Talk:Intelligent design

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Arbitration Committee Decisions on Pseudoscience

The Arbitration Committee has issued several principles which may be helpful to editors of this and other articles when dealing with subjects and categories related to "pseudoscience".

Four groups

pseudoscientific view -> claim[edit]

proposal in OP has gotten no consensus. Closing Jytdog (talk) 06:14, 6 September 2016 (UTC)

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

I see no reason to have the pseudo-scientific attack in the opening sentence. Let the claim be made and then attack. The first sentence would then read:

Intelligent design (ID) is the claim that "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection

I would be open to assertion or argument as well. I also support the pseudo scientific attack some place in the lead. But the first sentence is overkill.Poodleboy (talk) 07:02, 22 July 2016 (UTC)

Clearly stating fact is not an attack. — ArtifexMayhem (talk) 07:38, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
facts are data, pseudoscientific is a conclusion, classification, characterization, opinion, etc. It is considered a negative characterization, which makes it an attack. I take it that calling the characterization a fact is a declaration of how strongly you feel about the conclusion, and presumably the arguments by which that conclusion is reached.Poodleboy (talk) 07:54, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
The fact is, reliable sources show the majority scientific view which is that ID is fake science or pseudoscience, and another fact is that WP:PSCI requires us to show that clearly from the outset . . dave souza, talk 10:27, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
I didn't see the first sentence requirement, it is almost like you are afraid that some reader will miss it. Why not rename the article Intelligent Design Pseudoscience.Poodleboy (talk) 17:41, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
WP:PSCI, and WP:COMMONNAME. . . dave souza, talk 19:49, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
Reading the FAQ, it is strange that the claims of ID are considered unfalsifiable. Yes, much of it is intelligent design in the gaps, but those gaps can close, Behe's book was barely off the presses when the claims of irreducible complexity about the eye (plausible intermediate forms) and innate immunity (knockout mice) were crumbling.Poodleboy (talk) 08:21, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
Perhaps not so strange that you've not provided any reliable source, but have only given your own opinion which is at best original research? . . dave souza, talk 10:27, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
Don't confuse scientific literacy with original research.Poodleboy (talk) 17:41, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
You appear confused, or perhaps just disruptively time wasting. . dave souza, talk 19:49, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
ID always manifests on a spectrum from "well, evolution just ain't right" (even though, as a Christian priest first noted, "Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution") to full blown "we want Young Earth Creationism taught in science class" -- neither of which is scientific. If it was simply "we think that there is a thoughtful design element to the universe," it would be Theistic evolution (as with most Christians outside of Republican Americans) and that would still be relegated to natural theology (as theistic evolution currently is).
I do not believe you can present professionally-published mainstream academic sources which either refer to ID as scientific and or explicitly say that it is not pseudoscientific; and I guarantee you will not be able to find a tenth as many as there are sources which refer to ID as pseudoscience or unscientific. Until you can present as many sources that do that as there are sources that refer to it as pseudoscience, we must refer to it as pseudoscience. No amount of arguing from you will equal even one source. Ian.thomson (talk) 11:07, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
Mainstream academic sources that were concerned about ID would probably a pop social "science" like you get in Psychology Today. Poodleboy (talk) 23:22, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
Was Dobzhansky (author of "... Light Of Evolution") a Christian priest? TomS TDotO (talk) 11:34, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
Sorry, literally wrote that after waking up and was slightly mixed up with Teilhard de Chardin, who was responsible for the "light of evolution" part. Dobzhansky was an Orthodox Christian, though. Ian.thomson (talk) 11:41, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
Why would you need a document "which either refer to ID as scientific and or explicitly say that it is not pseudoscientific" in order to just state what ID claims and not attack ID in the very first statement? It is not as if the proposed statement says that ID is scientific. It just plainly and cleanly states what ID claims. The negative characterization can follow next. It reads better and more encyclopedic.Poodleboy (talk) 10:56, 23 July 2016 (UTC)
A source that advocates ID would be a primary source, so whether or not it says its scientific is moot (same for Indigo children, Homeopathy, and so on). What matters is external assessment. And we do not create artificial validity, but instead describe subjects according to how they are described by sources. Mainstream science (and so its sources) describe ID as pseudoscience or unscientific, so we follow suit. Ian.thomson (talk) 14:58, 23 July 2016 (UTC)
It looks like you are asking that we replace "Intelligent design (ID) is the pseudoscientific view" with "Intelligent design (ID) is the view". I'm in favor of keeping the word pseudoscientific in the first sentence, to make sure that the reader knows this is not science, very much not science. Instead, it's the attempt to bring a scientific aura to what is essentially a religious belief. Binksternet (talk) 23:18, 23 July 2016 (UTC)
No, what I proposed is "is the claim", although I was open to "assertion" or "argument". Primary sources are valid for what their views are. An argument could be made that the Discovery Institutes view is what should lead.Poodleboy (talk) 03:59, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
There are many types of claims; stating first its type (in this instance, pseudoscientific), and then its specifics, as the current lead does, seems quite optimal to me. Especially so for ID, which is more a social movement wrt to science than a "claim". Gamall Wednesday Ida (talk) 11:47, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
Reliable sources generally refer to ID as a pseudoscientific or unscientific claim. Are you suggesting that Wikipedia be less informative? Primary sources are not reliable for claims that are countered by all reliable secondary sources. See, for example, WP:ABOUTSELF. Ian.thomson (talk) 12:21, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
Waiting until the second sentence would actually be more informative, since it would be more readable and less strained. Primary sources are considered the most reliable for what that source is saying/claiming. Let's be objective and not fearful. Poodleboy (talk) 23:22, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
I agree. The use of an adjective in the first sentence, without any substantiating context, will always be misinterpreted as biased or subjective. It is semantically exactly the same as rewriting the lead "Intelligent Design (ID) is the bullshit view..." It's just as true, means the same thing, but stated with that synonym, anyone can see the bias in it. There is zero policy violation by saving the psuedoscience explanation for the second sentence, where it's actually explained rather than merely asserted. No policy or guideline requires that the article start out this way, as long as we call a spade a spade, which can be done in the second sentence. ~Amatulić (talk) 05:33, 25 July 2016 (UTC)

To do the pseudoscience characterization justice in the 2nd line, we will need reword the information there. I propose these 2 lines to replace the first two:

"Intelligent design (ID) is the claim that "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection."[previous 3] Educators, philosophers, and the scientific community have rejected ID as pseudoscience [previous 1 and 2], finding instead that ID is a religious argument, a form of creationism which lacks empirical support and offers no testable or tenable hypotheses. [same 4,5 and 6]."

If the second sentence is too long, perhaps a better two or three line formulation will meet with more approval. Poodleboy (talk) 08:10, 25 July 2016 (UTC)

It looks good to me. ~Amatulić (talk) 09:18, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
The existing lead sentence is clear and informative, and well sourced. I see no reason to change it for something more convoluted.Charles (talk) 08:29, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
Changing it is under discussion, can you participate in producing a compromise? Poodleboy (talk) 08:47, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
Not changing it is also under discussion, and I agree with the preponderance of sources, the preponderance of editors here, that there is no need to change the well sourced and clear and policy compliant first sentence. I would suggest that unless the intelligent designer, (preferably in a deep, booming and perhaps frighteningly convincing voice) tells us otherwise, with reliable sources, not changing the first sentence is the way forward. -Roxy the dog™ woof 09:05, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
I have a different perspective. The proposed alternative is also well-sourced and clear, and eliminates the problem of perceived bias by removing the 'bullshit' synonym from the lead sentence and replacing it with an explanatory noun instead. That is also policy compliant, with reliable sources, but without the baggage it has now. Thus far, I have not seen a logical objection to the proposed alternative. The alternative that doesn't make a bare assertion of 'bullshit' up front to the lay reader is just as clear and well-sourced as the current lead sentence. The message is more effective if it's explained, not asserted. ~Amatulić (talk) 09:17, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
ID is not merely a claim, but also (or mostly?) a movement towards passing it off as scientific. If you needed to compress the article to 4 words, "ID is a pseudoscience" would be much more useful than any attempt at explaining the claims of ID, as it's enough to infer its most salient features. The proposed lead sentence could describe theology as well, which is a very different flavour of bull. The current lead sentence is self-contained; here you have ID in a nutshell. Much less so for the proposal. Gamall Wednesday Ida (talk) 11:17, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
Wikipedia articles are not persuasive essays. If I were writing an essay about ID, I would not say that it is pseudoscience, I would point out that the description, "there is a better explanation" is an empty statement: it does not present an explanation, but says that there is an explanation. ID does not present an alternative for evolutionary biology, but pretends that there are scientific arguments against evolutionary explanations. My personal opinion is that ID is better described as an advertising campaign - a negative political campaign - more than something like astrology. Astrology, the paradigm of pseudoscience, doesn't dwell on "something is wrong with science, therefore astrology is the answer". But Wikipedia is not the place to argue about ID. What we should to is to present the consensus of the experts. If someone doesn't like what the experts say, then they should go somewhere else, where they can make arguments. TomS TDotO (talk) 12:25, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
Exactly. Then make the lead sentence present the consensus of the experts in that context without resorting to bare assertions. If it's less clumsy to do so in the second sentence rather than the first, as has been proposed, then that's what we should do. ~Amatulić (talk) 15:35, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
As long as we accurately describe ID as it is, and as it is described by reliable sources, there will always be a "problem of perceived bias" because ID proponents need to hide the fact that ID is not science and will not be happy with anything short of endorsement of ID. It's the same with all the other pseudosciences: their proponents call accurate descriptions "biased".
Let's just do the same as we do with other pseudosciences: let's call a spade a spade. Let's not call it a partly wooden, partly metal implement widely used for digging and then add in the next sentence that it is called a spade by some. --Hob Gadling (talk) 09:31, 27 July 2016 (UTC)
Poodleboy - sorry I'm late to warn you off. FWIW, the 'pseudoscience' is fairly recent in the life of the article, it's a vague pejorative that got stuffed in circa archive 79 or 80 when WP went crazy for 'pseudoscience' a couple years ago, and seem to take it as a mandate to run amok. The wording "pseudoscience" isn't predominant in cites use, opponents mostly and the more significant items use "creationism" or "not science". A sizeable number of editors have come along since then and objected to no avail. I think it's just part of the article is unretrievably biased but badly done so the two wrongs make an almost-right, and people would know to Bing or Google for more. Seems like about the best we can do though, but you can try to whack some of the various lumps if you want. At least it has all the major threads presented so folks can get a general idea and follow up elsewhere if they want to. Cheers Markbassett (talk) 01:15, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
An unflattering truth is not a pejorative, especially since proponents of Intelligent Design swear upon Heaven's Crown that Intelligent Design is a "science," yet, refuse to explain how or why Intelligent Design is supposed to be a science, and refuse to explain how to do science with Intelligent Design under all circumstances.--Mr Fink (talk) 03:06, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
All right then. Why don't we substitute "pseudoscience" with "bullshit"? It means the same thing, it's just as unflattering a truth, and has the added advantage of not plagiarizing the term from sources. Seriously, that's how the term is read. It's pejorative, inflammatory, comes across as non-neutral no matter how much anyone here denies it, and it dictates an opinion to readers in Wikipedia's narrative voice without attribution in the prose — a flagrant violation of WP:NPOV. WP:NPOV should be the primary policy, and it trumps the (faulty) interpretation of WP:FRINGE that pejorative adjectives must be used. The suggestion to avoid the use of an adjective "pseudoscientific", and instead explain how ID equates to the noun "pseudoscience", presents the facts and reasoning without dictating to readers how they should think. We're still calling a spade a spade, but we're doing it in a way that teaches rather than dictates. Readers should form their own opinions, not have them spoon-fed. ~Amatulić (talk) 05:31, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
"plagiarizing the term from sources". You'd need to use more than just one word for that. As for "bullshit"... come to think of it, there are a few papers published in peer-reviewed philosophy journals about bullshit, as distinct from lies, so it might not be impossible to find the reliable sources for the change you jokingly propose. Food for thought. (I'm not seriously considering it, though). "Dictates an opinion"; that ID is pseudoscience is a documented fact, as established by a truckload of sources, which is reported. A reader offended by that fact will continue to be so no matter how the words are moved around, and whether they are nouns or adjectives, so long as the meaning is clear. Gamall Wednesday Ida (talk) 06:36, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
But the sources say "pseudoscience", not "bullshit". And those are not the same thing.
Don't worry about dictating readers what to think. Readers who believe in pseudosciences will only very rarely let themselves be dictated by anything, be it evidence, reliable sources, or Wikipedia articles - however they are worded. The belief is much stronger than those things. --Hob Gadling (talk) 19:53, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
Mr Fink et al - suggest chill, but thanks for the examples confirming "WP went crazy for 'pseudoscience' a couple years ago, and seem to take it as a mandate to run amok". But more factually for TALK and article :
a pejorative is clearly always a pejorative;
"creationist" is the actual label of the vast bulk and most prominent cites
there is no cite of someone saying "swear on heavens crown"
I could have started Poodleboy with Kitzmiller notes said "creationist", that it's labeled "neo-creationism", that NCSE/Barbara Forrest/etc call it "Intelligent Design Creationism" etcetera -- but instead gave him the nudges about WP Psuedo mania to save his breath. Feels like he's about the twentieth different editor who pinged the word as wrong, but I haven't counted ... Cheers Markbassett (talk) 18:13, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
@Markbassett:, your suggestion to chill reeks of blatant hypocrisy, since you're the one who resurrected this thread as a forum in order to whine about "pseudoscientific" being a pejorative label without explaining why beyond making evasions, thinly veiled insults and smug finger-wagging.--Mr Fink (talk) 19:22, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
Mr Fink Nah, factually Poodleboy started this thread. Otherwise, not going to even try how to figure out how pointing out facts (cite and TALK history) or saying to not to pursue it is interpreted as hypocrisy etcetera, as I think "chill" was disregarded although I did and do sincerely mean it, and there was already enough TALK to kind of demonstrate my mention of running amok on this topic. Edit more below if you want, but -- unless it's about editing the article responding to pseudoscientific view -> claim then Meh. Markbassett (talk) 20:26, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
If you knew how to read correctly, you would have noted that I wrote resurrected, not "started." But, otherwise, please continue on with your smug finger-wagging, thinly veiled insults and smug evasions.--Mr Fink (talk) 21:00, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
Well, the label pseudoscience is appropriate, since ID pretends that it is science and has no chance of snowball in hell of being recognized as science. Whether this has to be made clear from the very first sentence is another matter. I have to admit that if the bulk of the article says it is pseudoscience, it is honest to state it upfront. But there could be other ways of making clear the message without giving the impression of being biased. Fact is that the National Academy of Sciences has publicly spoken against ID being science, so it is a fair rendering of the scientific consensus that ID isn't science (although it pretends to be). Tgeorgescu (talk) 19:25, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
Of course the label "pseudocience" is appropriate. Everyone agrees on that. We are arguing about the adjective "pseudoscientific", which is a pejorative term that violates WP:NPOV. ~Amatulić (talk) 04:55, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
Now it is becoming really weird. The noun is appropriate but the adjective is pejorative? Where does that come from? --Hob Gadling (talk) 09:09, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
Um... try reading this thread from the beginning, particularly the points I have made repeatedly? ~Amatulić (talk) 16:58, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
You were arguing for using it in the second sentence instead of the first, which I can comprehend because you explained it. (And you used the strawman equating "pseudoscientific" with "bullshit". That strawman is, well, bullshit.) I assumed that your main point was "second sentence" because changing a noun into an adjective miraculously turning a valid description into an evil pejorative never made the slightest bit of sense. You also never explained where that came from, so I thought I'd ask now. --Hob Gadling (talk) 19:07, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for mentioning the NAS. Why not follow their lead and call ID "non-scientific"? YoPienso (talk) 07:00, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
Because the whole point of ID is that it purports to be scientific. The lead defines ID as the view that "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection." That is a claim about how the world works and a refutation of the core of all biological and botanical science—it doesn't get any more pseudoscientific than that. Johnuniq (talk) 07:47, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
Pseudoscientific is more specific than non-scientific (one is a strict subset of the other). The Teleological argument in itself, is non-scientific; when you add political campaigns to undermine science and replace it by religion under the guise of "new science", you get ID, which is both non-scientific, and pseudoscientific. Some sources [1] alternate between the two words. Indeed, since it is a given that ID presents itself as science, non-scientific implies pseudoscientific. In the end, we use the most specific word -- that conveys the most information -- supported by the sources. See also the FAQ above, for instance Q6. Gamall Wednesday Ida (talk) 13:38, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
But the NAS carries more weight than the opinions and interpretations of Wikipedia editors. YoPienso (talk) 20:28, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
  • This proposal also has no consensus. Jytdog (talk) 06:14, 6 September 2016 (UTC)

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

populating new lead with the citations[edit]

No consensus for change Guy (Help!) 09:30, 6 September 2016 (UTC)

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

I have populated the new lead with the citatations in the appropriate locations. I have performed a trial insertion (preview mode), into the main article to make sure the citations still work properly.

"Intelligent design (ID) is the claim that "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection."[1] Educators, philosophers, and the scientific community have rejected ID as pseudoscience [2][3], finding instead that ID is a religious argument, a form of creationism which lacks empirical support and offers no testable or tenable hypotheses. [4][5][6]."

Poodleboy (talk) 08:49, 27 July 2016 (UTC)

Following the example set by Indigo children, Ancient astronauts, Orgone, Psychic surgery, etc, it's fine to start off an article saying "(Subject) is a pseudoscientific (claim/concept)." Ian.thomson (talk) 10:49, 27 July 2016 (UTC)
In a couple of those cases the 'pseudoscientific' adjective is redundant and could be removed. In any case, it doesn't matter what other articles do. Each article should stand on its own merits. ~Amatulić (talk) 13:39, 27 July 2016 (UTC)
Do those even rise to the level of pseudoscience? I don't see a need for the word in the first sentence in those either. It tends to obscure what beliefs are being documented.Poodleboy (talk) 19:46, 27 July 2016 (UTC)
Oh no, not that "it's not pseudoscience, it's just a belief" bollocks that the new agers like to use at Talk:Indigo children. Those topics are pseudoscience. Those ideas make scientifically testable claims but refuse to account for the total absence of reliable evidence combined with the prominent evidence of absence. A single adjective doesn't obscure anything. "(Subject) is an (adjective) (object) that (verb phrase)" is a not-even-complex sentence structure that my IELTS students could at least comprehend. Ian.thomson (talk) 01:40, 28 July 2016 (UTC)

"populating new lead..." What new lead? The proposal to change the current, long-standing lead has failed to gain any traction in the previous discussion. I don't think bundling the rejected change with fresh citations would improve it. Better to polish the current lead's citations if you are motivated to do so. Gamall Wednesday Ida (talk) 15:13, 27 July 2016 (UTC)

That is an interesting claim, evidently you haven't been following the thread. There are no fresh citations, all the citations are the same, the information is the same, just put in a more encyclopedic, less attack mode form. The citations are quite extensive and needed to be transferred carefully. The rest of the paragraph will be retained as is. Assume that in good faith that the community will choose to reach for the encyclopedic goal. Poodleboy (talk) 19:46, 27 July 2016 (UTC)
There is no WP:Consensus for any change. The community has chosen not to change the lede the way you want it to be. Rwenonah (talk) 20:14, 27 July 2016 (UTC)
I'm sure you would love to take the vote at the beginning, let's wait until the end. Poodleboy (talk) 23:53, 27 July 2016 (UTC)
I see merit in both the existing version (makes immediately clear that it is pseudoscience) as in the proposed version (takes care of briefly but properly explaining why it is considered so). So, I will abstain. Tgeorgescu (talk) 00:15, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
I'm not sure if I'm missing something here, but the consensus against moving "pseudoscientific" to the second line seems pretty clear in the above discussion (and, for that matter, in pages and pages of the archives). Why, exactly, is further discussion necessary? I don't see new arguments. Rwenonah (talk) 01:57, 28 July 2016 (UTC)


  1. ^ "CSC - Top Questions: Questions About Intelligent Design: What is the theory of intelligent design?". Center for Science and Culture. Seattle, WA: Discovery Institute. Retrieved 2012-06-16. 
  2. ^ Boudry, Maarten; Blancke, Stefaan; Braeckman, Johan (December 2010). "Irreducible Incoherence and Intelligent Design: A Look into the Conceptual Toolbox of a Pseudoscience". The Quarterly Review of Biology. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. 85 (4): 473–482. doi:10.1086/656904. PMID 21243965.  Article available from Universiteit Gent
  3. ^ Pigliucci 2010
  4. ^ Cite error: The named reference ForrestMay2007Paper was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  5. ^ Cite error: The named reference consensus was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  6. ^ "An intelligently designed response". Nature Methods (Editorial). London: Nature Publishing Group. 4 (12): 983. December 2007. doi:10.1038/nmeth1207-983. ISSN 1548-7091. Retrieved 2014-02-28. 
(edit conflict) See WP:NOT#DEM and Wikipedia:Polling is not a substitute for discussion. Also, prior discussion above is a pretty clear consensus to not change the intro. Perhaps you need to WP:LISTEN better? Ian.thomson (talk) 00:17, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
History will usually support the status quo, that is why new proposals must be given time and extensive discussion. The goal here is to be more encyclopedic. However correct the pseudoscience characterization is, it is an negative characterization in the very first sentence. Consider if you were coming to learn about what this ID controversy was about, and in the very first sentence it is attacked. Wouldn't you then question the neutrality and objectivity of what is to follow? It is wikipedia's credibility that is at stake, and wikipedia's goal of being encyclopedic that is being undermined. We should be more interested in being encyclopedic than in getting our namecalling rocks off. Poodleboy (talk) 10:26, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
It's not our fault ID is pseudoscience. And so far it appears to be just your opinion that pointing out that pseudoscience is pseudoscience is some sort of immature attack (well, adherents of pseudoscience also claim that...). Name calling in the article would result in the intro "Intelligent design is an attempt by some overly vocal Evangelicals to force science classes to teach that evolution was somehow impossible for all-powerful God to have used in creating life on earth, combined with the dishonest pretense that this is not an attempt to force everyone to accept their philistine interpretation of the poetry of Genesis 1 and 2." 'Intelligent design is the pseudoscientific view that life was created and not evolved' (paraphrase) is neutral. Ian.thomson (talk) 10:53, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
It's honest to state this upfront, not to beat around the bush. But I do appreciate a brief explanation of who considers it pseudoscience and why. Tgeorgescu (talk) 11:05, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
I'd just like to note that "new proposals must be given time and extensive discussion" is kind of beside the point here; this isn't a new proposal. By the proposer's own admission there are no new sources. There are certainly no new arguments here that haven't been extensively discussed before, as the archives show. So what's "new" about this one and why is the consensus from the past few days in the previous section not sufficient to show there's no support for these changes? Rwenonah (talk) 14:54, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
"That is an interesting claim, evidently you haven't been following the thread." You seem to have a very personal notion of evidence. Before posting, I actually counted the number of voices for or against. I had 2 against 6. Since you put me to task I have laboriously recounted, writing each name to avoid duplicates, and I find 2 against 9 (+ 1 unclear (TomS), + 1 neutral). I think "failed to gain any traction" was (and remains) a pretty fair assessment of the situation then (and now). For the second part, my aim was merely to point out that worrying about citations (fresh or otherwise, it's irrelevant) was strange, when the proposal was rejected for other reasons. You seem to have simply ignored what was said in the discussion. Analogy time: "Discussion 1: I wanna build a house" / "Answer 1: No, the terrain is unsuitable" / "Discussion 2: red shingles are better than blue ones for the new house's roof" / "Me: What new house??". Gamall Wednesday Ida (talk) 22:22, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
Wikipedia has other standards besides consensus, let's never give up hope that they will be applied. Just because previous similar objections have been defeated, doesn't mean they should have been defeated. Once wrong always wrong is not the wikipedia standard. Poodleboy (talk) 08:06, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
It is refreshing to see you at least acknowledge that the consensus goes against the proposal. For the rest, the discussion has run its course, it seems. Gamall Wednesday Ida (talk) 11:07, 3 September 2016 (UTC)

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

Unencyclopedic to use "pseudoscience"[edit]

Proposal to remove reference to term "pseudoscience" has received no consensus. Jytdog (talk) 06:13, 6 September 2016 (UTC)

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

Without debating whether or not ID is pseudoscientific, our job is to write an encyclopedia. See WP:IMPARTIAL. Describing ID as pseudoscience is unencyclopedic. Defining ID as pseudoscience in the first sentence is unencyclopedic. (Amended 5 Sept. See comment below at 13:27, 5 September 2016.) Examples of RSs that avoid using the term:

Ruse wrote in the SEP, "Scientifically Creationism is worthless, philosophically it is confused, and theologically it is blinkered beyond repair. The same is true of its offspring, Intelligent Design Theory." Why not quote him and keep our own tone impartial? (We already quote him from another source as calling it "worthless and dishonest.") YoPienso (talk) 20:55, 4 September 2016 (UTC)

I do not understand this. We have two sources, Boudry and Pigliucci, that call it pseudoscience. Both are people who should know what they are talking about. Does Ruse argue it is not pseudoscience? If he does, you have a point because that would mean the categorization is contentious among philosophers of science. If not, you don't. To argue that the other encyclopedias and Ruse do not use the word is an argument from silence and thus not convincing. --Hob Gadling (talk) 22:06, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
Many reliable sources call it a pseudoscience, but they're not encyclopedias. YoPienso (talk) 22:41, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
Are you saying that any and all reliable sources are disqualified if they are not encyclopedias?--Mr Fink (talk) 23:04, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
No, certainly not. I'm saying we need to remember this is an encyclopedia and keep the tone impartial. I support citing to RSs that call it pseudoscience. That's different from initially defining it as such in Wikipedia's own voice. I point to other quality encyclopedias as examples. YoPienso (talk) 23:05, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
I have argued at WP:ABIAS that Wikipedia is not impartial in respect to the scientific consensus. Tgeorgescu (talk) 23:17, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not impartial in respect to geocentrism. There are millions if not billions people who believe in geocentrism. Tgeorgescu (talk) 23:23, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
Geocentric model nowhere uses the word pseudoscience. Your essay is not policy; it's just your opinion. YoPienso (talk) 23:51, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
Geocentrism does not claim to be contemporary science (unless we mean the PhD of Robert Sungenis, which is widely regarded as pseudoscientific). Tgeorgescu (talk) 00:40, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
Source: [2]. Tgeorgescu (talk) 00:56, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
??? What does that have to do with this article? YoPienso (talk) 01:14, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
The argument implied was "if a hypothesis is patently non-scientific, yet it claims to amount to contemporary science, then it is pseudoscience". The source is an account why geocentrism isn't pseudoscience (as described at the article you indicated), unless some people claim that it would amount to contemporary science. Tgeorgescu (talk) 01:18, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
WP:IMPARTIAL is talking about serious theories, not pseudosciences. For that, there is another page: Wikipedia:Fringe_theories#Pseudoscience_and_other_fringe_theories. "Proposals which are generally considered pseudoscience by the scientific community, such as astrology, may properly contain that information and may be categorized as pseudoscience."
Being "impartial" about things like ID, that is, pretending they have a leg to stand on, is being half-way to Crazy Town. --Hob Gadling (talk) 01:47, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
No, reporting on ID in an impartial tone does NOT pretend it has a leg to stand on. It simply reports what its proponents say and how scientists refute their claims. YoPienso (talk) 02:36, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
Yes, it's fine to categorize ID as pseudoscience, but is not appropriate in the initial definition. See how it was done at Creation science: After the first paragraph introduces the topic in a neutral fashion, the second one concludes, "Creation science is a pseudoscientific attempt to map the Bible into scientific facts, and is viewed by professional scientists as unscholarly and, even, as a dishonest and misguided sham, with extremely harmful educational consequences." The model is point, counter-point; introduce, explain. Now, if you're writing your own paper, that's different. But this is an encyclopedia. YoPienso (talk) 02:43, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
Above you wrote "Describing ID as pseudoscience is unencyclopedic." Now you say "it's fine to categorize ID as pseudoscience". Does that mean you changed your mind and are now arguing for another, weaker position than before without saying it explicitly, or is it somehow the same position? --Hob Gadling (talk) 09:05, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
No, thanks for asking; I was imprecise in my wording. I'll go back and clarify my original statement to read, "Defining ID as pseudoscience in the first sentence is unencyclopedic." (You can actually see that's what I meant in my statement immediately above.) My whole point is that an encyclopedia doesn't denigrate the subject in its initial description. YoPienso (talk) 13:27, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
Ah. Now that's much more reasonable. I don't care as much about where the "pseudoscience" part is as about its existence, though I would prefer to have it in the introduction because ID was dishonest from the start - as shown by the "Of Pandas and People" affair that came to light in the Kitzmiller lawsuit. The pseudoscientificity is a built-in, intentional feature of the public relations stunt called "intelligent design". It's not just Dunning-Kruger incompetence-combined-with-overestimation-of-one's-abilities, as with most pseudosciences. --Hob Gadling (talk) 14:41, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
Good; agreed.
We could also consider how Astrology is presented in deciding how to write the lead for this article. The "Astrology" lead begins with a neutral definition, goes into its history, then tells how modern science challenged it, and finally, the very last word of the lead is "pseudoscience."
Palmistry is given yet gentler treatment. Last sentence of lead: "These contradictions between different interpretations, as well as the lack of empirical support for palmistry's predictions, contribute to palmistry's perception as a pseudoscience among academics."
It is my observation that creation/evolution articles in Wikipedia are not written neutrally, but with an editorial edge that aims to injure as much as inform. This tone is defended by the fact that WP is indeed biased toward mainstream science. My objection is to the writing style, not the content. We aren't a blog or a platform for ridiculing pseudosciences; we're an encyclopedia. WP:SOAP applies. YoPienso (talk) 16:27, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
"unencyclopedic": what a vague word. Fortunately, there are guidelines that determine what is unencyclopedic in the context of Wikipedia, such as WP:NPOV etc, all of which are satisfied so far as I see. That other encyclopaedias formulated things differently does not means we should copy them. (And your interpretation of why it differs is unadulterated speculation). What you mean is that the current formulation goes against your own personal tastes. Fine. I can understand that. But any argument of the form "X is an Y, but because Y is unpleasant we should make its Y-ness less clear by reformulating a bit" seems to me a waste of time. Because so long as X remains a Y, you'll find someone to argue that it's "unencyclopedic" to express it that early or that clearly, and to cherry-pick examples of sources which didn't use the word in, say, the lead paragraph, and say "well, we should do that too". And they'll have just as strong a case as the current one. To sum up: if ID actually is a pseudoscience (as supported by RS), then saying so right up is perfectly fine. That's just what it is. If it's not, then let's discuss *that*.
(added after edit conflict)As for the other articles with gentler treatments, I'd argue that they are far too gentle. The reason is probably that there is no multi-million dollars campaigns to replace real science with palmistry, so those articles are probably mostly edited by people who adhere to the idea, or don't care that much about it. And we are not "ridiculing pseudoscience", we are clearly stating that IS is pseudoscience. Gamall Wednesday Ida (talk) 17:01, 5 September 2016 (UTC)


  • I didn't invent the word "unencyclopedic"; I learned it here at WP, where it's frequently used on talk pages. See Wiktionary.
  • "What you mean is that the current formulation goes against your own personal tastes." What I mean is that it goes against encyclopedic standards. As we all know, Encyclopedia Britannica is the general reference standard to which Wikipedia is often compared. Do you see the difference in treatments of this subject? Or compare Infoplease.
  • Wrt "unadulterated speculation," that's what you're employing in guessing who has mostly edited "Palmistry." My observation on creation/evolution articles comes from engaging on them for a decade. YoPienso (talk) 18:18, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
Briefly, for "real life" calls: 1° I said vague, not "made up". It is useful when everyone agrees; when not, use specific policies. 2° Even granting that EB is generally good, we don't have to do the exact same thing. Otherwise let's just redirect everything to it and go to bed. (The latter is what I intend to do shortly.) 2'° The infoplease blurb is terrible; without mention of the Discovery institute etc, it fails to given any sense of ID as a social controversy and political movement. If I relied on that source, I should be very angry to find out how much it left out. Indeed I am angry. Arrgh! Grrrr! 3° I was indeed speculating wrt Palmistry -- I used 'probably' at least twice, in case it was unclear. But my remark as written didn't convey what I meant, exactly. My meaning in the original remark was more along the lines of "the article in EB happens to be that way but you are reaching in implying that EB has a policy against saying X is an Y in the lead sentence, which it would be violating if it did as we did on WP". Not sure if that's clearer, but I'm going to bed anyway, so further clarifications will need to wait. Gamall Wednesday Ida (talk) 20:18, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
Sweet dreams! YoPienso (talk) 00:43, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
Just found this on another discussion page. It makes my point more clearly than I did. (Hope it's OK to paste it in here.) That's the point of neutrality : even if we do think that a person is a turd, we should not be trying to make him look like one. YoPienso (talk) 02:26, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
ID is canonical pseudoscience. It is a fake science developed to get around constitutional restrictions on teaching of creationism. It precisely meets the definition of pseudoscience: it adopts the trappings of science in service of dogma. Guy (Help!) 07:35, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
All of the arguments opposing "pseudoscience" in the first sentence would seem to justify not describing it as "pseudoscience" in WP's voice at all. "Not making people look like turds" would seem to justify never using the term pseudoscience except as quotes or expressing the views of scientists. I don't see how it is meaningfully less impartial to characterize ID as pseudoscience later in the intro as opposed to the first sentence, since that seems to be the change proposed here. What exactly is the proposal - to move the characterization downward in the intro, remove it from the intro entirely, or outright remove all direct characterizations of ID as pseudoscience? Rwenonah (talk) 03:12, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
  • proposal in OP has gone no where; closing this.

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

the level emphasis to be put upon the Pseudoscience characterization?[edit]

No possibility of this discussion yielding fruit, especially when it strays into conjecture. Binksternet (talk) 04:12, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

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

The proposal is to move it later in the intro. It is meaningful for the same reason that those with strong feelings about Intelligent Design want it in the first sentence. Placing it in the first sentence is an emphasis that suggests strong feelings. Placing it later allows a more objective sounding statement to lead.Poodleboy (talk) 05:12, 14 September 2016 (UTC)

You want it to be "objective sounding" but I want it to be objective. "Objective sounding" is a weaselly goal if the result is not truly objective. Binksternet (talk) 06:18, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
Poodleboy, this has been discussed ad nauseum on this talk page, with the result being the current formulation. Please read the FAQ and other material at the top of the talk page and note that this article is subject to discretionary sanctions as well as being the subject of an Arbitration Decision. Time now the drop the stick. - Nick Thorne talk 07:39, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
ID is canonical pseudoscience. Sorry you don't like it, but it's a problem that exists in the real world and is not ours to fix. Guy (Help!) 07:41, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
It is actually the time to stop fearfully closing and deleting previous discussions, so that they have to be repeated. If your arguments were strong, you wouldn't have to claim the issue is decided.Poodleboy (talk) 08:28, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
No, it is actually time to drop the stick. Guy (Help!) 09:19, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
Ascribing, without evidence, "emotions" and "fear" to people arguing against you is not a "strong argument" but a fallacy: see straw man. The previous discussions are not deleted, they are archived, and you can look up the reasons given back then. --Hob Gadling (talk) 12:55, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
Sweet merciful imaginary gods, not again! Poodleboy, surely with the formidable expertise of which you boast, you can think of a better use of your time than arguing whether a pseudoscientific view should be called a pseudoscientfic view in the first or the second sentence. Please, leave such trivialities to the rest of us uneducated rubes, and shine on! Gamall Wednesday Ida (talk) 13:17, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
Given as how Intelligent Design is a pseudoscience, what with it having been formulated explicitly to have religious political propaganda smuggled into science classrooms to be taught in place of actual science in order to flout constitutional bans about combining church and state, current consensus is overwhelmingly in favor of referring to Intelligent Design as a pseudoscience in the lede. Having said that, @Poodleboy:, your insistence on repeatedly requesting to have the adjective of "pseudoscientific" moved to further into the article without any compelling reason comes off as wp:I didn't hear that--Mr Fink (talk) 14:03, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
It is important to "sound objective" in the first sentence of an encyclopedia article. State what the subject is, and then later what the consensus wikipedia opinion of the subject is. If that opinion is objective, then it should be able to be substantiated. I don't doubt there are a lot of good sources dismissing ID as pseudoscience. Summarize why they think it is pseudoscience and then reference them.Poodleboy (talk) 16:28, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
And how exactly would not referring to a blatantly pseudoscientific movement as "pseudoscientific" in the lede sound "objective" to begin with? That would be as silly as expunging mention of the wild boar, Sus scrofa, as being a suid artiodactyl mammal animal.--Mr Fink (talk) 18:14, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
Leaving out "pseudoscientific" would sound objective, because the pseudoscientific characterization is a judgement, an assessment applying values and standards. Poodleboy (talk) 03:28, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Do not characterize the mainstream scientific position as though it is some individual's "judgement". Please bear in mind the WP:PSCI policy. What you are writing here is getting no consensus because it violates this policy; if you continue pushing this you are likely to be blocked or topic banned under the relevant discretionary sanctions. I won't be responding here further and I will be somewhat surprised if others choose to continue responding to you. Jytdog (talk) 03:58, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
How is explicitly mentioning the consensus opinion characterizing it as some individual's judgement? It is normal practice, even here at wikipedia, to leave mainstream scientific opinion or judgements out of the first sentence and even the first paragraph. For example the first sentence of the article on antibiotics is NOT "Antibiotics, also called antibacterials, are a type of antimicrobial drug OVERUSED in the treatment and prevention of bacterial infections." (emphasis mine) Although that is a well established mainstream scientific opinion. Poodleboy (talk) 04:33, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Actually, Poodleboy has the logical argument on this thread. Search my name on this page to see my own arguments, which are likewise logical and backed up by examples from other encyclopedias and from our own policies.
Amusingly enough, Mr Fink, the word "artiodactyl" is absent from the Wild boar article, except in the infobox and a template at the bottom. It appears once in passing in Pigs (again, excepting the infobox and template). The several other Suidae articles I checked also fail to positively identify the species as "suid artiodactyl mammal animal." Mammal animal? Please, no.
We can be an objective encyclopedia that makes the mainstream view of ID very clear without poking ID proponents in the eye. YoPienso (talk) 05:01, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanx for your work documenting that experts writing for professional encyclopedias, are able to be descriptive initially, before administering the judgement of those concerned within the scientific community. Interrupting the descriptive explanation of what ID is with negative opinion so early destroys any appearance of objectivity, no matter how well substantiated that condemnation can be. Poodleboy (talk) 08:22, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
ID is the pseudoscientific view that "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection. When that changes, we'll change the article. Guy (Help!) 08:25, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Articles should be objective, not "sound objective". It is not the goal of an encyclopedia article to lull people who may disagree with it in false security and then hit them when they don't expect it, or achieve other, more subtle, feats of manipulation. The pseudoscientificity is not just an afterthought "oh, turns it this is pseudoscience. Who'da thunk it!" --Hob Gadling (talk) 09:47, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
The goal is to communicate information to allow the readers to form an informed opinion. They aren't served whether they are satisfied or put off by being told what opinion to have in the first statement. Poodleboy (talk) 10:59, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Small problem: ID is canonical pseudoscience. It is a fake "science" designed to bolster an ideology. Some people wish this were nto so, but it's not our problem to fix. Guy (Help!) 11:06, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Exaclty; Poodleboy: overuse is not an inherent characteristic of antibiotics. Pseudo-scientificity is an inherent characteristic of ID. YoPienso: any article that clearly states what ID is can be construed as "poking ID proponents in the eye". If that were an argument, people could iteratively move the pseudoscience bit arbitrarily far down (or out of) the article, by using that same argument against each successively watered-down version. This shall not pass! Gamall Wednesday Ida (talk) 11:55, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Not mentioning that Intelligent Design is a pseudoscience is a textbook example of "lying by omission." Last I checked, Wikipedia is not in the business of lying to readers for the sake of censorship pretending to be "sounding like objectivity."--Mr Fink (talk) 13:24, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
So, Mr Fink, the Encyclopedia Britannica is lying? The NCSE is lying? Berkeley is lying? None of those sources even use the word "pseudoscience." (Please note that I agree with including the word in our article, but not with brandishing it as a sword.) Their approach is objective while clearly showing ID is not accepted by mainstream scientists.
Quote from Berkeley: "Intelligent Design is very different from science. Though the idea deals with phenomena in the natural world, research in this area does not bear any of the other hallmarks of science. Most importantly, though proponents sometimes make testable — and refuted — claims that relate to evolutionary theory, Intelligent Design itself is not testable and so cannot be validated by the central method of science — testing ideas against evidence from the natural world."
GMI, your claim that any clearly stated article could be construed as "poking ID proponents in the eye" demonstrates a lack of understanding the nuances of the English language. In fact, Encyclopedia Britannica's "Meanwhile, intelligent design appeared incapable of generating a scientific research program, which inevitably broadened the gap between it and the established norms of science" is clear without being hostile.
I'm aware the attitudes here will never permit an objective treatment of this subject. Nonetheless, from time to time I think it's healthy to ring the bell of logic. Done for 2016. YoPienso (talk) 14:16, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
That's one way of looking at it. Another is that creationists will never be content with an objective view of ID, because it conflicts with their religion, but that will not stop us from being objective and documenting the subject from a strictly rationalist perspective. The latter is in line with the sources and Wikipedia policy, funnily enough. Guy (Help!) 14:29, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
YoPienso: "Objectivity" is not what you are looking for, however much you may like to brandish the word. ID is PS, and so it is stated. Objectivity: check. What you and Poodleboy are arguing for are rhetorical devices, no more, and a pure matter of convention, taste, and temperament. As far as the latter go, I for one find your quote from the Britannica to be pap of the most insipid variety. "Meanwhile, the drug cartels appeared incapable of generating a social integration program, which inevitably broadened the gap between their operations and the established norms of legal activity". Gamall Wednesday Ida (talk) 16:52, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Both quotes are ways of not employing the word "pseudoscience" while making it clear that ID is pseudoscience. So, they support the label of pseudoscience, even if they do not employ that very word. Tgeorgescu (talk) 16:54, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
So both sources are pretty damning about ID. Tgeorgescu (talk) 17:43, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Both sources agree that ID is an utterly failed attempt at doing science. Tgeorgescu (talk) 17:45, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
More a failed attempt at mimicking science, I'd say. Guy (Help!) 18:33, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
True, the argument at [3] is that ID proponents did not even define their terms in order to amount to a scientific hypothesis, they are basically a cultural movement opposed to materialism/naturalism. Tgeorgescu (talk) 19:28, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
So ID is appealing at the imagination of their audience instead of appealing to empirical operationalization. Tgeorgescu (talk) 19:36, 15 September 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── We should get back addressing the level of emphasis and the negative impact on the appearance of objectivity to have the judgement in the very first sentence. That omitting it would somehow be a lie is a strawman, since that is not the proposal and other encylopedias are not lying. Pseudoscientificity is not an inherent characteristic of ID, since it is not defined as such making it a truism or tautology and other knowledge is required to reach that judgement. Poodleboy (talk) 02:51, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

It is not a truism, since there are people who don't know much about the scientific consensus. But there is rock-solid scientific consensus that it is a failed attempt to do or to mimic science. Whether that has to be made clear from the first sentence is a matter of taste, not one of getting the facts straight. As the argument I have cited goes, it is not even designed to amount to a scientific hypothesis, it is just a collection of nice-sounding slogans against materialism and atheism which have not been operationalized empirically. Tgeorgescu (talk) 03:10, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
Irreducible complexity was designed to be a scientific hypothesis. It failed. As I recall, a couple of the proposed examples had failed even before Behe completed his book tour. Behe searched for and found problematic examples, his work involved review of the scientific literature to understand and categorize his examples. His work was observational, he didn't conduct the experiments he proposed, other researchers did.Poodleboy (talk) 03:45, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
Ok, let's see it this way: suppose there was no theory of evolution, just the theories that preceded Darwin. What chance would ID stand of competing against those theories? I.e. ID making a case that it is more suited to the empirical reality than Lamarckism, Epicurianism, Taoism, the views of Anaximander, Empedocles, Buffon, James Burnet, and Erasmus Darwin. How would it win the dispute, provided that it does not know anything about the designer, it does not know how the designer works, it does not know the purposes of the designer, it cannot assign any time constraints to the workings of the designer and so on? That it does not provide any positive knowledge which would advance our/their knowledge of the natural world. Tgeorgescu (talk) 03:26, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
Perhaps ID would be used for hypothesis generation, repeated use of similar or the same design in different species might be seen as more supportive of ID than of lamarkism. The young earth might be evidence against gradualism and in favor of the intelligent designer hypothesis. ID might predict a common arbitrary genetic code. In the absence of alternatives, human make distinctions and evaluate hypotheses using what knowledge they have. Poodleboy (talk) 03:45, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
If Intelligent Design was intended to be used for hypothesis generation, it would have been used for hypothesis generation by its original proponents. But, Michael Behe and Phillip Johnson and William Dembski and all of the luminaries of Intelligent Design have repeatedly demonstrated that not only can one not generate any hypothesis whatsoever that isn't a blatant appeal to ignorance, i.e., a permutation of "I don't understand how (insert biological phenomenon here) evolved, therefore, GODDESIGNERDIDIT," Intelligent Design was never intended to generate any hypothesis ever, at all, in the first place.--Mr Fink (talk) 04:07, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
Behe proposed a test of his hypothesized irreducible complexity of intrinsic immunity. Knockout mice soon showed that their intrinsic immunity still worked without one of the components. Poodleboy (talk) 04:14, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

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

smithsonian EL[edit]

See basically done discussion here Jytdog (talk) 04:15, 22 September 2016 (UTC)

Degree of pseudoscience[edit]

This is not a forum for general debate; content is based on reliable sources and the policies and guidelines Jytdog (talk) 14:50, 21 October 2016 (UTC)

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

I believe that ID falls into the category of questionable science, and, for the sake of clarity, should probably be labelled as such. Or at least somewhere between generally accepted and questionable. - CharlieBrown25 (talk) 06:42, 14 October 2016 (UTC)

It doesn't matter what you believe it matters what the sources say. You need to support your assertion by providing reliable sources. This aspect of the article has been discussed extensively and the consensus is that Intelligent Design is pseudoscience Robynthehode (talk) 07:04, 14 October 2016 (UTC)
To be questionable science it woudl first have to be science. It is not. Guy (Help!) 08:23, 14 October 2016 (UTC)
Ditto. You might want to take a look at the lovely closed discussions just above. Also, that you would include "generally accepted" in your range worries me. It's like saying that broken glass should be rated "somewhere between safe for toddlers and slightly irritating". In both cases, it suggests that you might want to do more reading on the subject before tackling it. {{u|Gamall Wednesday Ida}}  09:38, 14 October 2016 (UTC)
That's kinda like saying the sky is perceived as blue, instead of the sky is blue. Ian.thomson (talk) 06:51, 21 October 2016 (UTC)
Funny, I had a feeling that someone was going to say the exact same thing, specifically using the sky. But what I'm getting at is that both Evolution and Intelligent Design are theories. The sky being blue is a fact because it can be tested and proved that to almost every seeing eye, the wavelengths of visible light are received and registered by the eye as being between 450 and 495 nanometers, which is the wavelength of blue. Evolution can't actually be tested and proved, because recorded human history does not go back through millions of years. And neither can Intelligent Design be proved, because no one prove the existence of a supreme being without showing the being to the world. Saying that ID is generally accepted as pseudoscience is clearer, and still upholds the scientific consensus. The closed arguments were about whether to call it pseudoscience or not. - CharlieBrown25 (talk) 07:30, 21 October 2016 (UTC)
No. Evolution is a theory in the same sense that the theory of gravitation or the germ theory of disease are theories -- it is the most reliable explanation that scientists can find, with plenty of evidence. Intelligent design is a "theory" (properly a hypothesis) in the same sense that Water memory or the Sheep-Goat effect retrocausality (within the context of parapsychology) are -- it is nothing more than attempted ass-covering by proponents who have rejected modern science in favor of something that has always been kinda fringe, ignoring all evidence to the contrary. Ian.thomson (talk) 07:51, 21 October 2016 (UTC)
But again, gravity can be tested and proved. We can see that everything on earth is kept on the surface by something which is not in space. And germ theory can be tested and proved, because we can see that cells that are in the vicinity of germs are unhealthy. But evolution cannot be observed in this way. - CharlieBrown25 (talk) 08:00, 21 October 2016 (UTC)
Wrong. There is plenty of evidence of common descent, including experimental evolution. Ian.thomson (talk) 08:15, 21 October 2016 (UTC)−
Although CharlieBrown25 makes the point that neither evolution nor the existence of god can be proved in an ultimate sense the statement that intelligent design IS pseudoscience (rather than it is generally accepted as) is based on the weight and balance of what the sources say. The Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District summed up the argument well. ID cannot be untangled from creationism. You just have to look at Pandas and People and the way it was revised and the almost overwhelming majority of scientists and science organisations who state ID is pseudoscience to provide the evidence that stating ID as CharlieBrown25 wants is misrepresenting the sources giving undue weight to a fringe idea. Robynthehode (talk) 08:25, 21 October 2016 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────As a matter of math, no empirical statement can be proven in an "ultimate sense", as that would require an infinite amount of evidence. The word "proof" should never be used when speaking of empirical statements. What we do is accumulate evidence, which shifts our (rational) beliefs between hypotheses by a finite amount. There is no distinction between hypotheses about events in the past, the present, or the future. The combination of fossils, plate tectonics, DNA, etc provide a strong record of what happened in the past, just as my finding pizza crumbs on the sofa and a takeaway receipt on the table provides strong evidence that somebody ate pizza on my sofa, though I wasn't there to witness it. Conversely, I'm not 100% sure that I'm sitting on a chair right now. I might be dreaming this. I'm still sure enough to put that in the fact bin, though.

The bogus distinction between "absolute proof" and the rest is a canard whose main effect is to flatten the distinction between hypotheses that have accumulated a lot of evidence-based belief and hypotheses that have lost a lot of it. That allows you to put evolution and ID in the same bin of "not infinitely proven". That's like saying there is no essential difference between you and Hussain Bolt because, after all, neither of you is infinitely fast.

Even besides that, if you agree that the scientific consensus is what it is, then there is no point in the discussion; what else but the scientific consensus can determine what is science or pseudoscience? Gamall Wednesday Ida (t.c) 13:18, 21 October 2016 (UTC)

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

I have to say, every time I see this talk page heading appear in my watchlist, I keep thinking it's about an academic degree in pseudoscience. PsD = Doctor of Pseudoscience? Reminds me of usenet joke discussions in about the fictitious University of Ediacara. ~Amatulić (talk) 05:34, 22 October 2016 (UTC)