Talk:Intelligent design/Archive 23

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Contents

Some suggestions

The talk that disappeared into Talk:Intelligent design/Archive 21 included quite an interesting discussion on Peer-reviewed articles. It's rather detailed for this article, though a link or mention would be desirable, and I suggest moving the relevant bits to a new page which could be titled Peer-reviewed articles on intelligent design.

Some might object to being characterized as a peer of authors of intelligent design articles. Endomion 17:41, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

The latest suggestions for revisions to #Origins of the term appear to be broadly acceptable, or at least not objected to, so I'll amend the article accordingly in the near future.

There's duplication between footnotes 18 and 19, so presumably the article could be slightly shortened by removing the duplicate bit from 18, and if need be linking 19 alongside links to 18 in the article. Any reason why not? ...dave souza 15:28, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Endo: No ponga sus comentarios en el centro de los comentarios de otros. Jim62sch 00:44, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Refactoring

These discussions have been going on for a while, and references to earlier posts are becoming more common, which reduces clarity and readabily. I would like to ask everyone to simply remake their points and to repost their sources. Quoting yourself is one thing, dismissing a question with the words: 'see my previous post' is quite another.

  • It was suggested that the ID article has too much criticism, when compared to comparable articles.
    • There was some discussion as to the extent to which other articles are indeed comparable: is ID perhaps unique?
    • It was argued that ID is not overly criticised: if ID wanted to present itself as science, it deserved to be held to scientific standards.
  • It was suggested that the current pool of editors is stagnant and conservative. A call went out for new editors.
  • Several new articles were discussed, and deleted as POV forks.
  • The discussion concerning the irreducible complexity of the designer implied by ID seems to have cooled down, although the section is still not to everyone's liking. (*)

-- Ec5618 18:53, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

The "irreducible complexity" issue has been replaced by another argument I suspect to be original research. I requested a citation of a leading ID opponent making this new argument, and so far this request has been denied. I will take your advice in remaking my point. --Wade A. Tisthammer 19:55, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

"Homo qui quaestionem eandem semper roget, stultus est; homo qui ad quem respondet, maior"

Jim62sch 23:53, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Jim I am having very inappropriate thoughts that amount to personally attacking you in my heart. Go to [1] and [2]. I don't want these dark thoughts anymore. I know you know many languages, I know 2, but I'm not doing this: Джим, я понимаю что ты умнее всех, но в последнее время ты пишешь всякую чепуху. --chad 05:06, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

It was humour, Chad, humour. But the confession was nice. You're Russian is pretty good; did you learn it in the military? Однако мой друг, я не пишу ерунду. Спасибо за ваше беспокойство.

Jim62sch 13:23, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

Naughty Jim, your English is lacking, or you're making silly grammatical errors in your haste. ...dave souza 13:50, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

Yep, I did make an error in my haste: replace "you're" with "your". What's worse, is that that is one of the mistakes that drive me batty when I see it (along with its/it's, their/there/they're, too/to, etc.). Oh well.

Jim62sch 16:43, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

How ID is presented in Wikipedia (was previously Lovecoconuts)

Here be a long-time reader of Wikipedia but first-time poster on the discussion pages. (God, I hope I'm doing this the right way.) Since the Wikipedia article of Intelligent Design is currently the #3 link in Google, I can understand the ID people's wish that the article presents a more positive light about Intelligent Design.

However, since Intelligent Design is being presented by the ID community as a scientific theory, and since the majority of the scientific community currently disagrees with it even possessing the basic qualifications of a scientific theory - it's just simply more appropriate and honest for ID to be presented in a more or less negative light, for now.

Now, if Intelligent Design were being presented as a philosophical theory, that's another case entirely.

Yes, yes, I know it's difficult for one's favorite scientific theories to be treated so (I was quite disappointed that the Memory of Water wasn't as I hoped it would be), but that's just the way it's always been with scientific theories. It's only proper for a scientific theory to go through a scientific gauntlet.Lovecoconuts 16:27, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

There are many problems with this article, and yes, inexperienced or philosophically slighted editors are a major problem. In theory though, the spotlight should help this article achieve Featured article status, by calling attention to every inconsistent or unreferenced detail. -- Ec5618 19:08, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
Lovecoconuts, your prayers have been answered, you've done it exactly the right way. Well said. ...dave souza 19:24, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
Lovecoconuts, make no mistake about it: I'm not asking for ID to be presented in a more positive light. I don't want to see a more positive light or a less positive light; I just want it to be factually and impassionately presented, in a reasonable structural order. I fully expect the article to note that the mainstream scientific community does not accept ID, and show sourced references to their criticisms.
But, my objection was in the overwhelming structural bias. Simply put, there's no reason, cause or comparison for it. Having already covered this, I am considering a variety of proposals to directly address this.Trilemma 22:11, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
Trilemma, please excuse me, but I'm not sure what you mean by "overwhelming structural bias". By this OSBias, are you referring to the extremely rigorous process by which modern scientific theories are tested?
Or are you referring to the current presentation style/manner utilized by the (I am presuming) majority of Wikipedia editors working on the Intelligent Design article?
Dave Souza, Thank you. Very glad to hear I did it correctly. Ec5618, yes - I also have noticed the tendency of ID people to take a more philosophical than scientific stance when explaining ID. Understandable since science, in a matter of speaking, grew out from natural philosophy. However, in modern times, there is definite line between modern science and philosophy (natural and otherwise).
I will now go out of topic at this point. Though I appreciate the flattery of it, I cannot help but feel a little embarrassed that whoever archived or edited the thread I previously posted in used my nick as the title of this new thread. With all respect due, I will just edit the title of this thread since I rather not have people to think that I have a big ego.Lovecoconuts 14:44, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
Lovecoconuts, I was referring to the actual literal presentation of the article itself, not the points contained. I'll leave the latter to others. My objection lays in the literal structure of the article, the skeleton of it. I think some vertebrae need moved around, metaphorically. Basically, the current structure of the article overwhelms it with criticisms and attempts to stifle ID arguments with criticism.
I have no problem with having the criticisms of ID up; in fact, they should be up. But, what I'm saying is that the structure they're contained in should be altered. Does that clear up my 'structural bias' statement? Trilemma 22:32, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
I understand your concern, but I must truthfully say I do not share it. Considering how hostile the majority of the scientific community is towards ID at this time, I actually think it would be remiss and inobjective of Wikipedia editors not to present that prevailing negativity clearly.
Of course, when said negativity turns positive, I expect the change to be reflected in Wikipedia as well. One of the reasons Wikipedia is perhaps my most preferred encyclopedia is that it stays current to the times. I still have (printed) encyclopedias with very outdated articles.
However, despite all its trouble - I'm still keeping an open mind about ID. Perhaps ID people will come up with a Louis Pasteur.Lovecoconuts 06:32, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

The odds of the "negativity" becoming "positive" are somewhere between slim to nil, and Slim just left town riding a silver steed named Reason.

Louis Pasteur?

Jim62sch 02:29, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Well, yes - it would be quite difficult for the scientific community if ID turned out to be correct. But I faith in them scientists.
On Louis Pasteur - Years ago, I saw an old black & white movie about Louis Pasteur. Not certain if the movie was accurate or just dramatizing his work/life. In the movie, Pasteur's vaccination work was ridiculed by his peers at first. Also, during Pasteur's time, surgeons don't seem to wash up before operating on a patient. Pasteur it seems was the first or one of the first to come up with the idea of germs and bacteria, etc. Again, in the movie, the doctors didn't believe him.Lovecoconuts 03:01, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
Jim, I don't see any reason why the criticism of ID should not be presented clearly. I do, however, also think that the ID arguments should likewise be presented clearly, and I think that is impossible to accomplish when the structure of the article is overwhelmed with criticism, when every possible paragraph ends with an anti ID point, when the ID points section is dilluted by criticisms. I think the article should accurately and dispassionately cover ID, and I don't think that it can in this current format.
Observe the Holocaust denial article. There's no more reprehensible, inaccurate belief in the contemporary world than Holocaust denail, and yet the arguments those confused people make are given clear, uninterrupted enumeration. If we can be that objective and dispassionate about something as vile as Holocaust denial, can we not for ID?? Trilemma 03:17, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
Oh, I don't know. At this point in time, ID is more harmful than Holocaust denial. In any case, I don't think anyone here is to blame for the fact that ID looks really bad when explained honestly. Blame the people who came up with ID as a scheme for replacing science with religion in our schools. Alienus 04:01, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
Trilemma, the post above Jim's is mine. By the way, I don't think it's proper to compare how the ID article is edited with how the Holocaust denial article is edited. I think it may make readers think you are comparing ID with Holocaust denial. Just an observation I cannot help but make upon reading Alienus' post.Lovecoconuts 06:32, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
Correcting my post above. It's Holocaust denial, not the Holocaust. I suppose in a matter of speaking ID can be seen as Evolution denial.Lovecoconuts 11:41, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
Not so much Evolution denial as a denial that cosmic regularities of succession which seem to be ideal for life can exist as a brute-fact feature of the universe, as unexplainable as the distribution of prime numbers among the set of natural numbers. It's an appeal to cracker-barrel folksy common horse sense. Endomion 00:26, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

I feel as though I'm just repeating myself. Maybe I need to dumb down my sentence structures.Lovecoconuts 06:32, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Alienus, that's a blatant POV. First, it is not wikipedia's place to gauge harmfulness of a topic, and set structural bias based on that harmfulness. Second, ID is not being explained honestly, it's being criticized. Whether or not that criticism is fair or not, I'll leave to others. What my concern is, though, is the copious amounts of it. Explain ID, list the criticisms. Don't overwhelm the article with criticism in a personal quest to debunk the blief.
Lovecoconuts, I don't mean to compare ID to Holocaust denial in the sense of comparison of ideas, and hopefully everyone understands that. I am merely pointing out that on wikipedia, even something like Holocaust denial can have its points clearly stated, without saturated criticism and structural bias. If they can, certainly ID can. Trilemma 16:24, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
Reply below. May I request that we just stick new replies to the bottom of the thread? Very confusing this way.Lovecoconuts 23:52, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
(LC: the process of vaccination began with the smallpox vaccine developed from cowpox by Edward Jenner in 1798. Yes, Pasteur was involved with vaccination, but the concept predated him by a good bit.)
In any case, what distresses me is that in this centennial year of Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity we are having a discussion of a pseudo-scientific concept spawned from a teleological argument. Have we regressed that far in 100 years? Jim62sch 14:19, 10 December 2005 (UTC)


Apples and oranges. Einstein derived his equations from principles of relativity worked out previously by others, in a sense special relativity was inevitable, as tidy as the Pythagorean Theorum. The equivalent would be a narrow field of physics, such as Quantum electrodynamics. But QED is the bedrock of chemistry, and chemistry is the bedrock of biology, and biology is one of the two big messy fields that ID is concerned with (along with geology). Attempts to impose order on such a complex branch of study by demonstrating it results from the choices of a conscious entity is, if anything, a progression, if those attempts can overcome the institutional bias against it. Endomion 14:58, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
Jim, just acknowledging your post about Pasteur. I guess I was right. That movie did dramatize his life/work a bit too much.
Endomion, a institutional bias? Is this about the scientific community at large giving ID a hard time? I'm hoping it's not about that again. I'll just end up repeating my first post. Perhaps I should start bolding.

There is a very rigorous process for modern scientific theories. All scientific theories go through it.

If ID is sound, it should be able to pass the process. Perhaps it will ease your impatience by keeping in mind that it's challenging the modern theory of evolution which many scientists have been working on and improving for 150 years.Lovecoconuts 05:11, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
(Einstein offered a refinement of Newton's law of gravitation that came into play under extremes of gravity such as near a neutron star, without "challenging" Newton's theory. Not all new ideas seek to entirely overthrow old ones. Intelligent Design may very well operate as a directed refinement to a generally undirected process) Endomion 17:50, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
Reply below. May I request that we just stick new replies to the bottom of the thread? Very confusing this way.Lovecoconuts 23:52, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
Frankly, I think accusing the scientific community in one go of an institutional bias is a considerable accusation and honestly - I find it extremely hard to take seriously. My reaction is divided between "Oh no... not that again." and telling myself to be patient, patient. After all, it doesn't seem to be common knowledge that scientific theories are improved all the time. I'll just let myself think again that perhaps scientists should take a leaf from the computer programmers' handbook and start attaching Version numbers to their theories.Lovecoconuts 15:50, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Endo, you missed my point (not surprising really) -- my point was that a pseudo-science masquerading as a science has generated far more attention than the centennial of SR. As for Special Relativity being inevitable, one thinks you do not know what you are talking about. In fact, as of the 1920's there were only a few people who fully understood the theory, and even today, while that number has grown significantly, as a percentage of the population (even among physicists) it is still low.

For the rest, I think LC has admirably stated the feelings of many of us. Unless lobotomies are practiced on every scientist or science enthusiast, IUD will never gain acceptance as a science: because it isn't one.

Finally, how are you making out with that homework assignment? Jim62sch 15:55, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Jim62sch, if you do a little reading, you will discover that special relativity is understood by many but general relativity is understood by few, mainly because the geometry of special relativity's inertial frames is Euclidian (flat) but that of general relativity involves curving geometries and hairy math. Endomion 17:25, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Endo: however, I was discussing Special Relativity as it is SR's 100th anniversary. If it were 2015, I'd have been discussing General Relativity, and I'd have noted that even fewer people understand that. (BTW: the non-Euclidian geometry required for GR is actually one of the easier pieces of the puzzle to understand.) Moreover, just for the record, (and not to brag but to put an end to yet another silly discussion having nothing to do with ID), I aced physics, so save the lectures and advice.

Jim62sch 20:19, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Okay, so you are saying from your expertise as an ace physics student that special relativity, which only requires elementary calculus to grok, is understood by relatively few physicisists, but the complex tensor algebra and Riemannian geometry of general relativity are the easy parts of general relativity to grok and and it is some deeper mystery about it that makes it so difficult. Endomion 23:31, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Confusion City - Requesting new replies to be at the bottom of the thread please. I scroll to the bottom of the thread for new replies.

Tri, again - I understand your concern; I currently just don't share it. Now, if the scientific community becomes positive about ID and the Wikipedia page on ID is still negative - then I'll share your concern.
Endo - your post about Einstein and Newton counters your own post about "institutional bias." See? Scientific communities ARE open to new scientific theories that significantly counter long-existing scientific theories.Lovecoconuts 05:11, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
Ah, but the kicking and screaming that takes place in the interregum. Even Einstein had to draw the line when the probabilistic world described by quantum mechanics started to take shape (his famous "God does not throw dice" statement comes to mind). Endomion 00:13, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
Endo, again - bottom of the thread please. Answering in between my paragraphs makes it looks like you wrote the paragraph above your answer. I had to add another sig to my paragraph, otherwise it looks like you're arguing with yourself again.
Now, I think I'm going to sound a bit confuddled. Your latest post to me is a wee bit ridiculous since it basically challenges your previous post. It's rather like you're just arguing with yourself in public.
By the way, since you mentioned that ID is just refining? May I ask exactly which scientific theory/theories it seeks to refine? And please post at the thread below about the ID Intro. I'm looking forward to your answer.Lovecoconuts 23:50, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
My specific statement was, Intelligent Design may very well operate as a directed refinement to a generally undirected process. If ID was a monolithic block of thought that tried to flat out revolutionize naturalism I don't think it would even be controversial. In fact think the whole flapdoodle is over ID's apparent success in subtly triangulating between the older Creation science which was unashamedly theology straight from Genesis, and science, by appropriating certain buzz words. Endomion 00:13, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
Lovecoconuts, that sounds dirty, is it dirty? Cause it could be dirty. Um, no... I wasn't drinking wine tonight. - RoyBoy 800 00:26, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Maybe you weren't, but I'm beginning to think that Endo has been.

Besides, I'm trying to figure out the deep meaning of the alias (mine has no deep meaning). Endomion (from classical Greek) is the present active participle of endomeo, which means, "to build in". Now, it's not a legitimate synonym for design (at least not according to Liddel and Scott), so it must have some other meaning. Maybe someday we'll find out.

In any case, let's get back to the task at hand which is to discuss this article. I mean, I'm not going to digress into an explanation of why Newton's laws don't work as well as Einstein's equations in predicting the movement of celestial bodies, so let's not digress into a physics argument.

Jim62sch 00:52, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Endo, if you type between my paragraphs again, that's going to be the third time. In this case, the "third" time is going to be OUT and not the least bit charming to me. Comprende?

I'm new at posting in the discussion pages, but even I know better than to post in between another person's paragraphs.

By the way, I think Endo needs to do a research about how Einstein regards Newton. Einstein is "crazy" about Newton. Einstein had great regard for Newton and he was very respectful when he improved on the work on gravitation that Newton started.
Endo, on the other hand, don't seem to be respectful or mindful of the significance of Darwin's work nor of the work of the many scientists that have contributed their own theories to Evolution. Not to mention all that fossil work. It's very hard to find a fossil, then there's the very very tedious cleaning.
How about taking a leaf from Einstein's page? Show a little more respect of the work of many that have done before? Cut down a bit on "institutional bias" accusations? A little respect goes a long way and really - accusations rarely promote goodwill. Your "institutional bias" post got me feeling testy, for example.

Remember - bottom of the thread. PLEASE no posting in between another person's paragraphs.Lovecoconuts 05:11, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

LC, if the scientific community would change its opinion on ID, I would expect the article to change qualitatively, in terms of the factual content, to reflect the change. However, quantitatively, in terms of the structure, the article desperately needs changed. It needs brought into line. Regardless of its standing in the scientific community, it deserves a straightforward presentation free of saturated criticism and structural bias. Trilemma 05:18, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
(hands Trilemma a cute little puppy dog) Trilemma, I already said I understand your concern. That means Yes - I do think you're in the right to have such concerns, meaning - I respect your opinion. You're entitled to it.
Now - the second more tricky part. I currently do not share your worries because my feeling/opinion is that the Wikipedia editors are following the lead from the scientific community. Now - this is my opinion (which is subject to change depending on the scientific community and whether or not the Wikipedia editors can keep the article current).
(takes back cute little puppy dog and goes away for puppy rub therapy) I'm okay if you wish to continue attempting to change my opinion, but I hope you won't be disappointed if I don't answer. I usually stop after repeating the same sentiment 3 times.Lovecoconuts 05:30, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

LC, yes I too get tired of chewing my cud for the third time.

Trilemma: As to Intelligent design's acceptance by the scientific community, fuggedaboutit, it's just not going to happen because Intelligent design is a philosophy, not a science. Also, the article does not "desperately needs changed", although I think I know exactly how you would like it to read, despite your protestations that you merely want it to be fair. Articles on Intelligent design that you might find more suitable are to be found on the DI website. Jim62sch 14:50, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Intelligent Design is indeed a philosophy, it is Natural philosophy and a critique of science. Endomion 15:02, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

So then you concede Intelligent design is not a science? Jim62sch 15:42, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

I can't even get you and LoveCoconuts to concede that scientific inquiries are always provisional and can never be proven in the manner of assertions from number theory (as acknowledged by User:FeloniousMonk at the end of the Talk:Intelligent_design#Re-read the Intro and just now realized... thread). Since my definition of what is scientific is not the same as yours, I can concede nothing. Endomion 18:35, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
Jim, your statement suggests that you either A) did not read my statements or B) did not opt to examine and understand them. Since you have for whatever reason missed my proposal, let me put it in bold text: I propose to change the structure of the article, while maintaining the presence of the criticisms of ID, in a format more in line with most every other article of minority view points on ID, including Holocaust denial. The ID viewpoints deserve to be clearly made, and, so do the criticisms. The article should note that ID is rejected by the mainstream scientific community.
So, Jim, can you please elaborate on precisely how I am attempting to change the ID article into something from the Discovery Institute?
LC, I understand what you're saying now, though it seems like you're apathetic to the structural element so long as the actual material included remains the same. Keep in mind, I'm not saying change the ingredients, just change the order (and yes, I don't need or expect a response to this one, though I won't fault you if you do). (I'd responded to this once before, but it seems to have been lost along the way. So, if this is double posted, I apologize). Trilemma 15:52, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

TL -- The statement to which you refer is not in this section.

In any case, I understand your point, I just don't happen to agree with it at present. Holocaust Denial is not a matter of science, but of political science, sociology, history and philosophy. If ID dropped its pretence to science and admitted that it was just a philosophy, I'm sure that the article would change in the way you've suggested.

The DI comment was TIC -- I should have used a wink emoticon. Sorry about that omission.

Jim62sch 17:21, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Jim, I hope you don't mind moving our comments to the correct section--an original gaffe on my part. Anyway, Holocaust denial can empiracally be proven to be complete and utter BS. It is a ridiculous, incredulous and insulting position. But, even though the evidence is there to show it to be BS, we still allow for the clear, uninterupted list of Holocaust denial 'arguments'. One of your central objections to ID is its inability to be empiracally proven. But, while ID has yet to be empiracally proven or disproven, Holocaust denial can be conclusively shown to be BS. We still give it space on wikipedia because it's wikipedia's place to simply and dispassionately archive beliefs and theories. Whether it's science or history is really inconsequential; empiracism is a fundamental element of both.
It seems though, that you're largely apathetic to the format issue and care more about the material contained within. So, if I would provide a structure which contains the current contents but in a different format, would there be objection? While you don't agree about the necessity of the switch, it seems you also are not vehemently opposed to such a switch.Trilemma 19:31, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
Endo, you've hit the nail on the head with your link to Natural philosophy which, if you follow it, explains that it predated the terms science and scientist, and differs significantly from modern science which redirects to science. The aim of ID is to return "science" to the early 19th century before the term became current, and have a philosophical basis that accepts supernatural explanations of natural events. The strange thing is that if they found scientifically valid proof, the effect would be to bring their "designer" into the natural realm explored by science, and undermine religious faith. This is likely to underlie the Roman Catholic church's refusal to go down the ID route. ....dave souza 19:41, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
Dave is exactly right on all points here. FeloniousMonk 19:50, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
<blush> minor correction: the word "science" was around, but it didn't have the current meaning. ...dave souza 21:22, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Endo, sobre esto, I can't even get you and LoveCoconuts to concede that scientific inquiries are always provisional and can never be proven in the manner of assertions from number theory (as acknowledged by User:FeloniousMonk...Felonious said that the answers were conditional, not the inquiries. You may think there's no difference, but there is. Jim62sch 00:57, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

TL, moving our comments was fine, a good idea actually.  :)

Regarding my apathy to the format, I'm just into substance over style and function over form. If you are going to provide a new format, it might be best to use your user page and link to it rather than posting it here (space limitations). The real problem still remains though: if ID would just present itself as the philosophy it is, rather than as a science, the article would likely change to a format more in keeping with what you'd like to see. The reason for this is simple: there is a large gulf between science and philosophy -- philosophy is the ultimate Gedanke experiment, one with no real bounds other than avoiding fallacies and presenting arguments in the proper syllogistic forms; and science has much stricter guidelines.

Jim62sch 01:20, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Endo thinks modern science is like natural philosophy? Something tells me I not only have to dumb down my sentence structure but also dumb down my thinking so that I can understand and have more patience as to why he keeps contradicting himself.
Though related, Modern Science is different from Natural Philosophy. You see, before Isaac Newton (you know this guy, don't you?) published his book on the Three Laws of Physics and stuff, the philosophical-types in his time tended to make observable theories usually without mathematical proofs to back them up.
But then Isaac Newton came and WOW! Did he knock them philosophical-types' socks off with his book. He had a method of making and cataloging observations that most of them could not help but admire and wanted to emulate - this method eventually became the basic of the Modern Scientific Method.
Henceforth, practically the only way a natural philosopher (or budding scientist) could make his theories up to standard (or have them taken seriously) was to make use of the Scientific Method. So important and standard-making was this Scientific Method of Newton's, that he was sometimes gifted with the title of "Father of Modern Science."
Newton regarded himself as a natural philosopher, but he is generally regarded as the first of the modern scientists. Some would argue that he was also the last of the magicians.
Trilemma, if I sound apathetic, that's probably because my post probably sounds tired. (Apathy is often related with Tiredness). I had only intended to post one (1) post (on another person's thread), just wanted to express my opinion. I think everyone is entitled to that. I don't mind people wanting to change my opinion. (That's a normal human trait, I think, to want other people to share the same opinion as you.) However, I cannot help but feel tired at having to defend my opinion.
Imagine my surprise upon coming back here and discovered that that (1) post of mine had became the first post of a new thread. Suddenly, I felt I had to defend my opinion and that I had to keep track of every post on this thread. When Endo did that institutional bias post, I found myself having regrets about making that first post.
To whoever made my first post into a new thread, I'm not really angry or upset. Just tired and feeling a little foolish as to why I have allowed myself to get into this thing.
By the way, that reminds me. I think Newton had something similar to Intelligent Design. I think he wanted to find scientific proof that God existed. (ambles off to look for a kitty cat to rub)Lovecoconuts 01:40, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
Endomion said, "I can't even get you and LoveCoconuts to concede that scientific inquiries are always provisional and can never be proven in the manner of assertions from number theory (as acknowledged by User:FeloniousMonk...)
Jim62sch replied, Felonious said that the answers were conditional, not the inquiries. You may think there's no difference, but there is.

My reply: By "inquiries" I mean a cyclic and endless process of refining hypotheses with observations and peer-review. To use the word "answers" takes us back to the unscientific proof mindset. Endomion 03:00, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

I am currently a confused coconut. Endo, I don't remember you trying to make me & ?Felonious? concede what? What exactly did I say that makes you want me to "concede" on the aforementioned what? I don't even understand what you mean by that what.
Please do me a favor and dumb down your sentence structure so that I can understand you better. Perhaps I've been going about this the wrong way. Maybe it's you who have to dumb down your statements so that I and others can follow your line of reasoning better.Lovecoconuts 03:43, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
LoveCoconuts said, "Endo thinks modern science is like natural philosophy? Something tells me I not only have to dumb down my sentence structure but also dumb down my thinking so that I can understand and have more patience as to why he keeps contradicting himself."

My reply: A careful review of this thread reveals that I actually said, "Intelligent Design is indeed a philosophy, it is Natural philosophy and a critique of science. (As a side-note, I am a member of that half of the human species that develops eggs. Pink background for emphasis) Endomion 04:55, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Jim (and LC, etc.), I'll work on a model over the next few days (actually, maybe week--finals this week) and put it in my personal page; then I'll post the link here. This discussion page grows incredibely fast; by the time I get to linking it, we'll probably have two more archives in the books. Trilemma 05:12, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
No kidding. Yeah, lots of activity here.
Endo, there you go! See? ID is currently a lot more like a philosophical thing than a scientific thing. That's why many scientists not happy with it because ID people wants it to be taught in science classes immediately.
Philosophy and Science are similar in some ways but quite distinct from each other. Like boys and girls. I can even compare Natural Philosophy and Modern Science to Adam and Eve.
ID (as it is now) being taught in science classes is like a guy going into the girls' bathroom. Maybe someday, bathrooms will be coed (like how the Ancient Romans did it), but for now - it's fair to expect odd looks and the occasional shriek.Lovecoconuts 05:36, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

LC, the exact quote from Endo, which she forgot to put in one of her little boxes, was, "Intelligent Design is indeed a philosophy, it is Natural philosophy and a critique of science. Endomion 15:02, 11 December 2005 (UTC)". Ok, go run with it.  :)

And yes, ID is a "philosophical thing" and will never be a "science thing" so long as it requires a supernatural entity to explain the existence of life. Of course, if ID dropped that requirement it would become a "none-thing" Jim62sch 10:55, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

TL, good luck on your finals, and let us know when you're done with your proposal. Jim62sch 10:57, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

and so to natural philosophy..

Since the Wikipedia article sees natural philosophy as a predecessor to modern science, it struck me that saying it was a critique of science was like saying that astrology is a critique of astronomy. However, I tried googling, and while most of the links were pretty much as the Wiki definition, there were a couple of societies aiming to integrate maths and physics or something. Then all was revealed: a book review with a glowing outline of the idea including this
Some educators will find it surprising that many fairly advanced topics of philosophy and Christian theology are included in this course. Is this appropriate for high school or college students? Absolutely. Why should students be experts in machinery and equations and unlearned in related philosophical and theological questions? Historically, physics and philosophy have interacted strongly, under the name Natural Philosophy, hence the title of this book. ... The interaction of the Bible and science has been a central ingredient of the development of natural philosophy in the Western world, and this interaction still affects the politics of science and education in the United States today. Knowing what the Bible says, and does not say, is essential for understanding this debate.
The book[3] is by a chap called David W. Snoke. Is the name somehow familiar? It must be said he appears to have good physics credentials, but introducing bible study into physics classes might prove tricky in some countries. ... dave souza 17:57, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Nice catch. Historically, many of the topics now covered by the sciences were under the umbrella of philosophy, only escaping once they became scientific enough. As far as I remember, the last one to escape was psychology, though it's not entirely free yet. I don't think that science is independent of philosophy or should be, but it's generally more rigorous, and we don't want to abandon the empricism of a science just to go back to the hand-waving of philosophy. Uhm, we don't unless we want to wave our hands towards God, that is. Alienus 18:05, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Oh yeah. Definitely. A lot of subjects were under Philosophy. I think even mathematics and also interrelated with religion. Philosophy can study about everything. It can study about science and religion. It even studies about alternate existences. Sophie's World, anyone?
Philosophy is basically about understanding anything and everything underneath the sun. So long as it is about understanding and explaining about why something exist and why it is so, it can count as a philosophical study. In a matter of speaking, philosophy is like casual science or religion without ceremonies. An in-between type of subject which allows people to just free their minds, think think think and speak their thoughts. I thank God for philosophy - I don't think anyone was ever persecuted for his philosophical views. ...Well, except maybe for Socrates. Ok. Few people were persecuted for their philosophical views.
By the way, I read that people who follow Confucianism generally prefer that Confucianism be considered as a philosophy rather than a religion. Seems that the idea of religion has so many negatives attached to it nowadays. With the way ID is meeting head-on resistance within the scientific community, I think ID people should have gone by the philosophical route.Lovecoconuts 01:26, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
I am back, and find that puppies are being handed around like party favors. I would like to register a formal protest against the obvious marginalizing of puppies. :P
LC: Also Buddhism; it is a philosophy around which a religion has grown. Many Buddhists embrace the philosophy only and not the religion.
KillerChihuahua?!? 14:40, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
OMG it's her again, better behave meself. Anyway, the BBC series about God included an interview with a Buddhist priest? abbot? who was quite definite about it being atheist. From skimming the article, ID Buddhists do seem a bit improbable....dave souza 17:57, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Thought I would jump in on the Philosophy vs. Science debate. I understand the scientific community's objection to calling ID science, however, it states in the first paragraph that ID is a "controversial assertion". I think a realistic approach would be to parse the evolution topic to differentiate the components of this theory that are scientific and those that are philosophic. It is imperative to note that not all of evolutionary theory is scientific, if it were, there would be no creedence to the philosophical criticism that ID poses to this theory when they look at the evidence that is available. Be wary, the "theological" constraints of evolutionary theory are just as deep as the creationists'. I doubt that either ID or evolution can be definitively proven because of their philosophical baggage. It sure makes great fun for getting to the real important questions of life.Markepp 18:41, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Beware, you're confusing matters by calling the pragmatic philosophical basis of science the "theological" constraints of evolutionary theory. Interesting as it is, it's covered on other pages and this one is trying to explain the "science" claims of the ID movement. ...dave souza 22:38, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
Thanks Dave for reinserting Markepp's comment I'd inadvertantly deleted when removing the broken heading formatting. His comment was below the fold on my screen so I didn't see it. My apologies also to Markepp for that. FeloniousMonk 22:52, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
DS, Sorry I have not been able to discuss lately. Interestingly enough, there is not so much as a mention of the theological or religious framework of the "scientific" community on the evolution page. There is only a very vague diliniation between fact vs. theory. It is important to note that philospophy, when it has run it's course, will more than likely germinate into a religious belief. This "religion" does not have to be theistic either.Markepp 19:18, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
I hope there aren't any new posts inserted somewhere up the thread. I'm really having a hard time keeping track of new posts.
KC, I assure you that it isn't my intention to marginalized cute little bow wows.  :) (Overly bias, maybe.) But I am definitely guilty of the disgraceful crime of going ga-ga in their presence.
Going back to philosophy, science and religion. I'm afraid my analysis of ID didn't even get out of the parking lot. Just at the first two sentences of the intro, I already crashed into a definition brick wall.
ID, it seems, is under the common misconception that Natural Selection (and the concept of Evolution) is about the Origin of Life. NS and Evo just describes the process of change or diversifying. The dictionary meaning of evolution is basically about "change."
I think a lot of things can be blamed for this common misconception that evolution is synonymous with origination. Darwin, for example, titled his book "The Origin of Species." I know it basically means how diversity originated. Unfortunately, I think a lot of people think it means "The Origin of Life."
Then, there's the media and popular culture. For example, the Primordial Soup Theory seems to be pretty popular. Unfortunately, eventhough it's a theory technically separated from Evolution, people keep on connecting the two theories when they say, "life evolved" from something "in a primordial soup."
Then, there's the "unguided" description usually attached to Natural Selection and Evolution. I think this is relative. From the organism's point of view, it is guiding its own evolution by selecting whom to share genes with. There are some people (including me) who think that Natural Selection is similar to exercising free choice and (for us) there are no religious complications about it because we think that free will/free choice is a God-given gift.Lovecoconuts 05:10, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
"Unguided" development as a concept presents no problem for me. Moreover, I find it humourous when IDists try to use unguided in a derogatory fashion to try to denigrate evolution. Nevertheless, the fact the fact that life developed in an unguided fashion is a big "so what". The problem comes in when the evolutionary process is anthropomorphized and the organisms are assumed to have chosen with whom to share genes. Evolution involves random mutations, a process still in full force today. Some of these mutations work and many do not. I realize that many people find this concept to be scary because on the surface, it appears to trivialize our existence and as sentient beings, we feel a very strong need for a purpose for our existence (thus the strong and weak anthropic principles, religion and various forms of philosophy). Jim62sch 10:45, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
LC, not sure if your were inferring something out of my post. If not - no problem. I did not say anything about "Origins of Life". Interestingly enough, the ID proponents are supposedly using their theories to hypothesise on origination issues.
"Proponents claim that intelligent design stands on equal footing with, or is superior to, current scientific theories regarding the origin of life.[2]" - 1st paragraph
Just how do we go from this "origionation" issue to rejecting the theory (Philosophical or Scientific) by hammering on evolutionary points. If they are separate then they should be viewed as such in the article itself. I personally do not think they are two separate issues, but the allowance by the evolutionist of a unknown source of origination can be the groundwork for a radical deistic philosphy.Markepp 19:18, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
ID proponents words: it's they that lurch from origins of life to dismissing "Darwinism". The "radical deistic philosphy" is espoused by the RC church, CofE and many others. To quote the man, "There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed [by the Creator] into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone circling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved." Bit in square brackets added after the Ist edition of the Origin of Species. ....dave souza 23:03, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
Actually, it's not a black-and-white "some of these mutations work and many do not". That is an oversimplification. What really happens is that mutations which hinder an organism's ability to replicate result in fewer offspring carrying that mutation, and mutations which assist replication result in more offspring carrying that mutation. Endomion 02:15, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Endomion is correct. I think Jim62sch was just being a little careless with his phrasing, however. I use oversimplification at times, it can be, well - simpler. KillerChihuahua?!? 02:35, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Yes, I was oversimplifying rather than getting into a long treatise on the subject (my comments were long enough to begin with). As I have few kids, I've gotten into that habit so I can help them understand the basics of an idea -- the nuts and bolts come later, when they are ready. Jim62sch 10:35, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Suspected Original Research (again)

The "who designed the designer" objection is a popular one for anti-ID adherents and should be mentioned. But I do not believe original research should be mixed in here. Previously I raised questions and criticisms regarding this statement:

the postulation of the existence of even a single uncaused causer in the Universe contradicts the fundamental assumption of Intelligent Design that every complex object requires a designer

I pointed out that this was false; this was not a fundamental assumption of ID (and gave citations to support my claim), encountered stiff resistance, but eventually it was removed. Next (21 November 2005) there was this

the postulation of the existence of even a single uncaused causer in the Universe contradicts the fundamental assumption of Intelligent Design that every irreducibly complex object requires a designer

I pointed out this was false; this was not a fundamental assumption of ID (and again gave citations to support my claim), met stiff resistance, but eventually it was removed. It was replaced with this (2 December 2005):

the postulation of the existence of even a single uncaused causer in the Universe contradicts a fundamental assumption of Intelligent Design that a designer is needed for every specifically complex object

It has not escaped my attention that the format of the argument is very similar. Have there been prominent ID opponents who have actually made these arguments? Or are they, as I suspect, original research? In particular, let's focus on the most recent one (the one regarding specified complexity). Is this argument original research? Or can someone provide a citation of a prominent ID opponent who makes this argument?

I will admit my bias here: I do believe the argument is non sequitur. For instance, how would an uncaused designer of complex specified information (CSI) contradict the assumption that a designer is needed for CSI? We are not told, and the article gives no references of anyone making this argument. Can anyone give a citation of a prominent ID opponent making this argument? Or is the argument what I suspect it to be, original research? To the very least, can someone explain the reasoning behind this argument?

I suspect there are more cases of original research in the Wikipedia article, but for now this will do.

NOTE: Let’s put personal feelings and opinions regarding past issues aside for now and focus on the matter at hand. Is this argument original research? If not, can someone provide a citation of a leading ID opponent making this argument? --Wade A. Tisthammer 20:02, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

We've been through this before. NPOV is to represent all points of view. All means all. NPOV is non-negociable. We have provided a reference to Dawkins and Coyne making that argument. I have even given you ID creationists responses to that argument. What more do you want? — Dunc| 22:11, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
He want's it out altogether. Wade Tisthammer has been hammering away at this subsection of the article with his objections now for about a month, and all he's accomplished has been to make it the most heavily cited and supported content in the article. By my count he's raised specific objections to 4 different sentences being original research. And each time, they were shown not to be original research and remain in the article, now just with supporting cites. Just because content was slightly rewritten is not proof that his objections have any merit; he shouldn't assume it is. In the course of responding to his objections, more revelant and recent arguments were found. This particular subsection now sports 9 supporting cites. That's 9 cites for 3 paragraphs. The sentence now in question is already supported by two cites.
His repeated droning on about the article's verfiability is disruptive. His objections have not brought quality to this article or to Wikipedia, but mayhem. He's already filled two archived page with specious reasonings based on his own original research, we needn't sit by while he disrupts this page as well. If other reasonable editors find the these supporting cites to be insufficient, they are welcome to add additional cites. But it is not a valid a justification for removing credible, relevant content, which has always been Wade Tisthammer's central demand and why we are yet once again having to respond to him. FeloniousMonk 22:17, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
If trying to make the section conform to Wikipedia policy is disruptive, then I am being disruptive. I do not want the "who designed the designer" section removed altogether, I'd just like it to conform to Wikipedia policy; and that means no original research in the section. I must admit however, that people replacing one piece of original research for another is getting tiresome. I've created a version that I would find acceptable below (the addendum). It is essentially the same, with all statements I suspect to be original research removed, and one sentence describing the minority view (while still giving anti-ID the last word).
Regarding the "9 supporting cites"; none of them consist of a leading ID opponent (or anybody else) making the argument under discussion. As for my previous objections (e.g. here), I will say two things. One, I asked for a citation of a leading ID opponent making argument X to show that argument X is not original research. Such requests were repeatedly denied, despite FeloniousMonk's insinuations. Two, let’s put personal feelings and opinions regarding past issues aside for now and focus on the matter at hand. Is this argument original research? Can the requested citations be provided? So far, apparently they cannot. --Wade A. Tisthammer 23:14, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
Richard Dawkins isn't a leading critic of ID? Either you're deceiving yourself, hoping to deceive us, or woefully obtuse. FeloniousMonk 23:28, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
Of course Richard Dawkins is a leading critic of ID. If you can provide a citation with him saying, "the postulation of the existence of even a single uncaused causer in the Universe contradicts a fundamental assumption of Intelligent Design that a designer is needed for every specifically complex object" please do so. So far you have done no such thing. --Wade A. Tisthammer 23:33, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
Duncharris, where is this citation of Dawkins and Coyne making the argument, "the postulation of the existence of even a single uncaused causer in the Universe contradicts a fundamental assumption of Intelligent Design that a designer is needed for every specifically complex object"? If it exists, please provide it. Such a citation would certainly meet my request. Otherwise I don't think you or anyone else has even attempted to provide citations regarding this argument (yet). Also, please don't remove my replies from this section again. That is rude and disruptive. (For those who missed it, my replies to FeloniousMonk and Duncharris were deleted by Duncharris 12/8/2005)--Wade A. Tisthammer 23:14, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

NPOV is to represent all points of view. Is this correct? I doubt every single idea should be presented, not in the least equally. If it should, I would propose a "theory" conspicuously absent: the Flying Spaghetti Monster, to name a possible designer. --Nomen Nescio 23:01, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

True, Wikipedia policy states that majority and significant minority views be represented, but not extremely limited views (yet another reason why original research should not be in here). --Wade A. Tisthammer 23:14, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
Its true, Dawkins and Coyne make the argument. They claim that, following ID logic, ID states that the designer requires a designer. The problem is that the wording, or perhaps even the inclusion of the argument, suggests that they have a point, and that they are right about ID logic. Shouldn't we clarify that either ID does make the argument (with a cite) or that ID makes no such argument? -- Ec5618 23:27, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
See my addendum below. We can include both majority and minority viewpoints and that (I think) will be enough. Dawkins does claim that the complex designer requires an explanation, but I do not (correct me if I'm wrong) think he claims that ID states the designer requires a designer. (If I am wrong, please give me a quote.) --Wade A. Tisthammer 23:33, 8 December 2005 (UTC)


Addendum

In looking at the section, the "who designed the designer" seems so rife with original research that it might be best to just completely rewrite it. Here's what I propose:

In claiming that life was intelligent design, critics have asked the question of who designed the designer. Dawkins and Coyne have argued that "If complex organisms demand an explanation, so does a complex designer. And it's no solution to raise the theologian's plea that God (or the Intelligent Designer) is simply immune to the normal demands of scientific explanation." They further argue that Intelligent Design simply takes the complexity required for life to have evolved and moves it to the "designer" instead. Intelligent Design does not explain how the complexity happened in the first place; it just moves it. In this view, explaining the origin of life on Earth by reference to a designer explains nothing, for it does not explain the origin of the designer. And if the designer is itself designed, there is the possibility of falling into an infinite regression of designers. A design inference is thus vacuous and illegitimate.
ID adherents have claimed that one can still rationally infer design (e.g. a radio message sent by extraterrestrials) without knowing the identity or origins of the designer. Nonetheless, the vast majority of scientists claim there is insufficient reason to make a design inference for life on Earth in the first place.

I thought it fair to include one sentence (count: only one) to describe the minority view. A citation for that minority view can easily be given. Why did I cut out the rest? I'm not convinced that the rest of the material in the Wikipedia article isn't original research. If a citation of a prominent ID opponent can be given making those claims, the claims should be included. Otherwise they are not legitimate. --Wade A. Tisthammer 23:14, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

I have not digested the proposed text, but I agree with your point that anything that is uncited is suspect. -- Ec5618 23:27, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels that way. :) --Wade A. Tisthammer 23:34, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Wade,

Just any quote or the exact quote you demanded first?

Jim62sch 23:58, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Any citation of any leading ID opponent who makes the argument (whether verbatim or paraphrased) will do. --Wade A. Tisthammer 00:02, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

You do of course realize that "argumentum ad verecundiam" is one of the great fallacies, yes?

Jim62sch 00:05, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

The "appeal to authority"? I've heard of it, but keep in mind in this case we are dealing with whether an argument is original research. Among other things, one is not allowed to make up an argument against a theory one doesn't like and insert it into the Wikipedia entry. However, if a prominent opponent of a theory makes the argument, the argument is not original research (even if the argument his horribly flawed). That's why I've been making my request for a suitable citation. --Wade A. Tisthammer 00:11, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

You've "heard of it"? 'Nuff said.

Jim62sch 00:57, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

I've been watching this talk for a while now, and this won't go away. The reason it won't go away seems to be because everyone is a bit pissed off with everyone else, although it is cooling down a little. Jim, Wade is not appealing to authority. He is asking for a citation of a leading representative of a view expressing a particular point so that we can be sure people with this view can be considered to believe this point. It is the same as asking to see a green leaf before writing 'some leaves are green'. Or looking for a citation of a duck saying 'leaves are blue' before writing 'some ducks consider leaves to be blue'.

Wade's submitted text seems concise and relatively fair. But what do I know? :-) 16:14, 9 December 2005 (UTC) (Skittle)

If you've been watching, you'll have realized that we've been through this 800 times. Citations are provided, Wade rejects them. And yes, Wade is appealing to authority, but I'm going to get into a silly argument over that right now.

Jim62sch 16:58, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

If you've been watching Jim, you'll have realized that the reason I've rejected the citations is because they do not meet my request. That is, the citations do not consist of a leading ID opponent making the actual argument at hand. Look back at the citations and see for yourself. --Wade A. Tisthammer 05:10, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
VENI VIDI VOMVI. Maybe your definition of "leading opponent" is different from everyone else's. Maybe you're looking for exact quotes rather than using analysis to discern the correlation to what you requested. Maybe it's time we get off of this topic. Jim62sch 00:19, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Maybe my "leading opponent" aspect happens to be in line with Wikipedia policy (I can cite it for you if you like). Maybe I would accept a paraphrase (as I said earlier). Maybe none of the citations contained the argument under discussion--neither verbatim nor paraphrased. Maybe the constant refusal of meeting my request (if you think the request is unreasonable, I can cite Wikipedia policy for you) is getting ridiculous. Maybe I should seek mediation. --Wade A. Tisthammer 01:12, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Be careful, you may be hoisted by your own petard. FeloniousMonk 01:22, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Heed FM's advice. Jim62sch 01:25, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Okay, I'll just cite Wikipedia policy. The claim: the postulation of the existence of even a single uncaused causer in the Universe contradicts a fundamental assumption of intelligent design that a designer is needed for every specifically complex object. The Wikipedia entry states “critics argue” this. Do they? Is this viewpoint a majority, significant minority, or extremely small minority? Looking at Wikipedia policy
  • If a viewpoint is in the majority, then it should be easy to substantiate it with reference to commonly accepted reference texts;
  • If a viewpoint is held by a significant minority, then it should be easy to name prominent adherents;
  • If a viewpoint is held by an extremely small (or vastly limited) minority, it doesn't belong in Wikipedia (except perhaps in some ancillary article) regardless of whether it's true or not; and regardless of whether you can prove it or not.
My request was simple: a citation of any prominent ID adherent who makes this argument to show that the argument is not original research (I doubt one would find it in commonly accepted reference texts, but this would be acceptable too I suppose). And yet not one of the proposed citations met my request; not one of them consisted of a leading ID opponent claiming that the postulation of the existence of even a single uncaused causer in the Universe contradicts a fundamental assumption of intelligent design that a designer is needed for every specifically complex object. Indeed, many of the citations didn't even mention Dembski's specified complexity! One cannot just throw citations willy-nilly and claim and claim that the problem of producing a suitable citation has been resolved. The citations have to be relevant to the matter at hand.


Part II of my response: There is a large difference between concision and bowdlerism. The other references in the "Who (what) Designed the Designer" section are valid, do not indicate OR and are necessary, thus, they need to stay.

Jim62sch 22:37, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

Supporting cites for Wade

Wade should take the time to become familiar with the historical arguments which arise in positing an uncaused causer to avoid falling into long-identified logic traps then burdening us with his objections. That leaves the "fundamental assumption of Intelligent Design..." part of the passage from his objection. But reading the article, it is already supported by two cites: "the postulation of the existence of even a single uncaused causer in the Universe contradicts a fundamental assumption of Intelligent Design that a designer is needed for every specifically complex object.[70][71]"

  • 70. "Intelligent design, on the other hand, involves two basic assumptions: 1) Intelligent causes exist. 2) These causes can be empirically detected (by looking for specified complexity)." Access Research Network. Frequently Asked Questions about Intelligent Design. [4]
  • 71. "According to contemporary design theory, the presence of highly specified complexity is an indicator of an intelligent cause." Access Research Network. Frequently Asked Questions about Intelligent Design. [5]

These two cites have been sufficient support for most here except Wade and Ant. Since he'll quickly dismiss them, here are two additional cites supporting the statement that every specifically complex object is the product of a designer according to ID's tenets, ready for use as footnotes, numbers 72 and 73, if needed:

  • "In The Design Inference I show how inferring design is equivalent to identifying specified complexity." --Dembski [6]
  • "As I’ve argued in The Design Inference, specified complexity (or specified improbability as I call it there--the concepts are the same) is a reliable empirical marker of actual design." --Dembski [7]

As for his claim that the argument itself is original research, there's no shortage of proof that it is a common criticism of ID:

  1. "All that said, I don't see any reason to concede the premise that leads to the regress in the first place. We infer design on the basis of certain features of objects and events. Similarly, if we talk about specified complexity or fine-tuning, it's not clear what it even means to say that an agent "contains" more of these properties than an object the agent designs. That sounds like a category mistake. Agents have properties and capacities, like self-consciousness, freedom, intentions, and so forth. Agents also can cause certain things to come into existence, including complex things. But as a causal explanation, agency/intelligent design is simple. It’s not a metaphysically exotic or arcane concept." [8], and [9]
  2. "Suppose that the argument for Intelligent Design is correct--that the complexity of life on this planet is proof that there must be a designer intelligent enough to have created the (apparently purposefully designed) complexity. (For proponents of Intelligent Design, the designer is none other than God, though they deny that in public forums.) Clearly, this designer must, Himself, be quite complex. How was He created? If He exists (or existed) in the natural world, the only tool that the ID folks have for explaining such complexity is Intelligent Design. Clearly, the Designer could not have arisen by chance and therefore He must have been designed. But the Designer's Designer must be even more complex. Invoking Intelligent Design again, we must conclude that there must have been an even more complex Designer's Designer's Designer. Continue invoking Intelligent Design over and over again and you are left with an infinite series of ever-more-complex Designers going back infinitely in time. Intelligent Design admits no beginning to this infinite series. This infinite series is: 1) completely at odds with a universe that appears finite in both space and time; 2) at odds with the fact that we have zero direct evidence of these infinite number of ever-more-complex creators; and 3) is contrary to the increase in complexity in life we have seen on this planet." [10]
  3. "Rather, the hinge of this argument is that the "designer" either is or is not irreducibly complex. The choice of a non-complex designer is not open to ID proponents, because it fundamentally contradicts ID. This is so because a non-complex designer would mean that supposedly “irreducible” complexity could arise from less complex origins – picture a sequence going back to the amoeba – and thus cannot fairly be said to be “irreducible.” The payoff of this logical – not theological – argument is simply that ID requires a designer that could not naturally occur." [11]
  4. "It [natural selection] doesn't pretend to solve one mystery (the origin of complex life) by slipping in another (the origin of a complex designer) [as does ID]." --Steven Pinker, Psychology professor, Harvard University [12]. And Dembski is aware of argument, citing Pinker: [13]

I would say once again that this puts to rest Wade's objections, but given his willful refusal to accept any evidence over the last month, and his tendentious and combative nature here, I'm sure Wade will dismiss this evidence under some specious pretense. FeloniousMonk 23:36, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

So, the argument is made, quite unequivocally, that it is said that ID requires an intelligent cause. But does ID specifically state that it does? Could you explain how the above quotes mean that 'the designer' must be irreducibly complex?
'specified improbability' equals 'specified complexity' which implies 'intelligent cause'. But why should that cause be irreducibly complex? -- Ec5618 23:55, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
The article doesn't say "irreducibly complex" anymore. It says "a fundamental assumption of Intelligent Design that a designer is needed for every specifically complex object" which is indeed what Dembski and ARN both say: "Intelligent design, on the other hand, involves two basic assumptions: 1) Intelligent causes exist. 2) These causes can be empirically detected (by looking for specified complexity)." [14], "According to contemporary design theory, the presence of highly specified complexity is an indicator of an intelligent cause." [15], "In The Design Inference I show how inferring design is equivalent to identifying specified complexity." [16], "As I’ve argued in The Design Inference, specified complexity (or specified improbability as I call it there--the concepts are the same) is a reliable empirical marker of actual design." [17]. FeloniousMonk 00:09, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
Felonious, I could just as easily claim you have refused to accept any evidence in the past month (e.g. when I cited Behe who flatly contradicted the alleged fundamental assumption of ID regarding irreducible complexity).
Let's look at what the cites establish. Do they establish that specified complexity is a property used to infer design? Absolutely. But we must not take Dembski out of context. All instances of inferring design from objects of specified complexity apply to objects that have begun to exist (see for instance Dembski's explanatory filter). Does Dembski mean to apply this principle to uncaused entities? That seems unlikely.
The argument also seems to depend on the designer having specified complexity. And while the quote says the designer must be complex, it doesn't say that the designer must have the kind of complexity Dembski describes. Saying that the designer must be complex and saying that the designer must have Dembski’s “specified complexity” are two different things. And none of the citations provided so far grant my request: a leading ID opponent making the argument, "the postulation of the existence of even a single uncaused causer in the Universe contradicts a fundamental assumption of Intelligent Design that a designer is needed for every specifically complex object". None of the citations have that. If you want to put forth the "infinite regression" claim, I would have no objection. But original research is not appropriate. And it should be noted that the quote misrepresents ID's position. ID doesn't claim that intelligent design is needed for all forms of complexity (as I have demonstrated earlier with multiple citations) just some of them. --Wade A. Tisthammer 23:54, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
Now the hair splitting begins. I disagree and I'm not going to argue the fine points with you because you've a long history of denying the obvious and engaging in shabby semantics. The cites are credible and valid. They support the content, you're repeated objections not withstanding. Case closed. FeloniousMonk 00:09, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
Saying that the designer must be "quite complex" and saying that the designer must have Dembski’s “specified complexity” are two different things. You disagree with this? --Wade A. Tisthammer 00:16, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
I disagree that with your interpretation of it, and I'm not going to be drawn into a debate with someone who mischaracterizes the material issues from front to back and refuses to play by Wikipedia's rules. FeloniousMonk 00:43, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
Mischaracterizes the material issues? And I suppose that the necessity of providing a citation of a leading ID opponent who actually makes the argument isn't material to the matter at hand? Do I need to cite Wikipedia policy again? --Wade A. Tisthammer 05:17, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
P.S. Citation #3 comes from an anonymous poster responding to blog entry; hardly a prominent ID opponent. --Wade A. Tisthammer 23:59, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
So what? It's not being used in the article. I provided it here to establish that it is a commonly-made criticism. FeloniousMonk 00:09, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
Citing one anonymous reply to a blog on the internet does not demonstrate that it is a commonly-made criticism. Now, if perhaps you can abide by Wikipedia policy by e.g. citing a prominent ID opponent making the argument...--Wade A. Tisthammer 00:13, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
Ah, once again hairsplitting. Wade ignores the other three points and focusses on on the one he feels is "not up to standard". Now there's a technique we know well - take the body ok knowledge, make an irrelevant attack on one point, and claim that as proof that the whole pointis valid. FM didn't cite one example - he cited four. And "common usage" is just that - common usage. It doesn't matter whether it's a comment made anonymously, pseudonymously (since TPMCafe has a log-in that requires an attached email address) or with one's own name attached to it. The claim is that it is a commonly made argument. That claim has been more than adequately supported. Wikipedia policy allows "common knowledge" to actually be uncited, so claiming that policy requires a prominent opponent is simply incorrect. Guettarda 00:31, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
Guettarda nails it here, and we've all made this point to Wade many times in the past, including Guettarda. How much tendentious and fruitless debate are we required to tolerate? How many credible cites off-handedly dismissed are enough? After 1+ months and 2+ very large talk pages (now archived), we're far, far beyond AGF here with Wade. He's been warned many times by many, many editors and admins about this, but insists on continuing his disruption. FeloniousMonk 00:53, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
I request a citation of a leading ID opponent who makes argument X to show that the argument is not original research, in accordance with Wikipedia policy. These requests are repeatedly denied, despite my insistence that either the citations be provided or the original research argument be removed. If this is disruption, then I'm guilty. If this is not disruption, then you and anyone else (if there is anyone else) accusing me of disruption have little basis for that allegation. If anyone, I think it is you FeloniousMonk who are disruptive by pretending to give valid cites even though the citations do not satisfy my request. (And if you think my request is unreasonable, I'd be happy to cite Wikipedia policy again.) --Wade A. Tisthammer 00:05, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
Guettarda, on what grounds do you claim I have ignored the other points? The first part was from Dembski, and I said "Let's look at what the cites establish. Do they establish that specified complexity is a property used to infer design? Absolutely." That this was referring to the first cite (Dembski's comments on specified complexity) I thought was obvious from what I said, but perhaps this was a mistake. The second citation is what I was chiefly talking about, I suspect you noticed that. I mentioned the third citation (see above) quite explicitly, and apparently you missed that. What about the fourth? That one I didn't respond to, but notice that the fourth citation doesn't mention the argument under discussion. It says that the designer must be complex (an argument I agree is not original research), but again it doesn't say that the designer must have Dembski's specified complexity, nor does it say that an uncaused causer contradicts “a fundamental assumption of Intelligent Design that a designer is needed for every specifically complex object.” (Which happens to be the argument I suspect is original research) Do you disagree with this? --Wade A. Tisthammer 23:58, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
Good thing I provided three other examples then. FeloniousMonk 00:33, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
Bad Wade, bad. - RoyBoy 800 06:09, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
RoyBoy, that is a personal attack :-) --chad 09:43, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
Heh, yeah I went to town on him. :"D - RoyBoy 800 00:06, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Supporting cites for Wade, Subheading

Agree Wade's version is excellent and present's the critic's arguments very clearly and accurately. I see no reason not to prefer it.

Dealing with each item raised by FM, in italics below:

"Wade should take the time to become familiar with the historical arguments which arise in positing an uncaused causer to avoid falling into long-identified logic traps then burdening us with his objections."

This is a distraction introduced by Wade from his own point, presumably in an attempt to clarify. Let's rather tackle Wade's main point of original research.

"... the "fundamental assumption of Intelligent Design..." part of the passage ... is already supported by two cites: ..."

You left out the first part of the critic's argument under discussion. The full text being contested as original research is:

"the postulation of the existence of even a single uncaused causer in the Universe contradicts a fundamental assumption of Intelligent Design ...etc"

This particular topic is not about the fundamental assumption or whether it is correct or not, but about the critic's application of the assumption to contradict the existence of an uncaused causer. It is necessary to cite the critic's argument because it is the critic's argument - and not ID - which logically presumes that any causer or designer must be a specifically complex object. Otherwise there is no contradiction.

However as far as I'm concerned if it can be shown that ID does assume that the designer must be specifically complex, then clearly we do not need a cite for the critical argument under contention because it would then be logically obvious.

Therefore obections to the suitability of the cites need to show both (1) that the cite is not the above argument OR has not been made by a leading critic and (2) that the cite is not an ID statement that a designer must be specifically complex.

Note. When I state below that something is 'Not the argument by a leading critic' what I mean is that the person is not a leading opponent of ID AND/OR that the argument presented cannot be interpreted as saying that an uncaused causer contradicts the fundamental assumption of ID as claimed (that every specifically complex object must be designed)

70. "Intelligent design, on the other hand, involves two basic assumptions: 1) Intelligent causes exist. 2) These causes can be empirically detected (by looking for specified complexity)." Access Research Network. Frequently Asked Questions about Intelligent Design. [18]
(1)Not the argument by a leading critic
(2)Does not show that ID assumes that a designer must be specifically complex.
(Shows only that a set of specifically complex objects implies a designer)
(Can we remove this citation please)
71. "According to contemporary design theory, the presence of highly specified complexity is an indicator of an intelligent cause." Access Research Network. Frequently Asked Questions about Intelligent Design. [19]
(1)Not the argument by a leading critic
(2)Does not show that ID assumes that a designer must be specifically complex.
(Shows only that a set of specifically complex objects implies a designer)
(Can we remove this citation please)
"In The Design Inference I show how inferring design is equivalent to identifying specified complexity." --Dembski [20]
(1)Not the argument by a leading critic
(2)Does not show that ID assumes that a designer must be specifically complex.
(Shows only that a set of specifically complex objects implies a designer)
"As I’ve argued in The Design Inference, specified complexity (or specified improbability as I call it there--the concepts are the same) is a reliable empirical marker of actual design." --Dembski [21]
(1)Not the argument by a leading critic
(2)Does not show that ID assumes that a designer must be specifically complex.
(Shows only that the existence of specific complexity requires a designer)

As for his claim that the argument itself is original research, there's no shortage of proof that it is a common criticism of ID:

"All that said, I don't see any reason to concede the premise that leads to the regress in the first place. We infer design on the basis of certain features of objects and events. Similarly, if we talk about specified complexity or fine-tuning, it's not clear what it even means to say that an agent "contains" more of these properties than an object the agent designs. That sounds like a category mistake. Agents have properties and capacities, like self-consciousness, freedom, intentions, and so forth. Agents also can cause certain things to come into existence, including complex things. But as a causal explanation, agency/intelligent design is simple. It’s not a metaphysically exotic or arcane concept." [22], and [23]
(1)Not the argument by a leading critic
(2)Does not show that ID assumes that a designer must be specifically complex.
"Suppose that the argument for Intelligent Design is correct--that the complexity of life on this planet is proof that there must be a designer intelligent enough to have created the (apparently purposefully designed) complexity. (For proponents of Intelligent Design, the designer is none other than God, though they deny that in public forums.) Clearly, this designer must, Himself, be quite complex. How was He created? If He exists (or existed) in the natural world, the only tool that the ID folks have for explaining such complexity is Intelligent Design. Clearly, the Designer could not have arisen by chance and therefore He must have been designed. But the Designer's Designer must be even more complex. Invoking Intelligent Design again, we must conclude that there must have been an even more complex Designer's Designer's Designer. Continue invoking Intelligent Design over and over again and you are left with an infinite series of ever-more-complex Designers going back infinitely in time. Intelligent Design admits no beginning to this infinite series. This infinite series is: 1) completely at odds with a universe that appears finite in both space and time; 2) at odds with the fact that we have zero direct evidence of these infinite number of ever-more-complex creators; and 3) is contrary to the increase in complexity in life we have seen on this planet." [24]
(1)The critic (leading??) typically overlooks the issue of whether the designer must be specifically complex and assumes that complexity of any kind implies design.
(2)Does not show that ID assumes that a designer must be specifically complex.
"Rather, the hinge of this argument is that the "designer" either is or is not irreducibly complex. The choice of a non-complex designer is not open to ID proponents, because it fundamentally contradicts ID. This is so because a non-complex designer would mean that supposedly “irreducible” complexity could arise from less complex origins – picture a sequence going back to the amoeba – and thus cannot fairly be said to be “irreducible.” The payoff of this logical – not theological – argument is simply that ID requires a designer that could not naturally occur." [25]
(1)I really don't think that chats over cups of coffee count as a leading critic's argument.
(1)Claims that a designer must be irreducibly complex. Not the same as attributing to ID the fundamental assumption that every specifically complex object must be designed.
(2)Does not show that ID assumes that a designer must be specifically complex.
"It [natural selection] doesn't pretend to solve one mystery (the origin of complex life) by slipping in another (the origin of a complex designer) [as does ID]." --Steven Pinker, Psychology professor, Harvard University [26]. And Dembski is aware of argument, citing Pinker: [27]
(1)Not the argument by a leading critic
(2)Does not show that ID assumes that a designer must be specifically complex.

(woops, forgot to sign, sorry) ant 19:25, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

Thank you for explaining the problem more elegantly than I have. Hopefully this clears up matters. --Wade A. Tisthammer 23:58, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

_____

Who wrote the above?

Jim62sch 16:47, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

Antandcharmi (talk · contribs) "ant". FeloniousMonk 19:41, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

Thanks. It was rather expansive.

Jim62sch 22:45, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

Well, what ant's explanation lacked in terms of clarification was certainly made up for by its grandeur. Jim62sch 00:57, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Does not show that ID assumes that a designer must be specifically complex. So, how is this designer able to design? I admit this is my assumption, but must any designer not ipso facto be complex to create what we see today? --Nomen Nescio 16:11, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
The issue is not whether the designer is complex per se, but whether the designer has Dembski's specified complexity (a particular kind of complexity). Specified complexity--in a nutshell--is a kind of complexity that requires a designer--assuming the complex entity began to exist (anything possessing specified complexity is by definition highly unlikely to have come about naturally and possesses a kind of pattern that warrants a design inference). Anti-ID adherents of course disagree that biology contains specified complexity. It should be noted that some kinds of complexity do not require a designer (e.g. snowflakes). And yet, some kinds of complexity do require a designer (e.g. automobiles). It is logically possible for the designer to have a kind of complexity that could have come about naturally. A quick example (for those who don't adhere to ID theory) would be us humans. We required no designer, and can create automobiles. Similarly, ID theory does leave open the possibility that the designer arose naturally. Since the physical makeup of the designer is unknown, one cannot (under the tools ID theory uses anyway) tell whether or not the designer has the kind of complexity that requires a designer.
If one wanted to put, "Critics say that the designer must be complex" I would have no objection, because such a criticism can be cited and is not original research. Saying that the designer must have Dembski's specified complexity however appears to be original research given the lack of my requested citations of a leading ID opponent making the argument (in accordance with Wikipedia policy). --Wade A. Tisthammer 02:37, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
Wade, thanks for supporting one of my postulates regarding the genesis of ID (or creationism for that matter -- yes creationism, the differences are mostly window dressing): ID is essentially based on the belief that "As I create (design), I must have been created (designed)," (or, "As I create (design) things, then things I cannot understand must be created (designed)"). While such a belief is certainly understandable (especially as the basis for a philosophy/theological tenet), it is a logical fallacy -- one that has persisted for millennia. But then, any belief arising from anthropomorphism (including both the weak and strong anthropic principles as generally stated) is a logical fallacy. Jim62sch 10:57, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

It gets better: the designer could have evolved. ("according to ID, a tremedously complex designer could evolve" (ant 23:48, 9 December 2005 (UTC)). Jim62sch 16:15, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Be fair, Jim62sch. Surely that's true, when we limit the designer to the designer of life on Earth. Surely, an advanced alien culture could have evolved, and could now be pulling strings here on Earth (and could have even created life here, from the atom up). Since the exact definition of ID is remarkably vague, we can't exclude the possibility.
It's only false when the designer is seen as the designer (shaper) of the universe, or if life could not have come about through natural means (ID only states that life as we know it shows signs of intelligent design, not that all life must be designed). As long as the basic premise of ID is vague, we cannot claim that ID rules out evolution (even though we all know it's main goals is to discredit evolution, we cannot state nor prove that. We must report that ID is presented in conflicting ways, and that some of those preclude evolution, while others do (may) not. -- Ec5618 16:33, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Remarkably vague is an understatement. And the "life could have evolved elsewhere and designed life here because Zeus knows life couldn't have evolved on this planet" argument is both a paradox and an absurdity.

And, in a way you are correct regarding how to portray ID -- but, if we do it that way, off it goes to a Philosophy page along with Dianetics/Scientology. Wait, that's it, that's who the designers were -- Thetans! Anon, shalt ye all to bow down to Tom Cruise. @@

Jim62sch 18:01, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

We required no designer, and can create automobiles. (Wade) If humans do not require a designer, what organism does? And on what grounds? --Nomen Nescio 09:37, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Ooh, ooh, ooh, can I answer?! Could it be...anorganismwithirreduciblecomplexity?!? Jim62sch 21:35, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Nomen, I think you may have misunderstood the point of what I was saying. My example (for those who do not accept ID) of humans creating a car was to demonstrate that it is logically possible for the designer to have a kind of complexity that could have come about naturally. Similarly, ID leaves the possibility open to the designer possessing a kind of complexity that could have come about naturally. Perhaps some types of physical life require a designer whereas others do not. As to your question, would highly intelligent androids constitute artificial life forms? (Confer the android Data on Star Trek TNG.) If so, this kind of "organism" would require a designer. --Wade A. Tisthammer 21:56, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

OK, I tried to get through the bizarreness of this post and was defeated by cephalalgia. Star Trek? Data? Artificial life form? Great show, cool character, ain't alive. I mean, come on, why not bring up that irritating robot from Lost in Space? Danger Wade Tisthammer, danger. Jim62sch 22:26, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

On Star Trek: TNG Data was often referred to as an artificial life form. Think about it. Why wouldn't he? He is an intelligent entity after all. --Wade A. Tisthammer 19:32, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

It's a TV show, a work of fiction, not real, not based on reality, etc. Jim62sch 23:13, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Additional suggestion from Wade (moved)

In regard to the note above to use scientific terms properly, Wade suggests:

I think the problem can be solved by using the word “theory” to mean “theory” in the ordinary sense and “scientific theory” to mean a theory the “scientific” sense. Ambiguity resolved. --Wade A. Tisthammer 22:02, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

"theory in the ordinary sense" is a non sequitur. ID purports to be science. This article addresses the scientific basis for that claim, as the note to editors says: "This article uses scientific terminology." Your suggestion is to abandon that. FeloniousMonk 22:14, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
Felonious, why is "theory in the ordinary sense" a non sequitur? It isn't a deductive argument or even a proposition. Now, I do think it's good to abide by scientific terminology, and I'm not saying we abandon that. But intelligent design theory is still a theory after all (even if it is not a scientific theory, and incidentally there appears to be no reason why it is not a legitimate scientific theory anyway). If you're worried about ambiguity, you can follow my suggestion, thus still preserving scientific terminology (by using the term "scientific theory") and being even more unambiguous (since not all theories are scientific). And please don't remove my replies from a Talk section again. It's disruptive and a bit rude. --Wade A. Tisthammer 23:00, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
See doublespeak. Ce n'est pas un bon idée. — Dunc| 22:17, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
But it would have the neat side-effect of allowing ID to be called a "theory (not scientific)" while it's scientific basis is highly disputed. I don't think so. FeloniousMonk 22:24, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
Duncharris You have removed my replies from several sections. This is very rude and very disruptive. Please don't do this again. --Wade A. Tisthammer 23:00, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

It seems that this difference of opinion as to what constitutes science and logic is the central theme of this page. To adhere to the scientific definitions of terms would be the logical thing to do, and it might prevent endless discussion based upon semantics. --Nomen Nescio 22:49, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Even with that, semantics will come up. Personally, I'm ok with the term 'concept' being used, though I think the whole campaign to do so is a bit pedantic. Trilemma 22:57, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
I don't think it's a good idea to confuse the issue. We could change 'theory' to 'scientific theory', for clarification (though wholesale text replacement is usually bad idea), but allowing the use of the word theory to refer to thoughts and notions is probably going to cause problems. -- Ec5618 23:27, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
Precision is better, qualified statements are bad. FeloniousMonk 23:36, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Wade, you are rendering yourself, and your arguments, ridiculous and irrelevant. This, of course, is your option. The further you continue with this illogical, puerile behaviour the less credibility you have. Again, this is your option. In all honesty, I have suffered your enuretic whining far longer than I thought possible. Hereafter, unless you offer what is truly a new point there really will be no point in answering your never-ending requests.

One other point (not just for Wade): a large part of science and philosophy relies on the ability to construe certain points after a careful and logical analysis of the argument as presented. It seems that that ability is missing among some here. Asking, "how does this...?" simply means that one has either not bothered to attempt a logical analysis or that one does not have the requisite tools necessary to do so.

Jim62sch 00:41, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

How is it that because you disagree with Wade, Wade is out of line? ant 19:28, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

Did I say he was "out of line"? I said that he consistently brings up the same points, over and over and over and over, simply rewording them. Then his points and requests are responded to, and he rejects the responses and citations. In so doing, and in failing to move on to more fertile ground, his arguments can no longer be taken seriously, as many folks get tired of re-tilling the same soil.

Jim62sch 22:52, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

The syntax is what I've been bringing up over and over again. I request a citation of a leading ID opponent making argument X to show that it is not original research. This request is repeatedly denied. Argument X is replaced several times (reworded, if you will), yet the replacements look like original research. I make my request again, the request is repeatedly denied...
I reject the citations because they do not meet my request. If you think my request is unreasonable, I'd be happy to cite Wikipedia policy for you. --Wade A. Tisthammer 00:13, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
Sorry, but I'm not cite-happy, and I know the policy very well, danke. Sometimes, I think you abuse the policy by narrowing your criteria to a point where no cite will ever meet your standards.
Jim62sch 00:25, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
If you think my criteria are overly narrow, I will be happy to cite Wikipedia policy for you. --Wade A. Tisthammer 02:42, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
Of course the policy assumes the requests will be reasonable and in good faith. The wheels on Wade's goalposts are so well-oiled there's nary a squeak each time they're shifted. FeloniousMonk 01:13, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
Heck, I'd be happy if the goalposts stayed in the endzone. Jim62sch 01:31, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
Do you have any evidence at all that I've moved my goalposts? I suspect not. --Wade A. Tisthammer 02:42, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
[28] [29] [30] [31] [32] [33], and so on... You've filled 2 archived talk pages denying the obvious. We need not suffer a third. Move on to another topic. FeloniousMonk 06:03, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
None of those are instances of me moving the goalposts (if I am understanding the usage of the term correctly). The first: at one point I was trying to justify was that ID does not claim that the designer must be irreducibly complex. I did not waver from that point. However, that claim was removed, though it was replaced with another, different yet ill-suited claim that appeared to be original research. For situations like these, I asked for a citation of a prominent ID opponent who makes the argument. This "goalpost" never moved. Even the links you provided suggest that this request of mine has been pretty consistent. --Wade A. Tisthammer 06:36, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Wade, it's like this: There's a quote that such-and-such group/philosophy/belief/theory says the earth is round, you ask for a quote and it is provided. Then you say, "Ha! it said the earth was spherical"; someone points out that they mean (roughly) the same thing, you reply, "Double ha! they said it was almost spherical"...and on it goes.

Take my advice, till new soil. Take FM's advice, move on to a new topic. This is getting utterly ridiculous; the horse is dead, flogging it isn't going to resurrect it. Jim62sch 23:23, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

No, it's more like this. There's a claim that a certain type of rock is blue. I ask for a citation, and the citation merely says that the rock has a color.
In the case of the intelligent design article, I ask a citation of a leading ID opponent making argument X, because I suspect the argument to be original research. The citations provided do not consist of a leading ID opponent who actually makes argument--neither verbatim nor paraphrased. Let's take an example.
The argument, "by Intelligent Design's own reasoning, a designer capable of creating irreducible complexity must also be irreducibly complex." I have never seen this argument other than Wikipedia, and I suspected this claim to be original research. I have subsequently asked for a citation of a leading ID opponent who makes this claim. Such requests have been repeatedly denied. Citations provided did not consist of a leading ID opponent making this claim. Some are almost similar, e.g. a leading ID opponent claiming that the designer must be complex (a quote from Dawkins) but without the ID opponent even mentioning irreducible complexity, claiming that the designer must be irreducibly complex, or claiming that the designer must be irreducibly complex by intelligent design's own reasoning. Why did I reject the citations? Because they didn't even mention the actual argument under discussion. The same sort of thing goes for the new argument that has replaced it.
You are right about the idea that this is getting ridiculous. I may have to resort to mediation or even arbitration if this continues. --Wade A. Tisthammer 23:24, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Whatever Wade. Why not define your famous "leading ID opponent" to us. Why not tell us precisely what we should find, where it is, what it should say, etc. This is getting tiresome. Jim62sch 00:34, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Interesting Point

Avant-hier, Richard Dawkins, l’un des plus éminents spécialistes de la théorie de l’évolution, soulignait dans le Times britannique : “C’est effrayant quand des ennemis de la science utilisent ses faiblesses dans un but politique. Cela menace l’entreprise scientifique elle-même. Et c’est exactement ce que le créationnisme ou la thèse de l’intelligent design font, précisément parce que les auteurs de cette propagande sont habiles, superficiellement plausibles et, avant tout, bien financés”. [34]

Jim62sch 02:35, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

It's all Greek to me. :-) --chad 04:48, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
In English: It is therefore galling, to say the least, when enemies of science turn those constructive admissions around and abuse them for political advantage. Worse, it threatens the enterprise of science itself. This is exactly the effect that creationism or “intelligent design theory” (ID) is having, especially because its propagandists are slick, superficially plausible and, above all, well financed.[35]
-Parallel or Together ? 05:13, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
I think "well-financed" is a bit of an exaggeration when you compare their funds to those of the rest of the scientific community. :-) --chad 05:55, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
I think we are going for a per capita kind of thing. As there are extremely few ID propogandists; whereas there are many scientists chasing funding. - RoyBoy 800 06:01, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
Good point. I now agree that ID is a bunch of hogwash. --chad 06:06, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
Btw, I don't see how a few "ID propogandists" could gain any kind of advantage over thousands (or according to Nomen, a billion) of mainstream scientists who disagree with them just by having more money. I am afraid Dawkins "point" about financing is pointless. --chad 06:13, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
This isn't about advantage per say, it is about being heard at all. If you have the financing, you can engage in court battles, fly to school board hearings, give free seminars and pursue ID full time, publish materials (books, brochures), buy ad time etc etc etc. You of course understand politicians need money to conduct a campaign and to get exposure; such is the case for ID. - RoyBoy 800 06:27, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
Okay, point accepted. I actually read the article that the quote was taken from. Dawkins says in the last paragraph that theism leads people to fill in the gaps of things such as photosynthesis with God. Funny thing is, the people who first studied photosynthesis believed in God, including a mystic, a minister, and a pastor. --chad 07:08, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
He points out creationists fill in gaps by default with God. Having theists, and even creationsists, looking into these matters doesn't change that tendency; it does demonstrate when a creationist is educated and has enough time or his/her hands, and is curious, nothing is stopping them from conducting real science. That history also does not keep creationists from proclaiming God mediated the design of photosynthesis. If they can see and understand it, the default explanation falls away, if not... it is right there at the forefront. Maybe its just me, but I find it far more useful and honest to say, I don't know. - RoyBoy 800 21:41, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

The argument that ID proposes a God of the Gaps has ben around for a bit, there was a good Slate article on that. I'm not sure what your point was about Helmont, Priestley and Senebier, unless you were pointing out that science is inclusive.

Jim62sch 13:36, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

I'm pointing out that attributing creation to God has no effect on science itself.--chad 13:42, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
It seems science has come to be defined as "studying how everything in the universe could come into existence spontaneously and how those things work" rather than the old definition "studying structures in nature and trying to figure out how they work." I don't see the problem with the old definition. I don't see how ID has any bad effect on studying science according to the old definition. I don't see how the old definition is any worse when it comes to trying to be good stewards of the universe we have been placed in. I am curious as to why it suddenly became so important to not allow a designer. It seems like a strictly personal agenda on the part of a few scientists back in the day who somehow gained influence. The theistic scientists didn't catch on until it was too late, and then it was, well, too late. Darwinistic evolution by natural selection is "life without God". That's what it is. What was wrong with the approach of Helmont, Priestley and Senebier to science? --chad 14:06, 9 December 2005 (UTC)


The definition of science has not changed, you just think it has -- mostly because, I suppose, you are miffed that science has rejected ID, failing to see ID's great revelatory powers.

We've gone over this ad nauseum. Incorporating a designer violates parsimony, and introduces a paranormal (non-scientific) explanation into the process. Enough already, this constant repetition is getting rather silly.


Jim62sch 16:54, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

Actually a designer only violates parsimony if there is a plausible explanation without a designer. It is ID's point that a designerless evolution could not plasuibly account for what we see. If ID is correct in that, then ID is in fact parsimonious, and designerless evolution is not, being incomplete. Thus ID cannot be rejected as being non-parsimonious without first disproving it's precept. ant 19:35, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
Evolution is plausible; ID points about evolution prey on misconceptions and gaps of evolution, and more recently tries to narrowly define information; but during all of this they in no way demonstrate evolution is not plausible. Hence, disproving this precept contention is unnesassary; as it's invalid to begin with. There that was easy. - RoyBoy 800 21:57, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
ID's point is unsubstantiated conjecture: to prove its (not it's) precept its proponents would have to do some science, which they seem remarkably reluctant to do. Having two unknowns is less parsimonious than having one.. ...dave souza 22:03, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

You know, had ID just presented itself as a philosophy all this arguing would be unnecessary. But no, it has to pretend that it's a science. Dave is correct; the IDists seem loath to do any real science to support their philosophy

Jim62sch 22:58, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

Old school science was called Natural philosophy. Endomion 04:08, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Here's another article from France, for those who know French. I'd translate it, but I don't have the time at the moment, sorry.

[(ID from France) http://www.u-blog.net/FulcanelliPolitik/note/89]

Jim62sch 00:48, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Who designed the designer's designer's designer?

Um, I think this discussion really is getting out of hand. Fact is, the argument is pointless as has been shown many times; it has nothing to do with "looking for signs of intelligence". Why not have Wade give us a good cite from an ID proponent regarding the argument (debunking the argument). The argument is an example of a typical tactic in a debate (fight?), my parents do it, I do it with my girlfriend, politicians do it: it's changing the subject. ID proponents say "we are looking for signs of intelligence" and then for some unknown reason mainstream scientists say "who designed the designer"? That's just ridiculous. What if we do find signs of intelligence? Do we still ask "who designed the designer?" No, that's beyond science, let the religionists deal with that (as has been said). Before Darwin, the vast majority scientists would never say "we aren't studying creation, we're studying nature!" I think everyone would have to agree. It was no hindrance to them to believe that things are created. For some reason, mainstream scientists think it is a huge hindrance to science to infer design in a very small portion of biological structures, and they come up with dogmas such as the unfalsifiable "everything in nature is explainable by nature," and "in order for something to qualify as science, it must be falsifiable". A further point, consider the following dialogue:

  • A: Who designed that car?
  • B: Ferdinand Porsche
  • A: Who designed Ferdinand Porsche?
  • B: What does that have to do with anything?
  • A: Just answer my question.
  • B: I don't know!
  • A: Then the car wasn't designed.

The strange thing is this, ID-ists don't even answer the first question, which makes the following dialogue even more ridiculous.

  • A: Hmmm... that looks suspicious. Is it just me or does that look like it was designed?
  • B: Who designed it?
  • A: I dunno.
  • B: Come on, who designed it?
  • A: I just said it looks designed. It could have been anyone.
  • B: Who designed the designer?
  • A: I haven't even said who the designer is yet. I can't say for certain who the designer is just by looking at what appears to be designed.
  • B: Come on, answer the question.
  • A: I can't.
  • B: Then it wasn't designed.

The logic is faulty, the darwinist changes the subject. Now don't get me wrong, there may be reasons not to believe in ID, but this clearly isn't one of them. --chad 05:52, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

Your analogy is faulty. Your first example is of a known manmade object with a known designer and is not analogous to the discussion at hand. You are setting up a straw man.
  • A: Who designed that car, knowing that cars are made by people and designed by people?
  • B: Ferdinand Porsche.
  • A: Who designed Ferdinand Porsche, since I am a straw man and must ask a silly question to prove a point?
  • B: What does that have to do with anything?
  • A: Just answer my question, since I am a straw man and ask silly questions.
  • B: I don't know! Actually God did.
  • A: Then the car wasn't designed, since I am a straw man and have no brain with which to reason. I wish the wizard was here!
Your second example misrepresents the question. A more accurate representation would be:
  • A: Hmmm... that looks suspicious. That looks designed because it is too complex to have evolved.
  • B: So you are postulating a designer due to complexity?
  • A: Yes, but a nonspecific intelligent designer.
  • B: Intelligent designer implies complexity.
  • A: ok.
  • B: Then doesn't that also imply a designer of the designer by your original argument?
  • A: ...
  • B: You are setting up an infinite regression.
  • A: You are so going to hell! (inserted for humor) :)
Keep in mind there is no analogy for this "debate" since there is no other object with uncertain origins that is not encompassed by this argument.
--DocJohnny 08:12, 17 December 2005 (UTC)


When you say Before Darwin, the vast majorityscientists would never say "we aren't studying creation, we're studying nature!", do you mean Erasmus or Charles Darwin? Eighteenth century philosophers such as Hume raised the question, and when Paley nicked the watchmaker argument he wsa replying tho them. By the time young Charles Darwin became a university student nature without a creator was openly studied in Edinburgh and Paris, but not in the Church of England scientific establishment as he found out when he went on to Cambridge. ...dave souza 07:55, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
This talk page is not here to argue the relative merits of the criticism. As I've said to you before, from the article's perspective the question of "who designed the designer" is a significant enough criticism to warrant inclusion here. Every major pro-ID website have refutations to the argument, and both Dembski and Behe find it worthy enough to include refutations of it in No Free Lunch (a chapter, 6.8) and Darwin's Black Box (a paragraph). That one or two people have been able to disrupt this page for a month now over the section is no justification for removing it. FeloniousMonk 06:16, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
I'm really tired right now, so I might be off base. But at least for this argument it seems to demonstrate ID has less explanatory power than scientific theories. As such, even if there was reason to reject leading science theories; ID isn't even a viable alternative. So its more about a scientist and/or skeptic (rather than a darwinist) pointing this out. As ID maintains its science, this argument is notable, a made often for that very reason. - RoyBoy 800 06:20, 9 December 2005 (UTC)


I'm extremely tempted to respond to this. You are completely mischaractarising the entire debate. Once B says 'therefore, it wasn't designed', you can simply point out that of course the car was designed because plans exist, tools exist, and the construction from materials to parts that perform specific functions occurs, all of which conform to our idea of the verb 'design'. Ferdinand Porsche if therefore the designer, since he is the originator of the above.
The more usual ID-scientist debate is more like:
  • A: That looks designed.
  • B: How do you know?
  • A: Because I can't see any other way how.
If there's no criteria for design being done, you might as well ask:
  • B: So who's the designer?
  • A: Doesn't matter.
At this point, ID stops resembling anything useful, let alone a scientific theory. Tez 09:52, 12 December 2005 (UTC)


Eeeks, edit confilct!

Point is, ID supposes there has to be a creator. This would result in the following:
1 Because life as we know is too complex, it could not be the result of spontaneous occurences. therefore it proves there is a creator.
2 Let's assume there is a creator. Logic dictates that he/she too is so complicated (since this creator must also be alive) we need to return to the previous point. A loop would be inevitable. Otherwise the premise that complexity warrants a designer is incorrect. Of course we could evade the loop by stating:
3 The creator created him/herself, or has existed forever and will exist forever. This is just another way of saying the creator is God. Which ID-ist try to avoid as you surely know.
    • Hence the question, if life was the result of creation, what created the creator? This surely is an inevitable question.--Nomen Nescio 06:28, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
The article states:
"By raising the question of the need for a designer for objects due to their complexity, Intelligent Design also raises the question, "what designed the designer?"
While that may seem reasonable, is it true? Does ID state that any complex object requires a designer? I thought it states that any IC object requires a designer. How's this, for a first sentence:
"It is argued that Intelligent Design raises the question of the need for a designer for objects due to their complexity.[36] Richard Dawkins and other critics have stated that in their view applying Intelligent Design's logic consistently to its own claims results in a logical paradox and infinite regression. Dawkins has argued that "If complex organisms demand an explanation, so does a complex designer. And it's no solution to raise the theologian's plea that God (or the Intelligent Designer) is simply immune to the normal demands of scientific explanation."[37] Unlike with religious creationism, where the question "what created God?" can be answered with theological arguments, this creates a logical paradox in Intelligent Design, as the chain of designers can be followed back indefinitely in an infinite regression, leaving the question of the creation of the first designer dangling. The sort of logic required in sustaining such reasoning is known as circular reasoning, [38] a form of logical fallacy."
Note that it is argued is followed by a reference.
-- Ec5618 06:35, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
"signs of intelligence", "evidence for design". I don't see how the question "who" has anything to do with it, as has been shown by all major ID websites, Dembski, and Behe. The question is irrelevant because ID time and time again denies specifying the designer, ID denies, time and time again, that it has ever even suggested the designer evolved (because it hasn't suggested anything about the designer it/him/herself) which means saying it/she/he is irreducibly complex is pointless. The argument is interesting if you're an atheist arguing with a theist, but it has nothing to do with the idea of ID. You keep repeating the argument. I have shown that it is pointless, ID websites have shown it has nothing to do with ID, Dembski and Behe have shown that it's unrelated to ID, and you just keep repeating the argument. This argument applies to theism, not to ID. Even appealing to the notion of an "uncaused causer" is irrelevant because ID is not looking for "causer", it's looking for "effect". It's not even looking for "cause" per se. And please, don't rehash the "argument" again. --chad 06:59, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
More to the point perhaps, must ID refer to the universe at large (life exists because the universe was designed) or can it refer to specific objects (this lifeform was designed, but perhaps some life wasn't)? If ID is open to the idea that aliens could have designed 'us', at least in passing, it would seem ID doesn't need quite so broad a scope. True, the ID movement is convinced the designer was a deity, but is that inherent in ID? -- Ec5618 06:39, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

There is no objection to martians. However, once again the question remains: what created the martians? Furthermore, this still would not contradict evolution. Even martians can be the result of evolution. This only shifts, but does not solve the problem. --Nomen Nescio 06:51, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

There seems to be a bit of a double standard when science is permitted to leave abiogenesis unexplained but intelligent design is pressured to provide ultimate answers. Endomion 17:37, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Many ID-ists are convinced the designer was (is) a deity, but no, it's not inherent in ID. If you read the books written by IDists, they appear to be an attempt at being scientific, and therefore do not say anything about the causer. I recall a quote someplace where Behe said it could have been aliens (gotta sift through the archives). Nomen, what's the problem? I don't see any problem. There could be a problem if biology is divided into two fields in the future: "martian biology" and "terrestrial biology", as it stands biology as it is now studied is limited to this planet, so ID-ist biologists are looking for "signs of intelligence" on Earth only. When we discover life elsewhere, have empirical evidence that it designed us, then and only then will the "problem" arise. --chad 06:59, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
The quote you're looking for was posted earlier, and is in the archives. Behe says an evolved alien designer is possible, but he thinks extremely improbable so he prefers a supernatural designer - back to a pseudoscientific veneer over religion! And of course it violates old William of Occam's rule of thumb. Behe is aware of the infinite designers argument, and is chopping logic to evade it. ...dave souza 08:14, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
Stop repeating the argument please. If you approach Behe, and ask him if his believes in a creator, and he says yes, go at it. Ask him who created God all you want. The question of "who created the creator" is one you can personally ask people who believe in a creator. It has nothing to do with ID itself, it is a question regarding personal theological belief. If you read the dialogue above you will see how it doesn't apply to ID. This has been illustrated more than once by many people. As for Occam's razor, I'll quote it to save your time (in Latin, for Jim :-), in English for most of the rest of us):
Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate
Given two equally predictive theories, choose the simpler.
I don't see how you can use this against ID. If the English translation is correct, this statement can be used only if we all agree on what "simple" means. Even Dawkins seems to think that ID is a very simple approach. It's supposedly creationism, which supposedly is an approach for the ignorant people who want to be able to explain things easily (simply). Imagine a 300 page book on the evolution of the flagellum. Imagine saying it simply appeared when God said "Let there be flagella". Occam's razor seems to support ID. Not that deducing design in the flagella is a simple thing (considering the firestorm it's resulted in), but it's far more simple than the alternative. And I'll ask you beforehand, please don't use what I've said against ID itself. What I have said is only an argument against using Occam's razor to debunk ID. --chad 09:30, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
You make my point precisely. External design is a simpler answer if you presuppose a supernatural Creator, and so this is a religious argument outwith science. To pretend it is science Behe and others invoke mysteriously evolved aliens, which then makes their argument much more complex, as they have to explain why the aliens evolved and life on earth didn't. As for non-English quotes, Je ne dinnae ken pas. ....dave souza 10:03, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
Notice I said "it's supposedly creationism" and then gave a creationistic example. ID looks for "signs of intelligence". I hate repeating myself, maybe the Russians were wrong when they said: Повторение - мать учения.--chad 13:18, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

The argument is relevant, as simply ID moves the cause of life back a step. But, humans hgave been doing this for a long time. The essential argument that led to a belief in creationism thousands of years ago was "As I create, so have I been created". Of course, the argument itself can be shown to be a fallacy by substituting create with another verb, let's say, "As I eat, so have I been eaten".

The translation of Occam's razor isn't a literal translation, but it serves the same purpose as it captures the meaning.

Jim62sch 13:50, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

It's also fundamental, as IDists look for "signs of intelligence" starting from the teleological assumption of purpose and meaning in nature, then when finding an intricate unexplained detail say "ooh! Proof of design!". To claim to be a science in the current meaning of the term they then postulate an unknown natural designer, violating parsimony by redoubling the unknowns to be explained. They also seek to redefine science to include supernatural explanations of natural phenomena and so to validate creationism and astrology. Starting from a teleological mindset, that's what you can get. ...dave souza 14:06, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
(When the first pulsar was detected in 1967 the possibility of an intelligent source for such regular bursts of microwaves (with a period on the order of a millisecond) was not immediately discarded on the grounds that the 'intelligent source theory' multiplied unknowns. Later it was shown that a neutron star could revolve fast enough to explain the phenomenon, which satisfied Occam) Endomion 19:31, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
  • A: Hmmm... that looks suspicious. Is it just me or does that look like it was designed? I wonder who designed it.
  • B: Not who, what. Evolution by natural selection.
  • A: Come on, who designed it?
  • B: I just said it just looks designed. The evidence indicates it formed naturally because of evolution by natural selection.
  • A: Come on, somebody must have designed it. It couldn't have happened by chance.
  • B: I didn't say it was chance. Selection is the opposite of chance.
  • A: Come on, by belief says God designed nature, it couldn't have been a natural process.
  • B: Then show me how it was designed.
  • A: I can't. It just looks designed to me. Besides, the odds of it forming naturally is a million to one.
  • B: Improbable events happen all the time.
  • A: Yes, but not these specific complex events.
  • B: Specifically complex? What's that?
  • A: Whatever I say it is. The odds are against you either way.
  • B: Whatever. So who designed your designer then?
  • A: Atheist.
  • B: Fundie.

_____

That looks about right.

Jim62sch 23:08, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

That is a quality conversation, but I'd tweak the "improbable events happen all the time" to... B: Improbable? Maybe if it were the only solution and/or you require it to happen all at once. Nature is a little more flexible and patient than that! Besides, improbable events happen all the time. - RoyBoy 800 06:28, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

RE: "There seems to be a bit of a double standard when science is permitted to leave abiogenesis unexplained but intelligent design is pressured to provide ultimate answers. Endomion 17:37, 10 December 2005 (UTC)" -- What ID is being pressured to do is provide a stationary theory and testable predictions that Z or Y or Z will happen. Its sole prediction seems to be, "I'll know Intelligent Design when I see it".

Jim62sch 20:27, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Predictions of Intelligent Design:
  • High information content machine-like irreducibly complex structures will be found.
  • Forms will be found in the fossil record that appear suddenly and without any precursors.
  • Genes and functional parts will be re-used in different unrelated organisms.
  • The genetic code will NOT contain much discarded genetic baggage code or functionless "junk DNA". Endomion 15:07, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
    Interesting, yet, per the "Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness Center" [39], the predictions differ a good bit from yours. To wit, I cite the following: "Intelligent design theory predicts: 1) that we will find specified complexity in biology. One special easily detectable form of specified complexity is irreducible complexity. We can test design by trying to reverse engineer biological structures to determine if there is an "irreducible core." Intelligent design also makes other predictions, such as 2) rapid appearance of complexity in the fossil record, 3) re-usage of similar parts in different organisms, and 4) function for biological structures." It seems to me that you added a good bit of comments that are OR or POV to your post. Even so, Item 1 is a specious prediction as the definitions of SC and IC have been moving targets, and items 2-4 are best answered by asking, "And, your point is?" Jim62sch 16:40, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
That's the cool thing about a Talk page as opposed to an article, you get to post POV. As to the charge of OR, just because you find one organization that words the predictions of ID in a different manner doesn't make my cite (which was a cut/past) OR. Really, this is getting picayune and lilliputian. Endomion 18:17, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Actually, your comments substantially changed both the definitions of and benchmarks for ID. If you find an objection to such a rewrite to be "picayune and lilliputian" (good thesaurus use), that, to me, is indicative of a complete misunderstanding of ID and the purpose of this page. However, having researched your posts on other pages outside of the Wiki-world, you seem to me to be no more than a troublemaker hell-bent on sowing discord. Pretty odd use of Tao. Jim62sch 01:35, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Please restrict your discussion to the article and refrain from making vague and oblique ad hominems about fellow volunteers. Endomion 01:42, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

FM will be proud to see his words repeated by someone else. It's good to see you took his words to heart. BTW: the post preceding your last was hardly an ad hom, it was an analysis based on observation and research. Nevertheless, where we all to stick to the article itself, this discussion page would be at least half of its current size -- that would be a good thing. Jim62sch 10:26, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Relevance of "Who designed the designer?" question

The relevant section in the article does not explain this well, hence the confusion, I believe.

If existence of specific complexity necessarily implies existence of an intelligent designer of that complexity, as ID holds, then the existence of specific complexity within that intelligent designer necessarily implies the existence of an intelligent designer of that complexity. In other words, according to the logic of ID, if an intelligent designer exists, then so must exist an intelligent designer of that designer. Hence the question, who designed the designer?

The upshot of all this is that the following assertion is either true or false:

Existence of specific complexity necessarily implies existence of an intelligent designer of that complexity.

If the assertion is true, then not only must an intelligent designer exist, but also a designer of that designer must exist, and also a designer of the designer of the designer, etc., etc. An absurd conclusion that ID proponents do not support.

But if the assertion is not true, then there is no basis for ID at all, as far as I can tell.

So either the fundamental assumption of ID leads to an absurdity, or it's not true. In other words, logically speaking, something other than an intelligent designer must be the cause of the existence of the specific complexity.

I don't think this is currently explained clearly in the article, though it is mentioned. --Serge 07:28, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

The "intelligent designer of that complexity" part of the assertion you wrote can be taken two different ways (it seems to me). Can you rewrite that last bit and clarify it?--Ben 08:02, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
Not sure. What are the two ways? Anyway, I'll try. The following assertion is either true, or false: Specific complexity necessarily implies an intelligent designer exists. ID assumes it is true, holding that certain complexity known to us implies an intelligent designer exist. But if this assertion is true, if applied to whatever designer it implies exists, then it implies that designer must have a designer himself. --Serge 22:00, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
Serge, this is true:
"If existence of specific complexity necessarily implies existence of an intelligent designer of that complexity, as ID holds, then the existence of specific complexity within that intelligent designer necessarily implies the existence of an intelligent designer of that complexity."
Problem is, it's outside the bounds of ID, because ID does not attempt to describe the designer (presumably because it would indeed lead to deducing designers ad nauseum). Instead, ID looks for "signs of intelligence" and leaves it at that. --chad 09:35, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
By simply referring to a designer, ID steps into the realm of designer description. If nothing else, ID assumes the designer is capable of designing the complexity it claims shows that the designer exists. That would be an attribute of the designer; part of his description.
ID is not outside those bounds also because those bounds are not inherent in the premise ID is based on (complexity implies designer). To claim those bounds, ID would have to say something like, Complexity implies designer, except when referring to complexity of a designer. Of course, ID cannot make that claim, because you can't show a designer exists with a theory that depends on assuming a designer exists.
Finally, if the designer exists, then he is either complex, or he is not. If he is not, that would mean complexity could spring from a lack of complexity by way of a non-complex designer, a concept much more consistent with Big Bang than ID. But if he is complex, then, according to ID, the designer's complexity implies the existence of a designer of the designer. --Serge 22:00, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
By arguing for or against the substance of the criticism you're all missing the point of this page. Whether it is an excellent or poor criticism of ID doesn't matter to Wikipedia, it only needs to be a significant criticism, which has already been established... FeloniousMonk 18:13, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
You're missing the point, which is to effectively and fairly explain the criticism. --Serge 22:00, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
It seems to me that it was adequately explained, but maybe I'm missing your point. What do you feel is lacking, or what would you propose to make it better?
Jim62sch 23:15, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
What is lacking is an explanation for the relevance of the "Who is the designer of the designer" question; an explanation for why it is not irrelevant. ID proponents claim that it is irrelevant because they "only look for signs of intelligence". What's not explained is that from those signs of complexity they conclude the existence of a designer follows, which only is logical if based on the premise that specific complexity implies a designer of that complexity exists. But if that premise is true, then the question of the designer of the designer follows. That's the relevance. --Serge 23:52, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
An instructive fable: Humanity survives and becomes a wise and mature civilization with enough technological prowess to manipulate the very structure of the universe. We realize that when the universe becames sparse enough through its general expansion, it will become possible for a kind of activity similar to biology to occur based on gravity (although much slower and on a grander scale than human biology). As a final gesture, humanity organizes the matter in the universe to allow this quasi-biology to come about after trillions of years, long after conditions disappear for allowing humans ourselves to exist. The "living" creatures who emerge from this engineering project look back at our time and picture our universe to be only a few of their moments after the big bang and too hot and dense for life as they know it to exist, so many of them scoff at suggestions that there could have been an "intelligent" designer of their current conditions. Endomion 16:39, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
I'm sure this would make Occam roll in his grave, but very creative, Endomion, very creative. We just don't get it yet remains a much more plausible explanation for the ever-reducing pool of complexity that is specific and apparently "irreducible". --Serge 20:19, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
Not to mention wholly original research. FeloniousMonk 21:10, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
Serge, I was right, I was missing your point (sorry). Now that I understand what you were getting at, I agree with you. The question is very relevant, in fact integral. If one is to introduce a Fairy-Creation-Father then one needs to explain whence it came (besides the imagination or religion).
Ednomion's story wasn't that creative -- it's vaguely similar to Tau Zero, a sci-fi novel by Poal Anderson. Jim62sch 20:39, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
Good news. Now how to explain it? Another way to think of it is that if one is to present a hypothesis (like ID), he can't simply ignore the fundamental and blatant logical implications of it (such as, if "specific and irreducible" complexity in the known universe implies an intelligent designer, then "specific and irreducible" complexity within that designer must imply an intelligent designer of the designer, which begs the question... What or Who is the Designer of the Designer?") --Serge 20:36, 11 December 2005 (UTC)


NB ID does not postulate that evolution (in theory/principle) or very high complexity (eg self-awareness) are impossible without a designer, but rather that they can only be arrived at by following a continuous 'staircase' of viable increments in complexity. In this way it is quite possible that in theory, according to ID, a tremedously complex designer could evolve and then design something irreducibly and specifically complex which could not plausibly have evolved.

This is the reason ID is founded on the concepts of specific and irreducible complexity (ISC), which, unlike reducible complexity of any degree, imply (but do not prove, except statistically in high numbers) that no scientifically plausible 'staircase' can exist for the object. It is therefore obviously essential when discussing ID to understand a) the concepts of ISC and b) the importance of establishing whether an object really has ISC or just complexity.

As can be readily deduced from the above, there is no reason as per ID to presume that a complex designer has been designed just because it is more complex than the designed object. Quite clearly therefore it cannot be presumed from ID's reasoning that the designer must have been designed. ant 23:48, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

Serge, please watch your edits...you put your comments in the middle of mine, doing so tends to destroy the flow.

Jim62sch 00:27, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Jim, sorry about that. I missed it because your signature was not indented, but your comments were, so I didn't realize they went together. Hope you don't mind that I indented it for you just now.
Serge 00:47, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Serge, I have a habit of forgetting to indent all the way through. Thanks for fixing it. Jim62sch 20:41, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

(Doing a quadruple take)... ant, you're saying that the who designed the designer question is irrelevant because the designer could have evolved?

Jim62sch 00:30, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

If so, then that would mean IDists believe it is plausible for the complexity and intelligence of a designer to have evolved, but they don't believe something that is "irreducibly and specifically complex" could plausibly have evolved. This would mean that the designer of the "irreducibly and specifically complex" is not "irreducibly and specifically complex" himself, nor did he evolve from something that is "irreducibly and specifically complex". --Serge 00:47, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

In any case, an argument like ant's certainly does destroy the concept of ID.

Jim62sch 01:11, 10 December 2005 (UTC)


"Problem is, it's outside the bounds of ID, because ID does not attempt to describe the designer (presumably because it would indeed lead to deducing designers ad nauseum). Instead, ID looks for "signs of intelligence" and leaves it at that." This is exactly why ID is NOT scientific!--Nomen Nescio 11:46, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Unfortunately they don't "leave it at that". They immediately say that it completely invalidates Darwin, whoop-de-do, now all our creationist chums are justified (not an actual citation). ID exists to redefine science to support the supernatural. ...dave souza 12:12, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
Scientists are content to nibble away at a problem a bit at a time and "leave it at that", knowing that the community will take their data, pick up the standard and carry on from there. The scientific method does not have a mandate for every researcher to follow out the implications of their proposals back to the big bang, but intelligent design proponents are apparently expected the follow out the implications of their proposals back to before the big bang. Endomion 16:18, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
Every problem has a scope. The scope of the problem ID is trying to address is how everything came to be. You can't compare it to scientists who are addressing problems of much smaller scope. --Serge 20:26, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

"Built-in": Uh, no, sorry. The theory is worked out, predictions are made and then the process of determining if the prediction is borne out empirically begins. In other words, it's like a jigsaw puzzle.

One of the many problems with ID is that the "theory" (concept, really) is ever-shifting and its "prediction" cannot be empirically proven. Jim62sch 16:44, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Perhaps this is why the ID article won't settle down and behave either. There's no clear consensus on what it is. Endomion 17:29, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
Kind of like there is no consensus on what God is? --Serge 20:26, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
Well the schoolmen tell us the essence of the Great "I AM" is to exist, so it would be the equivelent of coming up with a definition of what is is. :-P Endomion 20:36, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Let's not get into Aquinas and that lot. Jim62sch 20:46, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Jim, begging your pardon, but from your answer to me above ("an argument like ant's certainly does destroy the concept of ID") I think you might be misunderstanding somethong about ID. I may be wrong, but this is the way I see it:

Imagine a scenario where there are two adjacent houses, each with a man on the roof, and against the 1st house is a ladder reaching to the roof, but nothing at all climable around the 2nd house. It is reasonable to assume that the 1st man climbed the ladder to get up there, but how could the 2nd man have done it? One can infer that he could not plausibly have done it on his own, although there may be many potential explanations. The 1st man might have lent his ladder to the 2nd. Or the 2nd man might have been put there by helicopter.

Both men are at the same height, but one has a series of small climable steps under him from the ground up whereas the other has a huge gap. Although both men are at the same height, the plausible explanations as to how they got there must be very different because of the different sizes of the gaps in their available paths of ascension.

It is the same thing dealing with the concept of complexity in ID. The height of the general complexity of an organism is not that important. It is the size of the steps in the ladder, the height of the irreducible and specific complexities within the organism's ancestry, that makes the difference in inferring help or design. But not necessarily different in kind of help. The 2nd man need not have had had God or a helicopter to get up there. Just help. It could be help from the 1st man. We don't know. All we do know is that it would be less than plausible that he climbed up there.

So a 1st organism could evolve on another planet (climb the ladder of complexity) and design a 2nd organism on Earth which has no plausible path of evolutionary development (be as highly complex, but in addition specifically and irreducibly complex).

Therefore it is not damaging to ID at all to talk of an evolved designer (the man on the 1st roof). That would simply be an athiestic interpretation of an evidence of irreducible complexity.

The fundamental assumption of ID is not that every complex object requires a designer, but that a sufficient number of specifically and irreducibly complex objects statistically implies a designer as a more plausible explanation than the odds against.

The way I see it, although the conclusion of ID is being used by creationists, what they've done is separate the natural and religious elements of their belief. They take natural observation and deduction alone, without depending on the supernatural, to infer a designer. (Not necessarily correctly, mind you - that depends on the strength of their argument and evidence.) That's their ID. Religionless.

And then they take that conclusion, after ID has ended with its point, and build on it with their religious assumption that the designer must be God. So what they're saying is that, from the naturalistic point of view, there must be a designer. Regardless of religions. From the religious point of view, they choose to believe that it must be God.

For them these two ideas flow logically. But for Raelians, the 2nd half will be an evolved designer. For others, take your pick and verify it. The concept of ID does not reach far enough to affect that.

It may not be a scientific theory, but it may still b a valid point. ant 03:18, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Ant, at this point, I understand more about ID than I would ever have cared to. In any case, the comment to which I referred was, "according to ID, a tremedously complex designer could evolve" (ant 23:48, 9 December 2005 (UTC)). If a "designer" can evolve, why can't life itself? Essentially, what we have here is a paradox.

Additionally, in noting that life could come from another planetary system and then designed life here, all you have done is to shift the designer from the realm of the supernatural to that of the paranormal, and thus it is still not science. (Science-fiction, maybe, but not science)

By the way, your example left out a host of options, not the least of which is that man number 2 might be a mountain climber (heck, he could be that guy who scales skyscrapers).  :) Jim62sch 11:34, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

The fundamental assumption of ID is not that every complex object requires a designer, but that a sufficient number of specifically and irreducibly complex objects statistically implies a designer as a more plausible explanation than the odds against. Who decides, and on what grounds, which complex objects must be designed and which could occur spontaneously? --Nomen Nescio 16:27, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Behe. He knows it when he sees it. Jim62sch 18:04, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Besides, the odds are against a person winning the Powerball, and yet...

Additionally, Dembski's odds are slop. He is computing them based on massive supposition (and a bit of sleight-of-hand)

Jim62sch 18:06, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

JIm, I don't see the paradox? Life could evolve in theory and then design? Two separate entitites, one reducibly complex and evolvable, the other not. Both situations can be found to exist in theory?

Also I agree that a logical solution of an alien designer is not scientifically testable, but the point I'm making here is that there is no logical 'who designed the designer' problem for ID's argument of specific and irreducible complexity (ISC).

About the mountain climber, that makes the analogy inapt to the criticism being discussed, which assumes ISC in order to show a logical fallacy. (If ISC=designer, then who designed the designer?) If the ISC concept is held erroneous, as in perhaps the man could climb, then there is no ISC=designer statement for the 'who designed the designer' to apply to. You put your finger on the main point though, I believe. The question boils down to whether the odds are correctly calculated. Can the man climb the house walls?

About the individual cases, I didn't mean that anyone has to decide which individual cases of ISC show design, but that the total number of cases against the odds increases the total odds altogether. If they found 50 good examples of ISC, for example, their argument would be a lot stronger than if they found just 1.

Is there any major ID critic that makes this designer's designer argument? I don't recall seeing one here yet and wonder if they refrain because it has perhaps been refuted from a very early stage of the ID movement? ant 01:18, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Ant, the paradox is that one can assume that the designer of all "complex" life (things, stuff) could have evolved, but that other forms of life (so to speak) could not have. It's just a crock covered up by the argument, "well, of course, the designer does not have ISC" (as if anyone could know).
As for ISC itself, it is an utterly ridiculous concept as everything fits that category for one reason: everything made of matter is irreducibly complex (this includes animate objects). Why is it ISC? Because if you remove one quark from one electron from one atom in the object it flies apart. (The quark, of course is excluded from this rule as it is not made of matter, but rather makes up matter).
Additionally, that best math formula to explain ID is this: ISC = ID because ID = ISC. Such an idea is circular reasoning out of control.
Finally, I'm not sure what you mean by you last paragraph -- it may just be that I do not understand what you are referring to. Jim62sch 01:47, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
Jim62sch, if you aced physics surely you know that electrons are fundamental particles with no sub-structure, and quarks are only found in baryons and mesons. Removing a single quark is impossible (see quark confinement) because the energy involved is so great you end up precipitating a shower of new particles rather than breaking apart the original. Ant, I know where you are going with this and it won't do you any good. It's designers all the way down. Endomion 02:00, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Endo -- it was a typo, which is what I get for typing too fast. I meant proton or neutron (yes, quarks are integral components of both). And yes, confinement indicates that quarks cannot occur alone, but that is primarily because no free quarks have been found (yet). The point still stands, though. Besides, I'm sure some mysterious designer, existing outside the laws of physics could easily remove a quark. (sarcasm)

As for it being designers all the way down, it would have to be if we based the existence of matter on ID's nebulous definition of ISC. However, the current explanation of the big bang and symmetry breaking indicate not design, but chance. There is any number of ways in which the symmetry breaking could have occurred, and while most would not likely have resulted in a universe capable of supporting life, it would still have created as universe nonetheless. In fact, it is likely that we are part of a multiverse, in which life (and this is not limited to life as we know it or conceive of it) is possible in some universes and impossible in others.

 Jim62sch 11:40, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
I get it! I think what you're saying (at 01:47) is, based on the premise that there is no valid concept such as ISC, the ISC-based 'conclusion' that life on Earth could not have evolved is really an assumption or guesstimate - and following on from that, if one makes the assumption for life on Earth, it is illogical not to make the same assumption for the designer as well.
But what if the premise of ISC really is valid?
I'm fairly sure that your atomic example ignores the definition of ISC. Doesn't the definition of ISC cater for physical and chemical laws? So it is given that matter bonds in certain ways, and it is only when a long series of bondings with major odds-against properties is found that ISC is alleged.
If the concepts of ID might be supportable, eg. if ISC may be mathematically sound and certain objects can have a high degree of ISC, then doesn't it still hold logically true that one can infer design for observable life only, and have to leave open the logical possibility that other unobserved life need not be ISC? If so, the argument of 'who designed the designer' holds no water. In other words, if ISC is valid, ID is (in this respect) internally logical.
BTW my last 2 paras were primarily in response to Nescio's question of "Who decides...which complex objects must be designed...". Never mind them. ant 14:08, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
Ant, Para 1 -- no, that isn't what I was saying. I said, I believe, that it is a paradox to assume evolution of a designer (which by definition would needs be a superior being), but one could not assume the evolution of life on Earth (inferior beings).
Para 2 -- And what if the moon were made of green cheese?
Para 3 -- You missed my point: the atom is, in and of itself an object that qualifies as "ISC". Moreover, in a way, so is a quark. It's a string that vibrates, and a change in the vibration can turn it from one form to another, thus the object it used to be no longer functions. I wonder why Behe and Dembski, et al, haven't noticed this truism.
Of course the math works -- Dembski forced it to. Yes, one can force math to work by narrowly defining variables (if they are allowed at all), inserting an arbitrary number that makes it work (usually in the form of a symbol), and arranging the equation based on the desired outcome. Hell, one could write an equation that "proves" that pink is blue. Of course, the leap in logic required to make pink = blue (ISC = ID) is a leap across a chasm that defies reason. Jim62sch 00:57, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Isn't reason supposed to be absent when discussing ID?--Nomen Nescio 09:41, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Nomen, what was I thinking? Jim62sch 10:52, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Re-read the Intro and just now realized...

... that there is something strange about it.

"Intelligent Design (ID) is the controversial assertion which argues that "certain features of the universe and of living things exhibit the characteristics of a product resulting from an intelligent cause or agent, as opposed to an unguided process such as natural selection."[1] Proponents claim that Intelligent Design stands on equal footing with, or is superior to, current scientific theories regarding the origin of life.[2]"

This got consensus from the editors, right? Including editors favoring ID?

Honestly, I think this opening is strange.

First, Natural Selection is not about the origin of life. It's about diversity or differences. ID people think Natural Selection is about the origin of life? I actually think Natural Selection makes things more orderly or logical. At the very least, Natural Selection allows us to see why this or that life form turned out that way.

Now for a current scientific theory that tackles "the origin of life," the only one I can think of right now is that theory about a primordial pool or soup. I don't know the proper name of it and I'm not certain if it's a current widely accepted scientific theory. All I can say with a degree of certainty is that the term - "primordial pool/soup" crops up once in a while in popular culture. Right now, I don't remember learning about it science class when I was still studying.Lovecoconuts 15:52, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

See Abiogenesis, and in particular RNA world hypothesis. The Darwinian process took over as soon as you have self-replicating molecule which was probably RNA. — Dunc| 15:59, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
Actually, RNA isn't self-replicating, it requires an enzyme called replicase to carry out the action. One facet of Intelligent design is pointing out this chicken & egg scenario. Endomion 18:00, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
Actually, as RNA can act as an enzyme, it isn't outside of reason to assume it could also catalyse its own replication, or replication of other RNA molecules. I'm not sure whether it has been observed in vivo. See RNA world hypothesis. -- Ec5618 18:06, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
"Including editors favoring ID?" Hmmm... follow the ref to the footnote, then the link in the footnote to the Discovery Institute's website. It is the canonical definition of ID, and is repeated again and again verbatim by major sites promoting ID. FeloniousMonk 18:08, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
Duncharris, thank you. Yes, that's the scientific theory I was referring too. Felonius, that has to be a misunderstanding on the part of the ID community. Natural Selection is not an origin of life scientific theory. Plus, I don't even think Natural Selection is random or disorderly. I actually even think it implies design because it allows for reasonable or explainable changes. It even allows freedom of choice, and it's heavily backed up by fossil evidence.
Perhaps the ID community just hasn't update the Intelligent Design theory?
I would like to request a list of scientific theories ID is challenging, aside from Natural Selection. For now, I'll just be assuming that ID is also challenging the Primordial Soup Theory and mistook Natural Selection as an origin of life scientific theory.Lovecoconuts 02:44, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

ID is so riddled with mistakes, erroneous assumptions, erroneous conclusions, shifting justifications and definitions, that trying to figure out what ID means as of right now (10 Dec 2005, 14:37 GMT) can be a challenge even for IDists. Yet another reason "it ain't no science". Jim62sch 14:35, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Uh... I'm starting to come to a similar conclusion as well. But still, I want to be as fair as possible. Perhaps ID people just hadn't had time to update their websites. Similar to how schools keep using outdated textbooks.Lovecoconuts 15:45, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Requesting again - I would like to see a list of scientific theories specifically targeted by ID. Preferably with links to the scientific theories' pages on Wikipedia.Lovecoconuts 15:45, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

ID seeks 3 things:
  1. To disprove Evolution and naturalism, combined, they are what ID proponents term "Darwinism"
  2. To prove Intelligent Design.
  3. To unseat methodological naturalism as a basis for modern intellectual thought, particularly in science and education. This goal they feel would come as a natural consquence of accomplishing the first two.
There are theories that specific ID proponents object to, like speciation, but the above list covers all ID proponents. I'll try to post a link to something on that here later. Hope that helps. FeloniousMonk 18:12, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
If ID seeks to prove or disprove anything perhaps it should be a discipline of mathematics. All science does is offer falsifiable hypotheses from sets of observations which can make useful predictions. Endomion 18:59, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
And what falsifiable hypotheses does ID offer? Guettarda 19:32, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
That bacterial flagellum could not be the result of a gradual undirected Darwinian process (which would be falsified by finding DNA for a pre-flegellum bacteria, inserting it into an ecoli, and looking for intermediate flegelllum structures) Endomion 20:31, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
The flagellar example is not an hypothesis of ID. It's an example of what Behe saw to be an IC system. The fact that it has been shown to be a flawed example does not hurt ID because ID does not make any falsifiable predictions. Showing that the bacterial flagellum is not IC does no more to falsify any aspect of ID. Disproving any example does nothing but say that Behe picked a bad example. This is not an hypothesis of ID. It's merely an anecdote. Guettarda 04:54, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
Remember that ID claims that intelligent causes are necessary.[40] Applying this to the origin of life for instance, falsifying ID (in principle) is easy: simply show that intelligent causes are not necessary (e.g. showing a means how life could have arisen via undirected chemical reactions). This principle applies to other things as well. For instance, if the flagellum is one of the "complex, information-rich structures" of biology that allegedly require an intelligent cause, to disprove this hypothesis show that a designer is not necessary (by giving a sufficiently detailed scenario how it could have evolved). Whatever its faults, ID is at least falsifiable. --Wade A. Tisthammer 06:08, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
That's what some ID proponents argue, but it's begging the question. The designer itself is not falsifiable, since its existence is asserted without sufficient conditions to allow a falsifying observation. The designer being beyond the realm of the observable, claims about its existence can neither be supported nor undermined by observation, making ID an analytic a posteriori argument. These are the issues that ID proponents attempt to side-step with the argument you presented, but they remain if one looks beyond their explanations. FeloniousMonk 06:27, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
First, begging what question? It has not been explained. And even if other versions of ID theory are not falsifiable (which is in fact true), the version presented here certainly is capable of being empirically falsified. For instance, an experiment could be made to falsify the notion that intelligent causes are necessary for the origins of life on Earth. Like it or not, this theory is falsifiable.
The claim that ID is an analytic a posteriori argument is an awfully strange one; the truth/falsity of analytic arguments can be deduced from the meaning of the terms—not requiring the empirical; the exact opposite of an a posteriori argument. --Wade A. Tisthammer 06:48, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
An argument begs the question when it assumes what it sets out to prove. Claiming X explains everything but X doesn't need to be explained is begging the question. It's also a thought-terminating cliché. "Like it or not, this theory is falsifiable." So you and other ID proponents say. But ID has yet to be shown to be an actual theory even. FeloniousMonk 07:48, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
You have accurately described what it means to beg the question, but you have failed to show what question ID begs. "Claiming X explains everything but X doesn't need to be explained" may indeed be a faulty theory if X doesn't explain itself (by using the fallacy of a self-referential inconsistency), but it doesn't appear to be a case of question begging (unless perhaps you can point out what question it begs). More egregiously, ID (at least when applied to biology) does not claim to explain everything any more than abiogenesis does. Like abiogenesis and evolution, it only explains life on Earth.
Claiming that ID has "to be shown to be an actual theory even" is a strange one. Intelligent design certainly fits the dictionary definition of a "theory", since it is an analysis (however wrong or pseudoscientific) of a set of facts in their relation to one another. Perhaps you mean it has not been shown that ID is a legitimate scientific theory. Well, the origins of life on Earth is a scientific topic. ID is a theory about the origins of life; the theory (as I described it earlier) and at least some of its major arguments (irreducible complexity and so forth) are empirically testable and falsifiable (some critics would even say that the arguments from irreducible complexity etc. have been falsified). Frankly, I see no reason why ID isn't a legitimate scientific theory. Design inferences are used in other sciences after all (e.g. detection of artificial intervention when performing autopsies).
And finally, I don't merely say ID is falsifiable: I explicitly gave an example of an experimental demonstration that would falsify it. Please do not ignore this. --Wade A. Tisthammer 22:18, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
How an alleged theory that proposes a supernatural/paranormal/virtual "X" could even claim to be falsifiable is beyond me. FM has precisely pointed out the biggest flaw in ID: "X is X because it is, period. (Like it or not)." Jim62sch 01:14, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

OK, so now we have a philosophical problem with math, too? Whatever. Your example would not be a test of falsifiability of ID (or IC) for reasons that should be obvious.

What proposition outside of a formal mathematical object or formulation is subject to proof? Endomion 23:09, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
Err... I think fossil evidence is even more proof-y than mathematical proofs... Natural Selection is back by a ton of fossil evidence. Endo, honestly - your line of reasoning is starting to scare me. I think I may just have to withdraw my request from you about which scientific theories ID seek to refine.Lovecoconuts 00:00, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

It's likely scaring many people. Jim62sch 01:19, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

What's scaring me is that a physics ace student, and another person editing an encyclopedia article about Intelligent Design from the anti-ID side do not seem to be aware of the basic concept that proof is only for math or formal logic, not scientific inquiry into nature, which is the mistake theists are often accused of making. Scientists don't try to prove anything, the whole structure of science is a house of falsifiable cards, and the more sturdy for that. Endomion 03:31, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
What's scaring me is that you're pretending not to understand that mathematical proof is not the same thing as scientific proof. It's because of people like you that scientists try to avoid the word "proof". Alienus 03:42, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
This is precisely why this article will never see the light of Wiki's front page. You've got the article on falsifiability at a click of the mouse, as well as the one on the Scientific method, where the problems are stated, yet you resort to ad hom. Endomion 03:47, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
You're supporting my point. YOU have both of these articles available to you, and yet you drag out the old saw about science not dealing with proof. I'm disgusted. Alienus 04:13, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
Okay, here is my last word on this, because I've seen enough. When something is proven, it is not refutable by any conceivable event. Irrefutability is not a virtue of a theory. Endomion 04:34, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
In science, any answer is always tentative/provisional. Otherwise it isn't science. FeloniousMonk 08:53, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
My current opinion of Intelligent Design is thus: I think the very concept of ID itself needs a lot of work.

My early assumption of ID was something like this - an intelligent designer (obviously God) instilled in his creations the capacity to evolve. I found nothing to argue with this concept and I even thought Intelligent Design was an apt description since the process of Evolution was, in my opinion, an organized (well-designed) procedure. I thought to myself - ID people may have quite some work ahead of them finding scientific proof of God's existence (Newton couldn't do it), but I can't fault them for trying to scientifically prove God's existence.

This assumption was laid waste when I found out that ID is against Natural Selection and it seems the entire concept of Evolution. Not only that it seems to have mistaken Natural Selection (and the concept Evolution) as an origin of life scientific theory.

Intelligent Design wasn't what I expected it to be.Lovecoconuts 02:34, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

The intro is bad because ID isn't a theory about "the origin of life". As far as I've seen, there are hypotheses about the origin of life. I haven't really seen a "theory". --chad 05:00, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
"[A] hypothesis is a statement whose truth is temporarily assumed, whose meaning is beyond all doubt." -- Albert Einstein
The idea that an intelligent designer instilled in his creations the capacity to evolve can actually be a form of ID theory. For instance, one belief is that a designer (e.g. God) fine-tuned the physical constants of the universe to allow life to emerge. The evidence for this is that supposedly the constants need to be fine-tuned for any kind of physical life (not just life as we know it) to exist.[41] For instance, a universe that consisted of nothing but hydrogen would probably not have the adequate chemical properties to develop anything like life (which would in fact happen if the strong nuclear force constant were smaller). As for life as we know it, there appear to be (for some ID adherents) other parameters that need to be fine-tuned. [42] --Wade A. Tisthammer 22:26, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Theory: Etymology: Late Latin theoria, from Greek theOria, from theOrein 1 : the analysis of a set of facts in their relation to one another 2 : abstract thought : SPECULATION 3 : the general or abstract principles of a body of fact, a science, or an art <music theory> 4 a : a belief, policy, or procedure proposed or followed as the basis of action <her method is based on the theory that all children want to learn> b : an ideal or hypothetical set of facts, principles, or circumstances -- often used in the phrase in theory <in theory, we have always advocated freedom for all> 5 : a plausible or scientifically acceptable general principle or body of principles offered to explain phenomena <wave theory of light> 6 a : a hypothesis assumed for the sake of argument or investigation b : an unproved assumption : CONJECTURE c : a body of theorems presenting a concise systematic view of a subject <theory of equations> synonym see HYPOTHESIS

Hypothesis: Etymology: Greek, from hypotithenai to put under, suppose, from hypo- + tithenai to put -- more at DO 1 a : an assumption or concession made for the sake of argument b : an interpretation of a practical situation or condition taken as the ground for action 2 : a tentative assumption made in order to draw out and test its logical or empirical consequences 3 : the antecedent clause of a conditional statement synonyms HYPOTHESIS, THEORY, LAW mean a formula derived by inference from scientific data that explains a principle operating in nature. HYPOTHESIS implies insufficient evidence to provide more than a tentative explanation <a hypothesis explaining the extinction of the dinosaurs>. THEORY implies a greater range of evidence and greater likelihood of truth <the theory of evolution>. LAW implies a statement of order and relation in nature that has been found to be invariable under the same conditions <the law of gravitation>. From Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary --Nomen Nescio 20:06, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

More Ed Poor forks

Please see Religious views of evolution for a link to its AfD nomination. --ScienceApologist 16:29, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

I deleted the above article. - RoyBoy 800 22:21, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

Please see Wikipedia:WikiProject Aspects of evolution for an mfd. --ScienceApologist 18:03, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

Please see Gallup poll on creationism and evolution --ScienceApologist 18:12, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

Please see PFAW poll on creationism and evolution --ScienceApologist 18:47, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

Please see Can evolution be guided by God? --ScienceApologist 14:26, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Please see Guided evolution --ScienceApologist 16:11, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

[Removed unrelated discussion 02:11, 12 December 2005 (UTC) [43]]

Wrapping up Wade's objections

Under the topic "Supporting Cites for Wade" FeloniousMonk presented 8 citations in response to Wade's concern of original research concerning the following from "Who Designed the Designer":

'the postulation of the existence of even a single uncaused causer in the Universe contradicts a fundamental assumption of Intelligent Design that a designer is needed for every specifically complex object'

I took the time to address each of the citations and show (1) that they are not by a leading critic AND/OR cannot be interpreted as saying that an uncaused causer contradicts the fundamental assumption of ID as claimed (that every specifically complex object must be designed) and (2) neither do they show that ID assumes that a designer must be specifically complex.

Surprisingly, no-one has responded to any of one of my refutations of the applicability of those 8 citations, even though two editors in support of the contended argument have edited the topic subsequently.

In view of the amount of effort having to be expended in the cycle of having refutations ignored, having to re-raise the issue, having the many citations re-presented and then be ignored and archived after refuting them all all over again, and in view of the space taken up by this non-constructive debate, I'd like to request:

  1. in general that we no longer ignore refutations but discuss them to the end, please. Ignoring impies that there is no good answer but it'd rather not be admitted, which of course is not the case.
  2. on this specific objection of NOR raised by Wade and supported by myself, that those supporting the argument present only one or two citations now, and that we make the decision final depending on the applicability of the citation(s) now presented ant 13:15, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
WE who, ant, we who? "...and that we make the decision final depending on the applicability..." (The antecedent appears to be you and Wade). Additionally, ignoring doesn't imply anything; you have inferred that it does. As for the cites, see above and note the "Shifting Goalpost Phenomenon". Jim62sch 14:49, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
I would note shifting goalposts is fine if it better approximates wiki-policy. While FM's cites may torpedo the original research claims, does it meet notability? I wouldn't know, because I haven't looked. You may infer from that, I do other things on wiki. - RoyBoy 800 15:40, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
I agree, and will point out the unspoken implication that shifting goalposts are not fine when they support a campaign of bad faith objections that ignore both policy and convention.
All of the cites in the "What (or who) designed the designer?" section meet the standard for notability found in WP:V and WP:RS. FeloniousMonk 17:41, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
[Personal attacks removed 01:30, 12 December 2005 (UTC) [44]] FeloniousMonk 17:23, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
If one mode of Intelligent Design suggests the Cambrian explosion was directed but leaves the previous 75% of life's history undirected, then "Who designed the designer" is an irrelevant objection. Endomion 17:32, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
Too bad there is no mode of ID that suggests this. --JPotter 17:37, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
Well I can't offer my independent research :-P Endomion 17:53, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
ID defines itself thus: "The theory of intelligent design holds 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. [45] "Who designed the designer" is a very relevant objection. If it were truly irrelevant, then Dembski and Behe need not have included refutations of it in their books, nor would have Dawkins and Richard Wein make their aruments. Anyone who reads much on the topic knows it's a common metaphysical objection to ID and the teleological argument in general, see Teleological_argument#Third_premise. FeloniousMonk 17:51, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
In that event, this article could be about objections to the Comprehensive Theory Of Intelligent Design which embraces cosmology, and we could have other articles about directed biology or directed geology which do not have intractable infinite regress objections. Endomion 19:38, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
No, those would be POV forks. FeloniousMonk 05:38, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Please, Jim, FeloniousMonk, regarding your accusation under "WE who?" I promise you that I am not trying to circumvent consensus by a unilateral decision. I think I speak on behalf of all Wikipedians that if a suggestion is made that "we make a decision" then of course we understand that the 'we' must refer to all the editors involved, by consensus.

From my point of view I sincerely think that either Wade or myself have repeatedly shown that the cites do not present the argument. We feel that the ones doing the ignoring are those who are simply not replying when Wade and I point out that the cites do not speak to the argument.

But to be fair, I acknowledge that it is possible that I am simply not seeing the point of the cites. However, I need the help of those who support the argument as not original research. Please can you work through just one example in detail (or a minimum number to support the argument - more gets too long) to the end without letting distractions bog it down, and show me how the citation is presenting the argument? After that I promise I'll never bring it up again - I don't want to force the article down a particular path anymore than you do. I'm just having trouble seeing it your way, and I'm willing to change.

Here's the critics' argument Wade suggested might be original research:

'the postulation of the existence of even a single uncaused causer in the Universe contradicts a fundamental assumption of Intelligent Design that a designer is needed for every specifically complex object '

What I understand the cited material should say is something along these lines:

It should mention the concept of an uncaused causer/undesigned designer. It should attribute to ID the assumption that every specifically complex object must be designed. And it should say that the uncaused causer contradicts or is a problem for the assumption.

Note the word 'specific' or 'specifically' is of vital importance to ID and so since it is included in the presented critics' argument, it must be present in the cited material as well.

And the cited material should not be by an unidentified person, is that right?

Now I promise you I'll listen and be quiet and change my opinion, with apologies, when shown incorrect. Please, help me to see where I'm misunderstanding what the cited material should say, or not seeing where it does present the agrument. Please explain it bit by bit and be patient with me, and I'll be educated and less of an irritant in the Talkpage!

PS I apologise for getting a bit hot under the collar before. ant 02:12, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Renaming Intelligent design as Intelligent Design

For the rationale behind this request, please see the relevant entry here.
David Kernow 22:47, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Support. Sounds good to me.--Ben 23:25, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
Support It will accord the concept more dignity than merely being referred to as the theory of intelligent design. Endomion 23:39, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
Please don't refer to ID as the theory of intelligent design, when consensus is that the word theory implies 'scientific theory'. -- Ec5618 01:47, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
That's the cool thing about voting in a democracy, you don't have to fit your rationale into the group-think consensus. Endomion 15:14, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
Support 'Intelligent design' should probably be an ambiguation page refering to either Intelligent Design or Teleology -- Ec5618 01:47, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
Support, and I like the disambiguation idea between ID as a movement and Teleology. Ronabop 06:32, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
The Intelligent design movement article already exists, and it is listed at the existing ID disambiguation page Intelligent design (disambiguation). This article dicusses the topic of intelligent design as a teleological and purportedly scientific arugment. There is no further reduction of the topic possible; it is fully reduced to it's elemental arguments here. FeloniousMonk 07:34, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
From a linguistic standpoint, David's suggestion is correct. I object, however, to Endo's assertion re dignity, as capitalization of ID would merely be pro forma and not an implication of acceptance of the term. As long as we all understand that objection, Support. See revision below.Jim62sch 14:06, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
Additionally, Ec is correct re "theory". Concept, belief, idea, etc., would be better. Jim62sch 02:35, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
Oppose as per my reading of the MoS. Guettarda 04:37, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
Which particular part of the MoS? User:Noisy | Talk 10:52, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
Oppose Intelligent design is a collective noun imo, not a proper noun. Per Naming conventions, Lowercase second and subsequent words only proper nouns have second caps. FeloniousMonk 05:35, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
Question. Do you mean a collective noun (which I'm sure ID isn't) or a noun phrase? Ben Aveling 07:18, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
Six of one, half dozen of another... take your pick. Let me ask you something now. Is evolutionary theory a proper noun? If not, why? There's your answer. Neither is ID. FeloniousMonk 07:50, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
Evolutionary theory is not a proper noun because it is not a popular social movement focused around two specific words, nor has it earned the moniker of "ET" as an initialism. Equating the two, "ET" and ID, makes no sense, as they're two totally different things. In addition, we don't call it "Id", "id", or even "iD", here, which says something. Intelligent Design is a proper noun for the same reasons that "Intelligent creation", or "Intelligent origins", is not... it's a specific concept. If we start seeing frequent mention of "Evolution Theory" shortened as "ET", I would support renaming articles, too. Ronabop 08:39, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
This article isn't about the ID movement, that's down the hall at Intelligent design movement. This article is about ID the scientific (alleged) and philosophic argument that purports to supplant evolutionary theory; read the article. So the two do equate. FeloniousMonk 08:46, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
Fair enough to note the difference. I note how many times ID is capitalised on the Intelligent design movement page, and wouldn't be suprised if a capitalisation vote happened there, too. Ronabop 09:19, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
"A theory of evolution" is a noun phrase. "Darwin's theory of evolution" is a proper noun, only if you consider it to be the name of his theory, rather than a description of what his theory is about. "A flock of theories of evolution" would be a collective noun. As The Cambridge Australian English Style Guide says, "[i]t's the uniqueness of the designation which makes it a proper name, not the words combined in it." So an intelligent designer, but the Intelligent Design theory argument. Regards, Ben Aveling 09:03, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
Confused. - RoyBoy 800 07:20, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
omgrofl!!1
Support. It is the name of a movement, and therefore a proper noun, much like the "Red Army Faction". JHMM13 (T | C) 08:50, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
That's enough reason to capitalise Red Army. It's the name of a specific army. But we don't go capitalising either red or army otherwise. Broadly speaking, specific things, even if non-unique, get capitals, eg "the three Davids have agreed". If we were talking about different theories of intelligent design, I'd agree, lower case. But since we are talking about 'the' theory, it gets a capital, IMHO. But English is not consistent. Where language is concerned, logic takes a back seat to usage. Which is mixed, but tends towards capitalisation. Certainly, seeing ID as a specific instance of teleologic theory as suggested above makes sense to me. Regards, Ben Aveling 10:09, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
You clearly don't understand what I'm trying to say. Obviously, alone "Red Army" should be capitalized because it is the name of an army, much like the US Army is capitalized, but I'm talking about the Red Army Faction, which was a terrorist group that like to think of itself as a "faction" of the Red Army. Intelligent Design is the name of a movement and likes to pit itself against the Theory of Evolution (The "evolution" is capitalized in that too). I think my analogy stands, even if you consider the Red Army Faction the proper name of a group, because it's not as if they went off and filed for organization status. They were simply the name of a movement, much like Intelligent Design is the name of a movement that can be identified when you say Intelligent Design, but not when you say intelligent design. JHMM13 (T | C) 05:25, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
Red Army Faction is the name of a terrorist group, so it is a proper noun. It isn't capitalized because it tried to associate itself with the Red Army, it is capitalized because it is a name, and therefore a proper noun. Your Theory of Evolution link, where "evolution is capitalized", is in fact just a redirect to evolution, where it isn't. (forgot to sign) -Parallel or Together ? 05:54, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
Without commenting on the other points, I would like to say that I would consider "Theory of Evolution" to be incorrectly capitalized; if used in prose it should be written in lower case as well. This is how it is used numerous times in the Evolution article: "The development of the modern theory of evolution began..." (emphasis added). — Knowledge Seeker 05:32, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose The "origins of the term" section of the article and its sources suggest the original incarnations of the name were uncapitalized. Inuition tells me capitalization is only common because the theory is often abbreviated to ID, so people capitalize in backronym fashion.—jiy (talk) 09:59, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
There seems to have been a change. Originally uncap'd. More recently, since the rise of the movement in fact, caps seems to predominate. Regards, Ben Aveling 10:09, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Support. Regardless of whether it is a proper noun or a backronym, common usage has it capitalized. Wikipedia policy is to go with common usage. The article itself uses capitals internally (and that doesn't seem a recent addition just to justify this argument). User:Noisy | Talk 10:52, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
    • If we are to use the Web as a rough measure, a scan of Google result summaries suggests the two capitalization schemes are in fact used about equally. I do not have Of Pandas and People myself, but this index suggests the author uses lowercase (see the "Design, intelligent" entry). Phillip E. Johnson, one of the other major proponents of this theory, uses lowercase in his articles. If the main proponents who re-energized the phrase little over a decade ago do not themselves capitalize, what is the sense in this page move, especially when there appears no real evidence that the capitalized version has overwhelmed the lowercase one?—jiy (talk) 11:53, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose common use has it not capitalised. This is English, not German. — Dunc| 11:38, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
    • In English we capitalize proper nouns, whereas in German they capitalize practically all nouns. The argument here is whether the movement has advanced to the point of obtaining status as a proper noun, which, in my opinion, it has. I challenge your comment about it not being capitalized in common use. From my readings of the essays of Dembski, Haught, Miller, Ruse, and Behe, I have come away with the impression that "Intelligent Design" is simply how it is spelled. I have also gotten the same impression from my various email exchanges with Professors Miller and Macosko. JHMM13 (T | C) 05:32, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose The existence of an all-caps acronym isn't evidence that the words should be capitalized when written out. For example, MCMC is capitalized, but the only words in "Markov chain Monte Carlo" from which it derives are proper nouns. English usage is clear. Capitalize proper nouns, but not other words. Capitalize the first word of the title. Hence, "Intelligent design". Bill Jefferys 12:40, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Comment Wouldn't a capitalised title make the distinction between intelligent design (as in ergonomics or something, or even teleology) and ID ('We think someone did it') more clear. Also, the article used the capitalised version exclusively. -- Ec5618 13:07, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Just by looking at the various articles and "notes from colleagues" that Dembski links to at [46], it is clear that lower case is more common among both detractors and supporters. Intelligent design is isn't a proper noun. -Parallel or Together ? 13:15, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Comment: The description "intelligent design", or, crucially, when a heading or starting a sentence, "Intelligent design", is something I can imagine reading in all sorts of contexts, for instance architecture, systems theory, engineering, etc. "Intelligent design is vital if the circuitry is to..."
"Intelligent Design", however, reads to me as something far more particular and most likely as referring to 'that set of creationist ideas, views, etc'. I recognise it might easily arise in other contexts – an architect's moniker, say, for (part of) their (theory of) architectural aesthetics – but then I would hope the context would make it clear that associations with creationism are not intended (unless they are intended, say in the description of some kind of creationist architectural aesthetic!). Best wishes, David Kernow 14:08, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Revision: From a cursory look at linguistic laws, David's suggestion appeared to be correct -- however, this assumes that ID is a proper noun. Based on a review of common usage (I hadn't the time to do one last night) it does not appear to be treated as a proper noun even by its leading proponents. Additionally, I note again (as I noted at the time) that Endo's assertion regarding dignity (as well as an inference drawn from that assertion that the change would signify an of acceptance of the term) may be the true purpose behind the proposal, rather than simply seeing capitalization of ID as a merely pro forma application of linguistic laws based on an assumption of proper noun status that could be empirically confirmed. Additionally, in going through a number of my science books, I noted that treating the name of a theory as a proper noun is extremely rare. Thus, in terms of general usage applied to linguistic laws, I vote...

  • Oppose

Jim62sch 14:25, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

  • Comment. Whatever it is, the first usage in the article should reflect the article title. At the moment, it is capitalized in the article. Ditto with Intelligent design movement. --Fastfission 18:02, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Support. For the reasons in my comment above, and because it seems to be a fairly common thing to do when differentiating specific terms from their commonsense meanings. For those concerned with double standards, Big Bang is also capitalized in both instances, probably to differentiate itself from the commonsense meaning of the term. I would probably lean that way myself. Cambrian explosion is not capitalized in the title, though it is in the first sentence of the article. --Fastfission 17:59, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose. My vote has nothing to do with dignity; intelligent design is not a proper noun and therefore should not be capitalized. Capitalized abbreviations or acronyms are normally used (for instance, "DM" for diabetes mellitus); they do not imply that the original phrase was or should be capitalized. — Knowledge Seeker 22:11, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Question and Comment.  How and when does this voting process end?  My concern does not stem from a point of view about Intelligent D/design itself but rather from how even just the format of an article's title might sow seeds of bias. When I read through the article as currently titled ("Intelligent design") I was left thinking 'What's meant here is "Intelligent Design", a particular (singular) group of ideas etc, not a more general sense such as the intelligent (substitute 'clever', 'thoughtful', 'ingenious', etc) design say of tools, artefacts, buildings, etc. In other words, although prompted by something seemingly tiny – whether or not a letter is upper or lowercase – I was left feeling the article was misnamed. I would be interested to have some idea how many other folk not already involved in the subject matter might respond as I did, but how appropriate is this talk page for such a task?  Thanks, David Kernow 23:28, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
<"My concern does not stem from a point of view about Intelligent D/design itself but rather from how even just the format of an article's title might sow seeds of bias."> So this isn't about ID being a proper noun... Favoring ID with undue honorific capital letters also raises concerns of bias and misrepresentation. Also, disambiguation was recently cited as justification to create a POV fork.
About when voting ends: "Requested moves may be implemented if there is a Wikipedia community consensus (60% or more) supporting the moving of an article after five (5) days under discussion on the talk page of the article to be moved, or earlier at the discretion of an administrator." --WP:RM
There's also some significant technical hurdles and work to renaming an article with a history of this size, see: Wikipedia:Requested_moves#Major_history. FeloniousMonk 23:48, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
Well, I guess it's "damned if you do, damned if you don't"; I can see that people might think I/intelligent D/design unduly elevated or denigrated either way. That's controversy, I suppose!  I do happen to see it as the proper noun "Intelligent Design" so as to distinguish it from the more general description "I/intelligent design". I included my other concern above as another possibility to consider. Meanwhile, thanks for including the sentence re the voting period from WP:RM (which I had read but then forgotten) and thanks for your (and everyone else's) input which has given me some thoughts to take from here regardless of the outcome. Best wishes, David Kernow 03:31, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
Comment If the request to move this fails, then won't it incumbent that all capitalized instances of Intelligent Design be replaced with lowercase, until a stronger case for capitalization is provided? If the phrase remains capitalized throughout the article following a failure of move, then there was no point to this discussion. Just giving some heads up...—jiy (talk) 00:08, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
"Intelligent design" is not a proper noun, it simply means "design by an intelligent being". Oppose. - Mike Rosoft 13:27, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
It would appear to mean much more in this article. Thanks, though, for your interest!  David Kernow 14:18, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Re the comment regarding "big bang" -- in physics books, it is not capitalized. Jim62sch 16:20, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

But it is in The Colour of Magic...we are talking about the space turtle mating hypothesis, right? Guettarda 16:37, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
As well as the theme song that accompanies the rutting process. Jim62sch 23:02, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
  • (indecisive) Support: it's a catchphrase, the Name for the movement in the same way as Windows associated with MS means something different from windows in the Mac interface. It seems appropriate given the tendency to refer to God and His part in Design. Avoids confusion with other design, though architects are probably more likely to refer to intuitive design. ...dave souza 18:40, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Windows is a trademark. Jim62sch 22:58, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Oppose per Naming conventions, Lowercase second and subsequent words.

Recap

It appears we have several opinions:

  1. ID deserves respect, and should thus be capitalised.
  2. ID should be capitalised, to avoid confusion with 'clever design'.
  3. ID should be capitalised, because the article uses the capitalised form
  4. ID should be capitalised, because it's common usage. (stands in opposition to point 6)
  5. ID should not be capitalised, because it isn't a proper noun.
  6. ID should not be capitalised, because it isn't common usage. (stands in opposition to point 4)
  7. ID should be capitalised, because it is a proper noun. (stands in opposition to point 5 and vice versa) Ben Aveling 21:57, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Also, consensus seems to be that the article should reflect the usage in the title, which touches on point 3.

Point 1 is void, obviously. Points 4 and 6 are mutually exclusive; perhaps we should find out conclusively whether Intelligent Design is commonly capped. -- Ec5618 15:54, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Comment  So I guess I'm coming at this from point 2, although more to make it clear that I/inteligent D/design is an identifiable set of ideas, views, etc rather than simply to avoid confusion. David Kernow 17:51, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
Comment If point one is obviously void, does that mean my vote is to be annulled? Endomion 19:42, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Common usage

uncapped

Note the use in this link, http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/1170, intelligent design is not capped, and one would think that these guys would be as good a source as any other as they are ID proponents to the nth degree. Jim62sch
Comment  Perhaps being a proponent (or skeptic) of ID to the nth degree is a disqualification to the nth degree as to influencing how a Wikipedia NPOV article should be named?  David Kernow 17:45, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
<personal attack on contributors removed> by FeloniousMonk 20:27, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
skepdic.com
idthefuture.com "Exploring issues central to the case for intelligent design, from the Big Bang to the bacterial flagellum and beyond."
ideacenter.org "Far from being true, intelligent design is neither a religious concept, nor a religious watchdog."
Comment I just did a quick search at news.google.com, and it appears that mainstream news sources do not capitalize. --Serge 18:12, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

capped

AiG’s views on the Intelligent Design Movement
actionbioscience.org
Talk.Origins
NCSE
Discovery Institute

undecided

intelligentdesignnetwork.org "Intelligent Design, The theory of intelligent design (ID)"
venganza.org Flying Spaghetti Monster
Ec5618 16:45, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

David, correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the point to find out what common usage was? As that site was handy, it serves as well as any other in helping to determine common usage, does it not? (In fact, were the site anti-ID, then you would have a point regarding being disqualified as the lower-case could be misconstued as a slight, but in this case, your point is a bit odd.)

And Ben, to whom do you refer? If one is to make willy-nilly accusations of atheism, one should at least have the courage to name those one is accusing.

Jim62sch 20:15, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

I thought Ben said he had stopped calling me a liar/attacking my religious views. Looks like he has no intention of sticking to his word. Guettarda 20:25, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
Indeed. I've added this incident and the one to which you refer to his ongoing user conduct RFC, though clearly he's benefitted little from the community's comments about his behavior and the acceptability of personal attacks. FeloniousMonk 20:39, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Bringing this discussion back around to Wikipedia and its policies, common usage is not a factor here. Wikipedia:Naming_conventions#Lowercase_second_and_subsequent_words: Policy is clear, only proper nouns are capitialized in titles. ID is not a proper noun. It should not be capitalised. FeloniousMonk 20:43, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Abstain. My passing by this article seems to've resulted in too many genies being let out of too many bottles / Pandora's box being opened to far / pick your own imagery, so I feel it is best if the article's title is left as is; I believe people's time and energy will be far better used maintaining the article itself. I haven't removed the {{move}} template in case that's not protocol. I am grateful for various points that have given me pause for thought. Best wishes, David Kernow 23:22, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

I agree with David Kernow's opinion that the title is left as is. I also agree that people's time and energy will be far better used maintaining the article itself. Besides, I think it was ID editors who made the title initially. Not sure. It's just that one of the ID people posting in the discussion pages said something about how the early versions of ID was better.
The latest article version (w/ the all caps ID) seems to me to be used by non-ID editors. While the title seems have been used by ID editors.Lovecoconuts 03:40, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Huh? Jim62sch 01:13, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

The Gaia Hypothesis is capitalized and it is a conjecture on the same order of the current political trick to introduce Christianity into public schools. Endomion 01:38, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
The Huh? was for my post, right? Have edited it. (It's the post above Jim's Huh? post). My post was confusing. I hope the edited one is less confusing.Lovecoconuts 03:40, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Proper noun

I think the real question is, is [Ii]ntelligent [Dd]esign a proper noun? Is it the 'Theory' of Intelligent Design or is a theory or intelligent design? Either way, the title and the article should be consistent. If the page doesn't move, then the words intelligent and design be lowercase in the article as per normal usage. Regards, Ben Aveling 21:57, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

This addresses my point: the article isn't about all instances of intelligent design, and there was some discussion about moving the page to teleology because it wasn't clear this page deals only with ID. If this page deals with ID, specifically, and if the article continues to use the term capitalised, I feel the article title should be capitalised as well. -- Ec5618 22:17, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
A specific hypothesis isn't usually a proper noun. For example, Natural selection is the article, while Natural Selection is the redir. Guettarda 22:22, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
For example Optimal foraging theory or the Intermediate disturbance hypothesis are generally not capitalised, even though they are abbreviated in caps. Guettarda 22:25, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
English is indeed full of exceptions. In this case common usage is mixed. I do find it interesting that theories tend to be lower cased. It's not obviously covered in any of the 3 style guides I've checked. I can posit a justification, which is that when we say, for example, Darwin's theory, we are refering to a specific theory but we are not doing so by name. That is, Darwin's theory of evolution is not called the Theory of Evolution, it just is a theory of evolution. But frankly, that's just my attempt to fit the observed facts to my understanding of the theory. I think we'd be justified in using either caps or not, so long as we are consistent. So maybe we fall back on the above Point 3. Regards, Ben Aveling 10:22, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Repeating or codifying what appears to have been a mistake in capitalization does not make everything copasetic, it just magnifies the mistake. Edits to the article to assure that intelligent is only capped when it begins the sentence is the way to go. Jim62sch 10:58, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Interesting definition and lots of links

The Kansas newspaper The Lawrence Journal-World article[47] includes links to other articles on the subject, particularly the controversy about Kansas University professor Paul Mirecki who was beaten up and forced to resign a chair after "disparaging comments" he made on a private online chat were broadcast, as well as a neat definition: "having public schools teach intelligent design, which says an unspecified intelligent cause is the best way to explain some orderly and complex features of the natural world." Note the use of lower case. Not really as definitive as the quote we start with, ...dave souza 23:41, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Chronology

Would it be possible to add future comments behind the previous, thereby maintaining chronology? I find it difficult to keep track of this page when people haphazzardly insert their views. Thank you.--Nomen Nescio 09:45, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Good point (although I too am guilty of that). The problem is, unless we add numerous sub-headers, a comment referring to a comment of 4 days ago will appear to have come out of nowhere, and offering a reference to what we are commenting will require scrolling all over the place. Jim62sch 11:01, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Oddly enough, by inserting a comment higher up, the displaced comment will have exactly what you are trying to avoid. And I hope those reading this page are aware what they read just minutes before.--Nomen Nescio 20:01, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Yeah, I know. It gets to be a mess either way. If only we could design an answer.  ;) Jim62sch 21:52, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
? Nomen, add future comments ?behind? the previous? Not after?Lovecoconuts 00:56, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Nomen likely meant after. In Dutch, "na" is used for both after and behind (when it is synonymous with after). Jim62sch 10:49, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Sorry, didn't mean to confuse. Indeed made a mistake. As to the reference to Dutch, impressive.--Nomen Nescio 13:08, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Ah. Ok. No problem. I understand completely. And yes, I agree about adding newer comments after older ones.Lovecoconuts 14:03, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Nomen, your English is far better than my Dutch. :) Jim62sch 22:37, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

I dispute the neutrality of this article

This article is absolutely not NPOV. I came here to simply learn about ID but instead got a HUGE rebuttal to ID. In fact, the entire article is nothing but a rebuttal to ID. Why do you use an encyclopedia, in the name of neutrality, as a platform to malign something?

Even in the definition of intelligent design in the first paragraph, it is rebutted. Anyone who calls this NPOV is kidding themselves. This is an op-ed piece. I dispute the neutrality of this article. I for one know that many people in the scientific community are theists (note: that doesn't equivocate to christian). To state the entire scientific community shuns ID is clearly POV. Now, I have no problem with atheists creating a REBUTTAL PAGE to ID, but that belongs in either a critique section, or a page of its own. Nowhere in this article is ID simply presented in an objective form. In every place ID is defined, it is rebutted. In fact, I learned (not in this article) that there are organizations of scientists that profess ID. They hold the same degrees that any other scientist does. So your claims about ID being drivel in the scientific community are completely frivolous. Why can't you just define ID neutrally? Why must you sneak in your counterpoints with every opportunity? You cant even DEFINE ID (first paragraph) without rebutting it.

its unbelievable the bias.

this article is nothing but op-ed. Its articles like this that really hurt wiki's reputation for trying to be balanced. There is no balance here....whatsoever. Marshill 17:47, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Marshill, can you say something constructive and specific? And by the way, I am a thiest, a christian, a believer in God involved in humanity, and a believer that ID is terrible science and terrible theology, so be careful with that brush--Tznkai 17:49, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Indeed, that many scientists are theist has nothing to do with IDs position as a pseudoscientific endeavour. I'm afraid any source that suggests ID is a science is wrong, and the article acknowledges that there are scientists who like ID. But a) these scientists are, for example, chemists or material engineers, and not biologists, meaning their degrees are meaningless, and b) the personal opinions of scientists is irrelevant.
Finally, ID is controversial. Not mentioning that basic fact in the definition would be negligent and dishonest.
I have removed your hastily placed boiler. -- Ec5618 17:54, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Whence cometh ye, MH? Jim62sch 18:14, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

____

I have a right to dispute this article

Tnzkai, your faith is irrelevant. If you were Billy Graham, it wouldn't have any bearing on my point whatsoever. The name for that is a red herring. Now, I know there are people out there that think ID is good science. Including scientists. I came to this article to learn about them. Instead, I got nothing but a huge atheist rebuttal to ID. nothing informative whatsoever. Wiki is not your platform to politically argue against ID. This is supposed to be a neutral source where one can learn about what something states. If you want to rebut ID, put them in a critique or criticism section, but as this article is now, it is grossly bias. Marshill

well, we agree. My faith, and everyone elses faith is irrelivant, so lets ignore all your comments about aithiests, thiests and so on. In fact, personal faith and bais are also irrellivant. So why don't you find some sources, muse the archives to make sure they havn't already be debunked, and offer some fixes.--Tznkai 18:04, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
We've taken the NPOV policy very seriously here Marshill. Here are the relevant sections to this article:
  • NPOV: Pseudoscience: "the task is to represent the majority (scientific) view as the majority view and the minority (sometimes pseudoscientific) view as the minority view; and, moreover, to explain how scientists have received pseudoscientific theories. This is all in the purview of the task of describing a dispute fairly."
  • NPOV: Undue weight: "Articles that compare views need not give minority views as much or as detailed a description as more popular views... We should not attempt to represent a dispute as if a view held by only a small minority of people deserved as much attention as a majority view... To give undue weight to a significant-minority view... might be misleading as to the shape of the dispute. If we are to represent the dispute fairly, we should present competing views in proportion to their representation among experts on the subject, or among the concerned parties."
  • NPOV: Giving "equal validity": "Please be clear on one thing: the Wikipedia neutrality policy certainly does not state, or imply, that we must "give equal validity" to minority views. It does state that we must not take a stand on them qua encyclopedia writers; but that does not stop us from describing the majority views as such; from fairly explaining the strong arguments against the pseudoscientific theory; from describing the strong moral repugnance that many people feel toward some morally repugnant views; and so forth."
ID proponents claim ID is valid science. The scientific community as a group rejects this claim, identifying ID as repackaged creationism and pseudoscience. As long as that controversy continues, it is our duty to report it, per NPOV: Pseudoscience. In doing so, we present each viewpoint in proportion to the degree which it is accepted, per NPOV: Undue weight and NPOV: Giving "equal validity". On that basis, this article is very balanced and fair. FeloniousMonk 18:03, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
regardless of how you feel about ID, this IS the ID page. If I go to the flat earth page, I shouldn't be bombarded with rebuttals at the onset. I want to learn about it in a neutral way. Immediately defining it as junk science and pseudoscience, especially given the political light of the theory as it stands today, is grossly inserting a POV. Because google uses Wiki-pedia often for defiitions, insert a strong rebuttal simply in the definition is a gross attempt at using wikipedia for political opinion. Claming the "scientific community" considers ID as junk science is slanted since many scientists uphold it. I should be learning, in a neutral way, why scientists uphold it. Who are these scientists? What credentials do they say it has? Instead, I am constantly bombarded by counter point...counterpoint...counterpoint. Until you simply put your counterpoints in a single section titled "Criticisms" or "Critiques" this is NOT a neutral article I will request arbitration to solve this.
Marshill 18:23, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Precisely who are you, where did you come from, and what is your agenda? I realize that this ID page is a popular search result, and yet when I read your initial post I cannot help but feel that you came here with a very clear agenda that seems to be outside merely trying to improve the article. Hey, I could be wrong, but my gut instinct is very rarely wrong. Jim62sch 22:53, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Unlike some other sites, Wikipedia is written from a neutral, not a sympathetic point of view. There are almost no scientists in relevant fields who support ID. All the evidence suggests that the scientists that do support it do so as part of the wider socio-political agenda of the Discovery Institute, with which most of the lead proponents are associated. While there are about 350,000 articles published in ISI-indexed peer reviewed biology journals every year, only a handful of papers are at all connected to ID, even taking the list provided at the DI website at face value (which should not be done, as most of these papers are only very tenuously connected to ID). In the 10-15 years that ID has been around, it has attracted something on the order of one-in-a-million publications. It is thus safe to say that the scientific community has rejected ID.
The associated scientists are mentioned - either here (Behe, Dembski) or in one of the daughter articles. ID has been presented as a scientific hypothesis. It must therefore be evaluated as a scientific hypothesis (in which light it fits the classification of pseudoscience). NPOV requires that we give balanced treatment. Balanced treatment of ID as science should reflect it's 1/1,000,000 impact on biology. In light of that we have an article that is already unreasonably supportive of the minority viewpoint. Guettarda 19:14, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Then Guettarda, please increase the size of the article to at least one million characters so I can write one ASCII character in support of ID. Endomion 19:47, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
removing my POV tag is inappropriate, as I did not alter anything in the article. Why do you censor my dispute? Do you really think Simply saing the article "is very balanced and fair" makes it so? What makes you the judge of that? It is not fair, and it is not balanced. I dispute its neutrality. Those POV tags were made and put into this website specifically for situations like this. Removing those tags is not something you have a right to do. his is Sending me threats of an IP ban for vandalism when I DIDNT EVEN ALTER THE ARTICLE TEXT is completely unfounded. Unfortunately, I am left with no choice but to request arbitration
Marshill 18:28, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Seconded. Endomion 19:26, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Gee, why am I not surprised? In fact, I may have just discovered part of the answer to my earlier question. Like it or not, the definition of NPOV has been provided you, the reasons why the article is NPOV have been provided you, what will not be provided you is a Discovery Institute or Uncommon Descent article. You may go to their sites for glowing reports of the beauty and righteousness of ID. If you want to see truly anti-ID articles see the Skeptical Inquirer, Seed Magazine or stcynic.com. This Wikipedia article article manages to walk the line between both. Jim62sch 23:07, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Arbitration is not the next step in dispute resolution, please read WP:DR. An RFC would be the next step. I should let you know that the article was just recently the subject of a similar RFC, just a month or so ago, and the community as a whole had few substantive corrections. The article was also peer-reviewed less than 12 months ago. If you have specific objections, discuss them here or alternately file an article content RFC. FeloniousMonk 18:41, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
As I pointed out to you on your talk page, removing the {{POV}} is the correct thing to do precisely because you had made no attempt to edit the article or (preferably) the talk page. The {{POV}} is a last resort, not a first resort. If you don't outline your objections, it's just clutter. If you don't make actionable suggestions, it's just as bad. As for the " threats of an IP ban for vandalism", your talk page has a warning that you are in danger of violating the 3 revert rule. Wikipedia policy does not allow you to revert an article more than three times in 24 hours.
You had many other options than approaching the Arbcomm. The Arbcomm is a body of last resort in dispite resolution, and is not intended for content disputes. Guettarda 19:54, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Removing the tag was appropriate, as all you did was suggest the article is biased, without substantiating evidence. The Flat Earth article states quite clearly that it is commonly accepted that the earth is spherical, so your point is moot.
This article is obviously controversial, but your points have all been addressed. ID is controversial, and is viewed as pseudoscience (note the word viewed here; it isn't stated as fact but is attributed to a major scientific organisation).
Please realise that your points are not as unique as you seem to think. Your suggestion that you want to "learn about it [ID] in a neutral way" is incredible, as you seem to be pushing for ID to be given more credence. Believe me, from a scientific point of view, ID, as it is currently portrayed by ID proponents, has no credence. A point which has been extensively argued in the archives.
As for seeking legal action, why don't you try to argue your point first. All we know so far is that you are dissatisfied in some manner. -- Ec5618 18:47, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
I also encourage Marshill to read Wikipedia:Summary style for specific answers as to why criticisms of ID are not only made in a criticisms section. Briefly, it says that "Articles written in summary style have lead sections that are concise encyclopedia articles in their own right." Also, "Sections that are less important for understanding the topic will tend to be lower in the article (this is news style applied to sections). Often this is difficult to do for articles on history or are otherwise chronologically based unless there is some type of analysis section. Organizing in this way is important due to the fact that many readers will not finish reading the article. " I hope that helps you. NPOV policy demands both sides of the issue are presented. Summary style requires that both sides be presented early in the article. FeloniousMonk 18:53, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
i have stated my point thoroughly. You guys made it clear that this article was balanced and fair to all....no matter what they think! The entire article is extremely slanted against ID. At every opportunity to tear it down, that opporunity was taken. Your claim that this is a neutral article is laughable. This article serves one purpose: to tear down ID, rather than inform. This page is not your platform to espouse evoloution. The ID page should be a page that informs the reader...in a neutral fashion, the theory without taking every opportunity to point-counterpoint. Put your criticisms in a criticism section. Yet To make this article even worse, it DOES have a criticism section....even though every section in this article (including the definition) contains a criticism, it then adds yet another entire section of criticisms. you have used this page as an opportunity to evangelize neutral seekers of ID as a means to tear down ID completely, rather than objectively and neutrally inform. Your claim about how the scientific community dismisses ID is grossly slanted when there are large numbers of creation scientists. You could have stated something like "a number of scientific organizations consider ID to be junk science" but instead you have to round up all the scientists as the "scientific community" and make the spurious implication that anyone with a degree in science rejects ID which exists only realm of those irrational xians. You could have explained the scientific merits of ID as claimed by those that support it. Obviously the scientists that espouse ID feel it is scientific. So what do they say about its merits? Instead you simply tear it down by listing *only* the criticisms against its merits (your section on how it doesn't meet the scientific method). I would like to come to this article and learn about what prominent scientists who espouse ID have to say about the merits of ID regarding the criterion of science. But I dont see any of that here. I only see atheistic slanting. You could have put the criticisms in a critique section, but instead you jump right into criticism before you even get to the criticism section. You could have quoted a neutral source in the definition of ID (first paragraph) but instead you reference a source called "DEVOLUTION" which is a book specifically geared at tearing down ID. Wow! So much for neutrality. And not only that, you wont even let me CONTEST it. You remove POV tags because this article is fair dammit! It *is* neutral, it *is* fair...no matter what you think, so just shut up. /end scarcasm
yea, thats what you are doing when you remove a POV tag, you censor someone's ability to even QUESTION your work, let alone alter it.
The POV here is spilling over the sides!
Marshill 18:57, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

MH, your agenda is clearly showing. It would have been wiser of you had you eased into your criticism of the alleged criticism. Nonetheless, you are missing far more points than I care to go into right now. Why not read through the discussion page, including the sections that have been archived and see what has happened and why. I realize that this will not change your agenda, but it will (maybe, one hopes) keep you from littering this page with irrational objections that have already been dealt with and, for the most part, resolved. Jim62sch 23:28, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Thank you Marshill. Recently I suggested that there should be one encyclopedic article which only presents what Intelligent Design is, and another article which describes the political controversy about Intelligent Design, just as the the Creation-evolution controversy article is maintained seperately from the Creation article and the Evolution article. This was rejected as a POV:FORK. Endomion 19:24, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
H. Allen Orr, a Department of Biology professor at University of Rochester [48] wrote the Devolution—Why intelligent design isn't article for the New Yorker's May 2005 Annals of Science column [49]. He seems pretty credible to me. Since the National Academy of Sciences represents the US scientific community, and they say ID is creationism and not actual science, and over 60 scientific professional organizations have issued policy statements specifically condemning ID as not science, I think it's safe to say that the scientific community rejects ID on the whole. FeloniousMonk 19:25, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
FeloniousMonk: The NAS may claim to represent the American scientific community, and it certainly is a prestigious organization, but that does not mean that they are somehow the final arbiters of what is and is not science. The ID people (so far as I am aware) are not claiming that there is some "scientific" way to prove creationism. Rather, they are arguing that the methodology of the evolutionists is flawed. This objection is made on epistemological grounds as well as dogmatic ones. Which arguments you hear largely depend on whether or not you are speaking to an ID proponent with an interest in scholarly discourse. ID proponents say that any theory about past events than cannot be tested by a controlled experiment ought not be considered a product of "hard science" in the same light as, say, conclusions drawn from genetics or chemical engineering. This is not a disagreement that is wholly based on differing conclusions, but rather on the fundamental ideas of how one may "know" something. Going back to your claim that the scientific community rejects ID "on the whole"... there is no "whole"! Scientists are individuals who, thanks to modern academic customs, subject themselves to peer review and therefore participate in a community of similarly occupied individuals. There is not and cannot rightfully be some "head scientist." Science is a method of empirical inquiry, not a company. The scientific community then is only a community like the "market" is a community: it is a mass of many individuals who are all cooperating to some degree with one another because they perceive the benefits of such cooperation. Dick Clark 20:13, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
There is a sense of "wholeness" to the scientific community evern though its existence of something of an emergent phenomenon. There are two ways to look as "rejection" of an idea by the scientific community. One is to look at the results of what a group like NAS says. If NAS, or AIBS, or any other such body makes a pronouncement for which there is significant opposition, then people will speak - professional societies, editorial pages of technical journals, individual letter writers. So, in this case, silence can be taken as consent. But there is a far more important way in which the scientific community has rejected ID - by ignoring it. Even the proponents of ID have failed to do research on ID, have failed to apply to funding offered (see higher up the page or in the archives for details), have failed to cite Behe's and Dembski's papers on ID. Science works its way from experiments, through peer review, into journal publications. Once published, the work will either be cited, or not, by other workers. If something new gains enough acceptance, it makes it into text books (which are, of course, about as trailing-edge as you can get). It's reasonable to speak of ID as having been rejected because (a) almost no one has objected to statements made on their behalf, (b) no one has tried to use ID as science, and (c) the theoretical/philosophical works on ID have not been cited. Guettarda 18:02, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Uh, OK. So you're admitting that ID is not science while bashing the science community? Also, your interpretation of what IDists have said is wildly incorrect. Where are you going with this? Jim62sch 23:38, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Jim62sch: I am stating that ID is not scientific insofar as "scientific" means the "conclusions reached via application of the scientific method." I never claimed that it was "scientific," so I have nothing to "admit." What I (and other individuals who argue the ID position, including but not limited to Ken Ham, Andrew Snelling, Duane T. Gish, and Henry Morris) posit is that evolutionary theory is not empirically testable any more than ID is. By stating this, I am not "bashing" anyone. I am making a claim about the "scientific" status of certain conclusions drawn by people who purport to be scientists. People in the scientific community do this all the time. It is called peer review. I am not engaging in some ad hominem diatribe here, so please assume good faith. Nor am I claiming to be a scientist myself; rather, I am stating that any person who does assume such a title ought to be prepared for others to review their work critically. Whenever creationists talk about discoveries that somehow "back" creationism, this is not a claim that they are somehow able to prove something about history. Rather, when evidence of, say, rapid petrification[50] is discovered, this is not used to "prove" creation, but rather to demonstrate that some arguments for the necessity of an "old earth" are not accurate. This sort of discovery clearly has no value in conclusively determining what happened in the past, but it may make arguments typically presented (by laymen, not professional researchers) in support of evolution more suspect. Given that ID isn't properly labeled as a science, but rather as a certain vein of criticism regarding evolutionary theories that are most commonly held, calling ID a "pseudoscience" misses the point. Dick Clark 17:32, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Dick, sorry, I missed your point (too many attacks on this page lately). I agree with what you said except for ID not being presented as a science: that is precisely how it is presented both by its founders and by its adherents. As I've stated more times than I care to remember, if ID were to relinquish its pretence to being a science and simply admit that is a philosophy all would be well. Nevertheless, until such time, it needs to be classified as a pseudoscience. Jim62sch 22:55, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Jim62sch: I suspect that we would both prefer fewer chips on shoulders around here. I would agree with you that ID is a fundamentally philosophical position. However, the use of the scientific method to debunk claims such as "stalactites take many years to form" or "wood requires many years' time to be significantly petrified," while certainly not positive evidence for "design," may be considered as evidence that can be used to remove certain supports from old-earth geology, evolutionary biology, etc. Again, let me stress that these sorts of arguments are simply made to show the feasibility of the creationist/ID timeline as opposed to the usual, generally accepted old earth theories. They ought not be considered as evidence for some supernatural suspension of physical laws in the past. If the wikipedia consensus is to describe ID as a pseudoscience, I feel that it would only be just to do so if we make clear the distinction between IDers who are engaged in research such as that mentioned above (debunking statements that are sometimes used to rule out creationism) as opposed to those who are actually trying to claim that they can compile evidence that positively supports creationism, such as the following passage found here[51]:
Intelligent Design is simply the science of design detection -- how to recognize patterns arranged by an intelligent cause for a purpose. Design detection is used in a number of scientific fields, including anthropology, forensic sciences that seek to explain the cause of events such as a death or fire, cryptanalysis and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). An inference that certain biological information may be the product of an intelligent cause can be tested or evaluated in the same manner as scientists daily test for design in other sciences.
Dick Clark 16:42, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
Dick, you're right about the shoulder chips. However, as long as ID has a supernatural/paranormal designer/cause as its main precept, it will never be a science. Additionally, I'm not sure what adding your suggestion to the article would do to improve it, but I'm open to an explanation of how it might. Yes, I understand what yoiu are sayting, but the research that is engaged in is, from what I've seen and read (not here), suspect. Jim62sch 23:50, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
It makes no sense to say "what I (and other individuals who argue the ID position, including but not limited to Ken Ham, Andrew Snelling, Duane T. Gish, and Henry Morris) posit is that evolutionary theory is not empirically testable any more than ID is". How is it not testable? Are you willing to back up your claim of fraud against the people who are producing copious amounts of research which they assert (through journal publication) to be empirical tests of evolutionary theory? You really need to back up such claims with at least a shred of evidence; otherwise this strikes me as a serious libel. Guettarda 18:13, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Guetarda: It isn't testable insofar as it is a theory about how present-day organisms originated. I am not in any way saying that one could not test whether evolution (via some means or another) is possible. I am arguing that you can't prove something conclusively about history. You can collect data that makes one conclusion more likely than another, but that is it. You can never rule out ID, simply because the (ultimate) claims made by ID'ers fall outside of the realms of empirical inquiry. Or do you suggest that there is somehow a controlled experiment that could be conducted to "prove" god/a designer/etc? Likewise, with evolution, you can never conclusively prove it to be so except for in the present. As I have said above, ID is not the result of scientific inquiry, and neither is evolutionary theory. They are both ultimately untestable as theories of biological origins. Dick Clark 18:58, 15 December 2005 (UTC)


Dick, methinks your criteria for testability (i.e., falsifiability) are a bit amiss. As for ID, it can never be ruled out as philosophy, but as science it certainly can be as it cannot be tested or falsified. I'm also a bit confuddled by what seems to be your definition of empirical. Jim62sch 23:11, 15 December 2005 (UTC)


Well, if the NAS is not sufficient evidence that the scientific community as a group rejects ID, there's about 60 other scientific professional organizations who've issued policy statements endorsing evolution over the various forms of creationism, including ID. Here's a few:
This does not count the abject absence of any published ID research in scientific literature.
We could just post the complete list to the article I suppose, but why bother when it's clearly safe to say that the scientific communtiy widely rejects creationism and ID based on these statements and others. FeloniousMonk 20:59, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
FeloniousMonk: Please do not take my comment above to mean that I don't agree with you that a majority of the scientific community dismisses ID as pseudoscience. I think that is a demonstrable fact. The point that I am trying to make is that the "scientific community" does not act as a whole, but rather as individual scientists, or, as with your examples, as a group that is representative of its individual members. So far as I know, there is no organization that can accurately claim every scientist as a member, and so, therefore, there is no single entity that may conclusively speak for "science" or the "scientific community" as a whole. I am certainly in favor of stating that "most mainstream scientists reject ID...", etc., but that is a fundamentally different--and inherently weaker--statement than "the scientific community as a whole has rejected ID." This may seem like a small point, but I feel that being a stickler on this point is more likely to make claims of NPOV violations less common in the future, and it is certainly a more testable position for the article to take. It is the case that there are some serious scientists (in relevant fields) who do not accept the bulk of what the mainstream has to say about evolution. To deny the existence of these individuals will only serve to bolster their claims of persecution. Let's tell the truth: there is some dispute in the scientific community between proponents of evolutionary theory and ID, although the clear (vast) majority favor evolution as a theory of origins. Dick Clark 21:32, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
The article is is accurate, the scientific community does view intelligent design not as a valid scientific theory but as a form of creationism, and pseudoscience or junk science. This statement is no stretch. But it would make you feel better that the passage read "The vast majority of the scientific community views intelligent design not..." instead of "The scientific community views intelligent design not..." the point is the same and it's a minor issue. If there's consensus for the change, I'll make it. FeloniousMonk 22:48, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
I'd have to disagree with the change as only 0.15% (15/100ths of a percent) have supported ID, and if we limit that number to biologists only, we are below one-tenth of one percent. Given those numbers, I suppose we could change it to "99.9% of the scientific community views intelligent design not...", but what would be the point? Jim62sch 23:44, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Marshill wrote:
You could have quoted a neutral source in the definition of ID (first paragraph) but instead you reference a source called "DEVOLUTION" which is a book specifically geared at tearing down ID. Wow! So much for neutrality.
There are some major misunderstandings and misconceptions in this statement. For one, Orr is not used as a source for a definition of ID - he is used to source the pseudoscience/junk science bit. In addition, NPOV is not about neutrality - it is about balance - about including all credible sides of an issue, and presenting them in a way which does not give a misleading impression of the weight of support behind them. Guettarda 20:01, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
A recent poll revealed that 94% of Americans believe in God, but if the article on God were written using the guidelines for NPOV demonstrated in this article, every paragraph would be terminated with a rebuttal from a leading cosmologist, historian, or archaelogist, lest it give a misleading impression of the weight most scientists give to the existence of a deity. Endomion 02:28, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
What does God have to do with scientists? This article provides rebuttals from scientists because ID claims to be science. Therefore the NPOV guidelines for this page are those governing pseudoscience and minority viewpoints (they have been linked countless times so I will refrain from doing it again). Those same guidelines obviously don't apply to the God article, which is wholly religious/philosophical in nature, so why even bring it up on this page? -Parallel or Together ? 09:27, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
I'm not surprised. Endo has displayed the tendency of making posts that don't speak highly of her debating prowess. For example, she doesn't seem to have considered the fact that a long long time ago, the majority of people thought the earth was flat or that the sky was actually a dome with holes pricked into it.
How about the wide-spread belief that if you keep sailing to the horizon, your ship would fall off the edge of the earth? There would be no US of A if everyone kept thinking like that.
Oh... speaking of polls and majority and minority stuff like that - how about the fact that the far majority of scientists don't like ID right now? Of course, it doesn't matter, right? Endo more than implied in another thread below that Project Steve and FSM are popularity contests.
And yet here she is quoting poll results...
Sorry, if I sound upset, but I just made the very irritating realization that Endo speaks too much like a hypocrite. Not only that, as a Christian, I very annoyed that she would compare the article of Intelligent Design to the article about God.
Endo, just in case you don't know - ID is a controversial thing fighting its way through the courts and bashing head-on with many increasingly annoyed scientists and science-enthusiasts. God is NOT a controversial topic.Lovecoconuts 09:53, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Well...To die-hard atheists like Madalyn Murray O'Hair, God was a controversial topic.  :) In any case, Endo's argument makes no sense as God is a philosophical/theological topic, not a scientific one. Why would there be a need for criticism on a philosophy/theology page? The term "grasping at straws" comes to mind regarding Endo's post. Jim62sch 11:01, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Jim, I stand corrected. Yes, to some people - the idea of God is a controversial subject. Regardless, I find it distasteful that Endo is comparing the ID article to the God article. Perhaps, I'm considering it too personally. I can accept that. Anyway, I think I will just have to force myself to ignore Endo's posts in the future. She'll probably just keep contradicting herself anyway.Lovecoconuts 13:30, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
LC, I was being sarcastic -- and this time I actually remembered the emoticon! While I don't share your faith, I share your sensitivity: however, I just put Endo's posts down to a significant lack of debating and/or analytical skills. Additionally, I think your analysis of Endo's posts is rather accurate. I tire of the need to respond to posts that really offer nothing to the article, but, as this is a discussion page, I suppose we are doomed to suffer them. Jim62sch 23:26, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Parallel or Together?' wrote: "What does God have to do with scientists? This article provides rebuttals from scientists because ID claims to be science. Therefore the NPOV guidelines for this page are those governing pseudoscience and minority viewpoints...Those same guidelines obviously don't apply to the God article, which is wholly religious/philosophical in nature, so why even bring it up on this page?"
My reply: ID does not claim to be science, ID advocates claim that ID is science. ID claims that some observations of biology and some implications of cosmology are more likely evidence of a sentient will than the operation of blind laws. ID advocates do not publish sets of data derived from repeatable experiments nor do they publish details of observations made in the field. As a result, ID remains firmly seated in metaphysics, and amounts to a restatement of St. Thomas Aquinas' teleological argument. NPOV guidelines governing the definition of Intelligent Design should reflect those of other metaphysical arguments. NPOV guidelines governing the political trick of ramming this metaphysics into public school cirriculums should remain as they currently are.Endomion 14:56, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
ID does claim to be a science. Read the following: there is one key word that proves that ID presents itself as a science -- [from commondescent.com http://www.arn.org/idfaq/What%20is%20intelligent%20design.htm] Jim62sch 23:35, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
LoveCoconuts wrote: "How about the wide-spread belief that if you keep sailing to the horizon, your ship would fall off the edge of the earth? There would be no US of A if everyone kept thinking like that."
My reply: It is a wide-spread belief that Columbus by his own force of will took his three ships to the New World despite the wide-spread beliefs of his seamen that they would fall over the edge of the earth. Wikipedia says this myth can be traced to Washington Irving's 1828 novel, The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus. Endomion 15:06, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

The stucturing and size of criticism

Hi, I think Marshill has a point. The article has both criticism in every subsection and a separate, general criticism section, the total sizes of which simply dominate the article. I'm not sure I've seen any controversial article where the balance between the original idea and the criticism sections is so off. (E.g. Young Earth creationism, Creation science, Phantom time hypothesis, Ancient astronaut theory)

I believe this article would benefit from:

  • moving all criticism into a single separate criticism section, the size of which I believe shouldn't exceed 50% of the article
  • or move the arguments for and against ID into a separate article, similar to Creation-evolution_controversy

The current version of the article does seem unbalanced compared to other pages on controversial subjects.

-- nyenyec  20:00, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Be that as it may, a reading of the NPOV policy suggests that this is the correct way to present issues like this. Guettarda 20:07, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Guettarda is right. Again, to make the argument that criticism in the article is disproportionate, you'd have to argue why none of these sections of the NPOV policy and the Summary style guideline apply to the article:
  • NPOV: Pseudoscience: "the task is to represent the majority (scientific) view as the majority view and the minority (sometimes pseudoscientific) view as the minority view; and, moreover, to explain how scientists have received pseudoscientific theories. This is all in the purview of the task of describing a dispute fairly."
  • NPOV: Undue weight: "Articles that compare views need not give minority views as much or as detailed a description as more popular views... We should not attempt to represent a dispute as if a view held by only a small minority of people deserved as much attention as a majority view... To give undue weight to a significant-minority view... might be misleading as to the shape of the dispute. If we are to represent the dispute fairly, we should present competing views in proportion to their representation among experts on the subject, or among the concerned parties."
  • NPOV: Giving "equal validity": "Please be clear on one thing: the Wikipedia neutrality policy certainly does not state, or imply, that we must "give equal validity" to minority views. It does state that we must not take a stand on them qua encyclopedia writers; but that does not stop us from describing the majority views as such; from fairly explaining the strong arguments against the pseudoscientific theory; from describing the strong moral repugnance that many people feel toward some morally repugnant views; and so forth."
  • Wikipedia:Summary style "Articles written in summary style have lead sections that are concise encyclopedia articles in their own right." Also, "Sections that are less important for understanding the topic will tend to be lower in the article (this is news style applied to sections). Often this is difficult to do for articles on history or are otherwise chronologically based unless there is some type of analysis section. Organizing in this way is important due to the fact that many readers will not finish reading the article."
None of the other articles nyenyec gives as examples are topics with the impact and scope of ID; none of them are direct or credible challenges to science and education, and so are not analogous to ID and poor examples. FeloniousMonk 20:41, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
...A point well made, FM - comparing ID to any other article is irrelevant - no other article addresses a pseudoscience which is being seriously considered as an adjunct or replacement of science in US schools. It behooves us to be more than careful in this article, and I think it is a testimony to how well the editors here have done their jobs that this article is so well written, follows WP policies and guidelines so well, and is if not the best, then one of the best, sourced articles on WP. KillerChihuahua?!? 20:54, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Agreed on all counts. As I have stated before, were ID to present itself as philosophy, there wold be little discussion; but in pretending to be a science, especially one that should be taught in a public school system alongside or in place of true science, it has, in essence, welcomed, if not invited, criticism. As for the article itself, it is excellent. Jim62sch 00:47, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Jim you create a false dichotomy between science and philosophy. Science is actually an extermely well-organized empiricist philosophy. The controversy with Intelligent Design results from the alarming success (in some quarters) to present a metaphysical argument as empiricist. Endomion 17:12, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

"Intelligent Design debate" should be moved to its own article

I believe that the Creation / Evolution / Creation-evolution controversy is a relevant example. It also overlaps with (or one could argue is a superset of) the Intelligent Design debate. -- nyenyec  21:12, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Nyenyec, this point was already made and shot down:

The Creation article is brief and to the point. The Evolution article is somewhat longer but not unduly so. Both articles do not contain extensively footnoted objections from either side, because these issues have been relegated to a Creation-Evolution Controversy article. I propose that this article be radically trimmed down to something on the order of the Evolution article with only the most important notes and references cited. But since I am an Inclusionist Wikipedian, I propose that all of the trimmed information be transferred to a companion Intelligent-design_controversy article. Endomion 02:16, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

If you can figure out how to spin off a sub-article that is not a WP:FORK, you will have lots of friends on this talk page. Unfortunately, ID and IDMovement, Teach the controversy, etc have all already been spun. Putting the criticism in a different article would be a POV fork. Have any other ideas? (that aren't POV splitting?) KillerChihuahua?!? 03:16, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
Well, I admit it's not an easy task. At first, I'd just spin off the "Intelligent Design debate" section into its own article and go from there. This would be similar to Creation-evolution controversy, Abortion debate and other "hot" topics. I don't think those are considered POV forks either. Irreducible complexity, Specified complexity and Fine-tuned universe already have their own articles with their own criticism sections, so their discussion here could be significantly shortened.
I would also try to resist the urge to try to include a rebuttal after every minor subsection. It doesn't look good and honestly I don't remember seeing any other WP articles that do this. I know, I know, "it's special, because it's an attack on science" but come on! :) -- nyenyec  23:39, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
At this point I would support Intelligent design debate being spun; that makes sense. Have a brief summary here, take the main Section there, with of course Main article tag, etc. Anyone else want to weigh in on this one? KillerChihuahua?!? 23:53, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
In other words, an article that devotes the majority of the article to the ID side and relegates the majority scientific viewpoint to a criticism subsection? That's hardly going to pass NPOV scrutiny. Remember, ID claims to be science. The scientific community's acceptance of ID and it's claims are central to a complete artical on the topic. I think you're looking at it the wrong way. There's two viewpoints central to understanding ID: There the ID viewpoint which claims ID is valid science, and there's the scientific community's viewpoint, that says ID is not science. The content you're objecting to is not just "criticism," it's the viewpoint of the other side of the topic, that of the scientific community. Presenting both sides is required to conform to NPOV. It's already been explained why shuffling the scientific viewpoint off to a criticism subsection is not acceptable per the NPOV policy. Furthermore, there's Wikipedia:Summary style and the project's goal of making articles ready for Wikipedia 1.0. It's not possible to have a lead section that is a concise encyclopedia article in its own right that leaves out the majority viewpoint (the scientific community's, remember, ID claims to be science). As stated clearly in Wikipedia:Summary style, "Organizing in this way is important due to the fact that many readers will not finish reading the article."
The "Intelligent Design debate" section provides analysis of both sides of the topic, which has already been shown to be necessary per policy. Spinning it out into a new article because it contains too much criticism is by definition a POV fork. FeloniousMonk 00:06, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
I'll weigh in. I'm thinking - (1) Main "Intelligent design" article that includes a brief review of information on the concepts, movement, controversy/debate; (2) "Intelligent design movement" article (the one now is a bit too big); (3) "Intelligent design concepts" which would include both ID concepts and scientific criticisms in equal proportion to their representation in the scientific community, much like this article (although hopefully a little smaller based on information we could spin off to the other articles); (4) "Intelligent design controversy" article, which would include more of the political and religious controversy aspects (so the "ID concepts" article could focus strictly on scientific criticism of IDs contentions). Perhaps "ID movement" is ripe for some subarticles as well, such as "Intelligent design in education", etc. That can be discussed there. Just my thoughts on it. Hopefully this doesn't constitute a POV fork, because that is not my intention. Just trying to make the article better. -Parallel or Together ? 00:12, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

(decreasing indent)I must have been unclear. I do not support a reorg of articles as PoT suggests, I am speaking of taking the Intelligent design debate section to another article, an article titled Intelligent design debate, putting in a {{main|Intelligent design debate}} tag, writing a brief summary to put where the current Intelligent design debate section resides. In other words, just like Intelligent design as a movement -> Main article: Intelligent design movement is done. This does not change any balance or even content insofar as the original content is being moved. It will probably be a nasty job getting a summary written to place under the Section header here on the ID article, but (I'm an optimistic puppy) it can be done. This is not at all the same as what was proposed before, a POV split of "ID" and "Criticisms of ID" or whatnot. Is this a little clearer? KillerChihuahua?!? 00:29, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Haha, I wasn't saying you supported my reorg and I realized it was a different suggestion from yours. I just feel that all the articles are getting too unwieldy. To clarify my suggestion for reorganization: I also don't support separating the critisms from the concepts, I am just suggesting breaking up the articles a bit based on size. Maybe as a result the pro-ID people can feel good that the main intelligent design article contains less criticism, but it would also contain less supports. It would be a broad overview of both, with specific concepts and criticisms listed on a separate page but still listed together. I think anything else would be a blantant POV fork. -Parallel or Together ? 00:45, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Ack, I was thinking FM had misunderstood my position, not that you had... I must have paw-in-mouth tonight.
While I agree the article is large, somewhere on WP there is actually a guideline (or was) suggesting that when an article gets to large, Sections be spun off. Darwin was given as an example - virtually every section in that article has its own Main article.
Unfortunately for your suggestion, we are not here so the "pro-ID people can feel good" we are here to write a good article. It would be a POV fork to split it up as you suggest. KillerChihuahua?!? 00:56, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
I'm by no means pro-ID, so whether they feel good or not is not really my concern. And I don't think that it would be a POV fork - I am not suggesting separating the criticisms from the concepts, just that they be spun into a different article than "intelligent design". I don't see this as being fundamentally different from your position of an "intelligent design debate" subarticle - my reorganization is just larger in scope, perhaps. I think the "intelligent design" article would be better served as an overall overview of the movement, controvery and actual concepts rather than the point/counterpoint that has been set up here. I think that my suggestion (1) better links the intelligent design movement with intelligent design the pseudo-scientific concept; (2) allows for smaller subarticles off of a larger "intelligent design" overview; (3) maintains NPOV by not separating the ID view from the scientific view, but rather separating them both from the broad overview. I only included that "the pro-ID people can feel good" to show that I think this reorganization helps all parties, and makes a better wikipedia. Just my opinion, and I can certainly understand that you would find it to be a POV fork. I was just throwing it out there for comments - in fact, thank you for commenting! -Parallel or Together ? 01:56, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Heh, you are more than welcome, PoT?.
I think I understand what PoT? is suggesting a little better. However, as I am the All wise all knowing puppy, my suggestion is better. (that would be a small joke, for everyone reading this.) Seriously, though, ID is the "parent" article or ID Movement, ID debate, all the articles, hypothetical and otherwise, we are discussing - as PoT? puts it the "overall overview" and currently ID Movement is already spun off. Seems to me the next step would be to spin off ID debate as I outlined above. I really need to find where in WP that guideline is, I swear I saw it.
KillerChihuahua?!? 02:11, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
The guideline you referred to above about when to spin off daughter articles based on page size is found at Wikipedia:Summary style.
I've considered what you've said about spinning off ID debate, and if you think you can do it without creating a POV fork, then by all means, go ahead. This is with the understanding that there will remain a subsection here with a desciptive paragraph or two and a link to the daughter article.
For those who hope that creating daughter articles is a viable method for shuffling off the other side of the topic to subarticles and thereby helping ID dodge criticism, I say be careful what you wish for. What actually ends up happening is now you get both sides of the topic presented on multiple pages, compounding the cause of your aggrevation. It also creates a situation that is more difficult for you to manage, as objections must then be raised and argued successfully in separate venues with their own constituents. FeloniousMonk 02:34, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
When and if this occurs, can we turn this more into an overview article? I realize that intelligent design movement is a daughter article, but it is now treated more as a wholly separate article through the disambig page. By taking out the huge concept/debate/general c. section, I think we are freeing up room to include a good summary of the ID movement, which could be treated as an actual daughter article. The disambig would still be useful for linking to the the book, etc. -Parallel or Together ? 02:50, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Nope, that would be a POV fork, no question about it. KillerChihuahua?!? 02:53, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Exactly, that's what I've been cautioning against and why moving content off this article into subarticles is a balancing act. FeloniousMonk 03:13, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
What POV would that assert? (This is an honest question). -Parallel or Together ? 04:04, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Let me rephrase: When and if the intelligent design debate article gets spun off from this article, how is it a "POV fork" to beef up the "ID as a movement" section of this article a little to make ID movement and ID debate summaries more or less equal in size - creating more of an overview (including both the movement and the concepts/debates) rather than the present one paragraph mention of the movement and a great deal to the concepts and debate. Obviously spinning the large debate section will go a long way towards this balance. I'm just pointing out that when the debate page daughters, we have a chance make a better link between the movement and the debate. This would just mean an intro, origins of the concept subsection, movement subsection, and debate subsection, all more or less equal size. I'm not advocating increasing or decreasing the relative mentions of the two points of view within the debate subsection, I'm just looking to clean up this article when/if "ID debate" spins. If that is a POV fork - well then I guess I don't understand what a POV fork is! -Parallel or Together ? 04:16, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
And in response to FeloniousMonk's comment: "For those who hope that creating daughter articles is a viable method for shuffling off the other side of the topic to subarticles and thereby helping ID dodge criticism, I say be careful what you wish for." I by no means want this. Go back and look at the things I've said on this talk page, I am no ID apologist. I just think that if the debate goes to a daughter article (of course assuming the same proportion of pros and cons is included in both the subsection and the article) that we have a chance to stop pretending like the "ID movement" and "ID concepts" live in somehow completely different worlds, and aren't all covered under the larger topic "intelligent design." -Parallel or Together ? 04:22, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Oh, I thought you meant splitting off the Criticism, sorry! - it did read that way to me. That would be a POV fork. The movement is already a child article, I don't see how it should be beefed up, the summary format is correct. What exactly are you suggesting? I thought I understood what you were saying but it appears not. KillerChihuahua?!? 04:30, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Sorry, I am not being very clear today am I? It has been a long week at work. Anyway, I think we agree. Like you, I don't want to split up the criticisms. You are being far more articulate than I, so pretty much I will just say, "I agree with more or less everything you say, forget about beefing up the ID movement subsection, it will become balanced when the ID debate part daughters." I was only worried that in the current structure, we are giving far too much importance to the concepts/"science" part of ID and not focusing on the movement, which is the only encyclopedic part about it in my own humble opinion. Also, I dunno if it is mentioned elsewhere on the page, but User:Marshill did in fact open up an arbitration case and you are involved, albeit with your username all lowercase in "involved parties". Just a heads up. Even though the RFArb is ridiculous, just thought you might like to know. -Parallel or Together ? 04:40, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

(reducing indent) Dunno if its your week or mine, I'm a little dense tonight I think. Either way, we'll eventually figure it out.

Thank you for the "heads-up" but I'm not really sure what I'm going to do about it - I have not been notified by Marshill, the "I'm taking it to Arbcom" or whatever he posted on this talk page was more a legal threat than anything else, I had no idea he would ignore what FM told him about procedure and go ahead and try this. This is silly. Thanks for letting me know about the silliness though, I appreciate it much. KillerChihuahua?!? 04:55, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Initiating Wikipedia:Dispute_resolution procedures is a legal threat like creation is science. Endomion 05:34, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
The point is that Marshill skipped negotiation, request for comments, and mediation. Placing a pov tag on the article as a first and only edit then complaining a few times on the talk page when it is removed doesn't require arbitration to solve. -Parallel or Together ? 05:44, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
This is what they recommend: "In order to make sure that the POV check template cannot be used to effectively brand articles as non-neutral without a justification, it may be removed by anyone if they feel that the issue has been resolved. Please do not edit war over the use of this template. Instead, if you disagree with its removal, explain your reasons on the discussion page, and replace it with the neutrality dispute template." Endomion 06:22, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
If it is clear that the dispute arises out of the party placing the original template out of a poor understanding of NPOV policy or in an attempt to discredit the article as part of personal POV agenda (and both are clearly the case here) and not out of an earnest dispute, then neither template is appropriate or justified. FeloniousMonk 19:01, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Returning to the main point in this topic, moving a section into its own article would be helpful, since the size is getting unwieldy. Would the "concepts" subsection move with the debate article?--Gandalf2000 22:13, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

POV tags

of course, FeloniousMonk and friends are the final authority on what is neutral. of course! This article is an exception, yes! In fact, if you disagree with them, you can't even put in a POV. Guardians of this page are REMOVING POV tags, even though someone else has already cited the same imbalance as I have.

removing POV tags, FeloniousMonk and fellow atheists hovering over this page, is completely out of line and not called for, regardless of what your subjective reasoning is. Taking out my POV tags is offensive and you had no right to do that.

"other article addresses a pseudoscience which is being seriously considered " "none of them are direct or credible challenges to science and education, and so are not analogous to ID and poor examples"

now you got to love this reasoning! Because its a "hot topic" in today's political landscape, that constitutes even more reason to front load it with criticism. Because this is a political subject, it criticism is even more justified! here's what I see is going on: "We cant let those Xians redefine science! We must assemble, and act. We must grab that ID page, and make sure we "educate" people about what it REALLY is...fundamentalist hype. This is why we cant compare ID to those other articles, because ID is being seriously considered in schools! This article is an exception. oh yea, we dont have a POV. We are doing this with complete neutrality....of course  :D " </end sarcasm> the agenda here is so plain, it screams at me. All I wanted was to simply come to this page and find out about the scientists who advoacte ID and their justification for it as a science. I wanted this information from THEIR perspective, not from the authors of "DEVOLUTION". I have no problems regarding criticisms and counter points, but please do it in a more objective fashion. I got only one perspective in this article: atheistic.

Marshill 20:56, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Please restrict your edits here on the talk page to the article, and refrain from disruptive behavior, including spurious conjecture about other editor's religious beliefs. KillerChihuahua?!? 21:24, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Marhsill - calling everyone who disagrees with you atheists, and stating that there are many scientists who agree with ID, is hurting your credibility here. If you wish to add to the article, Be Bold. For Darwin's sake, I've been asking IDists to PLEASE help us understand what ID is. Make additions to the page that are cited that help us understand WHAT Intelligent Design is. Perhaps in your search you will see why the article is the way it is. --JPotter 22:56, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Ditto with Jpotter's post. I have also been asking ID people to clarify ID, because right now - I don't think it can support its very own definition. By the way, I . am . not . an . atheist. With all due respects to the atheists in here, but I do feel a bit slighted that people analyzing ID are automatically labelled atheists. My religion is primarily Christian with adherence to Confucianism values. No conflict since followers of Confucianism are quite happy for it to be considered as a philosophy rather than a religion.Lovecoconuts 00:36, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Marshill -- first off, your comment re FM being an atheist is a personal attack and has no place here. Secondly, you have once again tipped your hand as to your agenda. Third, in your zeal, you seem to forget (or choose to ignore) that evolution neither denies, is agnostic about, or supports the concept of a deity -- it does not enter into the discussion, as evolution is a science and has no place for philosophy or theology.

As for ID's definition the best answer seems to be that it is whatever Behe, Dembski and DI feel it is on any given day. That makes it not a science and a very sloppy stab at philosophy.

Oh, BTW, I'm not an atheist either. Got it? Jim62sch 01:06, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

All edits in this article which are not overtly hostile to ID are immediately reverted, even when they cite sources. That means your assertion that ID is defined by the daily changing emotional state of three gentlemen is effectively unfalsifiable. Endomion 01:46, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Develop a sense of humour, OK -- the comment was TIC (is humour required to be falsifiable?). In any case, as I asserted the ID is really a philosophy, not a science, any pretence to a need for falsifiability went out the window.

In addition, I'm in no way sure what your first sentence means -- are you implying bias (again)? Jim62sch 11:25, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

The Lord forbid I should imply bias. If anything, a single letter of ASCII text in favor of ID would be an over-representation of the pro-ID side in an article less than a million bytes long, according to Guettarda's statement of 14 December: Balanced treatment of ID as science should reflect it's 1/1,000,000 impact on biology. In light of that we have an article that is already unreasonably supportive of the minority viewpoint." Endomion 14:28, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Requesting again that we stick to the article. Jim62sch and Endomion, may I suggest that your sarcasm is not advancing improvement of the article? Please be civil - thanks much. KillerChihuahua?!? 14:36, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Bias? The impact of ID-as-science has had is trivial. Modern biology functions within an evolutionary and hypothetico-deductive framework. Even taking DI at its word, there are just a handful of scientific papers related to ID. The second point is that of balanced POV. ID represents about 1/1,000,000 publications. Equal time (pro and con) reflects a ~500,000-fold exaggeration of ID's scientific importance. I'm not saying that the article should reflect the million-to-one balance - I'm just pointing out that saying that the pro-ID POV is underrepresented here does not reflect the reality of the situation. Guettarda 14:58, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not a soap-box. If one believes the political impact of the Intelligent Design meme should be reined in to reflect its minimal impact on peer-reviewed scientific inquiry, this should be taken up with one's representative in Congress or by letters to the editor or blogs or articles in Reason magazine. As it stands, some opponents to ID-as-science (and I myself oppose ID-as-science, oddly enough) seem to be using this article as a venue for their performance art rather than developing a dispassionate summary of the facts. Endomion 15:19, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
I have no idea what you are talking about. This article is about ID as science. Intelligent design movement is about ID as a political movement. How is that a soapbox? Guettarda 01:54, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
You're entitled to your opinion. But the fact is that the article's content is well-supported, and easily verifiably factual. It's also well supported by policy, which is what we adhere to here, despite your vague insinuation that editors here are advancing a POV agenda. If you don't have anything more substantive and constructive to contribute than the litany of opinion and oblique and vague ad hominems we've been seeing from you lately here and elsewhere, there are plenty of other articles that need attention. Please clean it up and keep your opinions to the article's content, not your fellow volunteers. FeloniousMonk 18:40, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
And what is the judgment that I "...don't have anything more substantive and constructive to contribute than the litany of opinion and oblique and vague ad hominems we've been seeing from you lately here and elsewhere" other than an opinion about a fellow volunteer? Endomion 00:20, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
Seems to be a quote taken out of context. Misdirection doesn't always work. Jim62sch 01:07, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
No better context than being right next to the source text. Endomion 01:45, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
The point was that FM's statement was not a judgment; it was a subjunctive clause noting a possibility (note the use of if). By omitting the "if", especially after stating that his comments were a judgment, you essentially attached a meaning to his words that was not inherently there. In so doing, his quote was used out of context and the intent of his comments was altered to create the appearance of an ad hom attack, hence my comment re misdirection. Jim62sch 10:42, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

things to say

no. i have several things to say, and this is the place to say them. The people here removed my POV tags. They did this despite a very thorough explanation. Is it right to remove someone else's POV tag? Do you endorse the actions of page-authors forbidding disputes? Do you agree or disagree that I have a right to dispute an article with a POV tag? Marshill 21:30, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

  • No, this is not the place to personally criticise your fellow editors. This is the place to discuss this article.
  • Where else do you want criticism to come from, other than from a critic of ID? Do you only allow "sanctioned" criticism?
  • You are allowed to place a {{POV}} tag if there is good reason - but all you seem to ba asking for is a whitewash. You do not have the right to do anything on Wikipedia. We have no rights here, only privileges. Wikipedia is owned by a private non-profit. Guettarda 21:48, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Dear Marshill, I appreciate your concern that the numbers and credentials of scientists supporting ID and its theoretical outline should be fairly represented. Because of the difficult nature of this controversy, draft ideas for improving the article are posted here on the talk page for discussion before being added. Your list of scientists should note their credentials and peer-reviewed works relating to ID. The few I've read of tend to have theology degrees which should be mentioned as well as scientific qualifications, and the awarding body should be made clear. A concise statement of ID's theory would be welcome, but will have to be supported by citations from recognised ID proponents, as are the present statements which you seem dissatisfied with. ...dave souza 21:50, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Editors need to be aware that Marshill has a track record for the same behaviour over at The_Chronicles_of_Narnia and previously as 24.85.54.116. Putting up NPOV templates, ad hominem attacks, paranoid accusations, editing with out summarizing or explanations, etc. User has already received Wikipedia:No personal attacks and WP:3RR warnings on the talk page of The_Chronicles_of_Narnia (which was archived earlier today) and other notices on the user page [53]. The user has gone through this same rigamarole elsewhere and should know better. Cyberdenizen 22:05, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Onward Christian Soliders. --JPotter 22:59, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Dave, if a comprehensive list of scientist supporters for ID is listed, I think the Steve Project should also be mentioned. I don't think ID people will be happy with it though. The Steve Project is far longer than any list ID people has made and even includes the only 2 nobel prize - winning scientists named Steve plus Stephen Hawking.Lovecoconuts 00:41, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Good point. Of course, it could also refer to FSM which appears to be supported by many more scientists than support ID. ....dave souza 01:20, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Science as a popularity contest. Endomion 01:36, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Remember, it was Marshill that brought up the idea that ID was a valid theory because there are many "creation scientists" --JPotter 02:19, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
To some extent everything is a popularity contest; but after the novelty wears off it has to withstand scrutiny by people who can make their careers on falsifying it (or aspects of it) and in the end it is discarded or shows it has substance; and not just an attractive exterior. - RoyBoy 800 03:12, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
About Project Steve and FSM - the organizers of Project Steve actually didn't want it to be a popular contest. It would have been ridiculously easy to get a list of tens of thousands of scientists who support Evolution. Because the organizers didn't want the public to think science was a popularity contest, they limited the list to only scientists whose names were Stephen or Stephanie or derivations of them. Plus, they also wanted to honor the memory of Stephen Jay Gould who had passed away.
Despite the one-name limitation, the list got many more scientists than any Pro-ID list. Plus, the scientists on the Project Steve list had their credentials clearly marked out. The list, in essence, is a lot more prestigious and far more credible than any Pro-ID list. It's got Stephen Hawking in there, for goodness' sake. Plus, it poked fun at their opponents. I think it was a very nice touch really. ID people most likely didn't find it a bit least funny, but I hope they at least appreciated (in an intellectual manner) the strategic element in it.
As for FSM, I can understand the humour in it though I also think it sometimes went too far on some points. However, I cannot help but notice that the FSM website currently has a higher rank on Google than the Discovery.org website when you search for intelligent design.Lovecoconuts 13:48, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Jpotter wrote: Onward Christian Soliders.
My reply: Not all advocates of Intelligent Design are Christians. Mustafa Akyol argues that it is one point where Muslims may find common cause with Christianity. Endomion 14:16, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
No argument there. Guettarda 15:15, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Use of formatting/markup on Talk pages

Some points to remember here to make reading easier for your fellow editors:

  1. Please avoid HTML markup Wikipedia:Talk_page_guidelines#Markup
  2. Please do not reply to comments out of chronological order or spilt the comments of others Wikipedia:Talk_page_guidelines#Layout
  3. Please use proper indenting when responding to comments Wikipedia:Talk_pages#Formatting

FeloniousMonk 23:01, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

The use of the blockquote tag is HTML but it is also considered standard wiki markup. Endomion 23:21, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Not on talk pages. Using anything other than bolding, italics or (used sparingly) capitalisation to draw attention to your posts is hightly irregular. Colons are used for indentation, though lists (*) are sometimes used as well. -- Ec5618 23:34, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
The purpose of my use of a gray background was not self-aggrandizement but to indicate the text was from an archive and not part of the current flow, a highly irregular situation indeed. Wikipedia works better when people do not assume the worst in others. Endomion 01:34, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
I don't have a problem with blockquote, but colored tables to set-off one's comments from others is outside the bounds. FeloniousMonk 00:11, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
As you wish, but now someone will think the quote dredged up from the archive is a recent comment. Endomion 01:34, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Irreducible and Specific Complexity (ISC)

After some discussions above I have begun to suspect ISC as being one of the causes of much of the ongoing disputes. I wonder whether we can reach consensus on whether the theoretical concept of ISC has validity? I think that this might reduce the amount of debate.

Stage 1. Whether it may be possible that anything anywhere in the universe might ever have a type of arrangement which is so unlikely to occur naturally that it can be considered statistically as impossible to have occurred without intelligent action?

Stage 2. If such an ISC thing exists, whether it might be possible in theory to measure the unlikelihood of its occurring naturally, and to know the degree of accuracy of that measurement? I.e could it ever be possible to recognise with confidence whether a thing is ISC or not?

Stage 3. If it might be possible in theory to recognise a thing as ISC, whether anyone has ever done so or not in practise?

Stage 4. If anyone has ever done so, what the inferences might be?

I don't want to start a whole debate here. I just wonder if much of the polarisation lies around the Yes/No answers to these questions. And if so, might it be possible to view the one side of answers as the minority view and the other side as the majority view. And when discussing reductio ad absurdem or paradoxes or illogicalities in ID, to remember to assume the minority view as correct initially, because to show a logical flaw in an argument one must start from the argument's premise. I suspect that a good deal of effort goes into discussing these types of logical issues when in actual fact the dispute is over the validity of the initial premises. 194.196.232.78 01:38, 15 December 2005 (UTC) ant 13:37, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Actually, despite some of the discussion that goes on here, it really doesn't matter whether we think that these things are possible, probable, or likely. Our opinions don't matter, only how well we adhere to NPOV. Guettarda 01:51, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Possibly the simplest example of a strong candidate for intelligent origin would be a microwave signal composed of repetitions of the first few dozen prime numbers. Endomion 01:57, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Geuttarda is right. Our job here is not to speculate or argue personal opinions, but to report facts using WP:NPOV as our guide. FeloniousMonk 02:21, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
A better question would be, are there any non ID reseachers who use the term in their research? --JPotter 02:38, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Google Scholar returns 3,660 hits for "Intelligent Design" Endomion02:55, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Anyone with an internet connection and an interest in facts easily conduct an online scientific literature search to read about the relative scientific merits of specific and irreducible complexity:
  • Searching the scientific database PubMed for "specified complexity" yields 188 articles, none of which argue for "specified complexity" utility, either within or outside of ID. Searching PubMed for "irreducible complexity" yields 5 articles, of which none argue for "irreducible complexity" in Behe's sense and 3 set about to refute Behe.
  • Searching the scientific database sciencedirect for "specified complexity" yields 1 article, Shallit's rather good review of Dembski's No free Lunch. A search for "irreducible complexity" yields 1 article, which does not argue for irreducible complexity or it's utility.
Draw your own conclusions about the acceptance of these two concepts with the scientific community. FeloniousMonk 03:03, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
A search for "Intelligent Design" on PubMed yields 28 results--none of which were published by anyone from the Discovery Insittute or are in support of ID.
  • Searching the scientific database PubMed for "evolution" yields 154296 scientific articles (over one-hundred-and-fifty-thousand). Searching PubMed for "intelligent design" yields 28 articles, of which none are scientific arguments for ID but 13 are about the movement and the ID/evolution conflict.
PubMed has a very nice feature that lets you get a rough gauge of how influential a paper has been. If you select "Cited in PMD" from the display option list, you get a list of papers in PudMed that have cited the paper you're looking at. The 2001 paper revealing the rough draft of the human genome has already been cited 777 times in the past four years.
Try it on the Behe and Wells papers. Total citations? Zero. FeloniousMonk 03:08, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Wow FM, that is a kick ass response. Alternatively one could look at the first page of results from Google scholar and see most refer to intelligent design in manufacturing etc.; while others are ads/reviews of Dembski's publications. - RoyBoy 800 04:21, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Been misunderstood, didn't mean to for us to make a wiki decision on ISC validity, (I agree with FM's points), but just for us to find out and be aware of the different editors' camps causing misunderstandings in our discussions on the article. Let's terminate this section. ant 13:47, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Would it be appropriate to mention simple alogrithms that can produce emergent complex (ISC) type behaviour from seemingly random start states. I'm really thinking about Conway's Game of Life here. This extremely primitive set of rules allows for a 'universe' where incredibly complex behaviour can emerge. This doesn't necessarily come down favourably for proponents of ID or against. One argument would be to show that incredibly complex behaviour can emerge from incredibly simple universes. The counter argument is that someone has to set the initial state of the universe (a designer?) to allow for those complex behaviours to emerge. However, this does seem to be an interesting area of Science that is related to the ID debate. Thoughts? Dbnull 15 December 2005

If our universe was a scaled-up sort of Life algorithm, then the irreducible complexity argument of Intelligent Design would amount to simply stating there are undecidable propositions in that formal system, similar to Gödel's incompleteness theorem. Endomion 17:42, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
You lost me with Gödel's incompleteness theorem.
It states, "For any consistent formal theory including basic arithmetical truths, it is possible to construct an arithmetical statement that is true but not included in the theory." Again, assuming the regularities of succession we call "natural laws" could be expressed algorithmically in a sort of Grand Unified Theory, Kurt Gödel says there will be at least one well-constructed regularity of succession not ennumerated in the theory. ID apologists would say this pointed to a powerful intelligent will. Endomion 21:53, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Is ID considered to be strongly axiomatic? Jim62sch 00:48, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

In See Also: Chaos theory

What does that have to do with ID? - RoyBoy 800 01:40, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Good question. AFAIK, nothing at all. I was bold and took it out. KillerChihuahua?!? 02:13, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

I re-inserted it on accident. Sorry 'bout that. --Mr. Billion 06:40, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

More Claims of POV

"Editors need to be aware that Marshill has a track record for the same behaviour over at The_Chronicles_of_Narnia"

a poisoning the well fallacy does not do anything to the situation. Please keep in mind that such fallacies are on par with ad-hominem and have no place for a rational discussion. This article is biased. The defenders of this article's neutrality attempt to justify it by citing various NPOV definitions, which are not used fairly.

The purpose of this article *should* be to inform someone about the theory and then give critique. Questions that should be answered by a unbiased article:

Who supports this theory? Since there are many scientists who support it, what is their rationale for it? How do scientists who support ID rationalie it via the scientific method? How does a scientist who supports ID definie the theory in terms of parsimony or falsification?

We must not commit the no true scottsman fallacy like this article implies in the first paragraph "NO TRUE SCIENTIST would believe in ID"... this entire article embraces such a fallacy. In a neutral article, I would expect to first read about the theory from the perspective of its proponents, what do they teach? What does the theory say? How do they support it?

Once the theory is plainly described, criticism may then follow.

In this article as it is now each and every segment contains heavy criticism. Basic questions about the theory are left unanswered (see above) and instead we are given a large volume of criticism. In addition, even though each section contains criticism, there is STILL an entire section called "Crticism" so hide all you want behind claims of NPOV. This is not NPOV. It is POV.

finally, summarily not allowing me to dispute the neutrality of this article and forcing me to write page after page of explanation as to why it is POV violates the spirit of this website.

You are forcing me to argue, in a point by point fashion why I feel it is POV and I'm not even allowed to DISPUTE this article unless you approve of my reasons? Hello???! I do not need your approval of my reasons for disputing in order to dispute. Obviously, you are not going to approve of my dispute. To someone with an agenda, nothing I can say will cause you to "grant me permission" to dispute the article.

I didn't know that by default, I must embrace this article and not be allowed to dispute it. Forbidding dispute only reinforces the obvious POV that this article, and those that defend it have.

lastly, ID is better explained on this page: http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/index.php?command=view&id=3093&program=CSC&callingPage=discoMainPage than in this article.

A neutral article, to me, would be something that defines ID as the link does above and then have a criticism page where various criticism are posted. I would enjoy reading an article that first explains what ID teaches and how its defended and then the critique.

Sadly, all I get here is ID defined by its opponents (you guys can't even DEFINE ID in an unbiased way), and then it is ridiculed repeatedly. At no point in this article, is ID given a fair shake.

Marshill 07:46, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Err... Marshill, that definition of ID in the intro? It is from the discovery.org website. I actually was surprised that the discovery.org website seems to have mistaken natural selection for an origin of life scientific theory.
Evolution, by itself, is technically not an origin of life scientific theory. Now, Panspermia or Primordial Soup theory - those theories are about the origin of life. I would be more in favor of this particular brand of Intelligent Design if it actually aimed at the right scientific targets.
Instead, ID's banging its skull against the wall of Natural Selection which is reinforced by Mendel's work on Genetics and doubly, tripled and so forth supported by scientific work ongoing to this day. It's a very strong scientific theory, practically considered as a fact because of so many fossil evidence and its predictive power. Doctors and scientists working on preventing the next pandemic often cite Evolution because viruses evolve very quickly.
Evolution is actually considered as the basis of modern biology. Have you an idea of how BIG that is?
Now, don't blow your top yet. But have you ever considered the possibility that one of the reasons why there are so many "sourced" criticisms of ID is because it's the sort of thing that invites criticism? It's controversial. Controversial topics always attract criticisms. It can even be said that controversial topics are only half of what they are (may even be less than half of what they are) without criticisms.
Again, how ID is currently presented now is A-Okay with me. I think it is proper for controversial topics to be accompanied by what made them controversial in the first place. Vice versa, when ID ceases to be controversial, I expect criticisms to ease off.Lovecoconuts 09:28, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Marshill, please stop claiming all other editors are secretly conspiring against the truth. You may dispute the NPOV of the article, but no-one can be allowed to artitrarily place POV boilers on articles. Feel free to make suggestions for the article. Rewrite sections (on Talk) so that we can be convinced that you are knowledgable enough to make claims of bias. To be honest, it seems you have a somewhat warped view of ID, and came here hoping to find your views confirmed. Can you try to show that's not true? -- Ec5618 09:32, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
I made this another subsection rather than just a line under "See also: Chaos Theory" since your point had nothing to do with that subsection. However, try to keep all of your criticisms in one place or at least a bit more organized. I see you are relatively new here, so why not check out the welcome page? It might help you get your point across if you are more familiar with wiki policies. -Parallel or Together ? 09:37, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Thanks, Marshill, for constructively posting a link to a definition of ID that you prefer. It appears to be a new definition we should analyse and consider using as the basis for a clarification of what ID claims to be about, though it's not clear how much it's endorsed by the ID movement. It's an article from Online Human Events, the National Conservative Weekly Posted Dec 12, 2005 and reproduced in CSC. The author, Casey Luskin, is on the Staff of the Discovery Institute and is an attorney with a B.S. and M.S. in Earth Sciences who formerly conducted geological research, and is co-founder of the Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness (IDEA) Center starting "IDEA Clubs" on college and high school campuses across the country. ...dave souza 11:38, 15 December 2005 (UTC) Footnote: Casey Luskin is the program officer for public policy and legal affairs at the Discovery Institute, and his article in Beliefnet sets out a strategy for hiding ID's religious affiliations. Beliefnet also has an article What is ID? that looks familiar. ....dave souza 12:21, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Marshill, I'm new to wiki and to ID, so have no agenda here, and I have the opinion that the article does not present the minority viewpoint of ID very well, but I must say a few things:

  1. You're charging in convinced you're right. What if you're not? I'd like to suggest that this article is not as POV as you think, and that if you take the time to listen and avoid jumping up at every criticism, you might get an understanding of the balancing act the article has to take. What can you lose? Yes, I do think that some critically important points are misrepresented, and have gotten a bit heated myself, however on reflection this is far more likely to be an accidental bias due to unintentional editorial POV than a deliberate agenda to prejudice the reader. People tend to judge in extremes, so there is a human tendency to think the worst. But allowing youself to charge in with your mind firmly made up is likely to prevent you both from ever seeing another aspect, and also from being able to communicate and reach a consensus with the other people here, who I might add give no reason not to appear sincere.
  2. The 2nd point follows on from the 1st. Shoving a POV tag without dialogue is a form of autocracy, of aggressively pushing to have things the way you yourself see as right without doing any work to achieve consensus. I understand your frustration but did you note the reply in which you were told that POV tags are a last resort? If that's correct you have no right to complain about it's removal and aren't listening. Perhaps you have already decided that there is no point in dialogue here. However, you're assuming editors here are guilty until proven innocent. Taking the time to discuss and listen first won't hurt. Instead you're involving arbitrators and investing their time instead of your own. And what if they think like the majority here? It'd be better to make a fair attempt first to show everybody why you think you are right.
  3. And it follows on that it'd be better to pick one or two things at first that look wrong to you, and discuss them in a warm way. I'm not saying you are wrong, (although in my opinion I think you are wrong at least by degree), but I recommend that instead of charging in assuming you've got it all figured out correctly, why not discuss a few POV issues and try to gain an understanding that is different from your own? In short, there is no reason why we can't all have a friendly rational discussion and even agree to disagree. Even in contentious issues, such as Wade's OR queries over the past weeks, we can at least discuss it in a co-operative fashion. Frankly, in a co-operative project such as this, I don't think there is any other way. ant 14:22, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Going back to the Luskin definition: Intelligent design is a scientific theory which states that some aspects of nature are best explained by an intelligent cause rather than an undirected cause such as natural selection - the fourth word is disputed by almost all scientists, and the fifth word, when modified by the fourth, is downright false. I have no problem with either "the universe and of living things" (as the current article states) or "nature" as Luskin uses. Luskin's "are best explained by" is certainly more concise than the existing "exhibit the characteristics of a product resulting from". On the other hand, I prefer "intelligent cause or agent" to just "intelligent cause". Finally I prefer "an unguided process" to "an undirected cause" because it is more accurate. But seriously, the differences in the two definitions are trivial, not substantive (except for the clearly false bit in Luskin about it being a "scientific theory"). Guettarda 14:25, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Well said, ant. KillerChihuahua?!? 14:31, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Indeed. -- Ec5618 18:40, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Guettarda, that suits me, but I think there should be an external link to Luskin's redefinition somewhere in the article, Also, his article in Beliefnet which seems to me to set out a strategy for hiding ID's religious affiliations needs analysis, though that may come under the ID movement article. ...dave souza 23:04, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Controversy in itself doesn't justify the current structuring of criticism

I tend to agree on Marhsill on this point:

  • Once the theory is plainly described, criticism may then follow.

I don't think that putting up the POV tag is worth making such a fuss about it, but that's because it's obvious from looking at the article that it's unbalanced. Especially for a seasoned WP reader.

  • It's controversial. Controversial topics always attract criticisms. It can even be said that controversial topics are only half of what they are (may even be less than half of what they are) without criticisms.

No other article, no matter how controversial is this heavy on criticism. I don't think controversy in itself justifies the current state of the article.

There are lots of controversial topics in Wikipedia, but not one of them that I had seen, not even the most ridiculous crackpot theories are presented with such a low description/criticism ratio.

No one says that ID shouldn't be criticised or even that their statements about themselves being a science for example have to be taken at face value.

Usually a good sign of NPOV is when you can't tell what the contributor's think about a topic described in an article. It's not always possible of course, but here it's obvious.

I'm no fan of ID myself to say at least. But I believe the current version of the article is below standard regarding NPOV compared to other controversial topics. It can all be helped by structuring the content better between sections and/or between articles.

I think we have to do better, so that readers can trust what's written here. Otherwise they'll just chalk it up as a biased anti-ID piece and look elsewhere for information.

(Nice archive index at the top of the page BTW.)

-- nyenyec  16:08, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

I don't think controversy has been the justification here for devoting as much of the article to the scientific viewpoint as has been. Consider:
  • "Articles that compare views need not give minority views as much or as detailed a description as more popular views... We should not attempt to represent a dispute as if a view held by only a small minority of people deserved as much attention as a majority view... To give undue weight to a significant-minority view... might be misleading as to the shape of the dispute. If we are to represent the dispute fairly, we should present competing views in proportion to their representation among experts on the subject, or among the concerned parties." --from NPOV: Undue weight
  • "Please be clear on one thing: the Wikipedia neutrality policy certainly does not state, or imply, that we must "give equal validity" to minority views. It does state that we must not take a stand on them qua encyclopedia writers; but that does not stop us from describing the majority views as such; from fairly explaining the strong arguments against the pseudoscientific theory; from describing the strong moral repugnance that many people feel toward some morally repugnant views; and so forth." --from NPOV: Giving "equal validity"
ID purports to be science. A complete article will cover both viewpoints. The current amount of the scientific community's viewpoint (what you term criticism) is less than proportionate to the degree to which ID is accepted with that community. In other words ID's getting off easy here. Also, the claims and polemics ID raises against mainstream science are simple to describe. But the responses of the scientific community refuting those claims are complex and difficult to describe, as is most science. That takes space. Space which is alloted and appropriate according to the NPOV policy and the fact that ID is rejected by the vast majority of scientists, meaning ID is the minority viewpoint. To some degree the Discovery Institute intentionally tries take advantage of the fact that scientist's refutations will look excessive or pedantic to discredit scientists in the eyes of the public, but that's covered already at Intelligent_design_movement#Teach_the_Controversy. FeloniousMonk 16:27, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
EC5618 wrote: "Marshill, please stop claiming all other editors are secretly conspiring against the truth. You may dispute the NPOV of the article, but no-one can be allowed to arbitrarily place POV boilers on articles.
My reply: On the contrary, anyone can place POV boilers on articles, and anyone can remove them. If they are removed, and if the person disagrees with its removal, instead of embarking on an edit war they should explain their reasons on the discussion page, and replace it with the neutrality dispute template. Endomion 18:17, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
The placement of any such template has to be justifiable. Having to remove a misused template repeatedly is not edit warring. When it is apparent to knoweldgable editors that placement of such a template is ethier due to a poor understanding the policies or because of a personal agenda, then removing the templates repeatedly does not qualify as edit warring, but a matter of correcting either error or a POV addition. FeloniousMonk 18:27, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
You seem to gloss over the finer points in my post: no-one can be allowed to arbitrarily place POV boilers. Certainly, anyone is free to place boilers, after discussion, but placing it when most other editors do not agree with you, and when you cannot point out a single specific point that violates NPOV (or have not done so), you cannot expecte to be taken seriously. And you're obviously right in saying that edit wars should be avoided. -- Ec5618 18:40, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Conjecture about religious beliefs of editors

Please refrain from conjecture about the religious beliefs of editors. This does nothing to improve the article, Intelligent design, and wastes space. Depending upon phrasing, it is often a violation of WP:NPA as well. Please be civil. The near-constant accusations of "athiest" and "fundie" and variations thereof are disruptive. KillerChihuahua?!? 14:24, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

POV tags again

"POV tag without dialogue "... i'm weary of this accusation, it is false. I have written more dialogue in the last 24 hours on this page than *anyone*. So don't accuse me of this. I placed the POV tag along with a large amount of dialoge. Removing my POV tag is proof that there is an agenda here. You wont even allow someone to dispute an article, let alone change it. What is the purpose of a POV tag at all, if one must first agnonizingly "prove" it in order to even place it? 24.85.54.116 16:24, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

What you don't seem to be getting is that a POV template is the last resort, not the first. One of your first actions here, if not the first, was to slap at POV template on the article. Only then did you come to talk page to berate us. Then you were off to RFAr, ignoring my caution to you to read WP:DR first. As has been told you many times, discussion first, extreme measures last... not the other way around. FeloniousMonk 16:32, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
You (assuming that you are Marshill) have
(a) Stated that you find the article is slanted against ID; <-- This is not actionable
(b) Asked that the criticisms be coralled in a single section; <-- This would violate NPOV, since it would involve giving undue weight to minority views, and would make the article less readable
(c) Asked that the merits of ID and the qualifications of its supporters be mentioned; <-- The article gives a fair description of what ID is; if you want the explanation changed, you have to put forward ways to change it; the qualifications of ID's supporters are given on their respective article entries - how would you have use change the way they are presented here?
(d) Asked that we address the reason why supporters of ID support it; <-- I don't see how the motivations of ID supporters would fit here; please suggest how this might be incorporated
(e) Asked that the article be altered to remove the fact that ID is rejected by the scientific community; <-- We cannot insert misleading information into the article
(f) Asked that we find a citation in support of criticisms of ID that is not critical of ID; <-- Please address my response to this higher up the page
(g) Asked that we replace our current summary of ID with an almost identical one from Luskin; <-- Please address my response to this higher up the page
(h) Engaged in personal attacks against other editors on this page; <-- Please refrain from actions of this kind
(i) Engaged in personal attacks on editors from other pages; <-- Please refrain from actions of this kind
Guettarda 16:54, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

I beg to differ. A POV tag is not a last resort. WP:DR does not specify it as such.

A POV tag is not an edit of any text on the page whatsoever.
A POV tag does not equivocate to an article being POV, it simply means its disputed, and in this case, it most definitely is

Now that I have fully explained why this is POV, and now that it is quite clear (obviously) a dispute is taking place, please replace it.

Note again that a POV tag does not mean the article is POV so quit demanding that POV be proven in an article in order to dispute it. I have not made a single edit to any text on this article. I am now asking that the POV tag be reinserted as accusations that I have not attempted to dialogue are now false. Over the last 24 hours a great deal of dialoge has taken place. Additionally, my concerns have been voiced by others demonstrating a factual condition that the neutrality of this article is under dispute.

the POV tag is now justified. Please replace it. And finally, I must repeat this again because of heavy misconception. A POV tag does not equivocate to POV, it only means there is a dispute taking place. Until we resolve the dispute, the tag belongs. Marshill 17:06, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

  1. Be that as it may, usage and convention has {{POV}} as a last resort. The tag itself directs to the talk page - you can't insert it before you have tried to address the matter in talk
  2. You don't have the right to dispute something if you are unwilling to
  1. Try to fix
  2. Enter a dialogue with other editors about

Guettarda 17:18, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

MH: all of the info you have been given regarding Wikipedia's rules has been accurate, clear and concise; I'm not sure why you're having such difficulty with it. True (one supposes) it doesn't fit your agenda, which is now as clear and comical as the nose on Santa Claus' face, but, as in all civilized communities, we have rules regarding how to go about making constructive (not destructive) changes to articles that need to be followed. You are choosing not to follow them.

As for your assertion re dialogue (I have written more dialogue...), allow me to point out that dialogue is not synonymous with diatribe. Jim62sch 17:58, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Not to be a pain, but is there any way we could discuss the content of the article, without these constant interuptions by inexperienced and overzealous editors? The page is constantly cluttered by irrelevant posts, and archiving only seems to attract more bloat. -- Ec5618 18:40, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Subpages for discussion the long-winded ones are the solution. FeloniousMonk 20:34, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

My model for the ID article

Model

I've posted my model for the ID article in my profile (would've created a seperate page for it, but I didn't know how). It's fundamentally the same article, just better and more conventionally organized. I did alter a line, from "there is absolutely no criticism of evolution" to stating that there is no criticism of evolution in the mainstream scientific community, which better expresses the current state of ID/evolution. With my ID format, the ID arguments are clearly presented, followed by a clearly presented criticism section. It maintains clear expression of ID's being rejected by the mainstream scientific community, and is more in line with the generally accepted and used format on wikipedia.

P.S. Those ='s are a pain to work with. Trilemma 18:08, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

I took the liberty of creating a subpage for the reworked article. I haven't had a chance to look at it though. -- Ec5618 18:40, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for the assistance--I accidentally credited Guettarda, who explained to me the process of creating a sub page (which made a lot of sense upon seeing) to me. Trilemma 18:47, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
I've read it. It's the same content as the article, which is fine, but with the criticsims grouped together at the end of the article. This format isn't going to fly for reasons mentioned here yesterday, mainly because doing so goes against Wikipedia:Summary style and NPOV: Undue weight/NPOV: Giving "equal validity".
Still, it's a very good effort on Trilemma's part that gives us something to think about and discuss (as if there wasn't enough...). FeloniousMonk 18:50, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for the praise (which I will always take ;)). This has probably been discussed before (maybe even in the last few days; between finals and preparing my model of ID, I had to temporarily ignore the talk page), but never the less, I'll address it here:

Undue weight?

My reading of the Undue weight article gave me the conclusion that it's being misapplied here. If this were an "origins of life" article, there would be no need to balance evolution with ID points, because that would be giving NPOV: Undue weight to the minority position.
Basically, the whole Undue weight principle is a matter of context. In a broader context article, it is not in keeping with wikipedia's principles to give undue weight to minority beliefs. For instance, in the Holocaust article, you'll note that there is a small section for the pseudo-history belief of Holocaust Denial. Countering each point of the historical record of the Holocaust with criticisms by revisionists and deniers.
However, note the Holocaust Denial article (yes, I've brought this up before, but to expand the point...): This pseudo-historic, minority viewpoint is none the less afforded its own dispassionate, structurally neutral article, because the context of the belief within its own article does not fall under NPOV: Undue weight.
Also, NPOV: Undue weight does not endorse structural bias. Trilemma 19:01, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
I don't agree with your interpretation of undue weight.
Holocaust Denial is not in any way analogous to ID:
  • Holocaust Denial does not seek to significantly reform the scientific method in a completely new (well, old actually) way; ID does.
  • Holocaust Denial does not seek to completely reform science education; ID does.
  • Holocaust Denial does not seeks to create a theistic foundation for not just scientific thinking, but all cultural thinking; ID does.
For these reasons and others Holocaust Denial is a poor example. You're also assuming that the Holocaust Denial article is an ideal that should be held up as an example for other articles, when in actuality, the Holocaust Denial article is completely out-of-step with Wikipedia:Summary style and one of Wikipedia's biggest goals, Wikipedia 1.0.
It's not "structural bias" to present both viewpoints spread throughout the article. What you propose introduces structural bias though; it attempts to lump the majority viewpoint on the topic to the end of the article. By lumping nearly all of the majority viewpoint into a criticism section at the end of the article, it would give undue weight to the minority viewpoint and would be misleading as to the shape of the dispute, implying that the majority viewpoint (the scientific community) was less significant than it is. If we are to represent the dispute around the topic fairly, we must present competing views in proportion to their representation among experts on the subject and in relation to one another... Something your version loses by moving the majority viewpoint to the end of the article. FeloniousMonk 19:21, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
It might seem from your above post that you are in fact trying to aggressively prevent ID from posing a threat to science, FeloniousMonk; you state that ID is special because it seeks to 'completely reform science education'. Please consider nuancing your post.
In my view, Undue weight means that no reader should read this article and be left with the feeling that ID is science, that ID is a field of study, that ID is a controversial topic in science, or that ID is clearly defined yet poorly understood. How exactly that translates into the actual article is a matter for discussion. -- Ec5618 20:01, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Felonious, the article isn't about the majority viewpoint, or the debate between them, but rather, the minority viewpoint. And, that minority view deserves to be stated clearly, objectively and dispassionately. It is certainly not being achieved when each step of the way, it is saturated with criticism. It doesn't make sense. If I am writing an essay about intelligent design, I am going to structure it with an ID arguments section, followed by an criticisms argument. This is standard composition structure.
The reason Holocaust denial is comparable to ID is that it can be argued both go against impirical evidence. Impiricism is an element of commonality in any science, natural or social. Your points against it come off as more NPOV than anything, to me at least.
Let's look at the actual Undue weight provision:
"Articles that compare views need not give minority views as much or as detailed a description as more popular views,"
Felonious, the ID article does not compare views; rather, it explains one. The base of the article is not comparative but descriptive, therefor, Undue weight does absolutely not apply here. If this were an origins of life article, I would agree with you. But it is not. This is an article on ID, and attempting to turn it into a "Why ID is wrong" article most definately violates NPOV. Trilemma 19:38, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but I think you are wrong. This article is not about the intelligent design viewpoint. This article is about the topic of intelligent design, of which there are two significant viewpoints, that of ID proponents, who assert ID is science, and that of the scientific community, who claim otherwise. All of your reasoning that follows is flawed because of this one significant misunderstanding on your part. Re-read WP:NPOV again and explain how it is you think this article is only about the viewpoint of intelligent design and how this article should not present both views together. You'll find that the NPOV policy does not support your reasoning at all. FeloniousMonk 19:47, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Felonious, I never said that this article should only express pro ID views. And, my proposed layout makes no such attempt. In fact, my article maintains the current, substantial level of criticism--simply better organizing it.

What I am saying is that if you read carefully, you'll see that the principle of Undue weight revolves around such broad categories as "origins of life." Within that context, undue weight should not be given to minority viewpoints. But within the structure of the article concerning the minority viewpoints themselves, this application of the principle is in fact a non sequitur.

Once again, there is absolutely nothing in wikipedia's rules that supports saturating an article about a particular viewpoint with criticism of that viewpoint, to the point where the viewpoint itself is not clearly and unubstructively stated. This isn't saying don't have criticism, this is just saying be reasonable with the criticism, and I would say this about any minority viewpoint, beit so called pseudoscience, pseudohistory, etc.Trilemma 20:00, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

"I never said that this article should only express pro ID views." -- I never said that you did. What I said was you by your reasoning the article should favor the pro-ID viewpoint by moving the arguments made by the majority viewpoint to the end of the article where it is out of context and implies it is less significant than it is.
"my article maintains the current, substantial level of criticism--simply better organizing it." No, again, your version moves the arguments made by the majority viewpoint to the end of the article where it is out of context and implies it is less significant than it is. Not only is your version not better organized (the criticisms made by the scientific community lose their context requiring readers to scroll up to reread what they refer to), they favor the pro-ID viewpoint by moving critisim to the end of the article. Organizing in this way introduces structural bias due to the fact that many readers will not finish reading the article. See Wikipedia:Summary style.
"there is absolutely nothing in wikipedia's rules that supports saturating an article about a particular viewpoint with criticism of that viewpoint, to the point where the viewpoint itself is not clearly and unobstructively stated." From NPOV: Pseudoscience: "the task is to represent the majority (scientific) view as the majority view and the minority (sometimes pseudoscientific) view as the minority view; and, moreover, to explain how scientists have received pseudoscientific theories. This is all in the purview of the task of describing a dispute fairly." FeloniousMonk 20:21, 15 December 2005 (UTC)]
I think the only thing from here is to get a broader input. I've made my case, you've made yours. I doubt either of us can say anything to sway the other to their side. So, I think it's time to get more community wide input.
Marshill, that's a very good job of presentation, though I reccomend you register a screen name--it just makes it easier all around, I think. :) Trilemma 20:29, 15 December 2005 (UTC)


The objections to giving one point of view undue weight by giving it equal weight are creepily reminscent of objections to giving certain minorities special rights by giving them equal rights. Endomion 21:10, 15 December 2005 (UTC)


I'm with Trilemma on this point. I support moving all criticism into a separate section (and/or moving the debate to a separate article). I don't find the "this article is special, and all other examples of controversial topics are irrelevant..." arguments convincing. This article should be balanced and structured as all other articles on controversial and/or pseudoscientific topics. With this much structural (and other) bias it loses credibility. BTW, I also made an entry for it here: here -- nyenyec  21:16, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
FM's points regarding style, NPOV etc, are all valid. (TL, I didn't read your rewrite yet so I can't comment directly on what you wrote -- after I read it, I'll leave comments on your user page.) In any case, back to style: if anyone here has read any well-balanced books (I'm thinking Hawking, Kaku, and Greene here) on theoretical physics and cosmology, or well-balanced books on economics, political science, linguistics, sociology, etc., one will note that any opposing arguments are placed in exactly the same manner used by Wikipedia in the ID article.
Ignoring NPOV for the moment, this is the only rational way to present one's theories as virtually all theories are built upon previous theories (either as extensions of the theories, new theories using older theories as a starting point, or theories in opposition to standard theories). True, one could simply state one's point without taking opposing views into consideration, but in so doing one merely weakens one's own point as one's bona fides for making the point are called into question. In fact, the process of raising both sides of an issue goes back at least to Socrates and Plato (and others). Thus, the way the article is currently portrayed is following in the footsteps of long-standing and highly regarded principles. Jim62sch 11:14, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Intelligent design concepts

Shouldn't we reduce the size of the specific subsections in the Intelligent design concepts-section? It seems they all have individual pages devoted to them, yet this article still goes into great detail. Consider, as an example, the next subsection, which combines parts of the Irreducible complexity-section and its criticism subsection. Its much shorter, and, as the criticism is contained in the individual articles, the article may feel less hostile towards ID. -- Ec5618

Irreducible complexity

In the context of Intelligent Design, irreducible complexity is defined by Michael Behe as

...a single system which is composed of several well-matched interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning. (Behe, Molecular Machines: Experimental Support for the Design Inference)

Behe uses the mousetrap as an illustrative example of this concept. A mousetrap consists of several interacting pieces — the base, the catch, the spring, the hammer — all of which must be in place for the mousetrap to work. The removal of any one piece destroys the function of the mousetrap. Intelligent design advocates claim that natural selection could not create irreducibly complex systems, because the selectable function is only present when all parts are assembled.

Critics point out that the irreducible complexity argument assumes that the necessary parts of a system have always been necessary, and therefore could not have been added sequentially. They argue that something which is at first merely advantageous can later become necessary, as other components change.

Behe's original examples of irreducibly complex mechanisms included the bacterial flagellum of E. coli, the blood clotting cascade, cilia, and the adaptive immune system.

-- Ec5618 20:01, 15 December 2005 (UTC)


I think this could use its own section. Ec, I think your proposal is interesting, but it needs expanded before it could be applied: perhaps make this article a skeleton of outlines and links to other articles expanding more on each individual concept. If this is to be done though, it must be done to every part of it, not just the ID arguments themselves--otherwise, you'd essentially get a page of criticism of ID. Your proposal, if fine tuned, could reduce the overall bulk of the article, which would be a good thing. Trilemma 20:19, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

I'd like some input from other editors. I'd like to go ahead and reduce these specific sections, like I have done here. It seems that DavidCary has edited the first section in miuch the way I had proposed, but I much prefer my version. It contains no references, but refers the reader to the appropriate article. It makes no value judgements, yet it contains a line of clear criticism.
If no-one has any objections, I'd like to tackle the other sections as well. I don't think I'm willing to commit to any path regarding the totallity of the article: reducing the article to set of references (or skeleton) seems undesirable. -- Ec5618 01:34, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Please, go ahead and reduce those sections to a short summary, moving the information (and its supporting references) to the appropriate sub-article. After I moved all of the Intelligent_design#Irreducible_complexity section to the irreducible complexity article, I just copied a few sentences back to represent a summary. I have no doubt that you could write a much better summary. My understanding is that when an article gets as long as this one, the Wikipedia guidelines recommend reducing this article to a skeleton referring to other sub-articles. --DavidCary 15:18, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Updating the footnotes

If you're going to be moving content, don't forget the remove or reorder the relevant footnotes as well. I'll fix it this time from this last move, but I get cranky pretty quick when editors only do half the job and mess up the footnotes. FeloniousMonk 21:42, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Marshill's NPOV objections

/Marshills_NPOV_objections - please go here to read my list of objections to NPOV Marshill 20:38, 15 December 2005 (UTC) I will need to request mediation to have the POV tag placed. I've been exhaustive in my reasons for placing it. If the people here refuse to allow this article to be under dispute, mediation will follow. Marshill 20:47, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Please contain this discussion to the subpage. Ec5618

Aims of biological science?

The Intelligent design in summary paragraph contained the following text: This stands in opposition to mainstream biological science, which through experiment and collection of uncontested data aims to explain the natural world exclusively through observed impersonal physical processes such as random mutations and natural selection. This is a poor choice of language. Science does not have "aims"; if it does, it's politics, not science. Also, nothing in science is "uncontested". I have changed this to, This stands in opposition to mainstream biological science, which through repeatable experiments and the collection of data from field observations has developed explanations of the natural world involving purely impersonal physical processes such as random mutations and natural selection. Endomion 23:31, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Sorry, but science must have an aim, otherwise it's just a random collection of tidbits. If you aren't working towards some goal, if you aren't trying to test hypotheses, you aren't doing science. In addition, if you don't have clear aims to your research, no one will fund it (well, except maybe DI). Guettarda 01:48, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
The aim is not to confirm a previously formulated viewpoint. Science aims to explain the world through natural means, without stating unequivocably that the world can be explain purely through natural means. I think you're mistaking the two. Science is poised to determine the truth of nature, whatever it may be. -- Ec5618 01:56, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
Assuming that I understand the meaning of the word "exclusively" the only conclusion that can be drawn from an alleged science that "aims to explain the natural world exclusively through observed impersonal physical processes" is that such a science assumes, before looking at any data at all, the non-existence of the supernatural. It would almost be worth a revert of my edits to see that brand of science enshrined here as the one that purports to have the authority to challenge ID. This month I have already seen Jim62sch and LoveCoconuts assert that science involves undoubtable proofs. Endomion 02:17, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
No no no, it means their explanations are derived exclusively from observed, etc., not that any other explanations cannot be derived any other way. Perhaps, if you missed the meaning so badly, it was not well written and a new phrasing is indeed in order. KillerChihuahua?!? 02:29, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Let us not confuse the verb with the noun -- if we do, we have fallen prey to misdirection. Jim62sch 01:42, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Endo, I'm going to pull a Wade -- exact cites that say what you have asserted. Jim62sch 01:47, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Science assumes a naturalistic world. In that sense it is a philosophy of sorts. Instead of an unknowable force (or forces) it assumes that the universe is governed by a knowable force (or forces). Technically, it's obviously possible that there is actually a great unknowable force behind it all. No-one is denying that, even if not all people believe in such a force. But since he/she/it/they has been kind enough to fit our world with a semblance of natural rules (assuming he/she/it/they exists), science is useful.

When a farmer wants to know what the weather is going to be like, he will consult a meteorologist, not a cleric. And the meteorologist will be able to help him. That is (part of) the value of science. Science obviously has value. We use scientifically derived tools, materials and knowledge every day.

Science does not seek to disprove the existance of a deity, and indeed could never do so. But it does assume, for the sake of argument, that natural laws govern the natural world (most of the time). Under that assumption, science works. And gives us polyester.

Just as science could never disprove the existance of an unknowable force, it can never truly PROVE anything. We can touch a brick, taste it, smell it, spectrographically analyse it, toss it though something and hear its effects. But science knows it can never prove that the brick is not a complicated illusion (How could it?) Science knows there is always the great unknown: that there may be an unknown factor. And that is why a Theory is called a Theory.

That is the only reason. Science can never be sure it has all the answers, and does not propose it does. But, for all intents and purposes, Theories are proven facts, and have been tested for validity thousands of times, and by hundreds of people. Each of whom has a vested interest in proving it wrong: they would probably get a Nobel prize if they could disprove the Theory.

Next time you answer your cellphone, thank science, and remember that the technology is based on the Theory of Electromagnetism, Acoustic Theory and Antenna Theory, to name but a few.
-- Ec5618 02:26, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
EC5618, I agree with most of what you said, except, "...for all intents and purposes, Theories are proven facts..." The scientific definition of a Theory in Wikipedia itself says, "Scientific theories are never proven to be true, but can be disproven." The only use of the concept of "proof" in a scientific context is found in the legal world with Scientific_evidence. This courtroom definition, which refers to a rigorous argument based on compelling scientific evidence, is irrelevant to a general inquiry into nature. Endomion 04:06, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
My point stands: Theory are, for all intents and purposes, facts. When something has become a Theory, there is a lot of supporting evidence in its favour,and perhaps more importantly, no evidence that contradicts it. This is especially true for Theories such as Thermodynamics and Evolution (people have been trying to disprove both for a long time, and have never succeeded).
A 'fact' to a layman (I am sitting in a chair) has less evidence supporting it. In fact, I'm confident there is more evidence for evolution than you'll be able to find for the existence of Bombay in literature. -- Ec5618 09:33, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
Yeah. Scientific theories are like that. Even when a supposition is practically fact-like, scientists will still call it a theory. Sometimes, I think that's one of the things that make science confusing to non-scientists.
Maybe scientists need to come up with a new word for scientific theories.
By the way, just a comment on "evidence for evolution" - I've read that it was ruled in a US Court that fossils are the evidence for evolution and that evolution is definitely not a religion. Just found out recently that some ID people actually think evolution is a religion. Perhaps that's why there's all these "atheists" remarks.Lovecoconuts 10:25, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Hence, I posted the definition of theory before so we know what we are talking about.--Nomen Nescio 12:37, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Ec5618 wrote, "My point stands: Theory are, for all intents and purposes, facts.
My reply, Thank you for your original research defining a theory as a virtual fact. However, the accepted definition is that a theory is a MODEL that only EXPLAINS facts. Wikipedia says, In science, a fact is data supported by a scientific experiment. A fact is an honest observation. A scientific fact is an honest observation seen by many scientists. A scientific fact is a scientific observation that is so accepted that it becomes difficult to consider other interpretations of the data. A fact may tentatively support or refute a model of how the universe works. Facts do not prove a model is correct. One observation of any phenomenon does not prove anything. If the Intelligent Design article is in the hands of editors whose understanding of the scientific method markedly diverges from the accepted one, this will have a far more subtle and damaging effect than any vandal could hope to inflict. Endomion 15:43, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
  1. Nothing wrong with "OR" on the talk page if it helps to explain people understand something
  2. The use of the word "theory" in science overlpas substantially with the use of the word "fact" in everyday English. An idea well supported by experimental evidence is, in layman's terms, a fact. This is abundantly clear in what Ec said. All you are doing there is twisting what he said to mean the opposite of what he said, and turning it into a broad attack on the editors here. That is not constructive and quite unhelpful. Guettarda 15:53, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
At this point, since I am clearly not making headway, and there are at least four editors ganging up on me using only personal impressions of what words mean and zero cites from actual articles, I think it will be less stressful for me stand down and allow the article to be maintained using, as you insist, the layman's understanding of terms such as "fact" and "theory". By the way, Wikipedia itself provides a few examples of this everyday usage. In everyday language, a theory is (Morrison, 2005, p. 39):
  1. ...a hunch that a detective comes up with in a murder mystery. It is one of several competing ideas, none of them proved.
  2. Fringe theories and conspiracy theories are crazy ideas that are out of the mainstream.
  3. New medicines or changes in the tax laws may be good in theory but don't work in practice.
  4. Among some scientists, theorists are thought to lack solid grounding in the facts...
Endomion 17:25, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
The meaning of words is referred to as semantics (not, of course, in the negative sense in one most often finds it), and is based upon context and syntax. Seems to me that my parenthetical comment covers "everyday usage". Jim62sch 01:56, 17 December 2005 (UTC)


Please stop misrepresenting my words. I never suggested that the article should use the word theory to mean anything but scientific theory. I have been clear on this, surely.
I have tried to explain to you that science assumes a naturalistic world. You suggested science does not have an aim. I objected suggesting that science is poised to determine the truth of nature, whatever it may be.(see above) Please stop reading more into it, and please stop trying to catch me with my pants down. Misquoting me does nothing to lend credence to your points. -- Ec5618 17:50, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Self-revert of edit. Restored biological science which "aims" to "exclusively" explain "uncontested" data with natural means per 4:1 consensus on talk page. Endomion 18:10, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Where is the explanation of ID?

“Felonious, the ID article does not compare views; rather, it explains one. . . . Trilemma 19:38, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

I'm sorry, but I think you are wrong. This article is not about the intelligent design viewpoint. This article is about the topic of intelligent design, of which there are two significant viewpoints, that of ID proponents, who assert ID is science, and that of the scientific community, who claim otherwise. All of your reasoning that follows is flawed because of this one significant misunderstanding on your part. . . . FeloniousMonk 19:47, 15 December 2005 (UTC)”

If this article isn’t about the intelligent design viewpoint, then which one is?

I had assumed that the Wikipedia page titled “Intelligent Design” would explain Intelligent Design. After all, Wikipedia dispassionately explains all sorts of wacky beliefs, from Scientology and Raelism to Numerology and Tarot cards. If ID is a wacky, crazy, ridiculous belief held by a tiny minority of lunatics and fanatics—as its critics charge—then why doesn’t it receive the sort of treatment that other wacky beliefs receive? Why can Wikipedia have a coherent, uninterrupted explanation of Scientology's Emperor Xenu, but it can't bother to coherently explain ID?

This article is not designed to inform. Its purpose is to cause the reader to adopt the “correct” view on the topic. It could therefore be called propaganda. Ben Bateman 65.249.227.92 00:28, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

"Where is the explanation of ID?" Great question. Sadly, you will have to go somewhere other than wiki to get an unbiased explanation of ID. please go to my page and sign the petition that this article is biased and POV Marshill's NPOV objections -- Marshill
ID is explained at Intelligent_design#Intelligent_design_in_summary, Intelligent_design#Intelligent_design_debate and at Intelligent_design#Intelligent_design_concepts. If you find these explanations insufficient, feel free to expand on them if you have accurate, verifiable and relevant content to add.
Marshill's right about one thing, you will have to go somewhere other than wikipedia to get an unbiased explanation of ID, if your definition of an unbiased explanation is a one-sided presentation of the topic. If you're interested in reading both sides of the issue, this article has been recognized on a number of notable occasions for presenting an accurate and fair overview of the topic of ID. FeloniousMonk 00:59, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
Ben wrote: If ID is a wacky, crazy, ridiculous belief held by a tiny minority of lunatics and fanatics—as its critics charge—then why doesn’t it receive the sort of treatment that other wacky beliefs receive?
My reply: The short answer is that advocates of Intelligent Design are currently enjoying some success infiltrating public school cirricula, particularly in red states. Some parents in those areas are likely to consult Wikipedia for information before voting for school board members or otherwise participating in school policy decisions. The team which is critical of ID seems to be loading this purportedly encyclopedic summary down with barrage jamming to influence public policy. Endomion 01:56, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
You know, I've talked to you about this sort of commentary about your fellow editors already. You need to WP:AGF. FeloniousMonk 03:06, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
Interesting link, it says stuff like, Every revert (rather than change) of a biased edit is a NPOV defeat, no matter how outrageous the edit was Endomion 03:25, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Straw poll on the neutrality of the article

to anyone who feels that this article is not neutral, please sign the petition on my page. If you feel an NPOV template is appropriate, please sign the petition found here: Marshill's NPOV objections thanks. Marshill

I've rewritten it as a straw poll. Namespace talk pages are not a place for advocacy, Marshill. Please take the time to become more familiar with policy. Really, I mean it, you're becoming disruptive. Read WP:RULES and demonstrate that you understand them before any more activity on this front. FeloniousMonk 01:13, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
thanks, FeloniusMonk. I will continue to be present on this forum and will do whatever I can to bring neutrality to the article at hand, and continue my challenge to its neutrality. I'm sorry you feel so disrupted by my presence here. I have no intention of being disruptive in regards to the rules of the site. I am learning them the best I can and appreciate the tips people give me. I do represent a different point of view, and I know that can be unsettling. On that condition, I make no apologies for being disruptive. I am reading all the rules on this site, and appreciate any kind, respectful non-personal attacks that aim to keep me within the rules, as I have every intention to follow them. Thanks for rewording it to a straw-poll. regards, --Marshill
We were all new here once. But it's smart to learn before you make a big deal out of something that can harm the reputations of others, like your arbitration. Good move to doing things the wikipedia way would be to withdraw it and follow the steps in WP:DR. Thanks for being reasonable, Marshill, it's appreciated. FeloniousMonk 03:04, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
Hey, don't take it personally, Marshill, there's plenty of disrespect for ID proponents here to go around. Some of us get a gentler introduction than others. (And FM can really be a nice guy sometimes.)--Gandalf2000 03:08, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
Ha! I dont take any of it personally. I'm sure FM is a nice guy. I've engaged in a lot of debates (real life) and even though I may strictly oppose someone's views, for the most part people are friendly in r/l. I'm quite sure that those who disagree with me here, in r/l would be nice people to talk with. I do strongly disagree with FM and will take my case as far as I can, I have no intention of quitting. Yet that doesn't mean for a second those I am contending against aren't nice people in r/l, no matter fierce the contentions may come.. Nothing here is taken personal, I assure you. Also in regards to the arbitration, i went to withdraw, but it was already decided. I sent the apology to the arbitrator and saw the error of my ways. Ty. -- Marshill
Thanks Marshill, I appreciate your willingness to learn the ropes; that sort of attitude will go a long way at wikipedia. FeloniousMonk 03:48, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Insults are the real problem.

Let's look at the first few sentences of Intelligent_design#Intelligent_design_in_summary:

1: "Intelligent design is presented as an alternative to purely naturalistic forms of the theory of evolution."

Is presented as? Why not: "is"? The sole purpose of the longer verb phrase is to imply that the truth about ID is different from what's presented. Something more is hidden. Sure, it's presented one way, but who knows what dark secrets lurk underneath?

2: "Its putative[5] purpose is to investigate whether or not existing empirical evidence implies that life on Earth must have been designed by an intelligent agent or agents."

Putative? Immediately we tell the reader that ID people are dishonest. They may say that they have legitimate intellectual goals. But beware! It's all a scam! Don't trust them!

3 is fine.

4: "Proponents of intelligent design claim that they look for evidence of what they call signs of intelligence—physical properties of an object that necessitate "design.""

Claim that they look for? Is there some doubt as to whether they're looking for it? That phrasing amounts to an attack on the personal integrity of ID proponents. They may say they're looking, but don't believe them!

They're looking for evidence of what they call signs of intelligence? No, they're looking for signs of intelligence. The author here is so full of hatred for ID that he can't even acknowledge that there might be such a thing as signs of intelligence.

Scare quotes on design? Is there some sense in which some type of design isn't really design? Or did the author simply feel that two attacks on ID in a single sentence weren't enough; he needed to get a third shot in at the end. Again, this is an implication that IDers aren't honest. They say that they're looking for design. But you know their type. Don't trust 'em!


Let's make this simple: If you believe that all ID proponents are a stinking bunch of liars, then just say it. Quit beating around the bush, quit garbling the prose, and just come out and say what you really mean. Then we can talk about WP:AGF. Because when you keep implying that ID supporters are liars, then you're personally insulting everyone on the other side. You may as well condense it to:

"ID supporters have some beliefs---and they're wrong. They have some arguments for their beliefs---and their arguments are wrong. ID supporters say that they're not religious nutcases. They're lying. They're bad people; don't trust them."

That's why this article won't stand still: The ID haters cannot let go of the feeling that they know, deep down, that ID supporters are a bunch of stinking cheats and liars. As long as the article is a blatant insult to a large group of people, then the victims will never stop fighting back.

When you look at it this way, it's no wonder that the Wikipedia system has broken down here. And it will stay broken, until the ID haters drop their hate. It will stay broken until the ID haters learn that Wikipedia articles are not the place to insult people. Ben Bateman 69.6.140.11 06:47, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Hey Ben, welcome to Wikipedia. If you haven't already, please consider creating an account. There is a debate about the possibility of POV in this article going on at /Marshills NPOV objections if you are interested in voicing your opinions there.
To quickly address your points on this page:
  1. Intelligent design is presented as an alternative to purely naturalistic forms of the theory of evolution. The scientific community has widely rejected it as a viable alternative to the theory of evolution, so I think "presented" is a better term as ID supporters are actively lobbying for it to be considered an equally valid theory, in schools, courts and the scientific community. The entire opening, I would like to mention, reached broad consensus among those on both sides of the debate recently.
  2. Its putative[5] purpose is to investigate whether or not existing empirical evidence implies that life on Earth must have been designed by an intelligent agent or agents. Please check out the endnote as well as intelligent design movement. I think this has been discussed already on this talk page as well, perhaps in the archives?
  3. "is fine"
  4. Proponents of intelligent design claim that they look for evidence of what they call signs of intelligence—physical properties of an object that necessitate "design." I see your point here about "claiming" to look for it. I have no doubt that they are, and this is a valid complaint that you can take up on Marshill's subpage and on this talk page. I think "what they call signs of intelligence" is fine though, since they have defined their criteria for signs of intelligence (IC, SC) and these are mentioned later in the article.
Finally, I do not believe that those who support intelligent design are "a stinking bunch of liars". Please do not put such words in my (or any other editors') mouth. I also don't "hate" ID, nor do I hate those who support it. True, I don't believe it is science, but neither do most people in the scientific community (disclaimer: I am not a member of the scientific community). I don't hate "ID" and I assume you don't "hate" evolution. -Parallel or Together? 08:17, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
With regards to point 5., I think that "claim" is reasonable. While they have written at length about ID, no research into ID has come to light, and there have been no takers for grants offered to do this work. If you say you're doing something, but after 15-20 years you have yet to show evidence of a research programme, that it's right to use the word "claim". Guettarda 14:59, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
It's important to consider, regarding point 4, that there is no widely accepted definition of intelligence to work with (just like there's no clear definition of "word"). Therefore, it's essential to state that the signs ID proponents are looking for as signs of intelligence have been defined by them. siafu 15:53, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
The responses to ID contained in the article are necessary, per wikipedia's NPOV policy which requires that all significant viewpoints on a topic be covered. Those criticisms are verifiably accurate, per wikipedia's Verifiability policy. FeloniousMonk 16:31, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Parallel: On the first two points, I don't care if other ID supporters failed to object to these phrasings. I'm objecting to them right now. Do you admit or deny that the word choices "presented" and "putative" indirectly attack the honesty of ID proponents?

Also, I did not accuse you or any other specific person of believing that ID proponens are liars. I don't know who wrote these sentences. Maybe all these snarky word choices are purely accidental. It doesn't matter. My point is simply that the phrasing and word choice in those sentences strongly imply that ID proponents are dishonest and make their arguments in bad faith. That implication is a major source of your problems with this article, and it violates Wikipedia policy.

Guettarda: I don't understand you. Perhaps you're using a very narrow definition of evidence. Or maybe you're bringing in the idea, which doesn't appear in this sentence, that ID is solely a reasearch program, which I think is misleading. I know that the article has a Dembski quote to that effect, but I think it's misleading. I would say that ID is primarily a theory, with associated research to support that theory.

But that's not my main point right now. Do you admit or deny that the purpose of the word "claim" in that sentence is designed to imply to readers that ID proponents may not be honest about what they're doing? From your post, you apparently believe that they're dishonest. Do you agree that this phrasing reflects your belief?

Siafu: You're absolutely right that there are difficult and important questions about what constitutes a sign of intelligence. Must we raise those questions in the summary section? Wouldn't it be clearer to explain what the theory is before we attack it?

FM: I'm not sure that you understood my post. I'm objecting to indirect insults contained in word choice and phrasing. If your position is that those insults are objective facts that belong in the article, then write them out as coherent standalone sentences, and put them in the correct sections. These word choices aren't "responses". They aren't even sentences. They're just nasty little indirect attacks that the author doesn't want to state bluntly.

If you want to say that ID proponents are liars, then say it! Start a new section titled: "Criticism: ID Proponents are Liars." Then load that section up with every nasty statement that you want to claim about ID. Guettarda already has a start: "They may say that they're doing research, but we don't believe them. They're liars. They may say that their purpose is to investigate empirical evidence about intelligent design, but we found a philosophy professor who says that they're lying about that, too. They're really just religious nutcases in disguise."

Once you've got a proper heading on it, the anti-ID crowd can go ahead and spew forth its venom for all the world to see. But not in the summary. It doesn't belong there.

And once you've got all the insults corralled into one section, ask yourself if insulting the article's subject is Wikipedia policy. I bet that it isn't. Ben Bateman 65.249.227.92 22:51, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

One critical comment and suggestions

I am sorry to the editors who have spent so much time on this article, but here is one very critical comment and suggestions for improvement:

  • The article fails to define Intelligent design correctly

A. The problem with the current top section is it casts ID in the shadows of evolution and controversy, which is not neccessary. Please let the words speak for themselves. I proposal the following as the first paragraph:

Intelligent design (ID) asserts that "certain features of the universe and of living things exhibit the characteristics of a product resulting from an intelligent cause or agent"[1]. The study of intelligent design is whether or not existing empirical evidence implies that life on Earth must have been designed by an intelligent agent or agents. It claims that "there are natural systems that cannot be adequately explained in terms of undirected natural forces and that exhibit features which in any other circumstance we would attribute to intelligence." [6] Evidences given for these signs are irreducible complexity, information mechanisms, and specified complexity.

B. Readers who prefer to skip the details can stop here. We should give them a chance to evaluate ID. Any controversy and related topics can come after this definition. As it is, the article is leading the readers on some kind of agenda. Anyone who read it will claim that it is not neutral.

C. By the way, I have also read Steven Wolfram's A new kind of science. It is interesting that it claims exactly the opposite. -hoo0 08:39, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

You may be right in saying that ID is not defined correctly. Please realise that this is the result of the fact that individual proponents of ID, and individual organisations, use wildly differing definitions. Know also that many definitions contain the words 'scientific theory', which ID is not, in any general sense of the words, so we cannot allow these definitions to define ID. Know also that these definitions have been changed over time, so even listing all currently employed definitions would not give a complete definition of ID.
You would define ID without noting its controversial nature? Since ID portrays itself as science, I'm afraid we must include criticism from scientific circles. Not doing so would give a very slanted view of ID. The fact that ID is criticised by a major scientific body is surely relevant, and something anyone would want to know about ID.
As for Stepher Wolfram's book, your sentence is confusing. I'm not sure what it has to do with anything, though. Science is often challenged and modified in some ways. -- Ec5618 10:13, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
(I know the talk page is not for discussing science, but please allow my small comment below to defend the criticism above). In Japan, this area is not controversy. Whether or not this topic is science is not a concern. A claim that the topic is science does not make it a science. Many editors realize that. As a scientist, I can entertain any idea with open mind, or at least I thought I am or should. Suppose that the collision of asteroid with earth in the formation of moon is of intelligent nature, which I doubt, or the discoveries of relic or extraterrestrial objects on earth that may point the origin of earth to intelligent design, i.e. terraforming, which is unlikely. Anyway, these are just some examples. The point is I don’t see intelligent design as against or pro-evolution. Natural selection just works, and it does not need to claim that it is science. So, I fail to see why a comparison with natural selection is necessary. Of course, it could also mean the definition of ID is not what I thought it is, i.e. the article is "leading the readers". Briefly, Wolfram's book says that simple programs can demostrate complex behavior, which may prove the opposite of intelligent design, if he is correct. That does not mean what he said in his book is science. The fact is it remains a major problem to handle large complexity in science, (see artificial intelligent). Hope this will clarify my criticism (By the way, I am against advocacy. What is reflected in the final version of this topic is of no consequence to me. Off the watch list. Sayonara.) -hoo0 02:24, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
That's a reasonable criticism. The only problem I see with it are that the second and third sentences are restatements of the first, adding no new information, and that it omits how ID proponents view ID vis-a-vis mainstream science, which explains why it's controversial. FeloniousMonk 16:22, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
Perhaps the problem can be solved by quoting an ID source (this one is from "What is Intelligent Design?" from arn.org, a prominent ID website:
Called intelligent design (ID), to distinguish it from earlier versions of design theory (as well as from the naturalistic use of the term design), this new approach is more modest than its predecessors. Rather than trying to infer God’s existence or character from the natural world, it simply claims "that intelligent causes are necessary to explain the complex, information-rich structures of biology and that these causes are empirically detectable."[3]
The [3] quote BTW is from Dembski. The definition matches extremely well with what I’ve seen in other ID literature. Would this definition work? --Wade A. Tisthammer 22:23, 16 December 2005 (UTC)


by Feloniusmonk on the article's history page: "45/55 % split is not consensus, Marshill" Well thats quite obvious. I know its not. Thank you for re-emphasizing my point. I see my POV tag lasted 11 minutes. You're getting a bit slow on the draw these days :D Marshill 17:34, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

POV tag and consensus

About FeloniousMonk's removal of the POV tag (comment: "rm tag. 45/55 % split is not consensus, Marshill. Read WP:CON") [54].

That's exactly why a POV tag is warranted. :) The label on the tag says "The neutrality of this article is disputed"

It doesn't say, that "There is consensus that this article is not written from a neutral point of view."

Anyways, I don't think it's important if the page has the tag or not, because in itself won't improve the article. Civil discussion will.

-- nyenyec  17:50, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Concur with Nyenyec strongly per civil discussion. Well said. KillerChihuahua?!? 17:53, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
I do feel its important, just as FeloniusMonk and others here feel its so important that a tag *not* be shown. Now, its an objective fact that the neutrality of this article is disputed. That is fact, inarguable, and fully documented. So why the dishonesty from those here that adamantly and with fervent vigor keep that tag off the article? The tag itself does not say "This article is not neutral" it simply says its in DISPUTE. Such a tag would represent the truth, because it *IS* in dispute. Feloniusmonk, among others, is forcing a dishonest representation of this article by implying its content is agreeable to wiki-pedians. Several of us dispute it. It *is* in dispute. We are not required to PROVE POV before placing the tag. The tag only states that the article is in dispute, which it is. I can only conclude one reason for the censorship that is being forced here....political agenda. All I want is for people coming to this page to know the truth: that the article's neutrality is in dispute. Felonius has no right to silence those of us who dispute it, and he is doing just that (among other people) --- Marshill 17:59, 16 December 2005 (UTC)


Who might the other people be? As for your charge of dishonesty, you are incorrect and out of bounds. In fact, it seems that it may be you who is being dishonest: you've yet to answer the "who are you" question I asked a few days ago. Come clean, stop being disruptive, join a true discussion, and rather than scream "POV, POV!" step back and review your own POV. Thank you. Jim62sch 02:42, 17 December 2005 (UTC)


nyenyec's point about civil discussion is an excellent one. An NPOV tag is not a constructive contribution to the article or the project. It adds no knowledge to the topic. It will not change the article's content itself, and they are often used to discredit articles by editors with no intent of correcting whatever issues there may exist. If Marshill or anyone else has specific changes to the article, I encourage them to act constructively and make them instead of slapping NPOV templates on articles, which adds nothing in the way of improvement.
I removed the template because since this is a staw poll, Marshill's drawing a conclusion from the poll was very premature considering the vote campaigning that has been done and that a poll needs to run a fair amount of time. FeloniousMonk 18:06, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
Marshill, I am not "forcing a dishonest representation" of anything. Please refrain from making personal attacks, read WP:NPA, and assume good faith, read WP:AGF.
Also, the content is disputed by largely new editors to the project who have demonstrated a poor understanding of Wikipedia's policies and goals. The NPOV status of the article's content is seldom disputed by credible, knowlegable and established editors, with the exception of those few who adhere to creationism. These points are very relevent here and are weighed against the fervor of the objections. FeloniousMonk 18:14, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

You can't draw conclusions from a poll after just a day when Trilemma has been out soliciting support from people supporting one side of the poll. Let it run its course fairly before trying to draw any conclusions from its results. Guettarda 18:30, 16 December 2005 (UTC)


"Please refrain from making personal attacks"

The article's neutrality is disputed, which is true.
This truth is not refelcted on the article
Attempts to present this truth on the article are forcibly denied
Thus, the article is not an honest representation of the opinions of its community.

I maintain my opinion that the article is dishonest in that it falsely implies agreement as to its neutrality. A POV tag simply says that "neutrality is being disputed, see the talk page". This is the TRUTH. Everytime someone removes that tag, they are silencing that truth and implying "there is no dispute". But there IS a dispute. And here it is! Thus, the article is not honest. This is what I believe. If this opinion personally offends you, I'm sorry. It is not meant as a personal attack. But I will continue to maintain that opinion. Marshill 19:33, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Marshill - we are discussing your concerns are your sub-page. Can you just try to make a good faith effort to discuss your objections before resorting to the boiler? TY --JPotter 19:50, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
Marshill is correct regarding the existence of the dispute. So far, the poll regarding whether or not the article violates NPOV has a very significant minority (12 versus 14) that it does indeed violate NPOV. --Wade A. Tisthammer 20:09, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
After Trilemma (talk · contribs) banded together all the creationists to rig it. — Dunc| 20:11, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
That is correct, Trilemma went out campaigning for votes, which presents an issue as to the accuracy/balance of the poll. The other issue is that Marshill and Wade do not seem understand what a straw poll is for. A straw poll is not a binding vote, or a way to beat dissenters over the head with the will of the majority, which they do not have to begin with. Even if a large number of people vote for one option but some don't, this doesn't mean that that's the "outcome". It means some people are disagreeing, and that has to be addressed. I suggest they read Wikipedia:Straw_polls before claiming that proof a dispute exists is justification for unilateral action on their part. Their concerns are being addressed on the subpage and they are free to edit the article within the bounds of policy and guideline. FeloniousMonk 20:23, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
In the words of Wikipedia:Straw_polls the results of the poll demonstrate that "people are disagreeing, and that has to be addressed." The poll does demonstrate that the neutrality is disputed, like it or not. "Campaigning" is a strong word, but I wouldn't be surprised if anti-ID adherents also notified their fellows to participate also. (BTW, I am not a creationist--well, depending on how you define creationism anyway.)
Wikipedia:Straw polls also says "If you try to force an issue with a poll, expect severe opposition, people adding a "polls are evil and stupid" option and your poll not being regarded as binding." So much for selective reading and Marshill's forcing the issue of the npov template. Let's all try abiding by the spirit and the letter of Wikipedia's policies and guidelines and not disrupt the article to prove a point, WP:POINT. FeloniousMonk 20:39, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
I didn't speculate about Marshill's motives in using the poll, nonetheless what I said was true. The results of the poll demonstrate that "people are disagreeing, and that has to be addressed." The poll does demonstrate that the neutrality is disputed, like it or not. (Denouncing the poll as evil won't change that fact.) --Wade A. Tisthammer 20:46, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
Dunc, what evidence do you have that creationists have rigged the poll? What evidence do you have that creationists maliciously controlled the poll by deceptive or dishonest means? Do you have any evidence for your ad hominem attack?
Viewing Trilemma's edit history, it appears he spammed user talk pages. That's evidence in my book. FeloniousMonk 21:02, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
It's true he did ask other people to participate via messages (not sure why you called that "spamming"), but that doesn't imply that he actually rigged the poll. --Wade A. Tisthammer 21:15, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
As usual I feel that the issues being debated are best confronted directly rather than obliquely. If there's actual issue with the content of the page, don't fight about putting up a disclaimer that says so; fight about the actual content of the page. At least that will move it in the correct direction.
Personally, this page DOES read poorly to me. I don't think it's a well-written NPOV page, or even a well-written page. There's lots of good prose in there, but it's marred by crap that's obviously the result of partisan bickering. (E.g., a significant portion of the page is ascribed to unspecified "critics of intelligent design", always a signal that the writer intended merely to be argumentative and provided herself the scanty cover of that awkward phraseology.) If the page is to become fit, then this bad prose needs to be excised and/or deconstructed. No amount of straw-polling or NPOV-disclaimering will help. Graft 21:26, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
You bring up some excellent points Graft. The unfortunate fact however is that some would-be reformers of this page (as myself) have had little success in making such reforms by confronting the issue directly (see for instance this old talk section and this newer section). <an unsigned comment by tisthammerw (talk · contribs)>
I did not 'campaign for votes'. There are people who were pushed out of the article in recent weeks, leaving it behind after having their points ignored, mocked and scorned. Because I felt there was a likelyhood that they no longer visited the talk page but still had a well formed opinion about it, I contacted them. That is not campaigning for votes. If I wanted to campaign for votes, I would've gone to similar pages, found similar minded editors and contacted them. But I did not do that. So please don't say I campaigned for votes.Trilemma 21:41, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

on the NPOV Poll Participation Well wikipedia is for everyone. All surfers, all web users. Everyone from your friends to mine. If you want to go out and tell people about this poll, thats fine with me. They have as much right as anyone to voice their opinions. What brings about change? Is it passivity? Is it simply remaining quiet? Is it submitting to the will of someone else? No! Change comes when people gather and make free decisions on whats best for the community. In the recent news media, wiki has suffered some credibility problems. I want to make wiki a better place. More reliable, and more fair to everyone. So spread the word. Tell all the atheists you know, all the theists you know, all the skeptics, naturalists, deists, christians, buddhists...whomever. All of them together make up wiki...and make it a great place. Let them all come to my strawpoll and cast their vote. All I am asking is that people be honest...whether its for or against. Honesty is something necessary for Wiki. Just like science must presuppose honesty, which cannot be proven by science, so too Wiki relies on honesty to bring validity to it as a source of knowledge. For those that may be wondering, My poll is here: /Marshills_NPOV_objections#Strawpoll Marshill

Deletion of text

The following text has been deleted twice now, with each deletion reverted.

"A key strategy of the intelligent design movement is in convincing the general public that there is a debate. Though there is such a debate in the cultural and political realms, scientifically there is no debate whatsoever."

The first part is right there in the Wedge document. It speaks candidly of creating "scientific" support for ID as an alternative to evolution. The second part is supported by the scientific community, and cited repeatedly in the article: the scientific truth of evolution is in no way controversial among scientists.

I believe that this is more than adequate support and request that the deleter stop. Alienus 22:29, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

It's not and it illustrates your bias. Behe, Demsbki, etc. are scientists, so there is debate in the scientific community. Now, if you want to say, "evolution is generally accepted in the mainstream scientific community", that's at least less offensive. Trilemma 22:34, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
Thank you so much for poisoning the well by accusing me of bias. As it happens, Dembski doesn't have any science degrees, at least not from an accredited institution, and Behe isn't a biologist. More to the point, neither have had their work peer-reviewed by scientists, which would be a necessary step in the claim that they're doing science. In fact, when biologists comment on ID, it's extremely negative. Sorry, but the facts are not biased. It's not my fault that they don't flatter ID or its supporters. The quoted statement stands. Alienus 22:46, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
Dembski has a doctorate in mathematics from the University of Chicago. He also has an M.S. in statistics. He has done postdoctoral work in mathematics at MIT, in physics at the University of Chicago, and in computer science at Princeton University. He has held National Science Foundation graduate and postdoctoral fellowships. Dembski's seminal work The Design Inference was heavily peer reviewed before it was published.
Behe has a Ph. D. in biochemistry from the University of Pennsylvania (received an award from Sigma Xi for "Best Thesis"), postdoc'd for four years at the National Institutes of Health (as a Jane Coffin Childs Fund postdoctoral fellow), has been an academic biochemist for well over a decade, has gained tenure at a reasonably rigorous university, has published a fair amount in the biochemical literature, and has continuously had his research funded by national agencies (including a five-year Research Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health).
Leading proponents of modern ID often pack some serious credentials, and a good number of them are bona fide scientists. To say that "scientifically there is no debate whatsoever" is false. ID scientists may be in the minority, but they certainly exist. --Wade A. Tisthammer 23:55, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
They don't pack any serious credentials as biologists who have written peer-reviewed papers on ID. Hence my statement stands. Alienus 01:00, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
No it doesn't. There are legitimate scientists who embrace ID. To say that "scientifically there is no debate whatsoever" is therefore false. Again, ID scientists may be in the minority, but they certainly exist. Modern ID, true or not, is a revolutionary idea and thus the last place we would expect it to be found in the scientific community is in the peer-reviewed mainstream journals (incidentally, one such ID paper was published, though the journal later denounced the paper and the editor responsible). If you go to the scientists themselves, you’ll see there are some (albeit the minority) who debate the issue on the side of ID. Hence, it is the case that there exists some debate (scientifically) on the issue. --Wade A. Tisthammer 01:11, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
I notice that you did not address my point. Please address it. Alienus 01:13, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
What point is that? Peer review? I did address it both above and below. Incidentally, I noticed you didn't address my point (at least with that response): there are legitimate scientists (albeit the minority) who debate the issue on the side of ID. Hence, to say that "scientifically there is no debate whatsoever" is therefore false. --Wade A. Tisthammer 01:27, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
My point, which you have yet to address, is that there are a grand total of ZERO biologists who have written peer-reviewed papers in support of ID. ZERO. Not a large number or even a small number; zero. Zero. There is no legitimate science in ID, as there's not even a single peer-reviewed paper for it. Anyone who has a day job as a scientist yet supports ID is doing the latter independently of their profession, as science does not and cannot support ID. There are no legitimate scientists who, as scientists, support ID. There are only otherwise legitimate scientists who illegetimately support ID even though it's not science. Since ID is not science, there is no scientific debate about it. Can I be any clearer? Alienus 04:25, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
I think this entire argument (regarding whether scientific controversy exists) is tautological and therefore of limited relevance. To Mister Tisthammer: There is no scientific controversy because scientists do not consider ID to be scientific. To Mister Alienus: There is "scientific controversy" because some ID proponents are scientists. Can we move on? --DocJohnny 04:35, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
Is there scientific controversy about chocolate and vanilla just because some scientists prefer one over the other? Science is as about the scientific method, not the lab coat. Alienus 04:45, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
My point is that we need to move on. You are arguing a point of semantics with someone who is using a different definition. By his definition of scientific controversy, yes there is a scientific controversy about chocolate and vanilla. Recap his points:
  • Behe is a scientist
  • Behe supports ID
  • Other scientists are against ID
  • There is "scientific controversy"
--DocJohnny 05:06, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
One correction, "By his definition of scientific controversy, yes there is a scientific controversy about chocolate and vanilla." No, that is not true--unless chocolate and vanilla are nicknames for scientific theories. Some (albeit a minority) of scientists believe theory X is scientifically superior to theory Y. Therefore, there is at least some scientific controversy regarding those theories. --Wade A. Tisthammer 02:28, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
Alienus, I did address the point of peer-review, both above and below. Please read more carefully next time. --Wade A. Tisthammer 02:37, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
This is again ultimately a question of whether or not you believe that there is such a thing as demonstrable consensus among the scientific community. As I have mentioned before on this talk page, I do not believe that any single body ought to be granted some sort of supreme authority in speaking for the scientific community. The statement above (about there being no controversy among scientists) would be factually inaccurate if even one scientist in a relevent field was involved in such debate. I think it would be impossible to prove this negative statement. Do you really think that it is accurate to say that no one with relevent training disputes evolution? I think that sort of supposition is demonstrably false. Dick Clark 22:37, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
A scientist ordering breakfast is just a person, because science is a process, not merely a job title. Scientific controversy would require that those with knowledge of science, while acting as scientists, disagree. Instead, we have people like Behe, who make assertions outside of their field of knowledge and reject the need for peer review. This is not science, anymore than when Fred Hoyle, a physicist deeply ignorant of biology, denied evolution. Therefore, I think it's very accurate to say that there is no scientific controversy. There is, as the text points out, plenty of social controversy over this scientific matter. Alienus 22:46, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
Alienus: One mustn't perform an experiment in order to make a methodological criticism of one's colleagues. Also--and I'm speaking from ignorance here, not argumentativeness--could you please cite a source for your supposition that Behe rejects the need for peer review? I'm not saying you are right or wrong, but I sure would like to investigate further. Dick Clark 23:01, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
Behe has chosen to share his ideas through a book aimed at laymen. He has not written peer-reviewed papers. I infer from this that his goal is to influence society, not to perform science. When ID has been investigated by biologists, numerous fatal problems have been discovered. Feel free to look at Behe for confirmation. Alienus 23:07, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
Lots of academics/scientists write both peer-oriented and layman-oriented texts. Please find a partial list of Behe's publications here[55]. Please note that at least a few of these articles were published in scholarly, peer-reviewed journals. Your claim above doesn't seem to be accurate. Dick Clark 23:12, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
Yes, lots of academics write books to explain their scientific work. Behe just skipped the part about doing scientific work in the first place, as shown by the fact that ID has not been peer-reviewed. As Graft mentions, there was exactly one paper that he co-wrote but it avoided ID, making a weak attack around the edges. ID as such has not appeared in a peer-reviewed paper. That's because it's not scientific and would never pass review. Alienus 23:23, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
Actually he had a paper in Protein Science last year... it was pretty much shit, but it got published. I don't think his goal is to influence society, necessarily... just the work he publishes on evolution is such crap that no one wants to besmirch their pages with it. As to the other publications, most of Behe's work has nothing to do with ID. That Protein Science paper represents the sum total of peer-reviewed publications on ID. One shitty paper does not a scientific controversy make. Graft 23:14, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
See my comment above about the absence of any mention of ID in the paper. Also, as a member of that ID organization, he is necessarily trying to infuence society. Alienus 23:23, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
Trilemma: "It's not and it illustrates your bias. Behe, Demsbki, etc. are scientists, so there is debate in the scientific community.
Sorry, no. Debate within the scientific community is carried on in the peer-reviewed scientific literature. Since there is no such literature supporting ID, there is no debate about ID in the scientific community. Bill Jefferys 23:15, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
First, ID related material has been posted in peer reviewed journals, and second, your description of the scientific community is in fact the mainstream scientific community. Need I remind you that Mr. Behe has a doctorate and is a professor at a respected university? Trilemma 23:31, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
Dr. Behe has had one paper on ID published in a peer-reviewed journal, last year, as mentioned above. Furthermore, ID has been rejected by his own department at the "respected university" (Lehigh) to which you refer, as mentioned in Behe. How are you defining mainstream? siafu 23:36, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
A paper which apparently has no mention of ID. As for his doctorate and professorship at a respected university, I have a doctorate and a professorship (named, emeritus) at a major university. Credentials mean nothing. Publication means everything. Bill Jefferys 23:38, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
Actually, as Bill Jeffereys mentions, that one paper didn't even mention ID as such, so ID has never been peer-reviewed. It wasn't much of a paper, but if it had dared speak of ID then it would have been rejected outright as unscientific. Also, as siafu points out, while Behe may be a professor at a respected university, he is not respected by it. Nor, for that matter, is he a professor of biology, and yet evolution is within the field of biology. There is a tradition of physicists and chemists cluelessly attacking what they think biology says about evolution; Behe follows in the footsteps of Hoyle and others. There is also a tradition of religiusly-motivated laymen endorsing anything that might appear to be scientific support for creationism. Can you think of anyone who fits into this? Alienus 23:42, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
It is not always the case that debate within the scientific community is carried on in the peer-reviewed [mainstream] scientific literature. For instance there are ID scientists who write about this issue. A good number of these ID proponents have advanced degrees in relevant areas (e.g. Behe, Ph.D. biochemistry University of Pennsylvania; Robert Newman, Ph.D. in astrophysics Cornell University; Hugh Ross Ph.D. in physics [astronomy] University of Toronto; Siegfried Scherer Ph.D. biology University of Konstanz; Jeffery Schloss Ph.D. ecology and evolutionary biology Washington University). The downside of mainstream peer review is that it can delay the most novel and revolutionary of scientific ideas; the last place you expect to find such ideas is a peer-reviewed journal. Just because you don't find it in a journal doesn't mean there aren't scientists who debate the issue.
In any case, there clearly exists legitimate scientists who adhere to ID theory and debate it. They may be in the minority, but they do exist.--Wade A. Tisthammer 00:14, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
Behe's already been soundly dismissed, and neither astrophysics nor astronomy have much of anything to do with evolution. If anything, there's a history of scientists from those fields making fools of themselves by denying biological facts; witness Hoyle. The only one left is Schloss, but I don't have access to his paper. As far as I can tell from comments about it, though, his attack is on sociobiology, not on evolution. I'll hold off further comment until I learn more. Alienus 00:26, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
Behe's been soundly dismissed by whom? His credentials as I described them earlier (Ph.D. in biochemistry etc.) are quite legitimate. Hugh Ross argues ID for the universe as a whole, so his Ph.D. in physics [astronomy] is quite relevant there. What biological facts does Hoyle deny? Is it because he embraces some form of intelligent design? Regardless of his views on sociobiology (which, BTW, would include sociobiological evolution), Jeffery Schloss argues for ID theory in chapter 10 of Mere Creation. He isn't the only one left; you forgot about Siegfried Scherer (who has a Ph.D. in biology). You can see his pro-ID views in chapter 8. --Wade A. Tisthammer 01:23, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
Behe's reasoning behind irreducible complexity is widely rejected in the scientific community after having to been shown to be flawed by Rosenhouse, Robison, Dunkelberg and others. FeloniousMonk 04:37, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
Mere Creation is not a work of open scientific inquiry, but rather a collection of opinion and polemics representing a particular agenda. It is a collection of the writings of speakers at the Discovery Institute's Mere Creation Conference held at Biola University university in 1997 [56]. The Mere Creation Conference was not an open gathering of scientists with widely differing views, but a conference with a single agenda: It was a pro-ID conference. The book that came out of it mirrors the same agenda, so holding it up as some validation of ID by neutral scientists is misleading and completely specious. FeloniousMonk 04:37, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
Felonious, I think you have badly misunderstood this thread of conversation. My point in bringing up Behe (and others) was to show there are some experts with credentials in relevant areas who support ID. That there are critics who disagree with ID is beside the point I am making here. In this context, it isn't clear that Behe has been soundly dismissed. His credentials in biochemistry are legitimate. --Wade A. Tisthammer 02:23, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

Alienus, there's a definite irony in the sentence that you're focused on. In a sense, it's true that there is no debate on ID in the scientific community. The more interesting question is: Why? You hope to imply, I think, that there is no debate because all the scientists who have studied it disagree with ID. But might there be an alternate explanation?

About a year ago, Harvard president Larry Summers suggested at a conference that there may be some inherent differences between men and women in math and science. Many on the faculty wanted him fired immediately for his suggestion, but the majority seemed content with letting him keep his job after several months of profound groveling.

So it would be technically accurate to write: "There is no debate at Harvard over whether the sexes differ innately in math and science aptitude." It would also be accurate to say that there's no debate in Cuba on the relative merits of capitalism and communism. While true, these statements say far more about politics than the views of individual members.

Or, as you put it yourself just now: “It wasn't much of a paper, but if it had dared speak of ID then it would have been rejected outright as unscientific.” I’m so glad that we agree on why there is no ID debate in the scientific community.

So perhaps we should leave that sentence in, and then follow it with a sentence with link about the story of Dr. Richard Sternberg. That would put the absence of scientific debate in context, don't you think? Ben Bateman 65.249.227.92 23:50, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Sternberg is already addressed in the peer review section of the article and at his own article, Sternberg peer review controversy. FeloniousMonk 00:15, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

And Bill, you are a professor of astronomy. Behe is a professor of biochemistry. I somehow believe that makes Behe much more qualified in the area of discussion. The attacks on Behe are mainly parsing words. Trilemma 23:58, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

It is an easily verifiable fact that the debate about the validity of the ID has not taken place in mainstream scientific literature, which is where the scientific community does it's debating. There has been no ID research published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. All serious debate on ID has taken place in school boards hearings and courtrooms, period. FeloniousMonk 00:04, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
Um. That's cracked. If the claims had scientific merit, they would be duly considered. Larry Summers got lambasted because he was an idiot - he told a roomful of successful women scientists that girls are worse than boys at science, and while standing on very thin scientific grounds, to boot. Also, Larry Summers was not a peer-reviewed journal; his claims were not being reviewed on their scientific merits. If you're alleging that the review process is biased, then there should be substantiation of this - there should be attempts at publishing papers on ID that have been rejected for politically motivated reasons that should be evident from the reviews they received. Presumably the ID movement would be brandishing these prominently as examples of such bias. I've never seen such a thing - which is not to say it doesn't exist, but one can't suppose the EXISTENCE of a bias without just cause, especially when the parsimonious explanation is merely that ID is very bad science.
As to Behe's paper, it was not on ID, but it definitely was attacking evolutionary theory. Here[57] is the paper, and here[58] is a comment in the same journal trashing the paper. Graft 00:06, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
Graft, you’re missing the point. The question is: Why is there no debate at Harvard on the possibility that boys may be inherently better at math and science than girls? The answer has nothing whatsoever to do with whether there are actually any innate differences.
As for evidence for bias in peer review, go read the Wikipedia article on Richard Sternberg, then read his web page. Then read the article that started the whole problem. That article’s conclusions may be wrong, but it is far from raving lunacy. Also note the part of the Wiki article in which the journal that published that article has firmly stated that it will no longer run any articles about ID. When journals adopt explicit “No-ID” policies, do you think that might explain why there are no ID articles in journals? Ben Bateman 65.249.227.92 00:24, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
The relevant issue, which you do not address, is why they have a "No-ID" policy. It turns out that they've recognized ID as non-scientific, hence not publishable in a scientific journal. ID simply isn't scientific. Alienus 01:09, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
Trilemma, the reason there's no debate about ID on a scientific basis is that ID is not a scientific theory. I realize you don't understand this, but I can't express the facts any more clearly than I just have. It's up to you to do your part by learning about what it means for something to be scientific. Good luck. Alienus 00:12, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
Alienus: "I realize you don't understand this..." Those words border on a personal attack. They're condescending and insulting. You are refusing to consider the possibility that Trilemma understands this better than you do. If you want to hypothesize about someone else's knowledge or beliefs, it is polite to preface your statement with words like "apparently", or "it seems that", to acknowledge that you don't actually know the contents of someone else's mind. Ben Bateman 65.249.227.92 00:33, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
They border on attack about as much as ID borders on science. I stand by what I said: Trilemma clearly demonstrates a lack of comprehension about what constitutes a scientific theory. If that's a personal attack, then by all means hold me accountable. Alienus 01:07, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
I suspect you Alienus have at least as much misunderstanding about what constitutes a legitimate scientific theory. On this controversy there has been much misunderstanding regarding the philosophy of science, even to the extent of using ad hominem attacks to disqualify ID as a scientific theory. --Wade A. Tisthammer 02:03, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
That must be a lot like suspecting pigs fly. ID is defined in such a way as to ensure that it is not scientific. It flies in the face of parsimony. As for personal attacks, I recommend that you avoid them. Alienus 04:18, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
I don't recall using any personal attacks, unless you count my suspicion of you misunderstanding what constitutes a legitimate scientific theory. In that case Alienus, "Trilemma clearly demonstrates a lack of comprehension about what constitutes a scientific theory" is also a personal attack.
In any case, whether or not ID is defined in such a way to ensure it is not scientific depends on how you define ID. Using one definition (taken from Dembski) it isn't clear why intelligent design is not a legitimate scientific theory. --Wade A. Tisthammer 02:28, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
Trilemma, the "attacks" on Behe are statements of fact in response to your use of the man and his credentials as an endorsement of your argument. It's not any more parsing words than was your original comment. siafu 00:18, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
The statements I referenced were distortions of the man's academic record, standing and area of expertise. Trilemma 00:29, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
Odd. I saw no such statements. Alienus 01:11, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
Trilemma: "And Bill, you are a professor of astronomy. Behe is a professor of biochemistry. I somehow believe that makes Behe much more qualified in the area of discussion. The attacks on Behe are mainly parsing words."
Yes, I am a professor of astronomy. And of statistics, by the way. But that wasn't my point. I was speaking as a scientist, and pointing out that in science (all of science), credentials don't matter, what you publish in the peer-reviewed literature does matter. Neither Behe nor I has published in the peer-reviewed literature any article that is explicitly about ID. Therefore, I would say that as far as this (the only) criterion is concerned, Behe and I are at abolut the same level of qualification. Bill Jefferys 00:44, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
Bill, this is clearly sufficient reason for you to publish a paper on ID! Of course, it doesn't necessarily have to be in support of it. Alienus 00:58, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
The statements I referenced were distortions of the man's academic record, standing and area of expertise. Trilemma 00:29, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
Trilemma: "And Bill, you are a professor of astronomy. Behe is a professor of biochemistry. I somehow believe that makes Behe much more qualified in the area of discussion. The attacks on Behe are mainly parsing words."
Yes, I am a professor of astronomy. And of statistics, by the way. But that wasn't my point. I was speaking as a scientist, and pointing out that in science (all of science), credentials don't matter, what you publish in the peer-reviewed literature does matter. Neither Behe nor I has published in the peer-reviewed literature any article that is explicitly about ID. Therefore, I would say that as far as this (the only) criterion is concerned, Behe and I are at abolut the same level of qualification. Bill Jefferys 00:44, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
If we were talking about a topic of statistics, then you would be about on par, in terms of qualifications, with Dembski. But, we seem to be considering a topic that fundamentally relates to biochemistry, which is Behe's area of expertise, not yours.
To quote from the Biochemistry article: "Biochemistry the chemistry of life, a bridge between biology and chemistry that studies how complex chemical reactions give rise to life. It is a hybrid branch of chemistry which specialises in the chemical processes in living organisms. This article only discusses terrestrial biochemistry (carbon- and water-based), as all the life forms we know are on Earth. Since life forms alive today are believed to have descended from the same common ancestor, they naturally have similar biochemistries, even for matters which would appear to be essentially arbitrary, such as the genetic code or handedness of various biomolecules. It is unknown whether alternate biochemistries are possible or practical.
Now, that seems much more pertinent to the area of discussion than, "Astronomy (Greek: αστρονομία = άστρον + νόμος, astronomia = astron + nomos, literally, "law of the stars") is the science of celestial objects and phenomena that originate outside the Earth's atmosphere, such as stars, planets, comets, galaxies, and the cosmic background radiation. It is concerned with the formation and development of the universe, the evolution and physical and chemical properties of celestial objects and the calculation of their motions. Astronomical observations are not only relevant for astronomy as such, but provide essential information for the verification of fundamental theories in physics, such as general relativity theory. Complementary to observational astronomy, theoretical astrophysics seeks to explain astronomical phenomena."
To say that you're on par with Behe in this topic is like saying Noam Chomskey is on par with Larry Summers in the area of economics. Chomskey is a brilliant linguist who likes to dabble in political science, but has no academic standing in it. It also baffles me that you can attempt to discredit Dembski's expertise on the field on the basis of his degrees being in other areas while not being consistent with this standard.
Felonious thinks that this is ad hominem, but it is not. Bill, I'm sure you're quite qualified in the areas of your professorship. And, I'm obviously not saying this disqualifies you from comment here. But this does not mean that you are on equal footing with Behe in this subject, nor does it mean that the distortion of Behe's record is appropriate. Trilemma 01:15, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
As a college student, I do not think Trilemma is qualified to declare anybody on par with anybody else over the pseudo-academic subject of Intelligent Design. --ScienceApologist 01:22, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
I'm not sure I agree. Surely there are some intelligent science students who can at least tell a theory apart from a religious doctrine in drag, and even determine which scientist is actually following the scientific method. As it happens, Trilemma is not one of them, but his failure is not linked to his status as a mere undergrad. I would suspect it has more to do with the high regard he holds for C.S. Lewis, which is indicative of a strong bias against science. Alienus 01:30, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
I think you missed the nature of my point. Applying Trielmman's own criteria of dismissing Jefereys in favor of Behe because of one's apparent "lack" of expertise is equivalent to dismissing Trilemma opinion on the matter for the very same reasons. --ScienceApologist 01:38, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
Is it? I guess I'd already dismissed Trilemma because he named himself after what is perhaps the weakest apologetic argument known to mankind. Alienus 04:28, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
Why would holding C.S. Lewis in high regard indicate a strong bias against science? For that matter, why believe Trilemma is biased against science? --Wade A. Tisthammer 01:36, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
Lewis was a lowbrow Christian apologist. Anyone who identifies with an apologist on this level is showing a bias towards religion and against science. And, in fact, Trilemma does show an ignorance of and hostility to science. Alienus 04:28, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
Why "lowbrow"? C.S. Lewis was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century. And it's a non sequitur to say that because a person admires C.S. Lewis and/or his work, the person is therefore against science. I like some of what C.S. Lewis wrote, and I am not against science at all. I think science is a very good thing (most Christian apologists agree; often using science in attempt to support Christianity/theism). --Wade A. Tisthammer 02:41, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
It's not and it illustrates your bias. Behe, Demsbki, etc. are scientists, so there is debate in the scientific community. -- hogwash. This is like claiming because Gerardus Bouw is a scientist, there is debate in the scientific community over modern geocentricity. --ScienceApologist 01:25, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
That's a good point. The existence of some small number of individuals who, despite being trained as scientists, hold a belief on an unscientific basis that is contrary to the scientific consensus, is not a suggestion of genuine controversy. Alienus 01:30, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
It's a well-worn strategy. From Intelligent_design_movement#Teach_the_Controversy: "the strategy of intelligent design proponents appears to be to knowingly misuse or mis-describe a scientist's work, which prompts an angry rebuttal. Then, instead of dealing forthrightly with the charges leveled, they cite the rebuttal as evidence that there is a "controversy" to teach. Such a controversy is then self-fulfilling and self-sustaining, though completely without any legitimate basis in the academic world and without having to put forth a viable hypothesis as an alternative." FeloniousMonk 04:13, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
Can you not read?
Credentials aren't important. Peer reviewed publications are all that counts in science. I don't know any scientists who disagree with this fundamental point.
My credentials aren't important. Behe's aren't. What we publish is.
When Behe publishes articles on ID in the peer-reviewed literature, there may be the beginning of a scientific debate on ID. That is all I have been saying. Bill Jefferys 01:27, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
Hmmm...I sense some ad hominem in some of the above statements (and the continued mentioning of C.S. Lewis on this page mystifies me--talk about digressions). Now then, I believe that it is objective fact that Behe is a scientist. He has published in academic journals and has a long history of distinguished work...to go along with his most elite academic distinctions. And, that's not getting into the many other experts who are members of the Discovery Institute. Trilemma 01:50, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
I'm the one who mentioned your idol, Lewis. I bring it up because it's a visible indicator of your bias. I like to assume the best of people, but I can't shut my eyes to the obvious: your handle is the name of an infamous apologetic argument. Alienus 04:21, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
Behe is a scientist and has published (as I understand) reasonable articles in reputable peer-reviewed journals.
But not articles about ID.
Nor have any of the other experts on ID at the DI; One article was slipped into a minor peer-reviewed journal through surreptitious means by an editor who was misbehaving. That article has been repudiated by the journal. Bill Jefferys 02:08, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
Well, I'm not going to debate those points tonight, but as long as we're on common ground in regards to Behe being a qualified scientist, I'm content. Trilemma 02:23, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Perhaps I can clarify things somewhat. Trilemma, we all agree that Behe is a scientist. That is actually irrelevent. Here is a scientific debate:

  • Scientist Alpha publishes a paper on Theory X-Ray, in a peer-reviewed journal, with arguments, proofs, etc.
  • Scientist Beta publishes a paper on Theory X-Ray, refuting the findings of scientist Alpha, with proofs, etc.
  • Other scientists publish papers on Theory X-Ray, confriming, refuting, or refining aspects of Theory X-Ray.

That's a scientific debate.

Behe could be the greatest scientist in the world, and it doesn't mean there is a scientific debate about ID, on which there are no papers, pro or con, hence no debate. Does that help clear things up a little? KillerChihuahua?!? 17:27, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

The way it was originally worded, it inferred that no scientist promulgated ID, thus inferring that it was the work of priests and Sunday school teachers. And, that's a misleading statement, as we have established that ID is a theory accepted by some scientists. Trilemma 18:23, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
No we didn't. KillerChihuahua?!? 19:02, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
To expand on her (Killer Chihuahua's) comment, if there were a theory of ID, we should be able to find it in the peer-reviewed literature. We can't, so it isn't. Bill Jefferys 03:08, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

The Behe and Snoke paper

This came up before, and as I recall but can't find in the talk archive, Behe himself refuted the Discovery Institute's characterising of it as supporting ID. Does anyone have a reference to such comments by Behe? It may also be noted that Snoke is the author of the Natural Philosophy book for high school or college physics courses including Christian theology and understanding of the Bible. Is physics based on religious philosophy an aspect of ID? ...dave souza

Here is the conversation, which was somehow deleted without being archived. Guettarda 03:42, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
As presented here before a number of times, Behe in sworn testimony during Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District stated "there are no peer reviewed articles by anyone advocating for intelligent design supported by pertinent experiments or calculations which provide detailed rigorous accounts of how intelligent design of any biological system occurred." Here's the link to the transcripts and his statement: [59]. This information is right in the article and in various other articles throughout Wikipedia and on the Web. Why does this keep coming up every month? Are people not bothering to read the article or follow the link contained in its footnotes? FeloniousMonk 04:08, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
FM: Are you not bothering to read the quote for yourself? You're overlooking that last part: "which provide detailed rigorous accounts of how intelligent design of any biological system occurred." You're trying to turn the quote into a generalized admission of no peer-reviewed studied. But that's not what the quote says. The article engages in the same sleight-of-hand, acting as if Behe's admission of no PR articles about a detailed mechanism contradicts a claim that there are articles supporting ID. Ben Bateman 69.6.140.11 05:19, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
WP:AGF. Again, as I posted here before, anyone with an internet connection can verify that there is no peer-reviewed ID research in scientific literature:
  • Searching the scientific database PubMed for "evolution" yields 154296 scientific articles (over one-hundred-and-fifty-thousand). Searching PubMed for "intelligent design" yields 28 articles, of which none are scientific arguments for ID but 13 are about the movement and the ID/evolution conflict.
  • Searching the scientific database sciencedirect yields 91375 articles on "evolution" and 1 article on "intelligent design" again, about the movement.
  • Searching PubMed again for "specified complexity" yields 188 articles, none of which argue for "specified complexity" utility, either within or outside of ID. Searching PubMed for "irreducible complexity" yields 5 articles, of which none argue for "irreducible complexity" in Behe's sense and 3 set about to refute Behe.
  • Searching sciencedirect again for "specified complexity" yields 1 article, Shallit's rather good review of Dembski's No free Lunch. A search for "irreducible complexity" yields 1 article, which does not argue for irreducible complexity or it's utility.
PubMed also has a very nice feature that lets you get a rough gauge of how influential a paper has been. If you select "Cited in PMD" from the display option list, you get a list of papers in PudMed that have cited the paper you're looking at. The 2001 paper revealing the rough draft of the human genome has already been cited 777 times in the past four years. Try it on the Behe and Wells papers. Total citations? Zero. FeloniousMonk 19:24, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Draw your own conclusions about the status of ID research. FeloniousMonk 19:24, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

After reading this page, it's clear that Wikipedia's policies on civility and no personal attacks do not apply on this article. The treatment that Trilemma has received from Alienus and Science Apologist has been breathtakingly rude. It's obvious to me now that this article will reflect only the consensus of the "right" people, which is to say: people who hate ID. If you disagree, then you're wrong. It's not that you're mistaken. It's not that you're unaware of contrary evidence. You're just wrong.

This shameful behavior damages Wikipedia's reputation. But I guess you don't care, as long as you manage to shut out the people you're so sure are so wrong, wrong, wrong that they don't deserve to be heard. Ben Bateman 69.6.140.11 05:52, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

If you feel that policies have been violated, you can appeal to an admin. While I agree that certain comments have been needlessly confrontational and ad hominem and I think everyone needs to take a deep breath and try to be a bit more civil, I don't think your statements are accurate either. As the article is not protected, if you want to contribute you can, as can Trilemma. No one has been shut out. --DocJohnny 06:34, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
Johnny, I disagree. Viewpoints sympathetic to ID have most definitely been shut out. Wikipedia can dispassionately explain the tale of Emperor Xenu, but it cannot do the same with ID. It's one thing to disagree with ID, and quite another to refuse to coherently explain what ID is. In this article we have a representative microcosm of the larger ID debate: One side wants to present a theory, and the other side says: "No, you can't present that theory, because I think that it's wrong." Ben Bateman 69.6.140.11 14:29, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Thanks, Guettarda, that's exactly the bit I was thinking of. The quote concerned was Behe and Snoke's reply to Lynch: "We subscribe neither to triumphant views in some circles that our paper disproved Darwinism, nor to overwrought ones that it supports some grand anti-science conspiracy." There was a lot of useful stuff in that chat, and I feel it should be incorporated into a sub-article developing the Scientific peer review section in more detail. At the least there should be a mention of the paper in that section. The missing archive seems to have been lost in a delay during archiving, and if someone else doesn't beat me to it I'll add it in an archive 21A.
In his excellent analysis Plumbago mentions papers that appear to be about "natural law" rather than ID (though the DI claim these as ID): this may reinforce the idea that Snoke's "Natural Philosophy" is a branch of ID.
There's a bit I put at the end of Intelligent design debate about scientific method that would be more appropriate at the end of Portraying intelligent design as science, and I propose moving it there and tidying the end of the debate section to avoid redundancy with duplication of the intro. Please advise if you want me to draft such changes here before editing the article.
Finally, regarding the off-topic ad hominem stuff, you might find it better to be immensely vain like me and assume that deprecatory comments are such obvious trolling to be best ignored. ...dave souza 12:10, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

string theory and emic studies

I removed the following sentence from the end of the section "Intelligent Design in Summary".

However, modern developments of Cosmology (for example string theory), and emic studies in phenomenological anthropology are designed to do just that.

Seems off-topic to me. But if there's value here that I'm missing, let me know and we'll expand on it. The one sentence just doesn't seem to have any relevance. Kindly, David Bergan 22:48, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

I might be able to shed some light on the idea of why it might have relevance. Taking it into context
Note that intelligent design studies the effects of intelligent causes and not intelligent causes per se." In his view, questions concerning the identity of a designer fall outside the realm of the idea, since one cannot test for the identity of influences exterior to a closed system from within. However, modern developments of Cosmology (for example string theory), and emic studies in phenomenological Anthropology are designed to do just that.
Apparently, this editor believed that modern developments of cosmology (e.g. string theory) provide a counterexample to the claim "one cannot test for the identity of influences exterior to a closed system from within." --Wade A. Tisthammer 23:38, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

I agree. That sentence doesn't really belong in the article, much less in the summary. Ben Bateman 65.249.227.92 23:21, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

I don't understand this objection. Under string theory and modern cosmology generally, the universe is not a closed system. Bill Jefferys 23:44, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
If the sentence is relevant, then it doesn't belong in the summary. It might be worthwhile to have a section on the possibility of discovering the designer's identity, but not in the summary. It should be enough to have Dembski note that the point of ID isn't to identify a specific designer, and leave it at that. Ben Bateman 65.249.227.92 23:57, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

The word Theory as opposed to Scientific Theory

The third sentence states:

The vast majority of the scientific community views intelligent design not as a valid scientific theory but as neocreationist pseudoscience or junk science.[3]

And there is a vast difference between the word theory as it is commonly used and scientific theory, which the above sentence clearly states. And the word conjecture is needlessly pejorative, since it means a theory for which there is no observable evidence. I explained this on my edit. ID is ridiculous on its face and does not need POV words to frame the argument. And ID is a theory as most people understand the word theory, much as Santa Claus is a theory explaining Christmas presents :P. I am changing it back, please pause a bit before getting in a revert war with someone who isn't even on the opposing side. Keep in mind that ID proponents like Behe define theory very loosely, loosely enough that it encompasses Astrology [60] --DocJohnny 08:45, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Please see #Notes to editors, above. Even if the word is clarified later, there is no need to use such a vague and possibly misleading word. -- Ec5618 10:12, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
Personally I think the "concept" of ID falls on its own lack of evidence and does not need the heavyhanded assistance we are giving it. I don't see how anyone could be misled who was not already misled to begin with. I really think this is one of those instances where we are trying to present a scientific point of view as opposed to a neutral point of view. Also, it definitely is a theory as I have explained above, and I disagree with the note to editors as it seems biased to a SPOV. Personally I would be happy to see SPOV as official policy, then we can stop hedging when we write about people like John Edwards. But NPOV is the policy, not SPOV. And frankly it is ridiculous that we are using scientific standards and scientific language in this article. This is NOT science, this is philosophy. By arguing so vociferously over such minor details you are dignifying this "assertion" with a gravitas it does not deserve. --DocJohnny 10:25, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
Sigh. I don't see the problem. How is it SPOV to reserve the word theory for scientific theories? The article contains scientific language, and as such, using the word theory might suggest that this article is acknowldging that ID is a scientific theory. SPOV would be to state that ID is not a theory, ID POV would be to state that ID is a theory (even a scientific one). By not using ambiguous language in the intro, we save ourselves the trouble of having to explain ourselves.
There are many alternatives, none of which present a POV in my view. -- Ec5618 10:57, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
Reserving a word only for scientific use is obviously biased for science, and you did state that ID is NOT a theory when you changed my edit. But that is not the point. I feel that by vociferously insisting on the language of science you are dignifying it with a respect it does not deserve. You are perpetuating the false dichotomy. ID is pseudoscience. And for the lay reader, ID is a "theory", and users will hardly get confused when the third sentence clearly states that scientists do not consider this a scientific theory. --DocJohnny 11:33, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
Again, we do not currently state in the intro that ID is a theory, for the simply reason that theory means different things to different people. By stating that it is a theory, scientific readers will be confused, while lay ID favouring readers will feel vindicated. By not using the word, but any of the alternatives, we are making no value statement regarding ID.
As for the third sentence clarifying the context, many ID proponents feel slighted by the scientific community, and do not care what the scientific community says if the first line states it is a theory. They will extensively quote the first line, and think less of the scientific community for disagreeing with the first line. This is ofcourse not my main point, but a workable point nonetheless.
Personally, I'd like to change every use of the word 'theory' to scientific theory, so that there can be no confusing: when the article says scientific theory, it would mean 'scientific theory, while the word 'concept' (for example) is not used elsewhere. The word 'theory' would not appear alone. -- Ec5618 12:24, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
And to add my two cents, using the word in two different senses runs the risk of amphiboly. Indeed, the creationist and ID communities trade on the ambiguity between the popular and scientific senses of the word 'theory' to advance their cause. We should not play into their hands by doing it ourselves. This is an encyclopedia, and words should be used carefully and consistently. Bill Jefferys 13:46, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Would it help to change the disambig to read:

This article is about the claims of the intelligent design movement to scientific validity, and words are used in their scientific meanings. . ... . dave souza 13:54, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
No, that creates a Wikipedia:POV fork. FeloniousMonk 17:19, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
Johnny, you're right. In ordinary English usage, the word 'theory' should be there. It's just one of many confusing and insulting little word choices that infest most of the sentences that ought to be sympathetic to the article's subject. They are not accidental.
I predict that you will find it impossible to remove more than a few (if any) of the little barbs that make this article unreadable and uninformative. It's admirable that you're standing up for good English, even though you don't personally support ID. They won't let you change it, because this article's purpose is not to inform the reader about ID, but rather to influence the reader to adopt a particular belief on ID. (Does the other side dispute that? I'm not yet clear on that point.) Ben Bateman 69.6.140.11 15:05, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
Yes, they are obstructionist bastards. Or rather, no they are not. How is is an 'insulting barb' to use a less ambiguous term? -- Ec5618 15:14, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
The word "theory" is not ambiguous. Shall I copy out here the dictionary definition? In ordinary English usage, people have theories about all kinds of non-scientific topics. Also, many ID proponents call it a theory, so it's confusing to refuse to call it a theory. The belief should be expressed in the terms that the believers themselves use.
Are you seriously claiming that the goal of the word choice here is non-political, when Bill Jeffrys has just said that one point of the word choice is to avoid playing into the hands of the ID proponents? Are you claiming that every sentence of the article must contain some signal that ID is false? If so, I suggest that you read the article on Xenu, where no such rule applies.
And I didn't say that you were obstructionist. In fact, I see myself as the obstructionist: I'm objecting to the misuse of Wikipedia for political purposes. This is the second or third time that I've said that the article does not inform the reader about ID, and I don't recall many denials. Do you believe that this article clearly explains ID, or do you believe that it doesn't clearly explain ID, but that failure to explain is justified for some reason? Ben Bateman 65.249.227.92 17:10, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
Its non-political. Its accuracy that matters here. Xenu is about a religious doctrine, and uses the word doctrine. If ID were religious doctrine, we'd use the word doctrine and not have any issues with it. But as long as ID proponents are presenting ID as science then scientific useage of the word theory applies, and ID is not a Theory. KillerChihuahua?!? 17:17, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
It's wrong to say that "The word "theory" is not ambiguous" when there it can mean different things in different contexts. The article addresses science - so "theory" should be used correctly. If you use the common English usage of "theory" in one place, and the proper scientific use of theory elsewhere, you end up with an internally contradictory article. We need something that is comprehensible - internal contradictions don't help. Guettarda 17:21, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
It must have been a different Guettarda who told me,

The use of the word "theory" in science overlpas substantially with the use of the word "fact" in everyday English. An idea well supported by experimental evidence is, in layman's terms, a fact. This is abundantly clear in what Ec said. All you are doing there is twisting what he said to mean the opposite of what he said, and turning it into a broad attack on the editors here. That is not constructive and quite unhelpful. Guettarda 15:53, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Endomion 18:09, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

ID proponents claim ID is scientific. ID proponents claim ID is a scientific theory. Cites are easily added to the article. Scientific theory is the relevant term here. There is no ambiguity about that. FeloniousMonk 17:24, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

I'd like to make some comments.

  • Reference Wikipedia:NPOV tutorial#First: Negotiating neutrality with others which I feel has not been done with ID apologists. Also please reference Wikipedia:NPOV tutorial#Word ownership which I feel has applicability here in reference to the word theory, which apparently some people feel should be wholly owned by science. Theory and scientific theory are clearly not the same thing, and theory is a common term used by lay people to describe what are better termed as hypotheses or conjectures in science. To insist on scientific terminology to the exclusion of lay terminology is SPOV. Clarifications are already included in the text, including the introduction.
  • It is NOT a "controversial assertion" as there is NO controversy. As has been amply stated on this talk page and elsewhere, there is NO controversy in the scientific community regarding ID. Scientists almost uniformly reject it as creationism in drag. And as for the lay public who generally misunderstands the ID position, this is also NOT controversial. 79% of Americans believe in a God, and 66% are absolutely certain there is a God [61]. Once again, by insisting on this terminology you are perpetuating the false dichotomy.
  • The only controversy is whether it should be taught in public schools and that is a minor one.
  • ID proponents claim their theory is a scientific one, but when pressed the actual scientists among them such as Behe use a definition for theory more akin to hypothesis or conjecture. The very use of the word theory is an integral part of this issue and should be presented. The assertion of "scientific theory" should be allowed to be made and criticism of the assertion should follow in its own section. The lack of science is apparent and does not need the heavy handed (IMO) editing that it has been subject to here. The ID apologists should be allowed to make their case (which will fall apart on its own lack of merit) rather than have it meticulously dissected as it has been done here. --DocJohnny 17:43, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
Suggestion: replace first line with: "Intelligent design (ID) is a pseudoscientific doctrine that argues that "certain features of the universe and of living things exhibit the characteristics of a product resulting from an intelligent cause or agent, as opposed to an unguided process such as natural selection."
KillerChihuahua?!? 17:47, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
Isn't the simple fact that the word theory is so loaded ample reason to avoid it? It might even deserve a few lines in the '.. as science.' subsection.
As for 'pseudoscientific', we recently went through hell because the article stated 'pseudoscience' without attributation. Apparently, since there is no main governing body to dictate what is scienceand what isn't, the pseudoscience is POV. -- Ec5618 17:52, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
To paraphrase somebody, a good writer does not tell the reader but shows the reader. The pseudoscience is obvious and does not need to be stated. Again, giving this subject a dignity it does not deserve. --DocJohnny 18:11, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
There is no controversy? Wow. "The only controversy is whether it should be taught in public schools and that is a minor one." Um, no. Making the cover Time magazine (April 15(?) 2005) would indicate otherwise. The residents and taxpayers of Dover, PA and KS may have an opinion on that as well. Please stop wasting your time and ours by denying the obvious. We're all smart people here. FeloniousMonk 17:59, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
I am getting incredibly frustrated with the "smart people here". This idea is ludicrous and you are giving it much more dignity than it deserves on the best day. This "controversy" is ridiculous and perpetuating it does science no good. What is the problem? Can't you see that ID is religion? It is NOT science! There is NO scientific controversy! Most people believe in God, there is NO religious controversy. The controversy is about separation of church and state in regards to its being taught in public schools. I don't see people attacking Tarot cards, astrology, or feng shui with this much zeal. This "concept" belongs in the dustbins of history not at the forefront where "smart people" have placed it. And do you really feel it is a constructive use of your and my time to accuse me both of denying the obvious and wasting yours? Does it add anything to this discussion? --DocJohnny 18:11, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Proposal

Continuing the work of Trilemma (see #My model for the ID article), I have a reorganisation proposal. Please see User:Trilemma/Subpage, where I have callously replaced Trilemma's proposal[62] with my own. See User talk:Trilemma/Subpage for justification.

Note how uncluttered and clean the table of contents looks, even though no information is lost. -- Ec5618 15:14, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Vandalism! Just kidding. I think your proposed layout is a step in the right direction, ec. Good work. Trilemma 18:06, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
I concur. I have not had time to go over it carefully, but it looks like you've managed to incorporate the best of Trilemma's layout and reduce ToC clutter. KillerChihuahua?!? 19:05, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

NPOV removal

As in yesterday, FM removed my edits summarily. I placed the NPOV tag, which is justified. "Your issues are being addressed Marshill. Stop being disruptive" The tag belongs, until the issues are addressed. Not the other way around FM. And I am hoping that you don't make it a personal habit to summarily remove all of my edits at wikipedia, as histories do accumulate and no one likes the feeling that they are being silenced and overruled by one individual. Your logic is backwards. You feel that the tag does NOT belong until issues are addressed. Please familiarize yourself with the text and meaning of the NPOV template The template is appropriate while a dispute is taking place, and until resolution. Once resolution occurs then the template is *removed*. Justification for the tag is found here: /Marshills_NPOV_objections#strawpollPlease replace the template. Thanks. Marshill 18:01, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Read WP:POINT and WP:NOT. You're simply misusing the NPOV template to impugn and discredit article instead of actually contributing constructively to the article, in my opinion. Others here agree. The majority of those who supported your use of the template are new to the project and have shown themselves to have poor understandings of WP:NPOV. FeloniousMonk 18:29, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
False. NPOV template is used *until* resolution. Read NPOV template. Furthermore, you are forcing us to find resolution without the template, thus invalidating the purpose of the template (this has been voiced by more than one individual). Also, being new to the project is completely irrelevant and constitutes fallacy. Read Poisoning the well. You do not own this project, and neither should you give the impression (as you are to some here) that you are the authority on what is acceptable or not in regards to neutrality. you are a peer, not an authority. Read Who_writes_Wikipedia Marshill
FM, that's your opinion and your way of attempting to discredit nearly half of those who have participated. You need to realize that you're a part of this discussion, too, not above it. You think we don't understand NPOV, we think you don't. Trilemma 18:39, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
I think the ID apologists deserve to have their say before being dissected. I don't think NPOV is reached. --DocJohnny 18:44, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

I think DocJohnny is missing the point. It is being addressed, right now, in 3 places - here, on a subpage of Marshill's, and a subpage of Trilemma's. Marshill's subpage is addressing possible POV bias. Trilemma's is addressing layout. This page is being seriously examined and overhauled. Any constructive help is welcome. Saying people are not getting their "say" and being "dissected" is absurd. KillerChihuahua?!? 19:10, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

POV is not required for the template. The criteria for justifying the template has been met very well. At this point, those that refuse the template are simply forcing agendas. Marshill
I think KillerChihuahua is missing the point. When POV clashes are in play, it is policy for the POV flag to remain in place. This policy is not being followed. The fact that the flag is always reverted is ample evidence the ID apologists are not getting their say, and frankly they deserve the dissection, but after their lack of argument dies a natural death due to nonviability. Characterizing people as "absurd" is needlessly argumentative and an ad hominem attack. --DocJohnny 19:20, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
Use of the NPOV template is a last resort, not a first, which has been Marshill's M.O. here. It also has to be justifiable. That group of recent arrivals new to both the project and the article find issue with it is not sufficient cause to slap the template on it, particularly when they are unwilling to actually edit the article per the NPOV guidelines themselves. FeloniousMonk 19:30, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
I applaud your recent edits changing claim to the neutral say and assert. --DocJohnny 19:31, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
Your's aren't so bad either, thanks. FeloniousMonk 19:38, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

New archivee?

This is over 450 Kbs now, which is quite a load on a dialup connection...Trilemma 18:23, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Second the motion! (If I hold up two paws will that count as 3?) KillerChihuahua?!? 19:12, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
I'll take off my shoes and raise all of my limbs, if that's what it'll take to archive this monster. Alienus 19:16, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
agreed Marshill