Talk:Intelligent design/Archive 27

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Support among scientists

Continued - moved from archive (post archival edit):

Well, since no one is willing to say that I should leave, let's address this issue. We should start by pinpointing the information. How many of that 120,000 were scientists, or, more properly, professionals and doctors. Or, perhaps, can another, more concrete source be found? This should be easy to do. The fact is that a majority of the scientific community do not credit ID as being science. What we need to find is a study supporting the fact by polling scientists on those grounds. --Optimus 19:23, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

Not to hijack your point, Optimus, but does anyone know if there is a wikipedia page devoted to this? There's often great confusion over the meaning and nature of 'support' for and against Intelligent Design. I think the only way we will resolve it in the long term is by constructing a (fairly lengthy) section devoted to it on this page, or a sub-page, which can then be linked to at the start of the article. If we could focus on collating the sources on this matter (I can think of a dozen off the top of my head) we could get a solid article on the subject without cluttering the ID page and also resolving the 'vast/overwhelming' dispute.

One point I will make is that your query on how many of the 120k were doctors/professionals is very important, as it applies to ID as well. Unfortunately, many of the Discovery Institute's statements classify anyone with a phd as a scientist, and often marketers and theologians find their way onto the list. As such, I feel only a full page on the matter can extricate the true figures, determining who is a scientist and who merely has a phd in an unrelated area. --Davril2020 19:47, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

It's not as if phrases like "majority of the scientific community " are any more specific, it's a throw away, a buzzword, how do I or for that matter, potential wiki users, know what this "scientific community" is made of? What does one have to do to be a member of this "community"?--Petral 19:50, 28 December 2005 (UTC)
See scientific community --JPotter 19:53, 28 December 2005 (UTC)
Which is linked in the article, btw. KillerChihuahua?!? 20:05, 28 December 2005 (UTC)
A problem with the usage of the term scientific community as defined here is that the linked definition draws a line between those scientists who classify something as pseudoscience and those who don't - thus automatically excluding any pro-ID scientists. I.e. 100% of the scientific community, by definition, regard ID as pseudoscience ant 21:35, 28 December 2005 (UTC)
Which neatly mirrors reality... FeloniousMonk 21:46, 28 December 2005 (UTC)
Ok, to be in compliance with WP:NPOV we need to meet three key criteria:
  1. A statement of fact about a majority opinion (check)
  2. A link backing this as a fact (check)
  3. A statement of fact about the minority opinion (check)
Can anyone please tell this editor(me) what the Real Problem is here? Are we still arguing semantics about an adjective? If so, "A clear majority..." and have done with it. I'm sure we can find a better link. Maybe we can give more than the one; even include an DI link if absolutely needed for balence. But if there isn't a larger problem, let's move on.
I understand that it's the DI's intent to show that a Cabal of sorts exists to keep out their ideas. Frankly, they're right. And that's the way it should be. The rules of the game were setup by Sir Francis Bacon. And until ID conforms with those rules, it's pseudoscience. Period. Darwin, Einstein and millions of others had to overcome the same hurdles. Why shouldn't Behe & company?--ghost 22:05, 28 December 2005 (UTC)
Because they're special? Actually, you're right -- enough bytes have been spent on this topic already, it really is time to move on. Jim62sch 23:35, 28 December 2005 (UTC)
Heh. My personal observation is that ID people are impatient and does really very lousy scientific work. Not only that - they really think this ID theory of theirs is on the same footing as Evolution? Sometimes, I really think ID-ers haven't a clue on just how important and significant evolution is. Sure, if we're talking about creatures that age very slowly, it's something that's not really important. However, God also created creatures which age very quickly - viruses, microbes, bacteria, etc. These mini-beasties are using Evolution against us. Our doctors and scientists on the front-line have to understand Evolution in order to fight and control these mini-beasties.
I thank God for Darwin. His work was really a revolution.
Apologies. I think I want out of topic there. I just wanted to show another reason why the scientific community likes Evolution and not upstart ID wanting to take Evo's place. Evolution, very very useful. Helps save lives. ID, very big waste of time and money. Gives me stomach ache. Judge Jones agrees with the big waste of time and money part, by the way.
Oh yeah. I also think that ID proponents like to be in the center of attention.Lovecoconuts 03:29, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

I think it would be good to review the Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines

  • Talk pages are not for general chatter; please keep discussions on talk pages on the topic of how to improve the associated article.
  • Talk pages are also not strictly a forum to argue different points of view about controversial issues. They are a forum to discuss how different points of view should be included in the article so that the end result is neutral. Partisan debates do not align with the mission of Wikipedia, and get in the way of the job of writing an encyclopedia.

--Ben 05:55, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

Actually you should review this Behavior_that_is_unacceptable_on_Wikipedia. If you change, tweak and/or strike out other users comments; you will be blocked. Is that clear Benapgar? - RoyBoy 800 05:59, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
It is now. I will not strike out other user's comments, which is what I did. I will let them strike them out or even remove the comments themselves if they feel it is necessary. I hope they will review the guidelines and do this themselves.--Ben 06:03, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
Why would they need to review it; when they did nothing... or perhaps I should say very little wrong. It's clear your grasp of policy is a little skewed and spotty to say the least. I fail to understand how Guettarda's opinion breaches Wikipedia:Etiquette. (which is logically valid btw, since its understood scientists generally don't like refuting, what they themselves consider pseudoscience) But of course its validity is not at issue. - RoyBoy 800 06:18, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
I read what you have to say. I believe Guettarda was being condescending towards ID supporters when he said scientists "are forced to deal with ID," which to me suggests that ID proponents are causing scientists grief. While I'm sure some scientists feel they are "forced" to "deal with" ID, it is an unnecessary and impolite comment which Guettarda should have kept to himself, as it stereotypes ID proponents as brash and ignorant. I do not wish to, nor will I, respond any further. --Ben 06:37, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
Guettarda, like all of us has a point of view. This is allowed, as is sharing it. It never got personal, it didn't get into the article.--Tznkai 07:40, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
I've spoken to several scientists and at least one philosopher of science that are frustrated by having to deal with ID proponents, and the judge in the Dover decision was frustrated by them as well. I'm sorry that makes you feel persecuted, but it's a very widely held feeling. If you want to show people that ID proponents aren't "brash and ignorant," demonstrating knowledge, tractability, open-mindedness, and collaboration might be a better strategy than striking out comments or getting offended. When you're dealing with prejudices, you have to be careful so that in attacking the prejudice, you don't inadvertently confirm it in your opponents' minds. Dave (talk) 08:07, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
A BIG DITTO to Dave's post above. I've only known about ID about a month or so (maybe 2 months), and in that time - I have come to understand why a LOT of people are frustrated with ID and its proponents I may have patience for their ignorance but their arrogance is incredibly hard to take. You have to be a saint not to lose their temper with them.Lovecoconuts 09:40, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
Lovecoconuts, you're not helping. Dave (talk) 09:45, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
Sorry, Dave. I have no reasonable excuse for my outbursts except for having to keep a lot of frustration bottled up. Will just make use of a punching bag next time.Lovecoconuts 10:07, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

Err, sorry for butting in, but if I might just point something out about the support for scientists thing, why does the line in this article "However, there is no such controversy; the scientific consensus is that life evolved. [1]" say scientific consensus when the citation is only from a Biology teacher's association? wouldn't it be better to say the "consensus among biologists", since not all people within the scientific community are biologists? Homestarmy 19:25, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

If you are not happy with that link you can choose any of the following [2]--LexCorp 19:42, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
Ok....never mind then :/ Homestarmy 19:44, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
You weren't not butting in, although this thread's been cold for a couple weeks. Technically, both versions are correct. The next question to ask oneself is, "What purpose would the edit serve?" I'd contend that the edit would detract from the article. By specifying "consensus among biologists" we miss the opportunity to briefly inform the reader of a majority opinion. Which is our responsibility under WP:NPOV.
Of course the biologists are in consensus. If they weren't, they probably wouldn't be biologists. They are scientists, and it's been shown elsewhere that they represent a majority view in the scientific community. Better to let the current wording stand which correctly informs the reader of a majority opinion, while providing a reference. The interest and enthusiasm is very much appreciated.--ghost 19:50, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Motion to add to the talk page intro

NPOV: Morally offensive views should be added to the list of NPOV rules that apply to this article because the description of morally offensive views could be applied to either side of the ID topic. --Optimus 20:04, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

Covered under NPOV. While I applaud your efforts to make this talk page more civil, if we were to cite all WP policies which apply to entries made here, the talk page would be overlength before a single post was made (its getting close as it is.) KillerChihuahua?!? 20:08, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

The wording is "The sections of WP:NPOV that apply directly" so since my suggestion is indirectly applicative, I concede that it should not be added. (I never thought there would be a time when I needed to be more picky, but here it is!) Motion withdrawn. --Optimus 21:01, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

Ah, excellent point! I'll add. KillerChihuahua?!? 21:15, 28 December 2005 (UTC)
(trying not to be hasty here) Question: did you mean apply to the article, or to the talk page? Perhaps we need a bit more consensus here - you're the first person to bring that up, but we've had hundreds of instances of the other specifics. KillerChihuahua?!? 21:19, 28 December 2005 (UTC)
I'm unclear about why you think that ID should be seen as "morally offensive". Care to elaborate? Guettarda 01:48, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
If it's about making "you must be an atheist" insinuations, I'm in favor of it.
I've always been a believer in God, a Christian, specifically Catholic. Born and raised. I respect atheists and other religious denominations, but I have very little tolerance for "you must be a atheist" insinuations.Lovecoconuts 04:05, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
Not sure if you're referring to any specific incident, but univited judgements on the strengths of one's faith are considered violations of WP:NPA and WP:Civility and as an aside, flies in the face of WP:DICK as well.--Tznkai 07:34, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
The incident happened just yesterday. KC did some archiving and included that incident (I am very glad). Unfortunately, I learned just yesterday to use the "compare" feature to see new posts. Bad timing. Lovecoconuts 10:04, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
The good news is that the Users involved in the incident seem to have moved beyond this. This is a normal part of the growth process for most editors. And we more experienced editors need to remind ourselves to assume good faith. I believe we can move forward.--ghost 20:41, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
(nods) Ok. That will be my mantra from now on - assume good faith, assume good faith, assume good faith.Lovecoconuts 01:49, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
Mantras only work if you face east and are sitting on a carpet that has your atman and karma endowed upon it. Jim62sch 00:45, 31 December 2005 (UTC)

"Neocreationist" social, not scientific, observation

The introduction says "the scientific community views intelligent design not as a valid scientific theory but as neocreationist pseudoscience or junk science." Characterizing "intelligent design" as "neocreationist" is an observation which is out of context and should not be attributed to the "scientific community." I propose that this characterization be be attributed and moved into a sentence on its own. --Ben 02:07, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

No, is accurate. We can add sources if deemed necessary:
  • "Design Yes, Intelligent No: A Critique of Intelligent Design Theory and Neocreationism," by Massimo Pigliucci, Skeptical Inquirer (Sep/Oct 2001): 34-39 [3] Dembski wrote an answer to that one
  • "Intelligent Design Is Creationism in a Cheap Tuxedo", by Adrian L. Melott, Physics Today, May 2002
  • "Is Intelligent Design Testable? A Response to Eugenie Scott" by William A. Dembski [4] "Eugenie Scott is a physical anthropologist... arguments against intelligent design (which she refers to as "neocreationism")"
  • "Intelligent design: Constant Tampering by the Designer?" by Joe Meert[5] "The last point I wish to make is that neocreationism (in the form of ID) is simply a clumsy new device try and reintroduce religion into the public science classroom. "

KillerChihuahua?!? 02:21, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

He's right. Determining creationism is the job for historians and political scientists, not phsyical scientists (the two may overlap). Its not a big deal, but its technically inaccurate--Tznkai 02:37, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
What I'm getting at is that it is outside the field of science to characterize like this. It does not matter what kind of pseudoscience it is; it's out of context here. Add it in after the sentence if you want, it should still mean the same thing. Though I think, in this arrangement, it reveals that it is a bit silly for to attribute this to the scientific community: "The scientific community views intelligent design not as a valid scientific theory but as pseudoscience or junk science. Scientists also view intelligent design as a neocreationist concept."--Ben 03:35, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
actually, Id go with "The scientific community views intelligent design not as a valid scientific theory but as pseudoscience or junk science. Also, in a recent court case, ID was shown to be a development of earlier creationist ideas." or something similar. No reason to make scientists the source of all decisions--Tznkai 03:38, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
The major people who deal with (are forced to deal with) ID are scientists and philosophers of science. Most people who have expressed opinions on ID and sought to deconstruct it as neocreationist pseudoscience have been scientists, philosophers of science, and scientific societies. Who "should" do this is irrelevant to us - who has done it is relevant. Guettarda 03:44, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
Yes, the point is/was being missed: whether or not one feels that the scientific community (a term that requires no parsing) should or should not classify ID as neocreationist is irrelevant to the discussion. The fact that they do so, is what needs to be captured. The purpose of any reference source is to provide the facts as they are, and that is precisely what the opening line as quoted above does. In fact, one could note that the IDists have no right to declare their "theory" as being superior to evolution as one could argue that they seem to not have the requisite knowledge to make such a statement, one that is, by-the-by, self-serving. Thus, Guettarda is correct. Jim62sch 12:55, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

Noone is saying that a majority of scientists don't think that. I think the sentence confuses "notable source" with "authoritative source." Scientists in general are an authoritative source on science and the methods of science, and can be referenced as an authoritative source on pseudoscience. Not all scientists are an authoritative source when it comes to specifying a certain "type" of pseudoscience--"neocreationist pseudoscience"--based on its proponents, or characterizing the proponents of said pseudoscience as neocreationists. Those would be only sociologists and other social science people. That's why I was saying that it is out of context. It confuses scientists as an authoritative source and scientists as a notable source. What do you think of splitting the sentence up? This seems to me to be a very reasonable suggestion as it would help with context by separating them, yet still say the exact same thing, so I don't see there would be any problem with it. Personally, as I said I think it looks a little silly to say the majority of scientists say that it is a "neocreationist concept," but that's what being said anyway; it's just in a different order. I think, Tznkai, your suggestion is reasonable as well, though I wouldn't put it quite that way. If we can agree to at least separate them, then we can discuss your idea.--Ben 07:20, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
(I think adding in that scientists "are forced to deal with" ID is inappropriate Guettarda. I think you should review WP:EQ.)--Ben 05:59, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
It's a fact that people are forced to deal with ID, just as people are forced to deal with the IRS. Guettarda's comment does not in any way touch on etiquette nor was in any way inappropriate. -- 08:50, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

I'm not sure if this is relevant, but Robert T. Pennock, a philosopher of science that testified at the Dover trial considers ID to be "neocreationist." His website refers to his "book about neocreationist attacks upon the evidential basis of evolutionary theory and of science."[6] That book has "New Creationism" in the title and is about ID according to the back cover, which you can view here. His other book is called "intelligent design creationism." Pennock is definitely authoritative. Dave (talk) 08:21, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

I've added Pennock to the footnote. Presumably no one is going to ask that I find a sociologist that agrees as well? Dave (talk) 08:25, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
My point wasn't really about references though. I'm sure there are many references which describe ID as "neocreationist," I just think saying it is "neocreationist pseudoscience" and attributing both "ID is pseudoscience" and "the type of pseudoscience is neo-creationist" to the scientific community is mixing up the proper use of "the scientific community" as the (only, as far as I know) acceptable argument from authority on Wikipedia. I think it should be used when making a reference to the scientific community is to call something "pseudoscience", and that's it. Anything else should be quoted and sourced. I have some problems with simply saying "ID is a neocreationist concept" without getting a quote for it. This is as opposed to something like "The ID movement is a Neo-creationist movement" or maybe even "this is a concept developed by neo-creationists" which I would be more likely to accept, but one thing at a time. I think we should split the sentences up for starters, I don't see why anyone would object to that at least. --Ben 12:28, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
There are no sanctioned arguments from authority in WP -- in fact, there are no sanctioned arguments at all. There are merely statements as to what various parties assert. In this case, the scientific community asserts that ID is neocreationist pseudoscience, and so the article reports this fact. It's up to the reader as to whether and on which subjects the scientific community is considered authoritative. -- 08:50, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
Somewhere back in the archives was a long discussion on of Pandas and People (this discussion is also in Jones' ruling) that noted that creationist/neocreationist references were struck from the original edition and replaced with intelligent design. As this was a one-for-one swap, with no other wording being changed, the inference that A = B can logically be drawn and is, in fact, mathematically correct. Thus, the appellation "neocreationist pseudoscience" is applicable from that standpoint. And again, to echo Guettarda, whether or not one feels that the scientific community should have labeled it as such is irrelevant; what is relevant is the fact that they did. QED. Jim62sch 13:04, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
On the authoritativeness of Pennock: here [7] is a rather harsh review of his book, by an ID critic and a respected historian of (nominally creationist) geologists. Pennock misuses history rather badly, and I don't think he is the best source to be referencing. However, note that reviewer also considers ID neocreationist; I simply think Pennock is a rather politically biased and not completely trustworthy source.--ragesoss 09:44, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

Yeah. I think this issue doesn't require any more discussion. Dave (talk) 20:46, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

Can you at least humour me and we can split it up into two sentences? If not, can you please explain why splitting it up into two sentences is a problem for you? --Ben 20:55, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
I implemented Tznkai's suggestion. It seems to work well.--ghost 21:47, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
But I think the word "neocreationist" is better in a separate sentence (i.e. the example I gave). That's the main thing I am going for, it has to do with the writing, not the references. I am going to split it into two sentences and if anyone has a problem with it please say why it is no good in a separate sentence. --Ben 22:25, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
Aside from adding yet another sentence to an already very long article, what does this bring to the party?
"An overwhelming majority[3] of the scientific community views intelligent design not as a valid scientific theory but as pseudoscience or junk science.[4] Many in the scientific community refer to this type of pseudoscience as neocreationist pseudoscience and, in a recent court case, ID was found to be a development of earlier creationist ideas. "
In addition, the edit seems to be yet another reference to the "vast" discussion, which I thought that we had agreed, by consensus, to table. Saying "many", thus divorcing it from "overwhelming" is quite probably not accurate as every article I have read that was written by a scientist stated both points, often in juxtaposition. Sorry, but that edit is simply misrepresentative of reality, and it needs to be reverted. However, I will hold off a bit just in case someone can provide citations that show a substantive difference in the percentages, i.e., that the same scientists who view it as pseudoscience, do not view it as neocreationism. Jim62sch 22:42, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
You are free to edit it. I just don't think it is appropriate to say "neocreationist" there. I would like the line to say "the scientific community views intelligent design not as a valid scientific theory but as neocreationist pseudoscience or junk science." That's the only change I want. You can write something about the neocreationist aspects after it, I just think it is not the right place for it to be (as I have explained). I want it moved so it is separate. I don't want the meaning to change. Go ahead and edit it. --Ben 23:05, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
FM's revision works for me. Next subject please.--ghost 23:18, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
One down, hundreds to go. Jim62sch 01:30, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
There is a conjecture, Ben, that this is to draw attention to the concept of Neo-Creationism where the impulse by the majority scientific community is to simply call it pseudoscience. Endomion 22:36, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck odds are it is a duck. Jim62sch 14:27, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
Which bears a striking resemblence to If it looks like its designed, it must be designed. Does the designer quack? KillerChihuahua?!? 23:05, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
The odds change if you're in a duck robot factory. In the current case, there is massive evidence that evolutionary processes act as a factory for producing biodiversity and all the "designs" that we see in the bioworld. -- 08:50, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
That's the answer. It's not FSM, it's ADD -- Alien Duck Designers. Jim62sch 00:20, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Proponents definition of ID

The introduction says "Proponents say that intelligent design is a scientific theory that stands on equal footing with, or is superior to, current scientific theories regarding the origin of life. [8]." However, in the citation, it is unclear whether the author is talking about intelligent design in the same way as this article portrays it. Indeed, the author uses the term generally, talking about "theories of intelligent design" (a characteristic type of theory) rather than "the theory of intelligent design" or "the concept of intelligent design" (ostensibly theories unto themselves). Could whoever added that in please explain? --Ben 02:07, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

Sure. When scientists talk about ID, they use loose phrasing, because ID does not lend itself to accurate phrasing. There is no Theory of Intelligent Design, so they grab whatever handle they can to refer to the concept. KillerChihuahua?!? 02:12, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
Well, which handle have they really grabbed then? The teleological argument? Specified complexity? Irreducible complexity? All of the above? If it helps this is how I think of Intelligent design (from something I wrote before):
Intelligent design, generally speaking, is a reference to theories, and the collection of theories, which are attempts to prove the teleological argument. The argument is based on the philosophical perspective of teleology which supposes that there is purpose in nature—an organizing principle or design. Design is usually said to be the work of a deity. The argument is that this design can be observed objectively.
The three major arguments and theories which propose (and purport) to prove that nature was designed are the arguments of a fine-tuned universe, irreducible complexity, and—the latest theory—specified complexity. All theories attempt to provide evidence for the teleological argument. They are often regarded as fundamentally identical or extensions of one another.
And, more importantly, what exactly is the source for that sentence arguing? That the teleological argument can be a scientific theory? Because, if he is, that's what it should say. It would make it clear to the reader just what proponents are saying is scientific and sound a lot less like "here's proof that ID people are stupid" and more like "here's the idea that this is based on." There are not many scientists who would sign a petition saying "Teleology is pseudoscience" because it's an opinion and it's unprovable either way. This guy is just trying to prove that it can be a scientific theory, which doesn't seem as unreasonable as claiming "Proponents say intelligent design is a scientific theory that stands on equal footing with, or is superior to, current scientific theories regarding the origin of life." which seems to be a lot of editorializing considering what I skimmed through in the article used as a source for this statement.--Ben 03:27, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
Uh... You don't know about the Dover trial? ID people want ID theory of theirs in school (in science class) opposing theory of evolution.
Question. If ID theory not scientific theory, why ID people want it taught in science class?Lovecoconuts 03:48, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
See wedge document. Dave (talk) 03:58, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
Ah, ok. It took me a while to figure out what you were getting at Lovecoconuts (I think Dave's response should be a lesson to not just you but everyone that sarcasm is not the best way to get your point across). Yes I understand that many proponents claim it is a scientific theory, and that's what they are saying to get it taught in schools. That's pretty obvious, I know that. The thing is I think the reference provided here is very poor. It is an interesting reference to be sure, and from what I read it seems to argue that one can prove a teleological argument scientifically (though I found it quite convoluted and didn't read it all). So saying "Proponents say intelligent design is a scientific theory" is in line with the definition provide on Intelligent design. Good. However, expanding on that to say that Proponents say "ID stands on equal footing with, or is superior to, current scientific theories regarding the origin of life" is really stretching the point and creates a problem.
Now, proponents do say that, but that's not what the reference is even about. The reference provided is a philosophical argument intended (from what I gather) to prove that the teleological argument is actually a scientific theory. The problem here is that I don't think all proponents actually believe that. Proving, say, Dembski's specified complexity conjecture would actually prove the teleological argument. In that case, Dembski's conjecture would prove it is a scientific theory, rather than it being philosophically argued as being one. There are two ways to get there. In Dembski's case, it ends up being a theory on the origin of life (as a combination of both specified complexity and the teleological argument--and of course Dembski actually being able to measure something), but in the case of the reference, it does not because the reference is only about the teleological arugment. Just because someone is saying that the teleological argument can be studied scientifically doesn't mean that a) it is true, and b) it explains the origins of life. The teleological argument is not necessarily anti-evolution. It could be Theistic evolution for example--the "complexity" of the universe can be measured, and so the God exists and designed everything, including evolution.
So the sentence is problematic because on hand, it is correct and referenced, and the other it is correct but unreferenced, but on both hands it's incorrect or ambiguous. It's like "shifting goalposts"--and I don't mean that as a negative comment to the writer, I am saying I think it is a mistake and a reasonable mistake, but I think it needs to be corrected to help people understand ID better and so there will be less consternation regarding the article. I don't expect you to get what I'm saying right off, but give it a try and please ask questions. I admit I might be missing something, I'm trying to explain the way I see it and why I think it's a problem, not lecture anyone. This is hard stuff (stuff I think could be avoided by rewriting the whole shebang to everyone's satisfaction, but a lot of people get all up in arms when anyone even so much as mentions it). --Ben 08:10, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
Ben says "The reference provided [tries to] to prove that the teleological argument is actually a scientific theory. The problem here is that I don't think all proponents actually believe that." I can't think of a definition of ID that doesn't include the teleological argument, and I can't think of an ID proponent that doesn't think ID is scientific. I'm not sure I'm following the second half of what Ben wrote very well, but would the problem be solved if in addition to including a reference to Behe's book, Darwin's Black Box, which argues not only that ID is scientific but that it's better than evolution in that a) it's true and b) itexplains the origin of life? I'll add it and see if that works. Dave (talk) 08:34, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
All "definitions" of ID include the teleological argument (see my own definition if you want to know why I put it in quotes, but its mostly besides the point). When I said "The problem here is that I don't think all proponents actually believe that" what I mean is that I don't think all proponents approach the teleological argument in the same way. They wouldn't necessarily agree with Meyers' "proof" why the teleological argument is scientific. They might instead think that Dembski's theory is "proof" it is scientific. They are two different approaches. One, Demsbki's, is contrary to evolution, the other, Meyers', is not.
So having another reference is good and seems to make everything ok. But now there is another problem. Which approach is the definition given here on Wikipedia? Let's see: the "scientific theory of ID" would be "certain features of the universe and of living things exhibit the characteristics of a product resulting from an intelligent cause or agent." That's the teleological argument right there. So which approach are proponents likely going for when they say "ID is a scientific theory?" The Meyers or Dembski approach? Well, it also says "as opposed to an unguided process such as natural selection" so it can't be the Meyers approach, because Meyers' approach is not contrary to evolution. So in that way, the Meyers approach isn't just out in that case--it's not even going to be part of the article at all (in fact, it should be discussed on teleological argument). Dembski approach it is.
But now another problem arises. Intelligent design doesn't explain the Dembski approach. One of the confusing factors is that "as opposed to an unguided process such as natural selection" is a correlation of Dembski's theory and Dembski's approach, not his theory itself, which is his theory of specified complexity. So really, saying "ID is a scientific theory" is saying "Specified complexity is a scientific theory, and a correlation of that is that evolution is inaccurate. In addition, the teleological argument is therefore a scientific theory because Dembski's theory is also a scientific theory."
It is much more complicated than simply putting "Proponents say that intelligent design is a scientific theory" and adding "a scientific theory that stands on equal footing with, or is superior to, current scientific theories regarding the origin of life" because the teleological argument by itself does not exclude evolution (as I said before theistic evolution works), and because "Intelligent design" is defined on Intelligent design as the teleological argument with a correlation of a separate theory (Dembski's, Behe's etc.)--which also correlate in favor of the teleological argument--tacked onto it.--Ben 11:58, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
So, among your many posts over the last two days, are you saying that the Discovery Institute misrepresents ID? Read the following:
1. What is the theory of intelligent design?
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.
2. Is intelligent design theory incompatible with evolution?
It depends on what one means by the word "evolution." If one simply means "change over time," or even that living things are related by common ancestry, then there is no inherent conflict between evolutionary theory and intelligent design theory. However, the dominant theory of evolution today is neo-Darwinism, which contends that evolution is driven by natural selection acting on random mutations, an unpredictable and purposeless process that "has no discernable direction or goal, including survival of a species." (NABT Statement on Teaching Evolution). It is this specific claim made by neo-Darwinism that intelligent design theory directly challenges.
see DI Jim62sch 13:30, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
With respect to point 1, I was saying that what DI is saying does not fit: "not an undirected process such as natural selection" is stated as a correlation of the first clause, not a theory unto itself. Can we agree on that? If so, then from what theory is it correlated? As I said before, theistic evolution is compatible with "certain features of the universe and of living things exhibit the characteristics of a product resulting from an intelligent cause or agent." Evolution being the feature. Their claim that this is opposed to evolution does not follow--unless there are unstated theories and correlations, which is what I was trying to outline above.
My guess why they would provide a poor or incomplete definition is that it works well as propaganda. It seems to say the teleological argument is contrary to natural selection, when it is not. This, I think, helps to convince people that theism in toto is contrary to evolution, so people who take a teleological approach to their theist beliefs will think it is necessary that their beliefs are contrary to evolution and "get on board" the ID movement.
With respect to point 2, "Is intelligent design theory incompatible with evolution?" it depends on what your definition of Intelligent design is before you even get to the definition of evolution. So keep your points in mind until the first question is sorted out. --Ben 22:21, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
Yes, Ben's made this claim before in his unsuccessful and disruptive attempt to create a POV fork claiming this is not the 'true' ID article, but merely the Discovery Institute's idea of ID. Never mind that every single leading ID proponent is a member of the Discovery Institute and that ID, both the concept and movement, arose whole out of the Discovery Institute. Claiming otherwise is deny literally hundreds of statements from Dembski, Behe, Johnson, et al that ID is a scientific theory that is equal to, or is superior to, evolution/abiogenesis for the origin of life. FeloniousMonk 17:07, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
Never mind that the definition of ID given by this article is a Discovery Institute quote. Endomion 00:23, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
And this is consistent with the definition used by the proponents of teaching ID within US public schools. If there are indeed, as some have asserted, different versions of ID, then it might be beneficial if those making the assertion were to create a sister article delineating the different forms that they feel ID takes/expresses. Otherwise, it is a mere assertion that has not been proven. As the old debating axiom states, "he who asserts must prove." Jim62sch 14:24, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

I find your claims I am engaging in some sort of conspiracy to "wreck the project" insulting. Also, you know you do not like me. Please do not follow me around trying to tell people I'm wrecking the project. It is disruptive. If you wish to restate your points regarding what I wrote in a less insulting manner then I can reply.--Ben 22:21, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
I don't read that as FM accusing you of being part of a conspiracy, he was recounting history, and pointing out that DI is the site for ID ("follow the money" might be an appropriate quote here). Additionally, your accusation of virtual stalking, see "do not follow me around," is ludicrous as FM spent more time on this topic than most of us combined. Jim62sch 23:01, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
Ben, while FM's tone might not've been perfect, I agree that what you're hearing is the result of many, many such battles he's fought over time. Love thine fellow editor as thine self. ;-) --ghost 23:22, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
If my tone is terse toward Ben it is because he has caused a great deal of disruption and hard feelings among many of the responsible, long-term editors here with a sad history of personal attacks, including religiously-based personal attacks that have resulted in his being blocked twice, once for a week, and a user conduct RFC which is still active. His record establishes that he's a chronic malcontent and source of disruption. His constructive additions to this article have been negligible while his outbursts and attacks have been a constant source of strife for others here. Ben has rightly earned a permanent place on many admins WP:NPA watchlists, including mine. That is the reason for my tone toward Ben, it's the only one he responds to. FeloniousMonk 23:34, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
Stop attacking me and stop disrupting the discussion. I will not be drawn into an argument. Use the talk pages to discuss the content of the article.--Ben 23:53, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
Ben, I'm sure you'll forgive me if I note, yet again, that FM was not attacking you, he was merely stating history. Additionally, allow me to note that your words ring hollow in light of that history. EOS. Jim62sch 01:34, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
It's similar to what Judge Jones did. ID has a very long history. (thinks assume good faith and makes plans to buy a dozen dark chocolate chip cookies)Lovecoconuts 01:52, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

Distinguishing Philosophical ID (TE) from the DI's Pseudo-Scientific ID

FM, several months back there was a conversation about if this article should have a 'big tent'. This would include the views of those like Deepok Chopra who publicly support the philosophical concept of a Designer, but not ID as science or public policy. That more philosophical view is completely open to Jim's points. It's the DI's framing of the issue that prevents more open thought. I support the big tent. I think that's what Ben's talking about.--ghost 21:04, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

If anything, that would need to be a separate section. ID as discussed here and in most publications focuses on ID's claim to be a science - in fact that was a large part of the Kitzmiller case. As I said before, (seems like an eternity ago), if ID presented itself as a philosophy, much of the discussion on this page would go away, but it doesn't present itself that way. Jim62sch 23:06, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
And that's where I disagree. ID doesn't present itself as anything. The Discovery Institute represents ID as science, and goes about framing the arguments in the US as such. There are lots of folks outside the US that discuss ID as something philosophical. Therefore, the article has a responsability of represent this opinion, even if it's a minority view among supporters (which, outside the US, it's not).--ghost 23:11, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
Outside the US it is represented as a science. Jim62sch 01:46, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
There is only one concept that is widely recognized as "intelligent design." It's the one discussed in all the news articles, editorials, in the courtrooms and schoolboard meetings; the one that grew out of the creation science movement as a response to Edwards v Aguillard and now being driven by the Discovery Institute. Any variations thereof that claim to be ID as well are currently minority viewpoints that are worthy of mention in subsections of the main article, meaning Jim's right here. FeloniousMonk 23:19, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
I'm inclined to treat this like we did on the abortion article. Abortion includes miscarraiages, but everyone talks about induced abortion. Add a header about what ID means in a vacum, and then allow the article to focus on ID by DI, leaving a brief summary section and a link to a main article.--Tznkai 00:09, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
Many moons ago, FM had an intro that did this well. He caught flack for it. The primary reason that there is only one widely recognized concept of ID is because the folks that are politicizing the issue are framing that way. I don't think the article should exclude minority views that the DI doesn't want people to hear about. Those views are just as valid as the DI's view of ID as science.--ghost 00:13, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
Can you Copy and paste it for me?--Tznkai 00:17, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

Revision as of 04:57, 20 September 2005

This article is about the concept of intelligent design. See also the teleological argument. For the associated social movement see ID as a movement. For the book, see Intelligent Design (book).

Intelligent Design (or ID) is the controversial assertion that certain features of the universe and of living things exhibit the characteristics of a product resulting from an intelligent cause or agent, not an undirected process such as natural selection. Though publicly most ID advocates state that their focus is on detecting evidence of design in nature, without regard to who or what the designer might be, in statements to their constituents and supporters nearly all state explicitly that they believe the designer to be the Christian God.

Ain't History great?--ghost 00:23, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
I don't think that handles the big tent attempt very well to be honest. Should we just be bold and try it, or go for a straw poll?--Tznkai 00:36, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
Tznkai's idea about adding a header about what ID means is unnecessary and confusing. The current intro is accurate, complete and concise. It does not need to be rewritten. We need to accept and focus on a stable version, and this is best one yet. FeloniousMonk 00:38, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
No more straw polls. They're too disruptive and susceptible to misuse. FeloniousMonk 00:39, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
This is beginning to get out of control and is wandering into PC territory, which is not the same thing as NPOV. If one wishes to discuss the minority view of ID as philosophy, it might be best to write that article first and then link to it. Jim62sch 01:46, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

Also, this idea of "Distinguishing Philosophical ID (TE) from the DI's Pseudo-Scientific ID" no more than a specious variation on the "No True Scotsman" fallacy. There's intelligent design, and there's the teleological argument. There's really no middle ground of some "Intelligent design that does not claim to be science," a "Philosophical ID." That's just the teleological argument. There may be people who find the argument from design appealing, like Deepak Chopra, but that's not a separate species of intelligent design, but rather it's just the teleological argument. Saying it is a separate species of intelligent design is original research. FeloniousMonk 00:51, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

I'll concede for the moment; we have better things to do. For the record, this small tent approach is America-centric. Perhaps a better distinction from TE in the intro is in order, but it can wait. As to stabilty, while I hold the same goal, I had to dig back several thousand edits to get to mid-September. Allowing for the recent decisions, the article is still less stable than it's been in months.--ghost 00:54, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
It's not necessarily US-centric. The DI and IDEA have formed international alliances and subgroups, especially in Australia, the UK, and France. FeloniousMonk 01:09, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
I'm going to bow out of this article as I clearly have style conflicts with other uesrs here. but TE and ID are very different animals. Some of the world's most celebrated biologists are Theistic evolutionists, you should read the article. The telogogical argument is a straw man of TE, which is a position arrived at by varying means, not by any strict dogma--Tznkai 01:53, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
Yes, TE and ID are different. Period. Jim62sch 01:56, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
Yeah, no kidding. I like TE way more than ID. I've already mentioned this before, but ID is sometimes confused as TE, and there are TE-ers who object to ID. Just google TE and ID and you'll find websites explaining that ID isn't good for TE and why TE don't like ID.
Like others here, I do not demand that a clear distinction between ID and TE is included in the article. I am okay to wait and see if there will be more people (like me) who'll mistake ID for TE.Lovecoconuts 02:01, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

Many (most?) ID proponents agree that ID is a form of teleological argument, even if it is not precisely the same form as the TA has been historically. Even if they are trying to make a modified form of the TA so that it is scientific, it is definitely related to the TA. Therefore I think teleological argument should definitely be linked in intro (see my comment below). Natural theology is where the connection becomes more problematic; a teleological argument is not necessarily natural theology. What makes ID a form of creationism is that is natural theology for all practical purposes. But the teleological argument isn't necessarily an argument to God, so even while denying that ID is creationism, proponents agree that it is a form of teleological argument. --ragesoss 11:10, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

Yeah. I really thought at first that ID was something philosophical. Imagine my surprise when I finally found out it was being presented as a scientific theory (supposedly on the same level as Evolution) by its proponents.
Anyway, once I found out that ID proponents were trying to get their "theory" into science class, I was absolutely disgusted.Lovecoconuts 11:13, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
Ok, and that leads to my point (and yes, I did have one). I don't care a bit for the semantics or the acronyms (although I use them as shorthand). My point is that we, the editors, are not sufficiently listening to dissonant voices of other Users and anon editors.
The trap that we seem to fall into is that we discuss the subject using facts and references. But in doing so, it becomes easy to lose sight of the disconnect between those facts and the perceptions of other editors and readers. The dissonant voices are consistently telling us, "The ID article is...." The temptation is to disprove them using fact or reference, at which point we think we can safely dismiss them. This does a huge disservice to the article. While this type of "Fundementalist" mindset is becoming pervasive in modern political discourse, it's undermining all our efforts. I want this article to be as stable as FM does, but is can't be until we as a community begins to embrace these voices, rather than refute them.
Moral: If someone is saying, "The article is (insert objection here)", we need to listen. Because from that person's perspective the article is in fact that way. Period. Even if the facts, figures and references eventually disprove that POV, it doesn't matter. We have an obligation to put ourselves in the other person's shoes long enough to see the problem they're trying to communicate, and then adjust things to correct it without undermining the integrity of the article. That's NPOV.--ghost 14:26, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
You're correct up to a point, but the objection really does need to be valid, and not a repeat of something we have gone over before (especially when the objection is raised, over and over, by the same person). Additionally, a misinterpretation of a part of the article by a specific reader does not necessarily signify a flaw in the article -- it may be a case of a person drawing an incorrect and unsubstantiated inference (sometimes willfully). Thus, saying that we need to "adjust things to correct it" is not an absolutely true statement -- it's dependant on the nature of the objection. In other words, I agree that a fundamentalist mindset leads on to miss the "shades of gray" that dominate reality, but there are limits to how many of those shades can, or should, be included. Jim62sch 14:42, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
I disagree about a repeated objection needing to be "valid" in our eyes. If it is being repeated, then we failed to sufficiently listen and make proper adjustments the first time. Any one person's perspective is equally as legitimate as every other. In the case of a misinterpretations either: it's accidental - this gives us an opportunity to clarify the subject; or it's willful. A willful misinterpretation is appropriate to dismiss. We cannot help those that choose to live in D'Nile (a river in Eygpt). I understand that we must have limits. But if we intend to succeed in a stable article, we cannot continue to dismiss other voices. It is morally wrong and against the spirit of NPOV.--ghost 14:58, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
You're both right. Obviously, some people with intense points of view will find any article that doesn't seem to agree with them as POV, and they will lobby to include their POV. Such criticism says more about such editors than they do about the article. General complaints about POV are easy to make, but need to be substantiated to some degree before they can be taken seriously.
So, in my view, when editors are willing to do more than complain, I will listen to them. When they seem to be little more than trolls, I will try to ignore them. Anyone in between will be a judgment call. -- Ec5618 15:13, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
Ok, then let me verbalize a non-specific complaint that I have heard repeated time and time again for well over 6 months. "The overall tone of the article is POV..." When I first began to hear this, I viewed it as a non-specific complaint and dismissed it. The fact that we're hearing the same thing from different people over and over means that we're missing something key. And unfortunately, some of the best qualified people to communicate this to us have recently been driven off the talk page. So that leaves us to either fix it ourselves, or invite them back to help us.--ghost 15:28, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

(reduce indent) I could not disagree more strongly. That we hear this again and again means merely that we hear this again and again, it means nothing else. On Abortion, we have a continuous supply of editors wanting to change the terrible, terrible POV of the article to say all abortions are mothers murdering their children (including, presumably if irrationally, spontaneous abortions.) This reflects the strong POV of the critics, not that the article is POV. On Bigfoot it is even worse - OR and POV is being strenuously defended, and anyone who tries to keep to WP:V is attacked as a censor and evil. Criticism on fringe concepts is normal. Criticism on divisive topics is normal. Intelligent design is both. We should receive criticism if we are doing our job well, making the article NPOV guarantees criticism, especially from the 95% of American citizens who are scientifically illiterate. KillerChihuahua?!? 15:55, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

(Deep breath) I am trying to bring us in line with Wikipedia:NPOV - Avoiding constant disputes. (I stink at sublinks, sorry.) While I understand the need to accept a certain amount of criticism, we must also not adopt an "ivory-tower" mentality. When we do, we run contrary to the intent of the Wikipedia project. That 95% you describe are equally empowered here to edit as they see fit. If we attempt to exclude them, they will make sure we fail. And this can be seen in the example of the complaint about NPOV tone. I am not suggesting we back off of fact. I am saying that we need to assist these other voices in communicating their concerns (they may need help), show them what steps are being taken to address their concerns and gently show them how to help us make it better. In recent days, we have not been succeeding in this.--ghost 16:42, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
Ah! I believe I comprehend. Similar to WP:BITE if I understand you correctly? KillerChihuahua?!? 16:48, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
Yes. If someone takes the time to edit (especially if they've become a User), we should take this as a sign they care about the subject. They may be wrong, misguided or plain stupid, but a User being any of these things doesn't give us to right to dismiss that person out of hand. Quite the opposite; they're trying to tell you something. If we don't understand them and dismiss them because of it, the failure becomes ours, not theirs.--ghost 16:57, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
Sorry, but I have a philosophical disagreement with that theory, I see it as mere enabling. NPOV is not a process of inclusiveness to the point of banality. I realize that this view in non-PC (it is not, however, non-NPOV), but, hey, I'm a big fan of Plato's Republic.  :) Jim62sch 01:01, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
Yeah, I am more than guilty of biting a newcomer recently. Ever since I read that ruling of ID, I appear to have a adopted a very anti-ID stance. Some Pro-ID-ers' (I think willful) ignorance of the trouble ID has wrought as well as their (persistent) ignorance of the good Darwin's work has helped accomplish becomes increasingly difficult to be patient with.
The problem with quite a few ID-ers is that in the first place - they are incredibly ignorant. Coupled with the tendency to act arrogant (I am right. You are wrong.) = Oh God. Give me strength. After seeing this happen again and again, I'm afraid I've started to adopt their attitude as well. It's like that's their preferred way of discussing things. Discussing religious matters is like that - this is so, this is not so, this is so, this is not so. No one will ever win an argument like that.
Anyway, I'll try as much as possible not to lose my temper, and I would like to recommend that perhaps the editors can come up with a "short" welcome statement to newcomers complaining about POV. Perhaps direct them to the Judge Jones' ruling? Or perhaps just inform them that the editors here *really* take care of the ID article and that loud accusations of POV this or that is really not a good way of getting things done.Lovecoconuts 05:20, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
Enabling?: Yes, this stance is enabling. Like it or not, so is Wikipedia. I too love Plato's Republic, but this is not a republic, it's a true Democracy. And that means the the "unwashed masses" have as much power as any other User. Therefore the big-tent approach that I ask we take is more open, not just because it's better for the article long-term, but because in the end we have no choice. It has nothing to do with Political Correctness. Call it WikiReality.--ghost 20:26, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
I really dislike using wiki cites to prove a point, but see these: WP:NOT and WP:CON. The purpose of Wikipedia is not to give credence to every minority view -- however, discussing them is not necessarily a bad idea, so long as the discussion does not become bogged down by one person's quest to force the issue into the article (see WP:NPOV). We've had some editors with a specific point continue on for so long that there are multiple archives for the same argument (raised by the same person). Jim62sch 23:46, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

Funny enough, all sorts of people on these talk pages have been asking for a better distinction between ID and TE. And they have been asking about it for more than 5 years now. Yep. 5 YEARS.

Is Intelligent Design Theory the same thing as theistic evolution? If sounds me like that's what's being talked about here. If so, perhaps the term should be used somewhere in the article. --Eric 2001 Talk:Intelligent Design Theory

At least someone's finally added something about it, albeit halfway down the page and with considerable arguing, i.e. FM calling it an "an editorial aside" and burying it there. [9].--Ben 09:26, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

TE and ID are different animals in that TE is a philosophical belief with no claim to being a science, while ID claims to be a science. In some ways, it could be argued that ID is an offspring of TE that evolved in a different direction.
Given that the English version of Wikipedia started in 2001, and that the earliest extant record for the ID article is the Revision as of 18:39, 3 December 2001, the "more than five years" statement is, mathematically, a wee bit hyperbolic. Jim62sch 10:45, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Also, given the flow of the first three paragraphs, adding a statement about TE to the intro really doesn't fit. Putting it in the intro would be akin to writing an article about American football, and putting a note about baseball (let's say a point that baseball is less violent) into the intro. Yes, they are both team sports played with some type of ball, but that's where the similarity ends, and the violence issue wouldn't likely be relevant at that point. Jim62sch 10:51, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
One other point for history buffs: Eric's question was in fact answered: "No, it's not the same. -- User:Ed Poor". That answer seemed to resolve Eric's question. Jim62sch 11:08, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

I think you both raise good points. Jim's point that the article cannot be a showcase for a minority view(s). And Ben's point that for however long there is a lack of clarity regarding pseudo-scientific ID and faith-based TE. Although I understand Jim's point about football/baseball, Ben points out that there is still not a way for an underinformed reader to easily distringuish to two up front. If we used to Jim's analogy to examine the claim of both sports to be "America's game" it would make more sense. I strongly believe that this lack of clarity is the cause of much vandalism, misunderstanding and hard feelings surrounding the article. So, how can we balance the need for clarity, without pandering to the minority? (BTW, Ed's a friend of mine, but even he would admit to flashes of POV.)--ghost 14:48, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

Put this at the top of the article:
For other uses, see Intelligent design (disambiguation), For Theistic evolution, which is often confused with ID, see TE Jim62sch 18:29, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Done. It's a good start. Although a good point was made below that the definintion provided in the opening sentnece should probably be attibuted to the DI. I think that'll clear things up for many readers. Is there anything else we can tweak to do better?
Thanks, I hope that that resolves that particular discussion (how many times can I use "that" in a sentence?). There is a link to a footnote that explains that the ID statement is from DI. I would think that most people researching ID would be aware of footnoting, but maybe not. And Ghost, don't take your moniker too seriously, sign your comments.  :) Jim62sch 22:51, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

PiCo takes a shot at it

So, while I was here, PiCo added the following to the end of the first paragraph:

Opponents point out that ID is virtually indistiguishable from the teleological argument (or argument from design) for the existence of God based on perceived evidence of design in nature.

It's a good first try. Let's make it better.--ghost 14:55, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

Hmm, the term "intelligent design" was first used by a couple of guys who happened to think that "evolution" was made possible and may probably be guided an intelligent designer. Wonder if those folks at DI even know that.
How about the article start off with distinguishing the classical meaning of an "intelligent design" with the modern definition?
Modern concept is anti-evolution. Classical concept, no problem with evolution. In a nutshell, TE-ers and religious people who accept evolution think evolution is an intelligent design. Though now, people who believe in God and accept evolution and just happen to know about the ID mess will have to think twice before using the term intelligent design.Lovecoconuts 16:04, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
That was the intent of my eariler suggestion. FM wasn't carzy about my solution, so I bowed out. Care to give it a shot? The discussion below points to the ongoing need.--ghost 17:13, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

Time to step back for a minute

Before we get ourselves wrapped around the axle with the "multiple ID" bit, I ask that everyone read the article, and the disambiguation page.

If one is to argue that there are multiple versions of ID (which I really don't think is the case, I think it's more a case of various misunderstandings) then the entire article needs to be rewritten in order to address each alleged version of ID. That the term Intelligent Design had been used previously but was co-opted by Johnson is explained in the article. But, in all honesty, if you mention "Intelligent Design" to the average person, what are the odds they'll know of the earlier uses of the term, or that those uses would be what they think of when they think ID? The basic point I'm trying to get to, and it's one I've raised and others have raised before, is that ID as described in the article is ID THE SCIENCE, not ID "the philosophy" (whatever that is: TE? Creationism? Teleology?). Jim62sch 19:15, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

...if you mention "Intelligent Design" to the average person, what are the odds they'll know of the earlier uses of the term, or that those uses would be what they think of when they think ID? Excellent point. And precisely the problem. Many moons ago, when I heard the term Intelligent Design, I was thinking of anything other than this narrowly defined code word being thrown about today. And from what I've seen of the vast majority of new Users coming to the page, they are similarly mislead by the name of the term. That's why is makes such powerful propaganda. And that's my interest in providing a clearer, more detailed Disambig at or near the intro. I'm convinced it will reduce conflict and vandalism.--ghost 20:03, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
There is a conjecture similar to ID on the other side of the aisle called Gaia theory but it is never referred to as propaganda defended by polemics because it, too, rules out the Abrahamic God. An excerpt: The most extreme form of Gaia theory is that the entire Earth is a single unified organism; in this view the Earth's biosphere is consciously manipulating the climate in order to make conditions more conducive to life. Endomion 21:02, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
I'm intimately familiar with the Gaia Theory. Please do not misunderstand me, I'm not calling the philosophical idea of ID propaganda. However, there is an active, public campaign underway states stated goal is to convert ID to it's political ends. This form of framing transforms the term into a code word that refers to ID as science. Since many novice readers come to the page unaware of the distinction, they become drawn into the debate here. This doesn't seem to do a bit of good.--ghost 21:32, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Actually, the Gaia hypothesis (should never be called a theory) is an excellent partner for ID - they are both faith-based approaches whose supporters do not seem to be shaken by the fact that all experimental evidence goes against their position. The only difference is that Gaia genereates testable hypotheses which are being tested (and for the most part, rejected). Guettarda 21:57, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Ghost's remarks only highlight the wisdom of Wikipedia's founder that NPOV should be non-negotiable. Articles should only present the basic facts, the way an alien would report them, rather than offer a counterweight to a point of view that is gaining traction in the public sphere. God help us if editors approached Wikipedia with the mindset of making the world a better place, rather than merely a better-informed place. Endomion 22:02, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

When I first heard Intelligent Design I thought creationism, which wasn't that far from the truth. The problem I'm having now is that I've yet to see a description of the alleged non-DI ID everyone keeps insisting exists.
As for NPOV, it is more than merely stating basic facts (and in all fairness, no one could report anything as an alien might, as they too would likely have their own subjectivity and bias). NPOV does require stating both sides of an issue -- if it does not, it is a collection of useless factoids that do nothing to improve the knowledge base of the world. Additionally, points-of-view that "gain traction" often acquire a certain tangibility and end up shaping the world: think Marxism, Fascism, e=mc2<sup\>, Christianity, Islam, etc. Jim62sch 23:22, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
In the Dec 16-17 time frame I tried to remove the phrase "collection of uncontested data" from the "Intelligent design in summary" section according the principle of falsifiability and the definition of the scientific method the way an alien would report it, but the consensus was to forgo the precision of words in favor of concepts that conformed with "everyday usage". The result is an article that claims that facts gathered by anti-ID reseachers are beyond reproach, shame on laymen for questioning the scientists who gathered them and the calibration of their equipment. Endomion 00:41, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
Understand that I'm not disparaging your contributions, but I'm having a hard time with this alien concept. Jim62sch 02:39, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
I think there are at least two concepts of "intelligent design". The general concept which basically just means a design that is intelligent and the bothersome concept of "scientific ID."
How about a distinction between the general phrase "intelligent design" i.e. design that is intelligent, and the anti-evolution intelligent design theory?Lovecoconuts 03:37, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
LC, can you go into a bit more depth regarding the general concept? I'm not sure where you're going with this. If you mean to say that anything that is designed was designed by a sentient being, fine, but I really don't know that that's what anyone thinks of when they hear "Intelligent Design". Jim62sch 12:14, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
I already mentioned about it below. By general concept, I meant how the term "intelligent design" is used to mean something/anything that can be considered as a intuitively, wise, etc plan. It can even be used to described a beautiful design. I've seen this term used in engineering, architecture, interior design, even on website layout design. Plus, from the origins of the term section - the guys who first coined "intelligent design" seemed to think that evolution or the way life changes is a remarkable/inspiring/intelligent design.
My problem is that some ID proponents accidentally or intentionally misuse this general concept of an intelligent design. For example, they may ask a person (who has no knowledge of the ID/Evolution mess), "Do you think that our origins was an intelligent design? Or do you think that God did an intelligent design?" Chances are, that the person will say Yes, and this Yes gets counted as a vote for ID but against Evolution. (sighs)
ID-ers can also misrepresent and misinform people who believe in God and accept evolution. I can count remember posters here has tried to defend ID from a philosophical point of view, saying that an intelligent design doesn't necessarily mean it is opposed to evolution. They probably just thought that ID was just about saying that God created everything, including evolution. This was also what I believed.Lovecoconuts 01:00, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
As is clearly stated in the intro and disambuguation page none of those other uses are what we are discussing. If you are angry that the term was co-opted, write to the founders of ID. Jim62sch 01:34, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, those guys at DI are irritating. I think Darwin's work made the term "evolution" popular in an intelligent way, but the intelligent design theory has made the general term "intelligent design" equivalent to stupid design, not so intelligent design, incompetent design.Lovecoconuts 03:23, 5 January 2006 (UTC)


I'm not sure who did what, but it is very pretty. However several active discussions were archived. Can we fix that?--Tznkai 02:43, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

Which one did you want to continue? They are all in Archive 24. I suggest that you start a new section with the title of the discussion you want continued, with a continued from Archive 24 note, link to the old discussion, a brief summation (optional) then post your opening statement. I will do it for you if you tell me which discussion you wish to continue. KillerChihuahua?!? 02:54, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
The discussion about adding a distinction between ID and TE/EC is still in-progress. I'm waiting for input from TE/EC editors. I'm okay if the discussion just stays in the archive for now. (Makes things more neat) I'm going to wait until I'm absolutely sure such a distinction is necessary.Lovecoconuts 03:32, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
Something has been added to the article concerning that - it was 4 editors, back to back. An anon, me, Tzn, and FM. Diff is here [10]. The anon added a God sentence, I edited to TE, Tzn tweaked wording, and FM moved to appropriate place in article. KillerChihuahua?!? 11:34, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
Thank you for informing me. It looks okay to me, and I'm glad someone else added the distinction. I actually prefer to never edit the ID article, for personal reasons. I will hope that can stop or limit confusion between ID and TE/EC.Lovecoconuts 11:50, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
My apologies. I thought you watched the article as well as the talk page, and assumed (very bad practice, that) you had seen it. KillerChihuahua?!? 12:12, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
No problem, really. As you have probably observed - I am a slowpoke contributor. I actually thought it take me at least a week before I would be adding the ID and TE/EC distinction.Lovecoconuts 12:36, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
Normally, I would think at least a week. The anon's contrib was so close to what we'd been discussing, we took it in that direction. The process was more organic than it often is. KillerChihuahua?!? 12:45, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

Marshill's list

I just discovered Marshill's list, and I'm going through it. There are some important concerns which have already beeen addressed. I am fixing other concerns myself as I go through. Here's what still needs to be done (in my opinion). If nobody else does this, I will, but I'd appreciate whatever help people offer. Any sections that were not yet written when Marshill wrote the subpage should be examined. This source is an example of how Marshill wants the article to look. It also has some useful arguments for both sides. Anyone that deals with one of these issues can cross it off. I think we could probably do all this in 24 hours, which would be excellent. Once these are dealt with, we should consult people and/or run a new straw poll. There may be other issues in the FAC attempt that I haven't looked at. Dave (talk) 10:35, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

I honestly don't envy the editors who have to tackle the ID article.
I just have one suggestion. I think the Fine-Tuned Universe section is best taken up by a FTU editor/s. Took a look at the FTU talk page, several readers/editors are active here and there.Lovecoconuts 12:33, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
So, you want to accede to Marshill's desire to create an encyclopedic article as if it were a standard college debate? Additionally, I have some reservations about the other requests as well, and should like a bit of time to ponder them. Jim62sch 13:39, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

Most of Marshill's objections were the product of a flawed understanding of the NPOV policy. Some of these have dealt with in the recent rewrite that arose out of the objections in the first place. Others were found to be spurious. Resurrecting them again after already having dealt with them was a poor idea; the article topic is contentious enough, and an additional straw poll is counterproductive. Straw polls are often a source of strife and should be used sparingly. Wikipedia's overarching goal right now of Wikipedia:Pushing to 1.0 and reaching Wikipedia:Stable versions is not going to be achieved by resurrecting divisive and disruptive straw polls, tendentious arguments made by ill-informed newbies and constantly rehashing issues considered settled by the majority of the editors. I'd archived this issue last night after two + idle weeks of little discussion and even less benefit. I'm re-archiving the list for those same reasons plus those given here. If Dave or anyone else wants to work from the list, it's available to them in the archive. They should not consider other editors here bound to follow suit in any way, though, as we'd already given it due consideration.

Also, structuring the article to resemble that article is never going to fly. It's supported by neither policy, convention, nor precendent. The article and its format is fundamentally unencyclopedia; it's a debate format, as mentioned before. FeloniousMonk 17:32, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

I'm re-adding the list of objections because I think some of them are perfectly valid. I did not include the ones that were a "product of a flawed understanding of the NPOV policy" in my list, which is why this one is so much shorter than Marshill's. Sometimes reading through "tendentious arguments made by ill-informed newbies" can be productive, when you separate out the legitimate issues from the illegitimate ones. The ID as science section and the debate section do need major work, (there's a TON of original research) and adding citations is always a good idea. The irreducible complexity and specified complexity sections don't say enough about the subject. I recognize that structuring the article the way Marshill wanted (a debate) won't work, and I wrote that on his talk page. But I was being deferential. I didn't include items in this list that appeared to already have been solved. Please assume good faith and that I knew what I was doing when I picked issues that still needed to be dealt with. I've shown myself to be a good WP:SPOV editor on this subject in the past few weeks, and even though ID is slimy, dishonest creationist pseudoscience, that doesn't mean that we've been writing a good article on it so far. Here's my list again. I hope people will take it seriously. Your opinion of "most" of Marshill's objections shouldn't matter, since these are only the good ones. Again, please keep in mind that I'm not trying to feed a troll, that I've shown good faith, good editing ability, and good judgment in the past, and that I believe that acting on these issues will improve the article. Dave (talk) 19:04, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
  • the "ID as science" section. It needs a lot of work, and I think that it's original research and arguably POV.
  • the first sentence of the Movement section needs a cite and possibly a rewording. Shouldn't be that hard.
  • the Movement section needs a pro-ID source and summary of their argument. Right now, it's only criticism.
  • The first sentence of the "debate" sentence needs a source (any source arguing against "teach the controversy" will do) and an "opponents argue" or something comparable.
  • The "three issues" in the "debate" section should not be in list form and should not appear to exhaust the debate. It's original research.
  • Marshill wants a cite for the discrimination point. Shouldn't be hard to find one.
  • The three footnotes in a row should be separated. Putting a reference to the "wedge document" in the preceding couple of sentences will also help with another objection about references.
  • Specified complexity: I don't know enough about Dembski's case for it after reading that section. It needs more Dembski arguments. Adding a quote from Behe about irreducible complexity in that section is probably a good idea as well
  • We should add a reference for Fine Tuned Universe. My understanding is that some very prestigious physicists believe in it.
One puppy's opinion: harry491|Dave has no consensus nor even any support for any items on this list. The entire article has undergone 3 rewrites since the original list was made. Pick one, discuss it, and we'll examine the validity of the concern and how best to address it. KillerChihuahua?!? 19:46, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
I can't believe you're all so worked up about adding footnotes (which is most of my bulleted items, if you'd bother to read the list) and adding better summaries of arguments made by IDers (which is most of the rest of them). These are very minor changes, with the possible exception of the science section (where the criteria for what is science need to be cited lest they remain original research). How about you pick a bulletpoint that you think shouldn't be addressed, and we'll discuss. I can't believe that suggesting that we add a quote from Dembski, a footnote from Behe, and a few references to the wedge document is stirring up such a shitstorm. Dave (talk) 20:05, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

worked up about footnotes? I am not "worked up" and I applaud useful and relevant footnotes and references. I disagree with rewriting the "debate" section, which I asked for you to bring to talk. You're talking about footnotes. There seems to have been a miscommunication somewhere. KillerChihuahua?!? 20:24, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

Also, as a parenthetical note, we must have completely different definitions of "shitstorm." Civil discussion about how best to proceed with presenting information in an Encyclopedia article is most assuredly not mine. KillerChihuahua?!? 20:27, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
Here's all I wrote about the debate section:
  • "The first sentence of the "debate" sentence needs a source (any source arguing against "teach the controversy" will do) and an "opponents argue" or something comparable." Something like this edit.
  • "The "three issues" in the "debate" section should not be in list form and should not appear to exhaust the debate. It's original research." Something like this edit, possibly with a two word rebuttal from DI, which is also quoted in the article.
EC apparently thinks the list makes it more readable, and that's fine. But what other people did, including deleting my list of ideas, reverting fairly minor edits on principle because they don't trust my judgment, denigrating my ideas because I happen to agree with 5% of the "tendentious arguments made by ill-informed newbies" on a particular subject, and accusing me of making massive rewrites without consensus seems way out of proportion, especailly when I'm an editor in good standing that has made lots of good contributions to this article in the past couple of weeks and over the summer.
The only place where there were going to be even moderately big changes was going to be the science section, because the list of "what is science" appears to be original research, as I wrote above. Dave (talk) 20:40, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
Which makes at least two of us, which is why I pointed out to you that you did not have consensus or even support for your changes. Why waste effort and then complain when your badly considered edits are removed? Discuss here first. It is slower and more tedious, but if you want to write your opinion and POV alone you wouldn't be at WP, now would you? KillerChihuahua?!? 20:56, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
(edit conflict)I encourage you to respond to the ideas on my list. If you and FM had done that instead of removing it and attacking me, we could have avoided all of this. The only responses I've gotten from either of you are the following (paraphrasing): "the list is bad, but footnotes are good."
Well, I didn't make any major edits, I did add a lot of footnotes, and I don't consider "you got that idea from Marshill so it cannot be implemented" to be a useful criterion. I told everyone what I thought would be improvements. Instead of discussing, my comments were deleted, my edits were reverted with an accusatory edit summary and no reason other than an attack, and I get lumped in with disruptive newbies. No one said anything like "I think the list is good" or "what do you mean by original research?" I'm not even convinced that people read much of what I wrote, because I don't understand how most of these could even be slightly controversial. When someone objected to a specific proposal, I relented, but you and FM chose not to do that. I still don't have any idea what you think about my ideas beyond "the list is bad but footnotes are good," after all this discussion.
Dave (talk) 21:16, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
The reason no one got to the point of asking "what original research" could be because I just logged on. <--humour. Seriously, what original research?
Second, there is a good bit of history with Marshill -- it's already been discussed. In all hnoesty, the audience that found his suggestions to be of value was very, very limited. Jim62sch 23:32, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
Making edits to the article directly aways carries the risk of reversion, which can usually be avoided by making a case for your edits beforehand. That's true. Obviously, not all edits need be discussed to the same degree or at all.
Your edits were fine, and most were not opposed. The only edit that was really opposed was your change to the layout of the list of ID debate issues, and that was because the issue had been previously brought to our attention by Marshill, at which point it was ignored. In many ways, the issue had thus been settled; as no-one had bothered to 'correct' this point, it was not considered relevant.
Duncharris reverted another one of your edits, but haven't objected, so I won't go into that. -- Ec5618 21:10, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
Like I said, I had no problem with your reversion or with Dunc's because you two provided reasons for doing so. KC reverted me on principle. Dave (talk) 21:18, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
I didn't, but I can see how you would think so. There is only so much room in an edit summary, apparently I gave the wrong impression for my reasons. My poor communication - apologies. My edit summaries are sometimes less than clear. Please verify in the future if I seem to be less than germane or reasonable in my summaries, ok? Thanks much! KillerChihuahua?!? 21:23, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
Also, one theme that I saw in this and other topics is the idea of outside forces setting an agenda for this (or any) entry. I have a major philosophical problem with that. First, if any people feel that way, they're more than welcome to join us. If they contribute, their efforts will be welcomed. Second, who are they to say what goes in a public effort such as this? No, this is more misguided 'Wedge' thinking at work. The editors need to define the article, based on Wikipedia policy. Not someone else.--ghost 21:28, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

people can still feel free to comment on my ideas. If I don't hear a reason not to, I shall continue. Dave (talk) 21:33, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

LOL. Dave, most of your edits are/have been fine with everyone. Just make me happy and ensure they're your edits, not someone else's. ;-) --ghost 21:53, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
But only as consensus permits, of course. FeloniousMonk 23:21, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
Let's try one more time: "is there consensus for all of the changes I listed?"
The science section rewrite is vague. I cannot support what sounds like a complete rewrite with no idea of what will be done. That does not of course mean that I will oppose what you have in mind, merely that I am wondering what that might be. What precisely do you find to be POV? What are your thoughts on improving it? KillerChihuahua?!? 23:39, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
<looks back at the article>. Actually, now that I read the section more carefully, I see that I missed something earlier. I thought that the big list (consistent, parsimonious, etc.) was original research, but now I see that there's a link for each one (or each group) in the section following the list. I'd like to find a way to make that clearer, to prevent people (like me, before I read more carefully) from wondering "says who?" when they read it (I'm not sure about the best way to do that, though. I understand the appeal of the list for readability and so I hope someone can suggest a good way to clarify things while making only small changes).
I'd also prefer that it be presented more as "the better a theory fits these criteria, the better science it is" rather than "the more criteria a theory fits..." because I don't think that anyone really uses a "checkbox method" like the current wording implies. As written, it's misleading for people that don't understand the philosophy of science.
I'd also be open to adding a few pro-ID sources to this section, so it's not a 10-to-1 ratio. For example, we could mention pro-ID petitons (while noting of course that they were much less successful than anti-ID petitions). I'd rather show that ID isn't science even if ID proponents get to advance all their best arguments rather than merely drowning the reader in anti-ID stuff.
At some point (i.e. not immediately), I think we should probably spin off part of the section, because I think that there's a lot more to be said (especially on the legal side) and because the section probably shouldn't get much longer than it already is.
Let me know what ya'all think Dave (talk) 00:18, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
Again, the section is accurate, well supported, complete and necessary. Absent a compelling justification for a rewrite, or even more, yet another subarticle (this isn't a subarticle farm), it should be left as it is. We're not here to rewrite things willy nilly for the sake of doing it or to accommodate the objections of every passerby. I think we can all agree the goal is to create an accurate, complete and stable article, and fiddling with good content for no good reason does not move us toward that goal. FeloniousMonk 01:06, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
Articles that are 60+ kilobytes, appear not to give the other side a fair hearing before (correctly) dismissing its claims, and subtly misconstrue the philosophy of science as a mere checklist don't help our other goals, like NPOV, readability, accessibility, and accuracy. Dave (talk) 01:14, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

(reduce indent) Yes, why don't you go work on one of those articles for a change? I am sure you could be helpful. KillerChihuahua?!? 01:17, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

I guess I just assumed that personal vanity about the article's obvious perfection would take a backseat to making the article better and to collaboratoin. I hope you enjoy the ongoing flame wars that attitude will spark. Goodbye. If you ever need to reach me, use my talk page. I am unwatching this article. Dave (talk) 01:28, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
I doubt that's the case. BTW, re the "checklist" -- more is the correct word, not better. We're discussing science, not philosophy. Jim62sch 02:09, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
Guys, I think Dave is pretty new to the ID talk pages. I think he's just trying to help make it all better.
Dave, I've been watching this talk page for about a month (to 2, I think). The editors handling the ID article are under a lot of pressure, and I am quite amazed of the time and energy they had spent on this article. I am also not surprised if they feel stressed sometimes.
They really are okay with more help to improve the article, just do try not to do an in-your-face my-way-is-better-than-yours sort of thing.Lovecoconuts 01:47, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
I apologise for my sarcasm.
This article is one of the most edited, and one of the, if not the, best referenced article(s) on WP. A great deal of work by a very large number of people have contributed to this article. I have no illusions that the article is perfect, nor, I think, does anyone working on this article. Perhaps if you were more specific in your concerns, discussed them here, and achieved consensus prior to making sweeping statements and edits, you would indeed find that, as L&C so kindly states, we are not unreasonable (not even the puppy.) As a recent arrival perhaps you have not taken the time to read the archives thoroughly. If you do, you may find that some of your concerns have been discussed, to the point of ad nauseum, and you may find that you are not bringing our attention to problems of which we were unaware, but rather dredging up issues which have been settled, and resettled, numerous times. If there is a way to improve the article, we are all ears. Blanket statements of POV and bad layout without specifics are generally not well received, as they are not helpful.
KillerChihuahua?!? 02:12, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
What just happened? Did we lose Dave, or is this yet another example of an editor buckling under pressure? I, for one, do not mind Dave's input, nor do I see any evidence that others do. -- Ec5618 02:17, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
This will sound trite (OK, maybe it is trite), but tomorrow is a new day, and with the new day actions taken in haste are often repented and reversed. Relax, all. If Dave decides to return, he will be welcomed. Jim62sch 02:28, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
I hope Dave will reconsider. Seriously, I think the reader-editors for the ID article do A LOT. And I'm not including myself, I haven't edited a single thing in the ID article. I think I continue to visit the ID talk page because I feel as though I should offer morale support. Is there any way to give virtual cookies in Wikipedia? I read Wikipedia for a long time, but it's only recently I've come to really and fully appreciate the work that Wikipedia editors do.Lovecoconuts 02:33, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
See my comments above.--ghost 14:31, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

teleological argument

I feel that teleological argument should be mentioned in the intro, as it is centrally related to ID. It is one of the very few wiki link in the disambiguation article, but is not mentioned until midway through the "origins of the concept" section. It could be added to the first sentence, right after concept: "...concept, similar to the teleological argument, that..." Or perhaps there is a more elegant way to do that. Or perhaps it shouldn't be done. Thoughts?--ragesoss 10:10, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

  • I would say natural theology is also relevant, but that article needs some 'serious' work.--ragesoss 10:39, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
Check the discussion/s above.


We're discussing on whether or not we should distinguish philosophical arguments for the existence of God as well as Theistic Evolution from "scientific" Intelligent Design.Lovecoconuts 10:58, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

The primary difference is that ID is presented as a science and the teleological argument is philosophy. Once again, so long as IDists continue to present ID as science it needs to be treated as it is. (I do understand your point, and I looked over the intro, played with it, and don't see a way to get that in there while maintaining the the current "tone"...unless, of course, Judge Jones used the term in his ruling. That might be worth looking into. Decision ) Jim62sch 11:19, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
Yes, but science can be (or rather, is) based on philosophical ideas. See my comments above in the philosophy discussion; even ID proponents recognize the link the the teleological argument, even if they deny the link to natural theology.--ragesoss 11:23, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
Yeah, science is from of natural philosophy. The problem with ID however is that it specifically targets Evolution. ID proponents immediately want *their* theory to be taught alongside Evolution. They even say ID is superior to Evolution. (shrugs)Lovecoconuts 11:27, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
So you agree, Lovecoconuts, that teleological argument should be mentioned in the intro?--ragesoss 11:31, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
I am neutral about TA since I'm not very familiar about it, but concerning TE (Theistic Evolution) aka EC (Evolutionary Creationism), I prefer that a distinction between them and ID is made clear in the article. This is because I really mistook ID for TE the first time I heard about it. Plus, TE proponents are generally opposed to ID. I don't want people to think that TE proponents support ID.Lovecoconuts 11:35, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
Actually, I think there is a fair amount of overlap between TE and ID among people ID proponents who aren't part of the "ID movement." The weakest versions of ID end up melding into TE. But I agree that for the purposes of this article, the distinction between TE and ID should be made explicit.--ragesoss 11:49, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
The "weakest versions of ID"? We had this discussion a few sections up. There is only one version of ID. As for science and philosophy, yes there is a link in that science developed out of Greek philosophy, but it has diverged from philosophy by a substantial bit.
I do agree with both of you about the need to differentiate ID from TE, and noting that ID may have been driven in part by TA. However, the opening section does not seem to me to be the best place to put it -- I'd really prefer to see the flow not disrupted. Let's see what other editors have to say. Jim62sch 13:15, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
"There is only one version of ID"? I'm not sure what you mean by that. It seems obvious that there are people who are ID proponents but who believe different things about ID. Some accept common descent, some do not. Some think design is only present in a cosmological sense, some (most) extend it to biology as well. They still hold to some version of ID because they think science can test whether or not aspects of the natural world are designed, but which aspects they think actually are designed varies. For those ID proponents who treat ID as an open question (but do think the question can be scientifically investigated), the difference between ID and TE could be as slight as whether or not God's influence on evolution is detectable (as both ID and TE agree that it is there). --ragesoss 13:27, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Sigh*. Deists. See america's founding fathers. Ronabop 14:40, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
Precisely. Having raised that point elsewhere, I decided not to raise it again so as not to look like I was harping on it. Jim62sch 14:50, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
See Felonious' comment in "Proponents definition of ID" above (this way I won't have to reinvent the wheel.) If there are schisms forming within the ID movement itself, that needs to be a separate article. Jim62sch 13:39, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
Yes, I agree with the general sentiment; there is a main definition of ID, it is associated with the Discovery Institute, and that's what this article needs to be on. There isn't really anything as coherent as a schism, but there are a wide variety of viewpoints among ID proponents beyond the Discovery Institute. At this point ID is evolving in different directions. I'm not certainly not suggesting a fork, or a reorientation of the article. I'm just saying there is a middle ground, and that not all ID proponents believe the same things.--ragesoss 14:31, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
I disagree. The main definition of ID should be objective and academic, not taken verbatim from an advocacy website. See Fallacies of definition, particularily the "over-narrow definition."--Ben 21:27, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
I don't think that definition is the proper one because it is on an advocacy website, I think it should be because that website is widely recognized by ID proponents as a valid source for the definition of ID, and is pretty much what the mainstream definition of ID is. However, I see your point about over-narrow, as some ID proponents would not include the "living things" part. It's a trade-off; the purpose of the article is to inform the reader about Intelligent Design, assuming no prior knowledge, so for something that perhaps has conflicting definitions, if there is one main one it should be listed first. "or" rather than "and" would be a broader definition, but because even the definition can be controversial, it is important to quote verbatim and reference as much as possible; hence, the DI definition of ID. The more I consider it, the more I think a section on variations of ID would be appropriate.--ragesoss 07:05, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

Added a sentence to the intro on ID as a variant of the teleological argument. PiCo 08:50, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

Fine-Tuned universe and Gonzalez

I'm suggesting that the following paragraps be added to the FTU portion of the article, as it better helps to explain the process:

NOTE: 10-43 and 10-34 are supposed to be exponential notation with the -43 and -34 being superscript. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to figure that out yet...grrrr. Jim62sch 14:31, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

superscript uses the <sup> and </sup>-tag. -- Ec5618 14:41, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

The process to which Gonzalez refers is known as symmetry breaking, specifically that which began 10-43 seconds after the big bang. Essentially, the four known forces – weak and strong nuclear, electromagnetic (EM) and gravity – were unified in supersymmetry during a period known as the Planck Era (before 10-43 seconds), but began to break apart at the instant of the big bang. Gravity, which is now the weakest of the forces, broke off first (10-43 seconds), followed by the strong nuclear force at 10--34 seconds and the weak and EM forces shortly thereafter. It is this symmetry breaking that drove the formation of our universe, and guides the laws of physics. However, it must be noted that there appear to be an infinite number of ways in which the symmetry could have broken, a sizable number of which would have supported some type of life (though not necessarily that which is found on earth) and many of which would not likely have supported life.

In addition to the symmetry breaking of the four forces there was a separate symmetry breaking between matter and anti-matter, which annihilate each other on contact. Normally, one would expect them to be equal in distribution, but there was slightly more matter than anti-matter, meaning that not all matter could be annihilated. This excess of matter is what we see as the universe today.

It should be noted that symmetry breaking is accepted by most if not all physicists and cosmologists although very few are on record as regarding this as evidence of ID.

Most info from:

Parallel Worlds, Michio Kaku, Doubleday, 2005
The Elegant Universe, Brian Greene, WW Norton, 2003
Good stuff. However, it doesn't serve to ID article to have the full text here. Is there a good way to provide a reference and a link to it's appearance in the subarticle?--ghost 14:43, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
Thanks EC, I appreciate your assistance! Jim62sch 14:46, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
Not sure about the subarticle link. We'll see what others think. Jim62sch 14:48, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
The problem I see with using it as a critique is someone saying one of the particular "infinite number of ways" was selected, not random, which makes quick work of this as a critique of the anthropic principle/fine-tuned universe. Consider adding this to the FTU article and not here first, and use a source which is outright arguing this--don't just source the facts you are using to create the argument. Putting it up as a critique is actually original research, but hopefully you can find a source that discusses it as a critique of AP/FTU--and hopefully you'll only use a source that discusses the particular angle above, because I think it's obvious people will bring it up. I think it would probably be helpful to the FTU article, but it needs more sources and more discussion. It also would be better if you don't just imply it is a critique, but that you outright state it.--Ben 00:02, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
Ben, the purpose was to explain, neutrally, what Gonzalez is discussing, nothing else. Period. In fact, the inclusion of an explanation of a blurb on symmetry breaking was suggested by a recently departed editor. Absent an explanation of what Gonzalez is talking about, the reader is left with a mystery. Jim62sch 01:12, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
Err.. well then you didn't explain it very well. What's Gonzalez's take on symmetry breaking? You seem to have left that part out.--Ben 05:30, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
I don't care what Gonzalez' take on it is as that has naught to do with it. What was being described as Gonzalez' argument is clearly symmetry breaking (whether he knows it or not), thus, a definition is in order. Hence, "the purpose was to explain, neutrally, what Gonzalez is discussing".
Another point -- the crux of Gonzalez' (and other IDists') argument regarding nuclear forces, chemical make-up, values of physical constants, etc., as stated on the page is different from the (weak) anthropic principal. In addition, the anthropic principal as defined on the page is a bit off. To quote Stephen Hawking, "The weak anthropic principal states that in a universe that is large or infinite in space and/or time, the conditions necessary for the development of intelligent life will be met only in certain regions that are limited in space and time. The intelligent beings in these regions should therefore not be surprised if they observe that their locality in the universe satisfies the conditions that are necessary for their existence" (A Brief History of Time)
Finally, the more I read that FTU section, the more I think it needs to be rewritten. So, Ben, why not put your writing skills to use and have a go at it?
(BTW, your claim that what I wrote was OR is invalid, it was "sourced research", which is, of course, permissible (if it weren't this whole WP project would go down the toilet.) Jim62sch 11:41, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
I added what you wrote to FTU. Discuss it there.--Ben 21:17, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
First, nothing or no one gave you any right to move what I wrote anywhere. Had I wished for it to be there I would have put it there myself (that I had already begun the process by noting a need for symmetry breaking to be included in the FTU article is beside the point). Second, you are not the arbiter of what is discussed when, where or in what way. Third, your effort to become the Wiki-cop by issuing citations and arbitrary decisions on the proper content of this page exhibits a disruptive behaviour in keeping with your history. Masking the behaviour with the appearance of following the rules (to the point of nettlesome officiousness) does not change the tenor of the behaviour. Jim62sch 23:43, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
People's edits get moved around or shuffled off to oblivion all the time. It's called Wikipedia, the Encyclopedia Anyone Can EditTM. Endomion 21:15, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Hmmm, I might have to put that into practice. Jim62sch 23:24, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

Just sharing some research...

Turns out Gonzalez is the Behe of astronomy. In his own school, "more than 120 faculty members signed a petition this month against representing intelligent design as science". [12] He is, however, technically a scientist. Not much of one, though, since he's supporting pseudo-science. Alienus 11:07, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Alienus, thanks, pretty bad when one's own fellow profs turn against you...anyway, the info's not really surprising, especially in light of the pattern you touched on regarding the scientists supporting ID: they aren't really very good as scientists. It reminds me of an old joke: Q: "What do you call the person who graduates last in his/her med-school class?" A. "Doctor." Jim62sch 11:17, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Sue God

I've seen this suggested in New Scientist but and I'm planning to do it myself. Does anyone want to join me in suing God? I'm thinking of a class action law-suit. It's quite clear he failed to design me properly as I frequently get asthma. I also want to know why he failed to design proper DNA repair systems as I've known enough people with cancer to realise he's done a very bad job there as well. As for the blind spot in my eyes, it's quite clear that this a a shoddy and poor design. On that note, I'm also quite disappointed that this lazy bastard reused so many genes and various organs and systems. As for my cat, I mystified as to why he made it lose so much fur even during autumn and winter. I can understand the need to lose fur as summer approaches but losing fur during autumn and winter is shoddy design. All in all, it's quite clear God has failed to properly design me and the pets I keep and I think a class action law suit is needed Nil Einne 14:36, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

LOL. Thanks for the giggle, we need it.--ghost 14:44, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
While I love the idea, god has no currency to pay you with, so it's not a profitable venture. Oh, and he knew you'd think about it anyway. And that I would type this. Omniscience must suck.Ronabop 14:48, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
While he may have no currency (and giving everyone money would only cause inflation), he could certainly do a lot of good doing community service. He could help prevent forest fires, and clean up highways.
Though, come to think of it, I don't think god technically qualifies as a person (social security number? country of residence? date of birth? corporeality?) -- Ec5618 14:52, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
Good luck serving legal papers on him. Bill Jefferys 21:58, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
Assume that God exists and is a person, he's still not a citizen of any country, and thus not bound to any of our laws. Wait, why is this important? Oh right. As for the argument from poor design, you run smack dab into theological discussions on the meaning of infinite good and infite omnisience and causality--Tznkai 22:02, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

This isn't the right venue for stand up comedy. I found it funny, some people might not, but either way it's obviously not about improving the article. Review Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines. --Ben 23:33, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

No offense, but it's not actually original. Billy Conolly did a much better job. - Ta bu shi da yu 04:22, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
If I may momentarily serve as counsel for the defence (Devil's Advocate?), I would like to point out several key issues:
  • There is, nor ever was a warranty on your alleged Design.
  • Where there an implied warranty, it was voided long ago.
  • Although your Design my in fact be flawed, it is more likely that your complaints are due to negligance on the part of your Manufacturers. Take it up with your parents. You may qualify on certain Lemon Laws.
  • As to your cat, this may be taken as proof that this alleged Designer gets intoxicated on a regular basis.
I hope this helps clarify things. I understand, Ben, but we all need light moment now and then. <;-) Happy New Year!--ghost 23:41, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
Yes, we do need a light moment once in a while (all work and no play makes Johnny a dull boy)...and now I can't get that darned song out of my head..."What if God was one of us, Just a slob like one of us, Just a stranger on the bus, Trying to make his way home..." Jim62sch 23:57, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
The world would be full of pastel blues and depressing colors, and occasionally, God would slit his wrists. Err... Anyway is there a serious intent to put criticisms of design back in the article? That caused considerble chaos the last time.--Tznkai 01:56, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
You're a fan of entropy?  :) Jim62sch 02:05, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
Not with Intelligent Designs--Tznkai 02:12, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
Einstein hypothesized two potential "designers", the God of Order and the God of Chaos. He chose the God of Order. Perhaps he was wrong. Jim62sch 02:36, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
Thank God for humor.  :)
By the way, I just want to add something which I think hasn't been mentioned yet, I think. You can't sue God because he created everything for free. Your case would be thrown out of court. It's like suing Santa Claus for defective toys made in China.  :P
The delete is mine, Tznkai. Yah, I forgot to sign in. I think too much anger in it. I should have said something similar to Marshill a long while back. That's what I get for keeping things bottled up.Lovecoconuts 04:32, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
It's a design compromise. A machine-perfect DNA replication process requires smooth classical mechanics all the way down to the sub-atomic level. God tried that, but all those electrons orbiting around the nuclei kept radiating energy every time they changed course, and pretty soon they all crash landed. So God had to go with a stepped universe. Endomion 23:51, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Trivial technicality: re. "You can't sue God because he created everything for free. Your case would be thrown out of court.", this is correct in English law where a consideration is needed to establish a contract, but not in Scots law#Contract where something for free can still mean a contractual relationship. So God cannae wriggle oot of it here. ...dave souza 11:21, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
I'd bet on the verdict being "not proven". Jim62sch 00:25, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

Misguided in Catalunya

Alert! Those darned Catalonians just don't get it. From the Catalan article:

Els proposadors del disseny intel•ligent no prenen partit explícit sobre la identitat del o dels creadors o sobre els mitjans que van utilitzar per a dissenyar i després crear la vida, però són protegits per la majoria dels partidaris de la lectura literal de la Bíblia.
The proponents of intelligent design do not specify the identity of the designer or designers, or the means which were used to create life, but the majority of its adherents support the literal word of the Bible (re creation).

New ground is available to be tilled. Jim62sch 00:41, 31 December 2005 (UTC)

When will the hurting stop? -- Ec5618 01:23, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
When the universe ends in the big freeze... Jim62sch 02:03, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
Please review WP:TPG and WP:TP --Ben 05:43, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
Please review Wikipedia:No Irony Allowed and Wikipedia:No Humor Allowed. Shucks, those articles seem to be missing. --DocJohnny 03:15, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
I tried to find those articles, too. I even tried various searches like "Irony is Evil", and "Humor is a Satanic Plot", but, alas, no luck. Hey, wait! maybe someone on this discussion page will write the articles you suggest. How cool would that be? Jim62sch 11:45, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
Feel free to enlighten all of us as to how the inclusion of a discussion on a sister ID article is irrelevant. In fact, in looking at the sister articles, it may be possible to see alternatives for improvement of the English version of the article, or don't you agree that that is our purpose here? Jim62sch 11:47, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
You assume I was actually saying the "discussion on a sister ID article is irrelevant" and further assume I "don't agree that [improving the article] is our purpose here," instead of realizing I was commenting on what is clearly a quite unnecessary and offensive joke by Ec5618. I find that pretty disturbing.--Ben 20:23, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
Ec's joke was offensive? That in itself is funny. You might want to actually read the policies you post before posting them. The two cites you provided do not in any way relate to Ec's joke (which, to an onjective observer, would hardly appear to be offensive.) Jim62sch 23:50, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but what did I say that could cause offence? "Quite an offensive joke"? I'm sorry? Offensive joke? I have no idea how you could have possibly misread my comment to be offensive. I'll admit, it was jocular. Still, "When does the hurting stop?" was obviously in reference to the implicit suggestion that we should be expected to try to fix different language versions of the article. -- Ec5618 03:31, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
I'm reminded of one Farther Patrick Mulcahey, who would shake his head whilst intoning, "jocularity, jocularity, jocularity". Of course he, like Murphy Brown, Sponge Bob and Tinky Winky, is a fictional character, so I never attached any sense of gravitas to his words. Maybe we should all step back and reflect, then, on Mulcahey's mantra, jocularity, jocularity, jocularity, jocularity, jocularity, Om. Jim62sch 11:49, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
I note that the German wikipedia can get away with covering ID as a subsection in the general 'creationism' article, that the French, Spanish and the Dutch wikipedia call ID a theory (in the colloquial sense). The Catalan article is a nearly direct translation from Spanish (but who can blame anyone).
All other languages seem to cover all things related to ID (such as IC) in the main article. Such simple articles. Generally, the articles seem all right though, even if some seem to suggest that the bible is somehow involved in ID. -- Ec5618 12:08, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
Now I don't need to look at them, I guess, you spoiled the plot!  ;) Oh well, maybe I'll look at them anyway -- I was tied up on writing an article for what was once a stub for Kazimierz Zorawski. Jim62sch 13:47, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
I had to look...I skipped Dutch and German because Ec had them covered already:
  • Danish – idea/notion/concept; related to creationism
  • Esperanto – movement/belief; form of creationism
  • French – called a “series of arguments”/theory; large withering section on ID as pseudoscience
  • Norwegian – translation of Danish (or vice versa)
  • Swedish – theory; a form of creationism; large criticism section
Jim62sch 14:44, 31 December 2005 (UTC)

The many names of ID?

I just learned that apparently ID has quite a few aka-s.

I know about the "sudden emergence theory" which was mentioned in the Dover trial. But what about "abrupt appearance theory," "initial complexity theory"?

I'm probably asking (hoping) too much but is it possible to make the intro something like this?

Intelligent design (ID) also known as the "abrupt appearance theory" and the "initial complexity theory" is...

My request for a clear distinction of ID from Theistic Evolution would be quite satisfied by something like above.

Again, just hoping. Others will probably have better ideas.Lovecoconuts 04:57, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

I don't think those other names are very common at all. And "sudden emergence theory," at least based on a quick Google (only 108 hits) is not explicitly the same as ID. The Dover quote talks about religion masquerading as science in general, and mentions creation science, ID, and sudden emergence theory together. But that does not mean creation science is the same as ID, or sudden emergence theory. They are different things that the judge was saying all share a common flaw. --Ragesoss
About sudden emergence theory - it's very recent. Apparently, ID people were already making plans to change the phrase "Intelligent Design" to "Sudden Emergence Theory" in that favorite book of theirs - ?Pandas and People? The prosecuter in the Dover trial showed drafts of a new edition of that book. That book is the #1 reference recommended by ID people for teaching ID.
Since SET is very recent, that's why I didn't include it in my proposed example intro. The other two theory names are apparently older than the ID name.
So the history of the term "Intelligent Design" goes something like this: Creationism - Creation Science - Abrupt Appearance Theory - Initial Complexity Theory - Intelligent Design - Sudden Emergence Theory.
Also, I just want to apologize in advance to the editors. I think I applying pressure to them as well. I think my stance is now similar to DocJohnny's - a while back, he suggested getting rid of the ID article and redirecting to Creationism or was it Creation Science.
I now actually think the editors are being a touch too "nice" about ID especially since a federal judge has ruled a very long scathing verdict on it. However, I'm not going to accuse the editors of being POVish though I think I will remind them that anti-ID people can also throw "POV tantrums" if the article becomes too "nice" about ID. Lovecoconuts 05:29, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
But a federal judge is not the final authority on this article or any other. Our responsibility as Wikipedians is present what different sides say about ID, while being clear about who says what (and thereby showing implicitly whose words have the most authority). So while the verdict is significant for this article as one of the most authoritative voices yet to weigh in, ID's existential status as right or wrong or science or pseudoscience should ideally not even figure into the way the article is written, as it is not our place to decide those questions. Our job is to identify the voices that are most representative and authoritative for each side, and try to keep the article as efficient as possible so as not to include every single minority voice to drown out the most significant ones. Yours in discourse, ragesoss 06:52, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
Ragesoss, I never said that a federal judge is the final authority on this article.
Actually, I have turned anti-ID because I have read so many opposing statements about it from many authoritative voices. I'll list them below:
1. Scientific authorative voice - For example, this particular idea of an intelligent design is being promoted by ID proponents as a scientific theory opposing the theory of evolution. --- The scientific community at large has denounced ID as being a proper scientific theory. It simply isn't.
2. Philosophical ID or Theistic Evolution and other variations of the philosophical argument of God's existence - Google for "intelligent design" and "theistic evolution" and you'll find webpages saying that ID is not good for TE and TE-ers opposed ID. Theistic Evolution is basically a philosophical standing that a belief in God can go hand in hand with science. ID, despite its pretense to be a scientific theory, is inherently anti-Science. ID proponents even want to change the definition of science so that ID can be considered as science. (has bad taste in mouth)
3. Legal voice - we have the Dover trial. This was very BIG news. I actually found out about this because CNN placed a red breaking news label on it when it came out.
4. Religious viewpoint - Catholics has spoken out against creation science and its variations (including ID), because creation science in particular was created by certain groups of Fundamental/Evangelical Christians to further their own brand of Christianity in science classes in public schools. Oh God. How dare they!
Another problem I now find really about this particular idea of ID is that its proponents pretend to speak for the beliefs of all religious people. Frankly, I find this ploy very irritating.
See? My viewpoint of ID is based on legal, scientific, philosophical and religious (authorative) opinions and findings about ID. Ragesoss, I think you're pretty new in the ID talk pages, but if you've been watching for a month or so (like I've been), you'll observe that quite a few ID proponents throw POV rants. That's in their right, because that's what they believe in. I also have that same right to thrown POV rants, but I'll do my best to not exercise that same right.Lovecoconuts 07:52, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
I'm sorry; I think I got mixed up between discussion of your personal opinion and discussion of what the article should be.

Yes, I am new the to ID talk page (and I appreciate your patience). But I've read quite extensively on the subject and been invovled with it in one way or another for several years. My personal list of problems with ID is considerably different from yours, but certainly no shorter. And while I don't agree with ID either, that is irrelevant to how this article should be written. But I still have some NPOV issues with this article. Yours in discourse, ragesoss 08:19, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

No problem, really. I can understand why you would be concerned since I more than appear to have bias opinions about ID. I can only assure you that my feelings on this matter will not be relayed to the article because I have sort of made a promise to myself to never edit the ID article. I currently have too many upset opinions about ID.
I remember at least one contributer who said that the editors should present a more or less "nice" npov of ID. I'm okay with being nice about something, but this is something which has caused a considerable amount of problems. I was especially upset when I read about a Catholic student who was labelled an atheist for accepting Evolution but not ID.Lovecoconuts 08:34, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
Surely that anecdote is understandable when one reflects on Catholic dogma (formulated at Nicaea) that the creator of heaven and earth is a sentient being capable of being called "Father" rather than "Cosmic Blueprint". Endomion 20:39, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Which anecdote are you referring to? By the way, Catholic "dogma"?Lovecoconuts 08:15, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Removed section by User:Tznkai

Though it has to be pointed out that due to the fact that question of the origin of species is of historical nature, the requirment "empirically testable & falsifiable" is not applicable in its strict sense, neither to the theory of intelligent design nor to the theory of evolution. This criterium can only be applied to a something that can be repeatedly tested like a natural law and of course not to an historical event that lies in the past. An historical hypothesis can only be checked for plausibilty with all available evidence.

I removed the above as unsourced and editorial See if you can do something about working it in?--Tznkai 21:47, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
It's editorializing, mentions the non-existent "theory of intelligent design", spells criterion wrongly, but basically is nonsense. The theory of evolution has been tested against all available evidence and all available evidence supports it. There is no "theory of intelligent design", which makes any testable predictions and which isn't supported. — Dunc| 22:11, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

Sorry for the wrong spelling. I am not native speaker. Tznkai, what exactly do you want me to do? I am new at Wikipedia. Please help.

Duncharris, the thing I am pointing out is, that we must not mix up sciences. Empirical verification can ony be done within the scope of the empirical sciences, not with historical events. This is a very simple knowledge from the philosophy of sciences. You just cannot turn back time. Therefore it is nonsense to require an historical hypothesis to be empirically testable. I propose the following modified text:

Though it has to be pointed out that due to the fact that question of the origin of species is of historical nature, the requirement "empirically testable & falsifiable" is not applicable in its strict sense. This criterion can only be applied within the scope of the empirical sciences e.g. to something that can be repeatedly tested in experiments like a natural law and of course not to an historical event that lies in the past. An historical hypothesis has instead to be checked for plausibilty with all available evidence.

"[I]t is nonsense to require an historical hypothesis to be empirically testable." Not sure what this statement means. A cenrtal hypothesis of evolutionary theory is that particular fossils are associated with rocks of particular ages, and won't be found in the wrong rocks. This is obviously capable of being empirically tested - find the wrong fossil in the wrong rock and bang goes the hypothesis. Which means the original (deleted) statement is indeed nonsense, or to put it another way, just plain wrong. Or am I missing something? (I normally paddle around in the little pond of Renaissance art, where the waves aren't as big as they seem to be here :) PiCo 08:43, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Big waves make for better surfing. ;-) My first concern is the appearance of the section being original research. Anything like this would need to referenced. Period. My next concern is that the section dismisses out of hand evolutionary experiments that are run and verified every day. For example: the classic high school lesson of breeding fruit flys. Gimme some references to back it up, friend. Google is a wonderful thing.--ghost 15:06, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
We're bordering on original research here, but I think PiCo is a bit confused as well. Evolutionary theory does make predictions, can (in theory at least) be falsified. Furthermore, "problems" with evolution are not evidence for creationism since that relies on a false dichtomy that evolution and creation are the only two models. — Dunc| 15:32, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
My point is the difference between the statement “Mr. X has stolen the pink panther diamond” and the statement “If you try to steal the pink panther diamond, the alarm bell will ring”. The latter one is empirically testable (just try it) and falsifiable (you need to find a way to steal it without alarm). The first one is neither empirically testable (it is in the past) nor falsifiable (you’ll always can construct some explanation how Mr. X could have done it).
To my current understanding, the criteria empirical testability and falsifiability are only applicable to hypotheses, which make some kind of prediction about the future. Intelligent design makes not predictions at all and theory of evolution of species makes the prediction that new species will evolve, but this cannot be observed because it takes too much time.
What both concepts do is to make predictions about the past, which can be verified indirectly by collecting clues and evidence, like micro evolution or the example PiCo has mentioned.
I admit, that it is a question of terminology whether predictions about the past are included in the definition of “empirical testability” or not. Unfortunately the article does not give a clear definition.
But if you include it, I don’t see why intelligent design should not be empirically testable.
I do not know much about the predictions they make. But one may be e.g. that fossils of every species can be found in rocks of any age. This hypothesis can easily be verified empirically as PiCo pointed out.
But a direct empirical test of the key hypotheses themselves “species have been created” and “species have evolved” remains to be impossible, since both lie in the past and cannot be observed directly now.
The same is true for the falsifiability issue. With a narrow definition, this is not applicable to both; with wider definition both fulfil it (see examples above). Again both key hypotheses cannot be directly falsified. Even if in 100 million years mankind concludes, that no macro evolution has happened from now to then, this is still no proof that it did not happen during the last 100 Million years.
Overall I think the chapter “ID as science” needs substantial improvement. The clause I have added is not sufficient, because: The terminology in this chapter is not clearly defined. Applicability is not checked. Evidence is only in the footnotes. The line of reasoning is therefore very weak. Just to quote somebody how has proclaimed something is a poor argument.
PiCo, I completely agree with you that "the waves seem to be quite high" here. A statement is quickly interpreted as an offence. It seems that the Americans not only love to make war all over the world, but also among each other ;) (I am from Germany).
To be serious: it seems that this discussion touches the religious beliefs of many Christians and many Atheists so deeply, that a factual discussion becomes difficult.
Furthermore it seems that we need more background knowledge in epistemology and the resulting limits of the empirical sciences. (Not to say, that i have that, we need a proper philosopher!), Peter Menke
About falsibility. It goes this way, ID says that an intelligent designer designed us all as we are years and years ago. ID is all about in the past. As such, unless someone finally invents a time travel machine, we can't ever falsify ID.
Now, evolution says that living things change over time (adaptation to climate changes, etc.). Evolution includes the past, present and future. To falsify evolution, just find a living organism that didn't and doesn't change ever. See? The possibility of discovering such an organism is there, and we don't need time travel.
Scientists *do* want to disprove Evolution. Anyone who does that would be an Einstein. Einstein had corrected Newton, who was Darwin's predecessor. It would be VERY big news indeed if someone could disprove Evolution.Lovecoconuts 16:26, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
One can make hypotheses and testable predictions about natural history, and test these hypotheses using available empirical data. The hypothesis can be falsified or be confirmed. Analysis of natural history is no less scientific than physics. --JPotter 16:30, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Oh yeah, forgot to mention that you also have to separate "fact" evolution and "theory" evolution. That life does evolve/change is a fact.
The theory of evolution is the "how" in how life evolved. How-s are much more complicated.
For example - Darwin's Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection - the Evolution part is FACT (living things do change; otherwise they probably aren't living things), the Natural Selection part is Darwin's theory as to how life evolves.Lovecoconuts 16:44, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
I'm glad Lovecoconuts has rendered a verdict on all the evidence for evolution. I suppose the next step would be to edit any references to a "theory of evolution" to make them read "Law of evolution". Endomion 16:52, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

Please tone the rhetoric down a notch. It serves no purpose, other than to give a canned answer that allows us to dismiss each other. Most of the editors agree on many of the fundementals on the article. But please understand that the current political climate in the US has people using this subject as a weapon. Our job is to document the facts of this subject and the debate around it; not to debate the merits of the subject itself. seems that we need more background knowledge in epistemology and the resulting limits of the empirical sciences. (Not to say, that i have that, we need a proper philosopher!), Peter Menke And we have of some the top minds in the various fields asisting from time to time. This is why we must remain civil.--ghost 17:00, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

Thank you for your comments, ghost. Unfortunately, one of the "facts" that are being documented is evolution itself. The theory of evolution is being called a fact (which is a term that refers to data, not explanations of data). From this stance, any alternative explanation such as ID is automatically relegated to a "conjecture" before the article even gets started. Endomion 17:05, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
I disagree. While some of the editors may put forward that Evolution is fact, the article as a whole does not. That's the way it should be. We must distinguish our view here from what's put in the article, and the subject at hand was section added to the article. If you wish to debate the issues, please take it elsewhere, or feel free to contact me directly.--ghost 17:11, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Errr... Let me put it this way. Intelligent Design can be considered as the Theory of how life diversified by Intelligent Design. Darwin's theory on the hand is the Theory of how life diversified by Natural Selection.
That life diversified, that there are so many species, that there are differences (we are not clones/copies of one another) is fact.
Just take a look at the dictionary definition of Evolution - it basically means "change".
Now, if you say that "change" isn't a fact - really, it's hard to take you seriously.
Again, Evolution doesn't mean how life originated. Take a look at the "origin of life" article. Note that it doesn't redirect to the the evolution article.Lovecoconuts 17:21, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Ghost, is it the consensus of the editors of the ID article that an editor's talk page is a more appropriate venue to debate the ID article than the ID article's talk page? Endomion 17:23, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Ehhh again... You're the one who started about changing "the theory of evolution" to "the law of evolution". I never even mentioned that, and frankly - I think it would be weird to call it "the law of evolution." Somehow, it just doesn't have the same oomph as "the law of gravity." Plus, in turn - ID would have to be called the "Law of Intelligent Design," which seriously just sounds ridiculous.Lovecoconuts 17:29, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Oh yeah, and the reason why I mentioned about how Evolution/change is a fact is because this topic is about falsibility. It's virtually impossible to falsify a fact. That's why I mentioned that you have to separate Evolution (life changes/is changing), which is a fact, from the scientific theories of Evolution which is about "how" life changed/evolved.
The scientific theories is about how life evolved, not that life evolved. Darwin's proposal is via natural selection. Mendel's gene theory is about the passing down of genes.
Natural Selection and Gene theory is falsifiable. Evolution (that life changes/is changing) is a much harder nut to crack.Lovecoconuts 17:37, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
The appropriate place to discuss an article is on it's Talk page. The appropriate place to debate the popular usage of the name of an idea (other than ID) is not here. You're more than welcome to discuss such things on my personal Talk page. We got off the topic of PiCo's edit. Can we return to that please?--ghost 17:38, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
So me and Endo will talk about changing "the theory of evolution into "the law of evolution" on ghost's talk page?
If so, just expect Endo. She's the one who sort of proposed the change, which I have to say I'm either on a neutral or that's too weird-sounding for me stance. Not to mention, I think it's pretty arrogant to call something a law. Yeah, I know Newton did something like that, but Einstein didn't and neither did Darwin. I think scientists have become more humble since Newton's time.
About Pico's edit, again - scientific theories on how life changes/evolves are falsifiable whereas that life was designed aren't. A lot of people do believe that God instilled in his living creations the capacity to evolve/change, but again - we can't falsify that.Lovecoconuts 17:53, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

Before dragging us down this road of argumentation, would all parties please read the pertinent talkpage from the creation-evolution controversy article regarding the nuanced distinctions between scientific theory and scientific law? Theory is the strongest statement that is made by science. A law is simply a succinct scientific statement that is not easily ammended. --ScienceApologist 18:22, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

You are pretty fast. While I tried to comment the first two new entries, there are more than 9 new ones ;)
Lovecoconuts, your are right: that evolution by natural selection exists, is a fact (you may even call it a law), but we are talking about micro evolution then. To my knowledge at least some ID people accept this. Micro evolution is a prerequisite for macro evolution, but it does not imply it. So if you want to falsify macro evolution directly (i.e. the generation of species by natural selection), you need a time machine like for ID. I see no other chance.
JPotter, of course there are many predictions made by the theory of evolution, e.g. about the fossils etc. (see above). But ID should be able to make similar predictions, because if ID people say, species have not changed during the history of earth, they can conclude consequences e.g. again on fossils or whatsoever and these predictions could be verified. I have not read their literature, but if they don’t make any predictions, they are just bad workers. (If they do not deny, that species have changed we end up with a theistic evolution, which is not in contradiction to an atheistic evolution at all.)
Coming back to the requirements on ID to be a scientific theory: If we use a terminology with narrow definitions, both macro evolution and ID are not falsifiable and empirically testable. If we use a wider definition both are. It is not fair to treat them differently on this issue, I think.
Ghost, if you have top minds working on this issue, then why is the “ID as a sciene” chapter so poor? Again here are my complaints: The terminology in this chapter is not clearly defined. Applicability of the criteria is not checked. Evidence is only in the footnotes. Comparison with the therory of evolution is not made. The line of reasoning is therefore very weak. Just to quote somebody how has proclaimed something is a poor argument (even it is the pope or a noble price winner). --Peter Menke 18:47, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Peter, you seem to have adopted many different arguents from different varieties of creationism. In particular, many of your comments don't directly apply to ID as outlined by ID proponents directly. In fact, ID proponents don't object in principle to macroevolution, rather stating either that a) processes of natural selection cannot account for all of biodiversity (Dembski's and Behe's claims of complexity arguments that you don't seem to address), or b) current modern synthesis unfairly excludes supernatural causes (Myers' and Johnson's philosophical attack on Darwinism). It seems that it is the latter you are leaning towards, but then you fall into some common creationist demarcation points usually avoided by the ID proponents (see Creation-evolution controversy#Defining evolution) since it is fairly clearly not a point of contention for modern science. This is due in no small part to the development of science's empirical basis centuries ago. Do not confuse experimentation with observation -- scientific evidence comes in more forms than that which can be observed in a laboratory. One can be an Omphalos creationist, and agree to your outlandish notions of "narrow definitions" for "falsifiability", but that isn't technically an ID argument either. In short, your objections are pretty much based in your own amalgamated POV and do not rise to the clarity needed to address the intentionally nuanced arguments the ID proponents. --ScienceApologist 19:14, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Peter, I appreciate your passion for the topic. To address your points (and then let's move this elsewhere unless absolutely needed), ID is not falsifiable an either the micro or macro scale. Despite your logical assumption that ID proponents should be able to make predictions, we have yet to see one. Since ID is not testable on the micro level as yet, it does not hold up to your subsequent point at all. Finally, several people that have edited here are eminently qualified in the various fields of discussion. However, the contentious discussion and instability tends to keep many good editors away. Thus my Don Quixote-like campaign for etiquette.--ghost 19:43, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
This is a comment on Lovecoconut's claim that "It's virtually impossible to falsify a fact." Let us say Lovecoconuts is correct and facts are almost impossible to falsify, and further, that "Evolution (life changes/is changing), which is a fact." It would follow that Evolution (life changes/is changing) is almost impossible to falsify, which is the very charge leveled at ID. This is an implication that would interest ID proponents very much. Endomion 20:03, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
The semantic display is nice, but, as you know, not entirely accurate (or fair for that matter). I'm sure you realize that LC was using "fact" in two different ways -- is this "sloppy English"? yes, but not a reason to nitpick. Jim62sch 23:56, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Indeed, you know you don't have a point, there, Endomion. If a fact cannot be falsified (proven false), that doesn't mean it is unfalsifiable (could be proven false, if it were false). -- Ec5618 23:59, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Sloppy English would be acceptable if this article was a pile of relentless anti-ID propaganda, but since everyone acknowledges that it is encyclopedic and totally neutral, the use of the phrase "uncontested data" is not acceptable. But far be it from me to actually try to fix it, my edits around here have a shorter lifespan than a child's balloon. Endomion 03:31, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Jim, yah - my English sloppy sometimes, but I'll definitely be extra careful if I edit anything in an actual article. Besides, I always discuss first with other editors before I make any edits. Wikipedia be the encyclopedia where anyone can edit, which also means anyone can edit anyone's edits.Lovecoconuts 03:45, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
LC, I wasn't criticizing you, I was defending you.  :)
Endomion, "uncontested data" merely means data that everyone agrees is accurate -- like "a flower is a plant". How that could be objectionable is beyond me. Jim62sch 10:36, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

ScienceApologist and Ghost,

1. Sorry for some strange and outlandish wording. I am no native speaker. I hope you’ll get my point nevertheless.

2. Quote from the summary of the ID arcticle: “Intelligent design proponents say that while evidence pointing to the nature of an "intelligent cause or agent" may not be directly observable, its effects on nature can be detected.”. To my understanding this means that the ID proponets do make some predictions, which could be checked. Now, Ghost says they don’t. What’s true?

3. If they really don’t make any prediction on anything, I do understand this whole battle which is going on, right now. Because in this case ID proponents would simply say, that they believe, that behind evolution there is some guiding, undetectable supernatural force. This believe cannot be proved and it cannot be disproved (due to the indeterminism discovered by quantum mechanics God wouldn’t even need to do a miracle to give that guidance ;) The complexity arguments etc. would be indications for this belief, like the testemonies of the Apostles are indications for the ressurection of Christ, but of course no proofs. In this case ID would not be in contradiction with any scientific therory. In this case ID would be identical with the theist evolution concept which is hold by most european churches including RC (first proposed by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin).

4. My basic point is that in its attempt to fight back ID, the article over reacts. Maybe this can be seen more clearly by somebody who has no G.W.Bush as president. The article becomes polemic and lacks a clear line of reasoning in some parts. This is especially true for the chapter “ID as science”. The required criteria are not clearly defined. There is no clear line of reasoning, why ID does not fulfil these criteria whereas theory of evolution does. Just some small footnotes. The results is proclaimed and not deduced from evidence. To my opinion for the falsifiability and testability criterion, ID is attacked without good reason. Since depending on the exact definition of this criterion either both ID and the theory of evolution as an explanation for the origin of species fulfil it or both don’t.

5. The discussion on the ID subject in the US seems to be so overheated and so emotional, that you really have to be very careful to be neutral and factual. Every single word in the article has to be solid as a rock. Everything else is just putting oil into the fire. --Peter Menke 23:50, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

Point 2: ID proponents do suggest that intelligence can be proven. The important problem is that they do not show how that could be done, so their claims are unfalsifiable. -- Ec5618 23:59, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
1. Your English is fine. German is your first language, perhaps?
2. They are not scientific predictions, they are suppositions based on defining the criteria by which an intelligent cause can be inferred. However, these suppositions are horribly flawed: the logic is if all A's are B's therefore all B's are A's (e.g., all horses are mammals, therefore all mammals are horses.)
3. I'm not sure I follow you. No supernatural force can be proven or disproven, not because of quantum physics, but because it is supernatural. In all honesty, I'm not sure where you’re going with the quantum mechanics argument (Heisenberg?), but feel free to elaborate.
4. You may have a point, I don't know given that I unfortunately have Dubya as president (meaning I'm too close to the debate, as are many of us).However, the French (if Le Monde, La Liberation and Le Parisienne are to be believed) are equally vehement. As for the ID as Science portion, would you suggest that we specify why ID does not fit the criteria?
5. Feel free to offer ideas. Jim62sch 00:18, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Peter, the fourth point you make, that the article attempts to "fight back ID", is not only the chief problem of the article, but in the wake of a recent US District court ruling that ID is religion, this counter-attack is also quite moot. Endomion 23:57, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Peter, the whole point is that IDists don't just say evolution was guided by an undectectable force. Most of us would be fine with such a statement which is really what theistic evolution is. ID says that life and certain features of life are too complex to evolve naturally, and that these features are detectable and can reliably indicate design in nature. That is where the contention is, that the guidance can be observed/measured. --JPotter 00:04, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

1. Jim62sch, yes, I am German.

2. My summary is: depending on how ID evolves, I see three different possibilities for my view on it:

a) ID agrees with every finding of palaeontology, geology, physics etc. (e.g. dating of the fossils), just believing that natural selection alone is not sufficient to explain the evolutionary process. Indications for this belief are the complexity arguments. Nobody should have any objection to this way of thinking.
b) like a) but ID says that it is possible to prove that design is necessary. Such an attempt definitely ends up in some kind of tautology. That complexity is produced by coincidence may be unbelievably unlikely but it is never impossible. ID is junk science then, as you called it.
(On the other hand atheist evolutionists should be so fair to admit that they also cannot prove that it was just natural selection alone that happened during evolution and nothing more. This sounds trivial, but it is fact that some people say the theory of evolution proves that god as a creator does not exist.)
c) ID describes how the design process actually has happened (sequence of events, time scale etc.). In this case ID would make empirically testable predictions. It would be a new scientific theory, which could be verified.

3. Jim62sch, sorry, this quantum issue really does not belong to our topic. It is just that in a Laplacian, deterministic picture of the world, any divine interference to the physical world would require breaking a physical law. Such a thing could be observed. Whereas in quantum mechanics divine interference would be possible without breaking any physical law and without being observable by any means. This is just because, QM only gives probabilities for certain events and no prediction which event is actually going to happen.

4. Jim62sch, you’re right. This debate is not just an American issue. Very recently I have read an article in the German weekly news magazine Der Spiegel. It was very polemic, not only against ID, but more or less against Christians in general. I think the reason for such over reactions is, that atheists are afraid to loose their right to be atheists. Der Spiegel blamed Bush that he wants to build an American theocracy. In fact ID and creationism seem to be linked quite closely to an anti-intellectual, anti-liberal and intolerant religious fundamentalism (at least very often). I am a Christian and I sometimes wonder whether God really created the world in seven days about 10.000 years ago but made it look like as if is a couple of billion years old, just to make sure that the atheists have the right to be atheists ;)

5. Jim62sch, as I pointed out, particularly the "ID as Science" chapter needs improvement. For every criterion a clear definition should be given, it should be discussed whether the criterion is applicable in this case, evidence should be given why ID fulfils the criterion or doesn’t fulfil it. Same should be done for the theory of evolution, to explain the difference between both.

When I look at the whole article, I would guess that 50% of the article of even less is on how ID is understood by its proponents and 50% or more of the article is on the critics view of ID. This proportion seems to be strange, many will call it unfair. 70% to 30% or so would be better. --Peter Menke 00:37, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Peter, I understand your points, unfortunately I cannot agree with most of them, especially those in item 2. However, that is a philosophical debate that really doesn't have anything to do with this page. However, I should not that you should not automatically call evolutionists atheists, making such assertions has gotten many a wikipedian in trouble. (Außerdem hat das nicht recht). Evolution makes no statement either way regarding a deity. One is free to be theist, deist, agnostic, atheist or anything in-between.
Another concept applicable here is that an absence of absolute proof on the part of evolution is not proof of intelligent design. Making such a leap in logic is a fallacy.
As for providing point-by-point critiques for where ID fails scientifically, I doubt that that will fly. I understand your desire for such a provision, but it would merely make a long article longer, and would probably not offer much of any improvement.
But, here goes; my reasons:
Consistent (internally and externally) -- ID has shifted definitions so often, including those of it's sub-theories (SC, IC, FTU) that it becomes difficult to know precisely what it is.
Parsimonious (sparing in proposed entities or explanations, see Occam's Razor) -- the introduction of a supernatural being certainly violates this criterion.
Useful (describes and explains observed phenomena) -- it may describe an observation -- assuming one chooses to see design, but it explains nothing in any way that is meaningful scientifically.
Empirically testable & falsifiable (see Falsifiability) -- there is no way to test the existence of a supernatural entity, therefore the rest of ID is untestable.
Based upon multiple observations, often in the form of controlled, repeated experiments -- an impossibility, but not because it is historical as someone else proposed.
Correctable & dynamic (changes are made as new data are discovered) -- yes, ID makes many changes, but not for reasons of new data, the changes are political in nature.
Progressive (achieves all that previous theories have and more) -- uh, no.
Provisional or tentative (admits that it might not be correct rather than asserting certainty) -- not even close.
Zero for eight. Jim62sch 01:31, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Unfortunately, there's a lot of generalizing going on. Whoever wrote that article shouldn't target Christians in general but the small fraction who wants their version of creation taught in science classes in public school.
Also, the ID side has caused problems for Christians who accept evolution. For example, in the Dover trial, one of the plaintiffs is a Catholic. (The Roman Catholic Church is fine and dandy about Evolution). Anyway, this Catholic's child was accused as an atheist by her peers for accepting evolution.
ID is definitely anti-science and also denies the evidence presented by fossil records. In Kansas, they even had the meaning of science changed so that ID can be taught in science classes. Now anything with supernatural elements can be taught as a science: astrology, extra-terrestrials, psychic readings, etc.
Just have a look at the Steve Project. A lot of prominent scientists have given support against ID and other forms of creation science, including Stephen Hawking.
If you want something similar to ID but not opposing science, please have a look at Theistic Evolution or Creationary Evolution. I've observed that ID is often confused with TE or CE.
About whether God created the world in 6 days and just made it look like billions of years. I've heard of that, but I prefer the theory proposed by one of my elementary school teachers - 6 days to God may be billions of years to us. Sort of like the theory of relativity. Time depends on pov. Plus, units of time have changed in history.
It's like a Sim game, I suppose.Lovecoconuts 01:15, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Jim62sch and Lovecoconuts, thanks for your comments. It seems that my English not as good as you thought first. I really cannot see where ever I said that every evolutionist is an atheist. This would be silly, especially in Europe, where theist evolution is the most common view among christians. I was just complaining that some evolutionists (who are atheists) misuse the theory of evolution as a weapon against theists. Just like some conservative christians misuse the bible to promote their personal moral views. The young earth creationism I proposed, was rather a joke. Maybe my humor is a bit strange. My point was, that if it clould be proven, that earth was created, there would'nt be a real free choice to believe in God or not. So I wondered whether God deliberately created in disguise to allow everbody to make this choice freely.

Jim62sch, I agree with your reasoning on why ID is no science. The current teaching of ID seems to be something like 2b) in my previous posting, so I concluded that it is pseudo science. Nevertheless I want to point out, that marco evolution is like the designer not directly empirically testable and falsifiable. It is an assumption which cannot be verified directly, since it is historical. But with the help of this assumption predictions are made on how fossils should look like etc. etc. These predictions are empirically testable. Since the predictions are found to be true, it can be concluded, that the assuption of macro evolution is (most likely) correct. Now, the problem with ID is not that they a postulating a designer, this would be ok. Look at the postulates of quantumn mechanics. They are quite strange as well. But both QM and the theory of evolution make predictions, which are empirically testable. It seems that ID doesn't make any empirically testable prediction at all (at least I don't know). That's why ID does not fulfill the criterion. The above reasoning shows, that it is not obvious, why ID doesn't fullfil the required criteria. It has to be explained. Since this is a key issue and ID proponents are complaining not to be treated fairly, I would really recommed to extend the chapter "ID as science" with a clear line of reasoning. --Peter Menke 13:49, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Peter, you are correct about the problem of "predicting" things which can only be historical. If a theory must make predictions to be considered scientific, then we must throw out big bang cosmology, unless we can figure out a way to create more big bangs to see if observations match predictions. Fortunately for big bang cosmology, all that we need to do is make predictions about future observations of conditions (such as the isotropy of the microwave background radiation) that support the big bang. By the same token, all that intelligent design need do is make predictions about future biological observations (such as a sudden transition in the fossil record of complex systems such as wings). Just because observations have not yet confirmed ID does not make it unscientific. Endomion 17:28, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
Do we really need to go through the whole natural vs. supernatural argument again? I think not. Additionally, your analogy is false for more reasons than I have the time or effort to go into right now. Jim62sch 00:27, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Jim62sch, if there was a lengthy discussion on this issue, why hasn't anything been put into the article? Why do I find only proclamations and almost no evidence and a only poor line of reasoning? I can't avoid the suspicion, that this is because a clear line of reasoning might result in a condemnation of ID less strict as it is intended to be. Your're right Jim, a discussion where the only allowed outcome was already fixed by each opposing party before discussion has started is a waste of time. Bye. --Peter Menke 22:37, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

That's why we have archives. You need to read them. If you do, the logic will become clearer to you. In addition, what do you mean, "why hasn't anything been put into the article"? From the opening section: "The U.S. National Academy of Sciences has stated that intelligent design "and other claims of supernatural intervention in the origin of life" are not science because they cannot be tested by experiment, do not generate any predictions and propose no new hypotheses of their own.[5]" Also see, "Origins of the concept". The concept is quite simple: once we get into the supernatural (or paranormal), we have left science behind. If you find that to be poor logic, then I really have naught more to say to you. Jim62sch 00:47, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

It seems that the definition of the term "scientific" is different in US and Germany. In Germany e.g. philosophy is considered to be a science, not a natural science of course but a science. And of course probably all major philosophers in human history have published some thoughts on God. In Germany, whether something is a considered to be a science is determined by the question whether scientific methods are used, not what assumptions e.g. on the existence of God are made. Therfore for me, the equation "supernatural" = "non materialistic" = "non scientific" is too simple. You cannot say that e.g. noble prize winner John Carew Eccles, who had a non materialistic view on human Consciousness, was a bad scientist.

In Germany, we distinguish between “Naturwissenschaften” (natural sciences) and “Geisteswissenschaft” (like history, philosophy, theology, psychology etc.). The question of the origin of species is strictly speaking a “Geisteswissenschaft”, since it is an historical issue. (But since it is part of biology it is teached at the natural sciences faculty of University.)

The requirements the U.S. National Academy of Sciences has defined are the requirements on a natural science (not on a science in general). The key criterion which distinguishes the natural sciences from the other sciences is, that their assumptions can be “tested by experiment”. Again: this is not true for both ID and macro evolution. Due to the historical nature of the question an experiment is not possible to verify any of the two concepts. The next requirement “generating predictions” (e.g. on fossil records), which is probably applicable to any science, is the weak point of ID. As far as I know ID proponents rather avoid doing this. But a concept which does not make any predictions on anything is not falsifiable and rather a tautology than a scientific theory. --Peter Menke 21:03, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

One point, you have differentiated between natural science “Naturwissenschaften” and social science “Geisteswissenschaft”: we have the same differentiation here. However, I do not believe that evolution falls into the category of history, even though it does look at past events. I realize that this is a very fine line that I am drawing here, but there is sufficient evidence of ongoing evolution (mostly mutations, which are precisely the drivers behind evolution) for evolution to retain its standing as Naturwissenschaften rather than Geisteswissenschaft. Jim62sch 23:35, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

You are quite right for microevolution. This clearly belongs to the natural sciences, but not for macroevolution. The article uses a great comparison, which can also be used to clarify this issue. It compares the question of the origin of species with the question on how the Egyptians build the pyramids (see “Intelligent design debate”). An experiment on this issue (i.e. building one again) is not only hard to do, even if you manage to do it, this would not proof that they did it the same way you did it. The way historical sciences work is different. In fact paleontologists work in practice very much like archeologists and both work very much like criminologists: They are collecting clues and evidences and they are trying to solve the puzzle. The assumption that a designer is involved is a prioi not more or less scientific than any other assumption. But to be accepted as a scientific theory, ID proponents would have to explain how they put the pieces of the puzzle together (I don’t’ know whether they are doing that at all). And if they make a proposal it has to be at least equally good as the one of macro evolution. In fact is has to be better not to violate Occam’s razor.

PS: To conclude from the fact that the origin of species is no issue of the "true" natural sciences, that it belongs to the "Geisteswissenschaften" was nonsense. I am sorry. They main selection criterion is of course whether something deals with nature or with man. It is probally best to use the old fashioned term natural history instead. --Peter Menke 20:49, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

I am puzzled by You are quite right for microevolution. This clearly belongs to the natural sciences, but not for macroevolution. To begin with, it's wrong to conflate palaeontology with the study of macroevolution - there is far more to the field than just palaeontology. Much of the work looking at evolution above the species level is molecular and experimental, not historical. In addition, your characterisation of palaeontology seems to have missed out on the last decade or so in which palaeontology has been used to test the predictions of molecular evolution. As for ID - the problem is that there is no research into ID - no attempts to "put the pieces of the puzzle together" - at least no research which has been made public. That is perhaps the biggest problem with ID - no one has constructed a research programme into intelligent design. Guettarda 07:07, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Guettarda, maybe I wasn't precise enough. Maybe you misunderstood macro- and microevolution. Micro(macro)evolution does not mean, evolution on a micro(macro)scopical level (in the meaning of size). To my knowledge, microevolution means tiny changes due to mutations, macroevolution means the generation of a new complex entity like a new species or a new complex organic molecule. Macroevolution takes millions of years and therefore cannot be observed directly. It is an historical issue and the pyramids analogy holds or not? The indications that the macroevolution theory is true are:

1. that there is just a scaling difference between microevolution and macroevolution.
2. the fossil records.

Anyhow it seems that we both have the same point of view on the weak spot of ID. I completely agree. For me, the consequence is, that the chapter "ID as science" should be changed, improving the line of reasoning and focusing on the real problems. My proposal would be to go through each of the criteria and make a comment on each. It may look like this:

- The criteria "parsimonious", "useful", "progressive", "based upon multiple observations", "correctable & dynamic" are not fulfilled unless ID comes up with theory that explains the fossil records etc. equally good or better that the theory of evolution. You can go through each of the points and explain why.
- I don't know exactly but "consistent" seems to be ok.
- "falsifiable" and "empirically testable" (in the meaning of verification by experiment) are not applicable. Neither macroevolution nor ID fulfill this; since we are talking about an historical issue (see pyramids analogy).
- "Provisional or tentative" should be left away from the list. It leads to imputations.

--Peter Menke 20:50, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

No. I'm sorry, microevolution considers evolutionary change which has occurred within species, macroevolution considers speciation and other changes above the species level. Macroevolution is empirically testable and experimental - see triticale for an example of the creation of a new species in the lab. Other ideas are falsifiable - for example, if the fossil record suggests that species A and B share a common ancestor in C, while species D branched off from species B after it split from species A, you can (assuming that A, B and D are extant species) experimentally test this hypothesis using gene trees. In addition, if molecular clock data suggest that species A and B split 1 million years ago, you can test that prediction with palaeontological data. Calling macroevolution an historical science is misleading. As I said before, this may have been a reliable statement 10-15 years ago, but not today. Guettarda 21:15, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
Quite well done, I must say! Jim62sch 21:29, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

I am not am expert in this defintition issue and referred to the Wikipedia definition of macroevolution saying that macroevolution "refers to the part of evolution that cannot be directly observed". What I mean is simply the evolution of the existing species, which obiviously happened in the past and wasn't observed by any human being. Maybe we have to find another word for it. Let's call it "the evolution of the existing species". Furthermore I made the mistake in my proposal, that the predictions made by the therory of evolution of the existing species (e.g. on the fossil records or on the gene trees) are of course falsifiable and empirically testable, as Guettarda pointed out. This was already discussed earlier. Sorry for omitting that again. So my revised proposal is:

- The criteria "parsimonious", "useful", "progressive", "based upon multiple observations", "correctable & dynamic", "falsifiable and emprically testable predictions" are not fulfilled by ID unless ID comes up with theory that explains the fossil records, gene trees etc. equally good or better that the theory of evolution.
- I don't know exactly but "consistent" seems to be ok.
- "directly falsifiable" and "directly empirically testable" (in the meaning of verification by experiment) are not applicable. Neither the the theroy of evolution of the existing species nor ID fulfill this; since we are talking about an historical issue.
- "Provisional or tentative" should be left away from the list. It leads to imputations.

Let me explain what I mean by directly falsifiable by using the pyramid analogy. "Falsifiable" means: "impossible to be proven wrong if it is wrong". Let's assume the Egytians build the pyramids on their own, but you think the aliens helped them. Can anybody prove that you are wrong. Obviously not. Clever aliens help without leaving a trace. Now, let's assume the aliens really helped them, but you believe they did not. Can anybody prove, that you're wrong? No. They pyramids look pretty difficult to build but not impossible to build. Therfore, neither the "alien concepts" nor the "no aliens concept" is falsifiable.

So I think, now the proposal should be ok. What do you think? --Peter Menke 22:44, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps I'm being dense, but what exactly are you proposing? this is unclear to me. KillerChihuahua?!? 22:51, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Discussion continued on main page. (or see /Archive 28#Menke when it is archived)

Splitting Hairs = Being Unclear

"Intelligent design (ID) is the concept 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]"

What exactly is an intelligent cause? How can a cause be intelligent? If there is such a thing, wouldn't natural selction be one? Is this an attempt to be inclusive? It seems to me to just muddy the waters in the very first statement of the article. Let's be clear, ID proponents seem to be saying that an intellgent entity is responsible for complexity in the unverse. The statement should simply say "intelligent agent".

Also, discussing an "guided" or "unguided" process is redundant and misleading. Who says natural selection can't be either guided or unguided? And, doesn't natural selection guide evolution? I'm confused, others will be too. "Guiding" is insufficient to explain the difference in the two points of view as both natural selection OR an intelligent entity could "guide" certain features. I think the point is who or what is doing the guiding.

This initial statement needs to be edited, or better yet, rewritten to be clear and precise.


Sorry, but that is a direct quote from the leading ID "research" body, the Discovery Institute. It is not our place to place words in their mouths. --DocJohnny 18:55, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
I agree with DocJohnny. The use of a direct quote, rather than a restatement, in this case is an attempt to maintain NPOV thru the use of a reference statement of a minority opinion. I understand it's unclear and confusing. That appears to be intentional.--ghost 19:47, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
I agree with you about the intention. It's somewhat unusual, though, to open an article with a quote by a party involved in a dispute on the subject. It needs at least a clearer attribution. Maybe something like:
Intelligent design (ID), according to the Discovery Institute, is the concept that "certain features [...]
Maybe replace "the Discovery Institute" with "proponents" or something. Algae 20:10, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Not when that group is the defining group of the topic. Not only is the Discovery Institute the group that has defined ID, the entire topic is a product of the institute, both as a movement and a philosophical/"scientific" concept. FeloniousMonk 20:49, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure which statement of mine you disagree with. My argument is very simple: It is extremely rare for an encyclopedic article to lead with a quote. Try Objectivist philosophy or Raëlism (or any other subject you care to name) which are also fairly controversial ideas put forward by one entity. So if we have to start with a quote, we had better make it obvious that we do. The very fact that some editors try to edit the quote demonstrates that it is not clear enough. So what's wrong with making sure everyone understands where the leading sentence is coming from? Algae 21:31, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Um, that's why it's in quotation marks and has a footnote. It's unambiguous, except for the terminally obtuse. FeloniousMonk 22:50, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, that was kind of my point farther up the discussion page. If quotation marks and a footnote or five do not give an indication that certain sources are being cited, then I doubt even blinky lights and flaming arrows would help. Jim62sch 00:25, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
No one disputes that burning hydrogen and oxygen are "guided" into forming H2O instead of other molecules, but the argument is whether that guidance is by unconscious regularities of succession or by a conscious will. So the debate is really about whether consciousness is a matter for physics or for metaphysics. Endomion 20:12, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
What do you think of this definition:
Intelligent design, generally speaking, is a reference to theories, and the collection of theories, which are attempts to prove the teleological argument. The argument is based on the philosophical perspective of teleology which presupposes that there is purpose in nature—an organizing principle or design. Arguments brought forth on the subject are that this organization can be observed empirically and objectively. Further, it is usually said to be the work of a deity.
The three major arguments and theories which propose (and purport) to prove, scientifically or through reasoned philosophy, that nature was designed are the arguments of a fine-tuned universe, irreducible complexity, and—the latest—specified complexity. All theories attempt to provide evidence for the teleological argument. While there are important differences, they are often regarded as fundamentally identical or extensions of one another.
--Ben 21:54, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
None of those is a theory. — Dunc| 22:05, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
No. None of those is regarded as a scientific theory. See for yourself: definition of theory --Ben 22:07, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
On a page dealing with claims about science, we shouldn't use the word "theory" to mean something other than a scientific theory. This will only cause confusion. --ScienceApologist 22:19, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Well, I guess I just have more respect for the intelligence level of the readers than you guys do. Feel free to imagine a different word in its place if you actually want to comment on the definition.--Ben 22:25, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Anything that starts out with "generally speaking" you can pretty much discount as not being encyclopedic. The rest of what Ben suggests say nothing of actual ID, so it is inappropriate as an intro. The current into is accurate, precise, and well supported. FeloniousMonk 22:50, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Well, I think it is so ambiguous that "generally speaking" is a good caveat for the reader to understand that it is not always defined this way. If you have a better way, something along the lines of "in the mainstream media" or some way to describe this, please suggest it rather than go to the old fallback of "it isn't encyclopedic." Also, when you say my definition "says nothing of actual ID", that's what's known as begging the question. Please don't do it. --Ben 23:15, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Also, if you are replying to me, you needn't speak to me in the third person. --Ben 23:40, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Ben, I use 3rd person to avoid people taking things as a personal attack. Since you and FM have 'sparred' in the past, he may be doing something similar. I doubt it's a slight.--ghost 23:47, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Well, I think it's a given that a personal attack is a personal attack regardless if its in the third person. The reason some people talk about others who are in the room in the third person, and its pretty obvious, is because they like appealing to the crowd instead of actually talking to the person. Consider what referring to someone like that in real life would be like. Here's an example. Three people are in a room: Alice, Bob, and Jane. Alice says "I think Ford makes great cars" and Bob turns to Jane and says "Alice said Ford makes great cars, but Ford actually makes shitty cars." How does that make Alice feel? A little left out maybe? A little like Bob is saying "Alice is stupid, don't you think, Jane?" Let's add onto a bit: Say Jane, the third person, respects both positions. When Bob tells Jane this, what position does that put Jane in?--Ben 01:52, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
Ben, your behaviour is disruptive, yet again. You are assuming slights where none were intended, and again inferring things that were not implied. Jim62sch 02:48, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
Leave it to you to say that.--Ben 02:54, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
I call them as I see them. In fact, I'm guessing a few other editors have noted the behaviour as well. Jim62sch 12:51, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
The primary problem with Ben's definition is that both IC and SC are essentially "sub-theories" (of purported scientific value) used to support the ID "theory" (ditto). By themselves, they are the engine and transmission of a non-existent car. FTU would be an auxiliary "theory" (the rear view mirrors) not required for the car to operate, but nice to have. Jim62sch 00:38, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
Irreducible Complexity, rather than being a "sub-theory" of ID, is the heart of ID's claim to be a falsifiable theory. If it can be demonstrated that incremental processes do not unduly burden an organism's ability to reproduce (relative to its unmutated companions) until the structure is fully formed (eye, wing, flagellum, what-have-you), then ID has been falsified. Endomion 00:59, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
I thought my definition made that clear in the first sentence? --Ben 01:59, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
Which still makes it a sub-theory. ID is the parent theory. Oh, why bother. Jim62sch 02:53, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
Which still makes what a sub-theory? What are you talking about? And what's with this "Oh, why bother" bullshit? Stop being a dick. I am basically agreeing with you. You can say "ID is the parent theory" if you want. You can say the sub-theories are IC, SC, FTU. That's perfectly fine. Did you read the definition???? Where is this unclear?--Ben 03:02, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
You simply cannot stop with personal attacks can you? Additionally, what's with the persecution complex, and the belief that every comment is aimed at Ben? Did it even cross your mind that the "Oh, why bother" may very well not have been intended for you?
My objection to what you wrote as a definition was in the wording, primarily of the first paragraph, "...generally speaking, is a reference to theories, and the collection of theories...". I didn't say that your points were necessarily incorrect, but the wording does not seem to indicate any sense of subordination. (FM's point is valid re "generally speaking). Jim62sch 12:51, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
(shudders) I really don't care anymore. All I want is that readers stop confusing this anti-evolution ID with okay-with-evolution design. A LOT of people do think that the evolutionary process is designed by God, most Catholics probably have a belief process like that since the late John Paul II approved Evolution. Also, the Catholics aren't the only religious denomination that has issued statements accepting/supporting evolution.
How about that the article start off with - This article is about the intelligent design theory being proposed as an opposing scientific theory to evolution. For information about intelligent design (concept), please go to...
The article will have to split off into "intelligent_design" and "intelligent_design(concept)". I'll understand and won't be surprised if this has been discussed before and if the editors think this is unnecessary. Frankly, I think it's a lot of work.Lovecoconuts 02:01, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
That's what I want this article to be about, so I wouldn't agree with some sort of split (and some people are going to say you have a pro-ID agenda and want to "POV fork" the article, whatever that means) Also, did you check out the definition I was proposing? It would be explained (fairly soon after) that while theories like irreducible complexity and specified complexity are basically in contradiction with evolution, the concept* itself isn't.
*note that it would also explain that ID can mean other things too, including just a belief in teology and God, rather than belief in the teological argument or theories supporting it. Things like that. --Ben 02:25, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
That it "can" mean other things? Of course it can, but does it? Jim62sch 02:53, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
Let's check out the first 5 results in the Google search for "definition of intelligent design is" [13]
"Although natural selection happens in nature all the time, my friend's definition of intelligent design is not one I can scientifically disprove either..."
"But the pop-culture definition of intelligent design is something different. The term first appeared in a Scientific American article in 1847..."
"His definition of intelligent design is 98% common sense and 2% aesthetics -- an approach that reminds me of what has consistently distinguished..."
"Stephen Meyer’s sweeping definition of "intelligent design" is so generalized that he may very well be trying to sneak ID in the back door by way of a valid..."
"And the definition of "intelligent design" is given as follows: "Any theory that attributes an action, function, or the structure of an object to the..."
"But THAT sort of definition of "Intelligent Design" is not what the proponents mean. Instead they want presentation of a theory based on a diety constantly..."
Still not convinced? Then don't stop there: Look through ALL the search results. [14]--Ben 03:07, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
As I explained to ghost on his talk page, the article defines the topic using the every words of not just the leading ID authorities, but the group from which ID originated and is still driven by, the Discovery Institute. It does this for the obvious reason that if they created the current concept of ID, then they are best suited to say what it is.
To say that ID is anything other than that it's the concept 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." [15] is an exercise in denying the obvious. Every leading ID proponent abides by this definition by dint of the simple fact that every single leading ID proponent is a Discovery Institute Fellow or staff [16] [17].
ID is what it's leading proponents say it is; if you have a problem with that, take it up with the Discovery Institute, not me. I only insist that we report the facts. FeloniousMonk 05:39, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
The Discovery Institute defines Intelligent Design as "The theory 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."
Your opinion:
The reader expects an encyclopedic article on Intelligent design to be about the Discovery Institute's definition.
Don't mix them up. I think I've have provided a lot of examples, been an example myself as well as numerous other editors, showing that readers do not expect this.--Ben 09:00, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
The fact remains that all leading ID proponents are Discovery Institute staff or fellows, making the institute the center of all things "intelligent design." You can no more separate ID from its proponents than you can separate the catechism from the Vatican. The sooner you and readers understand that, the sooner you will begin to understand ID. And The Discovery Institute's definition is the definitive one. It's widely used and cited: "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."
The Discovery Institute's central role in defining and promoting ID is widely acknowledged:
  • President, Cornell University: "The Seattle-based Discovery Institute, which has been leading the intelligent design movement, defines it this way: "The scientific 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."
  • Tech Central Station: Descent of Man in Dover: "The leading scientists and scholars researching and advancing the theory define intelligent design as: 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." On the institute's role: "One of intelligent design's strongest proponents, Discovery Institute in its press release concerning the trial claims definitional authority ("Discovery Institute is the nation's leading think-tank researching intelligent design")"
Ben, you force me to be frank with you once again. In trying to force this issue many times already, you've disrupted this page many, many times. Your list of personal attacks is well chronicalled in your still open user conduct RFC and resulted in you being blocked several times for up to a week for personal attacks here. And yet you still continue to make personal attacks despite all effort to reform your behavior [19]. There's a limit to what responsible editors here have to endure. Your objections to the intro and are specious and fly in the face of all evidence. Furthermore, your 2+ months of trying to redefine ID here are notable only for the amount of ill will you've created with your history of personal attacks which has marked you as a chronic malcontent and earned you a place on "crank" lists of many editors, including me. You learned nothing from your RFC apparently, nor from your 1 week block for attacking others. We are not going to redefine ID based on your complaining and flimsy reasoning and evidence. I suggest you find a more constructive way to contribute to the project than continuing to waste the time of responsible contributors here. FeloniousMonk 16:59, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
Given that that is the definition that was discussed in Dover, and that it is that definition that drives efforts in Cobb County and in Kansas, yes, I think it would be a logical assumption to expect readers to search for the definition of ID that matches what they have heard/read/experienced. I also note that most of the "googled" cites were not of much value, although a search for "intelligent design" refers one directly to ID as we know it here. Jim62sch 13:11, 4 January 2006 (UTC)


Re: "Poor grammar, intelligent design cannot be stated in a possessive form." There is no steadfast rule that precludes using a possessive for concepts or inanimate objects. While I agree with Endomion that it is better not to use possessives when describing a concept, it is really a simple matter of preference. However, whichever preference we choose, we must be consistent throughout the article. Jim62sch 01:49, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

I will retract my edits and "resurrect" the article to the way I found it, so to speak. Endomion 02:12, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
Re "Revert all Endomion edits, even good faith attempts to improve readability are resisted": if you recall, I agreed with you regarding the use of possessives (with the exception of organizations, which are generally personified). The other edits, though, were without foundation in that there is no proof that person A knew of the use of "Intelligent Design" by person B (or person C). Jim62sch 02:23, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
It's one thing to make an article I disagree with look better, but the last thing I'm going to do is get into an edit war trying to make an article I disagree with look better. Endomion 02:28, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Pre- & post- Kitzmiller, proponents seek to redefine ID

The Discovery Institute attempts a real-world POV fork. Similar to what has been playing out on this page over the last few months, and particularly since the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District ruling, ID proponents have been seeking to redefine ID since at least September to mitigate damage from the ruling, which was viewed as a near-inevitability by the institute: Imposter Design Theory On Trial In Dover Case, Real Intelligent Design Still Not Discussed in Court By: Discovery Institute staff, September 28, 2005. The news release reaffirms the definition this article uses, and rightly asserts that the institute is uniquely suited to define ID (even when it's dissembling). We can accept the former while not facilitating the latter. Attempts to redefine, "disambiguate" by introducing ambiguities, or otherwise broaden the meaning or definition of ID will be scrutinized for dissembling. FeloniousMonk 06:37, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Last September? I guess they must have realized even then that they would lose the trial.
FM, you're probably very tired about this so I'll back off on the distinguishing TE from ID issue.
May I know if differentiating the general (obvious) descriptive term of intelligent design from supposedly scientific ID has been attempted in this article before?
For example, the term "intelligent design" is used in architecture, engineering, fashion, furniture design, interior design and even in website layout design. Evolution is even described and can be argued as an intelligent design. The term "intelligent design" can be applied to anything which is considered as cleverly or wisely or intuitively planned.
DI's ID, on the other hand, is specifically anti-evolution and being presented as something only scientific. Their use of the term "intelligent design" is distinctly different from the general usage above and appears limited for the purpose of opposing evolution.Lovecoconuts 07:29, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
The fact that the two are widely separated topics and this article makes clear what it addresses in the first sentence means that there's very little chance someone would confuse the two. FeloniousMonk 08:08, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
Ok.Lovecoconuts 08:13, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

No the switch came earlier. Around 2000 they realised they didn't have any "ID theory" to teach so they started the "teach the controversy" scam. The Dover school board and the TMLC evidently missed the switch. — Dunc| 14:15, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Unsurprisingly, the CI's news seems to be mostly about "Dover Judge's Muddled Thinking" and "blasting Judge Jones in the Dover case for judicial activism", but they've also been seeking to redefine history: an article (pdf) by: Jonathan Witt, Discovery Institute, October 1, 2005 asserts "the intelligent design predates Edwards vs. Aguillard by many years."

It cites "By Design, a history of the current design controversy, [by] journalist Larry Witham" as tracing ID ideas to Michael Polanyi in 1967 talking of irreducible structures, and "the seminal 1984 book The Mystery of Life’s Origin by Charles Thaxton... written under the auspices of the Foundation for Thought and Ethics" which talks of "informative intervention" and "intelligent cause". He describes it as using "classic intelligent design vocabulary" and finds "more of the same in molecular biologist Michael Denton’s 1985 book Evolution: A Theory in Crisis" writing of “The inference to design". He claims that "Thaxton, Meyer, and others were by that time (1984) already using terms like creative intelligence, intelligent cause, artificer, and intelligent artificer as they grappled together with questions of design detection in science." He writes that "Thaxton was then serving as the editor for a supplemental science textbook co-authored by Kenyon, named Of Pandas and People" [bit of sleight of hand, as the evidence at Kitzmiller puts that name rather later], says as it neared completion he "cast around for a term [and] found it in a phrase he picked up from a NASA scientist. ...It was soon incorporated into the language of the book." [Just after Edwards vs. Aguillard. My, what a coincidence!] Anyway, historical revisionism apart, the article seems to confirm our history or origins of the term, but the above references to authors could perhaps be briefly noted under the Origins of the concept section. ....dave souza 00:25, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Proof that revisionism is always better than 20/20. Thanks for the links. FeloniousMonk 00:35, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Gee, I wonder why those lawerly fools from TMLC didn't think of that argument? Jim62sch 01:49, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Light relief

Try William M. Connolley 18:01, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

lol, thanks much. KillerChihuahua?!? 19:19, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
LOL. I kept thinking of the Parrot sketch from Monty Python. "This is an ex-Parrot!"--ghost 20:53, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

First sentence

Is fine. One puppy's opinion. KillerChihuahua?!? 00:16, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

I refer to this: "Intelligent design (ID) is the concept 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."

Agreed. It is accurate and well supported. FeloniousMonk 00:24, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

RobotCzar: Iit is not fine, it makes no sense. "Well-supported" it is not, in fact you did not answer any questions I raised about its suggests that it has no support . The initial line of this article should be a brief and clear definition. "Intelligent cause" is not only nonsense, it does not address the main thrust of ID, which is design by an entity, which is something like a person, I guess. As I pointed out, guiding can be done by natural processes (such as natural selection) with or without a designer. The opening definition merely obfuscates.
Since ID proponents have stated they will not speculate of the nature of the designer, cause fits. Also, the definition is quoted from the Discovery Institute. -- Ec5618 16:22, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Or as Jonathan Witt posted to CI on December 20, 2005, in Dover's Darwinist Judge Rules Against Competing Theory of Intelligent Design, "Design theorists argue that an intelligent cause is the best explanation for certain features of the natural world". If a mere judge can get it wrong, sure wouldn't want to deviate from their definition. ....dave souza 00:39, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
I think it's okay too. Just one question - can we add "anti-evolution"? Intelligent design (ID) is the anti-evolution concept.......
No, because it is not entirely accurate at this point. From Jonathan Wells of DI: "I believe in Darwinian evolution as the natural counterpart of domestic breeding--that is, as an explanation for limited changes within existing species. I confess, however, that I do not believe in Darwinian evolution as a general explanation for the origin and diversification of all living things." Now, whether or not the goal of ID is to evolve into pure creationism with a pseudoscientific twist is not entirely clear, although given some other quotes by Dembski and others it may be. But, making that blanket statement now would be innacurate.
Also, note this qualifying phrase from the first sentence "certain features". Jim62sch 10:47, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

(nods) Ok. I suggested the addition because the idea that ID is anti-evolution is very wide-spread. This entire mess is even often referred to as the "Evolution Wars."
RobotCzar: What features? Complexity? That is far from a "certain" feature and the features included in the ID argument are far from specific, they are, in my mind, very general. And, what other features of the universe are "explained" by ID? Use of "certain" is also bad writing (idomatic) the word is "specific". As I suggested, this could be corrected by simply saying "features". The thrust of my objection is mainly about bad writting, though some of the concepts attempts (e.g., intelligent cause) are unfounded and confusing.
Darwinian evolution as the general explanation for the origin and diversification of all living things... (sighs) There they go again. Darwin's Natural Selection is NOT about the "origin of life." It's just his proposal as to why there is diversity and species. Every time I come across that misconception, I can't help thinking - Oh God, you should have inspired Darwin to pick another title for his book. "Origin of Species" is so often misconstrued as "origin of life" instead of "origin of diversity."Lovecoconuts 14:22, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Jonathan Wells knows that Darwinian selection is not the same as abiogenesis. However, as is pointed out on the creation-evolution controversy page, those who disagree with scientific explanations of biology, geology, and astronomy like to lump together disparate ideas in order to promote their agenda that there is a conspiracy of sorts to eliminate God from the natural world. --ScienceApologist 14:58, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
OK, listen y'all...if you look at the first sentence, you'll notice that there is a footnoted statement in quotes -- this means that it is a direct quote and we cannot change it no matter how much one dislikes the writing. In fact, here (again and for the last time) is the full DI quote: "1. What is the theory of intelligent design?...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." [20] If there is any dispute then, with either the wording or the definition of the topic, please contact DI.
Also, it might be a good idea to read (or reread) the entire discussion, in so doing, one will notice that we have discussed these points ad nauseum. As for the title of Darwin's book, he created the corrected title -- it's not his fault that people can't read. Jim62sch 19:07, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Jim nails it. FeloniousMonk 19:12, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

But if the DI definition is the one used (rather than coming up with one of our own, which would be such a hopeless monster that the edits would never stop), then we should mention earlier in the article the connection between ID and the DI, and that that form of ID is the subject of the article. As Dave and others have complained, some ID proponents distance themselves from the DI.--ragesoss 19:25, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Really? Which proponents would those be? Dembski? Behe? Wells? Johnson? Meyer?
There are no prominent ID proponents who are not affiliated with the Discovery Institute. None. Nada. Zilch. I challenge anyone to name one leading ID proponent who isn't. FeloniousMonk 19:35, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Because there are no prominent ones (and that depends on your definition prominent, but I'm not going to disagree right now), I'm not saying the article be about anything but the DI version. But there are lots of people who considered themselves ID proponents but have different positions.--ragesoss 20:05, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
No doubt some do, but they are not significant players and do not define the topic. NPOV policy specifically calls for viewpoints to be presented in proportion to their significance. Truly insignificant viewpoints need not be covered at all according to policy. That leaves us with the leading proponents defining the topic, all of which belong to the institute. FeloniousMonk 23:46, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
But a viewpoint could be significant without having significant people associated with it, if it was common enough. And other versions may be. But as long as we have no evidence of that, it doesn't matter for the article.--ragesoss 11:23, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
Of course propronents would like distance themselves from the Discovery Institute. No doubt the Discovery Institute would like distance itself from the Discovery Institute, considering that the worst possible outcome occurred with the Kitzmiller ruling. Proponents have already made clear that their strategy now is to redefine or recast ID (just as they did in the mid-80's, with their cut-n-paste of creation science to ID). I see no reason to assist them. FeloniousMonk 19:49, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
A minor correction for Jim: Darwin wittily called it An Abstract of an Essay on the Origin of Species and Varieties through Natural Selection, but was persuaded by Murray, his publisher, to accept the snappier title On the Origin of Species through Natural Selection. "On" was dropped in the 6th edition, . ...dave souza 19:47, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Dave, thanks...I didn't know about the original title. Jim62sch 00:32, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

origin of the concept

The section on origin of the concept is not strictly about the origin of intelligent design. We've agreed that the ID article is primarily about the DI form of ID; strictly speaking the origin part is about the teleological argument, which we haven't even mentioned by this point in the article. Considering the length of the article, it sould be appropiate, IMO, to remove most of the content here and link to Main Article: teleological argument.--ragesoss 17:56, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Sorry, but I've removed your addition of the teleological argument from the intro. As a said in my edit summary, few, if any ID proponents would readily admit that ID is an argument for God's existance, which is what the teleological argument is. FeloniousMonk 18:14, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Concur with FM removing the addition. That would fall under OR, and not only is unsourced, it contradicts what the ID proponents assert ID is, as well. KillerChihuahua?!? 18:18, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
I disagree. The TA is not necessarily about God (despite what that article says). It's essentially an argument about nature exhibiting evidence of purpose. Most ID proponets DO recognize it as a form of teleological argument, though not an argument for God's existence.--ragesoss 18:27, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
I'll try to hunt down some evidence of what I've just asserted.--ragesoss 18:30, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Some evidence, preferably per WP:CITE and WP:V would indeed be in order. KillerChihuahua?!? 18:34, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
It was easy to find instances on ID websites with Google of acknowledgement of the connections and use of the term to refer to the broad philosophical argument, but they also use "teleological argument" often to imply the teleological argument for God's existence (a form of teleological argument more generally). And because (despite being somewhat muddled on this account, with it's history section) the article teleological argument is mostly about the theological form of the argument, ID proponents would probably object to this usage. So I guess I now agree that teleological argument shouldn't be linked at the beginning, because in this case "teleological argument" would clearly be seen to mean a theological argument. That still leaves us with the problem of the origin of the concept section, which invokes Plato and is clearly more teleological argument than ID.--ragesoss 18:54, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

(and by problem, I don't mean that it is wrong, but that it would be more appropriate as a link to the other article.)--ragesoss 18:57, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Witt's brief history of ID says "Its roots stretch back to design arguments made by Socrates and Plato" and also refers to Hoyle, though for once he misses out Paley, so that's the current DI line. ....dave souza 19:58, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
It's not the teleological argument because that is always implied (nudge nudge) but never spoken. It's more akin in many ways to teleology, but is sufficiently different from classic teleology. The ambiguousity of the definition ID allows it to sidestep attacks. One minute it's "science", the next it's philosophy.
The origin is much more recent, because it sprouted from Edwards v. AguillardDunc| 21:25, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Agree with Dave, Dunc, FM and KC. Jim62sch 00:37, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
Yeah... I think I get it now. ID just looks it's out to prove that God exist, but in fact - ID proponents keep on saying it doesn't have to be God - it's an intelligent being. This is different from Theistic Evolution or Evolutionary Creationism wherein it's really about God immediately.Lovecoconuts 02:50, 7 January 2006 (UTC)
One way to look at it is to see that there are two streams to ID. The first stream is to show that there are problems with the theory of evolution. The second stream is to propose an alternative solution (intelligent design). AFAICT ID has found some things that current evolution theory does not (yet) explain but nothing that disproves evolution. The proposed 'solution' to this claimed 'problem' is where intelligent design is pretty much creationism, although it's sort of creationism in rapid retreat as per god of the gaps. Regards, Ben Aveling 11:31, 7 January 2006 (UTC)
It also took a big hit in Dover PA, which renders most of the "dire warnings" portion of this article moot. Endomion 01:08, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
There are still a number of cases either pending before other courts, in the process of being filed and a never-ending series of attempts to being ID into public schools (the states of Kansas, Iowa, South Carolina, Alabama, Oklahoma, Georgia and Utah are just a few of those involved in one of the three categories). Eventually, this may need to go to the Supreme Court before it is resolved, so, as Yogi Berra said, "It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings". I don't think she's singing yet. Jim62sch 17:11, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

Suggestion for a re-write

Gentlemen (and ladies?)

When I click on the Edit This Page button on the main article, it tells me that this article is 69kb long and that this may be longer than is desirable. I can't help but agree. I think a drastic new look is needed, aimed at drawing out the essence of what this article needs to say.

Looking at the intro to the article - the first three paras - I believe it's actually pretty good. I know opinions differ on this, but it seems to cover in 3 paras everything that needs to be covered, namely: (1) ID defined (and a self-definition too - I take issue with a the DI's description of natural selection as an undirected process - I believe the claim is that evolution is self-directed, not undirected - but it's important that ID's self-description be taken on board); (2) the reaction of the scientific community to ID's claim to scientific validity; (3) the debate over teaching of ID in schools as a scientific explanation.

Unfortunately, the body of the article doesn't follow this three-part plan. It would be much stronger if it did. So I propose a re-write on the following plan:

  • 1. The concept of ID
1.1 Origins (I'd make a bare passing reference to the origin of the term)
1.2 IC
1.3 SF
1.4 FTU (and keep the designer/designers, and references to teleology, for the next section)
  • 2. ID and the scientific community
2.1 Peer review
2.2 Intelligence as an observable quality
2.3 Arguments from ignorance (designer/s and teleology go here, but only a sentence or two).
  • 3. ID and science education
3.1 History of the teaching of evolution in America (face it folks, ID is a controversy only in America)
3.2 Latest developments

The re-write should reduce the article to about a third of its current length.

PiCo 22:05, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

  • Yeah, right, I get reverted if I so much as substitute a dimuntive word for a long one. Endomion 22:10, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
In your proposal, sections 1.1 through 1.4 are pseudoscience; sections 2.1 through 2.3 are science, and 3.1 and 3.2 are about a small part of the movement. Unfortunately, that would be undue weight, as well as leaving out important parts of the article. Do you have any suggestions which would not do that? KillerChihuahua?!? 22:14, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
  • While your proposal has great merit, and the length of the article has been discussed and wrestled with for months now... the article as recently been given significant and laboured restructuring. So it might take some time for your proposal to gain traction. Certainly an apt observation on the articles length, one that will continue to be foremost in our continuing efforts. - RoyBoy 800 22:18, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

RoyBoy, I take your point about the difficulty of gaining traction for a re-write, especially at the end of an intellectual wrestling match on this very matter (tho I suspect it isn't the end at all).

KillerChihuahua, subsections 1.1 thru 1.4 are meant to be about ID, and I certainly wouldn't go calling anyone a pseudoscientist, not in public :).

I read through the article again, and I still feel it can be significantly shortened. The main reason it's so long is that every point is being argued on both sides, point by point. The result is a lot of repetition, and a lot of inessential material. For example, what does this have to do with ID?: "From a strictly empirical standpoint, one may list what is known about Egyptian construction techniques, but must admit ignorance about exactly how the Egyptians built the pyramids." Theres a lot more like it, and it's the result of trying to argue a case rather than state it.

With your permission, can I do a triel re-write according to this outline and paste it in as a whole? Then the community can either amend it as they wish if they like the overall concept, or simply revert to the current version?

PiCo 22:36, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

A sandbox version is certainly your choice - I advise waiting to see what kind of support you may have for your proposal prior to putting in that much work. I strongly advise against replacing the entire article, if that is your meaning.
I realize subsections 1.1 thru 1.4 are meant to be about ID, hence my reference to undue weight.
Pseudoscience is not a personal attack, it is a valid definition of something which is presented as science, but is not science. I will cheerfully refer to a house as a house in public, as I comprehend the definition of house. I have the same non-issue with calling pseudoscience by its name.
The Egyption stuff is an example of empirical reasoning. IMHO the whole sentence can go as unecessary. Anyone else care to weigh in on that statement? KillerChihuahua?!? 22:46, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
We've already had three rewrites of the article in the last three months, the last just two weeks ago. I see no justification for another. The article is fine as it is, accurate and well-supported, and does not appear to need another overhaul. It is accurate and well-supported. Constant rewrites make articles worse because of an endless stream of minor edits they generate, none of which are objectionable, but the whole of which results in crud. Also, another rewrite is not the interest of two of Wikipedia's overarching goals- WP:1.0 and WP:STABLE. Since you're new to the article and not quite up to speed on the subject material, you'd be better off starting with a simple edits before trying to rewrite the entire article. FeloniousMonk 23:38, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Re the Egyptian pyramids: given that the comment is sourced, I'd leave it, at least for now. If that sentence gets changed the FM Hypothesis of Begotten Edits (i.e., that minor edits beget more minor edits) would be proven without a shadow of a doubt. Jim62sch 00:54, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

I wasn't suggesting that the sentence about pyramids be deleted. I understand and sympathise with the comment that further re-writes are uncalled for. I'll wait and see what the community feels. PiCo 03:29, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

The article can be greatly trimmed if the editors approached it with the principle that a Neutral Point of View does not mean balancing opinions against each other. Endomion 01:07, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
Of course, the same option is open to you that was open to PiCo -- sandbox a copy of the article and have a go at it. Give us a link to it, and then we can see what might be possible to change in this article and what might not be. Jim62sch 17:21, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

Defining ID

Trying to centralise this discussion. -- Ec5618

We currently define ID by the definition used by the Discovery Institute, which has caused some concerns, because some people call themselves IDist, while disagreeing with the definition as given by the Discovery Institute. I'm sure most call themselves IDist because their religious views call for a designer, or because they are philosophicallly inclidined toward a higher power.

What does it mean that many, if not all unofficial IDists reject the definition of ID, as given by the Discovery Institute?

  1. The article should cover the 'general' meaning of ID, as this is the definition used by most unofficial ID proponents
    • Teleology covers the general, philosophical concept of ID. That people call themselves IDist does not mean they are.
  2. ID claims to be a branch of science, it doesn't matter what people believe; the official definition will stand until 'scientists in the field' (in this case people working for the Discovery institute) redifine it.
  3. Many people believe astromony concerns the zodiac. Their ignorance of the science of astronomy is not enough to redefine it.
  4. Many Christians do not use an official definition to define their religion, but are still seen as Christians. Perhaps religions are inherently ill-defined.
  5. ID thrives on confusing definitions, making it dificult to pin down. Perhaps we should make it clear that conflicting definitions of ID exist, and that the only authoritative definition is from the Discovery Institute.
  6.  ?

-- Ec5618 12:04, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

  • Why not give Discovery Institute the authority to define ID? It's not like this article is NPOV or anything. Then we can go on to assert that the only authoritative definition of Christian is from Fred Phelps Endomion 12:26, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
    • I thank you for that useful contribution. Now, why exactly is Fred Phelps to Christianity as the Discovery Institute is to Intelligent Design? -- Ec5618 12:37, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Christianity claims to be an inclusive religion, it doesn't matter what people believe; the official definition will stand until 'theologians in the field' (in this case people working for the Westboro Baptist Church) redefine it. Many people believe Christianity allows homosexuality. Their ignorance of the book of Leviticus is not enough to redefine it. Religions are inherently ill-defined. Christianity thrives on confusing definitions, making it difficult to pin down. Perhaps we should make it clear that conflicting definitions of Christianity exist, and that the only authoritative definition is from Fred Phelps. Why the hell not? The definition of NPOV put into action by the previous editors of this article is to pit the POV of pro-ID forces against the POV of the anti-ID forces in whatever proportion they feel (from their point of view) is appropriate. Endomion 14:53, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
Sounds right to me. That's a very good summary of what I think too. I can't be sure if they're doing it on purpose or just haven't realized that this is the result of their approach. Probably the latter, but no less frustrating and annoying. They're very very stubborn on this issue too. My guess is they're afraid people will write "I love Jesus and so should you" all over it (though if they want to base it on who vandalizes the pages, then they should probably consider that if you look at the recent vandalism it seems just as likely people want to write "God doesn't exist and you are a moron!") And of course, they insult people all the time.--Ben 10:22, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

More accurately, we currently define ID by quoting the definition given by the Discovery Institute. This is because policy requires us to attribute the views to their adherents, and since every prominent ID proponent, Dembski, Behe, Wells, Johnson, Meyer, Gonzalez, Witt, etc. is a fellow or staff of the institute, the institute's official description of ID [21] easily qualifies as authoritative here.

Again, there are no prominent ID proponents who are not affiliated with the Discovery Institute. Until the majority of leading ID proponents abandon the Discovery Institute or denounce the description of ID it puts forth, using any definition other than the institute's violates WP:NPOVUW or WP:NOR. FeloniousMonk 16:19, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Since there are no notable non-DI ID adherents, you have stated a powerful case for moving the non-encyclopedic "criticism" in this article to the Discovery Institute article. Endomion 17:11, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
Endo, Logic is an excellent tool, should one choose to use it. Jim62sch 00:31, 7 January 2006 (UTC)
That certainly doesn't follow, in fact, this is a meaningless attack. If the criticism is really "non-encyclopedic" it doesn't belong anywhere. However, it has been well-established that the criticism is encyclopedic inasmuch as it is referenced, well-cited, and notable so you must have alternative designs on what you consider "encyclopedic". And since the criticisms are of ID as an idea and not the Discovery Institute as an institution, encyclopedic criticisms of ID belong on this page. --ScienceApologist 17:17, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
The section of the Discovery Institute article titled "Criticisms of the institute", besides touching on institutional problems, addresses concerns with the concept of ID. Until the majority of leading ID proponents abandon the Discovery Institute or denounce the description of ID it puts forth, the proper venue for a critique of the concept is in that article, otherwise people will think the concept of ID is widespread outside of the DI. That would be in violation of WP:NPOVUW. Endomion 17:34, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
Which part of "the definition of ID used by DI is the prevalent definition (actually only definition) that is being used to insert ID into school curricula" is presenting a problem? You can argue evanescently about the many meanings of ID, but unless you find relevant sources, it is just so much fluff on a discussion page. Jim62sch 00:36, 7 January 2006 (UTC)
Nope. The subject the criticism addresses is intelligent design, not the institute.
Now you and I both know you're not so obtuse or self-deluded as to actually believe that subject the criticism addresses is the Discovery Institute itself, so that means you're either trolling with your suggestion or trying to create a POV fork. Either way, your suggestion wastes your time and ours and reflects on your credibility here. FeloniousMonk 18:13, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
If what you say is true and the criticism addresses only intelligent design and not the institute, then the section "Criticisms of the institute" must be renamed "Criticisms of intelligent design" and the criticisms that "They're political - that for us is problematic," and "It evolved from a policy institute that had a religious focus to an organization whose primary mission is Christian conservatism," must be removed. It is a fact that scientists have opinions about intelligent design, but those opinions themselves are not facts. Since Wikipedia is not an encyclopedia of opinions, or a repository for poll results, the opinions expressed in the criticism section of the intelligent design article are not encyclopedic. Endomion 19:37, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
The criticisms of the institute are relevant to sections about the institute itself. Your objections are completely unreasonable. --ScienceApologist 19:40, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
On the contrary, if the Discovery Institute definition of ID becomes the sole definition used by the article on ID, then criticisms of ID automatically become criticisms of the institute, until the majority of leading ID proponents abandon the Discovery Institute or denounce the description of ID it puts forth. An analogy would be two articles, one titled Flat Earth Society with a criticism section containing quotes from scientists debunking the theory, and the other titled Flat Earth with an identical criticism section, but also containing the statement than the Flat Earth Society is the only modern Flat Earth movement. There could be no rational objection to moving the criticism section of the Flat Earth article to the one in the Flat Earth Society article until the majority of leading Flat Earth proponents abandon the Flat Earth Society or denounce the description of the Flat Earth it puts forth. Failure to do so results in undue weight being given to Flat Earth criticism by having essentially two identical copies of the critique on WP. Endomion 20:06, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
They aren't identical because they come from different contexts. Repeating information is fine, and if information is relevant to an article (and the DI critique is relevant to this article) then it should not be removed. --ScienceApologist 20:16, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
A splendid justification for a POV fork. Explain to us how moving criticism of intelligent design in this article to the Discovery Institute article is not an attempt to evade NPOV guidelines by shunting content to a tangentially related article to avoid presenting those negative viewpoints here. As WP:NPOV#POV_forks says "The generally accepted policy is that all facts and majority Point of Views on a certain subject are treated in one article." That intelligent design is largely the product of the Discovery Institute is no reason why significant viewpoints of intelligent design that are critical should not be presented here. FeloniousMonk 20:36, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
No more nothing until my NPOV banner is put back. Endomion 21:00, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
Won't happen, Endomion. Your comments are becoming so ridiculous that any cred you might have had here is gone. Please stop wasting everyone's time. Jim62sch 00:49, 7 January 2006 (UTC)
As I said before, I think you're trolling with knowingly ridiculous suggestions that run so completely counter to policy that they have zero chance of making it live, like a POV fork. It's a waste your time and ours to discuss anything that isn't supported by policy. Your use of the banner was not justified and SA was right to take it down in my opinion. There's been way too much slapping of the totallydisputed template on this article for specious reasons. Excessive use of the NPOV template is a misuse of the very systems and processes given us to improve articles, not disrupt them. FeloniousMonk 21:28, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
WP:NPA#A_misguided_notion:_.22Kicking_them_while_they_are_down.22 Endomion 01:01, 7 January 2006 (UTC)
Uh, OK. Those guidelines aren't there for you to hide behind. After all, actions taken have consequences -- you chose to act. Jim62sch 01:47, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

Just a question. Is it okay to use the image below?


People are free to disagree, but Endo counts as a troll to me. She compares ID to the existence of God as well as Christianity. Not to mention the Catholic dogma thing and others. Very irritating.

Anyway, every time she seems to be talking to me, I don't want to answer her. Is it okay if I just reply to her with the image above?Lovecoconuts 02:39, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

Please use a smaller image, of just reply with a standard text. Reply withheld for obvious reasons, perhaps? -- Ec5618 02:56, 7 January 2006 (UTC)
Okay. Thank you.

DoNotFeedTroll.jpg Can't reply to Endo without feeling I am wasting my time. (How's that?)Lovecoconuts 03:03, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

Endomion, please read the advice on that page, as it lists some useful pointers to avoid being perceived as a troll. For example,
"Don't do that then." If people are saying you're a troll because you do X, don't do X.
Rephrase. Often one is accused of being a troll because one is phrasing one's views in a particularly hostile way. Consider: are you openly advocating trolling on your userpage? Are you cursing at people or engaging in personal attacks? Are you accusing those who oppose you of being in a cabal? If you stopped that, people would probably respond better to you. -- Ec5618 02:56, 7 January 2006 (UTC)
Concur - Endo, your comparison of using the DI proponents' definition of ID to using Phelp's definition of Christianity was argumentative to say the least. There are no notable ID proponents who are not associated with the DI. There are an almost vanishingly small percentage of Christians who agree with the Westboro Baptist Church. You are knowledgable enough to use the comparison; you are surely intelligent enough to realize you are being sarcastic; in short it makes it very hard to AGF when the tenor of your posts is so hostile to productive discourse. Even if you are not intentionally trolling, perhaps you might benefit from examining your posts with a critical eye - there is a reason people are concerned that you might be trolling, and being a little more civil can only help. If you are not trolling, it will dispell the suspicion that you might be. KillerChihuahua?!? 03:32, 7 January 2006 (UTC)
Of course, the "do not talk to me" box on Endo's user page (talk) under the heading "Edits to Intelligent Design" is of interest to this discussion (and allow me to note that I am honored to have been banished from her list of people she will talk to). Posting such a list will certainly go a long way toward restoring her credibility as it shows that she is a mature contributor with many important things to say, and someone who welcomes the thoughts of other editors by striking through their comments. Quite impressive.[User talk:Endomion#Edits to Intelligent Design] Jim62sch 11:42, 7 January 2006 (UTC)
Are we done? I have been banned from speaking with her too, so in away that means we can move on. Let's. -- Ec5618 11:56, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

(after edit conflict) I'm on the list too! I didn't know about the lists. There are two, one "until the POV banner is restored" and one for "never." I'm on the list for the POV banner, and I never was involved in the placing or removal of the banner or any discussion about the POV tag with Endomion at all. Endomion, that's incredibly hostile, surely you realize that? The appropriate course of action would be to try to discuss concerns and respect other editors' views, while aiming for a better article. If you feel there is an irremediable gap between your view and others, then it might help to consider that your view might not have support for a reason. If you feel there is a problem with myself or any other editor in regards to civility or the content of the article which is being incorrectly handled, Wikipedia:Resolving disputes and Wikipedia:Mediation have multi-step processes to follow. I see no evidence you even attempted a discussion about a POV banner, so you've skipped the very first step, every step in between, and gone imediately to overt hostility and refusing to AGF or negotiate or accept mediation or assistance (which I see ghost has offered) in any way. This may sound harsh, but if your attitude is so inflexible and you are so unwilling to work with others, perhaps WP is not the best project for you. It is very much a group effort, and ability to collaborate and/or cooperate with and be civil to others is crucial to the primary goal, which is to write an encyclopedia. KillerChihuahua?!? 12:02, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

KC and Ec, at least you two and others have a chance to be "unbanned." Anyway, I hope this also means she doesn't reply to any of my posts ever. I actually thought "Oh God" when I found out she was a Roman Catholic. Why in the world would she criticize the Catholic religion if she is Catholic?
I want some changes in the ID article too, but I'm willing to wait for consensus and discussion (even if it takes days). I'm also okay with refusals. A couple of my anti-ID requests have been refused so I can honestly say that the editing team isn't bias to the anti-ID side.
Yes, moving on is a good idea.Lovecoconuts 12:18, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

I don't want to be "unbanned" so much as to have this disruptive and hostile methodology cease altogether. I concur we should move on, I have given my input. KillerChihuahua?!? 12:28, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

KC, I share your hopes and opinions. Jim62sch 13:30, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

Figured out the problem

I think I figured out the problem. It's hard to articulate, but basically I think I've figured out what FeloniousMonk's (and some others') perspective is, and what my perspective is, and that they are very different (obviously). FeloniousMonk is approaching "Intelligent design" as if it literally were a scientific theory developed by the Discovery Institute (a pseudoscientific theory). When you approach it like that, you don't discuss philosophy and where Intelligent design fits into philosophy, you discuss the proponents of the theory and who came up with the theory. Much like, say, the theory of evolution. When evolution was first being written about, you'd have an article like this one. You'd use Darwin's definition, not a philosophical definition, because, well it's a scientific theory, not philosophy.

So, when writing an article about a scientific theory, this approach (including defining it the way it is currently defined in the article, the layout, what is discussed etc.) would be appropriate. The trouble is, Intelligent design is also quite philosophical. This causes problems on the page for people who approach it, perfectly reasonably, from a philosophical perspective. Like me, and many other editors. The trouble is, people have incorporated the philosophical aspects and arguments and critiques in an article which, from the perspective it is coming from (based on the definition, etc.), really has no place for them.

This makes editors quite angry because it seems as if people like FeloniousMonk are not admitting that there are philosophical arguments, perspectives, and positions that are related to "Intelligent design." FM's refusal to incorporate "The Discovery Institute's concept" in the intro and insisting that it not be incorporated is based on his approach, but when viewed from how one would approach a philosophical argument it looks to them like FM is intent on "over-writing" people's personal philosophical arguments and the myriad of different perspectives with the Discovery Institute's. That would make anyone angry. It's like saying to them "Free will is a concept developed by the Will Institute, and it is pseudoscientific crap," or more in line with the current article "Free will is pseudoscientific crap." That's why people say the article is "Atheistic." FM's refusal to identify where the definition is coming from also helps with accusations that he is trying to "over-write" the philosophical concepts, which is yet another reason. That's why people want to add in things about Theistic evolution, and rewrite the article and such, because they are approaching it from the philosophical angle, whereas FM and some others are approaching it from a political/pseudoscience angle. Kind of like it were a theory in a science journal, rather than anything at all to do with philosophy (where one can take a more ontological approach, since philosophy already has the particular reasoning and perspectives and such mapped out so to speak).

Both are valid approaches (though currently, the article is FM's approach and he seems to be fighting against the other, probably because he has not considered this other approach for one reason or another--which also promotes accusations he has an "Atheist" agenda), but the current article is from the pseudoscience angle (i.e. you have a theory which is being put forth by one person which you discuss), and the philosophical angle (i.e. philosophical arguments relating to the existence of design and God) is sort of shoved amidst it which makes it look biased--as it does not accurately and fully describe the philosophy involved and ignores where it fits--and confused, because the philosophy that is in there is based on a pseudoscientific definition. Something like that at least.

Compare the two different approaches:

1.Intelligent design (ID) is the (Discovery Institute's) concept 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."

2.Intelligent design, generally speaking, is a reference to theories, and the collection of theories, which are attempts to prove the teleological argument. The argument is based on the philosophical perspective of teleology which supposes that there is purpose in nature—an organizing principle or design. Design is usually said to be the work of a deity. The argument is that this design can be observed objectively.

Note even that my definition in #2 is somewhat pandering to the Discovery Institute's approach (saying "ID proponents argue this design can be observed objectively" is not necessarily true for everyone who would say they "believe in ID"), that's why I said "generally speaking," but I would be willing to hear arguments against it and work them in. Actually, I could probably add in something about Deism which would be (if I remember right) is that while Deism is a natural religion, and they believe in "intelligent design," they don't necessarily believe it can be observed objectively (well, maybe they kind of do) and empirically (and which they definitely do not).

--Ben 20:20, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

Hello? You guys down there are who I'm mainly directing this to. What do you think of my take on the problem?--Ben 00:16, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
3. Intelligent design (ID) is the conjecture that the natural laws of the universe and the complexity of living things can only be explained by the actions of a powerful sentient being. Proponents say that intelligent design stands on equal footing with materialist theories regarding the origin of life. Endomion 01:04, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
That's pretty much the same as DI's definition, that's how I'm reading it at least. Can you rephrase it? (or maybe if you're just highlighting some sort of key difference(s) with DI's definition can you describe it/them?)--Ben 02:30, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
The difference is that it doesn't use a direct quote as a definition (using a quote from DI eliminates the nuances of other views and makes the article basically one only about the DI), it uses the word "conjecture" which is the most tentative possible theory without presenting the POV that it is not worthy of being called a theory, and it specifies that the conflict is between materialism instead of science in order to give at least some weight to the claim that ID is science. This is, in my opinion, a more neutral summary. And it has a snowball's chance in hell of getting on the main article. Endomion 02:49, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
The NPOV policy specifically requires us to attribute viewpoints to their adherents, and in proportion to their significance within the subject. When the preponderance of prominent ID proponents are no longer members of the Discovery Institute and present definitions of ID that are significantly different than the institute's, then we'll include them here. Until then, we can only report what the leading proponents have done and said up to this time. FeloniousMonk 03:53, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
Personally, Endomion, I think that that's a poor definition--either your way or DI's way. That's one of the reasons I want it specifically attributed to the Discovery Institute (as much as FeloniousMonk says this is necessary, for some reason he does not want to say "The Discovery Institute's concept of Intelligent design is defined as..." in the introduction). The reason I don't like it is because it is way too vague, basically bordering on "ID is the teleological argument" plus the part about materialism doesn't sit right with me--you would probably have to explain that a lot better. I don't mind calling it a theory, but I don't think what you've described is any different from the teleological argument. --Ben 19:42, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
ID is the teleological argument but without the final Thomist leap of identifying the designer by using Aquinas' patented phrase "This all men call God." The purpose of setting ID in opposition to materialism is that proponents of ID think it is a more pure application of the scientific method that does not rule against the existence of the supernatural before beginning. Endomion 19:56, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
Naughty Endo, the scientific method does NOT "rule against the existence of the supernatural", it seeks to explain natural phenomena by natural causes without assuming the existence or non-existence of the supernatural. Don't you accept Christoph Cardinal Schönborn's wisdom when he says that "When science adheres to its own method, it cannot come into conflict with faith."? ID misrepresents science as part of its agenda to legitimise teaching of religion, and wants scientific support of the supernatural to overcome their own failure of faith. ....dave souza 21:19, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
Dave, I totally agree that the scientific method ''seeks to explain natural phenomena by natural causes without assuming the existence or non-existence of the supernatural". However this article states (and I have fought the phrasing of this and lost) This stands in opposition to mainstream biological science, which relies on experiment and collection of uncontested data to explain the natural world exclusively through observed impersonal physical processes such as mutations and natural selection. Why is the data uncontested? Because supernaturalists have no standing to contest it. Why is it explained exclusively through physical processes? Because supernaturalism is rejected with extreme prejudice. Endomion 22:01, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
I think you're missing the point here. The reason science requires natural explanations is that supernatural ones are of no value. They make no testable predictions, so they are literally meaningless. It would be more honest to say "we don't know" than to invoke a supernaturalism of the gaps to hide our ignorance, and thus prevent us from ever dispelling it. In short, I think you're way out of touch with the scientific method and therefore your editing suggestions are simply wrong. I suggest that you give up. Alienus 22:11, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
Thank you, Alienus, for your opinion that supernatural explanations are of no value to science, and for your opinion that I am out of touch with the scientific method. However, as I stated above, I accept that the scientific method, operating under the principle of methodological materialism, "...does not claim that phenomena or hypotheses commonly labeled as supernatural necessarily do not exist or are wrong, but insists that they are not inherently different from natural phenomena or hypotheses, and that both supernatural and natural phenomena and hypotheses can be studied by the same methods." Endomion 22:23, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
AS I stated before, "Endomion, "uncontested data" merely means data that everyone agrees is accurate -- like "a flower is a plant". How that could be objectionable is beyond me. Jim62sch 10:36, 5 January 2006 (UTC)"
As for the comment to Alienus, say what? I really need to see some links explaining that one. Jim62sch 22:37, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
Are you guys more interested in arguing with people than in having a good article? You're posting comments everywhere but here. This is the reason I think there is problems on the talk page. Do you want to help solve it or help figure out the problem or do you want to continue arguing with people? --Ben 19:42, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
Ben, I have already discerned the answer to your question, that an accurate article is of secondary importance to the goal of influencing an audience, when Ec5618 wrote, "My point stands: Theory are, for all intents and purposes, facts" and Guettarda wrote, "The use of the word "theory" in science overlpas substantially with the use of the word "fact" in everyday English." Never mind my insistence that the word "fact" refers to a piece of data you can point to rather than a working model that explains that data ("What is a theory, Alex"). No one stood up to defend me, and that told me everything I needed to know about this article. Endomion 22:46, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
Ho hum...
1."The word theory, in the context of science, does not imply uncertainty. It means "a coherent group of general propositions used as principles of explanation for a class of phenomena" (Barnhart 1948). In the case of the theory of evolution, the following are some of the phenomena involved. All are facts:
Life appeared on earth more than two billion years ago;
Life forms have changed and diversified over life's history;
Species are related via common descent from one or a few common ancestors;
Natural selection is a significant factor affecting how species change.
Many other facts are explained by the theory of evolution as well.
2.The theory of evolution has proved itself in practice. It has useful applications in epidemiology, pest control, drug discovery, and other areas (Bull and Wichman 2001; Eisen and Wu 2002; Searls 2003).
3.Besides the theory, there is the fact of evolution, the observation that life has changed greatly over time. The fact of evolution was recognized even before Darwin's theory. The theory of evolution explains the fact.
4.If "only a theory" were a real objection, creationists would also be issuing disclaimers complaining about the theory of gravity, atomic theory, the germ theory of disease, and the theory of limits (on which calculus is based). The theory of evolution is no less valid than any of these. Even the theory of gravity still receives serious challenges (Milgrom 2002). Yet the phenomenon of gravity, like evolution, is still a fact.
5.Creationism is neither theory nor fact; it is, at best, only an opinion. Since it explains nothing, it is scientifically useless. " [22]
Jim62sch 22:54, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
Ben, which problem are we supposed to be solving? That ID is philosophical? is string theory, M-theory, the concept of hyperspace, linguistics, archaeology, etc. However, they are actually true science. So long as ID presents itself as science, it will be treated as the science it pretends to be (seems I've made that point a few times previously). Look, this philosophy vs. science horse has been flogged so much that even if it were resurrected it would die immediately from its wounds. Seriously, enough. Jim62sch 22:50, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
I'm trying to figure out why people have so many problems with this article. --Ben 23:26, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
It's actually a good article, Ben, but there are a couple of hassles, and there is an enfiladed row of machine gun nests to cut down anyone who wants to improve the accuracy of the article. Endomion 23:29, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
If you have a dispute, try Wikipedia:Dispute resolution. --ScienceApologist 23:59, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

So, noone except me wants to tackle why people have so many problems with this article? --Ben 00:09, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

No one is two words. SA's advice is valid. Jim62sch 00:32, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
SA's advice to Endomion may be valid but both Endomion's comment about the editors and SA's response are pretty much irrelevant to what this section is about. --Ben 01:06, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
Ben, I'm quite sure your initial design of this section was intelligent, but the flow of the conversation has naturally mutated it into a new form. Endomion 01:11, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
Actually, I do have a problem with this article - I think it should be more critical of ID. I now think the editors are too neutral. I think the article should immediately inform the readers that ID is not only a sham but a scam, that ID is only a pretext to get "their" religious viewpoint in public school science classes.
I am upset that those folks at DI has made the term "intelligent design" synonymous with something not only stupid, but also illegal and just plain wrong. These days, I can't even think of the term "intelligent design" without wincing.Lovecoconuts 00:53, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Isn't anyone paying attention? If you want to discuss your own problems with the article make a new section at the bottom of the talk page. If you want discuss why there is constant bickering please go ahead. I gave my ideas and I don't know why noone wants to discuss this. Clearly fighting on the talk pages is a gigantic problem. What is causing the fighting? If the article is accurate, how come so many people say it isn't? If the article is not accurate how come there are so many people that say it is?--Ben 01:06, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Why do so many people think diosaurs and humans coexisted? Why do so many people believe in astrology? Why do so many people believe in numerology? Or Nostradumbass? Or little green men (OK, they're really grey)? Jim62sch 01:30, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
Saying "it's because anyone who has a problem with this article is stupid" is not helping, and it's actually worse than the normal bickering that goes on.
Let's see... Maybe because the same problems has been brought up again and again and again. Editors are only human, you know.
The article *is* accurate in a very neutral way. That's why neither Pro-IDers and Anti-IDers are completely satisfied with it. I would have to say that the editors deserve kudos for bearing with either of us.Lovecoconuts 01:11, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
The question is WHY do you think is it brought up again and again. --Ben 21:03, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
Let's see, as a father of six, I've noticed that kids tend to keep bringing up a subject when they don't get their way; wouldn't surprise me if there were a parallel here. Jim62sch 00:50, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
Oh... you want to know WHY? Well, since you keep bringing up your problems again and again and again - do kindly please ask yourself WHY.
As for me, I have problems with the article too, but I do TRY to understand WHY the majority of editors have to do it this way. See? You're not the only one who has the WHY-s.Lovecoconuts 03:03, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
I'll rephrase this again: The question is: Why do you think people fight on the talk page? Why do you think this happens? Is it just that the critics of the article or supporters of the article are stupid? Because it seems that's as far as anyone has looked into it. People have been asking the same questions and been having the same sort of concerns for years now. Other people have been shooting down those questions and concerns for years. Does this indicate that one or the other are stupid? Personally I do not think so. I think there are other problems that neither the critics nor the supporters are aware of. I think it is that different approaches and perspectives are clashing. Noone seems to know why, nor (apparently considering the responses) care. I've said what I think the problem is and was hoping to have a discussion about it.--Ben 10:32, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Why including Discovery Institute in the intro is inappropriate

Although all notable figures who advocate Intelligent Design are from the Discovery Institute, not all of the adherents to the ideas of Intelligent Design are members. This is similar to the way the Vatican and Roman Catholicism are related. Just as you wouldn't start off in the introduction claiming that Roman Catholicism is a perspective solely of members of the Vatican, just so you do not start the introduction of this article stating that Intelligent Design is a perspective solely of members of the Discovery Institute. Nevertheless, the Vatican plays a large role in the article on Roman Catholicism as does the Discovery Institute in this article. --ScienceApologist 20:30, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

The NPOV policy specifically requires us to attribute viewpoints to their adherents, and in proportion to their significance. Since every prominent ID proponent, Dembski, Behe, Wells, Johnson, Meyer, Gonzalez, Witt, etc. is a member of the Discovery Institute, the institute's official description of ID [23] easily qualifies as authoritative here. If the leading propoents do not define ID, then who does? FeloniousMonk 21:58, 7 January 2006 (UTC)
Actually, no one would. In all honesty, I'm both surprised and disgusted that this discussion is still going on. The concept is rather simple: the ID that is being discussed in the media, the schools, the courts, etc., is DI's ID. To date, a number of people have said there are "other" ID (as related to biology) theories out there and yet no one has provided any evidence. Thus, I assume that either there aren't any, or that the presenters of the existence of these "other" theories do not know one of the primary rules of debating: he who asserts must prove. (Or, to put it more coarsely, "Shit, or get off the pot.") Jim62sch 00:07, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

If an article is 10 kilobytes of raw facts and 60 kilobytes of viewpoints of adherents, then the article is 60 kilobytes too large. Endomion 01:12, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

Since we all agree that DI is the source of ID, in fact the only source of ID, why isn't DI mentioned in the intro? --DocJohnny 05:01, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
My theory is that the article would then be nominated for a merge with Discovery Institute. Endomion 05:06, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
Since DI will occasionally distance itself from other proponents who use DI's arguments (for example, the former Dover School Board), there is a tacit separation that is made between ID and DI in general and the article is written to reflect this. This separation is promoted by DI and many ID proponents. When certain people on this page claim they want to make ID totally DI that strikes a lot of the editors as problematic because it is the first step to forking this concept into the "DI version of ID" and begs the question of what is "the non-DI version of ID". So those opposed to this sort of wording argue that the latter idealization in reality doesn't exist (or at least doesn't have any supporting citations) as a way to prevent article splintering. So it's a confusing disagreement because it seems that people on both sides are arguing very nuanced differences with one side claiming that DI's arguments represent ID in its entirety while claiming that ID is broader than DI and the other side claiming that there is an ID philosophy broader than DI's conception while arguing that this article is about DI's ID.
The problem is, while no one has demonstrated that there is an ID philosophy broader than DI's conception, it is hoped that if and when someone does this it will be incorporated into the article rather than making two different articles. To make a historical analogy, there was a time in the 1970s when there was only one creation science organization. If we had been writing Wikipedia then, I submit we would have been having this amazing long-winded discussion at that page arguing over whether we could separate creation science from the Institute for Creation Research. Since that time, many other organizations and perspectives have sprung up, most hold basically the same ideas as ICR but package them in new ways or quibble on fine details. It would have been a poor choice to associate creation science with Henry Morris' organization in our hypothetical 1970s Wikipedia just as it is a poor choice to associate ID with Meyers' organization in our 2000s Wikipedia. If we use history as our guide, it's somewhat probable that in the future, new indepedent ID groups may emerge. ARN might be an example (as might LeaderU). If history is any indicator, they will retain many of the same arguments developed by the Discovery Institute while inventing more and more detailed critiques until they are mired in whatever the equivalent of polonium haloes and c-decay will be. Nevertheless, they will all be properly umbrellaed under Intelligent Design until some new religious pathological science-skeptic comes along and reinvigorates the movement with a neo-neocreationist enterprise.
It may be possible to incorporate DI in some fashion into the intro, but it should not be done in a way that forces the article into a perspective that ID is totally under the perspective of members of DI. You'll note that Morris' organization is absent from the creation science intro. Hindsight is, after all, 20/20.
--ScienceApologist 05:42, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
"it should not be done in a way that forces the article into a perspective that ID is totally under the perspective of members of DI." The problem is that editors, the most vocal about it being, FeloniousMonk, repeat this--that "ID is totally under the perspective of members of DI"--ad nauseam! This is what I do not understand at all. Here are some quotes from FM:
the canonical definition of intelligent the one offered by the Discovery Institute
they created the current concept of ID
ID is what it's leading proponents say it is
ID is wholly a product of the Discovery Institute
So, to be clear, you're disagreeing with this?--Ben 19:54, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
Not at all. ID is canonically, created, wholly a product of, and has all of its leading proponents in the Discovery Institute. Just as creation science was cannoically, created, wholly a product of, and had all of its leading proponets in ICR in the 1970s. --ScienceApologist 22:25, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
And how exactly is this view not in complete contradiction with your statement that the article should not be from the perspective that "ID is totally under the perspective of members of DI?" --Ben 23:09, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
Because there is a difference between ID as a concept which can in principle be owned by anyone who decides to own it and ID as it currently exists. The comparison to creation science is most befitting. We need to be careful in the intro not to make it seem that ID is only able to be defined by the Discovery Institute (it's not). In the future, new organizations could emerge (and if history is any indicator, they will emerge) to counter DI's monopoly. However, it is a fact of current events that DI is the dominating group for ID at the present time. We need to acknowledge the group's current hegemony while making allowances for the fact that ID in principle can be appropriated by anyone who wants to appropriate it (just as creation science was). I don't know how to make this any clearer. --ScienceApologist 23:16, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
So you see Ben, Wikipedia is not a crystal ball unless it suits the editors of the ID article to allow for future developments. Endomion 23:27, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
If you disagree with the analysis, explain. Being a stick-in-the-mud is hardly productive. --ScienceApologist 01:04, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
"We need to be careful in the intro not to make it seem that ID is only able to be defined by the Discovery Institute (it's not)." Right. That's what the current intro is doing. If instead you show "ownership" you can communicate to the reader that "this is an article about DI's concept, not about any others which you might know as intelligent design" This will make it more obvious that you are only talking about one type of ID--DI's--instead of all types which is what it looks like now, and what causes a lot of problems. As in "The Discovery Institute's concept of Intelligent Design is defined as..." That's what this article is about, DI's concept.--Ben 00:53, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
Replace in your above comments ID with creation science and DI with ICR and see if you would agree with that for the creation science article. --ScienceApologist 01:04, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
That's a good point; I think I would disagree with putting that in the creation science article. However, there are a couple of things which make the two articles different, and, at least when it comes to writing an encyclopedia article, these things are rather important. Moreover, I think you need a better reason not to do it. The reason I would disagree is not because of what you argued (planning for the future and whatnot), but because "creation science" has a rather established meaning (it's not likely to be mistaken these days for cosmogony for instance), and that the definition of creation science is straightforward, is not really an argument or theory, etc. It is easy to observe what "creation science" is in any setting; it's not ambiguous. Note too that the creation science article does not use ICR's definition of creation science.--Ben 01:59, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
First of all, this article doesn't use the Discovery Institue's definition directly, otherwise it would be quoted in the intro. I think what you are saying is that there are people who use the term "intelligent design" to mean something different from what this article or the Discovery Institue define the term to be. You'll have to provide some citation of this. --ScienceApologist 17:23, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
It is quoted in the intro. Haven't you read it? Look at the quotation marks. Hell, just read the cite. If you want examples, I am one, many other editors talking about it are more, and this Google search for "definition of intelligent design is" I've posted before is very telling [24]. If those people are our readers (and there's no reason why they wouldn't be) the vast majority of them think it means something different too. --Ben 20:57, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
Reading my comment again, I realize that it states exactly the opposite of what I intended involving two distinct typos. I do apologize.
Whether the Discovery Institute provides the definition or not is beside the point, however, because what you think Intelligent Design is or what I think intelligent design is doesn't matter. It's irrelevant. Verifiability is required. Your links on Google report hearsay opinions on what Intelligent Design is by anybody who happened to want to post a webpage expounding their own ideas. That's not encyclopedia-worthy.
As it is, the idea as a concept is discussed well in the article as uncontroversially as possible. If you want a different definition for intelligent design, you need to provide preferably an academic or at barest minimum a journalistic citation that there is a significant number of people that dispute the DI's idealization and support your own. Google searching doesn't cut it.
It is a good idea, however, to not use the quote device employed in the intro without attribution. That's bad editorial form. I'll attack it, but with the volatile nature of this article, it's anybody's guess as to whether such an edit will stay.
--ScienceApologist 21:17, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
It won't stay. If you add anything about DI in the intro it is automatically reverted by 4 or 5 administrators. Regarding the examples, I think they are good examples. I used those as examples of what readers, and potential readers, already think this topic is about. When wondering what to do, you should ask yourself "What would the reader expect an article about intelligent design to be about?" That's in WP:NOT. So, if the answer is "Whatever the Discovery Institute says it is about" you should think very carefully about it. This is all a well-planned and orchestrated propaganda campaign (see Wedge strategy). Even the name they use "intelligent design" is carefully crafted to be ambiguous. It is carefully crafted to be a theory, and not be a theory at the same time. Carefully crafted to make people think teleology (and theism) is contrary to evolution. You can either play their game and use their definition, a rather more sophisticated form of rhetorical propaganda than creation "science", and then you can fight on their turf (see Sun Tzu why this is a bad idea)--maybe even getting a few potshots in about why you think God doesn't exist--or you can define it the way people think about it and DI won't have any power over the concept anymore. Your choice. Dictatorship or democracy.--Ben 21:46, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
Just a tad hyperbolic at the end, don't you think? And, Ben, didn't we go through this atheist-accusation-bit a few times before? (No, no, don't say you didn't do that this time, "maybe even getting a few potshots in about why you think God doesn't exist"). Jim62sch 00:57, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, maybe a little hyperbolic, but I think the analogy fits. Regarding the part where I said "maybe even getting a few potshots in about why you think God doesn't exist" I said that because it provides the opportunity to do so. Do I think it is apparent in the article as it is now? Yes. As I've said, I don't think quoting Richard Dawkins, who has been called "the world's most controversial biologist" and who thinks "religion is disease" as an authoritative person on matters of philosophy is appropriate in the slightest. Add to that that I think his argument is poor, and relies on an unknown, uncited assessment of his and which without that assessment would be seen by philosophers as ignorant of centuries old arguments, then that is a big yes. I think it is likely not meant maliciously, but more of a forgiveable thing based on someone's own interests and knowledge, but the way in which it is defended is rather malicious and stubborn, so it is really hard to tell the motivations. My main point is that it provides opportunity. Whether someone has conciously taken advantage of that opportunity or done so unconciously is something I can't say with confidence, but I still think that this does provide opportunity, and quite a bit more so than any other way. George Lakoff wrote extensively about how the "religious right" political agenda thrives on argument, and really I think that this is what is happening here. The religious right has provided an opportunity for an argument by providing the definition and the frame of the argument. Editors here have taken them up on it--which is what they want. The argument can then be muddied (notice how dense the article is and how people often complain about how it is hard to understand with all that criticism). Once an argument is muddied enough then they can Teach the controversy, which is what they tried but thankfully failed to do. You might not think it is possible to have an intelligent design article where people who truly think and care about the subject and have all sorts of different beliefs and perspectives on it don't fight over it. I think it is. I think it's possible to get it to the point where the only problems are occasional vandals (which if you've reviewed any of the reverts you'd notice also come from all perspectives).--Ben 11:04, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
And on that page I've found a great example. Here's the second paragraph from Teach the controversy:
"Intelligent design (ID) is the controversial conjecture that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not a naturalistic process such as natural selection. Both the intelligent design movement and the Teach the Controversy campaign are largely directed and funded by the Discovery Institute, a conservative Christian think tank[25] based in Seattle, Washington, USA."
This second paragraph suggests that what is supposed to be taught is the DI's definition. Teach the controversial conjecture. To someone with no religious beliefs, what they want to teach looks pretty reasonable. It's supposed to, in fact it is designed to. That's why the DI uses it. Right off the reader is wondering just what is so controversial. Of course, people in the know know exactly why it is so controversial and why it is unreasonable and should not be taught in schools. So far the reader doesn't. The reader wants the writer to shed some light on this controversy, to weigh it in their mind. Let's see what they get:
"Richard Dawkins, biologist and professor at Oxford University, compares teaching intelligent design in schools to teaching flat earthism: perfectly fine in a history class but not in science. "If you give the idea that there are two schools of thought within science, one that says the earth is round and one that says the earth is flat, you are misleading children."[26]"
They get an analogy--a quote--that mocks the position and doesn't say anything substantial. The average reader may find this a little curious: "Flat Earthism? Naw, it can't be that bad. The definition seems reasonable." You see who wins a point with the average reader here? Here's a hint: It ain't science.--Ben 11:19, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
You've begun branching out far beyond the initial confines of our discussion. If you have a problem using Richard Dawkins, that's another matter entirely. If you think there is an atheistic bias, that's also another matter (it fits in well to the DI's claim about why ID in the first place -- read FM's linked essay below). As far as I'm concerned, there's nothing more that I can add to the discussion. I've made my point, you've made yours and that's that. You've obviously got a strange perspective -- both distrusting DI as an authoritative source for information about the concept they are the most notable proponents of and distrusting the editors here to be impartial. Universal distrust seems to be your mantra. That's not a bad policy to have, but it doesn't lend itself to improving the encyclopedia, in my opinion. --ScienceApologist 11:49, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
As SA said (OK, I shall paraphrase) a healthy dose of skepticism is a goof thing. In fact, I'm still quite skeptical about two scientific theories I've mentioned on this page: String Theory and M-theory -- for me, they both have too many holes and have yet to fill in some missing information. However, continual skepticism that is never resolved is unhealthy. By this, I do not mean that one accepts everything, one can reject many things (or accept things with provisions and modifications), but there is some form of truth out there, and to remain skeptical about everything is to live in a lonely world of one. And that, Ben, is where you seem to be on this page. Nothing here is to your liking, whether it is pro-ID, anti-ID or, as is the article, truly neutral. Jim62sch 00:00, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Comment The following contribution to this discussion by me was deleted by ScienceApologist ( Revision as of 01:04, 9 January 2006):

Golly Ben, don't you support an anticipatory article which predicts, with great faith, the hijacking of the concept by other organizations in the future? Endomion 01:01, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Endomion 01:31, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

This was not deleted intentionally. However, upon reading it, I can say it represents one of the more myopic and puerile contributions to this page. If something had to be lost in an edit conflict, I'm glad this was the comment to go. --ScienceApologist 13:45, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
SA, there are none so blind as those who will not see. Jim62sch 00:01, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
It's a damned good thing Wikipedia was intelligently designed (by humans unfortunately); otherwise without the timestamps the chronology would be impossible to figure out. Jim62sch 00:59, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Proposed change to the "Origins of the concept" section

As it stands now:

Intelligent design deliberately does not try to identify or name the specific agent of creation – it merely states that one (or more) must exist. While intelligent design itself does not name the designer, the personal view of many proponents is that the designer is the Christian god. Whether this was a genuine feature of the concept or just a posture taken to avoid alienating those who would separate religion from science-teaching has been a matter of great debate between supporters and critics of intelligent design. The Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District court ruling held the latter to be the case.

If this was an article criticizing, for example, botched cold-fusion claims, would it be appropriate to mention the researchers involved were Mormons? The personal religious views of any researcher is totally irrelevant to his work and does not belong in an encyclopedia article, even one that makes a case that his work is pseudoscience. All that matters is the nature of the claims, and the evidence or lack of evidence for them. A proposed re-write for a more neutral point-of-view:

Proponents of Intelligent design do not identify or name the specific agent of creation – they merely state that one (or more) must exist. Critics suggest that Intelligent design is deliberately ambiguous on the identity of the designing agent to avoid alienating those who would separate religion from science-teaching. The Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District court ruling found that to be the case.

Endomion 03:30, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

No, all leading ID proponents have explicitly said at separate times that ID does not attempt to identify the designer, and that they believe the designer to be God. Dembski for example says "intelligent design studies the effects of intelligent causes and not intelligent causes per se" (in Signs of Intelligence) and says "Intelligent design is just the Logos theology of John's Gospel restated in the idiom of information theory," (in Touchstone Magazine Jul/Aug 1999 [27]). There's literally dozens of other such conflicting proclamations from leading ID proponents.
The original passage is accurate as it stands. Supporting cites will be provided if necessary. FeloniousMonk 03:44, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
If cold fusion were created by Mormons in order to advance their own agenda then it would be not only acceptable but good practice to mention that this was part of their perspective. --ScienceApologist 04:38, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
A better cite would be one that excluded other non-Christian God creators from being compatible with ID, rather than simply stating that the Christian God Himself is compatible. This would more clearly demonstrate the sort of motivations that the paragraph talks about, Brendanfox 06:59, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
Brendanfox, the inappropriate citation of statements made by an organization's members outside of that organization's official policy-making capacity is a problem that goes back at least as far as the incident where Thomas Jefferson wrote the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802 about a "Wall of Separation" between Church and State. However, an encyclopedia should rise above such sloppy practices. Endomion 00:16, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
Endomion, to ignore the ID founders' beliefs about sailing is one thing, since sailing has nothing to do with intelligent design or evolution; to ignore their religious beliefs, when the ID v. evolution controversy is primarily about religion and science, is unethical. In fact, the IDers' beliefs where some of the primary reasons for Judge Jones' dismissal of ID in Kitzmiller v Dover Area School District. Politically, and historically, the knowledge is of use. Rousseau 05:59, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
On the contrary, it would be a lot like reverting a Wikipedia editor's good faith contributions to an article on Protestantism solely because you found a userbox on their user page that said he was a Catholic. It shows a profound inability to Assume Good Faith. You're saying a scientist with certain fundamentalist beliefs is unable to override those beliefs, and we must assume they will color his data. Endomion 06:10, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
If the contributor had no history of vandalizing Protestant sites, or of making anti-Protestant/pro-Catholic remarks, then it would be quite unacceptable to mention that the wiki editior is Catholic (or attack his/her historical remarks because of it). However, if the Catholic had a history of vandalizing, or propagating misinformation on Protestant pages, then we can very well point at their history, thoughts, and beliefs, to show why they are doing the vandalizing. The same is true here; when the leading--and many ways, sole--ID organization says it wants to revert the materialism spread by science, or when Behe and Minnich admit in Court that the designer is God, and when the issue is directly--and arguably--soley about the place of religion in school, you do not ignore those statements, beliefs, or prejudices. To do otherwise is to withold important information. To argue that doing otherwise is biased is a red herring. Neutrality is important; but we do not live in a non-historical vacuum.Rousseau 06:42, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
I do not object to documenting the political moves and stated goals of the Discovery Institute in the Discovery Institute article. My objection is to doubling, tripling, quadrupling that critique's "footprint" on Wikipedia by essentially duplicating the same criticisms over the neo-creationism article, the intelligent designer article, the Discovery Institute article, the Teach the controversy article, and so on, ad nauseam. Any day now I expect to see an article for "Intelligent Designing" with the same objections and cites. Endomion 14:30, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
Well, the thing is, these articles are both united and disparate--united in that they have common threads and goals, but disparate in that they are distinct entities. For example, I have not gone to the Discovery Institute wiki site, nor the creationist wiki site. If I did not, and we did not have IDers' beliefs on this page, then I would not receive the information on the beliefs of Behe, Minnich, and Johnson--among many--and that would leave me with a smaller than the full picture. Yes, it is redundant, but we must assume that someone isn't going to hit all of the ID pages when looking up intelligent design. And this information is indeed vital to the debate; in this wikipedia setting, we can either be repetitive, or, possibly, uninformative. If the information is vital, I think most people would agree we'd rather be repetitive.Rousseau 17:15, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
The irony is that my suggestion of placing all the criticism in a common article which could be linked from all the ID-related articles was derided as a "POV FORK". But separate, initially identical criticism sections in each article is okay, we're just going to have to trust they will all stay in step with each other. Endomion 19:34, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
Not sure how that is ironic, but it is a POV fork. You force someone to dig harder to find out any inconsistencies or criticism of ID. In all truthfulness, the importance of the ID movement is the argumentation it is creating; to ignore this argumentation, and then place it in a seperate article is outside the rules of decency. And if they do not stay in step with each other, then we can--in the future, when they no longer stay in step with each other--change the criticism. That's the beauty of the power of editing.Rousseau 19:50, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Summary style before calling any suggestions like this disruptive and POV. When I suggested something along these lines a few months ago I was told I was creating a "POV fork" and I didn't know what to do because I hadn't found that wiki page and wasn't prepared to argue all day and night about how it wasn't a "POV fork." This is partly because a POV fork sounds like something a 14 year-old livejournal blogger who thinks they know something about bias--because they once had an argument about the liberal media and used Google to look up talking points and their blogging politicult likes to use it--would make up out of thin air to justify keeping everything the way they like it (contrary to the fact that Wikipedia's articles are made to be "edited mercilessly") and all the actual reasons on the "POV fork" page were strange and conspiratorial. In cult language, this would be: I'm saying "POV forks" aren't "good meme" and have "jumped the shark."--Ben 21:31, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
Are you talking to me or Endomion? I'm confused.Rousseau 21:58, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
I'd say it doesn't much matter, the whole screed didn't make much sense. Jim62sch 01:08, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
Both of you really. I think anyone who j'accuses "POV fork" should be aware of the above guideline, because in my experience a lot of people here are not aware of it and think asking to summarize the article is some sort of "POV fork." So, Rousseau, you should be aware of it for that reason. Endomion, you should be aware of it because if you're trying to change the style of the article you will be accused of creating a "POV fork" regardless of whether you really are trying to bias the article by moving things around or if you're simply trying to improve the article and make it easier to read. I obviously have a chip on my shoulder about this because a while back I suggested this article should be a short summary and the reader could branch off to theism, teleology, teleological argument, specified complexity, and things like that--basically exactly what it says in Wikipedia:Summary style and I was attacked and told I was biased and making a POV fork and that I was being disruptive and all sorts of other things, simply for suggesting something that is a perfectly reasonable approach to writing an article.--Ben 00:23, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
Fair enough; but I wasn't really the one who brought up POV forks first.--Rousseau 00:24, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

(reduce) Let me see if I can put things in a slightly different light: Some of the editors are concerned that the current language, while factual, creates a POV tone. Other editors are concerned that the suggested change removes the context that allows the reader to properly understand the issue(s). And that to shift it from the ID page creates a POV fork. Rather than debate the appropriateness of the edit, can we make a better edit? One that maintains the context without getting on a soapbox? Might I suggest instead:

Intelligent design deliberately does not try to identify or name the specific agent of creation – it merely states that one (or more) must exist. While intelligent design itself does not name the designer, the personal view of many proponents is that the designer is the Christian god. The Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District court ruling held this to be a disingenous posture taken to avoid alienating those who would separate religion from science-teaching.(link to portion of court case)
--ghost 22:25, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
That seems pretty fair and accurate to me. --Rousseau 22:35, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
Just change the wording a bit. Kitzmiller did not hold that the personal beliefs are disingenous, but rather that the refusal to name the creator is. -- Ec5618 23:42, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
Concur w/Ec5618. KillerChihuahua?!? 00:14, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
Personification again when you say "Intelligent design deliberately does not try to". You wouldn't get that past an English teacher, it shouldn't get past you guys. --Ben 00:26, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
Sofixit to "Proponents of Intelligent..." KillerChihuahua?!? 00:57, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
Concur with Ghost, Ec and KC. A slight change to remove anthropomorphism, and another to resolve the issue of disingenuousness and we're clear. Jim62sch 01:14, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
All notable proponents of intelligent design are affiliated with the Discovery Institute. Sofixit to "Discovery Institute deliberately does not try to..." Endomion 01:16, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
Oddly, that doesn't leave a taste in my mouth. Endomion, you didn't repulse me with your words. 21. Anyone else? -- Ec5618 03:14, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
That phrasing incorrectly shifts the responsibility for proponent's views and motives from themselves to the institute. These people are more often speaking out on their own, e.g.; Dembski. Attributing responsibility for the actions of affliated individuals solely to the institute is inaccurate and unsupported. FeloniousMonk 05:35, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
FM is correct, essentially, there is a symbiosis between DI and ID's proponents: the proponents are members of DI because they agree with its overarching philosophy, and DI welcomes them for the same reason. It's really a simple concept, one that allows for both attributions from DI and ID proponents. Jim62sch 00:05, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Comments on the "summary"

The first sentence of the summary is "Intelligent design is presented as an alternative to purely naturalistic forms of the theory of evolution." Well, yes and no. Unfortunately this is committing a serious conflation that both sides of the controversy commonly make: there are two major components to "intelligent design", namely cosmological (the origin of the universe) and biological (the origin of life), and failing to distinguish between the two can and will cause all kinds of confusion. Especially since the cosmological component is discussed later in the article, I think a better distinction needs to be made between the two right up front. While I believe cosmological ID is ultimately untestable and unscientific, we can and do test for "intelligent design" on a daily basis, although our conclusions are inevitably that humans (or some other earth-based designer like honeybees or beavers) designed something, whether it is a watch, a honecomb, or a dam. Even biological "design" in the sense that ID proponents use it can conceivably be tested, e.g., we can detect whether a crop has been genetically modified (but note that the conclusion would inevitably be that humans were the designers!). Unfortunately, discussions of "intelligent design" generally focus on the biological component even though the cosmological component is frequently implicit in it, and is the truly untestable (and thus ultimately unscientific) form of "intelligent design". The real scientific issue is how any non-earthly "intelligent design" can possibly be inferred, even in those cases where it is remotely possible to detect it, and this is where the proponents of ID have failed because their arguments are nearly always negative attacks on evolution rather than positive support for ID.) MrDarwin 15:40, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

Thank you MrDarwin. I agree the summary is unduly weighted toward the biological controversy rather than addressing the cosmological component. My personal belief is to accept evolution but hold to an intelligent design of the adjustable parameters which shape the universe. My suggestion was to change the first sentence of the summary to read, Intelligent design (ID) is the conjecture that the natural laws of the universe and the complexity of living things can only be explained by the actions of a powerful sentient being.. This is apparently being rejected in favor of using one think-tank's official definition. If I was a paranoid person I would think that this article was a hit piece on that organization. Endomion 15:55, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
Of course this completely misses the point that the proponents of ID wish it to be taught in biology class, not in physics class, for the very simple reason that they want to find a way to boot evolution from the real world (yes, it really is that simple). Additionally, they have been bright enough to realize that as evolution does not touch on the nature of the universe, only on the nature of biological entities, it would be foolhardy to try to introduce cosmology (which is much more different to comprehend and far less known about than biology) into the argument, at least at this point in time. I have little doubt that should the proponents of ID wish to tackle cosmology and conflate the two issues (biology/cosmology) that that shall be added to the article. By the way, the "personal belief" expressed above would be found in the article on Deism. Jim62sch 19:01, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
MrDarwin, et al., let me point you to my conversation with Felonius Monk on this subject. He pointed out in detail that: the Discovery Institute's definition has become the defacto definition of Intelligent Design, even if only because of their marketing efforts; it is appropriate in NPOV policy to state a quote of a majority/minority opinion and provide a reference. While I understand your point, I'm concerned that removing a quote from the DI would remove context as well.--ghost 22:25, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
Unfortunately, yes, as what ghost, FM, Jim and others have said - these days - it is DI's definition of "intelligent design" that rules the waves. Even the general meaning of the term has become sort of laughable. I've come across an article wherein the writer makes note of the ID mess before proceeding to talk about intelligent design in automobiles.
I too wanted a distinction between DI's definition of "intelligent design" and others - most especially - Theistic Evolution, but after some Googling - I've decided that it would be remiss of the editors not emphasize the current infamous meaning of ID.
Hopefully, someday - it will go back to the way it was though I'm afraid "intelligent design" will from now on carry a less-than-intelligent connotation with it.
To the folks here who still want Wikipedia editors to put in their preferred meaning of ID, I now can only say - good luck - you are going up against the Discovery Institute who I heard invested a ton of moola promoting and marketing their definition of intelligent design.Lovecoconuts 02:48, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Problematic edit

A user wishes to change

Nearly all intelligent design concepts and the associated movement are the products of Fellows of the Discovery Institute, and its Center for Science and Culture, which continues to guide the movement. The Institute follows its wedge strategy while conducting its adjunct Teach the Controversy campaign.


Not all intelligent design concepts and associated movements are the products of Fellows of the Discovery Institute, and its Center for Science and Culture. The Institute follows its wedge strategy while conducting its adjunct Teach the Controversy campaign.

This is problematic because of reasons discussed above -- in particular there doesn't seem to be evidence that there are branching organizations or individuals who support ID and are not Fellows of DI. --ScienceApologist 22:52, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

And that's precisely the point I've been hammering at for a while: he who asserts must prove. I've seen many assertions, and no proofs. Jim62sch 00:04, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
Well, to Behe - ID is practically the same as Theistic Evolution. Behe somehow reminds me of the Iraqi Information Minister. He's of the (I think) wrong side, but I find him likable.Lovecoconuts 01:06, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
Behe and reality have rarely met. Jim62sch 01:35, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
lol. =P I just think Behe is not as bad as the others. Anyway, I heard that Behe is Catholic and that his testimony at the Dover trial really helped sink the ID boat. From that alone, I actually think he's on Darwin's side.Lovecoconuts 01:38, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
Behe's not necessarily as bad as Dembski perhaps, but then the flu is not as bad as pneumonia. Jim62sch 10:48, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
Behe, like many (most?) ID proponents, accepts both an ancient earth and common descent--a major difference with young-earth creationists (whom, unfortunately, the ID proponents have not clearly disavowed or dissociated themselves from, which is one of my own major complaints about ID). I agree that Behe is basically believing in theistic evolution, as I assume do many other scientists who call themselves Christians; the difference is that Behe seems to think he can scientifically prove it (of which he has done a piss-poor job so far). MrDarwin 17:55, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
I wish that encyclopedia contributors knew more about the scientific method, which never proves anything, but only develops falsifiable models to explain sets of observations. Proof is only for statements in number theory and the like. Endomion 18:07, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, I'm quite familiar with the scientific method and I worded that poorly. My point is that Behe, and most ID proponents, seem to be accepting "theistic evolution", which is really not that far out of the mainstream, at least not if you're a Catholic or other Christian (which virtually all the ID proponents seem to be). The problem arises in testing (is that better?), potentially falsifying, or making predictions based on the ID hypothesis, and that's where the ID proponents have failed. I do think they have been extremely disingenuous in claiming that who or what the "designer(s)" is/are/was/were is secondary to the ID hypothesis itself, as hypothesizing design immediately raises scientific questions about who or what the designer(s) is/are/what were, and when, where, how, and why anything was designed, as well as precisely what was designed in the first place (questions that ID proponents continuously claim ID does not, or cannot, address). On the other hand I think it's a mistake to portray ID proponents as "creationists", which most of the ID movers and shakers are not (at least as far as "creationist" is commonly used in the U.S.A. in the sense of young earth creationism, or slightly less commonly, old earth creationism; in its broadest sense virtually every religious person is a "creationist").
You said, hypothesizing design immediately raises scientific questions about who or what the designer(s) is/are/what were, and when, where, how, and why anything was designed, as well as precisely what was designed in the first place. If ID hypothesizes that the laws of the universe were designed by a sentient being with enough power to impose its will on the entire cosmos, surely science does not demand a further identification of who that being is, whether YHWH or Allah or Jesus or what-have-you, since the answer to that question would be relevant only to which scripture is true and irrelevant to the creative characteristics of the proposed being. Where, when, how and what was designed would be relevant, but why would be irrelevant, since proving motives falls under the umbrella of legal, rather than scientific inquiry. Endomion 19:58, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
But "the laws of the universe" are not the only thing that ID hypothesizes. Alas, this illustrates all too well my admonition from just yesterday about conflating cosmological and biological design and I should have been more careful to make the distinction. Cosmological design is absolutely untestable, unfalsifiable, and unscientific. (And personally I don't think scientists are going to be able to figure out the how or why of the origin of the universe, either--it's one of the things I consider a true mystery.) Biological design, on the other hand, could conceivably rise to the level of science, but I don't think ID proponents have managed that. As to the "why" of ID, I'll save that for another discussion save to point out that ID advocates frequently use the purpose of a "design" (e.g., blood clotting systems) as a critical element of identifying design, and I think it's fair to ask why something was designed the way it was, especially when some designs seem to work more efficiently than others. MrDarwin 20:50, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
I would point you to the Ikeda-Jefferys argument. It deals with this rather nicely. The edit mentioned above is inappropriate at this time.--ghost 22:34, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Orphaned content from Talk:Intelligent_Design (article is a redirect)

The content that was being resurrected here was so demonstrably incorrect, one-sided, woefully out of date (2001!) and POV on so many levels that it is can serve no purpose here. Resurrecting it was another instance of willfully trolling this page. I've moved it to a subpage sandbox, Talk:Intelligent design/Old suggested content where hopefully it will die its rightful death. FeloniousMonk 17:29, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Why the hell not, my POV banners, article edits, and contributions to this talk page are routinely reverted. Endomion 18:03, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
And clearly it isn't that you are the problem, it's all the other editors and the conspiracy against theists that are in error. --ScienceApologist 20:14, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
A "helpful" contribution from a recent barnstar winner, harping on religious bias. I wonder if the above edit would score a "1" or a "5"? Endomion 21:41, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

FeloniousMonk, "you're simply misusing the rules to harass others. Do not alter the talk page comments of others. If you continue to disrupt the page and harass others, you will again be blocked. FeloniousMonk 05:47, 29 December 2005 (UTC)" What gives you the right? --Ben 21:13, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

When did he alter a post? All I saw was him taking out a huge paste from the talk page of a couple of years ago, which should have been put in as a link anyway, IMHO. That's not altering anyone's post, its removing unecessary duplication of content. Did I miss something? KillerChihuahua?!? 00:12, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
The Zen thing to do would be to become one with the mind of Ben, thus his concerns become clear. Jim62sch 01:21, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
Stop trolling. FeloniousMonk 07:48, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
You're all mad, I'm the only sane one here (Major Bloodnok)... dave souza 08:17, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
I guess I'm still sore over the last time you flipped on me for trying to strike out jokes about Creationists. Here you are deleting another editor's discussion section you could have easily ignored. At least this wasn't a steady stream of insults like the discussion you insisted on keeping. --Ben 10:21, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
Maybe FM just doesn't like chewing his cud thrice. Jim62sch 00:11, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
=P I can definitely sympathize with that. Oh Ben just reminded me - ignoring should be easier to do and done more frequently. I shouldn't forget that.Lovecoconuts 05:38, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Required reading

Anyone who's interested in the social and philosophical reasonings of the architect of intelligent design, Phillip Johnson, needs to take a few minutes to read his How The Evolution Debate Can Be Won. FeloniousMonk 17:55, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

John Polkinghorne

Polkinghorne is a prominent British scientist and a convinced Christian. On his Q&A web page [28] one item concerns his views on Intelligent Design. May be of interest. By the way, his last point is: "Theologically I do not think it is a critical matter whether the ID claims are correct or not, for God, who is the ordainer and sustainer of nature, acts as much through natural processes as in any other way." Says it for me. Folks at 137 21:09, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

At least he's not a mathematician. The odds of getting any specific bridge hand are one-in-six-hundred-twenty-billion; thus requiring us to wonder whether we should keep it or discard it because it's "so unlikely". Jim62sch 01:41, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Sentient v. Intelligence

While it does seem rather circular to use intelligence in the definition of intelligent design, I believe sentient is not a satisfactory replacement. As far as I can tell from ID literature, the designer must have known what he/she/it/they was/were doing--whether it was aliens, the flying spaghetti monster, Allah, or Jehova, the IDers believe the design was purposeful. A sentient being does not necessarily have the intellect or the self-awareness to purposefully design. Something with sentience is not necessarily self-aware or capable of designing; a frog, for example, has sentience, but it does not have the intelligence to design things beyond its instictual level. Any suggestion? --Rousseau 01:42, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

IMHO as the purpose is to present ID in a NPOV manner, we cannot speculate as to other attributes of the proposed designer, the nature of intelligence and/or sentience, and other related issues. We can present that which is fully supported by cite and verifiable. Intelligence is the only attribute the designer has been presented as having. KillerChihuahua?!? 02:26, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
To be honest, I agree with you; there appears to be no synonym that quite fills the role of intelligent in this definition. Plus, it is the word used by the Discovery Institute. I think intelligent should be kept.--Rousseau 02:32, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
So I'm out-numbered, and the consensus is to define Intelligent Design by saying it's design by an intelligence. go now. Endomion 02:54, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
You don't have to take it personally. It seems rather weird to use intelligence to define intelligent design, but sentient is definitely not the proper synonym. Plus, if that's how the Discovery Institute wants to define their concept, who are we to argue it?--Rousseau 03:06, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
Indeed. Anyway, if it's sentient, I think the title would have to be changed to Sentient Design. These days, I have to use other words for "intelligent design" because right now - it's the sort of thing that makes people grin.Lovecoconuts 03:13, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

First sentence

I just changed the first sentence to read:

Intelligent design (ID) is the concept 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."[29]

which I believe is the way the first sentence must be written if it is to conform to the standard rules of what quotation marks imply. However, I'm not satisifed with this opening because it quotes without telling the reader explicitly what the source of the quote is. Such a practice would be unacceptable in any report, essay, or paper and it is also not acceptable here at Wikipedia. I think a better solution would be to paraphrase the Discovery Institute's definition (which I agree is currently definitive) and dispense with quotation marks.

Please respond, --ScienceApologist 16:13, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

We should just simply mention in the following sentence that all leading proponents are Discovery Institute members, that would cover all the relevant facts. FeloniousMonk 17:06, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
Sounds reasonable to me. Guettarda 17:09, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
Concur. KillerChihuahua?!? 17:49, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
Agreed. Good job, SA.--ghost 18:26, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

That makes my issues with the definition worse. I think the DI's definition is poor and not what the readers expect. At least with the quotation marks they can attribute it to someone else and aren't stuck wondering why Wikipedia is using such a poor definition. I was wondering too if someone could explain why we don't use this textbook definition from Of Pandas and People, isn't it more authoritative?

"Any theory that attributes an action, function, or the structure of an object to the creative mental capacities of a personal agent. In biology, the theory that biological organisms owe their origin to a preexistent intelligence."

Why aren't you using this one? I'm not saying it should be used, but I am wondering why you don't use it instead of the defintion on the FAQ page of The above is apparently the textbook definition and is more authoritative than the FAQ page. It is also different than DI's definition, showing that "ID" is ambiguous even amongst proponents. It is also quite a bit easier to understand. Can anyone explain why not? The biology part basically reduces to theism (if every biological being needs a designer, then the first one needed a designer, and that designer would have to be a non-biological concious entity capable of doing the designing. Perhaps some sort of sentient crystal being that arises naturally in a non-theistic universe, but I digress.) The first part, however, really is scientific. Whether someone can come up with a way to test it is another matter, but noone has shown it cannot be tested. Humans intuitively do this fairly well and we get it right 99% of the time. You see a television you know it was designed and not natural unless you're an idiot, but that could also be a result of education.--Ben 22:43, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Comment: If it cannot be tested, it is not scientific. KillerChihuahua?!? 22:49, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
I know. --Ben 22:55, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
Then color me confused - you want us to use a definition you know is incorrect? KillerChihuahua?!? 22:56, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
My third last sentence says: "Whether someone can come up with a way to test it is another matter, but noone has shown it cannot be tested." Also the second sentence in the last paragraph says "I'm not saying it should be used, but I am wondering why you don't use it instead of the defintion on the FAQ page of" --Ben 23:36, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
No one has a way to test it: you concur, yet you want this used because it has not been shown that no one can test it? It isn't science until it is testable; its not science because no one has shown it cannot be. Thats fallacious reasoning. KillerChihuahua?!? 11:37, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
...err did my grammar maybe throw you for a loop there? Sorry about that. I'm not saying that proposition is "untestable and therefore it is not untestable." Yes that is obviously fallacious reasoning, and I'd have no problem with you calling me a complete moron if you thought I thought that (but I'd still ask you to apologize for assuming I meant something so absurd). I am saying at present no one has a way to test the proposition, but that doesn't mean someone might figure out a way to test it. That is what I meant, but if you want you can disregard that if you disagree--I'm actually going to start a section in a bit (I'm not done writing it yet, I'll probably post it tomorrow) which I hope will clear it all up and hopefully it will clear a lot of things up. And maybe, if I could ask for a favor, in return for thinking I am a complete moron (even though my grammar had something to do with it), you could help to make sure people read what I say and don't attack me or make sarcastic comments I would really appreciate it. Also I kind of find that FeloniousMonk likes to just post about the pseudoscience policy and I never think he is actually considering anything I say, so if you can ask him to show that he at least considered it that would be helpful too. A lot of people respect FeloniousMonk's opinions, with good reason, he is very knowledgeable, but sometimes I think he gets carried away just out of frustration with me; I know how frustrated he can make me sometimes and you know that I often get carried away with it and start fighting instead of discussing (of course, he started it :P).--Ben 09:30, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
dunno if it was the grammar or if one of us didn't have enough coffee. Ok, currently there is no way to test it, that leaves that it might become science, at the moment it remains idle speculation or what-have-you. KillerChihuahua?!? 12:46, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
The first thing I notice is that they use the word theory when we make a great show in this article that it isn't a theory, but we can substitute another word.
There is another problem: "creative mental capacities of a personal agent". I know that "creativity" isn't a scientific term so this immediately removes any scientific guise from the article. Suddenly we'd be confined to writing an article about art and perspective. Ironic coming from a so-called "science text". Next, "mental capacities" imply some sort of mind which is subject to another problem of lack of specificity. What is a "mind", exactly? Finally, they claim a "personal agent" which deals both with person and agency. At this point we're so bogged down in equivocal jargon, the definition is meaningless. At least in our definition we have terms that have more precise definitions than the tripe from Of Pandas.... Also the verbiage "biological organisms owe their origin" sounds like moralizing to me, like Of Pandas... is preaching to nature to acknowledge its "maker". So I find this definition to be far more problematic than our current one. --ScienceApologist 22:51, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
I would further add that the 'Pandas' definition is a good ten years old. We should probably go with the newer definition.--Rousseau 23:12, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
But that, according to a lot of the editors here, doesn't enter into it. I've said the current definition is poor along the same lines*. Those reasons, as I'm often told, are not bad reasons, but are simply irrelevant; it doesn't matter what the reasons are. Instead it always comes down to which is more authoritative. I'm told that again and again. So, wouldn't a definition from a textbook about "intelligent design" be more authoritative? Note, too, that the Pandas definition is different in that it is not its own theory/conjecture (whereas the current definition is a theory/conjecture). Their definition of "Intelligent design" is that the phrase refers to a type of theory, and is not a theory unto itself. That's a rather big difference from the current definition we're using.
*Though I do think your deconstruction is a little flawed, as you might be able to substitute unambiguous concepts for some of your concerns. Pulling out "creativity" on its own is not a good deconstruction--you should instead be deconstructing the full thought: "creative mental capacities." And "personal agent" you might simply substitute with "being." However, this in itself is one of the reasons I don't think it should be used.--Ben 23:33, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
Well, assuming (and that's a big assumption) both definitions are authoritative--or at least good enough to be used in an encyclopedia--you should still go with the most recent one. Again, notice, that the sources must be authoratitive. Pandas, I believe, is pretty big in the ID movement, but so is the DI. Other than maybe Behe and Johnson, however, I would not consider many other people or organizations authoratitive enough to give authority to ID over. So, your issue with other definitions might fail with the authoritative part, but not with the modernity of the idea. My critique was to be taken in context.--Rousseau 01:37, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Substitute away; I'm still convinced that our definition is far less ambiguous and easier to understand than Of Pandas.... Why should I be made to substitute when it's your fault that you recommended a definition that uses amibiguous terminology. --ScienceApologist 23:40, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
"I'm not saying it should be used, but I am wondering why you don't use it instead of the defintion on the FAQ page of" Ergo, I'm not recommending anything. Also "Those reasons, as I'm often told, are not bad reasons, but are simply irrelevant; it doesn't matter what the reasons are. Instead it always comes down to which is more authoritative." Don't make me repeat myself. --Ben 00:14, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Well, I've outlined the reasons I think that it is problematic above, so I feel like you're making me repeat myself. --ScienceApologist 00:21, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
I won't, because apparently you missed the point again. If you want to try again, read the sentence carefully, and pay particular attention to where it says (this, according to my experience) that some people think reasons like this are irrelevant, and the only reason you should choose one definition over another is based on how authoritative the definition is. --Ben 00:59, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
There comes a point after failing on numerous occasions to communicate your "point" that maybe you have to look at how you are communicating. In particular, I am of the opinion that the Discovery Institute is more authoritative than Of Pandas... and I don't know what "reasons" you are referring to. --ScienceApologist 04:47, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Try this then: "I am dismissing your argument, dated 22:51, 10 January 2006 (UTC), on the grounds that similar arguments made against the current definition are also dismissed. Though I believe you have made a fair argument, the current approach to this article is that the degree of the authority of the source takes precedence over all such arguments. All argument of this type is considered moot in comparison, and I hereby dismiss said arguments in full accordance with the current approach." --Ben 10:09, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Okay, so then the current definition by the authority of the Discovery Institute is the one we should include. --ScienceApologist 20:42, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
And that's because, in your opinion, the definition provided by DI on their frequently asked questions page is more authoritative than the Of Pandas and People textbook, right? Ok. It seems the rest of the conversation flows nicely from this sidetrack...--Ben 22:12, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
A text written for schoolchildren is hardly more authorative then the major thinktank devoted to the idea. --ScienceApologist 23:40, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
What about a Ph.D biologist saying that the definition is accurate? Read through Kenneth Miller's testimony in Kitzmiller v. Dover. Miller has even apparently debated Behe a couple of times. He says, with respect to the definition in Of Pandas and People:
"Q. Let's take those sentences one at a time. The first sentence, to your mind, does that accurately describe intelligent design as you understand it?
A. I certainly think that it does. In fact, if one does a library search on intelligent design, it will return a large number of engineering, graphic design, and other articles about the intelligent design, let's say, of the courtroom or the intelligent design of a ventilation system or the intelligent design of a microprocessor.
So it is certainly true that the term "intelligent design" can be used in the context of a human designer designing an apparatus, putting together a message, and so forth. So I think that's a perfectly accurate statement.
Q. How about the second sentence?
A. The second sentence says, In biology -- and I believe this is the context that is important in the courtroom today -- biology, intelligent design is the theory that biological origins owe their -- excuse me, biological organisms owe their origin to a preexistent intelligence.
And I think that is exactly what intelligent design means. So this is a good glossary and this is a very good definition, because it indicates that organisms originated from the creative power of a preexisting intelligence, and that's a classic doctrine which is known as "special creation."
By definition, that creative force has to have intelligence, takes intelligence to create, and that's exactly what this glossary definition says." [30]
--Ben 00:14, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
The context of Miller's testimony is whether the definition provided by Of Pandas... is accurate, not whether it is encyclopedic. --ScienceApologist 00:21, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
What's the difference? --Ben 00:59, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
The difference is context. Somebody can have an accurate description for the context of a trial, but that accurate description might not lend itself to an encyclopedic definition. --ScienceApologist 20:42, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
The question is also whether it is an accurate description of Intelligent Design. Form of government in which Hitler was leader is an accurate description of Nazism but I wouldn't use it as the description of Nazism for an encyclopedia.--Rousseau 01:40, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Well, apparently other people would. See Nazism. There's more to it than that of course, but nothing in there contradicts it. The current ID definition, however, contradicts the Pandas one. The current one says ID is a theory. The Pandas one says it is a type of theory. --Ben 01:57, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Actually, the wiki description of Nazism is MUCH fuller than my simple description; my description was merely a subset of the wiki description. As to your argument; it still ignores that the DI is the leading institute in ID, and that the definition currently used is a good 12 years newer than the Pandas definition. We're not talking about months here; a decade is a rather large time-span. And yes, Pandas is authoritative, but so is the Discovery Institute.--Rousseau 02:05, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
What made you think I think it isn't as full? You don't need to tell me that. Thanks for your opinion on my argument. Yes, 12 years is a long time. However, an expert in the field said it is still accurate, and said so this year. This is a problem because what the expert said was accurate in Pandas (in his own words, "exactly what ID means" and a "very good definition") is in unresolvable contradiction with the definition we are using from the DI.--Ben 22:12, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
I don't follow your first question. As to your second argument, it appears we have two "contradictory" (although I wouldn't use that word, they really aren't contradictory) definitions of ID. Which one do we use, one advocated by two people in a book, twelve years ago, and more or less agreed upon (as a description, not a definition) by someone in a court, or the definition used by an entire organization which includes almost all of the proponents on the issue--including one of the authors--and is twelve years younger? Everybody seems to have issues with the Pandas definition--including you, so why keep arguing it? What's the point of arguing the same points that other people have efficiently critqued?--Rousseau 16:01, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
I realize that everything in life is mere shades of grey, but we've run out of grey paint in this particular topic. After all, unless Ben has done a survey as to what people are looking for when they look up Intelligent Design, then he really needs to accept that the definition that is overwhelmingly prevalent in the schools, the courts, the media and other popular sources is the one we need to go with. True, it does not meet Ben's or Endo's criteria, but we don't really know what their criteria are other than a definition that is so replete with obfuscation as to be useless. Jim62sch 00:28, 11 January 2006 (UTC) comment moved 01:49, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Additionally, if memory serves, Behe's testimony had a habit of wandering around, and the judge found him to be somewhat less than fully truthful. Jim62sch 00:33, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
I don't see your point at all. --Ben 00:59, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Credibility. Jim62sch 01:03, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
What are you talking about? Did you even read through this discussion? --Ben 01:46, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
At the risk of misunderstanding Jim's statement, I believe he means that when someone testifies and the Judge takes him to task on credibility issues, his testimony is not usually considered authoritative nor true. KillerChihuahua?!? 03:00, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Please do not tell me both you and Jim have mistaken Dr. Kenneth Miller's testimony for Behe's.--Ben 03:17, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Particularily because, even if you weren't paying attention and somehow got it into your head that this was Behe's testimony, the DI's "authority" in defining ID is based in no small part on how proponents such as Behe, a senior fellow at the DI, define ID. This is nonsense. It's like saying Behe is not credible enough to define intelligent design, but the company he works for is. --Ben 03:33, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Somehow... Ben reminds me of Behe and Endo reminds me of Demsbki. Anyway, Ben - you said, "this is nonsense." Afraid the same can be said about your posts. Seriously, you're arguing with how many editor/readers.
Personally, I'd rather you stop before you make them sick of the entire issue. I'm starting to think FM, SA, Jim, KC and others better do what Dawkins and the late Stephen Jay Gould suggested - don't bother debating with unreasonable, argumentative people because it's quite likely they're just after the limelight.Lovecoconuts 05:30, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
I'm discussing with one person, and that's ScienceApologist. It's not my fault Jim62sch said something which didn't make any sense in two different ways at the same time. It's his. It's not my fault KC came to defend him for no reason either. And what are you doing here anyway? Just dropped in to make an insulting joke? Usually that's Jim's job.--Ben 10:31, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
If you wish to discuss with one person, take it to their talk page. If you raise an issue, ask a question, or make a comment on an article talk page then be prepared for a variety of responses from anyone who reads the talk page. Sarcasm and hostility does not help make for a better article. Please try to remain civil. KillerChihuahua?!? 11:20, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
You need to watch your tone here, Ben. FeloniousMonk 18:47, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Ben, you'll just never get it, will you? There was no reason for you to attack LC. (As for attacking me, I really don't care personally, the more of your evanescent prose that I read the less I care about your opinion.) Jim62sch 20:16, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
KC, you are correct regarding what I meant. However, since Ben decided to move my comments for Zeus knows what reason, they appear to be non-sequiturs. Semms to me Ben is being rather disruptive again.Jim62sch 20:16, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Fine. I'm sorry. Let's get back on track. Jim you were saying something about Behe's testimony and his credibility...? Could you elaborate on that? I'm not sure I understand how it follows from the discussion I was having about the definition provided in Of Pandas and People and my reference to Dr. Kenneth Miller's testimony.--Ben 21:59, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Ben, how's this for a compromise? Have the intro from Of Pandas and People on it's Wiki page somewhere appropriate. It's more relevent there. Here on the ID page, it becomes a fight. So here, let the DI definition stand. Sidestep the difficult terrain. I too like Sun Tzu.--ghost 22:40, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
I don't want it to have competing definitions; the Of Pandas definition defines ID as something totally different (Pandas says ID refers to a type of theory, DI says ID is a theory). I think it will just confuse the reader even more. I will think about it some more though. Thanks for your suggestion, I hadn't considered it.
Also I still want to know what Jim was saying about Behe. Lots of people seem to think it is an important point, but I don't understand how it follows the discussion.--Ben 23:06, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Behe was out of context, sorry (happy Ben? I never laid claim to infallibility). As for the rest, Ghost's idea is a good one. As for a competing definition, Ghost is also right -- avoid the difficult terrain. We have tilled the land from which your objection springs so often it looks like WWI trenches. The basic point, to regurgitate, is that the definition provided by DI (and supported by Behe, Dembski and other prominent IDists) is the definition that that has led to the current controversy, the definition used by school boards all over the country, and the definition that mattered in the Kitzmiller trial. Pretty much sums it up (again), eh? Jim62sch 01:07, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
Good. I hope you are also as disturbed as I am by the people who were backing you up with zero understanding of the discussion--unless you like that sort of thing.
Regarding your points, do you have a cite that this is "the definition that that has led to the current controversy?" because I don't think that's really a provable statement. So that's just your point of view. Do you have a cite that it is "the definition used by school boards all over the country?" I would think the textbook provided to the schools, namely Of Pandas and People, would be the definition "used by school boards." Also, I can't find any reference to the DI definition in the Kitzmiller trial anywhere. I found quite a few references to Of Pandas and People and also the Pandas definition though. Including in closing statements where members of the school board talk about discussing the definition in Pandas. It seems to me that that is the one that mattered. Please tell me where I can find the DI definition (I have not read the entire thing so it could be in there somewhere.) You can search the entire testimony here: [31] (add in the keywords you wish to search for after "") I searched through the pages with "definition" and "defined" and I could not find evidence that it was "the definition that mattered," in fact I couldn't find any reference to DI's definition.
I don't think the points you are making are as strong as you think they are.--Ben 02:19, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
Analysis is a gift not given to many. If one limits one's search for truth to a very narrow perspective, one will miss the forest for the trees. To wit: "Dramatic evidence of ID’s religious nature and aspirations is found in what

is referred to as the “Wedge Document.” The Wedge Document, developed by the Discovery Institute’s Center for Renewal of Science and Culture (hereinafter “CRSC”), represents from an institutional standpoint, the IDM’s goals and objectives, much as writings from the Institute for Creation Research did for the earlier creation-science movement, as discussed in McLean. (11:26-28 (Forrest)); McLean, 529 F. Supp. at 1255. The Wedge Document states in its “Five Year Strategic Plan Summary” that the IDM’s goal is to replace science as currently Case 4:04-cv-02688-JEJ Document 342 Filed 12/20/2005 Page 28 of 139

29 practiced with “theistic and Christian science.” (P-140 at 6). As posited in the Wedge Document, the IDM’s “Governing Goals” are to “defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural, and political legacies” and “to replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God.” Id. at 4. The CSRC expressly announces, in the Wedge Document, a program of Christian apologetics to promote ID. A careful review of the Wedge Document’s goals and language throughout the document reveals cultural and religious goals, as opposed to scientific ones. (11:26-48 (Forrest); P-140). ID aspires to change the ground rules of science to make room for religion, specifically, beliefs consonant with a particular version of Christianity. In addition to the IDM itself describing ID as a religious argument, ID’s religious nature is evident because it involves a supernatural designer. The courts in Edwards and McLean expressly found that this characteristic removed creationism from the realm of science and made it a religious proposition. Edwards, 482 U.S. at 591-92; McLean, 529 F. Supp. at 1265-66. Prominent ID proponents have made abundantly clear that the designer is supernatural. Defendants’ expert witness ID proponents confirmed that the existence of a supernatural designer is a hallmark of ID. First, Professor Behe has written that by Case 4:04-cv-02688-JEJ Document 342 Filed 12/20/2005 Page 29 of 139

30 ID he means “not designed by the laws of nature,” and that it is “implausible that the designer is a natural entity.” (P-647 at 193; P-718 at 696, 700). Second, Professor Minnich testified that for ID to be considered science, the ground rules of science have to be broadened so that supernatural forces can be considered. (38:97 (Minnich)). Third, Professor Steven William Fuller testified that it is ID’s project to change the ground rules of science to include the supernatural. (Trial Tr. vol. 28, Fuller Test., 20-24, Oct. 24, 2005). Turning from defense expert witnesses to leading ID proponents, Johnson has concluded that science must be redefined to include the supernatural if religious challenges to evolution are to get a hearing. (11:8-15 (Forrest); P-429). Additionally, Dembski agrees that science is ruled by methodological naturalism and argues that this rule must be overturned if ID is to prosper. (Trial Tr. vol. 5, Pennock Test., 32-34, Sept. 28, 2005)."

The preceding unsigned comment was added by Jim62sch (talk • contribs) 01:07, 13 January 2006 (UTC).

I already know about the Wedge document and DI's religious aspirations. Maybe I really am having trouble with my analysis. Please help me out, I don't understand why you've posted this. Ok: DI's definition. Wedge document and religious aspirations, DI is bad and all that. Make the connection for me. I mean, if I can compare, it's seems like the equivalent of saying Al Qaeda (religious aspirations, in the mainstream, bad guys, causing all sorts of problems, documents about killing people, etc.) provides the authoritative definition of Jihad, and thus, should be the only definition given (but it should also not be attributed to them.)

And can you explain your above arguments why DI's definition is more authoritative too (how DI's definition is used by school boards, and how it mattered so much in Kitzmiller case etc.)? You weren't just pulling these assertions out of nowhere I assume, but I can't find anything to back them up so far. (And if it has to do with the analysis you say I'm having trouble with, then just work them in.)--Ben 03:12, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

Apparently, Judge Jones thought ID's strategies and, by implication, definition, were germane to his decision. In addition, if you read the decision and quoted testimony, you'll note that piece by piece ID's definition falls into place during the hearings. "The syllogism described by Dr. Haught is essentially the same argument for ID as presented by defense expert witnesses Professors Behe and Minnich who employ the phrase “purposeful arrangement of parts.”" Besides, as Deep Throat said, follow the money."
In any case, the question remains: why are we still discussing this months after a consensus was reached? In fact, I've noted that the opposition to DI's definition increased only after the Kitzmiller decision. Now, as we all know, correlation is not causation, but in this case, I think it would be safe to assume causation. Jim62sch 12:03, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
That is not what I asked for. You asserted:
"the definition provided by DI (and supported by Behe, Dembski and other prominent IDists) is...
the definition that that has led to the current controversy
the definition used by school boards all over the country, and
the definition that mattered in the Kitzmiller trial.
...Pretty much sums it up (again), eh?"
I'd like you to prove those assertions. I even have contradicting evidence and argument to support this request. Regardless, you are making the claims, you should be able to prove them. Just like when ID people say ID is a scientific theory, you too have to prove your assertions. When it comes to DI's "authority" over the definition, these assertions seem to be the crux of your argument, especially considering how adamant you are that they are indisputably correct.
If you refuse to provide proof, I will reasonably conclude that you have none and are simply making these assertions up, and, based on that, that your argument is dishonest and you are a disingenuous person.--Ben 01:29, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
Back to the liar shit again, are we? Ben, I'm really tired of dealing with you. Why is it that you are the only person quailing away at this topic? Read the archives, we've covered this topic to the point where any further discussion is utterly pointless. As for your opinion of me, allow me to restate that I don't give a rat's ass about it. Jim62sch 01:48, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
I hereby conclude your (Jim62sch) argument is dishonest based on your refusal to testify in defence of your own assertions, two of which are, with no uncertainty, objective and can be positively and empirically proved by providing evidence in their favor. I conclude you are a disingenuous person based upon this refusal and further conclude that you have no respect for this article, Wikipedia, or Wikipedia's users. --Ben 02:21, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
Regardless of your opinion of Jim (and perhaps now myself by extension), your preference for Of Pandas and People (soon to be renamed to avoid fallout from the Kitzmiller decision) over the Discovery Institute when it comes to defining ID matters little, as the DI is the prime force behind ID as it is currently known and the 12 year-old OPaP is most certainly not. If this were 1993, you might have a point. Furthermore, ID is widely known (incorectly) as a theory rather than (incorrectly) as a type of theory. We all know that ID is neither of these things, but I think the current (i.e. within this decade) consensus definition of the term as definied by its proponents is that of the DI. -Parallel or Together? 06:08, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
PoT?, thanks. As Ben's opinion of me is of no concern to me, I decided to ignore his last post as I've found talking to a brick wall to be more productive. Your reasoning is quite accurate, and represents that which has been explained to Ben (and others) for quite some time. In fact, the archives are littered with neverending discussions on this topic. Jim62sch 15:12, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Moving Comments

Ben, what was served by moving the comment, other than to place it somewhere where it is not entirely in context? If your argument is chronologically based*, I'd suggest you look at the chronology as it exists currently -- unless the order of numbers has changed since I went to bed last night, it is now woefully out of order.

"*" --Ben 00:14, 11 January 2006 (UTC), ScienceApologist 00:21, 11 January 2006 (UTC), Ben 00:59, 11 January 2006 (UTC), Rousseau 01:40, 11 January 2006 (UTC), Ben 01:57, 11 January 2006 (UTC), Rousseau 02:05, 11 January 2006 (UTC), Jim62sch 00:28, 11 January 2006 (UTC) comment moved 01:49, 11 January 2006 (UTC), etc. Notice anything out of order here? Jim62sch 11:38, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Jim62sch 11:38, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

It strikes me like manipulating the record to create a false impression. FeloniousMonk 18:45, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Put it back then Jim. I didn't know where you wanted it, but the first place you put it messed up the flow of the conversation. It's not my fault you can't use colons properly. Where you put it originally it made it look like I was responding to you instead of ScienceApologist, and even more so because you used the wrong number of colons. See WP:TP if you do not understand where to place your comments. "Manipulating the record to create a false impression" Give me a break.--Ben 21:38, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Gentlemen, please stop. This can be water under the bridge if we choose it to be. A mistake was made. Hopefully, it won't be repeated. 'Nuff said.--ghost 22:00, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Ghost, I would were it not that this is not the first time Ben has moved things to distort the record. Ben has an unyielding perspective that knows no bounds as far misrepresentation, manipulation and misapplication of inference to what has actually been written.
As for the colons, note the following (which Ben was so gracious to provide): "This page is considered a guideline on Wikipedia. It illustrates standards of conduct, which many editors agree with in principle. However, it is not policy..." (emphasis added.) Besides, were one to go through this page he'd see the same alleged colon misuse on Ben's part (not that I give a rat's ass).
Advice Ben: resist the temptation to reference WP Policy, because every time you do you are hoisted by your own petard. Jim62sch 01:28, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
Your addition you inserted into the conversation gave the false impression that I was replying to you. If you want to create this impression don't do it to me, because I don't like it. I moved your comment where I thought it would be best, where I thought you intended for it to be--at the end of my conversation to ScienceApologist, since judging by the number of colons you used, that is who you were replying to. I also added the date that I moved it just in case it was in the wrong placce. You cannot just insert your comments willy nilly into other people's discussions. It messes up the flow and as FeloniousMonk noted, bad indentation and bad comment placement can create a false impression. That's what YOUR comment did to MINE. If when I moved it, that happend to yours, by all means put it where you want it. But DO NOT put it with one less indentation above my comments. I was not responding to you. Doing so gives the false impression that I was responding to you and this is disruptive. If you do not understand why this is a problem and why your placement creates the false impression I am responding to your comments review WP:TP. --Ben 02:28, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

Uh, OK, whatever. Jim62sch 01:11, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

You still don't understand?--Ben 02:45, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
Ben, Did you consider just fixing the indentation? Regards, Ben Aveling 11:25, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
Yes I considered it, but it didn't make sense when considering the time stamp, the content, and the positioning. You can see where Jim put it here: [32]. --Ben 21:39, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
Ben Aveling, that would have been the simnple solution, in keeping with Occam's razor, but it was overlooked.
No, it wasn't. --Ben 21:39, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
Ben Apgar, no, it doesn't mean I don't understand, it just means that I see no point in arguing with you, I have other things to do with my time. Jim62sch 11:38, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
You are the one who started a new section to discuss it and you made a big deal over it, saying I was trying to "distort the record," not me. I told you to change if you thought it was in the wrong place but, even with all your complaining about it, you've left it in the position I moved it to. This means either means you really don't care, or that's where you wanted it anyway. --Ben 21:39, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
Ben, will you just grow up already. Enough; new topic. I really don't care about this one any longer -- it's done, it's over, no one cares. Jim62sch 22:49, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
So you do understand and now you don't care. Good. I'm glad we agree how stupid it was for you to have brought this up. Maybe you wouldn't look so foolish so often if you actually paid attention to what people say and assumed good faith.--Ben 01:14, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

Maybe it's just me, but you lecturing anyone about foolishness and the assumption of good faith is like a thief wearing a T-shirt with the eighth commandment emblazoned upon it. Has it ever occured to you that maybe people just get tired of dealing with you? Jim62sch 01:58, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

New Calif. Lawsuit: ID as a Philosophy class. (A heads up to the editors)

A friendly heads up to our team: Times: 1st Suit in State (CA) to Attack 'Intelligent Design' Filed

"..The suit targets what appears to be the latest wrinkle in the continuing national fight between supporters and opponents of teaching evolution in public schools — a course that says it examines the debate as an issue of "philosophy."

Also, check [33] for audio. --ghost 14:11, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

They're adding YEC, as well - looks like mislabeling the class. "Physical and chemical evidence will be presented suggesting the earth is thousands of years old, not billions." from the course description. That's not ID, either as "science" or "philosophy". KillerChihuahua?!? 15:06, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
This lawsuit (Hurst v. Newman, btw) is not particularly relevent to this ID. Although it does demonstrate (1) that ID is creationism (2) that the rubes are too dumb to realise that they're supposed to tightly follow the teach the controversy line. The cretinists will get pwned in the courts, again. — Dunc| 18:52, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
The radio interview with a lawyer from the DI is fascinating. He concedes ID as not being a scientific theory. Instead, he argues that ID critics ok'd ID as an acceptable philosophical topic. The syllibus sounds like a DI reading list.--ghost 19:08, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
That was Casey Luskin. Also, [34]FeloniousMonk 19:21, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
The IDists are probably determining their next strategy to replace the philosophy one-- ID as a cooking class. Jim62sch 01:33, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
A perfect fit for Rhetoric, I'd think, or maybe not. FeloniousMonk 07:08, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
Hmm... My reaction at first was - It's just being taught in a philosophy class. No biggie.
Then, I came across the original syllabus... Thermodynamics is included. Plus fossils plus dating methods. I thought - this is a "philosophy" class? Seems a lot like a "science" class to me.
The revised syllabus is definitely more philosophical, kind of. Intelligent Design has now been referred to as "Philosophy of Intelligent Design." Unfortunately, it's still being placed in a fist-fight with the "Theory of Evolution." So now, it's kinda like a Philosophy vs Science class which only talks about two things - ID and Evolution.
I don't know about others, but I'll probably be very bored in a class which only talks about ID and Evo. Good chance of flunking it too.Lovecoconuts 10:05, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
Suggestion: We all sign up for the class(es). LOL. That'd be golly good fun! 'Sides, it's always entertaining to toy with an unsuspecting instructor.... (apologies to the Educators...)--ghost 18:00, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

'unguided' process

The word unguided is used once in the article ATM. Given that it doesn't quite have the usual meaning here, should it be explained, or be in quotes, or maybe be a link to I don't know where? Regards, Ben Aveling 00:40, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

The antonym would be "guided". Does the concept of Intelligent Design state that evolution is actively guided, or is it more like a clockwork mechanism that was designed and set in motion? If it states it is actively guided, then "unguided" would be appropriate. Endomion 02:10, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
The "theory" of intelligent design doesn't say one way or the other. Guettarda 02:12, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

Intelligent design (ID) is the concept that the universe and living things have features that could only have been designed by an intelligent cause or agent, as opposed to an unguided process such as natural selection.[1] The whole sentence is a quote from the DI, but with the quote marks removed. The phrase "unguided process" to characterise natural selection is a not-so-subtle dig at Godless Darwinism. Everything after the comma could be be removed without altering the usefulness of the definition: Intelligent design (ID) is the concept that the universe and living things have features that could only have been designed by an intelligent cause or agent.[1] If it were up to me, which it's not, I'd take the second sentence of the first paragraph, the one that says: Leading proponents, of which all are affliated with the Discovery Institute, say that intelligent design is a scientific theory that stands on equal footing with, or is superior to, current scientific theories regarding the origin of life,[2] and move it down to become the first sentence of the second paragraph. You'd then have a short, clear one-sentence definition of ID in the first para, and a second para devoted entirely to one of the two big controversies surrounding DI, i.e., whether it is or is not scientific. The third para deals with the other big controversy, the place of ID in the American school system. (ID is very much an American affair). I'd suggest adding a short introductory sentence to that para to summarise the schools controversy. So the first (introductory) three paras would be:

Intelligent design (ID) is the concept that the universe and living things have features that could only have been designed by an intelligent cause or agent.[1]

Leading proponents, of which all are affliated with the Discovery Institute, say that intelligent design is a scientific theory that stands on equal footing with, or is superior to, current scientific theories regarding the origin of life.[2] An overwhelming majority[3] of the scientific community views intelligent design not as a valid scientific theory but as pseudoscience or junk science.[4] The U.S. National Academy of Sciences has stated that intelligent design "and other claims of supernatural intervention in the origin of life" are not science because they cannot be tested by experiment, do not generate any predictions and propose no new hypotheses of their own.[5]

Proponents of ID have campaigned for ID to be taught in US public school science classes. United States federal courts have ruled as unconstitutional a public school district requirement endorsing intelligent design as an alternative to evolution in science classes, on the grounds that its inclusion violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. In Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District (2005) United States federal court judge John E. Jones III ruled that intelligent design is not science and is essentially religious in nature.

PiCo 04:05, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

My point is that 'unguided' implies totally random, whereas evolution is only somewhat random, that is, random with a really strong bias towards changes that make a criter more competitive. Regards, Ben Aveling 06:53, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

Mutations are random, I'll grant you, but the wonderful world of sex acts as a "guide" of sorts, with the little chicky critters getting to decide which fine male display wins the prize. Endomion 07:16, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
Indeed. And funnily enough, the things they like (bright colors, lots of feathers or horns or whatever) are things that are 'expensive' - being able to put lots of effort into pure showing off is a signal that you are a very healthy individual; exactly what the girls are looking for. Regards, Ben Aveling 11:12, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
Just to clarify. Sex, as a mechanism, increases the genetic diversity of offspring by shuffling genetic material. The above describes "sexual selection" which is a relatively high-level refinement to the mechanism. On the subject of guidance, however, sexual selection essentially allows genes to guide evolution by giving them a means by which successful (whatever that means) genes can be selected (via their successful phenotypes) for partnership. Sex, on its own, does not. It's a blind way of increasing offspring diversity. Anyway, I'm blabbing. --Plumbago 12:31, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

Christoph Cardinal Schönborn is interesting in opposing "unguided, unplanned" evolution while fully accepting evolution theory (though not its use to support atheism). Regarding PiCo's proposal, of which all are affliated with should read all of whom are affiliated to. At least in British English. ...dave souza 09:23, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

This is descending into a perfect example of why semantics, as a term commonly misused by the vox populi, has a bad name. So, let's try logic and true semantics: Since ID requires an intelligent designer it assumes a guided process. As ID stands in opposition to evolution, unguided is thus implied. In fact, the current CSC version of the definition uses "undirected" which is clearly synonymous with unguided. Also, that unguided (or undirected) imply randomness is precisely the point ID wants to make. Jim62sch 12:17, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
In an effort to settle this issue (and others), I reverted the first sentence to the one I agreed to with SA. It clearly identifies the quote from the DI, and thus pushes the onus of explaining "an unguided process" to them. Where it belongs.--ghost 15:19, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
Comment - that is a good fix. Endomion 15:25, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
I concur w/ghost and SA's version, it is clear and accurate. KillerChihuahua?!? 16:05, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
It has the additional benefit of not being a trap. If some n00b comes in here and tries to improve it, he or she will see the quotes and probably cry off before the whole anti-ID universe dumps on him or her for being a troll. Endomion 16:28, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
Looks good. I'd still like to see 'unguided' discussed somewhere. Maybe under 'Arguments from ignorance' we could point out that the word unguided is misleading in that it implies that a lack of conscious guidance means no guidance at all? Regards, Ben Aveling 06:47, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
So long as we point out the difference between "supernaturally" guided and "naturally" guided (DNA does guide evolution), and note DI's reasoning for referring to evolution as "undirected (unguided)", it may be appropriate. Let's see if we can reach some kind of consensus on this. Jim62sch 15:18, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Theological issues

While I don't know if this should be mentioned in the article, I think that the motivations of the various sides on this debate can be made more understandable by examining the various theological viewpoints. Christians that oppose evolution tend to see nature's creative power as being separate from God's creative power, meaning that the more "nature" accomplished on its own, the smaller God's contribution was. Christian opponents to ID, however, see no conflict between these two as they feel that nature's capabilities are ultimately due to God, one way or another. Some go even further and think that the more things nature was able to do, the more evidence that is that God wrote amazingly creative laws of nature. Such Christians would support mainstream science, evolution and all, and would hate to see a wedge put into it. I would hope that agitated participants in the evolution debate would think a bit longer about the theological justifications of the other side, since these can carry more weight than arguments based on science. I propose that debaters make their theological positions known so that others can understand where they are coming from.

Some ID proponents admit common descent as long as design in the process is admitted, while others fight against common descent. Again this difference I think can only attributed to a theological difference (e.g. some feel that common descent has moral implications and must therefore be rejected, while others do not feel that, hence have no objection to common descent, and are mainly interested in proving that God steered the process). Still others hope to find a proof that God steered some part of the process but at the same time strongly reject ID's claim that such proof has already been found (that would be a very reasonable position to take, because you really can not claim that science has proven some fact when most scientists say that this fact has not (yet) been proven). MvH Jan 13, 2006.

My brand of Christianity, Catholicism, has already been burned by the issue with Galileo, when the authorities of the Church insisted that the Earth did not move. After this learning experience the Church has generally made an accomodation with science, to the point where they might as well slap a Darwin fish on the Popemobile. It is only a doctrine of men that God has to intervene in every instance where a biological niche is overtaken by changes in the climate or geography. We do, however, insist that the laws of physics were established by a Divine Will, but this is not the scope of ID at this time. In fine, Rome has no dog in the Intelligent Design hunt, as it is currently formulated. It is therefore quite possible for Roman Catholic Wikipedians to contribute to the creation-related articles purely as scholars. Endomion 06:01, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
John Paul actually wrote some really great things about this, which could be summarized as "if the laws of science, and theology, conflict, it is not because god is wrong, but it is because man's *understanding* of god is wrong" See: [35] [36] [37] etc. Ronabop 07:01, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
That is tidily put. Thanks for posting this. KillerChihuahua?!? 15:22, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
Good points, see theistic evolution and also Christoph Cardinal Schönborn's clarifications of his comments which were hailed as support by IDers. ....dave souza 09:13, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
I see that Cardinal Schonborn studied theology and philosophy. Not, perhaps, the ideal preparation for one who would make pronouncements on science. I think the good cardinal should stick to metaphysics. PiCo 13:37, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
Gosh, if the good Cardinal was a Wikipedia editor with a G.E.D. he could make pronouncements on creation science all day long and win kudos. Endomion 13:48, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
Like you? KillerChihuahua?!? 15:22, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
Martydom has its price, y'know. Jim62sch 22:47, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

I think the reason the authorities of the Catholic church insisted that the earth did not move was that they'd never experienced Ernest Hemingway's sleeping bag. PiCo 12:34, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

and because the bible says that the earth moveth not. MvH Jan 16.
"Eppur si muove" -- Galileo. Jim62sch 16:39, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

"Intelligent evolution"

So will this be the newest name of the movement after all? [38] [39]

-- nyenyec  21:21, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

Darwin in a vise? is he serious? KillerChihuahua?!? 21:59, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
Shureley shome pisstake? Entertaining stuff, and a useful link in comments on the first article to a BBC radio interview with Richard Dawkins about his Channel 4 TV two-parter "Root of All Evil?", episode one of which included a highly amusing confrontation in which Dawkins, interviewing Pastor Ted Haggard (Colorado Springs New Life Church, president National Association of Evangelists), expresses doubts that Pastor Ted knows anything about evolution, to which Ted angrily accuses Dawkins of arrogance! And loses the heid, as we would say. The link's [removed- triggered WP spam filter], but unfortunately needs RealPlayer which I'm still in the process of installing so can't comment on the radio version. ....dave souza 22:46, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
Methinks Dembski's cranium is firmly implanted in his rectum. Jim62sch 23:39, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
Have just had a listen to the interview about the "Root of All Evil?" programmes, and seems pretty amusing to me. Includes an audio clip from the TV interview with Pastor Ted "evolutionists say the eye just happened by accident" Haggard, and concludes with Dawkins referring to the Kitzmiller case. As for the alleged Dembski webpages, I really think they must be a spoof. Surely. ....dave souza 02:03, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
No, I think Dembski is serious in a way. He may be being sarcastic, but I wouldn't bet on it.
As for Haggard, he just proves that many people are oblivious as to what evolution really means -- they are so stuck in sudden emergence (creation) that anything involving a process over time is beyond their comprehension. May this atheistic science which passeth all understanding be sent to oblivion. Jim62sch 02:25, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Yes, the eye didn't just happen, it took quite a while to develop. I still don't understand this Dembski man, I have read part of his book: "Intelligient Design". It's hard to think anyone could write that and be serious, but, well... you never know these days. --ДрakюлaTalk 15:28, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Dembski could learn a lot by reading the intelligent design page here. In particular, it isn't just the "design" part that is criticized but also the "intelligent" part. --ScienceApologist 15:20, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Dembski could learn a lot by reading books on science, period. Maybe books on mathematics, too, as his probablity equations have problems. Jim62sch 15:25, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Krovisser, the Cyrillic is clever. I will not, however, be baring my neck any time you're around.  :) Jim62sch 16:15, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
If the site is genuine, it's worth taking a look as "Dembski" seems to think sarcasm is a substitute for wit, and appears to want to emulate the Anne Robinson whose quiz infests BBC2 most early evenings. ..dave souza 16:24, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Yes, we too suffered The Weakest Link infestation. Fortunately, I have over 100 channels of shit to choose from, so I can find other mindless drivel to watch. But, I digress...reading anything by Dembski is painful, reading the posts of his minions is even worse. Jim62sch 16:38, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

WOW! This page is GOOOD!

I had a spare moment and popped in to see what was happening and...


Well done to everybody because this page is really excellent. It is so much neater and clearer, elegant, and fair. (I don't know how you did it! This really puts a dent in my opinion of democracy!) I take my hat off to you all. ant 00:47, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

Hi ant, welcome back - and thanks! See, eventually there are occasions when (after 3-6 pages of talk) we manage to accomplish actual improvement to the article. KillerChihuahua?!? 01:48, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
I agree with ant, while it could still use a bit of tweaking, overall it's well-written and informative. While I've long had an interest in this topic and controversy, I've held off on adding or changing anything as it seems that others are pretty well on top of it. MrDarwin 14:04, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
The page is amazing. I really hate to say anything. However, Judge Jones made a point about exaptation and how Michael Behe ignores ("by definitional fiat") the ample evidence of it in his rush to defend irreducable complexity. This is one of the critical points of his (Jones') opinion. That's important. Now for my opinion: I would put in the part about the judge finding that "ID is at best disingenuous and at worst, a canard. The goal of the ID movement is not to encourage critical thought, but to foment a revolution that would supplant evolutionary theory with ID." While it is probably inflamatory, it is one of the three points that Judge Jones used to make his decision. Oh yes, I forgot this one, "breathtaking insanity" when refering to the school board. Congrats on including the "contrived dualism" which is one of the other points. I am quoting from 6 January 2006 Vol. 311 No. 5757 Science pp34 report on the decision.
See Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District where most if not all of your suggested content is included. KillerChihuahua?!? 12:49, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
That would be true since my material is quoted from the Judge's opinion. I believe that I am arguing for having the information included in the ID section for a specific reason. That reason being the fact that the court has stated that ID is not anything other than a disingenuous attempt to inject something somewhere it doesn't belong by people who are not telling the truth. This opinion from the court changes the face of ID from a questionable pseudo-scientific farce to a bizarre conspiracy. Stated another way, the court has used its power to unmask something that has been carefully hidden. Now that it has been exposed, it should be re-characterized on Wikipedia or expunged. There is no longer a middle ground of editorial policy, balancing two divergent opinions in a field.
b_calder 14:23, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
Excuse me? Jim62sch 19:26, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
To repeat: "There are still a number of cases either pending before other courts, in the process of being filed and a never-ending series of attempts to being ID into public schools (the states of Kansas, Iowa, South Carolina, Alabama, Oklahoma, Georgia and Utah are just a few of those involved in one of the three categories). Eventually, this may need to go to the Supreme Court before it is resolved, so, as Yogi Berra said, "It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings". I don't think she's singing yet. Jim62sch 17:11, 8 January 2006 (UTC)" Let's not declare ID a corpse just yet. Jim62sch 19:29, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
Judge Jones is a Federal District Court officer. That puts this case at a level different from states court systems. That is based on the assumption that the issues brought up in other jurisdictions were substantially similar to Kitzmiller vs Dover Area School District. However, the Supreme Court Justices are certainly likely to refuse to hear an appeal. The lower court (Jones) has produced a well thought out and cogent opinion. He states in effect that ID can't be allowed to interfere with the business of Science. That's all. He is saying that the two can't possibly be related despite the claims of one of the parties.
In order to understand the "neverending series" as you so aptly put it, you should read Gould's "Mismeasure of Man." Gould explains that social pressures force certain behavior patterns to recur. Interestingly enough, the essays deal with anti-evolution movements and inherent intelligence proponents.
b_calder 15:05, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
Yes, he is a judge, but District is below Ciruit which is below the Supreme court. (In other words, a step was missed, although you may be right that neither will hear an appeal). Also, I understand your point, but it's just too early to drop the issue yet.
Also, I do understand the sociological and psychological reasons for the "neverending series", I just get tired of it. (I will, however, put Gould's book on my reading list -- I've enjoyed the essays of his I've read, so thanks for the tip) Jim62sch 20:35, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

This page is excellent. And complients to the editors.--ghost 18:02, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

ID in Pop Culture

A question arises concerning links between ID and certain concepts in science fiction. For example, in Darwin's Black Box, Behe refers to a time traveling intelligent designer. There seems to be a parallel between the (genuinely fictional) experiment by the pan-galactic mice/experimenters in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Behe's (real-life postulation) twenty years later. It seems that ID draws upon sci-fi concepts to promote counter-Darwinian concepts, but perhaps part of sci-fi's job is to inspire advanced thinking by scientific luminaries......

I'm not sure how to best present the emergence of this type of cultural transition, using comparisons with HHGG or other sci-fi (such as Kubrick's 2001 for example), without appearing to stir up controversy.

Another, perhaps more practical, viewpoint is that there's really nothing that has to do with time travel and biology in Hitchhiker's. It sounds a LOT more like the plot from a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, specifically The Chase. The story has to do with a race of humanoids who seeded their DNA on many world in the Milky Way Galaxy, such that lifeforms who would eventually evolve there would look a lot like them (which was a pseudo-sci-fi way of explaining why so many aliens looked alike - there was a star trek joke for a while that the only way to tell the aliens apart was by their forehead makeups - basically they couldn't afford the makeup or effects budget to have "aliens" that appeared a LOT different than two-armed, two-legged humans). Perhaps the postulation would derive from sci-fi concepts, just not from Adams's works (MAYBE in the first Dirk Gently novel, but that's a stretch.

Any thoughts about the right way to do this??? JXM 21:05, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

There is one really big physics problem with the "time traveling intelligent designer" idea. A time machine can't go back in time farther than the date of its creation. Then, of course, there's the circular pardox the idea creates. It works well in sci-fi, but in the real world it's BS. Jim62sch 00:25, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
*cough* Hey careful about taking credit for the stuff I left on your talk page! ;) Anyway, I think one has to be careful about how you view this - are these DELIBERATE ideas to put some ID concepts into pop culture, or ideas that have popped up in other media (especially science fiction) that one COULD interpret to be parallel to the concept of ID. I'm seeing this as a "chicken and egg" thing, I don't know how other people are viewing it - and no, I'm not trying to slight this in the least, I just want to make sure that such ideas get properly referenced. I really don't see, as stated above, where there are ID concepts in ANY of Douglas Adams's works, but I don't know if the writers of The Chase inserted the concepts (had the name "Intelligent Design" been coined as of 1993?) deliberately or not. Feel free to debate as needed. ;) --JohnDBuell 21:23, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

I'm afraid I have to agree with JohnDBuell on this one, and also add this. Of course, the Bible, the Qu'ran and most of the other religious texts support ID, but it is now often regarded that these are no more than stories. As stories, their support for a scientific theory is limited. If HHGG supports ID, and it is no more than a story, then its support for an scientific theory can only be regarded as at best unuseful and at worst unintentional. If it was unintentional (which is moderately likely - although Douglas is likely to have been familiar with the concept, his atheistic views would not have supported it), then it is only an inference that the HHGG mice and Behe's theory are linked. As inference, this viewpoint does not belong in WP. (Apologies for any controversy caused ;)) Ck lostsword 21:34, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

There's already a link to Panspermia in the Origins bit, in relation to Fred Hoyle's writings in the early 80s. As Panspermia#Science fiction notes, the concept goes back to the 1950s, and there are other old SF short stories that toy with the idea of an alien creator, but in the ID context this is more of an excuse than an inspiration. ....dave souza 21:43, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Not to mention that Hitchhiker's dates from 1978, which predates ID as we know it now by a number of years. :) I think some of the "Space Odyssey" or "Time Odyssey" ideas (both by or co-written by Arthur C. Clarke, another 100% atheist as it happens) - where there are Watchers monitoring all forms of life in the rest of the universe could be seen as another "parallel idea." So certainly, without taking the "ID" label, the thoughts and concepts behind a superbeing or superrace watching other life in the galaxy or even the whole universe HAS been broached in other media. --JohnDBuell 21:46, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
I was just reading the article for the usage of the term "Intelligent Design." Good job for those editors who have tracked its usage! I figured I was correct in saying H2G2 predated the popular use of ID as a term by a few years, it resurfaced in the mid-late 1980s. By the early 1990s, when the TNG episode referenced above was written, the writers MAY have heard of the term, or they may have just been echoing Hoyle, or just coming up with the pseudo-scientific explanation for their own plot holes, as has been alluded to before. ;) --JohnDBuell 21:50, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

I think the core philosophical question we're trying to capture here is "What purpose does an intelligent designer have in mind?" ID theorists seem rather at a loss to articulate this, but Buhe suggests a time traveler who is interested in exploring cell biology - I'm sure there must be others. On the other hand, the superbeing-as-prime-mover genre of sci-fi typically does offer such purposes (Adam's mice/experimenters, Clarke's Watcher, etc.) I agree with JohnDBuell that providing direct links between sci-fi entries and ID material is probably not helpful. However, a central Wikipedia entry that acts as a collecting point for links among these parallel ideas (without delving into causal linkages, etc.) might be useful. JXM 23:33, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

This is a truly ridiculous deviation from the topic at hand. Isn't there a sci-fi page you can take this silliness to? Jim62sch 00:28, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
The place is Panspermia, and if absolutely necessary the sentence could change to, say, "and was resurrected in the early 1980s by Sir Fred Hoyle as part of his promotion of panspermia which had previously featured in science fiction." However, I think that's unnecessary. ...dave souza 12:41, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Anon's addition

The following was added by an anon with regards to "In his view, one cannot test for the identity of influences exterior to a closed system from within, so questions concerning the identity of a designer fall outside the realm of the concept":

However, others argue that no exterior influence could exist, the ability to affect the system means that the system is not closed to it.

I removed it as being both unclear and unsourced (actually KC beat me to it). Whom the "others" are, where this argument has been made, what exactly the bearing of this statement is, I am unsure. Guettarda 18:33, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

I did it first, but you did it more appropriately I think - It read like nonsense to me. KillerChihuahua?!? 18:36, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
I'm not even clear what the person means, as the way it's worded the first clause seems to contradict the second clause. Plus, if the second clause is supposed to mean what I think it's supposed to mean, cause and effect are reversed (and illogical). Jim62sch 18:39, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
I thought I covered that with "nonsense". KillerChihuahua?!? 22:49, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
I was in the mood to be expansive.  :) Jim62sch 23:11, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

I'm guessing the Anon was thinking along the lines of Schrodinger's cat.--ghost 17:10, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Did you have to mention that stupid gedanke experiment? Even Shrödinger hated the damn thing. I shall, therefore, note my argeement with Stephen Hawking, "Everytime I hear about Shrödinger's Cat, I reach for my gun". 17:18, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
concur, I get headaches from that darn cat. KillerChihuahua?!? 17:22, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
8-> It's the Trickster in me.....--ghost 17:26, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

My guess at what the anon poster is saying: If you're inside a closed system, you can't have knowledge of anything outside that system; and anything you do have knowledge of, isn't outside. Therefore an intelligent designer who designs the system, isn't outside the system. QED. Sound metaphysics, but not science. PiCo 22:43, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

I think you may be correct -- do you have a degree in deciphering gibberish? Jim62sch 01:56, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Pre-Darwinian Ripostes

I had originally added this to the article in its own section, then withdrew it a few minutes later and moved it here. I would appreciate your thoughts: it adds some depth that goes beyond the current "ID vs. Darwin" dispute. JTBurman 11:50, 17 January 2006 (UTC)


Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (1844) is generally accepted to be the most influential pre-Darwinian book on transmutation (which we now call evolution). Charles Darwin, for example, remarked several years after its publication that Vestiges had prepared the way for his own arguments. But it was not influenced by Darwin, having proceeded by several years the publication of the first edition of The Origin of Species (1859), thus it can be considered neutral with respect to the issues at hand. That said, it contains several comments worthy of repetition in light of the modern debate regarding Intelligent Design. For example:

Not one species of any creature which flourished before the tertiary (Ehrenberg's infusoria excepted) now exists; and of the mammalia which arose during that series, many forms are altogether gone, while of others we have now only kindred species. Thus to find not only frequent additions to the previous existing forms, but frequent withdrawals of forms which had apparently become inappropriate -- a constant shifting as well as advance -- is a fact calculated very forcibly to arrest attention. A candid consideration of all these circumstances can scarcely fail to introduce into our minds a somewhat different idea of organic creation from what has hitherto been generally entertained (p.152).

In other words, the fact of extinction -- which can be observed in the fossil layers -- suggests that some designs were flawed. From this, the author concludes:

Some other idea must then come to with regard to the mode in which the Divine Author proceeded in the organic creation (p.153).

But the suggestion is not a mechanism, like Darwin proposed. The author merely notes that an active God is unnecessary: can we suppose that the august Being who brought all these countless worlds into form by the simple establishment of a natural principle flowing from his mind, was to interfere personally and specially on every occasion when a new shell-fish or reptile was to be ushered into existence on one of these worlds? Surely this idea is too ridiculous to be for a moment entertained (p.154).

He furthermore suggests that this interpretation may be based upon corrupt theology:

Thus, the scriptural objection quickly vanishes, and the prevalent ideas about the organic creation appear only as a mistaken inference from the text, formed at a time when man's ignorance prevented him from drawing therefrom a just conclusion (p.156).

And praises God for his foresight in generating such wonderous variety from so elegant a method, while chastening those who would oversimplify His accomplishment:

To a reasonable mind the Divide attributes must appear, not diminished or reduced in some way, by supposing a creation by law, but infinitely exalted. It is the narrowest of all views of the Deity, and characteristic of a humble class of intellects, to suppose him acting constantly in particular ways for particular occasions. It, for one thing, greatly detracts from his foresight, the most undeniable of all the attributes of Omnipotence. It lowers him towards the level of our own humble intellects. Much more worthy of him it surely is, to suppose that all things have been commissioned by him from the first, though neither is he absent from a particle of the current of natural affairs in one sense, seeing that the whole system is continually supported by his providence (pp.156-157).

From this historical source, I therefore respectfully submit that God and Nature can coexist without the need for an Intelligent Design. Instead, as a first approximation, we have the mechanisms prescribed by the neo-Darwinian synthesis.

(And there is, incidentally, a great deal more available for free from John van Wyhe[40] at The History of Phrenology on the Web.)

This appears to be good content, but I'd disagree with it's importance in this article. I'm of the opinion that we can provide the readers with sufficient reference to Darwin's thoughts and pre-Darwinian arguments thru wikilinks. As the article is quite large as is, I'd prefer to engage the readers rather than risk overwhelming them.--ghost 17:20, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
While this is truly interesting, I don't know that it's relevant to the ID page as ID is opposing "Darwinism" and "Neo-Darwinism" specifically, not previous attempts at an explanation of biogenisis or mutation. Jim62sch 17:26, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

The anonymous Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation by Robert Chambers of encyclopaedia fame brought to a wider public discussion of Lamarckism and affected Darwin, both at its publication and later at the British Association: when Wilberforce hounded Chambers in a forerunner of the famous debate involving Huxley's grannie. As shown above, it included the sort of natural theology that had influenced Darwin about a decade earlier, particularly in the Ninth Bridgewater Treatise by Charles Babbage. But I digress. The attempts by ID to re-run these early nineteenth century debates make the originals the more fascinating, but really a bit off topic in this article. Good light relief, and perhaps content could be contributed to these other articles. ...dave souza 18:14, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

I agree with others that this is a fascinating piece, but a bit long for this article and perhaps slightly off-topic. Perhaps it could be made a separate article in its own right, with brief links from both the ID article and the Evolution article (and anywhere else that might seem appropriate)? PiCo 22:50, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

I am happy to put this where you guys think it can best serve the interests of the community. But I do think that it's relevant to the ID debate, in that it provides pre-Darwinian yet still coherent arguments. It also provides the necessary historical context to demonstrate why Darwinian "natural selection" was accepted so heartily upon its introduction: Darwin was able to address all the objections to Vestiges, which seem to be recurring today in a "new guise," while at the same time providing the "natural laws" that could best describe the emergence of new kinds (as described originally in Genesis). It's old, which means that it is necessarily slightly off-topic, but I think still relevant. -- JTBurman 00:51, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
That's why PiCo's and Dave's advice would be best: write the article, include links. But, for a variety of reasons, it just doesn't fit here. In fact, I'm none too sure most ID proponents would even know what you were talking about. As far as they are concerned, Darwin put the evil in evilution. Jim62sch 02:03, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
One option would be to fold it into the existing article on Vestiges. But that would, I suspect, diminish its impact on these ongoing debates. The history is relevant, but so few readers would think it so prior to reading the material. But I recognize also that this may just be my opinion. Any other suggestions as to where it might best fit? -- JTBurman 02:45, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
The beauty of Hypertext is that is illustrates to the reader that there is more to the issue. Wikilink the b-jeezus out of the section in question. Step away, and then come back pretending that you know nothing about it and navigate the links. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised in how much depth you had thru linking. It's part of why Wikipedia is so powerful.--ghost 14:33, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Mike Infinity

(Moved here by ghost 21:55, 18 January 2006 (UTC) )

I won't comment on the other statements made here (except to say that many of them are clearly non-sequitor). I would like to comment on the content of the article from the perspective of a physics educator who has been trained and educated in secular science institutions. Consider that the question of the number of scientists for/against ID is of no relevance to science. Many modern theories which are widely accepted now were not always widely accepted. More, many widely accepted theories in the past are now considered false. Science is about drawing conclusions and making claims based on rational inferences and evidence. Science is not a popularity contest. That said, the trouble with the WIKIPEDIA article on ID is that the author does not appear to understand the fundamental logic behind the claims on both sides. Consider this small selection of problems with naturalistic claims:

1. Occam's razor is not meant to be used as a substitute for evidence when formulating a theory (a point that is unfortunately lost on far too many naturalists). No one in the physics community would assume that loop gravity is true and M-theory is false because the latter makes more assumptions...and no one should in the absence of evidence.

2. ID is not simply posited because we lack a viable naturalistic explanation for abiogenesis ('arguments from ignorance, etc'). It is posited because the machinery found in even the earliest replicators meets criteria that in any other circumstance we would all agree supports a design inference. In other words, there are specific criteria we use to infer design when we look at the world...and those criteria are met by the development of life.

3. So-called 'evolutionary computer algorithms' that have been used to point to support for darwinian evolution always invoke some combination of specified targets or algorithmically directed selection to produce complexity, while Darwinian evolution is claimed to operate via undirected selection and unspecified targets. Ironically, many ID proponents point to the very same algorithms as support for a design inference.

4. The 'spaghetti monster theory' is posited without cause, and can be thrown out for that reason alone. ID, on the other hand, is not posited without cause.

5. The author presumes that the science presented by the naturalists contains no a-priori assumptions and that (for naturalists) the evidence preceeds the claims. However, theories for abiogenesis are inherently based on an a-priori assumption that a plausible and probable natural pathway for life actually exists despite a lack of evidence in support for that claim. Abiogenisis models are constructed mostly from guesswork and speculation and make no unambiguous testable predictions....and yet they are considered science by most biologists. It is that kind of hipocrasy that gives the ID proponents an 'in'.

At the end of the day, I would argue that its more than a little strange to consider that if some alien probe ever made its way to the earth then, according to the naturalistic arguments presented here, we could never claim design. As a secular scientist do I support the design inference? Unless the naturalists can give us sensible and logical reasons not to, for now I have to say yes. Mike infinity 19:43, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Butting in: sock puppet, or if really a physics teacher, whose? Sorry, but we've read much of this text before...too much for it to be a coincidence. Also, you might (maybe) be a physics teachwr, but given the spelling and logic errors in your post, one wonders just what "secular" science institutions you might have attended. Sorry, my very finite friend, but if this were Denmark, something would most definitely be rotten. Jim62sch 00:56, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
Fascinating. 1) Red Herring argument. The principle of parsimony is about assumptions, not evidence. ID is rife with assumptions, and quite sparse with evidence. 2) So called design criteria all assume a priori designers. This is in no way analogous to biology. 3) Not sure what your point here is, except that ID proponents don't understand computer modeling. 4) FSM is a subset of ID which is also posited without cause, unless you count the bible. 5) All science is based on the "a priori" assumption that natural explanations exist. Without this assumption, it all degenerates to theology. The "design inference" is theology and faulty analogy. --DocJohnny 21:27, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

1. The principle of parsimony favours the theory that makes the fewest assumptions. Loop gravity is therefore favoured over m-theory. Is that equal to evidence that m-theory is false? Similarly, primordial soup abiogenesis is rife with assumptions and quite sparse with nevertheless enjoys support from the science community. Sauce for the Goose. 2. False. None of the criteria assume a designer. 3. If the algorithm indicates directed selection (as biomorph does), or specified targets (as many others do), then it is foundationally incompatible with darwinism and can be used to support a teleological argument. But why should I argue derogatory claims that you don't feel you have to support? 4. irrelevant to the original point (what is FSM anyway?). 5. And by 'natural', the naturalists mean that all phenomena occurs by accident....which is not an apriori assumption implied by science. The design inference is a logical one under certain circumstances just as accidental causes are logical under certain circumstances. I am not making an analogy here with the design inference. Mike infinity 21:45, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

1)Still a false analogy, since the alternative to abiogenesis is one that assumes a designer which is a much bigger leap. 2) So called design criteria is based on analogies drawn from from systems with known designers. The designer is implicitly assumed. 3) I apologize if you took it to be condescending, you are under no constraints to respond. But your argument is a straw man as scientists do not use these models as proof evolution exists. 4)I did not bring up FSM, you did. 5) The idea of "accident" is another straw man. Science does not presuppose all phenomena are accidents. Science suppose all phenomena occur according to natural laws. --DocJohnny 22:58, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

BTW DocJohnny...I have very little time for a protracted debate here. I will respond to supported claims, but I won't bother if I get anymore like #3. There is just no point. I will point out that its more than a little ironic that it only took one response to produce an arrogant and condescending remark...lets respect each other first and present claims second.Mike infinity 22:16, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

LQG is supported over M-theory? (note the capital M). Do you have any citations for this statement? It seems to me that M-theory is gaining ground in the field of Physics (even though we've yet to find the other 7 dimensions), while LQG is quickly fading due to forced manipulations of its formulae in order to make it work (see Immirzi parameter). The rest of your statements are mere piffle. Jim62sch 01:14, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
The user is trying to make a point by misapplying occam's razor in a straw man argument. Parsimony applies only when all other factors are equal, which is not the case with M-theory and LQG. --DocJohnny 01:24, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
Actually, #3 is well-supported by evidence. Guettarda 22:18, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Am I supposed to take such claims seriously, or is this merely argument from the proverbial tongue and cheek? Mike infinity 22:25, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

No, I'm serious. I just didn't think it was worth spending the time it would take to dig up the refs if you "have very little time for a protracted debate here". If you plan to stick around, I can dig up supporting refs. But it won't be quick. Guettarda 23:45, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
See FSM. Also, #3; Natural selection (selection based on the natural environment) is not different from 'algorithmically directed selection' (based on a virtual model of such a natural environment). As suggested above, the argument is irrelevant, but it is also faulty, though often heard and repeated. Natural selection uses natural boundaries and pressure to 'steer' evolution, which can be simulated through a virtual world of boundaries and pressure. What the software will come up with to 'survive' is not predetermined though. -- Ec5618 23:31, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
Mike, I see a disconnect in the terminology and the thought processes used by yourself and some of the other editors. Let me see if I can translate. My principle issue with ID as science is that it falls on it's face when one uses relativistic thinking. The Design Inference used regarding Mount Rushmore, et al. becomes moot if one is an ant on the nose of Lincoln. Or if one is in another galaxy. In other frames of reference, there are no "signs of design", nothing is "irreducibly complex", and "Fine-tuned" is debatable. (ref: Ikeda-Jefferys argument)
While I understand and appreciate your more open approach to the topic, the current popular definition of ID is at best a philosophical mutt in scientific clothing. And that dog won't hunt.--ghost 00:36, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
That dog doesn't even get off the porch. Hell, its owners put it in the basement when company comes a-callin'. Jim62sch 01:33, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
Ouch. ID being compared to a dog. I feel sorry for the cute little bow wow.Lovecoconuts 05:02, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Mike infinity's comments don't appear to address any specific text in the article or suggest any improvements. Rather, they are arguments for ID that have been made many times before -- and repeatedly and extensively refuted, which is why the overwhelming majority of the scientific and scientifically literate community disagrees. To put it simply, at each point in the process of empirical discovery and explanation, one can cease work and say "this is the result of an intentional agent", without saying anything about the agent or how it caused the phenomenon. That is the "intelligent design inference". Or one can continue seeking causal explanations -- this is a matter of seeking "naturalistic explanation" (natural, causal, and physical can all be considered equivalent) -- of doing science. Science is the organized process of not ceasing, of continuing to seek causal (natural) explanations. In the case of biodiversity and the observed fact of evolution ("micro" and "macro"), the causal explanation takes the form of the theory of evolution, based on massive evidence involving the fossil record, biochemistry, genome relationships, etc., as well as extensive empirical and analytical inferences from that evidence. None of this is mentioned by Mike infinity, but it provides more than enough "sensible and logical reasons not to" accept the design inference -- not that any reasons are needed to not accept the design inference within the framework of science (as opposed to religion or faith), since doing so is simply ceasing to do science. Also, when dealing about Occam's Razor, it's not enough to simply count assumptions, since we can reduce the count to one for any theory -- "assume this theory is correct in all details". One must consider the information-theoretic complexity of the assumptions (a form of Occam's razor has actually been proven as a theorem in information theory). In the case of the "design inference", the information-theoretic complexity is essentially infinite, because no explanatory information at all is provided by "an unknown agent caused the phenomenon in an unknown (but intelligent, whatever that means) fashion". If, OTOH, aliens actually show up and demonstrate how to create biodiversity, that's an entirely different matter -- a matter of facts, evidence, and causal relationships that could possibly lead to an inference that the aliens are the cause if that serves better to explain all the observed phenomena than other theories. But in the absence of any such evidence, and in the presence of the massive evidence supporting the theory of evolution, a blanket "design inference" is, unwarranted, to say the least. -- 11:18, 21 January 2006 (UTC)