my last reply on the matter in this forum, if you want to discuss it by email or on I will be happy to do so). The Faeroe island mouse speciated into multiple mouse new mouse species distinct from the common mouse. In fact, if it had turned into "lizards" that would be strong evidence against evolution. One doesn't need to have been there for 300 years watching it. We know that there were no mice on the island prior to human intervention, and we know that there are now multiple species of mouse on the island who based on morphological and behavioral tests are easily classified as separate species. And again, no one is asserting that there is absolute proof, merely overwhelming evidence. The first person to make accusations of "bigotry" here was actually you, not anyone else. And very few people make a claim that without a deity they are free to do whatever they want, that's simply a standard apologetic argument. I'm a theist and even I find that stupid. Nor do most people who think that evolution occured think it somehow disproves the existence of a deity. Most major religious leaders in most world religions (such as the previous Pope and the current Archbishop of Canterbury) have no problems with evolution at all. Even the current Pope has largely no problems with it. Most orthodox Jews don't seem to have a problem. Most Muslims don't seem to have a problem.
In summary, most religious groups have no problems with evolution and there is overwhelming evidence for evolution. It is quite apparent to me from your above comments that you really know next to nothing about what evolution actually says or means. I strongly suggest you take a basic bio course or at minimum look at which has a large amount of useful material which can serve as a primer on this matter. JoshuaZ 02:41, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
This talk page is for improving the article, not for arguing your POV. Where have you been the past two days? What do you think I'm trying to do?!! Scorpionman 13:52, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
P.S. Most religious groups have no problems with evolution... Duhh! And it's those religious groups that discriminate against we creationists who would take the Bible literally and believe in a young earth. But let me tell you that if a "Christian" believes evolution, then that would discredit him because the Bible has no indications of evolution or mega-annums. "And there was evening, and there was morning..." Seven passages from the book of Genesis end with this phrase, and it indicates a literal day, not billions of years. So, if you're not going to visit this discussion anymore, fine. And Mikker, I have already read some credible books on evolution. And it wouldn't matter how many bio courses I took, it still wouldn't convince you. My comment above was perfectly valid, JoshuaZ, because many evolutionists are atheists who don't want to believe in a deity. Those "religious groups" are not Christians if they believe in that nonsense. (And how do you know that most Muslims accept it? Isn't that bias?) And Mikker, I would advise you to read The Answers Book by Ken Ham. It's very informative and enlightening. Scorpionman 14:03, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
90% of Christian collages do not believe in old earth creationism[2]. Instead, they teach evolution. Perhaps this is because they are not as wise as you at interpriting the bible. "And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree." -- Genesis 1:11 ... "And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so." -- Genesis 1:24 ... from this, it looks like it is the earth, and not God, which brings forth life. -- 00:42, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
Misinterpretation alert! You completely misunderstood that passage. "And God said, 'Let the land produce vegetation..." God created the land and he commanded it to bring forth plants. What you cited is a common misinterpretation of that passage. People think, "well, thunderstorms and rainstorms are just effects of the water cycle, which is the effect of the sun's heat..." They don't realize who it is that is allowing the water cycle to continue the way it is going. If God hadn't spoken, the land would have done nothing and there wouldn't be any vegetation. Please take time to understand the passages you read. Scorpionman 02:32, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
This is bizaarely off the talk page topics but as someone who actually speaks Hebrew this is such a gross misintepretation of the language. The original text has no causative verb or anything warranting this interpretation. Don't read into your necessarily imperfect translations your own necessarily imperfect desires. JoshuaZ 02:35, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
As I said, perhaps you are wiser at interpreting the bible than 90% of christian colleges. [Personal attacks removed by Guettarda] Obviously, God considers us to be prudent and has chosen to fool us with the wisdom of the world(1 Corinthians 1:19).-- 20:48, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
Oooh, Ken Ham! Now don't believe your teachers, kiddies! ...dave souza, talk 14:11, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
Actually, my Biology teacher taught us evolution, and taught us some problems with the current theory that it hadn't solved yet, (I can't remember all of them I think, and we were supposed to like memorize the list of 5 things) I wasn't really much of a dedicated Christian at the time, but I kinda trust her :/. Homestarmy 14:17, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
I knew you would say something negative about him, Dave. Ken Ham didn't say don't believe all your teachers, but don't trust the ones that teach evolution. Basically, he said hold the Bible's authority over that of your biology teacher, meaning that if your teacher starts teaching you evolution, don't believe it. Scorpionman 14:45, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
And that's a good thing? Maybe, instead of ignoring the teacher, you should go the other direction and learn all you can. ColdSalad 15:02, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
Scorpionman,... how can you claim that something is false without studying it? That is like saying that the bible is book of lies, without even opening a page. I hope you can see the hypocrisy of your actions. Personally, I have both studied the bible and evolution, and from my wider range of experience comes the fallowing testament: "Do not trust people who are afraid of knowledge and wisdom, for they do not see with their eyes, nor feel with their heart the truth of the world. They are like sheep who refuse to distinguish between the shepherd who wishes to lead and the priest who needs a sacrafice.-- 21:55, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
I have studied evolution! Maybe the others haven't. Scorpionman 16:00, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
It is clear from you constant misuse of nomenclature that you have not studied evolution.-- 18:21, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

Don't feed the troll guys. It's best to just leave the discussion here. Jefffire 16:08, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

Look, Jeff, I'm not trying to be a troll. Users like the one above keep talking nonsense, saying that I haven't studied evolution. I have, and I don't know why they can't see that. The article is biasedly saying that evolution occurs, and I said it doesn't, but people keep saying that it has been proved and that it's a fact. Look, guys, I'll stop bothering you, but I at ask that you at least read this article [3]. Scorpionman 18:09, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
Allow me to see if I understand this and can answer your question Scorpionman. When evolutionists refer to evolution "occuring", they are not meaning that it is without a doubt that all the phylogenetic trees and whatnot showing the pathways of the evolution of species is 100 percent accurate and that natural selection obviously and apparently occured exactly how all of evolutionary theory says it did, but rather, the "facts" of evolution seem to be relegated merely to microevolution. Although it still seems to me that the word "evolution" seems to still be loaded in a sense towared both microevolution and natural selection and whatnot, the editors seem to feel that the "fact" of evolution so far is just microevolution, and is most likely being caused by the same processes that supposedly were responsible for macroevolution, which the article seems to reflect I suppose. Personally I think still think macroevolution is all fake and that the conclusions being drawn from microevolution are silly, but hey, what are ya gonna do eh? :/. The point is, it appears when evolution is being asserted as a fact here, that it's not asserting what it seems you think it's asserting.
Oh, and from my understanding of this, generally when people try to use links here, other people just respond "go to" :/. Homestarmy 18:25, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

"Also, the article states only the evidence for evolution, while it should contain a section that discusses evidence against it too. "
If there were evidence against evolution, it would belong in this article. But there isn't. thx1138 08:37, 5 April 2006 (UTC)


Yeah, they do that because they don't want their view being disputed. Although it may be microevolution they're talking about, I read someone cite the Faroe Island mouse speciating. It seems that they're thinking that macroevolution occurs as well. Scorpionman 18:35, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
Well the thing is, the question as to what "speciating" means in this instance is also maybe loaded :/. Homestarmy 18:41, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
Homest, speciating means becoming separate species from what was formerly one species. How else would you define it? JoshuaZ 19:00, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
To me, "speciating" seems to often mean simply changing but still remaining part of a species. I realize that that probably isn't the dictionary definition, but in this whole debate the meaning of terms just gets so annoyingly ugly when one side thinks you've said one thing but you haven't or whatever. Can't be too careful.... Homestarmy 19:10, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
When most people (certainly when biologists use it) it doesn't mean that at all. Speciating is basically the process of new species forming from pre-existing species. The purest example is when two groups become incapable of interbreeding even when put in geography proximity of each other. JoshuaZ 19:30, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
If we define different "species" as life forms that can not exchange genetic information then because of horizontal gene transfer, all life on this planet is one species. WAS 4.250 19:49, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
[edit conflict] I agree with Joshua. Speciation refers to the process by which species become reproductively isolated from their ancestral species. Populations which interbreed are unlikely to evolve too far away from one-another, but once they are reproductively isolated, they are free to evolve in different directions. Reproductive isolation can be so great that the two species cannot interbreed (sterile hybrids, etc), but "will not" interbreed is sufficient (it may be that they no longer recognise each others mating displays, or that they breed at different times...) Reproductive isolation is less important for geographically disjunct populations - if they don't come into contact with each other, then there is no advantage to reproductive isolation. If, on the other hand, the speciation event occurs where they are likely to interact, then reproductive isolation is essential for the groups to diverge. If hybrids have lower fitness than either parent population, it is possible for two species to coexist (and exchange genes) across a hybrid zone. Hybrid zones will probably be most common where populations have speciated in isolation, and later come back into contact. If the hybrids do not have lower fitness than one or the other species, then they are likely to swamp that species.
Change within a species is not called speciation - it is evolution (and change in gene frequencies is). Guettarda 20:02, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

I agree with everthing Guettarda just said. There are some very entertaining animal interspecies hybrids at Hybrid. WAS 4.250 20:20, 30 March 2006 (UTC)


Whenever I hear people talking about Creationism or Evolution in other environments, why is it then that the evolution side almost invariably starts going on about how it's "proven" then if science doesn't prove anything? Homestarmy 19:44, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

"Proof" means different things in different contexts. A dictionary is useful here. WAS 4.250 20:46, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
"Proof" in ordinary useage is about evidence that is good enough to cause people to believe something and evolution is proved as true as "gravity exists". But arguers against evolution claim evolution is not mathematically 100% without-doubt-no-chance-of-being-wrong proven true. And no it isn't. But nothing else is either. To which arguers against evolution reply, see there it's all about belief, you believe in evolution and I believe in God - it's all about faith and evolution is a religion (probably from the devil). This argument says all beliefs are equally valid which is on its face nonsense. WAS 4.250 20:53, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
Right. A useful distinction to note is between reasonable doubt and hyperbolic doubt. Nothing except perhaps "cogito ergo sum" survives hyperbolic doubt, but belief in evolution quite safely survives reasonable doubt. That is, in as far as we are sure about anything, we're sure about evolution.Mikker ... 21:00, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
Pfft. Cogito ergo sum is one of the least sure things in existence; in fact, cogito ergo sum is almost definitely false, and reflected Descartes' one biases and preconceptions, as well as committing a few logical fallacies. The only things that can be (almost) 100% certain are things that are true by definition (1 + 1 = 2, "this is a statement", etc.) and statements like "perceptions exist" (those perceptions being our awareness of our own senses, thoughts, etc., which is the furthest we can go without some small leap of faith, albeit a highly reasonable and practical one). And even those rely on some basic assumptions—like that logic itself is universally consistent and applicable. -Silence 15:16, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
Cogito ergo sum is one of the least sure things in existence + perceptions exist and are 100% true = Silence should remain silent.-- 20:46, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
Please review WP:NPA and WP:CIVIL; telling other editors to shut up just because you disagree with them is not acceptable Talk-page conduct. I did not say that "perceptions exist and are 100%" true, I said that "the statement 'perceptions exist' IS 100% true"—even if our perceptions are misleading us and there is no outside reality that relates to what our perceptions tell us (which is unlikely, but certainly possible; see brain in a jar), the things that we call "perceptions", at the very least, exist. David Hume demonstrated as much very effectively; we can be certain of the existence of the things we call our "perceptions", but we can't be certain of the things we call our "selves" (since we only know of ourselves through our perceptions, including our basic sensory and neural perceptions). Descartes' "I think, therefore I am" is flawed because it assumes that an "I" exists at all, without having proven such. Of course, the fact that almost nothing, if anything at all, is 100% certain for us, is more of a technicality than anything: for practical purposes, the only reasonable course is to make numerous simple assumptions about existence so as to facilitate living and making decisions. Something doesn't have to be absolutely certain to be accepted as fact, either in science or in life—it need merely be extremely likely. -Silence 03:30, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
Silence, I tend to agree with you. See the debate I had with WAS 4.250 who made a similar point on my talk page. Mikker (...) 21:15, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
I can find a reasonable doubt. If we evolved from apes, it's very likely our brains didn't evolve right so we can't be sure of anything! That's what atheism is about anyway. And WAS, evolution is a religion because it takes faith to believe in it! I know, you're going to start insisting that it's been proven and we're absolutely sure of it. We can't really be sure of anything we haven't seen, right? Scorpionman 22:45, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
Ummm... I don't really know where to begin. Well, let me try. Firstly, we didn't evolve from apes. We are apes. (see Ape and Hominidae). We evolved from creatures that are also the ancestors of the other apes. Secondly, I can make no head or tail of your reference to atheism; are you claiming atheism is all about brains not evolving correctly? Thirdly, evolution has been proven beyond reasonable doubt, just ask those with qualifications in the field. Fourthly, if you want to impose the standard of hyperbolic doubt, we're not sure of anything, not even things "we can see". (How do you know your senses aren't deceiving you?). Scorpionman, I implore you, learn about evolution a bit before coming here to criticise the article. Mikker (...) 23:01, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
Scorpion, first of all, evolution and atheism have nothing to do with each other. There are many theists who have no problem accepting evolution, and I have met at least one atheist who didn't accept it (although that person was a bit weird). Furthermore, your brain isn't infailible no matter where it came from. Take an intro psychology course. Humans are irrational. A good start would be to look at List of cognitive biases. And if you can't be sure of things you haven't seen, what do you think of the criminal justice system? We convict people all the time without eye-witness testimony. In fact, modern legal scholars will tell you that eye-witness testimony is one of the least reliable forms of evidence. Now, please take this somewhere else, like, we are wasting time on this talk page. JoshuaZ 23:03, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
Haha I love you Scorpionman. --Ignignot 22:04, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, we're wasting time because no one listens to me when I try to get the page changed. And yes, I'm already aware that people are irrational. I have hundreds of personal experiences with those people. And if we are apes, then that means that no evolution occured and so you would be wrong! Scorpionman 02:37, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
Scorpionman,...No one listens to you, because all of your arguments are based on logical fallacies. Here is a list of a few that you have been guilty of,... Straw Man, Hasty Generalization, False Authority, Appeal to emotion, Appeal to consequence. You're constantly misusing the scientific nomenclature associated with evolution, so why should anyone consider any of your claims to be sound? You're consistently misunderstanding the semantics of other people. Perhaps the hundreds of individuals who "seemed" irrational to you were simply talking over you. Anyone with an understanding of taxonomy will read your above argument and conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that Mikker's arguments are over your head. The problem isn't that no one listens to you,... the problem is that you don't care enough about other people's arguments to actually try and understand what they are saying when they respond to you. Your ego is in the way of your understanding, and you will never understand what others are saying until you humble yourself to the idea that the truth is more important than your desire to be right.-- 21:31, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
Whose ego is in the way of whose understanding? All I wanted to do was to get the page to be neutral, and people immediately take it as a signal to start a debate on the validity of evolution! They even go so far as to ignore what is said in bold print at the end of my first comment and told us to take it to! And I do understand what people are saying...a lot of them don't want to be clear. They keep telling me that "creationism is a psuedoscience and is 'scientifically useles'". Who wouldn't appeal to emotion when people keep saying such idiotic things 146? Scorpionman 23:01, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
Reminder to all, don't feed the troll. Evolution has long since been scientificaly proven and the artical is NPOV in that respect, there is no need to debate it here. Jefffire 23:12, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
Look out, Jeff! There's a big, angry troll behind you and it's about to smash you with its mace! (ha ha) Look, just stop the troll comments, okay? Evolution has not been proven because we haven't observed a monkey turning into a human. Some people think they have, but they'd have to be billions of years old and no one has come even close to that. Scorpionman 01:24, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
In Bold you (scorpionman) say that Evolution of one species into another has not been proven. By that, I suppose you mean that it has not been observed. But it has been observed. People are not ignoring you, you are ignoring them. I am not sure what your definition of species is, because you are constantly misusing nomenclature, but[here] is one of many examples. I suggest you go toTalk Origins if you need further evidence.-- 23:24, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
I didn't say that people are ignoring me completely. I said they're ignoring me when I try to change this page. I wasn't even trying to get into a debate over evolution (although I suppose that's inevitable. My definition of species is a group of animals that are similar to each other in many ways (e.g., rodents are a species). Humans do not share species with apes because we are very unlike them in many ways. I'll go to the links provided but I doubt I'll read something I haven't heard before. Scorpionman 01:24, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
Good grief. Rodents are an order, not a species. Apes are a superfamily, not a species. Even a cursory glance at wikipedia's own pages on the subjects would have told you that. Jefffire 01:37, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
Problem: "My definition of species is a group of animals that are similar to each other in many ways (e.g., rodents are a species). Humans do not share species with apes because we are very unlike them in many ways." The problem here is, most species of rodent are less similar to each other than humans are to the Common Chimpanzee. So by your own logic, humans are more members of the "species" of apes than most rodents as to the "species" of rodents. Please do not misuse scientific terminology to propagate misconceptions; just use "species" to mean "species". -Silence 03:30, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
Well of course I knew that. I was referring to certain species of rodents. Of course, the fact that rodents are an order should say that new orders can't emerge. New species (by random, random chance)a, but not new orders. Scorpionman 02:14, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
Scorpionman, you are now making up your own terminology (rodents are kinda similar so you say they are a species; apes and humans seems different so you say they're not) and, amazingly, moving the target (have you now said that it's ok if evolution produces new species, but not new orders??). Your statement above that "Evolution has not been proven because we haven't observed a monkey turning into a human" betrays the fact that nothing could prove it for you. Just like people who argue that there were never any moon landings, you apparently require direct observation as the only form of prove. Do you believe in TV sets? Yet you can't directly observe the magnetic fields which control them. I have absolutely no problem with the fact that you don't believe in evolution; but be honest about it: it's not that there's no proof, it's that no proof could be offered which would satisfy you. This is essentially the definition of a nonscientific worldview, and I think it's fine to be nonscientific if you so choose, but please be honest: you are arguing from faith, and nothing anyone says can change your mind. And that's not an appropriate position for an article on a scientific topic. bikeable (talk) 02:31, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
This sounds like one of the worst examples of moving the goalposts I have ever seen. We give you evidence that speciation occurs and now you say the issue is orders? Do you just push it back as far as we can give you overwhelming evidence for and insist that new categories can't emerge on that level? Also, are you aware that humans and apes are in the same order? JoshuaZ 02:25, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
Incorrect. New orders can certainly emerge, with enough time. If they couldn't, there would be only 1 order today, because the first species to exist on Earth all belonged to a single Order. For example, the Primate order, which humans belong to, didn't exist before about 65 million years ago, when the earliest primates evolved from a different order (probably Plesiadapiformes). Even new kingdoms can, hypothetically, emerge. -Silence 03:30, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
By that "logic", the fact that humans are animals means that humans haven't evolved. Patently absurd, and shows that you haven't even read one sentence of articles like species, scientific classification, or ape; the fact that humans are apes doesn't imply that humans aren't any different from any other apes any more than the fact that monkey and gorillas are both apes implies that they're identical, or that they haven't evolved. Exactly the opposite is the case. -Silence 15:16, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
It's not so much that nobody listens with you, it's that most people disagree with you actively. You aren't being "ignored", it's just that your reasoning is not persuasive. --Fastfission 02:49, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
Agreed. And that we are apes does not contradict evolution any more than that we are animals does. Or that we are eukaryotes. — Knowledge Seeker 03:56, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
I thought we were humans? Homestarmy 13:19, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
We are, but we are also members of the "Great Ape" family, hominidae, along with orangutans, gorillas, and chimpanzees. – ClockworkSoul 13:45, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
A classification that was made by Linnaeus who was actually a creationist. He got some flack for it. JoshuaZ 13:53, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
Homestarmy, something can be both an apple and a fruit. Slrubenstein | Talk 15:40, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
Shouldn't we have at least basic knowledge of what genus, family, species mean, and how they relate to one another? Seriously, it's hard to be able to edit Evolution and not know things like this. I don't mean to be hard on you, but it's irritating when people try to correct people when they don't have complete information. ColdSalad 14:40, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
Confused by the indentation I am. Who was "you" refering to? JoshuaZ 14:43, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
Homestarmy ColdSalad 16:22, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Back to Homes' initial question about evolution as "proven", it all goes back to what people mean by "evolution". Correctly evolution is change in species - it is an observation, so it is "proven". However, people tend to use "evolution" as shorthand for the processes - using "evoltuion" when they mean "natural selection" (or whatever other mechanism). In that case, the subject is a scientific theory, which cannot be considered "proven". Using the same word for both the observed phenomenon and the body of scientific theory is poor form, but it's well ingrained. To steal an analogy I recently came across:

"The theory of evolution ... by means of ... natural selection"
"The theory of falling ... by means of ... gravitation"

Evolution, like falling, is an observed phenomenon. Evolutionary theory addresses what causes evolution to happen, not whether it happened. Guettarda 19:03, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

See Intelligent Falling....dave souza, talk 09:15, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
Exactly. Well put Guettarda. Homestarmy, coming to grips with exactly what the above comment entails is a Good Thing (tm). (We should keep this comment in mind when in a month or so from now this comes up again). Mikker (...) 19:10, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
Firstly, Cold, "ape" was not defined initially as being scientific in that sense, how was I supposed to know it meant the entire general classification on the family tree? When I think of "ape", I naturally assume it means big hairy animals that sort of look like us and are hunched over and are in zoos, not automatically go to the phylogenetic tree in my head, I mean, I just don't :/. And nextly, considering the confusion arising from so much replacement of meaning in the word "evolution", shouldn't somebody of figured out a better way to talk about the observed events and the theory by now? Homestarmy 19:34, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
The words used in the debate is befuddled by the fact that those who oppose evolution insist on calling it a "theory" when it isn't. There already exists a perfectly valid way to talk about things: the fact of evolution (or the proposition of evolution) and the theory of natural selection (+drift, etc.). Mikker (...) 20:02, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
Evolution is an observed fact and the modern synthesis is currently the most powerful theory explaining evolution. Pasado 04:41, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
[Personal attacks (?) deleted by Guettarda] 16:49, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
Err, who was that addressed to? Homestarmy 18:09, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
Pasado. He's spitting nonsense at us. 18:38, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
I read a comment saying that evolutionary theory "deals with what causes evolution, not whether it happens". Not true. We can't find what causes something without knowing whether or not it happens. I realize it's been observed, such as a grapefruit being different from its parent, the pummello. But, we haven't observed a monkey turning into a human or a dinosaur turning into a bird (dinosaurs are extinct, anyway). We have observed bacteria becoming more resistant to drugs. Does that mean they are a totally different species? No, they are the same bacteria who are resistant to drugs. When people are born who are different from their parents, are they a new species? No, they are humans who are slightly different from their parents. So be specific when you say what's been observed. Ratso 19:40, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

Evolutionary theory seeks to explain the observation of evolution. Simple enough. The observation is just that, an observation. It takes complex instrumentation and analysis to make observations about distant galaxies, but that doesn't mean that their existence is anything other than an observation. Modern atomic theory does not deal with whether atoms exist, even though you can't "see" them in any real sense. Obviously, no one claims that monkeys turn into humans, but the transition from earlier primates to modern primates is a mixture of observation and interpolation. Speciation is a rare event. That is an observation. Based on that observation, and based on the evolutionary theory which seeks to explain that observation, no one would expect to observe speciation at any given point in time. The fact that it has been observed is fortuitous. Human evolution was a slow process, based on observation. The difference between the human genome and the chimpanzee genome (another observation), and the (observed) rate of evolutionary change, means that there is no reason to expect that evolution of a new primate among the homonid clade would occur fast enough to be observed in the time that human science has existed. To ask "why hasn't this happened" is to stand in the airport in New York five minutes after a plane has taken off in Sydney and say "Why isn't it here yet? I don't believe in planes. You don't know anything". Guettarda 20:26, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
Wrong comparison. Evolution has been observed, but we haven't observed apes evolving into humans. Just because someone hasn't seen a jet doesn't mean they don't exist. No one's observed a human evolving from an ape, so it's not like that. It takes billions of years for evolution to occur, so it's not observable. Of course, if you've observed it, you must be pretty old! Ratso 23:43, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
We can observe the change from prehuman ape to human ape here It is literally a picture of a link in humans that links two seperate chromosomes in the nonhuman apes creating a single chromosome in humans. It is THE missing link since it is the ape-human connection that is the big deal in the first place. And while the term originally refered to fossil evidence, this too is a trace from the past corresponding to some living beings that when alive were the physical embodiment of this link. Every perception is also an interpretation. WAS 4.250 00:32, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

TSRI converts RNA Enzyme to DNA Enzyme In Vitro

Here's some news: TSRI converts RNA Enzyme to DNA Enzyme In Vitro After TSRI publishes the research in Chemistry & Biology it may have a place in the atricle. Pasado 20:45, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

at least mention it!

I think it would be a very good adition to this article to add at least A small space on some of the many Faults in the evolutionary theory/hypothesis. there is alot of "proof" against it, such as the Cambrian explosion, the sheer improbability of a ameba like thing turning into a human and the complete lack of "missing links" Jedi of redwall 22:16, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

The evolution article is about the science of evolution. Please see Creation-evolution controversy and Social effect of evolutionary theory for the alleged faults. Mikker (...) 22:23, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
Furthermore, all the comments above are simply wrong and/or misleading. First) Evolution has no problem with the Cambrian explosion. 2) Amoeba's are incredibly complicated critters that have gone through millions of years of selection, they most likely do not resemble early life. 3) Such probability calculations are at best naive given lack of knowledge. 4) Speaking as a mathematician, if a mathematical model conflicts with your physical evidence, the model is generally wrong. 5) If by "missing link" you mean transitional fossils, we have transitional fossils between most major families and classes. I suggest you go over to which deals with many common misconceptions about evolution and should serve as a good primer on the subject. JoshuaZ 22:29, 29 March 2006 (UTC)


There is a misconception among many people concerning the fact that evolution is directly contradictory to a specific theology (one I was raised with, and no longer believe). The theology of Jesus the Christ dying for sins that are based on the fall of Adam depend on Adam having the fall depicted in Genesis, which if evolution is true, never happened, meaning the whole story of Jesus dying for our sins is nonsense. WAS 4.250 01:41, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Um, to clarify, you are saying that the theology is not contradictory with evolution, yes? JoshuaZ 01:46, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
I am saying that the theology I was raised with, that millions of people believe, is directly contradicted if evolution is true. WAS 4.250 03:39, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
Not exactly. If evolution is a fact, Genesis is false. If Genesis is false, then Adam and Eve didn't exist and subsequently didn't eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. If that didn't happen, the doctrine of Original Sin is meaningless, and if that's the case, then, according to some, then it can hardly be said that Jesus died to save mankind from original sin. Teflon Don 02:01, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
This, of course, contradicts theistic evolution, which I find completely useless and ridiculous. Scorpionman 02:08, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
Not necessarily, for example you could have had Adam and Eve as essentially spiritual entities who were then put into nasty physical human bodies, or you could have a more Jungian original sin. There are actually many possibilities consistent wih the notion of OS and with evolution. JoshuaZ 02:46, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

This is all only valid if you believe traditional Christian reasons for the death of Christ and/or a literal interpratation of original sin. Perhaps God had some other reason for not saving his son, like his death being essential for the spread of the message due to the sinful nature of man. Perhaps original sin is a metaphore. There is a vast spectrum of different beliefs and so it would be wrong to call the story of Jesus dieing for our sins nonsense because Biblical creation never happened. Jefffire 02:43, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Indeed. Most Western Christians are not creationists, and still have no problem with the concepts of Jesus dying for others' sin. We are, however, straying rather far from evolutionary theory here! bikeable (talk) 02:53, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
The point is not that all Christian theologies are false if evolution is true; the point I am making is that the specific theology I was raised with, that millions of bible-thumpers believe, is falsified according to them if evolution is true. There is logic in their position. The fact is that evolution and American Christian fundamentalism are logically at odds. Christ's death is meaningless if evolution is true, according to this specific ideology. WAS 4.250 03:39, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
I find it vaguely humorous that an aspect of someone's ideology requires that their ideology be false. :) Then again, the same could be said for common Christian beliefs a few hundred years ago and the revolutionary idea that the earth moves. Fun stuff. -Silence 03:59, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

This discussion is inappropriate. This is an article about evolution. It is not a space for WAS, or anyone else, to work out his own crisis of faith. Nor is it the place for anyone to use evolution to challenge someone's faith. In fact, how any body of knowledge affects an editor's - any editor's - faith is simply not relevant to Wikipedia, period. Take this to a chatroom. Slrubenstein | Talk 09:58, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

I don't have a crisis of faith, Slrubenstein, I have no faith, I'm an atheist. No god, no heaven, no hell, no souls, no angels, no demons, no spirits, no afterlife. This is an article on evolution and many good contributors mistakenly believe there is no contradiction between evolution and other people's religious/spiritual beliefs/faiths/dogmas. The main opposition to evolution has a central dogma, the meaning of the death of the Christ, that is made nonsense by evolution and this dogma is taught in thousands of churches (but not a majority of Christian churches). The impact of knowledge of evolution is huge and includes creating atheists such as myself. WAS 4.250 14:06, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Sorry I misunderstood. But this is not the place for these arguments. Your point is valid, just not appropriate for this article or its talk page. And if other editors keep raising the issues you address, the proper thing is to tell them to raise the objections questions or issues elsewhere. Slrubenstein | Talk 17:20, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

A method to keep the talk page clean of off-topic debate?

Threads like the above are becoming increasingly common on this page, and it seems like there's no good way to keep the page clean of them so effort can actually be focused on improving this article, not on tangential theological debates. I'm as big a fan as anyone of tangential theological debates as anyone, mind you, but this is not the place. So, since simply deleting blatantly off-topic comments would probably cause ill-will and disputes among the editors, how about establishing a "dump" Wikipedia Talk page to move all off-topic comments and replies to? Since simply linking to obviously isn't working (most people are too lazy to bother with getting accustomed to a whole new site just to continue a conversation), I think a branch-off for such discussion would do a great deal of good for keeping this page clean and thus not wasting our valuable editors' time with answering trivial questions. -Silence 03:56, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

I already tried this in the form of creating a subpage for discussions involving religion or creationism. The idea was that all discussion with a religious or creationist focus would occur on this subpage and so stop other issues becoming swamped out. No one stuck to the rule and I was reluctant to enforce it without a clear mandate to do so. Any system needs either a clear mandate or to be entirely voluntary.

The problem with creating a separate page for off topic discussions (or indeed for discussions on particular irrelevent topics) is that only people familiar with both wikipedia and the evolution article will know where to go. Many of the people starting discussions will not be experienced and so will expect to carry out discussion on the article's main talk page. With a constant influx of such people any rule which requires them to post somewhere other than what is standard is going to fail. Furthermore people will be annoyed if we unilaterily move their comments to another talk page. Newbies may not understand why we are doing this and may not be able to find where we have moved their comments to.

On the other hand we could create an alternative page for work concerning the article and request that off topic discussions are not held on this page. Our regular influx of newbies will post on the talk:evolution page and we can keep an eye on that to ensure that we don't miss serious questions. However, most important work can occur on the alternative page without editors having to deal with tons of irrelevent material. This should work because all regular contributors to the article will soon see the links to the alternative page. Serious questions raised on the original talk page can be copied to the alternative page with notes (and links) inserted to this effect beneath the original copy. This system can be entirely voluntary and avoids deleting/moving anyones text unilaterily. Barnaby dawson 14:02, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Although I haven't participated I've been following this talk page with some bemusement. I've only skimmed the article itself but it seems to me that it bends over backwards to be neutral, or to at least to address the controversies and theological objections to evolutionary theory (which, personally, I think should be addressed in this article with nothing more than links to articles on creationism, intelligent design, theology, etc.). What I'm not seeing in the discussion is much in the way of specific suggestions to improve the article, mainly vague complaints that it lacks a NPOV, and lots and lots of extraneous discussion that is quite irrelevant to the article itself.
My own suggestion would be to provide links prominently at the top of this talk page telling people where to go to discuss the validity of evolutionary theory, or any of the theological implications, with an admonition that this is not the appropriate place for such discussions. is just one of many such discussion sites, some of which require registration, some of which don't. Then have one or more administrators aggressively delete any such discussion that appears here. MrDarwin 14:26, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
Now, with a visit of Darwin, this is complete. Actually this article is 100% POV and non neutral. Berton 14:44, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
Again, a vague and unsubstantiated allegation, without any specific objections or specific suggestions on how to improve the article. MrDarwin 15:43, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
I do like the idea that the regular editors that are trying to improve the article should have a subpage so that we don't lose all of our discussions when the page gets archived due to extreme length. However I think the problem with the talk page rests as much on the people arguing against the creationist POV'ers as it does in the creationist POV'ers themselves. I think we need a clear policy of not arguing about evolution vs creationism on the talk page. Not arguing for either side. If someone comes here and argues that if evolution were fact then how do you explain the babelfish because that's a dead give away, we already tell them to go to But when someone argues against him saying you can explain the babelfish by blah blah blah, we don't tell them to go to, and the argument flourishes. I suggest that we use the form response on anyone who argues for either side and that we use it liberally. We should not wholly abandon the Talk:Evolution page to theological vs scientific arguments. The wiki page on talk pages says that only the habit of keeping talk pages from becoming completly partisan arguments will prevent wikipedia from becoming another e2 or h2g2. I do not want to simply relocate or remove all creation vs evolution discussion. --Ignignot 14:45, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
Berton, if it's 100 percent POV, are even the conjunctions POV? heh.... Homestarmy 14:51, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
I think that is POV because evolutionism and creationism (and lamarckism) are just theories. And the article just talk about the version evolutionist when should to be neutral to present all theories, false or not. Berton 14:57, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
Please read the defintion of the word "theory" among other issues and please explain why a page on "Evolution" should discuss things that aren't evolution by any strech of the imagination. Also, btw, evolution and evolutionism are not the same thing. JoshuaZ 15:01, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
the·o·ry noun plural the·o·ries

1.a. Systematically organized knowledge applicable in a relatively wide variety of circumstances, especially a system of assumptions, accepted principles, and rules of procedure devised to analyze, predict, or otherwise explain the nature or behavior of a specified set of phenomena. b. Such knowledge or such a system. 2.Abstract reasoning; speculation. 3.A belief that guides action or assists comprehension or judgment: rose early, on the theory that morning efforts are best; the modern architectural theory that less is more. 4.An assumption based on limited information or knowledge; a conjecture. [Late Latin theoria, from Greek, from theoros, spectator : probably thea, a viewing + -oros, seeing.] from The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition. Berton 15:09, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

This is a perfect example of what I was talking about. Berton, this belongs on JoshuaZ, your response also belongs on We need to stop feeding the (unintentional) trolls. --Ignignot 15:12, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
I think that your strategy to send to failed completely. Change your words. Berton 15:17, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
What do you suggest for keeping evolution vs creation arguments off this talk page, where they clearly do not belong? --Ignignot 15:20, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
I suggest that this article give more space to creationism, because just there is one citation to it in the article and links to controversy. I think that is non neutral and just will attract vandals to article. Berton 15:26, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
The article has appropriate links. Vandals will come to a controversial topic whether or not it gives undue weight to other views, and threat of vandalism is not a cause to change content. JoshuaZ 15:32, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
I didn't ask about what you think we should do to the article, and this section is not about how to change the article. How do you suggest we keep the evolution vs creation arguments (see most of the talk page above for examples) off the talk page? --Ignignot 15:28, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
Amazing how quickly even this sub-topic was subverted. Wikipedia is not a discussion forum. The talk pages are specifically intended for discussions about how to improve the articles, which (once again) nobody has addressed. Regarding Berton's comments, I think the sections on "Distinctions between theory and fact" and "Social and Religious Controversies", along with the various links to articles on creationism, intelligent design, etc. quite adequately address the objections. This is an article about evolution, not about those other things--go to those articles for more information about those topics. That's the whole point of the linking system within Wikipedia, isn't it? MrDarwin 15:30, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
MrDarwin, Wikipedia is a great encyclopedia because is open to all people; these people unavoidably have opinions, sometimes divergents, that need to be discussed, if it is a forum or not, is a semantic question or do you prefer the vandalism as alternative? Berton 15:41, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
Can we make a pact of users who agree not to respond with anything for this sort other than "Go to" JoshuaZ 15:32, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
That sounds good to me. I have been guilty of it as much as anyone, but we need to do something because it is getting worse. --Ignignot 15:38, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm all in favor of ruthlessly moving all off-topic threads to another page, the same way we have been ruthlessly deleting any personal attacks. --Fastfission 15:38, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
Which another page? Berton 15:44, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
How about User talk:Silence/Evolution or Talk:Creation-evolution controversy/Debate? -Silence 16:02, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
Not a good solution, these conversations shouldn't be on Wikipedia at all. To make a page for them formalizes and implicitlyy endorses their presence on the Wiki. JoshuaZ 15:48, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
Then do you want to exclude creationists from Wikipedia? Berton 15:52, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
No more or less than people who believe the earth is flat are excluded from Wikipedia. You can have any system of beliefs and edit at Wikipedia, but you are specifically prohibited from using Wikipedia to try to promote those beliefs. Make a personal website for that. -Silence 16:05, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
The question was driven to JoshuaZ and BTW I am not creationist. Berton 16:10, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
I didn't say you were; I was responding in the general. And if you only want to talk to JoshuaZ, perhaps you should move it to his Talk page so noone else is misled. -Silence 16:35, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Since a few people have objected to the possibility of moving off-topic posts to another page (which I find strange, since Wikipedia policy clearly states that we should simply delete all off-topic posts and my suggestion was thus extremely lenient and fair way to keep the page on-topic, avoiding losing anyone's posts), how about a new idea: rather than deleting off-topic comments when they occur, prevent responses from accumulating by pasting a talk-page template specifically designed for this page: a small, brightly-colored box saying something like "Remember that Talk:Evolution is only for specifically discussing the Evolution article, not for debating the validity of the theory of evolution. Please direct such debate elsewhere, such as {{the above user}}'s talk page." Then anyone who really wanted to respond to the off-topic post could just respond on the postee's talk page, which has the advantage of keeping the page clean while avoiding offending or confusing new users with page-moves and doesn't require creating a distinct, new page just for debate, which, though potentially very convenient, is not really in keeping with Wikipedia's current policies (though it'd probably be OK if it was in userspace somewhere). How about it? I'd be glad to help maintain this talk page by utilizing the "This is the wrong place" template wherever appropriate. At least it's worth a shot, perhaps? -Silence 16:02, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
This is a good stop gap measure although I'm not sure having it on user talk pages is so much of an improvement. Not ideal, but a good stop gap. I would suggest the template say "Remember that Talk:Evolution is only for specifically discussing the Evolution article, not for debating the validity of the theory of evolution. Please direct such debate elsewhere, such as {{the above user}}'s talk page, Talk.Origins or _" where _ is some non-Wikipedia forum other than (this will handle some complainants that claim that is a pro-evolution forum). JoshuaZ 16:15, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
Sometimes these kind of discussions seem to have something to do with the article based on the POV of certain sections in relation to religious ideas concerning evolution or other stuff :/. Homestarmy 16:04, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
We will have to evaluate it in a case by case basis. I assume we will be lenient on the criteria. Not everyone mentioning creationism will be directed to their own talk page. I think this is a good idea as long as we direct both creationists and the people arguing against them to the talk page and --Ignignot 16:12, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Perhaps something like this:
Remember that Talk:Evolution is only for specifically discussing the Evolution article, not for debating the validity of the theory of evolution. Please direct such debate elsewhere, such as Ignignot's talk page or an external site.

-Silence 16:28, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Exquisite, but it won't also work! Berton 16:29, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

I can't quite decipher the meaning of your sentence. What are you referring to? What is the "also" for? What about it "won't work"? -Silence 16:35, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
The warning on the top of the talk page didn't also work. Berton 16:38, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
As a comparison, why not look at the talk page on Talk:Holocaust denial. Note the statement: "Some topics have been discussed multiple times on this talk page. It is suggested that editors review these previous discussions before re-raising issues, so as to save time and cut down on reptition."

That might work. We could link to a debate on 'its just a theory', complaints about NPOV, bias etc. in the box. That appears to have cut down on some of the guff that once cluttered up that page. --Davril2020 16:45, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Guff is a very, very bad word! Berton 16:52, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

I agree that warnings are unlikely to have much impact. But I also think that, with a little work, we can successfully manage the tendancy to devolve into OT debates.

The first thing we need to bear in mind is that it's impossible to avoid people raising the standard questions about the validity of evolution. There are people who, in good faith, believe the message of people like Wells that there are "serious problems" with evolution. If you are coming from that background and you see that the article presents evolution as a fact, you will either edit the article or the talk page. While edits to the article are less disruptive for us (it's easy to revert "EVOLUTION IS A LIE!!!"), they are more disruptive for readers. So, it's better to have the questions posed here.

The standard answer to that question is "read the archives", but that isn't a viable answer. If I am unwilling to sift through the archives (and I am), so I shouldn't be so quick to tell others to do so. A FAQ of some sort might be useful, if people are willing to organise the information (see Talk:Intelligent_design#Points_that_have_already_been_discussed), so that it's possible to point people in the right direction.

The other issue is "it takes two to tango". We (the established editors on this page) are too quick to jump into these OT discussions. As FF said, anything that gets out of hand should be shut down quickly (alternately, it could be moved to its own subpage here (again, see the ID page) where people could discuss the matter if they so desired, the material would be here in the future (it could be considered an alternative archive) and this page could be kept clear for actual discussion of the form and content of the article. Guettarda 16:56, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

I largely agree with Guettarda. But what is OT debate? Berton 17:21, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
Guettarda, I agree completely. Off-topic comments of this nature - comments reveal that the person did not even read the article, or is too dogmatic to take science seriously - should just be ignored. This is something I myself find very hard to do, but in this case I think it is the only way. Slrubenstein | Talk 17:24, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
Nothing to do Slrubenstein, it is just that I do not know speak English very well (I am level 2 yet) and I do not understand some acronyms. Don't be so dogmatic! Berton 17:28, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

A modest proposal

A notice could be added stating that all comments debating the relative merits of religion and evolution, disputing the science of evolution or making accusations of overall POV without specific detailed suggestions for improving the article will be moved to a subpage, where discussion on such comments can take page. A standard statement that such a move has been made could routinely be put on the talk page of the relevant editor when making the move. ..dave souza, talk 18:07, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

People who say they want creationist misconceptions concerning evolution in the article are talking about what should or should not be in the article. One proper response it to say that it is in the article here (show where), where it is refuted. WAS 4.250 18:29, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
Good point, part of the FAQ as discussed by G and below. ..dave souza, talk 18:47, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

As per Guettarda's suggestion, what topics should be included in a FAQ? Please add to this list. --Ignignot 18:32, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

  • Theory vs Fact
  • Microevolution vs Macroevolution
  • Has evolution been observed?
These are covered in the article, and I think in a very clear way. I do not think it is too much to ask people not to edit articles that they have not read. Slrubenstein | Talk 19:06, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
The talk pages go into much more depth than the article. Also, the article may not cover every single objection, whereas the talk probably does. Finally, telling them to go back to the article could be seen as encouraging them to edit it, which is disruptive to readers and is the last thing we want to have happen. --Ignignot 19:13, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
No offense, but this is a silly idea. We're going to end up with the "Talk:Evolution FAQ" being the minor cousin of the one. Taking it to user talk pages is in my opinion the best way to redirect attention - you can say what you want, you can trash arguments far more thoroughly because you're not worried about cluttering space, and Creationists feel like they're being addressed. Graft 20:10, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
Actually I was thinking about something along the lines of what's on the ID page (see link above) where there were explicit links to where this had been discussed (the word FAQ may have been ill-advised). I was just thinking that, if we can point people to where it had been discussed, then it might avoid some of the repeats. Just telling them "look at the archives" is unlikely to have the same effect, because the archive is so dauntingly large that only an exceptionally dedicated person would look through it. Guettarda 20:29, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
Yes, that was exactly what I was trying to do with the "FAQ" - after having read the talk page for Intelligent design, it seemed the most efficient way to deal with common issues that had been extensively discussed. I'm not sure if putting the topics first is the best way or if going through the archives and seeing which topics have been covered exhaustively is the best way, or if a combination of the two would be better. In any case it is more work than I would want to do alone.--Ignignot 20:41, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

I agree something needs to be done. It took me bluddy ages to read the comments that were written in the day and a half I was absent... I agree not to debate random points on this page & support a FAQ of sorts. Mikker (...) 22:02, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

I would just like to repeat something I said way up above. I tried setting up a separate page and sending people there who engaged in long meandering discussions on creationism. But the problem was that new authors kept popping up. If we choose this route it'll take lots of time off our hands. We will have to move each post and often explain why this policy is in place. Then the newbie may well object or cry foul at which point many people will be tempted to enter debate. We certainly won't get people to learn not to engage in debates like this because we have a constant supply of newbies willing to engage in debate.

The FAQ may work better although we still may have many recriminations. I'll suggest again that we can make a much cleaner and easier system if our regular editors use a different page and we copy article relevent discussions over to this other page. Then we do not have to get involved in arguments with every newbie editor with an axe to grind.

How about we allow time for other suggestions concerning to how to resolve this issue and then put up each suggestion for voting using a simple majority in favor (counting only accept/reject votes as part of the total). Barnaby dawson 23:10, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Nah. votes are evil and, in this case, I think unnecessary. Mikker (...) 23:13, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
In perspective, is it really that bad and horrible of an issue? :/ Homestarmy 23:19, 31 March 2006 (UTC)