Talk:Intelligent design

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Four groups

Irreducible complexity, specified complexity and fine-tuned universe are valid arguments, irrespective of ID[edit]

All three are well founded philosophical and mathematical arguments for extreme rarity of complex, consciouss, intelligent life forms. I am an atheist, but in my opinion it's clear that the arguments are philosophically sound and deserve a fair treatment. There's no need to belittle them. They are entirely plausible arguments for the Fermi paradox.

There seems to be a somewhat biased approach in the article and the subarticles, that anything and everything argued by the ID proponents is baseless and ridiculous. First, ID is not scientific and second as argued in the article, and e.g. by Dawkins, it is a circular argument that just begs the question who designed the designer, and therefore, and for many other reasons, deserves to be thrown out. But irreducible complexity, specified complexity and fine-tuned universe are interesting arguments. They should not be dismissed just because the ID proponents are using them.

I'd say that arguing against their self-evident validity with weak arguments, as in the article (or on the subpages), gives credence to ID proponents if anything. The universe is full of basic ingredients for life. And maybe the universe is teeming with bacteria and other microbial life. There are probably over a thousand billion planets in the Milky Way, but no signs of highly advanced intelligent life forms have been detected outside of Earth. And Pennsylvania State University recently did an interesting study of 100 000 'nearby' Galaxies and found no signs of Galactic civilizations, - you'd expect highly intelligent life to develop into one, you'd expect man to be a galactic civilization in 10 million years if we don't kill ourselves before we manage to spread out from the solar system. But no sign from such civilizations from 100,000 galaxies that are billions of years old.

It is plausible, and personally I think the mathematics support this, that in the evolution of life on Earth several extremely improbable developments occurred. That in a sense you cannot explain the developments by natural selection, although you can explain their survival and propagation and further development. In the sense that you can't expect these same developments to happen throughout the universe on Earth-like planets. That what happened on Earth was something extremely rare, a chance occurrance of one in billions, and maybe more than once, and arguments from irreducible and specified complexity are reasons to think so. That it is entirely possible, that we are the most advanced life form in the Milky Way, and in the Universe of 10^24 or so planets, and in countless presumed universes, 99,999999...% of which are less fine-tuned for even the improbable to be possible... maybe a rarity even in fined tuned universes.

You can accept these arguments and see our existence and evolution in the light of (a variation of) the anthropic principle and yet be a convinced atheist, seeing no sign of any intelligent design, nevermind the intelligent designer of the judeo-christian collection of old books.

The three arguments are valid. Using them to support ID isn't. (talk) 08:42, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

I disagree with the first part of your last paragraph, but agree with the second. Because of the second part, the rest of your post can be dismissed as entirely moot. - Nick Thorne talk 09:32, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
Your comment is a general dismissal with no arguments given. The article and sub-articles seem to be written with the conviction that whatever they claim is nonsense and we will find and handpick sources that say so. Well, ID is nonsense, but all of their arguments aren't. Some are sound arguments misused. And the three mentioned are sound arguments. To dismiss them with deliberately selective bad math and bad philosophy is misguided. You can admit the validity and treat them fairly yet dismiss ID as baseless. There is no logical connection, nevermind to the Bible, you don't have to "refute" any of the three arguments to show ID to be a pseudoscience. It's bad and misguided argumentation. The arguments are self-evidently valid and to try and argue otherwise "to refute everything about ID" is weak logic. The two are not connected. If a new-age mystic misuses quantum mechanics to prove the existence of some world spirit he believes in, you don't need to attack QM to dismiss it as pseudoscience.
And here, you don't have to "refute" sound philosophical and mathematical arguments, which you can't, it's enough to show that the conclusion (i.e. ID) does NOT follow. (talk) 09:57, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
See WP:NOTAFORUM: this page isn't for general discussion. If you've got any specific proposals for article improvement, please comply with WP:TALK and present them in detail with the published WP:SOURCES you propose to support the changes. If not, you're just posting "original research" which has no place on Wikipedia. . . dave souza, talk 10:35, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
I made a general proposal for article improvement / criticism of its content and approach and what I saw as a bias and poor philosophy and math. My comments were in context of the article, and not general discussion about ID. Complexity and probability of life/consciousness/intelligence are a larger issue in the context of the article and subarticles, so it's not sensible to go over it detail by detail. Original research pertains to unsourced article content, not to talk page discussions if I'm not mistaken.
I am asking a general level question, why complexity and probability are treated in the article like they were an integral part of the ID argument? The complexity and probability arguments are valid arguments in their own right. Misused in the context of ID. There is no connection. If you want to underline an anti-ID perspective, then seek (more) sources that say it's a false argument in context of ID.
The arguments dismissing probability are bad philosophy and bad math. The logical conclusion from dismissing irreducible and specified complexity is that the universe should be full of complex life. But as per Fermi's paradox, it doesn't seem to be. And these probabilities have NOTHING to do with designer. It is a false connection. I'm saying that you are using bad argumentation and so doing in fact playing by the false premises of the intelligent design proponents. Because, how'd a universe full of intelligent life (as per complexity and probability arguments dismissed) be less of a sign of "design" than a universe, where among approx. 1 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 planets perhaps just on one planet life as complex as humans developed? Take away a few zeros and you have the number of Earth-like planets. Give each billions of years of chances for life to be born and evolve and you start to approach the probabilities the ID proponents see as sign of a designer.
If man is a quirk of highly improbable chance occurrances in an otherwise nearly empty universe (or countless universes), that's not an argument for ID. But if the universe was teeming with life, with thousands of intelligent civilizations in Milky Way alone, which is the logical conclusion from dismissing the probability arguments, how would that be an argument against a pantheist ID? I am underlining the philosophical point that the probabilities and the argument for ID have no connection. And as the connection is false, so are those arguments false and missing the point, that take a defensive stance and start "arguing" with God of the gaps type rhetoric that the probabilities are (read: will be) explained by natural selection. A direct connection between natural selection and human level complexity is a false one. Natural selection selects successful complexity, but does not in itself explain the probability or improbability of that complexity.
To underline my criticism of the article and the subarticles. The three arguments about complexity and probability (and/or variations of them) are valid arguments in their own right. The same questions are central to Fermi's paradox and more general atheist existential philosophies of man's place in the cosmos. Tying them to arguments for/against design is false dichotomy and poor philosophy and poor math. By both ID proponents and their critics. Critics should just dismiss the false connection, but not the valid arguments.
As you can envisage, sources for these arguments can be found and quoted, as for most arguments, and in the end it's about choosing and weighting quoted sources. But I'm not pushing this further (although the posts have been long, as it's a complex subject), if this change in the general approach to the subject (which I'm confident is philosophically the right one) gets no support. (talk) 13:26, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
All of this could be a great addition to the article. I don't know, because I'm not willing to read that wall of text. What I do know is that to make any changes to the article, you need reliable, published sources. Rwenonah (talk) 13:33, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
Comment What you are proposing as dave souza points out is essentially original research. However, if you did look into to credible sources on the so called problem or irreducible complexity arguments, you would find that they are based on faulty assumptions and pathetic mathematics. --I am One of Many (talk) 05:39, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
I didn't propose any concrete additions re: the original article(s). I tried to have a discussion on how the article treats complexity and probability and how these are not directly linked to ID. In vain it seems. Of the three sub-articles fine-tuned universe seems to me to be the least poorly written. So let's take this one subject. The major names like Sir Martin Rees are mentioned on the subpage. Cosmologist of first rank, an atheist, and one of the most cited and prominent supporters of the fine-tuned universe argument. (Called a "compliant quisling" by Richard Dawkins.) There exists a literature of considerable size by prominent non-ID, atheist scientists and philosophers of science on FTU and related themes. Looking at the talk pages it seems to have been a quite a struggle to get it into the article. When editors have preferred e.g. to quote Stenger extensively, who is nowhere near as prominent in the field as Rees. But here in this article it's mostly him Stenger and claims that are not supported by the literature. It's claimed that: "Scientists have generally responded that these arguments [i.e. for fine-tuned universe] are poorly supported by existing evidence." Not true. There has been an on-going and lively debate on this at least ever since Carter made his remarks on the Anthropic principle 50 years ago. And it's not a general view that anthropic principle would be a "tautology", it's closely tied to the concept of multiverse and has lately been used by many string theorists. All in all numerous non-ID, atheist scientists and philosophers of science have debated, pondered and written on these questions from different angles and in different contexts. I refer you to the WP pages of Fine-tuned universe and the Anthropic principle, which are not completely hopeless. But here the fined-tuned universe argument is completely mispresented, with selective, poorly weighted sources. There seems to prevail an approach to dismiss anything and everything associated with ID. That's faulty thinking. These are themes that are valid in their own right, irrespective of ID (which is pseudoscience and weak philosophy, motivated by ulterior motives). I would balance the undue weight of the negative arguments on fine-tuned universe by adding Rees's arguments (as they are on the subpage) and a neutral description of the anthropic principle. And perhaps the succinct Hawking quote (supportative of FTU), who is someone well known and well respected in cosmology. (talk) 06:52, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
Agree that the three topics have their own existence as discussion points not well presented here. The slurring of lines seems just part of irretrievably biased articles in this area and showing them so obviously bent means folks do get the general idea and might see that the article's not to be relied upon. Maybe the best that can be done at this time. Meh . Markbassett (talk) 20:39, 29 June 2015 (UTC)

Hostile feel to the article[edit]

I somehow keep feeling this hostility towards the people who support ID throughout this article. It just feels like one big rant. Here is an example (I took it from "status outside US - Europe"):

--- "In June 2007, the Council of Europe's Committee on Culture, Science and Education issued a report, The dangers of creationism in education, which states "Creationism in any of its forms, such as 'intelligent design', is not based on facts, does not use any scientific reasoning and its contents are pathetically inadequate for science classes."[158] In describing the dangers posed to education by teaching creationism, it described intelligent design as "anti-science" and involving "blatant scientific fraud" and "intellectual deception" that "blurs the nature, objectives and limits of science" and links it and other forms of creationism to denialism." ---

And this is how the article introduces the subject. You can add such quotes but not at the beginning imo. I might sound a bit like a whiner but I like to keep wikipedia somehow neutral and unbiased. And by the way; I'm not religious or in any way affiliated with Inelligent Design. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:02, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

It's precisely because Wikipedia is neutral and unbiased that it treats ID according to its acceptance by the majority of reliable sources, who are, as you put it, "hostile" to the idea. Rwenonah (talk) 12:08, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
The article is not "hostile" – instead it is accurate in its portrayal of ID as anti-science. There's no need to pander to ID supporters, to make the article more sympathetic to their views. Binksternet (talk) 15:33, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

There's just lots of trivial stuff in this article. The article is filled with references to critics and their negative opinions on the subject. nvm that judge thing. poor reading on my behalf — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:22, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

Allright I've done a couple of edits which are being repeatedly reverted. I've changed escaping into explaining (that's basically what it came down to). Now my edits have been undone with an unbased accusation of writing from POV. Now I know that this article has seen issues with creationists so you are more prone to assume that people propagate their opinions when they edit articles to make them more neutral. In emotional response to the heated debate on this topic this article has been written. So let us just be honest: this page has some bias in it which is not more than logical. Wikipedia users can make mistakes as well. Now if I am somehow mistaken please tell me why my edit is biased or otherwise not acceptable.

And by the way to prevent you guys from making any claims about my personal validity; I'm an atheist. Not that it actually matters but it might help this discussion anyway. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 23 June 2015

No one's made any "claims" about you. You changed a statement by a source without referring to that source, in an effort to make the article seem less "hostile" to ID. Reliable sources are hostile to ID. The article reflects that. If the source said "explaining", we could use that, but it doesn't. The article reflects the views of reliable sources - any hostility is a result of their views, not the views of Wikipedians. Your edit, however, was definitely based on your personal views, namely that the article needs to less "hostile", making it POV. Rwenonah (talk) 19:48, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
Regarding claims,, you were the one who said "No offense and I'm an atheist just like you guys by the way" before you deleted it. Page history is a wonderful thing. I'm not an atheist, FYI. --Ebyabe talk - Border Town ‖ 20:15, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
Indeed, page history is interesting. Perhaps the IP might like to explain this edit? - Nick Thorne talk 02:09, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

I didn't say anyone has made any claims about me I'm just trying to prevent it. I often experience that people find someone's personal background relevant to the validity of his arguments so I thought I'd just get it out of the way -no offense. As far as I'm concerned the article doesn't literally quote Dawkins so if I change it I'm not changing any source other than wikipedia user 123. Maybe my personal view is that the article needs to be less hostile but that doesn't make "(...)leads to an infinite regression from which intelligent design proponents can only escape by resorting to religious creationism or logical contradiction." more neutral. And wikipedia wants to be neutral, am I right? Think we can all agree on that. So I think that my version definitely is more neutral (let's just be honest). If we can't agree on this then I will have to rest my case as I'm in a less powerful position than other wikipedia users. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:34, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

Allright I'm done. I can't edit this page clearly because all of you have a certain point of view or hatred against either unregistered users or ID. You have not come with a single constructive argument to tell me why my edit is not justifiable. First my edit gets removed because I have a point of view and now my edit gets removed because there is no "consensus" for the edit. Two totally irrelevant and false arguments. What if there would be consensus to write that all jews are evil and greedy and try to poison our drinking water? Would you write it down like that? No one has reverted my edits on any reasonable objective base.

I had expected more professionalism of wikipedia. This is ridiculous and amateuristic. Groups of users who do anything to stop anyone from editing their pages even if it serves no purpose at all. Insane. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 24 June 2015

It has been repeatedly pointed out that we follow what reliable sources say, not our own opinions. Please do not make attacks on the integrity of other editors and do not use this talk page as a forum.Charles (talk) 21:58, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
@IP87.211.43.32, I'll explain why I would have reverted your edits. It is not clear that you understand what an infinite regress is. It is a logical problem with an argument. To escape an infinite regress, one must show either that it can be stopped or it is not problematic. The only way that ID can escape it is by appealing to religious creationism. The infinite regress is not explained by religious creationism, it is escaped by admitting that ID is religious creationism. So, you changed the meaning of the sentence such that it was nonsensical. --I am One of Many (talk) 22:19, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

Proposal to Change Introductory Lines of Article[edit]

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: I propose that we write, "Intelligent design (ID) is the theoretical view, etc.", instead of writing, "Intelligent design (ID) is the pseudoscientific view, etc.", because of its biased association in the way that it is presently worded, and which wording borders on infringement of WP:NPOV. Perhaps, though, it can be remarked in the body of the article that there are some who hold Intelligent Design to be "pseudoscientific." The reason for my requesting this change in the article's opening statement is because often science itself is involved with advancing theories. There's nothing wrong, per se, with theories if they can be based on logic and reason.

Someone once wrote: "The first step in the process of scientific inquiry, and one of the most important, is often overlooked: observation and inquisitiveness."

Observation and inquisitiveness are also some of the first steps in understanding our Creator. For example, one of the rationales for having two eyes - besides giving us a better perception of depth, dimension and balance - is so that if one eye becomes impaired man would still be able to make use of his other eye - since eyesight is vital sometimes for his survival. The same logic can be said to be true about the necessity of having two nostrils, which are not merely needed for their olfactory function, but also for the intake of oxygen. If one becomes clogged, the other can be used; and if both are clogged, the mouth can be used as a last resort. So, too, the body's need for having two reproductive glands (the testes in the male, and the ovaries in the female), if one is impaired, the other can still be used for procreation. The rationale for having two ears and two kidneys falls along these same lines, viz., if one is impaired &c. Hearing is sometimes vital to man's safety, and warns him of incoming danger.

Now, if our bodies had merely evolved from a germ, the above rational scenarios would not have played any role whatsoever in man's development. Rather, there must have been something else at the very beginning which gave to the body this "life-saving" ability because of perceived dangers to the body, or to ensure its procreation. What limbs were meant to have a "back-up" could have only come from our Maker Himself, who is a rational Being. Although this view might fall under the category of WP:NOR, I wish to assure our readers that this view is not for publication on WP. However, we do find other reliable published sources that point to Intelligent Design. Scientist and quantum theorist, Robert Lanza, has written in his book, Biocentrism, p. 7:

“In the last few decades, there has been considerable discussion of a basic paradox in the construction of the universe as we know it. Why are the laws of physics exactly balanced for animal life to exist? For example, if the Big Bang had been one-part-in-a-million more powerful, it would have rushed out too fast for the galaxies and life to develop. If the strong nuclear force were decreased 2 percent, atomic nuclei wouldn’t hold together, and plain-vanilla hydrogen would be the only kind of atom in the universe. If the gravitational force were decreased by a hair, stars (including the Sun) would not ignite. These are just three of just more than two hundred physical parameters within the solar system and universe so exact that it strains credulity to propose that they are random – even if that is exactly what standard contemporary physics boldly suggests.” ----Davidbena (talk) 02:08, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

Hey Davidbena, I hate to tell you this, but no one here is among whom are concerned. The article is meant to be an article demonstrating that the Wikipedia position is that ID is pseudoscience. It's meant to discredit ID and you are proposing that the article be written in a neutral manner and the editors who have made the article clear in it's discrediting ID have no interest in changing the article to be neutral. They view themselves as fair and objective. So their POV must be the neutral POV. By definition. (talk) 02:48, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
But is that really fair, seeing that many in our English-speaking world, especially deists, may some day read this article entitled "Intelligent Design"? You admit that it does not reflect a neutral point-of-view, which in WP stated policy ought to reflect that view, unless you were to change the article's title to read something like: "Arguments in favor of rejecting the ID Theory," or something similar. The current title, therefore, is misleading, insofar that it takes the readers in a completely opposite direction, when, in fact, many well-grounded scientists still support the view of Intelligent Design. I personally know an Israeli nuclear physicist who believes that our universe was created by the Creator (i.e. Intelligent Design).Davidbena (talk) 03:22, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
If you read further in NPOV policy, you'll come to the #Fringe theories and pseudoscience section, which requires that a "pseudoscientific view should be clearly described as such." The opening sentence does that. You write of "the first steps in understanding our Creator"; a theological point, but ID is supposedly "an evidence-based scientific theory about life's origins" – classic pseudoscience.
Of course there are theological discussions dealing with scientific evidence: I commend to you Finding Darwin's God, but ID tries to hide its religious basis. Your arguments are indeed original research unless and until you propose a published reliable source making these arguments.
WP:NOTAFORUM, but having just watched Neil Shubin's Your Inner Fish, your argument that the "design" of testes "could have only come from our Maker Himself, who is a rational Being" doesn't seem to work well with the point that the testes in fish are in their chest; in human embryos the testes start there and then migrate down through the abdominal wall to a cooler position. Thus rationally forming a weak point for hernias. Any attribution of hernias to our Maker Himself is theology, not science. . . dave souza, talk 06:56, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
User:Dave souza, inevitably, anyone who espouses the "Intelligent Design" theory is, in effect, admitting that there is a Creator, in the sense that he has master-minded and created our planet, all life forms in it, as well as the universe at large. It is, therefore, a matter of unavoidable coincidence and of semantics. It just so happens that this subject becomes invariably related to, both, theoretical science and to theology, although with no intention of belaboring the theological ramifications related to the theory, whose place is rightfully not here. The sole purpose here, however, is to discuss the logical sequences related to why, from a scientific-theoretical point-of-view, the theory of "Intelligent Design" is either logical or illogical, with due-balance given to both. Whether or not the topic itself is to be considered a "fringe-view," as you suggest, depends entirely upon what sources you bring down. There are many intelligent and reliable sources that would impugn that view. My argument here is that the theory of "Intelligent Design" is not at all a "pseudoscientific view," but rather a theory having its own scientific-theoretical merits, just as Einstein's Theory of Relativity had its own scientific-theoretical merits until proven accurate. Also, the fact that there have been several theories (both, pro and con), which apparently don't agree with themselves, indicates that perhaps none of them are particularly supported, and WP:WEIGHT might come into play there.
As for your statement about fish having testes in their chest, you've missed my point altogether. The import here was that where there is a likelihood of losing a vital organ necessary for reproduction, such as the external organs of the testes (and which must of necessity be external in order to regulate their body temperature for the production of sperm), two were made to ensure its survivability. This is not related to a fetus where the organs are still undeveloped and are not exposed to any threat; neither is it related to fish, although a parasitic disease in one organ would justify having two also in fish.Davidbena (talk) 13:11, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

Special:Contributions/, and User:Dave souza, would you think that it would be better for us to have two separate WP articles on Intelligent Design, one pro and the other con (as is currently the position of this article)? The reason why I'm asking you is because the proponents of ID have a valid argument when they say that the earth and the creatures therein have been created by a Rational Being, and that there was never merely an "accidental" existence where we and the creatures on this earth evolved over a long period of time from a living germ. For had there been as the Darwin theorists claim, we would have been able to see, not only for man, but for all living creatures, a vital and living connection today of intermediate stages - all in between - for every animal on this earth. We would be able to see apes just now beginning to speak and to utter words similar to those of man. In reality, however, there is still a long-shot between man and ape, and therefore it is only in the realm of theory. Nowhere do we find the intermediate links between all living species for there to have been a perpetual evolution.

Moreover, if life evolved over a long period of time, who was it that gave the intelligence to the evolving body (i.e. amoeba) and told it that it just might need a pair of eyes to get along in this world, so that it naturally sent out the signals to the body to develop eye-sight??! An amazing feat of evolution, wouldn't you say, that gave to itself the knack and know-how to develop such a sense of sight in order to keep the body from falling off cliffs, and stumbling in the dark, etc.??? And who gave intelligence to the human body to develop bones (a rib cage) around the vital organs in order to protect those same organs from injury, or who gave to it the understanding so that it would make for itself an enclosing membrane around the brain in order to hold the brain in tact and to keep it from becoming a jumbled mass of blood and matter when the head is violently shaken?? And who gave to that amoeba the intelligence to know that a man's fingers should not be made with smooth skin, but rather with skin that has ridges and grooves etched deep within the skin of those same fingers in order to facilitate the grasping and holding of objects without them slipping??!! The scenarios are endless, but if I were to write them all down here I’d be accused of WP:OR, which I have no mind to do here, although everything here points to Intelligent Design. What I am saying, however, is that it suffices us to recognize the research done in this field from respected scientists or laymen, and for us to admit that our modern science of today is often based upon speculation ---- i.e. speculative science. Speculative science which points to evolution (to be distinguished from mutations and cross-breeding in species, which are proven) has no more weight in our presentation of ID than do the theories advanced and which advocate Intelligent Design.

Lord Jonathan Sacks has given some thought about science and creationism in his book, The Great Partnership: God, Science and the Search for Meaning, (pub. New York: Schocken Books 2011), and where he discusses life on earth. He gives to the proponents of evolution the benefit of the doubt and assumes, for the sake of argument, that all life, at first, propagated itself asexually, by cell division, budding, fragmentation or parthenogenesis, all of which are far simpler and more economical than the division of life into male and female, each with a different role in creating and sustaining life. When, then, we ought to ask ourselves, did these simple dividing cells comprised of two similar organisms “decide” to come together to perform the first instance of sexual reproduction, with male and female, and each with a different role in creating and sustaining life? Why was this necessary for nearly all animal species, and for some tree species (e.g. date palm trees and terebinth trees, etc., where there are, both, male and female trees)? When we consider, even in the animal kingdom, how much effort and energy the coming together of male and female takes, in terms of displays, courtship rituals, rivalries and violence, it is astonishing that sexual reproduction ever happened at all. This, too, points to an arrangement that only a Supreme Being could have made possible, since the human species and the division of life into male and female, was made to provide the maximum advantage in pro-creation and in sustaining life, with pair-bonding and the sharing of different responsibilities until the child can grow up to stand on his own. Cheers.Davidbena (talk) 15:50, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

We don't separate articles into pro and con versions. See WP:POVFORK. Please try to keep your responses focused on suggestions for article improvement and listing sources. Discussion of the topic is not appropriate per WP:NOTFORUM. Thanks.   — Jess· Δ 15:55, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
Okay, Special:Contributions/Mann_jess, so can we think about making this article more neutral, with a view to representing (with a certain scholarly respect), both, the proponents of the theory of Intelligent Design, and those who do not buy-in to the theory? The current opening statement is, to say the least, quite biased. IMHO.Davidbena (talk) 18:15, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
@ Davidbena, a lot of thought has already been put into making this article fully neutral and compliant with WP:NPOV policy in full, including the due weight and Fringe theories and pseudoscience provisions. Perhaps you've not noticed the header note For generic arguments from "intelligent design", see Teleological argument; your comments look more related to that article. Your lack of scholarly respect for the various scientists and educators cited in the article is noted. . dave souza, talk 18:24, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Thanks for the short reply. Basically, wikipedia works differently than some other publications. We exclusively report what the reliable sources say, and we have a bias to the academic, scientific perspective. When we use the word "neutral" on wikipedia, that's what we mean. We don't mean giving equal time to both "sides". So, the question is, does the article represent the best sources we have? Based on the sources I've seen, I think it does. If you have other sources you'd like to propose we include, feel free to list them here.   — Jess· Δ 18:26, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
User:Dave souza, that's just the thing. From the moment that I began reading this article I took notice of the fact that the article is NOT neutral, and has generally neglected other academic, scientific and scholarly views. I have already mentioned two. With all due respect to the sources quoted, the writers of this article could have done much better. There is a clear, pre-meditated slant that points in one direction, and which generally seeks to denigrate the theory of Intelligent Design. This should not be our aim as editors on WP.Davidbena (talk) 18:36, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
You've mentioned two sources: you misrepresent Lanza's book, and while the book by Saks is less readily available online, considerable clarification would be needed to show any relevance. . dave souza, talk 18:55, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
For the edification and amusement of others, Robert Lanza; Bob Berman (21 August 2013). Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe. BenBella Books, Inc. pp. 53–54. ISBN 978-1-935251-24-8.  has the only two references to "intelligent design" in the book, and includes the statement "One is to say 'God did that,' which explains nothing even if it is true." That looks like a pretty good summary of ID, but doesn't seem to support Davidbena's assertions. . . dave souza, talk 19:04, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
On the contrary, User:Dave souza, you seem to have only partially quoted from Lanza. Had you read further along, you would have seen that Lanza concludes that no matter how you wish to view our universe and life upon our planet earth, "one has to come to terms with the fact that we are living in a very peculiar cosmos." He moves on from there, where he begins talking about the Big Bang theory. You see, he is trying to build a picture of the whole of our existence, and to make sense out of it all.Davidbena (talk) 19:19, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
Sure, but what he's not doing is calling it intelligent design, so that doesn't work as a source for this article. . . dave souza, talk 22:01, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
User:Dave souza, the statement is implied. Anyone reading Lanza's statement clearly understands that Intelligent Design is implied there. One doesn't have to be too smart to see that. Davidbena (talk) 22:48, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
Nope, he calls his idea "biocentrism" and explicitly avoids the label "Intelligent Design" as "a Pandora's box that opens up all manner of arguments for the Bible, and other topics that are irrelevant here, or worse." Your original research is equally irrelevant. . . dave souza, talk 05:52, 26 June 2015 (UTC)
User:Dave souza, while Dr. Lanza might have purposely avoided using the term "Intelligent design" in his book entitled Biocentrism, without question, he alludes to it by his undertaking the tremendous task of explaining consciousness in all that pertains to those things in our cosmos. In fact, if you remember Dr. Lanza's exact words in the quote that I brought down, "...These are just three of just more than two hundred physical parameters within the solar system and universe so exact that it strains credulity to propose that they are random." These words speak for themselves. For Dr. Lanza, consciousness is another way of saying a Rational Being and, by extension, Intelligent Design. As you said, perhaps Dr. Lanza chose to pursue his theoretical discourse in this not-so-conventional manner in order to avoid the theological ramifications and/or stereotypes that would otherwise be implied by doing so. Notwithstanding, his approach to this subject fits within the scope and parameters of Intelligent Design, and are relevant to our WP article. Be well.Davidbena (talk) 14:35, 26 June 2015 (UTC)
One more thing, User:Dave souza, your deferral to the article Teleological argument, a lesser known term used to describe "Intelligent Design," is a way of deferring our attention from what is clearly known in theological and scientific circles as "Intelligent Design." Maimonides refers to it under the name "Intelligent Design" in his Guide for the Perplexed. This article, therefore, is the proper venue and place for discussing all sides of the argument relating to Intelligent Design.Davidbena (talk) 18:45, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
Oh no it's not, have a look in the archives. The teleological argument article might have been called "intelligent design" if that was the commonest term for it, but unfortunately cdesign proponentsists pinched the words as a supposedly non-religious label for creationism. You're too late. . dave souza, talk 18:55, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
User:Dave souza, I'm sorry to disappoint you, but the general meaning and use of the term "Intelligent Design" is not made subject to, nor is it dependent upon, discussions about this term in the archives of Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia.Davidbena (talk) 19:26, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

User:Dave souza, since you are an administrator on WP (while I am not), would you agree that we seek more professional advice, say, through mediation, whether or not there is a place to make this current article conform to the WP standard of WP:NPOV? I, of course, will not risk being blocked because of my convictions. The truth is, whenever I contend with an administrator (i.e. disagree with him), this is always in the back of my mind. We all, I'm sure, only want the best for Wikipedia articles.Davidbena (talk) 19:37, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

You need reliable, published sources before any change can be made to the article or before anyone will treat anything you say as credible. Until that point, everything you're saying is a waste of editors' time. It's ludicrous that you think there's a need for mediation based on your sourceless opinion that the ID needs to be treated as more credible. Rwenonah (talk) 19:45, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
I have already mentioned two reliable, published sources, whose opinions are also worthy of taking into account, since - after all - we are discussing theories here. I can also bring down many more. In the weeks to come, hopefully, I will lay forth my suggestions on this Talk Page what I think should be changed in the article, based on those sources. Give me a few days or weeks to collect this information.Davidbena (talk) 21:01, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
Be concise, show exactly what the sources say, and take great care to follow core policies, specifically WP:V, WP:NOR and WP:NPOV. Don't expect long screeds of original research to be persuasive. . . dave souza, talk 22:01, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
Also, please remember that "this article is about a form of creationism". It is NOT the Teleological argument, nor is it about the phrase "intelligent design" and its use outside creationism. Myrvin (talk) 06:37, 26 June 2015 (UTC)
User:Myrvin, if, as you say, this article is not about the phrase "intelligent design," then why are the words "Intelligent design" used as the title of this article?Davidbena (talk) 19:03, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
It's about the concept, not the phrase. Generally, articles are about the concepts or things they are named after, not the names themselves. This is fairly self-evident from the article's content. Rwenonah (talk)
I think my comment flushed out a big part of the problem here. Myrvin (talk) 19:17, 27 June 2015 (UTC)

Suggested URLs[edit]

The following two URL's give a general overview of what someone should expect in an article treating on this vast and important subject, with, of course, the pros and cons of the theory which might be lacking in those articles: The first, [1]; and the second, [2]. I have examined some of the research conducted in this field, and in a few days I will be presenting my findings.Davidbena (talk) 02:03, 29 June 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── These are rather in-universe, the first is an ID website listed under Discovery Institute intelligent design campaigns, the second is the New World Encyclopedia — "an Internet encyclopedia that, in part, selects and rewrites certain Wikipedia articles through a focus on Unification values." So, not a reliable source, a pointer to Moonie thought. . . dave souza, talk 06:01, 29 June 2015 (UTC)

The Moonies? - good grief ! NWE: "The originator of this project is Sun Myung Moon. NWE editors and contributors promote the ideal of joy and universal happiness." All this seems very disruptive, and is not getting us anywhere. Isn't it time we moved on? Myrvin (talk) 06:32, 29 June 2015 (UTC)
Whatever the motives or beliefs of the party who wrote the article in the second URL, that is beside the point. We are only concerned here with the theory of ID and how it plays out in science. I hope that editors here will be able to distinguish between the two. Davidbena (talk) 14:20, 29 June 2015 (UTC)
It's not beside the point. We don't treat sources written by "" or with deliberate bias toward the ideas of the Unification Church the same as sources written by reliable, neutral bodies. The "general overview" those websites are going to present is obviously going to be massively biased toward "pros". Maybe read this Wikipedia:Reliable sources. Rwenonah (talk) 14:41, 29 June 2015 (UTC)
It is time Davidbena made the argument for his proposal citing reliable sources that accord with Wikipedia policy. I looked at his supposed sources and they are not sources of the quality and reliability that an encyclopedia requires (just read the NWE article on Darwin to see). Yes good grief! The Moonies??? and a source that is an apologist site for intelligent design. Davidbena you are so so wrong that the beliefs or motives of an author or authors of a site or other publication are beside the point. They have a significant bearing on judging why someone is arguing what they are arguing. Make the argument. Support it with reliable sources and references. Or just accept that you will not win here. Write a blog instead where you are free to preach anything you like.Robynthehode (talk) 18:19, 29 June 2015 (UTC)
I will present the arguments for changes in the current article in a few days, based upon reliable information gleaned from trustworthy academic sources. Please be patient. Your mentioning of the Moonies again has absolutely nothing to do with the second link that I posted here, but is only a distraction from the main issues at hand. To mention his or their religion is like mentioning Einstein's religion in an effort to discredit any scientific views or theories that he might have. That would be a non sequitur. Be well. Davidbena (talk) 18:49, 29 June 2015 (UTC)
Did you read the second ref. At the top it says "See New World Encyclopedia entry on intelligent design." They are linked. Myrvin (talk) 18:56, 29 June 2015 (UTC)
Notwithstanding, the scientific information disclosed by an individual or organization is still valid and must be judged on its own merits.Davidbena (talk) 19:00, 29 June 2015 (UTC)
Davidbena, you seem to misunderstand the implications of WP:SOURCES policy for science related topics, and policy on WP:WEIGHT and WP:PSCI. Try to understand these linked policies, and follow them properly. . . dave souza, talk 20:24, 29 June 2015 (UTC)
User:Dave souza, even in the link that is brought down here, in the beginning of this article, it admits that "the theory of intelligent design (ID) holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause rather than an undirected process such as natural selection. ID is thus a scientific disagreement with the core claim of evolutionary theory that the apparent design of living systems is an illusion that can be adequately explained by only natural causes." You can see it here: [3] by scrolling down to the caption: Intelligent Design. In any rate, it is NOT considered "pseudoscience" as is wrongly portrayed of the ID theory at the beginning of the main article. It is, therefore, perhaps better to use the wording: "Intelligent design (ID) is the theoretical view, etc.", instead of writing, "Intelligent design (ID) is the pseudoscientific view, etc." In this way, we can open-up the article for a more neutral presentation about the subject matter.Davidbena (talk) 22:11, 29 June 2015 (UTC)

Chill all. Hmm, methinks y'all too obviously just having fun piling on there and perhaps a bit too obvious appearance of hypocrisy over when you want to say 'pseudoscience' or 'teleological' or reason about fish testes it doesn't have to pass any test but those suddenly show up whenever he mentions anything ? I mean he's hardly the first - or tenth or fiftieth maybe - to say the "pseudoscience" does not belong. It's an obviously biased article on a topic that was contentious, would it not serve the article and participants a bit better to just calm the enthusiasms or exaggerations and claims to high ground a bit and keep the perspective in mind ? Markbassett (talk) 21:22, 29 June 2015 (UTC)


Without question, the present article is biased when it says of the Intelligent Design theory that it is "pseudoscientific." Anyone looking at the link at the beginning of the article can see that it disagrees with such a determination. Rather, there it says: "Intelligent design is a scientific theory which holds that certain features of the universe and living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, and are not the result of an undirected, chance-based process such as Darwinian evolution." You can see it here: [4]. Be well. Davidbena (talk) 22:24, 29 June 2015 (UTC)
ID is pseudoscience by every conceivable definition of the word, as infinite numbers of sources have affirmed. ID conforms exactly to the definition of pseudoscience. Even ID proponents acknowledge that it's not a valid scientific theory while continuing to try to present it as equally scientifically valid to evolution. The source you presented above, which incidentally isn't in the article that I can see, is from an organization explicitly established to promote intelligent design. Present some neutral, reliable sources please, or see your claims continuing to be discarded.Rwenonah (talk) 22:41, 29 June 2015 (UTC)
That is incorrect. WP states: “Pseudoscientific theories are presented by proponents as science, but characteristically fail to adhere to scientific standards and methods.” See: [5]. The “scientific method” is defined as a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry is commonly based on empirical or measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning. The Oxford English Dictionary defines the scientific method as "a method or procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses."
Proof of "scientific method" as defined above can be seen in the dialogue between two professors on the subject of Intelligent Design on this YouTube video, [6], beginning from 11:57 – 20:46 on bacterial flagellum, but especially from 24:06 – 32:32, in which Dr. Behe speaks about the evolutionary laboratory experiment conducted by him. If you were to follow the arguments presented by these two professors, you will see that Dr. Michael Behe, Professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University, meets these qualifications of presenting “scientific methods” of analysis when speaking about ID. He uses scientific standards and methods to support his theory. Therefore, the term "pseudoscientific" in this case, for the Intelligent Design theory, is without question inaccurate. Davidbena (talk) 01:39, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
Have you read the articles about Michael Behe and Irreducible complexity? --Ebyabe talk - Health and Welfare ‖ 01:46, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
Yesterday, I spent the greater part of the day at the Hebrew University library in Jerusalem, reading different books on the subject of Intelligent Design. Since the subject is very broad, I have not yet read the article that you mentioned.Davidbena (talk) 01:54, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
Davidbena, you should make yourself familiar with Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District/4:Whether ID Is Science. Since you've been trying to whip up stuff about flagella, this is discussed at Page 76 onwards. . . dave souza, talk 08:33, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
My point, User:Dave souza, was that this particular argument is based on solid scientific principles. But this is, by no means, the only argument or logical sequence used to support the Intelligent Design theory. William Paley’s watch analogy uses a basic argument which would have us consider the intricacies of a pocket-watch; all the fine components working together to produce movement. Most would agree that our universe and planet, or, for that matter, the human body itself, is far more intricate and complex in their design. Now if the earth’s existence was random, or man’s existence was random, meaning, the universe was fine-tuned to promote life on earth after many years of evolution, is it conceivable that in 4.6 billion years a pocket-watch could have ever evolve? Hardly likely! Yet, the human body is far more complex and intricate than our common pocket-watch! This kind of analogy is called an A Fortiori (an inference from minor to major premise) showing how it strains credulity to think that our own complex human form can evolve of itself in 4.6 billion years or more. If a pocket-watch cannot evolve, which is far less complex than our bodies, how much more then is it impossible for our planet and universe and our bodies to have evolved without a Designer!
According to the book, Evidence and Evolution, by Elliott Sober (Cambridge University Press 2008), p. 120, Paley writes in Chapter 15 of his book Natural Theology, that "the eyes are so placed as to look in the direction in which the legs move and the hands work." The obvious explanation, Paley says, is intelligent design. This is because the alternative explanation is chance; if the direction in which our eyes point were "left to chance [...] there were at least three-quarters of the compass out of four to have erred in" (Paley 1809:269).Davidbena (talk) 15:18, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
Davidbena, you are using a pseudoscientific argument, one in which the conclusion is known and the argument is fitted to match the conclusion. Science does not do that. Binksternet (talk) 15:31, 30 June 2015 (UTC)

I beg to differ, my good friend, User:Binksternet. If you were to read Phillip E. Johnson's book, Defeating Darwinism (pub. in Illinois in 1997), pp. 80–81, he argues there: "Science also means 'applied materialist philosophy.' Scientists who are materialists always look for strictly materialist explanations of every phenomenon, and they want to believe that such explanations always exist." In other words, they'll say while trying to trace and describe the cause of all things in the universe that everything is the result of a law of Nature, and that everything is the necessary result of the motions and influences of the spheres, and, in the case of our own existence, that "ultraviolet light from the sun and lightning synthesized amino acids and these gradually combined into proteins, enzymes, and evolved eventually into living cells." However, as Phillip Johnson continues in his book (ibid.), he brings down the respected opinion of one of the most influential biologists in the world, Richard Lewontin, who has written: "It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. The eminent Kant scholar Lewis Beck used to say that anyone who could believe in God could believe in anything. To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that miracles may happen." In conclusion, Johnson writes: "In other words, evolution is not a fact, it's a philosophy. The materialism comes first (a priori), and the evidence is interpreted in light of that unchangeable philosophical commitment."

Taking this one step further, when speaking about the alternative (i.e. Darwin's random or "accidental" evolution), Sir Karl Raimund Popper, a renowned philosopher of science, once wrote (Paper entitled: "Natural Selection and Its Scientific Status," published by David Miller 1985, pp. 241-243; see also Popper 1978): “When speaking here of Darwinism, I shall speak always of today's theory - that is Darwin's own theory of natural selection supported by the Mendelian theory of heredity, by the theory of the mutation and recombination of genes in a gene pool, and by the decoded genetic code. This is an immensely impressive and powerful theory. The claim that it completely explains evolution is of course a bold claim, and very far from being established. All scientific theories are conjectures, even those that have successfully passed many severe and varied tests. The Mendelian underpinning of modern Darwinism has been well tested, and so has the theory of evolution which says that all terrestrial life has evolved from a few primitive unicellular organisms, possibly even from one single organism.”

Therefore, based on WP:UNDUE, which states: "Neutrality requires that each article or other page in the main space fairly represents all significant viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources, in proportion to the prominence of each viewpoint in the published, reliable sources. Giving due weight and avoiding giving undue weight means that articles should not give minority views as much of, or as detailed, a description as more widely held views." With this as our guideline, an article treating on the Intelligent Design theory should at least represent the pro-active views on that theory - both, pro and con views. ----Davidbena (talk) 16:12, 30 June 2015 (UTC)

User:Dave souza, in answer to your last statement to me, the link that you copied in your last post to me states explicitly that research is still ongoing in the subject of bacterial flagellum. Furthermore, the arguments raised against Dr. Behe's conclusions can mean very little without hearing a rejoinder from Dr. Behe himself.Davidbena (talk) 16:17, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
Of course scientific research continues, that's a characteristic of real science. However, there's been a continuing failure to produce any ID research: Behe's The Edge of Evolution isn't peer reviewed, and has such howlers as divine Intelligent Design intervention supposedly being needed for malaria to evolve and kill more babies, or to produce HIV: see that article for the scientific status of these claims. . . dave souza, talk 16:59, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
My friend, we have already shown that Dr. Behe's words are not merely idle protestations, but are and have been demonstrable with scientific (not pseudoscientific) research.Davidbena (talk) 17:14, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
Certainly this article should present the views of ID adherents, but not without couching those views in pseudoscience. Binksternet (talk) 16:36, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
I have already shown in unequivocal terms how that in Dr. Behe's presentation of ID there is nothing that would suggest that it is pseudoscience, but only a scientific theory, equal to and/or comparable with any other scientific theory.Davidbena (talk) 17:09, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
I'm amazed you actually used a book called Defeating Darwinism as a source. That's not a reliable source in any sense of the word (on the contrary, it's a book about how to undermine evolution and make people believe in intelligent design). Any claims it makes are probably fringe and biased, and we can't and shouldn't give them equal validity to commonly accepted mainstream scholarship. One fringe and obviously biased source isn't sufficient to dismiss mainstream scientific consensus as biased and irrelevant. In fact, that's what this discussion boils down to; there's an overwhelming consensus that ID isn't science among mainstream scholarly opinion, which is what Wikipedia is based on. No sources you've presented have yet disproved that, or shown that anything more than a tiny and usually highly biased (i.e. creationist) minority of scholars believes otherwise. In consequence, showing pros and cons would create a false balance by giving equal validity to two viewpoints which aren't equally valid. Rwenonah (talk) 16:45, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
I disagree, User:Rwenonah. The book brings down an alternative point of view, and, let us not forget that it was written by a Berkeley law professor. His opinion is heavy-weight, so much so that the American National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) was forced to change their official position on a statement issued by them in 1995, in which they had erroneously written: "The diversity of life on earth is the outcome of evolution; an unsupervised, impersonal, unpredictable and natural process of temporal descent with genetic modification that is affected by natural selection, chance, historical contingencies and changing environments." After the publication of Johnson's book in 1997, the words unsupervised and impersonal were deleted from the NABT statement. Furthermore, all the above arguments that I've taken the time and patience to write are just as valid as any. Would you agree that we pursue mediation, and let them decide what should and should not be in the main article?Davidbena (talk) 17:00, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
That's a display of political pressure and the action of the massive intelligent design lobby in the US, not a change based on philosophical or scientific considerations, so I'm not sure how that's relevant. I think you used the word "erroneously" to describe the idea that evolution occurs impersonally and without supervision makes your POV on this topic obvious. Rwenonah (talk) 17:08, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
By the dupes of words artfully framed it is, sometimes, easy to misconstrue the simple facts. My opinion still stands.Davidbena (talk) 17:11, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
Just to note, Phillip E. Johnson's "theistic science" has gained no traction, not least because it's unworkable.[7] . . dave souza, talk 17:13, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
Well, User:Dave souza, if you approach the subject from the position and perspective of theology, you might be right. Here, however, we should avoid discussing the theological ramifications of ID, and just limit this article to the scientific and logical conclusions reached by the scientists in their various researches. Let us not forget, too, that ID theorists are broken-down into several categories: There are those on the extreme opposite spectrum, viz. those who adhere to naturalistic evolution. Then you've got theistic evolutionists (such as Dr. Keith Fox), and then you've got `Intelligent-design` theorists (such as Dr. Michal Behe), and finally you've got scientific-creationists who believe in the literal six-days of creation. Best to avoid all of this and to discuss only the aspects of the ID theory itself. IMHO.Davidbena (talk) 17:26, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
To quote from the WP article on Johnson's ideas, "The clear consensus of the scientific community considers Johnson's opinions on evolution ... to be pseudoscience."[1][2][3][4]. Rwenonah (talk) 17:34, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference Pseudoscience was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ Mu, David (Fall 2005). "Trojan Horse or Legitimate Science: Deconstructing the Debate over Intelligent Design" (PDF). Harvard Science Review (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Science Review, Inc.) 19 (1): 22–25. Retrieved December 26, 2013. ...for most members of the mainstream scientific community, ID is not a scientific theory, but a creationist pseudoscience. 
  3. ^ Workosky, Cindy (August 3, 2005). "National Science Teachers Association Disappointed About Intelligent Design Comments Made by President Bush" (Press release). Arlington, VA: National Science Teachers Association. Retrieved December 26, 2013. 'We stand with the nation's leading scientific organizations and scientists, including Dr. John Marburger, the president's top science advisor, in stating that intelligent design is not science.' ... 'It is simply not fair to present pseudoscience to students in the science classroom.' 
  4. ^ Attie, Alan D.; Sober, Elliott; Numbers, Ronald L.; Amasino, Richard M.; Cox, Beth; Berceau, Terese; Powell, Thomas; Cox, Michael M. (May 1, 2006). "Defending science education against intelligent design: a call to action". Journal of Clinical Investigation (Ann Arbor, MI: American Society for Clinical Investigation) 116 (5): 1134–1138. doi:10.1172/JCI28449. ISSN 0021-9738. PMC 1451210. PMID 16670753. Retrieved December 26, 2013. 

Pseudoscience: location within lead[edit]


Exactly so. Johnson is a law professor bent on bending laws to comply with religious perspectives, not at all interested in science.

My argument against the lead word "pseudoscientific" I have brought up in the past and it was never adequately addressed, but rather each time I brought it up the discussion diverged and my objection was always dismissed. The problem is, we could substitute the word "pseudoscience" with "bullshit" in the lead sentence, and it would mean the same thing to nearly 100% of lay readers, which is Wikipedia's intended audience.

Those of us with scientific training know exactly what the words "pseudoscience" and "theory" mean, and we know that ID is pseudoscience, and not a scientific theory. But we are not writing for an audience of scientists. My position always has been that it is not Wikipedia's business to use contentious adjectives in Wikipedia's narrative voice. Using adjectives almost always comes across as telling readers what to think. Most sentences are improved and rendered more neutral if adjectives are removed. Then nobody can accuse us of telling readers what to think. The facts should speak for themselves. Simply starting out "Intelligent design (ID) is the view that..." would be a vast improvement, and the word "pseudoscience" can easily be inserted with references in one of the sentences that follow. I think it would flow better, be more accurate, and less contentious. ~Amatulić (talk) 17:38, 30 June 2015 (UTC)

User:Amatulic#top, that is not an objective statement, but subjective. There are other scientists and researchers and college professors who clearly disagree with you, therefore, it is at best a disputed issue and worthy of being recognized as such. Why are we beating the bush here? Our friend Rwenonah brings down a group related to "the scientific community," and says their views represent the consensus - which, by the way, is far from being conclusive, as she overlooks the others who are related to the "scientific community": such as Dr. Michael Behe and Elliott Sober and Ronald L. Numbers and Pierre Grassé, a renowned French zoologist, who all question the integrity of Darwin's view on "accidental" evolution. Just for the record: Pierre Grassé concluded quite sarcastically, after assessing Darwin's seminal work, that "mysterious internal factors" in organisms enabled them somehow to evolve toward complexity and diversity. Then, after rejecting Neo-Darwinism, Grassé suggests: "It is possible that in this domain, biology - impotent - yields the floor to metaphysics." See Grassé's words in Doubts about Darwin, a book written by Thomas Woodward, p. 39. Be well. Davidbena (talk) 18:01, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
No, there are only a small minority of scientists who would disagree with me. It isn't disputed that ID is pseudoscience; the dispute is manufactured by ID's adherents, who are not representative of the scientific community. Just a sampling of scientists named "Steve" far outnumber ID proponents with scientific credentials. My objection to "pseudoscientific" in the lead is a stylistic one relating to the WP:NPOV requirement in Wikipedia, and I believe that the basis of my objection has greater weight than than relying on the arguments of creationists like Phil Johnson, who does not practice science. Behe's arguments have been discredited already, and Pierre Grasse had no concept of pseudoscience; he wasn't opposed to evolution (his own views tended toward Lamarckism), he just objected to Darwinism specifically (and yes, there is a distinction, which few creationists can recognize). You are not helping yourself by rehashing tired arguments. ~Amatulić (talk) 18:12, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
Actually, there are many scientists who would disagree with you. My wife's uncle is a nuclear physicist here, in Israel, and he holds to the theory of ID. While I have named only a few, I can bring down the names of others. In any rate, the current article is clearly slanted to represent only one view. It is far better for us as impartial editors to report in a fair and objective manner all views.Davidbena (talk) 19:37, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
If this is a contest of numbers, the ID adherants are such a small minority that they are not significant. As stated earlier, the number of scientists named "Steve" outnumber all scientists who subscribe to ID. No need to play that game. ~Amatulić (talk) 20:01, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
@ Amatulić, you'll appreciate that NPOV: Fringe theories and pseudoscience policy requires that "The pseudoscientific view should be clearly described as such." As you say, lay readers may not be familiar with the meaning, though the link gives ready clarification. The problem with moving the word later into the lead is that the ID definition obscures that point, and giving primacy to that obfuscation is likely to mislead these uninformed lay readers. . . dave souza, talk 18:46, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
@Dave souza: I am well aware of WP:PSCI and what it says. There is zero requirement to use an adjective that equates to the word "bullshit" in the minds of most readers. There is a requirement to describe ID as pseudoscience (and it is a far stronger statement to describe it as a noun, not an adjective that is subjective by its nature). There is no obscuration of the fact in doing so, and I find the concept that it would be somehow "misleading" is mind boggling. ~Amatulić (talk) 20:01, 30 June 2015 (UTC)

Suggestion for current article: ID[edit]

Is it possible for us to agree here and to at least have the representation of other views, such as by adding this window to our article, or something along these lines (with or without modification)?

Robert Lanza and Consciousness
Robert Lanza in laboratory

Dr. Robert Lanza, in his book Biocentrism, alludes to Intelligent Design without mentioning it. He has undertaken the tremendous task of explaining consciousness in all that pertains to those things in our cosmos, or what is another way of saying a Rational Being and, by extension, Intelligent Design:

“In the last few decades, there has been considerable discussion of a basic paradox in the construction of the universe as we know it. Why are the laws of physics exactly balanced for animal life to exist? For example, if the Big Bang had been one-part-in-a-million more powerful, it would have rushed out too fast for the galaxies and life to develop. If the strong nuclear force were decreased 2 percent, atomic nuclei wouldn’t hold together, and plain-vanilla hydrogen would be the only kind of atom in the universe. If the gravitational force were decreased by a hair, stars (including the Sun) would not ignite. These are just three of just more than two hundred physical parameters within the solar system and universe so exact that it strains credulity to propose that they are random – even if that is exactly what standard contemporary physics boldly suggests.”

This, in my humble opinion, seems to be an easy way to tackle the issue of "divergent views," without voicing our opinion one way or the other. Davidbena (talk) 19:28, 30 June 2015 (UTC)

The article is about ID. There's no reason to add books that don't even mention it as sources when there are virtually infinite numbers that do. To reiterate what was said above, there really are no divergent views, at least not among mainstream scientists. The idea that there are is manufactured by those who support ID to give credibility to their position. Rwenonah (talk) 19:34, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
Dr. Lanza's remarks hit square in the center of the whole idea which surrounds, or revolves around, the issue of Intelligent design. He says there, "...These are just three of just more than two hundred physical parameters within the solar system and universe so exact that it strains credulity to propose that they are random." The import of his words is as clear as water is clear. Cheers.Davidbena (talk) 19:40, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
We need not give consideration to authors who sacrifice their credibility by resorting to fallacies such as the argument from personal incredulity. You are basically asking that the article give undue weight to fringe viewpoints. Wikipedia articles are not a forum to provide a platform for airing minority, uninformed viewpoints. ~Amatulić (talk) 19:56, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
I think that some of us may have lost sight of the issues at hand here. We are not trying to convince our readers of the correctness or rightfulness of the ID theory, but rather to present its relative arguments. Our readers will be the deciders of who is right and who is wrong. They do not need us to coax them in any one particular direction. We should, however, remain open-minded enough to present all scientific views. As for calling the theory of ID "pseudoscience," it is incorrect and misleading. If that were the case, all theories that have yet to be proven would be "pseudoscience." And, besides, it works on the assumption that Darwin's theory of random evolution has been proven correct, when it has not. Darwin's theory of Natural selection has, however, been proven correct. Mutations also occur in species.Davidbena (talk) 20:12, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
ID is not a scientific theory. It was created ipso post facto to justify teaching creationism in schools in the United States. The article reflects its acceptance in mainstream sources. We're under no obligation to "present all scientific views", in fact, Wikipedia does not give pseudoscientific topics like ID equal validity to scientific ones to avoid creating a false balance.Rwenonah (talk) 20:24, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
On the contrary, Intelligent design is widely accepted world-wide as a "scientific theory," and fits the definition of "a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that is acquired through the scientific method and repeatedly tested and confirmed through observation and experimentation. As with most (if not all) forms of scientific knowledge, scientific theories are inductive in nature and aim for predictive power and explanatory capability." In fact, if you check the following web-sites you'll see how they define it as a scientific theory: [8] and [9]. In the latter web-site, scroll down to the sub-heading: "Intelligent Design." With no offense, it seems here that your view is the one that is a fringe-view. We're talking about theoretical science rather than about proven conclusions from science. Rather than continue to belabor this issue, can we reach a decision of compromise, and to include the reliable, published and verifiable opinions of others about this important issue? If not, can we seek mediation?Davidbena (talk) 21:24, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
The world is much more interesting than imagined by those blinded by ID, but what is needed here is an actionable proposal for an improvement to the article with reliable sources. Science involves a coherent explanation of real-world events with predictive power, and scientifically reliable sources are needed to support claims about science. The sources offered above are not suitable for commentary on science—please ask at WP:RSN if in doubt. Johnuniq (talk) 21:43, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness Center and Intelligent Design Network are not reliable sources. They falsely treat ID as a scientific theory when it is fundamentally unprovable, evidenced by the fact that the scientific community rejects it. As I said above, it's ridiculous you somehow think that the fact that organizations explicitly established to promote it treat it as a valid theory somehow necessitates either compromise or mediation. On the contrary, the fact that those types of sources are the only sources you've presented illustrates how wholly rejected it is by mainstream science. Please find reliable sources or drop this. Rwenonah (talk) 22:36, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
Davidbena - I think you have your answer: no, there is no openness for cites here, they wanna slur it in the header and do not wanna hear issues with that -- TALK is just going to be a rant-fest and folks advancing causes and personal logic and just making up stuff. Meh. Been there, seen that, suggest best that can be done is leave it being clearly ranting and at least mentioning major elements in distorted manner as kind of two wrongs making an almost-right and maybe the best it can be for now. Markbassett (talk) 23:28, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure what you are saying, but people have correctly pointed out that by Wikipedia policy, there is no basis in available sources supporting the removal of the statement that ID is pseudoscience and that it should be treated as theoretically plausible in this article. From a logical and empirical point of view, ID has exactly one axiom: A creator designed all life. From that axiom alone, there are no specific predictions that can be deduced for empirical test. Thus, ID is untestable in principle and so it is pseudoscience. --I am One of Many (talk) 23:34, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
User:I am One of Many, even if the outcome or conclusion of ID were to suggest one axiom, namely, that a creator designed all life, there is nothing amiss with that conclusion. It would still be theoretical, until it can be shown most consummately that it is, indeed, so. By saying the ID proponents hold to a "pseudoscience," it follows that the effectiveness of what you hold to be "true science" is shown thereby to be deceptive, for it begins by saying that it can only answer certain types of questions and ends by saying that only those types of questions can legitimately be asked. I will remind you that ID theory is no different from Quantum theory, or Freud's theory of dreams, or Darwin's theory of evolution, or Chaos theory, or Le Sage's theory of gravitation, or Gunnar Nordström's second theory, etc., etc. and should not be singled out and discriminated against by saying it is "pseudoscience." Davidbena (talk) 00:53, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
The difference is that evolution provides an explanatory framework that has been found to cover all current and extinct life, and which is testable—antimicrobial resistance describes a well-known example of evolution in action. By contrast, ID offers an explanation (God is responsible) that is not testable and which cannot be used to predict anything except implacable mystery. Please have the last word and then drop the matter (see WP:NOTFORUM) unless making a proposal regarding an improvement to the article backed with reliable sources. Johnuniq (talk) 01:32, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
User:Johnuniq, evolution should not be construed with natural selection, mutations, or resistance to diseases, etc. Evolution, that is to say, "accidental" or random evolution as espoused by Charles Darwin, is still a theory. Had it been proven, it would no longer be a theory, but a scientific fact. Therefore, so long as the theoretical evolution of all species from a primordial cell (which, allegedly, developed into more advanced life forms over many eons) has yet to be conclusively tested and proven to be a fact of science, it makes it no different from the theory of Intelligent design. The same can be said about "consciousness," which scientists know so little about. Henry Marsh, a neurosurgeon, recently said: “We can't even begin to explain how consciousness, how sensation, arises out of electric chemistry [of the brain].” This should not prevent scientists, however, from making hypotheses about consciousness. It is the same here, in ID, insofar that it is a theory having merits of its own, and begs the question, 'what is the cause of all these wonders in nature'? My request is simple: 1) Let us make this article more neutral, without getting into the issues of theism vs. atheism; 2) Let us change the lead sentence in the article to read: "Intelligent design (ID) is a theoretical view, etc." With that, I have concluded my request.Davidbena (talk) 02:34, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
So, you don't understand what a theory is in science. We get that. Well, FYI, in the hierarchy of scientific explantions a theory is at the very top, it is the best there is. It is not some wild-arsed guess. Your "scientific fact" is a nonsense term. Science does not "conclusively test and prove" things to be facts. Science is always tentative for we do not know what we do not know. However, here's the thing - in the hundred and fifty years since Darwin first postulated the theory of evolution through natural selection, all the new evideence found has only ever served to strengthen the theory. No-one has ever produced any actually valid evidence against this theory. Oh, there have been plenty of nul arguments put by likes of the Discovery Intitute (who strangely enough seem light on discovering anything) but so far these have all be comprehensively debunked by the scientific community. The critical point here is that ID claims to be science and so it is judged according to scientific principle, and ID fails every test that might be applied to something claiming to be a scientific theory. That, my friend, is why ID is correctly called pseudoscience in this article. Your proposed change has exactly the opposite effect to the one you claim for it. Rather than making the article more neutral, it makes it far more POV. As an article about a subject that claims to be science Wikipedia NPOV policy requires us to represent it in the way it is viewed by the relevant scientific community. That means, in this case, by biologists, palaeontologists and others in the life sciences. That community overwhelmingly rejects ID as arrant nonsense. - Nick Thorne talk 08:01, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
User:Nick Thorne, you stand to be corrected on two points. One, there's more evidence to suggest that there has never been an unabated evolution of our species (and all other species, for that matter) from a single primordial cell, since there is no developmental fossil evidence to prove it for all stages until reaching perfection. It is only a theory taught in elementary schools (and some universities). I shall remind you, however, that science is not unassailable. Second, some theories, such as Einstein's theory about the deflection of light (which he arrived at while working on his theory of general relativity) was later proven correct by science, through the development of larger telescopes. But let's just get back to basics: By understanding what "pseudoscience" truly is ---- such as our modern-day astrology, and fortune-telling and palmistry, etc. ----- we can learn what it is not, such as the theory of Intelligent design. Albert Einstein believed in Intelligent design, and said “God does not play dice with the universe.” Einstein’s view was said in order to refute that there is Randomness (indeterminism) in our universe. He felt that natural laws could not be like the throw of dice, with inherent randomness or probability (i.e. the opposite pretensions of the Quantum Mechanics theory), and was averse to the idea of randomness as a fundamental feature of any theory. He believed that randomness could appear as some form of statistical behavior but could not be a part of the law, just like a pack of cards that is shuffled according to deterministic laws still shows a random arrangement. Einstein's view, by the way, stands in direct contradiction to that of another theorist, Werner Heisenberg, who believed that at the fundamental level Nature is inherently random, and which view he codified in his famous Uncertainty Principle. Given the weight of these great scientists, shouldn't we be disposed here to represent their views in this article without bias? Of course we should!Davidbena (talk) 14:55, 1 July 2015 (UTC)

I believe this discussion should be continued at Wikipedia:Requests for mediation/Intelligent design. --Ebyabe talk - Repel All Boarders ‖ 02:57, 1 July 2015 (UTC)

Agreed.Davidbena (talk) 15:03, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
I believe that would be forum shopping and a further waste of editors' time.Charles (talk) 08:06, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
By no means would it be a waste of our time. We owe this to the community at large. Unbiased editing will greatly enhance this article, and open the public's mind to two viable perspectives.Davidbena (talk) 15:03, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
There are no two viable perspectives. You are flogging a dead horse here. Time to put down the stick.Charles (talk) 17:12, 1 July 2015 (UTC)

My Suggestions for Change in the Opening Paragraph[edit]

The Intelligent Design (ID) theory asserts that there must be intelligent causes to explain the complex and information-rich structures of biology and that these causes are empirically detectable. It asserts that certain biological characteristics violate the Darwinian explanation of chance because they were probably designed. Design logically presupposes a designer, wherefore, the appearance of design in our universe, or in man, is seen by its proponents as evidence of the existence of a designer.

One of the main arguments in the Intelligent Design theory is the anthropic principle. The anthropic principle states that the world and the universe are very finely tuned to allow life on Earth. If the ratio of elements in the air would be changed just a little, then many species would die out quickly. If the earth were a few kilometers away are more or less of the sun, then many species would quickly cease to exist. The existence and development of life requires that so many variables must be consistent with each other, so that it would be impossible that all these variables are matched with each other due to random and uncoordinated events.

Intelligent design is seen by others as a mere pseudoscientific view, and 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." Some educators, philosophers, and the scientific community claim that ID is a religious argument, a form of creationism which lacks empirical support and offers no testable or tenable hypotheses, etc. (the rest as it appears in the current article). Davidbena (talk) 20:12, 1 July 2015 (UTC)

No. Blatant POV. You are not going to get this up here. Please stop wasting all our time. - Nick Thorne talk 21:57, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
Hey, David, what did I tell you? The editors that control this article are not the least bit interested in having an article that does not project the POV that ID is anything other than pseudoscience promoted by liars from the Discovery Institute. And while there are liars from DI that promote something they call "ID" to schools (Of Pandas and People), there will be no notion in this article that the concept of Intelligent Design that precedes the existence of DI or the Pandas book or the Kitzmiller case. There is plenty of dishonesty that some promoters of something they call ID are responsible for, but the editors of this article are not particularly honest about their own steeply slanted POV either. (talk) 20:18, 29 June 2015 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)
It's strange how the quotation from the Discovery Institute gets combined in the same sentence about "others" seeing ID as pseudoscientific.
Conservapedia is thataway →. You might get better traction there. Here, we represent mainstream views in accordance with Wikipedia policy, particularly WP:NPOV in this case. ~Amatulić (talk) 23:16, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
There is no violation of WP:POV, since we have only been pushing for a more neutral article which, at present, shows bias. Our first aim should be to explain ID, and then bring down its counter views.
Why should we or anyone be afraid to deal with scientific implications dealing with "the mysterious ineffable event"? After all, what is the purpose of science if not to investigate and question the things around us? Still, ID is only a theory about which this article is meant to explain, without bias. It is not some illusory issue, but rather a real issue that must be dealt with by scientific investigation and inquiry, and which some scientists have been trying to address. If you look at all the web-pages in foreign languages which speak of this subject (French, German, Hebrew, etc.), they treat it with the respect and dignity that it deserves. I think that we can do just as well. IMHO.Davidbena (talk) 23:28, 1 July 2015 (UTC)