Talk:Intelligent design/Archive 29

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great article. but maybe a little attention to specified complexity

  • claps and tips hat to writers and contributers.* This is one of the the most concise and coherent articles i've seen on wikipedia. great job.

however, I did not find the section on specified complexity to be very clear; perhaps some more analogies would be helpful? (unsigned comment of 09:48, 3 April 2006 by Ghaleon)

The second paragraph of Specified complexity does seem to give a more coherent explanation, and the first three sentences of that paragraph could be substituted for all but the first sentence of the first paragraph here. Though of course Dembski's concept may be an unguided collection of theological fragments thrown together by chance rather than an intelligently designed concept ;) ...dave souza, talk 11:13, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

Interesting news article

re evolution •Jim62sch• 22:21, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Maybe for a "In popular culture" section

From the Q.E.D. article. I thought this was interesting because ID was used to show that God doesn't exist. savidan(talk) (e@) 05:54, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

  • In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams hypothesises a dialogue between Man and God concerning whether a creature, the babel fish, which allows anyone who places it in their ear to understand any language, is too useful to have evolved purely by chance and therefore must have been divinely created.
GOD: "I refuse to prove that I exist, for proof denies faith and without faith I am nothing."
MAN: "But the babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn't it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don't. QED."
GOD: "Oh dear; I hadn't thought of that."
Whereupon he promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.

Wow, shock of all shocks, anyone care to guess where this IP is from? It's easy.
IP Address; AUSTRALIA. And the funny thing is, I've had these arguments with someone from Down Under before. Hmmm. •Jim62sch• 00:27, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Sarfati and AA? One word: Spite. FeloniousMonk 04:41, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

==Isnt the world Flat according to Fundamentalists ? Doesnt the sun travel around the earth? This is more fundamentalist bullshit and should be identified as such. The earth is not 8000 years ago simply because you counted up all the peoples ages in the old testament end to end. Wake up world ! Its the 21st century and we have a solar system to explore, its time to get out of the middle ages ! Dem 10:55, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not a soapbox. Jefffire 11:01, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Somehow I doubt that irony counts as "soapboxing". •Jim62sch• 20:39, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

The Arch-Bish of Canterbury / ideas for Intro

hello all - I've popped up a couple of times here, and once or twice made a couple of changes. Returned recently kind of exepecting some reference to the arch bish. saying basically ID shouldn't be in schools - - any ideas where it might fit?

Also - and this is a sincere, personal plea - could I ask regular editors their opinion as to the quality of the first three paragraphs as an introduction to this difficult subject. My feeling is that readability and clarity must be improved. Perhaps the archbish quote could somehow be included in a re-written second or third paragraph? - cheers, Petesmiles 08:12, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

I tried inserting the arch bishop comment a couple of weeks ago, but it was reverted as 'editorializing'. I'm not quite sure what the comment means but I understand that it could be considered inappropriate, especially in the introduction. Perhaps there is a better place for it (if we mention the Arch Bishop we should mention the pope, and all other major religious leaders as well really).

As to the intro, its the same problem as all contentious introductions. Every word has been battled over repeatedly. I'm fairly satisfied with it myself, but even rewriting it for clarity without changing the meaning would require a sustained effort, with community consensus. --Davril2020 08:19, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Ta for the link, it refers to a Guardian interview which is already cited in Theistic evolution#Anglicanism. I'll add the link to the Creation and evolution in public education page. ..dave souza, talk 16:35, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Possible Inaccuracy:

In the ID in Summary section, the assertation that Evolution relies exclusively on "observed impersonal physical processes such as mutations and natural selection" would not really be accurate. Modern evolution does not solely rely on observed occurrences, as true evolution (one species changing into another) is an extremely long process and cannot be observed. This is the primary reason for such an interest in the fossil record, as well as the reason for the excitement about the coelacanth and more recently the Tiktaalik. We are of course able to observe adaptive evolution, so observation is essential, but it is not the exclusive method through which evolution is understood. Thoughts? --Coldbourne 14:46, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

This is wrong for multiple reasons. First, fossils are a record of physical processes, so they are included in the statement. Second, we have observed speciation on many occasions. For a short list of examples see Observed Examples of Speciation] at the TalkOrigins Archive. JoshuaZ 15:05, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

I asserted fossils as an example of observation and documentation of physical processes, thus their validity is not in question. As for the speciation, observable instances of this fall more in line with an adaptive evolution element, rather than full blown Darwinian Evolution. It would seem that if there were in fact cases in which evolutionary speciation was observable, it would fundamentally undermine our understanding of gradual change over time. Regardless, my only quip was that evolution does not rely solely on observation. Much like relativity, the theory of Evolution has certain aspects that cannot be proven by observation alone. --Coldbourne 16:10, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

I'm not sure what you mean, there isn't a different between adaptive evolution and "Darwinian Evolution" you may want to read up on the Modern synthesis. Also, science is never in the business of proving things, at best it can provide overwhelming evidence. JoshuaZ 16:16, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

And you may want to read up on Evolution, and then read you own page ( I am not concerned with anything other than one word, Exclusively. It is misleading to advocate that there are not accepted tenants of Biology that are still theoretical. As for the differences, I may have caused confusion with the terminology I used, so my apologies. Specifically I was referring to the differentiation of adaptation against speciation. The former being the modification of a species phenotypes to an environment, the later being the rise of multiple species from a single ancestor. Hybridization is observable, and in some cases could arguably be instances of speciation, and so would justify the observable empirical evidence put forth in the paragraph. The mechanism of evolution still remains theory, not based exclusively on observation, and the paragraph should reflect this. --Coldbourne 21:58, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Something can be observed and "still remain a theory". I'm just confused as to what "still remains a theory" means. --JPotter 15:10, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
Possibly in reference to the many who say that evolution is science fact, instead of a scientific theory. In a way, they show the same ignorance as the creationists who say evolution is "just a theory" so it can't be taken seriously, without understanding what a theory really is. Both sides have been playing word games to try to bolster their theories, and questions like this are the inevitable result. Izuko 15:33, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
To answer the question, you have to differentiate between two things related with evolution: "existence" of evolution and "mechanism" of evolution. For the former there is plethora of evidence (which has been observed) and hence Biologists consider it to be a fact, while, as Coldbourne pointed out that there are several theories of the mechanisms of evolution. So evolution is scientific fact, but "How did evolution occur?" is scientific theory gunslotsofguns 16:01, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
Even then, you have to differentiate between micro and macro evolution. Some people consider that a "buy one, get one free deal." Izuko 16:54, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
Guns hit it on the head, and Izuko puts it precisely in what Feynman would call "freshman Terms". I wanted to make sure that it was not implied that all of evolution is supported by observable evidence, as that is a fallacy. It needs to be kept clear that Evolution and the Mechanism of Evolution are not the same thing, and are routinely a "buy one, get one free" escapism used by both sides of the debate. It is vital to differentiate between established fact and current theory, as this misunderstanding is what usually leads to all the problems. --Coldbourne 19:35, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm unclear as to where you are going with this one. It's true that many in this debate misunderstand what "theory" means in the scientific world (gravity is a theory but I don't know anyone who would deny it's reality), but a theory only stands until it has been shown to be false by observations. Theories are developed to explain observed data so I think it is valid to say that current theories are exclusively based on observations. Gilraen of Dorthonion AKA SophiaTalkTCF 20:23, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

I am going to asume you are talking about Einstein's theory of gravitation, as I would hope that you would not refer to Newton's law of universal gravitation as a theory. Let's consult The American Heritage on this one:

  • Theory → → A set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena, especially one that has been repeatedly tested or is widely accepted and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena.

So we have the facts of Evolution (evolutionary adaptation) but we don't know the Who, What, When, Where, or Why. That part is the Mechanism of Evolution or modern synthesis, and still remains a conjecture. --Coldbourne 20:46, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

.....but still exclusively based on observations. BTW I was thinking a little broader (gravitation).Gilraen of Dorthonion AKA SophiaTalkTCF 21:19, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
The modern evolution synthesis is a theory that explains nature, as all theories do. How does that equate to conjecture? It's a fallacy to presume there is more evidence for universal common ancestry than there is for natural selection. --JPotter 00:19, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
Huh? Who: Organisms or species, depending on the context. What: Genetic mutations proliferating. When: Mitosis (unicellular)/Meiosis (multicellular), if looked at on the order of individuals. Genetic drift, bottlenecks, founder effect, etc if looked at on the level of populations. Where: Inside the dividing cell (individuals) or within the breeding pool (population). Why: This is the one that's actually's under some debate. But it appears that, no matter what else may cause mutations, the machinery screws up sometimes.
Perhaps you should rephrase that statement. Ladlergo 01:41, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Conjecture→ → reasoning that involves the formation of conclusions from incomplete evidence. This is an accurate description of our current understanding. Look, to save me from having to keep repeating this, read the wiki article on Evolution and follow up with the FAQ on Talk.Origins. Our current understanding of evolution is two-fold, the fact and the theory. This is well known, I am not advocating any POV with this. --Coldbourne 00:55, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Distinguishing between fact and theory is a bit artificial in the context of these discussions. See for example the section in the creation-evolution controversy article. --ScienceApologist 11:52, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

There is no artificiality in this concept, and to deny that science has to hypothesis about concepts that are not detectable in a laboratory is shear idiocy. Furthermore, to consistently push the POV that science relies solely on uncontested facts is nothing short of lunacy and displays a total disregard for fields such as Theoretical Physics. If such was the case, then absolutely no progress would be made in any field. Hypothesis is the backbone of the scientific method. Furthermore it is MY Conjecture that such scientism laden ravings by dogmatic individuals are the reason that idiots such as creationists can question such well established methods of scientific research. This entire dispute has blossomed out of me wanting to change one word "Exclusively" to "Primarily" as it would fit the context of the statement more accurately. Yet as tends to happen on any polarized wikiarticle, the moment I question ANYTHING regarding either side of the debate, I am then immediately set upon. As far as I am concerned, my entire statement was understood halfway through this little tirade by the user Gunslotsofguns. Micro evolution and Macro Evolution are two tenants of Evolution. One is observed and considered fact; the other can not really be observed at this present time but is still considered very likely. Yet rather than say "ah, I see where you are coming from" or even "Let's discuss the grammatical aspects of this", I am attacked as some sort of bloody creationist. If I am guilty of anything it is being a grammar Nazi, and of becoming frustrated when people do not understand Evolution. From the ongoing debate it is likely that none of you have decided to read through the articles I listed for your convenience. Talk.Origins is hardly an ID site; as a matter of fact I would list it as the antithesis of the Id movement. Wikipedia is what it is, yet I would argue that the evolution article is extremely well done, and you could bet your sweet butt that it has not been allowed to be skewed in any ID direction. As for the intellect that decided to post a large red tag to the current section, unless I am mistaken Mainstream Biological Science is the field of study that deals with evolution, yes? Don't show your ignorance of the topic and lack of discussion ability by lading the talk page with graffiti. If any of you are still unclear on my motivation and the reasons for my initial suggestion, please state so I will be more than happy to continue to clear up this new inquisition. But be forewarned, I am a keeper of the deplorable word "Ni", and I am not afraid to use it. Now bring me a shrubbery. Regards. --Coldbourne 14:38, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

LOL! Maybe we could use a phrase such a "grounded in" or some form to show the primacy of observations to science. "Primarily" gives the impression that other things can be considered equal to this but as you have articulately demonstrated above (!) you know that observational data is the core of all theories and although they may take flights of fancy sometimes they are discounted the moment they are disproved by experimentation. Gilraen of Dorthonion AKA SophiaTalkTCF 15:01, 25 April 2006 (UTC)
Oh venerable Knight of Ni aka grammar nazi, you articulate your point well. However you must also consider that us poor "evolutionists" ;) have to sometimes go overboard and use words like "Exclusively". However though this (i.e. exclusively) might be considered misleading, might not "primarily" be considered tautological. The impugned sentence already says mainstream biology. Might I suggest not using either word. gunslotsofguns 15:43, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

Ah, well at least I did not have to resort to "Ecky-ecky-ecky-ecky-p'tang-zoo-boing-goodem-zu-owly-zhiv!". : ) Either idea sounds good to me, whatever floats everybody's monkey. --Coldbourne 01:21, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

Tiz done - though I went for the easy option of deleting exclusively. Now about that shrubbery.....Gilraen of Dorthonion AKA SophiaTalkTCF 08:59, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
At least nobody had to resort to "Peng". Or "Nuuuuu-wom". - FlyingOrca 12:04, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

I'm still clueless

I do not think this article particularly the summary helps to explain an standard definition of what Intelligent Design is, I feel that it is very hard to understand, I don’t think I’m asking to much if you at least attempt to dumb it down a little into lumens terms, also the references in the summary(beginning/introduction) should be deleted they are not helping any, I think most people will agree that it is articles like these that give wikipedia the reputation of being unreadable. Jamie-planetx 00:02, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

It seems ok to me as a definition of a shifty subject, and is the outcome of a lot of argument between interested parties. However, here's an informal simplification. ID is the claim to have found a scientific theory or scientific evidence showing complexity or improbability in nature that can only be explained by intelligent supernatural intervention. Said designer need not be God, but fits His job description. As "science" it is unusual in undertaking no research or peer reviewed publication, but confines itself to websites, press releases and books. 99% or more of scientists dismiss it as pseudoscience, and a judge's detailed legal assessment of it is that it is not science, and cannot disentangle itself from its creationist roots. Its leading biologist accepts evolution by natural selection for all but certain features which he's not bothered to keep up with scientific research on. but a lot of creationists seem to think it's a decisive refutation of evolution. Coming soon to a movie near you. ...dave souza, talk 23:20, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
That sums it up for me. Pasado 05:52, 25 April 2006 (UTC)
ok so, upon evidence that there is so many things science can't yet or can never explain, is prove that that god/a larger being exists and is the creator of him/her/itself, ADDED upon further research:- and to think all i had to do was look at the main definition in urban dictionary. Jamie-planetx 22:39, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
OK. Am I the only YEC that is patently offended by this "intelligent design" nonsense? Seriously, "Said designer need not be God, but fits His job description." I know that accurately describes what many ID proponents believe, but I can't figure out why they feel the need to go through all this circumlocution. Why not just say it how it is? "God the Father created the universe and designed everything." What's all the fuss about? El Cubano 22:53, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
Considering many of us are not Young Earth Creationists, and they you guys are wrong, probably. In fact, I'm kind of guessing that there aren't many YECs here. Izuko 23:33, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
OK. Perhaps a less confrontational phrasing of the question would be, "Is ID supposed to have a pseudo-secular feel to it? Doesn't this offend other believers as sort of denying God's role in order to sneak this in somewhere?" I guess it is just a bit of a philosophical question. El Cubano 23:54, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
It's not supposed to be pseudo-secular. It's supposed to be secular. Yes, most of its adherents are religious, but the idea is that the theory, itself, not be. Izuko 23:58, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for clarifying. El Cubano 00:03, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

Improbably enough...

The following weird stuff was added by

Nevertheless pointing out the 'unlikelihood' of a scenario does not makes the 'unlikelihood 'argument meaningless. To sum up we can not forget that a theory is scientific unless is falsiable and can not be an absolute theory is if it's discredited, so evolution theory has evolved a lot since Darwin's days. The question is whether an alternative view of origins is acceptable? In all possible answers to this question one can not logically rule out the question in itself simple because is evolution is a better proved view. According to Karl Popper's method one scientific theory is never definitive, especially ehen is falsified.

The whole section doesn't seem up to the usual standard, and this certainly doesn't add clarity..dave souza, talk 00:33, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

Good catch - what was he on at the time? Sophia Gilraen of Dorthonion 13:10, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

Revert explanation

I removed the following addition: "Interestingly, however, greater scientists, such as Albert Einstein[7] and Isaac Newton[8], expressly stated belief in or admiration for a divine designer", for several reasons. One, a personal belief by a scientist does not make a concept scientific. Two, such assertions should be referenced. Wikipedia articles are inadequate as sources. Three, the referenced Wikipedia articles do not support the claim implied here; no mention is made of any belief that an intelligent designer directly created individual life forms instead of the scientific explanation that lifeforms evolved over time. I see no mention of their views on intelligent design nor that they were even aware of such a concept. Four, such additions are probably best first discussed on the talk page. — Knowledge Seeker 06:21, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

I've pointed out on User talk: that reliable source states that "Wikipedia itself does not currently meet the reliability guidelines", and that Wikipedia:No original research#What is excluded? prohibits introduction of an analysis or synthesis of established facts, ideas, opinions, or arguments in a way that builds a particular case favored by the editor, without attributing that analysis or synthesis to a reputable source. As "Example of a new synthesis of published material serving to advance a position" then shows, your claim of support of historic figures for ID is acceptable only if a reliable source has published this argument in relation to the topic of the article, which is modern ID, not theism. ...dave souza, talk 06:47, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
What is the implication of the anon users' edits here, that because scientists today immediately see through the charade in reasoning and even fraudulent tactics of the ID movement, that they are necessarily atheists?? Newton found his faith in the scriptures, and never pretended that his calculus proved the existence of an intelligent designer. It would appear that he clearly understood the difference between his faith and his science (i.e. Natural philosophy). Einstein is even more interesting (without getting into the details here) because when he attempted to apply "God" (i.e. intelligent designer) to his physics, he made his two biggest self-admitted mistakes as a leading scientist (his refusal to accept that the universe is expanding, resulting in his fudging of general relativity with the cosmological constant, and his refusal to accept the Uncertainty Principle-- the famous "God does not play dice" mistake). Science has been through this many times before, and every time a few sceintists (or "natural philosophers") fall into this kind of trap, a number of religious apologists seem to latch onto it and parade it as "proof" of their religious views, and unfortunately are usually dead and gone by the time their ideological descendents are thoroughly proven to be fools. That, among many other reasons, is why a number of prominent scientists find the teleological argument compelling, but generally are wise enough not to confuse it with their science and think they have finally found the proof... Kenosis 06:55, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
Just for the record, Einstein wasn't really religious in this sense at all. His "god" was "nature". His article discusses this at some length. Cheers, --Plumbago 11:09, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification. Note carefully that I put quote marks on "God" above, but it was Einstein himself who stated the term "God" in his famous statement about quantum mechanics. Einstein plainly meant to say something more than "Nature does not play dice." My main point above being that he plainly had a sense or preconception of the ultimate, which, when he brought it directly to bear on the mechanics of his analysis, was a primary driving conceptual force behind his behind his two most prominent mistakes. Newton I didn't really get into describing either, because he had an extremely mystical orientation. But both of these great thinkers knew better than anyone to use an empirical "method" in their work. When Einstein failed to to so, he erred. That was my primary point. A whole book's worth of material here after all the further parsing is done.
I also neglected to mention, among numerous other closely related issues, that both Newton's and Einstein's work led somewhere for other scientists, as opposed to being a cheap attempted hijacking of the science classroom in order to foist a bunch of tautological garbage upon the next generation. Cheers indeed...Kenosis 14:55, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
Agreed, as Kenosis and Plumbago point out our anon friend here misunderstands Einstein's viewpoint and the relevance of Newton. Neither belong in the article. FeloniousMonk 14:51, 11 May 2006 (UTC)


Sorry for ranting, but this is a very Middle Age type theory. I mean, this is theology, it is neither philosophy nor empirical science. Evolution in no way denies god, if you believe in god of course. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mailrobot (talkcontribs)

Quite right, many evangelicals clearly want to drag everyone into the Middle Ages, and a new reality in which Roman Catholics are atheists. Welcome! ..dave souza, talk 08:10, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

Broken wiki-link

The last of the see also links is Wikisource:Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District et. al. memorandum, which doesn't appear to lead to anything. Perhaps someone familiar with the document might be able to correct the link? — Knowledge Seeker 20:45, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

Sorted. ..dave souza, talk 22:29, 14 May 2006 (UTC)


Meant to say in edit summary that Category:ID is a subcat of Category:Pseudoscience, which itself is overcrowded, so in accordance with guidelines ID shouldn't have Category:Pseudoscience applied to the individual article as well. But pressed the wrong button and saved the page first. Well, everyone please note anyway. ..dave souza, talk 08:14, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

Other Countries

Is intelligent design a concept in countries outside the U.S.? If so, it'd be interesting to have a section discussing how people in other countries respond to it. --Whitenoise101 17:51, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

Recent anon edits

FWIW, in reverse order of recent anon edits to this article:

  1. (talk · contribs), aka the anon near Bel Air, MD; added NPOV flag without explanation.
  2. (talk · contribs), aka the Indiana Higher Education Telecommunication System anon possibly near Richmond, IN; added silly editorial.
  3. (talk · contribs), aka the Oneonta Road Runner anon possibly near Oneonta, NY; weird deletion.
  4. (talk · contribs), aka the anon, apparently near Livonia, MI; mass deletion.
  5. (talk · contribs), aka the Rhode Island Network for Educational Technology anon, apparently near Providence, RI; added silly editorial (and deleted the ip anon user talk page someone added!).
  6. (talk · contribs), aka the Westminster Road Runner anon possibly near Westminster, CA; silly addition.
  7. (talk · contribs), aka the Penn state anon in State College, PA; probably acceptable edit (but it was reverted regardless).

This seems consistent with more extensive surveys suggesting that the ratio inappropriate to useful anon edits run at something like five to one, or even higher. ---CH 22:33, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

Discovery Institute POV

Old intro:

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."

My proposed version:

Intelligent design (ID), as defined by the Discovery Institute, is an idea which "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." (See Argument from design.)

As corrected by Kim:

Intelligent design (ID), as defined by the Discovery Institute, is an idea which "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." (See Argument from design.)

Main difference is that I'm attributing this particular definition to one source, namely, the Discovery Institute. There may be other definitions. We should be clear exactly whose definition it is, which this article describes in each case.

I also took out all the links, because I'm not sure that each of them goes to articles whose topics are about exactly what the words in the definition mean. Okay, "universe" is not too bad - but in general a crucial quote should not be studded with links. I don't know why "living things" needs a link to the Life article.

And I completely disagree with the idea of having "intelligent cause" link to Argument from design. Rather, it should link to whatever cause ID supporters like the D.I. posit for the designer. If they don't posit one, then the link is misleading on that score alone. I preserved the link as a "see"-type link, in parenthesis, because it will be interesting for readers to compare the two concepts: (1) Intelligent Design Theory, and (2) Argument from design. I think we all know that there are significant differences between the two and significant similarities. Let's not blur the distinctions or exaggerate the similarities, okay? --Uncle Ed 20:01, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

"There may be other definitions" Find one related to the subject at hand. •Jim62sch• 23:17, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for restoring natural selection. I missed that one! Anyone using that term has to mean the same thing. It's a well-understood, uncontroversial term. Good catch, user:KimvdLinde. --Uncle Ed 20:38, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

Humm, I am not so sure about uncontroversial, but that is more about the to many different definitions that are used by scientists who depending in their own background can mean very different things with it.-- Kim van der Linde at venus 20:42, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
I don't mean that the concept is uncontroversial - 45% of Americans flatly deny it, on religious grounds. I mean only that there is no significant disagreement about the definition of the term. --Uncle Ed 20:54, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
How many of public that believes in it is irrelevant. ID claims to be a scientific theory. It is in the realm of science and science education that ID is controversial, but there is also no shortage of controversy in the courts as well. This has already been settled, Ed, read the archives before resurrecting previously settled issues. FeloniousMonk 21:07, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
Well, have a look at the talk page of Natural selection, there is actually, which made the rewrite of the article so difficult. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 21:08, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
Um, no. What part of all leading ID proponents are affiliated with the Discovery Institute don't you understand? There are no other prominent proponents with alternate definitions of ID that are notable enough to warrant a change to the intro. The long-standing intro is accurate and well-supported as it is and there's been no recent developments to justify changing it. FeloniousMonk 20:57, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
One day, I'm sure I'll figure out why this needs to be rehashed every few months. For the nonce, rather than ascribing motive (which is "bad"), I'll just assume a general diminution or absence of cognitive and comprehension-related attributes. •Jim62sch• 23:24, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

Atheism, ID, and belief in God

I just followed the link from Argument from design (which redirects to Teleological argument) and found this in the first sentence:

A teleological argument (or a design argument) is an argument for the existence of God

So linking the words "intelligent cause" to Argument from design is really the same as linking "intelligent cause" to Teleological argument. I suppose whoever made that link believes that the ID movement is using the evolution issue (and ID itself?) to argue for the existence of God. If so, that would explain why the issue is such a political hot button, as well as why it has been difficult to avoid edit wars at Wikipedia about the matter.

If anyone tries to make the evolution issue into a binary, either-or dilemma, all kinds of hell will break loose:

  1. evolution is true, and atheism is true; or,
  2. evoultion is false, and God exists

I'm not sure this is the kind of debate scientists want to be part of - although there are a few lone (and very famous!) exceptions. But I know that this is the sort of dilemma, if accepted on these terms, must lead to endless fractious political debate. It's the Scopes Trial all over again, isn't it?

I only bring this up to inquire whether ID is seen as fomenting this kind of debate and dilemma. Is this what the D.I.'s "Teach the Controversy" campaign is intended to do? --Uncle Ed 20:52, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

Some indeed make this binary distinction, other do not argue this. Neo-Creationist like the binary, as do people like Dennet and Dawkins. However, I think it is a false dichotomy and we just have to loose a lot with that. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 20:56, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
The documented relationships are that Teach the Controversy is a stalking horse ID while ID is a stalking horse for Theistic Realism. Theistic Realism, if wedged into the academy, would allow for a science that rejects naturalism and is consonant with Biblical revelation which will in turn lead to "cultural renewal" (whatever that means). Read the Wedge Document.
Johnson and the rest of DI gang knew they couldn't just get TR to be accepted, so they took the long-term view that getting ID into HS science education would bring a new generation, some of whom would end up in science proper, receptive to supernatural explanations. After seeing that ID was not making the inroads into HS science classrooms (due to legal obstacles) and academic circles they hoped, Teaching the Controversy would at least get them started undermining evolution and science's methodological basis. FeloniousMonk 21:35, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
Well, it is already evolving towards a new type, nd that is not so muc teach the controversy (which is not really working as well), but to teach critisism to evolution (with which they imply the usual stuff). O well, so much for evolution in action. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 00:13, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
I don't think "survival of the fittest" (which, as we know, is not Darwin's quote, but that of Herbert Spencer) applies to mental faculties. Although, regression to the mean might cover it. •Jim62sch• 20:00, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Unilateral revert

Barely one minute after leaving his comment above, FeloniousMonk decided on his own to revert the combined work of me and Kim. I would have preferred you gave us some time to respond before deciding the matter on your own. --Uncle Ed 21:07, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

Well, in a way, this could also be said of your change, and I think the discussion should be solved here. As far as I can see, the existing intro is supported by many, and I doubt if the new one will be supported by many as well. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 21:10, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
This is typical behavior for Ed, who is not up to speed on things ID and has a long history of promoting the creationist POV. He'll try to tie us up with tendentious debate over minor points while ignoring supporting cites and uncomfortable facts. Ed can and should expect to be further reverted if he continues to try to force his POV and the issue here. FeloniousMonk 21:14, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
Please refrain from personal remarks such as
  1. typical behavior for Ed
  2. not up to speed
  3. long history of promoting the creationist POV
The 3rd dig is especially bad because you know it's not true. I'm consistently on record as opposing creationism. You and others will no doubt recall that one of the reasons I've given for opposing creationism is its refusal to accept the fossil record. So not only are your remarks uncivil (and thus a violation of Wikipedia policy), they are untrue as well. Continuing to violate WP:CIVIL or to say untrue things about other Wikipedians will only get you in trouble. But I'm willing to accept your apology. --Uncle Ed 13:28, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
Saying untrue things about yourself only hurts your credibility, not that of others. Your contributions speak for themselves; your record shows you've invariably edited from the creationist perspective. Claiming otherwise does not help your case, but perhaps is explainable as your idea of "turning over a new leaf" as you claim you've done.
You've made sweeping changes with no discussion, and when they're reverted, you say "repeating my request to discuss sweeping reverts in talk FIRST." You've got it exactly backwards, Ed. It's you who should be discussing any sweeping changes in talk first. Failing to do so and edit warring is simple disruption. Your method here has been to toss out an objection or suggestion and quickly make the change before any discussion takes place, and then edit warring when there's no support for your misbegotten changes.
So far, when your objections or suggestions are discussed they've been shown to be in error. But you just ignore the evidence given and restore your factually-challenged removed changes and goi right up to the 3RR limit in so doing, then imply you'll be back at it tomorrow. Again, disruption.
Ed, you're clearly ignoring WP:POINT. The article has been stable for some time prior to your arrival, Ed. Editors knowledgeable on the topic will continue to discuss any proposed changes to the article, but they'll also continue to revert any inaccurate, improper or unilateral changes. FeloniousMonk 17:50, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

The current intro has been debated and yet still stands as accurate. Ed - Archives. •Jim62sch• 23:31, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

Revising the intro

No comments having been made on my changes other than "has been debated", I have continued to revise the intro. I haven't seen any vote whose result said that the intro must no longer be revised.

I welcome discussion on these further changes. --Uncle Ed 16:03, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Well, I think we first have to discuss the changes you just made as I think they are not an improvement. So, why did you make specific changes? WOuld you care to explain them? -- Kim van der Linde at venus 16:20, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
Sure. Which change(s) do you object to? --Uncle Ed 16:27, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
You have rewritten it so completly that it is difficult for me to point out the many differences, but lets start with why it had to be rewritten in the first place? -- Kim van der Linde at venus 16:34, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
I'm puzzled by your (i.e. Ed Poor's) opening sentence Intelligent design (ID), as defined by the Discovery Institute, is an idea... What about intelligent design as defined by Joan Schmone? This is a very strange way of starting an article. --CSTAR 16:42, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
Why was something that had no reason to be rewritten, rewritten? One would need to ascribe motives to answer that, and, as we all know, ascribing motives is baaaad. •Jim62sch• 20:08, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

I didn't choose that quote, I'm just attributing it to its source. Please say more about Joan Schmone's ideas. I've never heard of her, and there's no Wikipedia article about her.

Are you saying there's a more general definition than the D.I.'s that you prefer? I'd love to see it! --Uncle Ed 16:57, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Well then how about Joe Schmoe? And if there are no other definitions, Joe Schmoe or Joan Schmone than why do attribute it to the DI? --CSTAR 17:12, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
I've heard that John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt has one. •Jim62sch• 20:11, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

I don't think articles should start out with a definition of the term by a highly biased party. The abortion article doesn't start off with .. "As defined by Pat Robertson, abortion is the act of a mother murdering her unborn child..." No, it has a neutral scientific lead-in. That's what this article needs too. It needs a neutral definition of what intelligent design actually is, not what a biased thinktank group wishes it to be. There's even established case law on the subject we can refer to (see the Fitzmiller case) that clearly established intelligent design as having religious motivations. --Cyde↔Weys 20:14, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Orr quote

Orr wrote:

"Biologists aren’t alarmed by intelligent design’s arrival in Dover and elsewhere because they have all sworn allegiance to atheistic materialism; they’re alarmed because intelligent design is junk science."

I put that into the footnote in the intro because I had to click on the link and then hunt for the phrase "junk science" to find the whole quote. Having the quote also tells the reader which scientists call ID junk science, and why. Orr's quote has a bearing on the "motivations" aspect of the Creation-evolution debate of which ID is such an integral part.

Is this explanation enough? I can explain each of the others as well, if needed. --Uncle Ed 16:37, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

I do, intro's are summaries of the article, not the place to make individual points, you already know this. WP:POINT.
Ed, you really need to stop making unilateral changes to the article and seek consensus here first. You're being disruptive. FeloniousMonk 16:39, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
What do you mean? I'm not familiar with the concept of "making an individual point"? Can you give me an example of one I've made? It would help if you would explain what you object to, specifically, before accusing me of things like "being disruptive". Unless, of course, you have some sort of special authority. --Uncle Ed 16:49, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
Ed, you are being disruptive because 1) you are making major changes to the article without consulting any of the other editors on the talk page and 2) said editors have already come to an agreement about how to best maintain neutrality of the article. Ladlergo 19:15, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
Agreed. We've worked long and hard on this article, and to have someone come in half-cocked and make sustantial changes that a)go against everything we have done, and b) have already been discussed and ruled out for a variety of reasons is disruptive. As I noted earlier, Ed, read the archives.

FeloniousMonk Revert

For the third time, user:FeloniousMonk reverted changes to his preferred version:

  • ignoring my request to give reasons on the talk page
  • deleting additional changes made since his previous revert

I've created an extra section for this, so I don't cause an edit conflict here on the talk page, in case FeloniousMonk is busy describing the reasons for his revert.

In the edit summary he wrote:

rv No consensus. Discuss and make your case for changes first, then make your changes

I don't know what this means, especially in light of three reverts by FeloniousMonk without making a case for them before *or* after. Surely this is not an assertion that he "owns the page". Is it perhaps a claim that no one may edit the intro, no matter how small the change, without gaining consensus beforehand? I didn't see any such notice in the article or on the discussion page. --Uncle Ed 16:46, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

No, Ed it's the accurate, consensus version .— Dunc| 17:00, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

The paragraph statement Ed wants to insert lacks clarity, specificity, and context. It is highly inappropriate to make such sweeping statements in articles of controversial nature. --ScienceApologist 17:03, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

I agree, I do not see the changes made by Ed as an improvement as well. As far as I can see, nobody except Ed are in favour of the changes, so the indication of FeloniousMonk in the edit summary of no consensus for the change is accurate as far as I can see. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 17:15, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Ed has put his finger on exactly what is wrong with this article, and the reaction here only underscores his point. The addition of one sentence on the views of proponents of intelligent design from their own perspective, rather than as characterized by their opponents is here seen as something that must be reverted immediately and Ed must be accused of disrupting Wikipedia. Ed's addition should stay in the article. — goethean 17:17, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

That's not the reason people object to Ed's prose. The objection is based on making sweeping generalities and are of limited utility for an article which is very clear in making specific distinctions. --ScienceApologist 17:19, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
Exactly. Then there's also the issue of his method, shoot first, edit war later, discuss only if forced. FeloniousMonk 17:52, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
...otherwise known as 'editing a wiki.' — goethean 17:56, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
Actually, that's called being disruptive. A distinction lost on some. FeloniousMonk 17:59, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
The edit warring – which takes two opposing sides in order to take place – can legitimately be called disruptive. Editing is still allowed on most articles without being threatened with disciplinary action. — goethean 18:02, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
Responding to chronic troublemakers by restoring improperly removed long-standing, accurate content that enjoys both first-rate cites and strong support is a response to disruption, not disruption itself, and supported by policy and convention. Claiming a response to disruption is disruption is like claiming treatment of cancer is itself a disease. FeloniousMonk 18:37, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
In addition to being name-calling, that doesn't resemble what I claimed. It is you who throws out the disruption charge whenever you encounter something you don't like. — goethean 18:47, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
Look at the edit history of Ed in this article. It has the features FM describes. I don't think that it is a carelessly-applied charge since the editor in question has a history of disruption. --ScienceApologist 18:49, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
The word "disruption" is being bandied about so much around here, it has lost all meaning. I'll just assume that it means "things you dont like". — goethean 18:51, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
Goethean, we consider it to be a disruptive activity because many of the editors of this article have already debated this and consider the current article to be appropriate. By making major changes without first discussing them, Ed is ignoring the bulk of the major editors and their compromise. Ladlergo 19:19, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

That's a pretty sassy attitude, Goethean. Of course, you do have a history of responding in such fashion. --ScienceApologist 19:08, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Oooooh, this looks like fun. I can't say I really understand the value of the proposed added sentence though. It's already covered in more depth elsewhere in the article, but Ed isn't trying to put it into the introduction, but rather, just somewhere randomly in the article. I'm not sure I understand the purpose. --Cyde↔Weys 19:56, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Yes, it does, Cyde (look like fun). ;) The purpose, of course, is merely to get the proposed sentence into the article. Somewhere. Anywhere. Coherence be damned. •Jim62sch• 20:20, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

I am wondering if FeloniousMonk is trying to further an agenda. The removal of the link to [1] has me scratching my head. Nobel Laureates in the sciences are considered some of the most well known scientific minds in the world. How can their views on Intelligent Design be considered a "minor viewpoint, not notable." That really has me baffled. That would be like calling the dissenting opining of a Supreme Court Justice minor and not notable. What gives? El Cubano 04:05, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

No, 1) it's primarily not in English, and what english is present is attrocious, 2) Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig is not one of the more notable ID proponents. We agreed long ago the article is bloated as it is, and will cover only notable viewpoints, per WP:NPOV, 3) Many of those on the list he compiled in no way supported ID, Richard Feynman for example. This list contains a lot of quote mining, and so is of dubious value, it's an attempt at matching the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity Nobel Laureates Initiative.[2] The link added nothing to the article. Also, I'd appreciate it if you would not question my motives moving forward. FeloniousMonk 04:57, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

Why the quick revert?

I tried to edit the page to correct what seemed to me to be a self-contradictory statement under the section titled "ID Controversy." The sentence:

"However, there is no such controversy"

NPOV aside, seems silly to say "there is no such controversy" under a section designed to explain the controversy. Like them or not, IDers are scientists (many have advanced science degrees from reputable institutions and have published in peer review journals), and so their positions preclude any notions of "consensus."

I suspect the original authors of the sentence were really trying to say either 1. IDers are not part of the scientific community, or 2. ID is not really science, or something else to that effect. I made what I thought was fair change. It was quickly reverted by, of all people, an evolutionary biologist. (talk · contribs)

I love how up in arms ID opponents get over the issue -- if it so silly, akin to the spagetthi and meatball monster theory -- why is ID so vigorously attacked. Why do anti-IDers feel the need to monitor the ID wiki and remove any changes that weaken their criticisms? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

I made the reverts. The reason is that you assert something to be happening in the science field that scientists who look for can not find. This was very well demonstrated in the Kitzmiller case were they had to present their evidence, and they could not produce anything. I am prefectly happy if it turns out that between that case and now, there has been publications that provide evidence for that controversy in Science, but untill then, it is nothing ore than a public opinion that such a controvesy exists. I think I have as much right to judge information on its quality as anybody else, wikipedia works with verifiable and reliable sources, not with personal opinion. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 12:36, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
Anon: "there is no such controversy" refers to this: "...convincing the general public that there is a debate among scientists about whether life evolved..." To clarify this point, I have modified the sentence you felt was contraictory to, "However, there is no such debate, thus there is no such controversy; the scientific consensus is that life evolved". •Jim62sch• 10:05, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
And just to point the obvious, the few IDers with scientific credentials have failed to publish any research on ID in peer reviewed journals, or indeed elsewhere. The controversy is outside science, in politics and religion. ..dave souza, talk 11:22, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
Dave, this is an assertion that whatever is excluded from scientific journals is by definition not "science" just as newspaper publishers reserve the write to spike a story on the grounds that "news is whatever we deem newsworthy".
You may perhaps be aware of the contention of some scientists that scientific journals sometimes reject an article for reasons other than failing peer review. They have given reasons such as "not of interest" (article which passed peer review but contradicted the prevailing orthodoxy on global warming); "presents a problem we can't solve" (peer-reviewed article showing disparities between two groups in educational and vocational success).
Not to mention the whole history of scientists whose work was dismissed (and reputations besmirched) until decades later their colleagues were finally willing to take a look - did an about face, and had to suffer the embarassment of crediting the original researcher for the discovery. Continental drift comes to mind, although the story of Semmelweis and childbed fever is more dramatic.
  • His observations went against the current scientific opinion of the time, which blamed diseases (among other quite odd causes) on an imbalance of the basic "four humours" in the body, a theory known as dyscrasia. It was also "argued" that even if his findings were correct, washing one's hands each time before treating a pregnant woman, as Semmelweis advised, would be too much work. Nor were doctors eager to admit that they had caused so many deaths. (Source: Semmelweis#Rejection_by_the_medical_establishment) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ed Poor (talkcontribs) May 29
Dave said "failed to publish any research on ID in peer reviewed journals, or indeed elsewhere". Not only have they not published research in ID journals, they haven't published them in their own, in-house journals. They have published review articles, but no research papers. Even if this alleged conspiracy of journals against ID were real (something I very strongly doubt), why not publish in their own in-house publications? Why not publish online? There are all sorts of people working on the fringes of science who claim to be marginalised by mainstream science (for example, our own experience with aetherometry). These people publish their experiments all the time. In a world of desktop publishing and the internet, the only excuse for not publishing is not having anything to publish. If the proponents of ID cannot come up with research programmes in their pet topic, then it seems rather a long shot to ask other people to consider their ideas to be science. Guettarda 13:43, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
Guetterda, this is an excellent question. And I have not seen the answer in any Wikipedia article, so I hope you can help me find the answer.
Are you saying that ID proponents don't publish anything but reviews of "real" journal articles? Or that the contents of their books, article and web sites don't amount to "research"? I seem to recall reading something about one-celled creatures (flagocytes or flagellents?) with an argument that they wavy parts could not have developed through random variations.
By the way, I'm not arguing with you: not asserting that they did or did not "publish any research on ID ... anywhere" (as Dave said). I'm not that familiar with the literature in the field. If they haven't then the fact that they have not should DEFINITELY go into the article (and not merely as a "point of view" by ID critics!). --Uncle Ed 14:01, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

Gentlemen, not so negative. I am sure Mr Anonymous can provide articles in a relevant and reputable scientific journals in which relevant scientists (historians or legal scholars, are scientists but somehow I don't think they qualify) are debating this. Heck, if he insists there is a controversy he must have an article to prove it.Holland Nomen NescioGnothi seauton 12:01, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

Well, I think the changes since my post have made the sentence more fair, but I still think its incorrect to claim "consensus" on such a controversial issue. My original proposal, which said something to the effect of "the majority in the scientific community reject ID", is more respectful of ID proponents (something I believe Nescio is not prepared to be). One responder to my post had the decency to acknowledge at least "a few IDers with scientific credentials." If we can agree that those "few" exist, then we could agree that there is no consensus. If "the controversy is outside science" then what are all you "real" scientists doing here commenting on something that is outside of your field, monitoring this page on a minute-to-minute basis? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rbones (talkcontribs) May 27

Those few exist, but that leaves unchallanged that those few have even produced less proof, basically zero. Challenges are not done by opinions, but by arguments, and those are published in peer reviewed scientific journals. So, please, keep the distinction between science facts and scientists' opinions seperate. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 18:35, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
[edit conflict] There is no conflict between the statement that the scientific community rejects ID and the fact that some ID proponents have scientific credentials. To begin with, "the majority" can be anything above 50%, so "the majority" gives ID too much weight - among active scientists, there is trivial support for ID. But "the scientific community" is not a head count of scientists - the rejection comes in the fact that ID has made no impact on the literature. No one, not even ID proponents, have come up with a research programme into ID. There is no experimental literature (including in-house DI pubs) with respect to ID. This lack of presence amounts to rejection of ID by the scientific community, by scientists working as scientists. The statement is, thus, accurate. Guettarda 18:47, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

Whether there is a controversy and whether one position has sufficient literature support are two different questions. Arguments are not the exclusive domain of mainstream journal; its no surprise that ID arguments, which reject naturalism, are not published in journals that assume naturalistic positions from the outset. Consisent with the anti-ID bias of this wiki, alternatives to naturalism are curtly dismissed as being a "demarcation problem." The notion of NPOV is a joke here, and by "joke" I mean "funny," because I think its funny that you ID opponents are so threatened that you monitor this page by the minute and revert anything that neutralizes this page. (talk · contribs)

There is no notable controversy over the validity of evolution in the scientific community. Period. There's zero credible, non-partisan evidence that one exists. But there are over 70 scientific societies, institutions and other professional groups have issued statements endorsing evolution, supporting evolution education, and opposing intelligent design. FeloniousMonk 01:17, 28 May 2006 (UTC)
I am puzzled by Mr Anonymous. He insists ID is science, or at least there is controversy among scientist about it, but when confronted with the parameters the scientific community uses he calls enforcing these rules anti-ID. Why do we need to change the rules science has adopted centuries ago?Holland Nomen NescioGnothi seauton 11:46, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

Some of us here are making a false dichotomy, implying that there is either:

  1. a controversy within scientific circles (raging throughout all the journals); or,
  2. a consensus on the matter

The excluded middle here is that there is a dispute (however tiny) between some (what's the phrase?) "credentialed scientists" and the establishment over evolution by natural selection and Intelligent design.

It would do our readers a service if we could tell them how extensive (or tiny!) this dispute is. Are their 10,000 biologists (in, say, America and the UK) who support the neo-Darwinian synthesis and only 20 who oppose it? That is, 99.8% support and 0.2% oppose? That's not much of a controversy, in itself. The only way there could be a controversy is if holders of opposing views are talking or publishing ideas which contravene (directly go against? rebut?) their opponents?

Now we all know there is a campaign to get ID considered "scientific" - called, optimistically, "Teach the controversy" - but it takes two sides to make a controversy. If the "scientific side" (as some here put it) is simply ignoring the "pseudoscientific side" then, of course, there is no controversy!

Either scientists are debating the issue a lot (a genuine scientific controversy, or barely at all (other than an occasional dismissive reply to the campaign to raise the issue), or are completely ignoring it (as astronomers and physicists ignore the idea of a flat earth).

At the top of this section, Unsigned wrote of ID so vigorously attacked. Is this attack:

  • non-existent (or only within Wikipedia)
  • only political (Bush and holy rollers vs. the courts)
  • also from scientists?

If it's only political, fine. The intro should clearly state that the controversy is strictly a political one.

If scientists have joined the fray, even to barely noticeable degree, then there is some scientific dispute:

  • a few wacky (or fanatical) PhD-holders shouting "ID is worthy of scientific consideration!"; versus,
  • even fewer Real Scientists saying, "Nonsense, the whole thing is pseudoscience."

However, let's be careful. We mustn't go so far as to argue that if there's a scientific dispute (over whether ID is "science") then this means that ID is science! Not only is that false reasoning, but it would be original research. We contributors are not supposed to be thinking up stuff on our own, but only reporting and describing the work or others. --Uncle Ed 13:53, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

Wow, amazing that the real cause of the non-controversy isn't mentioned -- religion and a need for Biblical inerrancy. As for the rest, the arguments raised are so flawed, so illogical, that to call them "arguments" is an act of kindness. •Jim62sch• 00:29, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Thanks Ed, at last some intellectual honesty - as a correlate to Ed's suggestion: I think it does a *disservice* to not recognize the dispute-- no matter how small the minority is -- in an article about the minority position. As for my vigorous attack comment - that was based on the fact that it took TWO minutes before my slight modification was reverted. My opinion is that ID is attacked on all the fronts you mentioned: here on wiki as was demonstrated in my failed attempt to balance the article, in politics (ie. pointy heads running to the courts when they can't convince the majority through normal democratic means), and most of all from scientists. You can't give me a laundry list of scientific organizations who have come out with positions statements against ID and yet claim that scientists are ignoring the issue or completely ignoring it. I also think its silly to try to cast the question of the origin life as being a political one: I am of the opinion that truth is absolute. Either evolution is right or its wrong. Either ID is right or its wrong. Regardless, so long as *some* educated people dismiss evolution as insufficient, there will be a controversy.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Uh, yeah, right. You are, I'm sure, aware that your argumentum ad verecundiam is a fallacy, yes? •Jim62sch• 00:35, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

A recent addition I reverted

The following change was made to the lead:

Current: 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."

and it was changed to:

Proposed: Intelligent design (ID) is the assertion that an intelligent designer designed and then created the universe, including the ancestors of the organisms that currently inhabit Earth. Some proponents of intelligent design hold the opinion that "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection."

I reverted the addition because it reads to me more as a definition of old earth creationism or Progressive creationism and not as intelligent design perse. Furthermore, they way it was worded , it was widening the definition towards theistic evolution, in which "certain features of the universe and of living things are not nessecarily best explained by an intelligent cause" allows that everything can be explained by evolution, only that it was guided. If I was wrong in doing this, please let me know. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 20:23, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

You did the right thing. We've spent a lot of time to get that intro the way it is. Thanks Kim. •Jim62sch• 11:35, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

Regarding the Recent Addition Kim Reverted

Kim, et al,

I proposed changes to the beginning paragraph of the intelligent design page because I believe that it is inappropriate for the Discovery Institute's opinion about intelligent design to be embedded in the definition of intelligent design. The Discovery Institute's opinion is embodied in the assertion that intelligent design is the "best" explanation.

Intelligent design should be defined in a way that does not contain the Discovery Institute's opinion. That was the intent of the change that I proposed. I believe that my proposed changes are consistent with Wikipedia's Neutral Point of View policy.

Scott G. Beach 21:57, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

My question would be, are you aware of other definitions made by other institutes, or organisations? -- Kim van der Linde at venus 00:25, 28 May 2006 (UTC)
You asked if I had seen other definitions of intelligent design. I could not think of any other definitions at the time but I had the feeling that I had seen another definition somewhere. Then I remembered the definition that was adopted by the Kansas State Board of Education on November 8, 2005. That definition reads as follows:
"We also emphasize that the Science Curriculum Standards do not include Intelligent Design, the scientific disagreement with the claim of many evolutionary biologists that the apparent design of living systems is an illusion. While the testimony presented at the science hearings included many advocates of Intelligent Design, these standards neither mandate nor prohibit teaching about this scientific disagreement." (See )
The Kansas State Board of Education regards "Intelligent Design" as a "scientific disagreement" rather than as a "theory."
Scott G. Beach 07:55, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
Humm, interesting, indeed a different definition. The problem I have with it is that this is a definition brought forward in a political document, which as a primary purpose has to do politics with. However, was it based on a underlying document of a scientist? And if so, would you be able to find that reference? -- Kim van der Linde at venus 00:53, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
Wow, exactly like Ed Poor. Gee, what a coincidence... FeloniousMonk 01:10, 28 May 2006 (UTC)
Kim, I am not aware of other definitions of ID.
The first sentence of the Intelligent Design page might be revised to read as follows:
Discovery Institute asserts that "intelligent design" is the best explanation for "certain features of the universe and of living things."
This revision retains the assertion that ID is the "best" explanation while making it clear that "best" is Discovery Institute's opinion. Without a change such as this, the definition of intelligent design will continue to have an unattributed opinion of superiority embedded in it, and that is clearly unscientific and inappropriate.
Scott G. Beach 01:04, 28 May 2006 (UTC)
The original, long-standing intro is accurate as it stands. The definition given is attributed to the DI as a cite and the fact that the leading ID proponents are affiliated with the DI is noted in the following sentence.
Since all leading ID proponents, Dembski, Behe, Wells, Johnson, Meyer, etc. are fellows or staff of the institute, the institute's definition is their own. Were there any published dissentions, then we would need to change the intro. But there aren't, and thus the suggested change is no improvement, but would in turn imply that there are other notable differing definitions. Again, something there is no evidence of.
Of course some ID proponents would like to cultivate ambiguity that there may indeed be a different ID in the public's mind in an effort to shake off the albatross around their neck of the Dover ruling, but I see no reason that wikipedia should be the place to start with that...
We are not to spoon-feed the readers. We're required to simply lay the facts out, attribute any viewpoints and let the readers decide for themselves. FeloniousMonk 01:10, 28 May 2006 (UTC)
Dear Monk:
You wrote, "The original, long-standing intro is accurate as it stands." Yes, it is accurate but it is also deceptive. I read it at least five times trying to figure out what was wrong with it. I went over it word by word and then, BINGO, I realized that this so-called "theory" has a value judgment embedded in it. For the statement of a theory to contain the declaration that it is the best possible explanation is totally illegitimate and outright bizarre.
I believe that the Discovery Institute's statement of its "theory of intelligent design" is intentionally deceptive. They represent ID to be a theory and simultaneously declare that it is the best possible theory. They should not be allowed to do that. If this anti-scientific tactic is not challenged, Wikipedia unwittingly becomes a propagandist for the Discovery Institute.
By the way, you might be amused by my "Intelligent Designer Theory". See
Scott G. Beach 02:54, 28 May 2006 (UTC)
I fail to see where wikipeida is describing it as a theory other than in attibuting what the DI says about it, and than provide the opinion of the science community as a response. As far as I can tell, this is accurate. Whether we agree with it, that is another issue, but that is not to wikipedia to decide. The question is whether it has been neutral and accurate documented, if not, we have to change it, but otherwise, it is just reporting how it is without a value judgement of the editors in it. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 03:47, 28 May 2006 (UTC)
I think your reasoning is faulty. Every "theory" is advanced as the "best possible theory" by its proponents. Whether that theory is political, religious or scientific. Even in the scrictest definition of the word theory, it still happens. The theory of gravity is advanced as "the possible theory" as to why things fall they way they do. Based on your criteria, nobody should be allowed to advance his own theroy if he considers it "best". Of course, this is absurd. El Cubano 03:35, 28 May 2006 (UTC)
Mr. Cubano:
You wrote, "Every 'theory' is advanced as the 'best possible theory' by its proponents." Aside from the theory of intelligent design, I have NEVER before seen a theory that incorporates the declaration that it is the best explanation for various phenomena. I HAVE often seen the proponents of various theories state their theories and then compare and contrast their theories with alternative theories and THEN, in a summary, assert that their theories are superior to alternative theories. This is proper scientific conduct.
If the theory of intelligent design included the assertion that "certain features of the universe and of living things can be attributed to an intelligent designer" then I would not raise the objection that I have. An assertion worded in this way does not have the value judgment "best" embedded in it.
I continue to believe that embedding a value judgment into a theory is anti-scientific and thoroughly illegitimate and, in the case of intelligent design, intended to deceive people who are not familiar with the ethics of science. The Discovery Institute should be condemned for engaging in this chicanery.
Scott G. Beach 07:35, 28 May 2006 (UTC)
I fail to see the difference. The DI doesn't try and conceal that their official position is that they believe their theory is the best one out there. What you are talking about is the difference between, "our theory is best; here is why" and, "here is our theory compared with some other; oh, look, it just happens to be best." If anything I would consider the latter practice, which you call "proper scientific conduct," more deceptive than the first. Besides, it somewhat ridiculous to think the proponent(s) of a particular theory do not think it is the best. Really, why advance a theory in which you do not believe? You should likewise be condemned for your chicanery in the matter. El Cubano 02:31, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
Mr. Cubano:
You wrote, "I fail to see the difference." The difference between the "theory of intelligent design" and other theories is that the "theory of intelligent design" contains the word "best."
The proponents of a theory can assert that their theory is the best explanation. They are entitled to their opinion. However, I strongly object to the proponents of any "theory" putting their opinion DIRECTLY into the statement of the theory.
Inserting the opinion "best" into a theory is thoroughly inappropriate. However, please feel free to take the opposite position. You may find a few propagandists who agree with you but you will not find any scientists who agree with you; not even the scientists at the Discovery Institute, because they know better too. They know the difference between theory and propaganda.
Scott G. Beach 09:01, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
The only issue here is whether the positions as they are laid out in the article are factually accurate, and they are. Absent any credible evidence the intro is factually incorrect, it should stay as it is. All we as editors can do per policy is cover the significant viewpoints in proportion to their significance and provide attributions. The Discovery Institute's viewpoint is central and quoted as it is the most relevant within ID, and it is noted why: all leading proponents belong to it. This is immediately followed by a paragraph that covers the scientific community's viewpoint, which notes the specific viewpoint of National Academy of Science. This is how we cover the two major viewpoints on the topic per WP:NPOV. The other significant perspective - legal - is covered as well. This is factually accurate and complies with all policy here. If you have actual evidence from a credible, non-partisan source that specific statements in the intro are factually inaccurate, please present it and we'd be happy to reconsider your objection. FeloniousMonk 05:30, 28 May 2006 (UTC)
Dear Mr. Monk:
You have asserted that, "The only issue here is whether the positions as they are laid out in the article are factually accurate, and they are." I respectfully disagree that this is the "only issue."
Dr. Stephen C. Meyer's definition of the "theory of intelligent design" is presented on the Wikipedia page about "Intelligent Design." That page appropriately contains references to critics who assert that Dr. Meyer's "theory of intelligent design" is not a scientific theory. I agree with those critics and I go a step further. I assert that Dr. Meyer's "theory of intelligent design" is propaganda. I have posted that criticism on the World Wide Web at
I also believe that if Dr. Meyer's "theory of intelligent design" is posted on the Wikipedia page about Intelligent Design without a warning that his theory contains a value judgment -- i.e., the opinion "best" -- then Wikipedia is inadvertently allowing itself to be used by Dr. Meyer to propagate his propaganda.
Please do not allow Dr. Meyer to use Wikipedia and you to disseminate his propaganda. Please place a "propaganda warning" on Wikipedia's Intelligent Design page. Thank you for considering my request.
Sincerely, Scott G. Beach 23:06, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
Mr. Beach, I would like to request that you please turn your attention to a group of crackpot researchers whom I have identified as publishing under the auspices of the partisan political orginzation called the IEEE. It appears that these researchers each have their own pet theories and models of systems, and in defiance of all scientific decorum they have declared their models and theories as being the "best." Here are just a few links: [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10]. These only represent a small number of the over 4000 abstracts published by partisans at the IEEE which make use of the words "theory" and "best" in their publications. Some are quite innocuous, though, there are many more results to review: [11]. I believe that in the interest of maintaining the quality of Wikipedia, we scour all articles for evidence of the propoganda perpetrated by these individuals by including value judgments in their scientific theories and remove all such occurrences. I propose that we start a new category where we can list offending articles until they have been properly reviewed by the Minitry of Truth^W^W^W concerned editors. El Cubano 00:33, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
Mr. Cubano:
You were unable to refer me to even one other instance of a theory that has the theoretician's opinion embedded DIRECTLY into the statement of the theory.
You have proved my point. Thank you.
Scott G. Beach 02:56, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Campaign and controversy

(Sorry to create another heading, but I anticipate an edit conflict with Guettarda, and I'd rather avoid that. :-)

Someone wrote above:

convincing the general public that there is a debate among scientists about whether life evolved

I wonder if this has been a sticking point for us Wikipedia writers.

According to what I've read, both here in Wikipedia and elsewher., there is a campaign afoot - called "Teach the Controversy" - intended to convince the public that scientists have re-opened the debate over whether life evolved.

The response to this campaign, in the scientific community, has been ... what?

  • to ignore this campaign completely (not one word published in denial)
  • to attack the campaign as politically (or religiously) motivated and to deny that evolution is being reexamined (let alone that ID is being considered as an alternative)

If the response to the campaign has been to refuse to debate then we Wikipedians can write about the campaign's failure to attract attention in the scientific community. Other than perhaps a few irritable dismissals, like, "We are not going to dignify that with a response."

If you tell me that you refuse to debate X, that doesn't mean that I have gotten X on the table and that we are now debating it! Let's be honest, here.

But if a handful of scientists have looked at ID arguments, found them seriously lacking, and have published rebuttals than perhaps we should say that:

  • the only result of this massive publicity campaign has been to elicit a few terse responses from evolutionary biologists dismissing ID as pseudoscientific poppycock

Or perhaps this:

  • The Discovery Institute tried to "wedge" ID into the scientific arena, but as of 2006 had barely made a dent.

This actually leads to the related topic of the political strategy of religious believers in America, of whom half at least 45% disgree with evolution completely (and a hard-to-determine amount disagree with some aspects of it). These believers want to make schools teach ID alongside with evolution by natural selection as having equal standing. They use as a political argument the contention that "scientists are debating this". So the argument goes like this:

  1. Premise: scientists are debating evolution vs. ID
  2. Premise: if there's a debate on a scientific point, we must not conceal such a debate from schoolkids or teach only one side of the debate
  3. Conclusion: We must teach schoolkids "both sides of the debate" on evolution vs. ID

Even for the vast majority of people who accept point #2 (and want kids to get a balance presentation of controversial topics in science), many people will not accept premise #1 and will thus reject the conclusion. --Uncle Ed 14:24, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

Bovine fecal matter at its finest (or most pungent). Why, tell me why, should any scientist waste breath on disputing a concept that depends on a supernatural entity as its cornerstone? The introduction of the supernatural makes it a non-scientific concept, akin to pyramid power. •Jim62sch• 00:42, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
Ed, please catch up on what scientists are writing. has a variety of links that concern scientists who have decided to attack the actual arguments of ID (including the mathematical ones). There have also been pieces published in scientific journals detailing the issue. Ladlergo 15:14, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, I have no access to scientific journals. Why don't you digest their attacks and write about them in the ID article?
I'm not particularly interested in the outcome of the debate; I'm only here to help the ID article get clarity and balance. --Uncle Ed 15:20, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
If you can suggest a place where they could be put, I'll happily start adding them. There's plenty of it that doesn't require a subscription to magazines. Ladlergo 15:34, 30 May 2006 (UTC)


One element I find key in distinguishing something that is designed from something that isn't, is that something designed can be ruined or corrupted in a sense that something that wasn't designed cannot. Has there been any research that trys to establish one pattern as the design and other patterns as the corruption of the design? For example, so far intelligent design has been painted as if to say where a body produces insulin, that is part of one design, and where a body isn't producing insulin properly, that is part of another design, as opposed to a corruption of the insulin plan. Or even further, the "with insulin" situation is still corrupted, but lack as much corruption as the "no insulin" situation.

Introducing this into the model allows for better scientific processes, because you can see where you are merely compensating for a flaw in a design, as opposed to restoring the design. Also, one can then construct a vector of corruption where if something is less corrupt than another, following the vector should lead to a perfected design. If this is possible, this would also be a test of the validity of intelligent design. Hackwrench 22:03, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

huh? •Jim62sch• 00:43, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Are all leading ID proponents affiliated with Discovery Institute?

Re: The recent insistence on the language "many" leading proponents rather than "all" in the introduction section of the article: The question whether all notable ID proponents are affiliated with the Discovery Institute has come up several times and been repeatedly hashed over by the various editors. Please review the archived discussions. Not one notable proponent was identified in two years of discussion who was not affiliated with the Discovery Institute... Kenosis 03:11, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

How about Prof. Dr-Ing. Werner Gitt, Director & Professor, German Federal Institute of Physics & TEchnology (Physi-kalisch-Techniche Bundesanstalt Braunschweig). I did not find him on the site. See:

Gitt, Werner (2000). In the Beginning was Information. CV. ISBN 3-89397-255-2. --DLH 22:07, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

Gitt is not a particularly notable ID proponent, at least not compared to Dembski, Behe, Meyer, Johnson, and Wells. FeloniousMonk 23:17, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

Propose compacting the summary to state: "Leading proponents affiliated with the Discovery Institute[2],..."

This affirms that leading proponents are with the Discovery Institute without claiming that all are. That will be generally true for a longer period as more become involved internationally etc. vs "Its leading proponents, all of whom are affiliated with the Discovery Institute[2],"--DLH 03:01, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

Is Lee Strobel affiliated with the Discovery Institute? He argues for ID in "The Case for a Creator". - AbstractClass 23:11, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

Also there are numerous columnists that have written in support of ID...all of them are affiliated with the Discovery Institute? - AbstractClass 23:14, 19 July 2006 (UTC)


Re Nnp's change

No, belief isn't the best way to describe this. It's an idea, and it exists whether people believe it to be true or not. Which isn't to say that it's a belief for some portion of the people who support it. But calling it a "belief" isn't the best choice.

As for the archives - it's no easier for me to dig through them than it is for you. Sorry, you'll have to do your won digging. Guettarda 13:40, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Balance in the intro

The version I placed today (Monday morning) has 56 out of 237 words (a) defining ID briefly, (b) identifying its proponents and (c) their point of view about the concept. The remaining 75% of the intro is against ID.

I don't mind dedicating the majority of the intro to the anti-ID point of view, as long as the pro-ID point of view gets at least some of the space. --Uncle Ed 14:39, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

As Stephen Colbert would say ... don't be upset at the intro because reality has a well-known anti-creationism bias. --Cyde↔Weys 14:40, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
That bit of cynicism gave me a sideways smile. ;-) --Uncle Ed 14:45, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

To Ed Poor: please review the archives of talk page. The current version, in place for at least the last six months, is properly reflective of cautious discussion involving countless participant/editors, consisting of both advocates and critics of ID. The intro was agreed by consensus to consist of three paragraphs. The first deals with what ID proponents say ID is, and who those proponents are. The second deals with what the scientific community says ID is. The third paragraph is devoted to legal status of ID. ...Kenosis 16:11, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

ID and science

Intro is now 1/3 ID + proponents + pro-ID point of view, versus 2/3 anti-ID point of view. That's good enough.

Further on, in the body of the article, is the place for any additional pro-ID stuff. I'd like to see more about why Dembski or others feel that ID ought to have scientific standing - other than the obvious strategy that it would "wedge" ID into public school classrooms. I mean on what grounds do they consider it a "scientific" theory or concept? Does it have predictive value (in their eyes)? Do they feel it can conceivably be falsified?

Please discuss the intro with me, instead of just reverting all my changes on the grounds that some sort of consensus exists to leave the intro unchanged. I still see no such agreement anywhere. --Uncle Ed 15:05, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Why it's a scientific theory: Well, they say it's scientific becaue... Hrm. Actually, Behe said that ID can only be considered scientific if science is broadened to incluce subjects such as astrology. (Kitzmiller vs. Dover)
Predictive value: Experiments will reveal design. Or something.
Falsifiable: Considering that Behe et al always conveiently forget (when they don't deny) the experiments that refute their statements (see immune system literature), I don't think it will ever be falisified to them. They just move the goalposts again.
Ladlergo 15:24, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
Ed Poor, please review the archives of talk page. The current version, in place for at least the last six months or more, is properly reflective of cautious discussion involving countless participant/editors, consisting of both advocates and critics of ID. The intro was agreed by consensus to consist of three paragraphs. The first deals with what ID proponents say ID is, and who those proponents are. The second deals with what the scientific community says ID is. The third paragraph is devoted to legal status of ID ... Kenosis 16:13, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
  1. Then the sentence The Discovery Institute and its affiliated scholars are the leading proponents of the concept. which "deals with ... who those proponents are" should be okay. So I'll put it back. --Uncle Ed 16:17, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Excellent. Now we just need to find sources for these three points and put them into the article. That ought to nail those ID-pushers to the wall.

  • Behe admits ID is not a science. Then says if we add a pseudoscience like astrology to biology, ID would be science? That's precious. I gotta see the quote for that! :-)
  • Has Behe, Dembski or anyone in the ID camp proposed any experiments or made any predictions? (About living things - not about whether the political tide will turn. ;-)

If there are experiments which some scientists says refutes ID in some way, this should be described in Wikipedia somewhere. If not in the Intelligent design, then at least linked to it.

  • Itzhal Reahl wrote, "Mortimer Snerd's 1992 experiment with frog larvae proves that ID is wrong about the immune system." (or something like that, preferably with a statemnt of what ID predicted should have been found in the experiment, contrasted with what Snerd actually observed. [Note that I made up Reahl and Snerd - this is an example of the form of reference I'm looking for.

If some anti-ID writer says that ID advocates keep "moving the goalposts", that also should be in the article. --Uncle Ed 15:36, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

  • Blog quote attributed to Bill Dembski: You've charged me with moving the goalposts and adjusting the definition of irreducible complexity because I require of evolutionary biologists to "connect the dots" in a causally convincing way. [12] is the transcript of Behe's cross-examination. Do a search for "astrology" and you'll find it. He tries to explain that he meant the "archaic" definition of astrology, but he certainly didn't say that the first time around. Also, the archaic definition of astrology still includes the idea that people's personalities are influenced by the phase of the planets. I almost felt embarassed for him. Ladlergo 15:47, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
I believe the proposed experiment has been that scientists take a flask of chemicals and show that life will arise. I hope you can see why this isn't feasible. However, even if scientists wasted their time on this, neither outcome would prove anything. If life isn't created, it doesn't prove that life can't be created under those or any other circumstances. If life is created, IDists would say that just because the experiment ran that way, it's no indication that life originally developed that way. Ladlergo 15:55, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
Does ID address the origin of life? I thought it only dealt with evolution. Perhaps the intro needs to be more clear, or at least the first section. --Uncle Ed 15:59, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
Nope, ID is also used in the discussion of the origin of life. God (or aliens, theoretically, though none of the DI people believe that) created the first cell, which is obvious from the design of cells, because nothing that complex could have ever arisen by chance. Excuse me while I go wash my hands for even typing that. Ladlergo 16:02, 30 May 2006 (UTC) If you do a search for "flagellum" you'll find one of the experiments that's been proposed. This is a casual look at why that experiment would not prove or disprove evolution or ID. Ladlergo 19:00, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

New controversy about the content of the intro

Relevant new thread reproduced here so it can be seen and discussed as a separate topic thread. ... Kenosis 16:21, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Please discuss the intro with me, instead of just reverting all my changes on the grounds that some sort of consensus exists to leave the intro unchanged. I still see no such agreement anywhere. --Uncle Ed 15:05, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Ed Poor, please review the archives of talk page. The current version, in place for at least the last six months or more, is properly reflective of cautious discussion involving countless participant/editors, consisting of both advocates and critics of ID. The intro was agreed by consensus to consist of three paragraphs. The first deals with what ID proponents say ID is, and who those proponents are. The second deals with what the scientific community says ID is. The third paragraph is devoted to legal status of ID ... Kenosis 16:13, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
  1. Then the sentence The Discovery Institute and its affiliated scholars are the leading proponents of the concept. which "deals with ... who those proponents are" should be okay. So I'll put it back. --Uncle Ed 16:17, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Please see the archives; this matter has been discussed repeatedly. If you have any comments or advances on the archival material post here. --Davril2020 16:30, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Re: Ed Poor's recent major edits to intro, and Nnp's edit-summary comment ("rv to ed, please be specific in your references to the (huge) archive. Also, no decisions on wikipedia are final and articles can change over time. HAND"): It is true that these things are not written in stone, but rather in open-source electrons. Nonetheless nothing significant has changed in the last six months regarding the truth of intelligent design and its proponents and critics. Please discuss proposed changes and provide justifications that are compelling enough to override or modify the immense amounts of discussion, argument, time and effort that went into the current version of this article... Kenosis 16:33, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
Okay, you guys win this round. I gave up counting how many times Davril, Joshua, et al., reverted to their preferred version. But I'm still not allowed to revert them back more than 3 times in 24 hours. I think I managed to go up to 5 - because I got confused about "partial reverts". But I re-read the 3RR policy page.
It seems to be like the Ko rule in go (game). You simply can't bring the article back to its previous state - like repeating a board position. Sorry, won't happen again. --Uncle Ed 16:49, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
I do not see it as "winning" anything. Davril2020, ScienceApologist and myself just happen to be online at the moment, but the current vesion reflects the work and cautious consensus of at least 20 or 30 different editors over a long period of time, since well before I got involved in Wikipedia. Take care for now... Kenosis 16:53, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
So we're supposed to stop work on it now? Is it finished? :) --Nnp 17:06, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

I see Ed Poor's factually-challenged, NPOV-conflicted daily attempts to rewrite the article's intro to suit his POV continues apace. How long do we need to endure his chronic disruption here? FeloniousMonk 17:21, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Please stop your personal attacks - or at least show one edit which "rewrites the article's intro to suit my POV". Don't forget to point out what POV you alleged is mine. And then show how an edit (or edit series) pushes this point of view.
Failing that, I would suggest that repeatedly reverting the article to exclude all my edits, large and small, is disruptive of the wiki process.
I asked you the same thing a dozen times last year. You ignored each request. How about this year? --Uncle Ed 17:28, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Would there be opposition to changing 'concept' to 'argument'? Concept makes it sound somewhat non-controversial. --Nnp 17:36, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Intelligent Design is a Dogma

Wikipedia currently defines intelligent design as a concept: "An abstract or general idea inferred or derived from specific instances" (Webster's Online Dictionary).

The intelligent designists of the Discovery Institute define intelligent design as the "best" explanation for "certain features of the universe and of living things". They have inserted the value judgment "best" into their definition of intelligent design and have thereby made intelligent design into a belief that is "not to be disputed or doubted."

Dogma is a "belief or doctrine held by a religion, ideology or any kind of organization to be authoritative and not to be disputed or doubted" (Wikipedia).

Intelligent design is obviously a dogma.

Scott G. Beach 17:40, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

That dogma don't hunt. Sorry, I couldn't resist. FeloniousMonk 17:42, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
Scott, it is not for us contributors to label ID a "dogma".
If, however, you can find a published source (like a scientist or politician) who holds that point of view, we can add that idea to the article. Like this guy:
  • Fiorenzo Facchini, a professor of evolutionary biology at the University of Bologna, laid out the scientific rationale for Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, saying that in the scientific world, biological evolution "represents the interpretative key of the history of life on Earth." He lamented that certain American "creationists" had brought the debate back to the "dogmatic" 1800s and said their arguments weren't science but ideology. "This isn't how science is done," he wrote. "If the model proposed by Darwin is deemed insufficient, one should look for another, but it's not correct from a methodological point of view to take oneself away from the scientific field pretending to do science." [13]
I think some ID proponents label Evolution a dogma also. The dispute is over the very methods of science and the limits of methodological naturalism. Kind of like behavioral psychology saying it is the only scientific approach to human psychology.
One side says "We can only look at physical causes." The other side (Dembski, I think) says "If we can only see physical effects, this does not mean we mustn't consider a non-physical cause."
Perhaps opposition to ID is more due to Atheism than anything else. It's a tricky topic. And often one side will refuse to listen to the other side, even long enough to prepare a rebuttal. --Uncle Ed 18:00, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
Ed, there are many biologists who are most assuradly not atheists and believe that ID is a PoS idea and is nowhere near being a scientific theory. See Kenneth R. Miller, the author of a widely-used biology textbook. Ladlergo 18:24, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
Are you saying that the atheists who object to ID on religious grounds are joined by non-atheistis in their assertion that ID is pseudoscience? If such an alliance exists, it is just as significant to the article as the "religious motivation" of Discovery Institute fellows. --Uncle Ed 13:34, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
Yes, there are non-athiests who say that ID is pseudoscience (again, see Miller), including clergy. Here's a nice quote from the Vatican's chief astronomer. Ladlergo 13:41, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
This is two days late, but I've been busy: Ed, have you been living on the Moon? •Jim62sch• 18:58, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

Not a concept

Could someone please explain why ID is not a concept? -- Kim van der Linde at venus 18:08, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

It's more a connotation issue, at least for me. The wording made it sound somewhat uncontroversial. --Nnp 18:12, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
No, please read the archives on this issue. We discussed this at great length and settled on concept as a compromise. FeloniousMonk 18:15, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
ID can be called a theory, a concept, or an idea. We can also say that it "makes an argument" just as we can say that "ID professes to be scientific" [14].
Whether it is a scientific theory of course is an enormous sticking point, and some writers think (with some justification, I'd say) that calling it a "theory" is halfway to endorsing it as a "Scientific theory" - so here at Wikipedia we avoid that term.
Idea is certainly safe. No one here has ever objected to that on POV-pushing grounds. It's a bit bland, though. --Uncle Ed 18:17, 30 May 2006 (UTC)


You asked, "Could someone please explain why ID is not a concept?"

I believe that it is correct to refer to intelligent design as a concept, "An abstract or general idea inferred or derived from specific instances" (Webster's Online Dictionary).

Intelligent design is the kind of concept that a supernaturalist would formulate after seeing various regularities in nature. In contrast, a naturalist would not infer from those regularities that the regularities have an intelligent cause. A naturalist would not postulate the existence of an intelligent designer/creator.

ID is a supernaturalistic concept. It is also a dogma. Bow Wow Wow. [Don't bite me again Monk or I am going to be perturbed!]

Scott G. Beach 20:05, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Scientific or religious

Dr. Roy Spencer wrote:

Twenty years ago, as a PhD scientist, I intensely studied the evolution versus intelligent design controversy for about two years. And finally, despite my previous acceptance of evolutionary theory as "fact," I came to the realization that intelligent design, as a theory of origins, is no more religious, and no less scientific, than evolutionism. In the scientific community, I am not alone. There are many fine books out there on the subject. Curiously, most of the books are written by scientists who lost faith in evolution as adults, after they learned how to apply the analytical tools they were taught in college.[15]

Perhaps we should mention Spencer's views in the article. --Uncle Ed 20:07, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Has he published any research on evolution? If not, why should we include him? I wouldn't consider him a notable figure outside of satellite-based research on climate change. Ladlergo 20:22, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
Not him, his views. Obviously, we'd have to pick a different source. Spencer's article was only a popular treatment. --Uncle Ed 20:40, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
This viewpoint is already covered sufficiently in the aritcle. He's just regurgitating the Discovery Institute line: "Many intelligent design followers believe that "Scientism" is itself a religion that promotes secularism and materialism in an attempt to erase theism from public life" It isn't surprising, since Spencer and the DI have been citing each other for some time now since a good number of DI fellows are also global warming skeptics like Spencer. FeloniousMonk 23:18, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Addressing the supernatural

The first sentence of the Wikipedia page about Intelligent Design reads, "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.'"

Intelligent design can be properly described as a concept. Intelligent design can be more precisely described as a supernaturalistic concept. If I inserted "supernaturalistic" into the description of intelligent design, would the proponents of intelligent design allow that insertion to stand? Or do the proponents want to suppress the simple fact that intelligent design is a supernaturalistic concept?

Will the proponents of intelligent design allow Wikipedia to accurately describe intelligent design? If not, why not?

Scott G. Beach 23:38, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Hrm. My automatic reaction is that they wouldn't allow it, because the design could be naturalistic (aliens, even if no members of the DI believe it). In my opinion, trying to add it is more trouble than it's worth. Ladlergo 13:10, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
It shouldn't be hard to find a quote from an ID proponent who acknowledges that ID has a supernaturalistic aspect. Isn't that part and parcel of the whole argument?
ID argues that the naturalistic explanation for the origin of life and changes that result in new species ("Macroevolution") is insufficient. Arguing from that premise, ID suggests nature shows signs of having been designed. Now, design implies a conscious designer.
Reaction to the proposal of a Designer tends to split immediately along the fault line of atheism vs. faith.
  • Strong atheism rules out God as a possibility
  • An utterly open-minded person (with no agenda!) might say, "The designer might be aliens (as in sci-fi shows like Star Trek), or it might be gods or the Judeo-Christian God
  • Someone who already believes in God would regard ID as an acceptable hypothesis - although this goes against the Methodological naturalism of Western science.
I think it would make a nice addition to the article, to address the supernatural in our Intelligent Design article. Assuming, of course, that the article isn't "done" yet. --Uncle Ed 13:31, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
"Address the supernatural"? Erm, how? It's not clear to me that anything useful can be said on the subject, and that anything that was said might just spark a flamewar. What do you have in mind? Cheers, --Plumbago 13:34, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
That's all very well and good, but ID doesn't neccessate supernaturalism, so the best we could say is that the most popular version of ID is supernaturalistic. Ladlergo 13:37, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
Plumbago, I don't think it would start a flame war. FeloniousMonk, for example, would not engage in such. (He and I disgree about "the wiki nature" and that's a side point, unlikely to spill over into discussion of a substantive matter.)
Ladlergo, perhaps ID is not so monolithic as our intro suggests. Are their variants which posit a supernatural aspect, such as for the identity of the designer? (like gods or God?) Are there also variants which leave open the question of what sort of designer there must have been?
Complicating the question of Who is the designer? is the fact that the best known advocates of ID apparently had a hidden agenda to promote belief in the Judeo-Christian God. That is, they seem to have been using the issue of evolution as a "wedge" to destroy Materialism - which goes way beyond the immediate question of Is evolution a good theory? - and which probably accounts for much of the (outraged?) opposition to the Intelligent Design movement. --Uncle Ed 13:44, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
Given that not all of ID is supernaturalistic, I would be loathe to put it in the opening. However, it is mentioned further down in the article. Ladlergo 13:52, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

if evolutionism is the standard for calling something science fact

then i think there shouldn't be any trouble pointing out that ID has at least that as much, if not more merit, then the gap filled "darwin"istic theology--F.O.E. 12:50, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for sharing. I like your "evilutionist" photo on your userpage, very "live and let live". I think we know where you're coming from. Cheers, --Plumbago 13:07, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the trolling. Please edit constructively in the future. (I thought we were allowed to edit talk pages to remove trolling/vandalism that was posted to start a flamewar. Is there policy on this somewhere?) Ladlergo 13:10, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

F.O.E., how is your comment related to the article? Do you have a suggestion for an addition or other improvement? Can you provide a source for the idea that ID's merit is comparable to "Darwinism"?

Who says that Darwin's theory has gaps? Are you referring to Punctuated equilibrium?

And who regards Darwinism or "scientism" as a "religion"? (Perhaps F.M. can help with that, he brought it up recently.) --Uncle Ed 13:16, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

Ed, it's posts like these that remind me that the exchanges with you are more about miscommunication than POV-pushing. I appreciate that you're trying to flesh out the article more, even if you've stepped on a bunch of toes. Ladlergo 13:27, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
Ed's participation here has brought disruption, not quality. This was a good, stable article until he decided to "fix" it. FeloniousMonk 16:55, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
Good and stable, yes, but it can always be better. I suggest that he's overly bold, rather than trolling. Ladlergo 17:00, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
Exactly. His history of being "bold" at creationism-related articles that got him into hot water in the past. I'd like to think that Ed has learned something from those experiences but it doesn't look like it. 17:05, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

Identity of the designer

I started to fix up the "Designer Identity" section, but it's more complex than I thought at first. I'd like to work in this quote from Dembski:

The who-designed-the-designer question invites a regress that is readily declined. The reason this regress can be declined is because such a regress arises whenever scientists introduce a novel theoretical entity. For instance, when Ludwig Boltzman introduced his kinetic theory of heat back in the late 1800s and invoked the motion of unobservable particles (what we now call atoms and molecules) to explain heat, one might just as well have argued that such unobservable particles do not explain anything because they themselves need to be explained.

What would be the best way of using this quote? --Uncle Ed 16:13, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

It is complex, and it's clear you have a poor understanding of the topic. It was also accurate and complete prior to your "fix." What's there to fix? I've restored the original, long-standing content. Please stop disrupting this article Ed. FeloniousMonk 16:53, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
That's no help. It's not complete because it leaves out the reason Dembski wants to dodge the who-designed-the-designer question. All we have now are reasons (from the anti-ID side) why the question shouldn't be dodged. --Uncle Ed 17:13, 31 May 2006 (UTC)


the authoritative description of intelligent design[1] explicitly states that the universe displays features of having been designed. Acknowledging the paradox

This bit of text seems to label as a "paradox" the idea that intelligent design is based on the argument that the universe displays features of having been designed. I think this is only a wording issue, sloppy grammar maybe. Can someone explain what the passage was trying to say, fix it, and then put it back? --Uncle Ed 18:01, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

Again, what exactly is it you object to? The project's goal is accurate, stable articles. Articles shouldn't be subjected to extensive rewrites for no good reason, particularly by those who are not well-read on the topic, Ed. So before you go making further misguided edits and we let them stand, tell us exactly why this particular needs editing, or to be "fixed" as you claim. FeloniousMonk 18:09, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

ID and religion

Peter S. Williams wrote:

ID is not premised on any religious claims; nor does it lead to a religious conclusion. ID is based upon scientific methodology combined with empirical evidence and leads to an inference of ‘intelligent design’ as the best explanation for certain facets of reality. [16]

This means there is a dispute between the two camps over whether ID is a form of Creationism. Creationism begins with premises like the following:

  • God exists
  • God created the physical universe
  • God created each new species of life

(Same goes for non-monotheistic faiths.)

Is there anyone who subscribes to the point of view that ID begins with one or more of these premises? If so, that person's point of view should definitely be in the article. Even if they are anti-ID, like the judge in the recent case.

But I also ask, is there anyone who insist that ID does not begin with any of these premises? I'd prefer a prominent ID supporter like Behe or Dembski, but all I could find easily was the reviewer I quoted above. --Uncle Ed 17:24, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

That's one quote. On the other hand, there are many examples (some of them mentioned in the article, last I checked) where ID-proponents have open stated the indentity of the designer. They tend to say different things to different audiences. The analysis in Kitzmiller of Pandas and People is also illustrative - in many places "creationism" was simply replaced with "intelligent design". If the proponents of ID are willing to substitute the word "creationism" with ID, then it's pretty clear that they are not saying that ID is different from creationism. If Dembski (iirc) is willing to state that the designer is God, at least to certain audiences, then its wrong to say that "supporters deny that ID is religious". Specific people in specific instances may say that. Behe has said that the designer doesn't have to be God, it could be aliens, but at the same time ID-proponents have rejected the Raelian view.
As for the last statement, that "God created each new species of life" - I think that there are many creationists (e.g., baraminologists) who do not believe that each species was created. There's a wide range of views within creationism - your third point is not a given at all. Guettarda 18:18, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

Peer Review

In this section it is stated: "[I]ntelligent design proponents have set up their own journals with "peer review" that consists entirely of intelligent design supporters which lack rigor." How do they know that the supporters lack rigor? Dan Watts 17:57, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

Having your buddies review your work is not a form of critical, neutral scrutiny, and not how PR works. FeloniousMonk 18:05, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
Would it not be how PR works if your peers were your buddies? I can understand that in some sad situations some individual's peers might not find the individual likeable. Dan Watts 20:51, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
Actually my question concerned whether the which in "which lack rigor" is related to supporters or (perhaps) "peer review". Dan Watts 20:48, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

Mass reverts

FM wrote in an edit summary:

rv. removal of accurate, long-standing content. Discuss your changes first, Ed. You need to start seeking consensus for your edits & accepting it when there is none

This sounds like a claim that everyone must get your permission first, before making efforts, or you will personally revert each contributor's edits to your chosen version. I see nothing on this talk page indicating an agreement to give you this authority.

I would you prefer you discuss edits you disgree with, rather than doing mass reverts. Mine is not the only work you are discarding. --Uncle Ed 18:11, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

Yes, you are right. In so doing I also revert the work of others fixing your edits, which are neither accurate nor improvements over the orignal, long-standing content. Which I'll add you have yet to explain why it needs "fixing" in the first place. Discuss your changes first, Ed. You need to start seeking consensus for your edits & accepting it when there is none. FeloniousMonk 18:23, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
In case it isn't yet clear, FM isn't the only one reverting your edits. You've been reverted by something like 6 or 7 editors in the past two days alone. And as far as I can tell, nobody except you has ever reverted back to restore your edits. It seems fairly clear that you're the one with the "rogue viewpoint" here. This is in no way a bad thing, but it does mean that you're the one who should justify his edits, and engage in consensus-building. Just my two cents, anyway. --Ashenai 18:24, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
It's clear enough: you and FM both are doing this in concert, as I wrote further below. Kind of a tag-team 3RR violation, isn't it? --Uncle Ed 18:50, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
Ed, come on there's no conspiracy here - just a lot of people who see this in a different manner than do you. Guettarda 18:53, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
Please read WP:3RR; you'll note that it specifically does not apply to groups. So unless you're accusing me of being FM's sock, that dog won't hunt. Sorry :) --Ashenai 18:55, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
Well, one way to look at it is that there is a name for a conspiracy by a majority of users to keep things a certain way: that's called consensus, or sometimes democracy. =) --Ramdrake 18:57, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
Feel free to add my to the 'tag-team' if you like. I'm only sorry that two editors had to spend so much time fixing the problem and were diverted from more useful tasks. Ed, have you now read the archival material on this subject? --Davril2020 21:39, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

Certain Features: Intelligent Design Decoded

Intelligent design is an assertion about "certain features of the universe and of living things". Those "certain features" are never specified. This lack of specificity is intended to conceal the fact that intelligent design is about the entire universe, including all "living things."

"Certain features" includes electrons, protons, neutrons, atoms, stars, planets, galaxies, me and you. The designers of intelligent design do not want to admit this simple fact but it is true and they will not deny it!

The designers of intelligent design want to spark a debate that will, like a silly dog, chase its own tail around and around and around... They thereby create an endless whirlpool that sucks in weak-minded people who can be easily reprogrammed to believe whatever brand of supernaturalistic mumbo-jumbo the designers of intelligent design have to offer.

I challenge the designers of intelligent design to specify the "certain features" that their so-called theory is about. By their silence, they will expose themselves as shameless propagandists.

Scott G. Beach 18:16, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

Scott, talk pages are not forums for discussing the subject of the article. If you wish to debate IDists, I suggest you find a proper message board. Ladlergo 18:27, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

Ladlergo, et al:

The New Mexico Division of the Intelligent Design Network defines intelligent design as "a scientific theory of cosmological and biological origins." See

I have therefore concluded that "certain features" means the entire cosmos.

I believe that the New Mexico definition is highly significant and should be added to the Wikipedia page on ID.

Scott G. Beach 23:03, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

Scott, please read the actual article to see what's already mentioned and why ID is not considered scientific. Ladlergo 01:07, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

Discuss edits before making them

Ed, would you please post all potential edits on the talk page? Even if you believe there are grammatical problems within the article, please discuss them here first. The consensus is to leave the page as-is; if you want to change anything, you'll have to get other people to agree. Ladlergo 18:26, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

I thought this was a wiki. I didn't realize that Wikipedia had changed its policy about "anyone can edit any page, any time". Please provide me a list of pages having a "consensus" that all potential edits must be discussed before being made. --Uncle Ed 18:32, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
The following is from WP:BOLD:
If you expect or see a disagreement with your version of the article, and you want to change or delete anything substantial in the text, it's a good idea to list your objections one by one in the talk page, reasonably quoting the disputed phrases, explaining your reasoning and providing solid references.
Then, wait for responses for at least a day: people edit Wikipedia in their spare time and may not respond immediately. If no one objects, proceed, but always move large deletions to the Talk page and list your objections to the text so that other people will understand your changes and will be able to follow the history of the page. Also be sure to leave a descriptive edit summary detailing your change and reasoning
We'd like you to follow this process, please. --Ashenai 18:35, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
If you expect or see a disagreement with your version of the article
Key phrase here. Ladlergo 18:38, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
I think this applies to FeloniousMonk and Ashenai's recent reversions. And I wish they would list their objections one by one, instead of reverting everything.
I make many types of edits, large and small. I'm always willing to discuss them. Usually I'm the first to start a discussion. However, on this page I've been met with what I can only call a stubborn refusal to discuss.
Between FM and Ashenai there were 5 reversions in the last 24 hours alone to something they keep calling a "consensus" version. Is there a Wikipedia:Conensus version policy page I can go to, learn more about this, or is it plot to subvert ordinary wiki collaboration? (an unsigned comment by Ed Poor)
Keep trying to spin it, Ed, someone may buy it. Anyone who looks at the article's history will see you are the cause of the disruption here; something you have a long history of, sadly. There wouldn't be any reversions at all were it not for you trying to force your controversial changes into the article despite there being no consensus for them. This article was stable until you arrived. FeloniousMonk 19:09, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
Might I suggest that you argue about edits rather than about editing. If you have issue with Ed's edits, simply lay them out here, instead of leaving angry edit summaries. Not only would this put you on better moral ground, it would allow constructive dialog about the issue to occur that might lead to a resolution, rather than a pointless revert war. Graft 19:23, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
Ed has shown himself here to be utterly resistant to reason and more than willing to be disruptive. Given his long history of disrupting creationism-related articles and unwillingness to act thougtfully and reasonably both on the article and the talk page, I see little prospect of resoltion other then how Ed's past disruptions resolved. FeloniousMonk 20:17, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
Ah, you're right. An edit war makes much more sense. As does insisting that every edit made to the article by Ed is violating some mysterious consensus. Never mind me. After all, it's not like I have any experience editing alongside Ed Poor. Graft 20:21, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
Well, considering the sheer number of contributors here reverting Ed, who insists on having his way, I'd call the edit warring a bit one-sided. But, your point is taken; an RFC is a better response: Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Ed Poor (2). FeloniousMonk 22:27, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

Interesting related article

Niall Shanks is a recently created fact-filled, NPOV masterpiece about an ID critic cited in this article. Guess who wrote it? FeloniousMonk 19:18, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

What? Are you stalking me now? It's a stub. And it's no more one-sided than the current ID article. It contains two criticisms. To balance it, why not add some praise? Or some personal details about the author? Or a summary of the author's views? This is a wiki, you don't need "consensus" from me or Hateless to edit the article! --Uncle Ed 19:22, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

Small world. Al 19:20, 31 May 2006 (UTC)


For anyone who has become frustrated with Ed Poor's edit warring and giving fruitless responses to Ed Poor's tendentious participation on this page, there's: Wikipedia:Requests_for_comment/Ed_Poor_(2) FeloniousMonk 20:45, 31 May 2006 (UTC)


I've protected the article per a request at WP:RfPP to prevent edit-warring. Please work out your differences and reach a compromise; once all parties agree to refrain from edit-warring, the article will be unprotected. Note that my protecting the article on a certain version is not an endorsement of the version; it's just protected on whatever version it was at when I got here. AmiDaniel (talk) 21:30, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

To clarify, I filled it, because this edit war has to stop, and not continue tomorrow. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 21:35, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
I think the sudden appearance of an obvious sockpuppet to reinsert Ed's pet content minutes before the article was protected is particularly telling: [17]
Is it a proven sockputtet of Ed? Or does this need a sockpuppet report? -- Kim van der Linde at venus 22:27, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

Given these two edits [18] [19] immediately on top of each other, given the rest of LenW's contribs, and given the convenient timing of his only edit to the article, I have no problem accepting that this is a sockpuppet of Ed Poor and would also have no problem blocking it to prevent future abuse. I remember seeing Ed Poor's name come across ANI quite a bit, but I can't recall the specifics of what happened--has he been known for using abusive sockpuppets? AmiDaniel (talk) 22:41, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

I checkec other edits of LenW, and they do not seem to follow similar patterns, but do show some interest in this topic. So, I would say inconclusive at this point. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 22:55, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
Feel free to request CheckUser, but I'd be genuinely surprised if Ed would stoop to that. Guettarda 22:57, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
Okay, that works for me then. It seems to be quite a remarkable coincidence, but if you don't believe that to be Ed's nature, then I'll just assume it was a coincidence--some new user who wandered upon the revert war and ageed with Ed. If anyone else wants to request a CheckUser, go right ahead, but I'm not going to block without one. AmiDaniel (talk) 23:03, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
Filed. I agree, insufficient evidence alone, to strong to let go unchecked. I actually would prefer to know this for sure, as LenW might otherwise be linked to Ed regardless. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 23:17, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
Regardless of whether it's a sockpuppet or a meatpuppet neither is acceptable. Just the single edit restoring the content Ed was edit warring over is suspicious enough to raise concerns that LenW is walking in Ed's footsteps. FeloniousMonk 23:41, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

Since with the exception of Ed and his remarkable coincidental assistant Len, we all agree that the mention of neocreationism does not belong in the opening sentence (spoon-feeds the readers, etc.) let's go ahead and remove it. FeloniousMonk 22:12, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

FM - I'm writing to make it known that it is not correct that "all agree" the "neo-creationist" reference should be removed except Ed and Len. I think mention of neo-creationism is both correct and appropriate. Note that in fact as of the time I'm writing this the Wikipedia entry Neo-Creationism states, "The most recognized forms of neo-creationism in the United States are intelligent design and abrupt appearance theory." There's also the evidence brought up in the Kitzmiller trial demonstrating that intelligent design is very much a significant part of neo-creationist strategies that are distinguishable from other forms of creationism. (Greeneto 00:49, 6 June 2006 (UTC))
Since we've had a problem with apparent puppetry here I was addressing those editors who have been long-term contributors to this article for this point; I'll acknowledge your opinion on the matter but this is your first comment and contribution to this topic. The point of neocreationism is dealt with elsewhere in the article and the intro is not the place for various good reasons, discussed in the archives, but not least of which is spoon-feeding the readers and balance/NPOV. FeloniousMonk 01:03, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
Agreed, the intro is entirely the wrong place for the neocreationism point: we have striven to create an NPOV intro, and including the neocreationist point would likely destroy the balance we have achieved (I sometimes wonder if that isn't the point of the request for its inclusion). In fact, I would suggest that we look into reverting LenW's addition of the faulty statement prior to unprotection. To leave it stand while the page is protected does a disservice to our readers. •Jim62sch• 08:50, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
Jesus, have you even heard of Wikipedia:Assume good faith? Graft 14:09, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
Hardly that surprising. Controversial topic, frequently edited. People still do look at Special:Recentchanges, you know. Graft 23:21, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
Anyway, I at least have promised to refrain from edit warring. [20] If others promise, too, Ami can lift the page protection. --Uncle Ed 13:25, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

Argh. Sorry, this demands a longer rant. I've worked on Wikipedia for several years now, and the whole time I have, Ed Poor has been there. I have never gotten along with Ed Poor; we're simply too different politically, and too attached to our own opinions, I think, to coincide on many issues. So we've had nothing but disagreements. And Ed is often a contentious editor, frequently making edits that I find absurd or out of place. Despite that, I continue to review his edits and engage him in discussion. Why? Because this is fucking Wikipedia, and that's what people do here. This is not an academic community, it's the Internet; but this is an academic project, and it should at least pretend to have a collegiate atmosphere. Which means you show decorum and respect for your fellow editors, whether you like them or not. This doesn't mean you have to agree with them, or support their changes, or even refrain from completely trashing their work; it just means you acknowledge the fact that they ARE editors, just like you, and they're here to do the same thing you are, build an excellent encyclopedia. This is not what I see from editors on this page. Graft 14:19, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

Well I agree on the showing respect to other editors, as an example, one, say Ed, could read the archived Talk Pages and read the former discussions on the issue at hand. If then, and only them, the aforementioned user finds an unconvinced argument or is of the opinion that the change he has in mind will better address the issue and at the same time improve the quality of the article. Them he should state it here in a maner sufficiently dense for others to fully understand the principle of the change. Next he would wait for comments by former or new editors of the page that either will agree or challenge its opinion. Next up will be to discuss is the suggested change will improve the intro to such a high level that it will warrant changing it although this topic is very sensitive and could fire up edit wars for months. If the presented case then builds enough consensus from the editors the change will be made and everything will be sweet as peach. THAT is what I call respect to other users and especially to the work done by those users in this page, which by the way has been monumental. Note: this of course applies to the intro section and in topics as highly controversials as this one. No every edits should go to such a lengthy process.--LexCorp 14:59, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
Well, Ed has gotten better than he's given here. If, when Ed came to this article he showed that he respected the work of the many who have contributed to this article by being well-versed on the subject matter, and failing that at least reading the archives and had not edit warred over his personal notions all of which he would have seen having been discussed and resolved in the archives, I don't think we'd be having this discussion. All had to do was read the {{controversial}} template here and a Please Read This statement at the top of this page to get a clue on how to behave here without violating WP:POINT. Again, this was a stable Good Article until his arrival. FeloniousMonk 16:39, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
I hate to be giving lessons in decorum, here, but telling someone to "read the archives" does not constitute an acceptable reply to their request for clarification, which Ed clearly made and which all of you failed to respond to in anything approaching a reasonable manner. And I will also point out that this article IS a "Good Article", and not a featured article or better - thus, it could stand to improve, and so should not be immune from editing. Finally, consensus on Wikipedia should exist because the article can successfully resist tests to it, not merely because of inertia. Graft 18:34, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
So we should rehash every single objection each and every time it is raised? Sorry, but no. Particularly so when the objections are by tendentious partisans. Why bother having an archive? The one here is even indexed. Also, reasonable editors make themselves familar with a topic before wading in forcing unilateral changes. FeloniousMonk 19:29, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
Balls. I'm just saying you should explain yourself when you make essentially undefended reversions like this[21], which I can see NO good reason for, other than you acting as a gatekeeper and not liking Ed Poor. When you're doing things like that, you start to lose a little of your veneer of credibility. Graft 20:48, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
Well not a very good example as that rv edit did change the emphasis from a philosophical argument (religious really) to the correct one of a question of logic, which really does not need to concern itself with the nature of the designer. That way using logic as the argument shows clearly the issue that ID is logically inconsistent. Which, by the way, is a beatiful example of how a minimal edit change made by a very intelligent person can distort or muddle the issue at hand. --LexCorp 00:55, 2 June 2006 (UTC) Addendum: Looking at it more closely I will define Ed's edit as not so subtle. FeloniousMonk does makes a justification in the edit summary for the rv (as lengthy as Ed's justufication for his change)so really to expect FeloniousMonk to explain at lenght why he reverts a obvious "change of issue" edit (thus meaning or intent) is in my opinion unfair. Instead the burden of justification should be on Ed's part because his edit could really be well meaning, but after a series of minor edits that happen to muddle the issues instead of clarifying them just makes one suspicius.--LexCorp 01:38, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
Seems to me Graft needs to read the friggin archives too. •Jim62sch• 19:19, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

My 0.02 eurocents on unprotect. Well, I think there are sufficient admin's around to make unanimous changes, and minor changes in spelling and grammar. What I think is needed is dialog and discussion about what needs to be changed based on sources, not by edit warring (which is not exactly the same as revert warring as far as I am concerned). So, I propose that the issues are first solved in full at this talk page, in the spirit of Wikipedia by seeking consensus. It is a stable article, so I think a few days more till the discussion has been resolved shouldn't be a problem. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 14:37, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

Shouldn't it be either my 2 eurocents or my 0.02 euros but not my 0.02 eurocents which will make quite a small change indeed.--LexCorp 15:07, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
Yes, inflation I would guess... :-)-- Kim van der Linde at venus 15:09, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

Is the last sentence in the peer review section also a consensus? I find the which lacks rigor to be non-uniquely modifying the peer review process, or the people who do the reviews. What was intended? Dan Watts 14:53, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

Good point. Such a statement would need a source, and amounts to spoonfeeding the reader an opinion. I don't think it should be there (but I am open to other arguments). Guettarda 15:45, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
In as much as that no established scientific journal has yet published an intelligent design article is a verifiable fact, that part of the statement is correct as is. As is that ID proponents have set up their own peer reviewed journals that consist entirely of fellow ID supporters; again, a verifiable fact. As for those journals lacking rigor, Barbara Forrest has made this claim, as has Eugenie Scott, Wesley Elsberry and Ed Brayton. That particular point should be presented as an attribution since it as a matter of subjective, if professional opinion. FeloniousMonk 16:48, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

Proposal to Amend Introduction

Fellow Editors:

I propose that the first paragraph of the Intelligent Design page be amended to read as follows:

Intelligent design is "a scientific theory of cosmological and biological origins" ( According to the Intelligent Design Network, "The theory of intelligent design (ID) holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause rather than an undirected process such as natural selection. ID is thus a scientific disagreement with the core claim of evolutionary theory that the apparent design of living systems is an illusion" (

This revision would resolve my previously stated and very strong objection to having a definition of ID that contains the value judgment "best." My proposed revision attributes "best" to the Intelligent Design Network, so it is obvious that "best" is their opinion of the merits of ID.

Thank you for considering my proposal.

Sincerely, Scott G. Beach 23:57, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

Scott, The first part of the second sentence ("ID is thus a scientific disagreement...") is simply not accurate. It was established during the Kitzmiller trial that ID is not scientific in nature.

Later LenW 04:39, 01 June 2006 (UTC)

Len, I agree that the "scientific disagreement" part is not accurate. However, it is an accurate statement of the position of the Intelligent Design Network, and a hyperlink to their web site is provided.
I like the recent insertion about ID being a "neo-creationist concept." That is accurate and it assigns responsibility for the value judgment "best", which is part of that definition of ID. I can live with that. Scott G. Beach 05:41, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

Intelligent design also isn't "a scientific theory of cosmological and biological origins". It's creationism in a new frock. --Cyde↔Weys 13:15, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

Got an idea. Leave the intro as it is and add as many opinions and wrong statements as you like from supportes of ID in a subsection on "views of ID by supporters". In my opinion it will be quite detrimental to the article as a whole to include such a section but at least it will be factual. Something that the above is not.--LexCorp 14:36, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

The book "Why Intelligent Design Fails"

I saw "Why Intelligent Design Fails: A Scientific Critique of the New Creationism" at a book store. The movie "Unlocking the Mysteries of Life" states the intelligent design movement's claims such as a mouse trap is irreducible. This book basically goes step by step and disscusses each claim. I think it is important, because the ID movement bases their claims on complexity. Timothy Clemans 02:57, 1 June 2006 (UTC)


Ed Poor has posted a request for unprotection at WP:RfPP. I noted that this has been suggested here already and that there seemed to be some opposition to the idea, and after reading some of the discussions going on here, it would seem the discussion is just beginning. I think the article still needs a couple more days of protection, but if anyone feels enough time has passed, please let me know or comment on the request for unprotection. Thanks. AmiDaniel (talk) 20:43, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

My opinion is it should not be unprotected until Ed Poor responds to Guettarda's suggestions at his RFC. The fact that Ed is pushing for unprotection while abjuring discussion both here and there is ominous. I for one would like to see an acknowledgment and commitment from Ed to the points and suggestions that Guettarda has raised. FeloniousMonk 20:51, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
I had to go look up what "abjuring" means. I guess you're using it in the sense of "avoiding"? Ironic, since I make changes, try to discuss them, and am met with either stony silence or rigid demands that I gain consent before making even the most trivial of changes. Even a grammar tweak!
Your alarming comment, about how "ominous" it was that I didn't respond to a suggestion that you yourself only endorsed 90 minutes ago, is over the top. I can't edit ID, and I can't take a break from it and work on templates for U.S. holidays? Gimme a break.
You tell me what parts of Guettarda's suggestion you agree with, and I will be happy to discuss those with you. Or does your endorsement signature mean you agree with his entire suggestion? --Uncle Ed 21:07, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
In responding to AmiDaniel: Unprotection after an edit war is normally done when the source of the edit war has been resolved. I do not have the idea that is currently the case with this article. For that reason, I suggest to keep it protected for a few more days till the issues are resolved. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 21:13, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
My feelings exactly. I'm going to leave it protected for at least three more days, and we can see where you all are at then. Good luck resolving the dispute! AmiDaniel (talk) 22:06, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

No need, if the only reason you protected the article was me. I am promising to limit myself to one revert per week, in effect putting myself on voluntary "revert parole". Everyone here trusts me to keep my word on this, right? Or are there other people besides me who were the cause of the edit war? --Uncle Ed 16:47, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

Ed, you are the sole reason the page is protected. At one point you noted that you were "only here to help the ID article get clarity and balance", which struck me as an odd statement from the beginning. I was quite unaware that the article lacked either quality; in fact we'd gone through so much to get the article stabilized that both of those issues seemed to all involved in the process to have been resolved moons ago. Then I realized, based on your previous history on other articles, that what you really wanted was to disrupt the article with mindless, unsupported and unsupportable, and diaphanously evanescent edits and commentary lacking in any substantive value or balance, and that were most certainly the antithesis of clarity.
What you have offered to the article is a constant stream of effluvium and detritus that so overwhelmed the cloacae that the spigots had to be closed while the sewage system was repaired in order to handle your rather voluminous spewage.
Thus, rather than revert patrol, what about agreeing to discuss all edits on the page and limiting yourself to those edits supported by consensus. In that way, all reverts (at least where you are concerned) can be avoided. •Jim62sch• 19:45, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

peer review?

I see

To date, the intelligent design movement has yet to have an article published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

But then I see a big discussion of controversy following. Shouldn't we strike this simplistic statement? Or at least revise it to indicate an impending discussion of controversy? As of now, if all I read is the first paragraph, I get the impression that there's no controversy at all. Staecker 17:45, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

Part of the problem with the public controversy over ID is determining the extent of the dispute. Is it only between ID proponents and that tiny minority of working scientists who bother to rebut ID's claims of being "scientific"? Anti-ID folks say "there is no controversy" within scientific circles over ID, while an intense (and unpopular?) campagin called Teach the controversy is trying to "wedge" the idea into the public consciousness that "there is a controversy" within scientific circles. --Uncle Ed 17:55, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
You're conflating the controversy over ID v. evolution with controversy over the DI's claim of there being peer reviewed ID articles in the mainstream scientific press. Also, I'd hardly call the National Academies of Science (2500 members/staff), the AAAS (120,000 members) or the the coalition of Australian scientists (70,000 members) and the thousands of members of the 70 other scientific professional organizations who have issued statements rejecting ID as actual science a "tiny minority." FeloniousMonk 18:07, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
No, the statement is accurate. It's a verfiable fact (for which there's no shortage of evidence) that there are no pro-ID peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals. The only controversy is that created by the Discovery Institute's list, which you first posted here before deleting it.
Discovery Institute claims there are peer reviewed ID articles. But the DI's list has been long debunked: [22] It's also easily verifiable by searching the relevant scientific pub DBs. Further, if you read the Kitzmiller trial transcripts, Behe, one of ID's top proponents stated under testimony that ""there are no peer reviewed articles by anyone advocating for intelligent design supported by pertinent experiments or calculations which provide detailed rigorous accounts of how intelligent design of any biological system occurred."[23], a fact noted in the judge's ruling and the article here. Based on Behe's testimony alone the DI's claim is discredited and supports the "To date, the intelligent design movement has yet to have an article published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal." sentence . FeloniousMonk 17:58, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
Edit conflict (i.e., I'm not ignoring you):
Part of the problem with the public controversy over ID is determining the extent of the dispute. Is it only between ID proponents and that tiny minority of working scientists who bother to rebut ID's claims of being "scientific"? Anti-ID folks say "there is no controversy" within scientific circles over ID, while an intense (and unpopular?) campagin called Teach the controversy is trying to "wedge" the idea into the public consciousness that "there is a controversy" within scientific circles.
An essential aspect of the question, Is there a scientific controversy?, is whether "real" scientific journals have published an pro-ID papers. If the Anti-ID side can say no to this, perhaps they feel this helps to proof that "there is no scientific controversy", which ought to counteract the effects of the "Teach the controversy" campaign.
Joshua and FM, what do you think about this? --Uncle Ed 18:00, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
Thanks to Monk and Ed for your quick comments. To Ed, I certainly am not espousing the "teach the controversy" viewpoint. I am just objecting to the single statement that I copied above, about peer-review. A few paragraphs later I see a sentence beginning with, The only article published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal that made a case for intelligent design was quickly withdrawn by the publisher... which at the very least establishes that the quoted sentence above is technically incorrect. At least one such article was published. Sure, with dubious circumstances and much controversy, but it was published.
Monk did some poking and found I was temporarily hoodwinked by the DI page (which I shamefully admit), but after reading the article here I see that it is sufficiently debunked. I still think that that sentence in that first paragraph is a bit misleading. Behe's statement that Monk referenced is much more specific- he essentially says that there are no good peer-reviewed published articles. This is what our opening paragraph should say. Staecker 18:15, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

In response to Staecker: This whole section, frankly, gives far too much credence to the idea of ID proponents' participation in anything remotely resembling a "scientific peer review" process. All the literature to date has been in the realm of speculation of the kind normally done by philosophers, including critical literature reviews intended to allow further speculation about ID. It would, therefore, be far more correct to say in a brief paragraph or two that "peer review" does not mean publishing another article saying why you agree or disagree with someone else's research and experimental findings, and what your speculations are. What peer review is is a method of evaluating methods of measurement, discussing statistical reliability, choices of variables, and discussing the researchers' conclusions directly related to the research, etc. In the case of ID, the intended inference is one or more spiritual entities. How is one supposed to scientifically peer review an inference of a spiritual entity? this is called philosophy or theology or religion, among other terms, but it is not science! This is in large part why the scientific community as a whole has gotten so riled about some of the assertions of ID proponents, because there is nothing to peer review (except a spiritual principle or entity) yet ID proponents scream "BIAS". "DISCRIMINATION!!". The whole approach insults the long hard work of the vast majority of serious scientists and attempts to draw on the hard-won accumulated credibility of science in describing God's natural world in greater and greater detail, instead attempting to definitively prove the existence of God. Thankfully, after many many centuries of previous mistakes in this vein (or should I say "vain", ID being the profound hubris it is), scientists as a whole have come to know better than to think they have finally found the proof.... Kenosis 18:12, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

If ID is going further than asserting that Evolution is unproved, that is, if ID is going so far as to argue that (1) Evolution is unproved and (2) therefore God must exist - then, well, it smacks of Creationism to me!
ID can't claim merely to be scientific (out of one side of its mouth) while consciously aiming to make a religious argument. Are they doing this? If they are, who says so? Let's nail this point down, so that when the article is un-protected we'll be ready to put that in. --Uncle Ed 18:21, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
Ed, you and I know that you're not that clueless here on the topic, so stop wasting your time and ours with questions you already know the answer to. Have you bothered to read the article? If that's not clear enough for you, try Dembski: "Intelligent design is just the Logos theology of John's Gospel restated in the idiom of information theory," [24] ""... intelligent design should be understood as the evidence that God has placed in nature to show that the physical world is the product of intelligence and not simply the result of mindless material forces. This evidence is available to all apart from the special revelation of God in salvation history as recounted in Scripture. ... To be sure, creationists who support intelligent design think it does not go far enough in elucidating the Christian understanding of creation. And they are right! ... Even so, there is an immediate payoff to intelligent design: it destroys the atheistic legacy of Darwinian evolution. Intelligent design makes it impossible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist. This gives intelligent design incredible traction as a tool for apologetics, opening up the God-question to individuals who think that science has buried God" [25] vs. ""Proponents of intelligent design regard it as a scientific research program that investigates the effects of intelligent causes. Note that intelligent design studies the effects of intelligent causes and not intelligent causes per se." Dembski, in Signs of Intelligence. There are similar conflicting statements from Johnson, Well, Meyers, etc. Do we really need to go over this again for your benefit? FeloniousMonk 18:50, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

This is excellent stuff. All should be in the ID or Intelligent Design movement articles. Either one, although perhaps a brief summary in one can use the {{main}} template to refer to the other.

I don't think you can read my mind, and I'm sure I can't read yours, but it seems like your laboring under the apprehension that I was as familiar with Dembski's writings as you are. Not only do *I* know less than you about Dembski, but the average reader probably knows even less about Dembski, et al. than I do.

I am here for one reason only: to improve the ID article, so that the general reader can understand what it is, why its proponents are promoting it, and why its opponents are against it. If you are here for the same reason, then what's the problem? Let's unlock the article and get back to work. We have a lot to put in, and you've just written most of it in your 18:50 comment immediately above. --Uncle Ed 19:11, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

Whether we indeed "have a lot to put in" is a matter of opinion. You still have not provided any justification for any changes to the article.
Reread the comments at your ongoing user-conduct RFC. The problem is that you've been at this article and others disrupting them by insisting on misinformed and misguided changes to articles on whose topics you have little or no knowledge according to the consensus at your RFC. I've suggested you'd be better signing on to and following Guettarda's suggestions there, but so far you've apparently dismissed most everything that's been said there. Doing so leaves unresolved the disruption you've created here. FeloniousMonk 19:19, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
Ed, are you feigning ignorance or is it real? Please, the article does a very good job explaining all of the things you raise pseudorhetorical and non-rhetorical questions about. Maybe you should reread the article, read the archives, and read some of the source material (amazingly, in this postmodern world in which we live, a good bit of it is available on-line) before assuming that the rest of us have nothing to do but to pander to your disruptive fatuity. •Jim62sch• 19:54, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

Dispute over peer review

To avoid more edit conflicts, I'm starting a new section.

I think we need to balance the claims by D.I. that the ID movement has published pro-ID articles in real science journals vs. the counter-clam that this is sheer bunk.

The Discovery Institute claims that there were six (oh my gosh, that many?!) "Articles Supportive of Intelligent Design Published in Peer-Reviewed Scientific Journals" [26].

If pro-ID people are making a false claim, then letting readers see the contrast between their bald-faced lie and the unvarnished truth would put another nail in their coffin. So even if someone here was pushing the anti-ID point of view, I would think they would welcome such a juxtaposition. --Uncle Ed 18:07, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps the problem here is a distinction between two types of articles:

  • those which are supportive of ID
  • those which are supported by pertinent experiments or calculations which provide detailed rigorous accounts of how intelligent design of any biological system occurred

It would seem the dispute is over whether ID provides "detailed rigorous accounts". Apparently Behe says not, which would seem to indicate no dispute there.

That still leaves the more general question of whether any pro-ID article have appeared in scientific journals. --Uncle Ed 18:16, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

Easily done. Anyone with an internet connection can verify the claims of the Discovery Institute. A search for "Intelligent Design" on PubMed yields 46 results--none of which were published by anyone from the Discovery Institute. There are a few articles about the political controversy about teaching it in public schools, and some papers about constructing databases of proteins in a smart way. But nothing that actually uses intelligent design to reveal something new about nature. Sciencedirect offers the same picture.
Here's another search: "Discovery Institute" and "Seattle" (where the institute is located). One result comes up: a paper by Jonathan Wells proposing that animal cells have turbine-like structures inside them. It describes no experiments, only a hypothesis.
PubMed has a very nice feature that lets you get a rough gauge of how influential a paper has been. If you select "Cited in PMD" from the display option list, you get a list of papers in PudMed that have cited the paper you're looking at. The 2001 paper revealing the rough draft of the human genome has already been cited 777 times in the past four years.
Try it on Dembski, Behe and Wells papers. Total citations? Zero.
As for the Discovery Institute's list of peer-review literature. The first item on the rather short list is a paper that has been retracted by the journal that published it, which stated that "contrary to typical editorial practices, the paper was published without review by an associate editor." Their statement also added that "there is no credible scientific evidence supporting ID as a testable hypothesis to explain the origin of organic diversity." [27] Between the evidence shown here, the debunking of the DI's claims here [28], and the fact that Behe has testified under oath in the Kitzmiller trial that there is no peer reviewed ID articles, it's safe to say there aren't any. FeloniousMonk 18:19, 2 June 2006 (UTC)FeloniousMonk 18:19, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
Okay, one down, five to go. I'm glad you have Biosys to check these. --Uncle Ed 18:22, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
I think you're confused, Ed, they're all down. The PubMed and sciencedirect searches anyone can do here shows there are no peer reviewed ID articles in mainstream scientific journals, period. The one article you're claiming that we're down now was already down, see Sternberg peer review controversy, something I'd expect you to know if you think you're going to be challenging well-supported content here. FeloniousMonk 18:31, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
So Ed wants the others here to do his research for him? He finds bogus claims made by the DI and he wants other editors here to verify those claims for him? Is that how this works? Is there something wrong with Ed's research or critical thinking skills that prevents him from doing this himself? No need to even search the internet, these bogus DI claims Ed is promoting are covered in the Discovery Institute article. Is there something from preventing Ed from reading that article himself or should we copy and paste it to the talk page here for him? I am up for that if it will help. Mr Christopher 18:55, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
Exactly. It's call tendentious argument, and it's a point raised in his ongoing user-conduct RFC. He's not helping his case here. FeloniousMonk 19:05, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
Looks like this all turned into something much more flamey than I expected. But I started it, so I'll try to bring it back to the article: my original gripe is with the claim that
To date, the intelligent design movement has yet to have an article published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.
It seems we've shifted to a discussion of the relevance or quality of ID publications, rather than their existence. For example: I tried PubMed and Sciencedirect, and was able to find the Wells paper that Monk found (PMID 15889341). It's published in Rivista di biologia, apparently an Italian biology journal in publication since 1919, which seems to be refereed (see "Instructions for authors" at rivista's homepage). Wouldn't this article, then, be an example of "an article published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal"? Wells is most certainly a member of "the ID community". Granted the article has not been referenced, and Behe's quotation implies that it's not properly scientific, but all that is qualitative commentary- it seems factual that it is published.
Sorry if I'm missing something here. I'm not trying to be difficult- just trying to understand. I'm not trying to get us to admit that the ID community has great articles. I'm just being pedantic about the claim that articles from the ID community don't exist. It seems to me that they do. Staecker 19:16, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
If you'd take a look at the link I provided earlier, you'll see that Rivista di biologia is a pro-ID journal and so falls under the category of "peer reviewed journals that consist of intelligent design supporters: "Wells (2005) was published in Rivista di Biologia, a journal which caters to papers which are speculative and controversial to the point of crackpottery (J. M. Lynch 2005). Its editor, Giuseppe Sermonti, is a Darwin denier sympathetic to the Discovery Institute."[29]
Behe's testimony is explicit. He said: "there are no peer reviewed articles by anyone advocating for intelligent design supported by pertinent experiments or calculations which provide detailed rigorous accounts of how intelligent design of any biological system occurred."[30] It's not "qualitative commentary"; it's a direct statement of fact. FeloniousMonk 19:30, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
But it doesn't say "no peer reviewed articles". It says "no peer reviewed articles by ... supported by ... etc". These are different statements. (I know it's a picky point- I'm not arguing the substance of your comments.) Staecker 19:58, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
Rivista is a fringe-science journal, has no real credibility, and it isn't ISI-indexed. So no, it doesn't count as peer-reviewed science, not in any real sense. Guettarda 19:34, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
Interestingly, Rivista is edited by Giuseppe Sermonti, whose book Why is a Fly Not A Horse? is published by, guess who... The Discovery Institute. [31] The DI's blurb states that "[t]he fallacious character of the current neo-Darwinian dogmatisim is clearly demonstrated" in Sermonti’s work. Sound familiar? FeloniousMonk 20:20, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
Not to mention that Wells's hypothesis it published (that centrioles drive the chromosome separation) is hardly a vindication of ID. FeloniousMonk 19:43, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
OK, but remember I'm just reacting to the "no peer reviewed articles from the ID community" claim. Not articles that claim to vindicate ID, but from the community.
I'm prepared to concede, but here's my last word: I guess I as a nonscientist would like to see more qualification on the statement. When the article says "scientific journal," what it apparently means is "reputable scientific journal." Could you say "ISI-indexed" journal, or some other fairly objective measure of credibility? I just think the statement as written invites criticism- you assume the reader knows that (e.g.) Rivista "doesn't count."
By the way, the link you (Monk) gave is helpful- sorry if you mentioned it before and I missed it, or if it was in the article. The point of view there seems to be that the base of ID peer-reviewed literature is very small, and in various specific instances "doesn't count". That's different from saying that there is none. Staecker 19:58, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
The article's second sentence correctly states "To date, the intelligent design movement has yet to have an article published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal." (looking at the scientific journal article the passage links to, you'll see that the issue of what constitutes an actual "scientific journal" is dealt with there) The subsequent paragraphs are devoted to outlining the controversy coming from the DI's claiming that there are ID articles published in scientific journals. Read in it's entirety, the section is clear, accurate and complete. The only problem appears to be the ID proponents or those who've only heard that side of the issue often stop reading it after the second sentence. FeloniousMonk 20:11, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps you mean "mainstream" or "credible" scientific journal, not "peer-reviewed". Discussion above shows that the ID movement had an article published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

The objection is not no article published but no "good" articles. Say it that way, instead of making claims that the lay reader will scoff at. --Uncle Ed 20:16, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

Sure, if you want to define peer review as having fellow partisans and cronies review your work, go ahead. But that's not how peer review is defined. FeloniousMonk 20:23, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
(Edit conflict w/that damnged Guettarda) ::Sorry Ed, nice try, but no. If we say that Swedish artist Ulf Snertleson has had no paintings hung in any major art gallery and someone shows up claiming he has a Snertleson exhibit in his garage cum museum should we change the statement? •Jim62sch• 20:31, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
Exactly. You guys are using "peer reviewed journal" as code for major, reputable publisher of valuable scientific knowledge. Snertleson can claim to be a real artist if he can get a painting hung in the Louvre or at least the Met, just as a band can say they've made it if they play Madison Square Garden (compare garage band). Good metaphor, Jim! --Uncle Ed 20:40, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
Not as code. Jargon maybe, not code. Anyway, it's linked, so people can click through and read the peer review article which, iirc, explains the process decently. Guettarda 20:45, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
[Edit conflict, again] No, "peer reviewed" is accurate. If you keep the reviews in-house, or you only send them to people who share your point of view, it isn't peer-reviewed science. Some publications which do their review in-house are credible - Forest Service reports, for example, are reviewed in-house, by credible, published scientists. Nonetheless, they are still considered "grey literature", not true peer-reviewed science, despite being both mainstream and credible, because the review is done in-house, not by a full cross-section of the community, not anonymously, etc. If you limit your pool of reviewers to a small cross-section of like-minded people, and fail to publish when the papers are not reviewed by that same small pool, chances are the work isn't being reviewed by your peers. If, like Rivista, you primarily publish people on the fringe, who aren't published elsewhere, the issue probably isn't the quality of your publications, but rather the quality of your review process. Thus - not peer-reviewed science. Guettarda 20:28, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

I just can't understand the fixation by ID supporters on attacking and changing well established terms just to further their cause. Say we agree and redefine "no peer review journal" into "peer reviewed journal" and the former "peer reviewed journal" with "peer reviewed journal mark 2". The only change here is language but not meaning. The issue will remain the same mainly that the ID papers are worthless to science. The only advantage to ID supporters will be the temporal confusion and muddliness arising from the fact that there must be an intermediate period of time for everyone catching up to the new definition. All boils down to another tiresom and futile tactic by IDers to get the upper hand not by reason and truth (in the sense of factual) but by deception and confusion.--LexCorp 23:00, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

Well folks, it's been a long day and I never thought that my comment about peer review would erupt into a discussion about the great "fixations" of ID supporters. I assure you that I am not an ID supporter (though I hope you would respond with civility if I was), and this is not a "tactic" (although it may be futile). Can't a guy make a reasonable comment without you all getting so defensive? If peer review is being used as distinguished from what Guettarda calls "grey literature", then can't we just say that? I assure you that the distinction is not made very clear in the peer review article. Can't we just say something like:
To date, the intelligent design movement has yet to have an article published in a mainstream peer-reviewed scientific journal.
(I added "mainstream".) Or something like:
To date, the intelligent design movement has yet to have an article published in an academic journal with rigorous and objective standards of scientific peer review.
Or some other such change? (these are just what I can come up with off the top of my head.) This is the type of earth-shattering change I'd like to see. Fine by me if consensus is against, but I think it clarifies what we're talking about. Just remember before you respond: This is not an agenda. I don't have a cause. Staecker 01:12, 3 June 2006 (UTC)
But that is the problem. You asume that the general perception of what "peer review" means is skew towards your undertanding of it (the point that is a not well defined term). When in fact it is a well defined process of science and the practice of science. By redefining it with a more detail version you are implying some sort of controversy over the term, when in fact there is none. Which brings us to the Dover statement that evolution is JUST a theory. Clearly a true statement but also an attack to evolution and more worrying to the concept of "Theory" (a theory is the highest form of knowledge in science). The discusion we are having here has at its root the same principle. Eroding terms because they do not fit your expectations and redefining them in such a way as to provide leverage into the issue at hand (namely how worthy the ID papers are). It is wrong, it muddles the issue instead of clarifying it (ironic as your stated intend is to facilitate understanding) and if done or pursued once you understand what I just explained above makes it a deceptive action. As for cooling down. It is not my wish to attack anyone. I am just calling things as I see them.--LexCorp 10:59, 3 June 2006 (UTC)
Addendum: Lets examine why I use the term fixation while refering to how creationist use this "change of meaning" tactic (I refer to this with this term because that is my prerogative, if you don't like it don't use it). In the past and present creationist have tried or do in fact use the following:
  • Replace or equate "Science" with the neoligism "Creation Science" so as to present their opinions within the umbrella of rigor that is inerent to Science.
  • "Theory of Evolution" as a term that refers both to the theory of evolution and to the origin of life. Origin of life of course is not covered in Evolution.
  • The very term "Theory" via stickers or read statements in education. See the Dover case.
  • It is an objective of the ID movement to change the definition of Science to include no naturalistic explanations. They do not hide this fact. If they win this one then we will be under the ridiculos situation of having a Naturalistic Science and a Science. Again change of meaning but not of reality or facts. It is sad to witness the futility of this tactic.
  • And now the term "Peer review" is just too narrow for them because it can't be applyed to their ID paper. So why go back to basics and produce a paper of quality and value to pass the peer review process when it is easier to change "Peer review".
these are but a few of what I call "change of meaning" tactics and I believe that I am justified in using the term fixation. --LexCorp 12:56, 3 June 2006 (UTC)
Yes, you are justified.•Jim62sch• 13:19, 3 June 2006 (UTC)
But you are not justified in assuming that my comments on the article are motivated by the types of things cited above. If calling things as you see them means saying that I'm trying to further my own cause using deception and confusion, then you are not assuming good faith. Good faith means intentionally refraining from calling things as you see them, and recognizing (and publicly suppressing) your own propensity to "see them" in a negative light. If you read my posts, you'll see clearly that I'm not discussing "how worthy the ID papers are", and I'm not trying to redefine peer review. I personally know what peer review is- I'm an academic (though not exactly a scientist). I'm not trying to skew anything towards my understanding- just clarity, as you rightly identified.
Trying to redefine generally accepted terms is bad bad bad, as you point out in the case of theory. Someone can read the WP article on theory to clear up any misconception that they might have. But our article at peer review does not clearly address the issues that we've discussed here. A layperson could read the whole article, and still have the opinion that (e.g.) Rivista is peer reviewed. The p-r article says that most peer review is done anonymously, by people who aren't friends, who don't work together, etc. It doesn't say that these things are neccesary- but that's what is being claimed in this discussion. I would like to see that material added, either as a qualification on the statement here, or as commentary in the peer review article. I'm not trying to deceive you or anyone else. Staecker 13:17, 3 June 2006 (UTC)
Sorry if I came across as attacking you personally or implying that you acted not in good faith. The problem is that by doing what you suggest in all good faith produces exactly the intended result of the "change of meaning" tactic. I also think that the wikipedia peer review article is not up to the standard of this one. But it is my opinion that wikipedia articles should be independent from one another. That someone who follows a link from here to Peer Review leaves his consultation in a confused state does reflect badly on the Peer Review article not in this one. We shouldn't try to correct the issue here but in the Peer Review article. If we do try to correct the deficiency here we will only serve to redefine or narrow terms that don't need to. So in esence I think we agree that there is no need to change the wording here and that there is much needed improvement on the PR cticle.--LexCorp 13:51, 3 June 2006 (UTC)
Great- thanks for the good vibes. I am prepared to agree that we can leave the sentence here as it is, but I'd like to link on the text "peer review". Maybe I'll post some sort of condensation of this discussion over at Talk:Peer review- check it out in 15 minutes or so to make sure I get it right. Staecker 13:57, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

I agree the question raised by Staecker was not only in good faith, but extremely reasonable. Would I be safe in concluding that the original question about peer review above reflected some potential confusion in the Peer Review section because of the extreme deference the section gives to ID advocates' severe stretching of the idea of scientific peer review to fit their speculative literature and articles into the category of "peer review"? For instance, at the outset of the section, the current language uses the words "...have weighed against intelligent design being considered valid science." While these words are true and verifiable, perhaps they may give the mistaken impression there is an actual weighing test involved here, when in fact there is not. The problem, as articulated elsewhere in the article, is that there is nothing to peer review except a spiritual entity, a "ghost" if you will, which is the intended inference of ID speculations. ...Kenosis 17:22, 3 June 2006 (UTC)... As Tezh put it so perceptively some time ago:

"...the whole of ID seems to be an exercise in giving different aspects of their movement's ignorance technical-sounding names. Misunderstand the mechanisms of evolution? Invoke information theory. Can't believe that certain structures improved step-wise? Irreducible complexity. Don't have any well-defined entities, haven't made any observations or measurements, don't have [any] charts, graphs, experiments, discoveries? It's Supernaturalism!"
"The section implies that ID has been actively excluded. The real problem is that they have barged in, pounded their fists on the table screaming "What I say is science!" when that is all they'll say. And the problem is so obvious, that it's hard to find a cite for this POV. No one's going to write an article or publish research saying that a non-argument is not scientific. What is not scientific? There are no studies of the variation of cancer incidence against the incidence of designed features in a population. There is no paper comparing the frequency of intelligent intervention by geography or geological time. It's as sinister as that. This is why the Kitzmiller vs Dover trial ("Won't someone think of the children?!") has been so useful; it supplies the article with reams of expert testimony of stating these obvious facts (from both sides)."

As I indicated above, I believe the section is far too deferential to ID proponents' erroneous views about the nature of scientific peer review. But I also think the current content and language is sufficient that a reader who chooses to read the whole section will get the basic idea without the article getting excessively hostile to the uniquely sneaky combination of pseudoscience, theology/religion/philosophy, and public political advocacy that ID has become in the US today... Kenosis 17:21, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

Very well said, Kenosis. And both Staeker and Lex are correct that it is the peer-review article that needs the attention, not this one.
However, the invocation of AGF is always tricky, and was likely unnecessary here. To me, AGF is not an absolute means of squelching disagreement, and Lex is correct in saying that he can call them as he sees them. Absent such an exhange Wiki will become the like the current White House -- insular and hostile to criticism. While I'm sure that this is a peaceful way to run an organisation, it is not conducive to growth. Additionally, I did not read Lex's comments at being directed to any one specific person, but rather as a cri de coeur lamenting the tactic of using ever-shifting definitions employed by IDists. Thus, it seems to me that Staeker, in invoking AGF, actually violated its principles by assuming that Lex had impugned his credibility or had assigned motives. As I said, AGF is tricky. •Jim62sch• 20:33, 3 June 2006 (UTC)
Well read jim. It is not my intention to attack anybody in particular. I just want to point out that these well meaning changes while in the surface seem to be a good idea, because they help people to quickly get a grip with the issues, if fact are a terrible mistake that in the long run only serve to further the ID cause (and particularly it is mostly employed by disingenous IDers). Most of edit conflicts in this article, that do not fall into lack of supporting source or reference, boil down to this issue. People not familiar with the subject should really read the archived talk pages or generally read about ID-creationism development so they can quickly spot such edits. I fully understand that it is a very counter intuitive problem. You try to help by clarifying or better defining something and the end result is that the very thing you wanted clearer is in fact less strait forward. So read carefully every edit and always look actively for this "change of meaning" tactic. --LexCorp 22:44, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

Part of the problem we are having here is that some contributors make the following argument:

  1. If a paper fails peer review, it must be unsound and for this reason unworthy of mention
  2. All ID papers have failed peer review (at the "real" or "serious" journals anyway, the ones that really count)
  3. Therefore all ID papers are unsound and deserve no attention

However, this is either Original Research or simply incorrect.

"Publication of a paper only means that, in the view of the referees who green-light it, it is interesting and not obviously false. In other words, all of the results in these journals are tentative,” Nicholas Wade, a science reporter for The New York Times

Acconding to Wade's definition, the argument would change significantly:

  1. If a paper fails peer review, it must be unsound *or* not interesting.
  2. All ID papers have failed peer review
  3. Therefore, each ID paper is EITHER unsound OR (sound but not interesting).

I suggest therefore that we add to the article the arguments made by anti-ID writers (outside of wp). Can we find a source who argues that failing peer review indication unsoundness? If so, we can put that POV alongside that of the NY Times, which says in contrast that failing peer review is NOT a sure indication of unsoundness because it could be merely an indication that the publisher regards it as uninteresting. --Uncle Ed 22:12, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

Ed, you are so out of the loop here that it's not funny. As for Wade, his definition is, to say the least, wrong (it's appearance in the NYT notwithstanding: the NYT is, after all, just a newpaper -- albeit a very good one, -- but it is not the source of all knowledge). It is not that a paper is "uninteresting" the precludes publication , it is that it breaks no new ground or that offers no expansion of scientific knowledge. If you feel that this is the case for the ID articles, then admit that ID is merely creationism, not science, and thus is a vacuous waste of everyone's time. •Jim62sch• 23:53, 3 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Note the circularity: Critics of ID have long argued that the theory was unscientific because it had not been put forward in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Now that it has, they argue that it shouldn't have been because it's unscientific. [32]

So which is it? Do ID opponents say that because ID is unscientific, it should be banned from journals? Or that because ID can't get into journals, that's how we know it's unscientific? (See circular argument and then pick one, please.) --Uncle Ed 22:22, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

Klinghoffer has painted a picture about what happened that's far different from what actually occurred. There's basically nothing correct about characterizations from that source. Please try again. --ScienceApologist 22:35, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

That is an ad hominem argument. How about addressing any of the points I just made? --Uncle Ed 22:39, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

Sorry Ed, it's not an ad hom. Try again. •Jim62sch•
How about actually doing some good research rather than relying on politcal opinion pieces and google searches for your information on how science works? --ScienceApologist 22:42, 3 June 2006 (UTC)
Methinks that might be too hard. (Ed, that's an ad hom). •Jim62sch• 23:56, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

Ed did you ever read even the article? There is a whole subsection on what is science and having a paper published on a peer reviewed journal is not a criteria of science. It may be one for the USA judicial system but not to science.--LexCorp 22:50, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

Then why was there discussion above about this point? --Uncle Ed 23:02, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

Also, Ed, please read the archives. There are two bits listed above about this very subject that answer your questions. --ScienceApologist 22:51, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

You guys seem to be intentionally cutting off all discussion of any idea which you don't agree with, using either:
  1. personal attacks
  2. the excuse that it's in the archives or in the article
I'm beginning to get the impression that you refuse to entertain any idea which does not fit your preferred POV, i.e., that ID is incorrect, unscientific and should not be taught in schools.
I would hope rather that you would want to help create an article which is a balance of the anti-ID and pro-ID sides. NPOV policy requires that article describe all major sides of a controversy. I daresay the pro-ID side of the intelligent design controversy bears mention in the Intelligent design article. --Uncle Ed 23:02, 3 June 2006 (UTC)
Ed, would you like us to do all of your research for you and then write an "ID for Eds" book? To paraphrase FM, you are an editor who lives to make tendentious edits and to sow discord under the guise of a friendly old uncle who is just trying to help. Please, everyone saw through your charade a while back. •Jim62sch• 00:00, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

The pseudologic displayed above in the 1,2,3 points made above by Ed Poor do not accurately describe any actual problem with the existing article. The problem, as mentioned, is that ID advocates are asking the scientific community to make equivalent idiots of themselves by taking the bait and "peer reviewing" inferences of a ghost or spirit (however intelligent such a ghost or spirit might be speculated to be). The scientific community as a whole refuses to take the bait, and it is becoming increasingly obvious that the editors of the intelligent design article should perhaps not continue taking this kind of bait either...Kenosis 23:06, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

Ed you confuse everything and you know it. ID is not science because it does not meet the criteria. There is not controversy as to the unscientific status of ID within the scientific community beacuse there isn't a single peer review article about ID. The theory of evolution is not in crisis because there are things it does not explain. And on and on and on and on and on everything is covered on the archives do not ignore them. You are killing us of boredom. It is very tiresom. It is not funny. It is wrong. And ultimately it is quite unrelevant.--LexCorp 23:12, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

Peer Reviewed ID Publications

Dembski on Peer Reviewed Publications: To address the issue of ID peer reviewed literature, propose stating the following: William Dembski prepared an exper report [ The Scientific Status of Intelligent Design March 29, 2005, Appendix 3 p 28] for the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial, (but was not called to present it.) Dembski listed ten peer-reviewed publications supporting Intelligent Design.

Dembski further referred to "widely recognized peer-reviewed literature in physics and cosmology that supports intelligent design—see, for instance, the work of Fred Hoyle, Paul Davies, and Guillermo Gonzalez.58"

Then list as references the publications Dembski lists below:

"What follows is a list of ten peer-reviewed publications that support intelligent design in biology written by proponents of intelligent design. Note, in particular, the two articles by Douglas Axe, which describe experiments in molecular biology and thus present “scientific data” that support intelligent design. Note, in addition, that there is a widely recognized peer-reviewed literature in physics and cosmology that supports intelligent design—see, for instance, the work of Fred Hoyle, Paul Davies, and Guillermo Gonzalez.58

  • W.A. Dembski, The Design Inference: Eliminating Chance through Small Probabilities (Cambridge: Cambridge University Pres, 1998).

This book was published by Cambridge University Press and peer-reviewed as part of a distinguished monograph series, Cambridge Studies in Probability, Induction, and Decision Theory. The editorial board of that series includes members of the National Academy of Sciences as well as one Nobel laureate, John Harsanyi, who shared the prize in 1994 with John Nash, the protagonist in the film A Beautiful Mind. Commenting on the ideas in The Design Inference, well-known physicist and science writer Paul Davies remarks: “Dembski’s attempt to quantify design, or provide mathematical criteria for design, is extremely useful. I’m concerned that the suspicion of a hidden agenda is going to prevent that sort of work from receiving the recognition it deserves.” Quoted in L. Witham, By Design (San Francisco: Encounter Books, 2003), p. 149. For more about the peer-review of this book, see Appendices 6 and 7.

  • D.D. Axe, “Extreme Functional Sensitivity to Conservative Amino Acid Changes on Enzyme Exteriors,” Journal of Molecular Biology, 301(3) (2000): 585–595.
  • D.D. Axe, “Estimating the Prevalence of Protein Sequences Adopting Functional Enzyme Folds,” Journal of Molecular Biology, 341(5) (2004):1295–1315.

These two articles by Douglas Axe show that certain enzymes are extremely sensitive to perturbation. Perturbation in this case does not simply diminish existing function or alter function, but removes all possibility of biological function (in this case, any biologically useful catalytic activity). This implies that neo-Darwinian theory has no purchase on these systems—these systems are unevolvable by Darwinian means. Moreover, the probabilities implicit in such extreme-functional-sensitivity analyses are precisely those needed for a design inference. 29

  • S.C. Meyer, “The Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic

Categories,” Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 117(2) (2004): 213–239. This article explicitly argues for intelligent design in the origination of the Cambrian fauna. It created an international firestorm within the scientific community when it was published. See the Wall Street Journal article in Appendix 8 as well as the following website by the editor who oversaw the article’s peer-review process:

  • M.J. Behe and D.W. Snoke, “Simulating Evolution by Gene Duplication of Protein Features That Require Multiple Amino Acid Residues,” Protein Science, 13 (2004): 2651–2664.

Behe and Snoke show in this article how difficult it is for unguided evolutionary processes to take existing proteins structures and add novel proteins whose interface compatibility is such that they could combine functionally with the original proteins. By demonstrating inherent limitations to unguided evolutionary processes, this work gives indirect scientific support to intelligent design.

  • W.-E. Loennig & H. Saedler, “Chromosome Rearrangements and Transposable

Elements,” Annual Review of Genetics, 36 (2002): 389–410. This article examines the role of transposons in the abrupt origin of new species and the possibility of a partly predetermined generation of biodiversity and new species. The authors’ approach in non-Darwinian, and they cite favorably the work of Michael Behe and William Dembski.

  • D.K.Y. Chiu & T.H. Lui, “Integrated Use of Multiple Interdependent Patterns for Biomolecular Sequence Analysis,” International Journal of Fuzzy Systems, 4(3)(September 2002): 766–775.

The opening paragraph of this article reads: “Detection of complex specified information is introduced to infer unknown underlying causes for observed patterns [10]. By complex information, it refers to information obtained from observed pattern or patterns that are highly improbable by random chance alone. We evaluate here the complex pattern corresponding to multiple observations of statistical interdependency such that they all deviate significantly from the prior or null hypothesis [8]. Such multiple interdependent patterns when consistently observed can be a powerful indication of common underlying causes. That is, detection of significant multiple interdependent patterns in a consistent way can lead to the discovery of possible new or hidden knowledge.” Reference number [10] here is to The Design Inference.

  • M.J. Denton & J.C. Marshall, “The Laws of Form Revisited,” Nature, 410 (22 March 2001): 417; M.J. Denton, J.C. Marshall & M. Legge, (2002) “The Protein Folds as Platonic Forms: New Support for the pre-Darwinian Conception of Evolution by Natural Law,” Journal of Theoretical Biology 219 (2002): 325–342. This research is thoroughly non-Darwinian and teleological. It looks to laws of form embedded in nature to bring about biological structures. The intelligent design research program is broad, and design like this that’s programmed into nature falls within its ambit."

58According to Fred Hoyle, one of the great theoretical astronomers of the twentieth century, “A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.” Quoted from Fred Hoyle, “The Universe: Past and Present Reflections,” Annual Reviews of Astronomy and Astrophysics 20 (1982): 16. See also P. C. W. Davies, “Emergent Biological Principles and the Computational Properties of the Universe,” Complexity 10(2) (2004): 11–15 as well as Guillermo Gonzalez, Donald Brownlee, and Peter Ward, “The Galactic Habitable Zone: Galactic Chemical Evolution,” Icarus 152(1) (July 1, 2001): 185-200. The full design-theoretic implications of the latter article can be found in Gonzalez and Richards, The Privileged Planet."

See also: Expert Rebuttal: 2.4 ID's Contribution to Science DLH 03:53, 4 June 2006 (UTC) DLH 04:09, 4 June 2006 (UTC) PS I included the Dembski's annotations here for readers's discussion, not for the article. DLH 04:16, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

  • Well, you can start by discarding the Meyers article, since it did not pass peer review and was repudiated by the journal. Dembski's book is a red herring - it's probability, not science, and it isn't publiched in a journal pub, but a book (which is held to a very different standard than a journal article. Naming the editorial board of the series is another red herring, since unless there is some evidence that they were directly involved in reviewing the book (generally not the case). Guettarda 04:56, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
  • I can't see how the Axe papers can be taken as "support" for ID. To begin with, the comment that "[t]his implies that neo-Darwinian theory has no purchase on these systems—these systems are unevolvable by Darwinian means" doesn't match my reading of the papers. In addition, they come back to the same fallacy that pervades ID - that if not "neo-Darwinism" then ID. Which is ridiculous. Guettarda 05:33, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Behe & Snoke - to begin with, they use an non-selectionist model, so they aren't really looking at evolution per se. In addition, Behe himself has explicitly stated that the paper can not be seen as evidence for ID. Guettarda 05:36, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
  • W.-E. Loennig & H. Saedler - well, it's a paper about transposible elements. Saying they "cite favorably the work of Michael Behe and William Dembski" is rather a stretch
However, if all the proof that is still lacking to substantiate her view on the origin of species were available, would that also give us the mode of origin of the higher systematic categories and types of life referred to by Schindewolf? To be more specific: If so, to what extent can any of the TE-incited rearrangements contribute to the origin of novel genes and new gene reaction chains as well as the genesis of irreducibly complex structures? All three of these may be especially relevant for the origin of higher systematic categories (3, 4, 5, 33, 69, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 121, 122, 130). (Behe is ref 5 and Dembski is ref 33)
It's pretty far-fetched to characterise this as "cit[ing] favorably the work of Michael Behe and William Dembski". But the assertion that "[t]he authors’ approach in non-Darwinian" is silly. It's "non-Darwinian" in that it is non-gradualist, but beyond that you might as well cite Gould as supporting ID. Guettarda 05:55, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
It's obviously a waste of time to go on (and I don't seem to have online access to the Fuzzy Systems paper). It's all pretty far-fetched, if not a total flight of fantasy. Guettarda 05:58, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

Dembski's literature reviews, "expert witness" counterarguments, and his own conclusions were not written under oath, unfortunately. Behe's testimony in Kitzmiller v. Dover, which was under oath a mere six months ago, admitted that "there are no peer reviewed articles by anyone advocating for intelligent design supported by pertinent experiments or calculations..." As to Dembski's "probability" estimates, this is already synopsized in the existing article on Intelligent design, along with critics' observations and appropriate links to other articles such as teleological argument. Comes down to the same thing as discussed several times in detail in Talk, which is that there is nothing to peer review, because the intended inference of the "research" is the existence of one or more spiritual entities. That makes for extremely interesting discussion and perhaps excellent religious, theological, or philosophical arguments. But it is not science...Kenosis 05:52, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

Note that Dembski "was not called to present it" because the Discovery Institute fell out with the Thomas More Law Center and withdrew three Discovery Institute fellows as defense experts prior to their depositions. FTE later made an "unavailing and disingenuous" late attempt to join the trial, vaguely hinting that they would reintroduce the three, but were refused. See Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District#Background. By the way, Behe's testimony still needs to be summarised there..dave souza, talk 08:01, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
This too, is asininity at it's finest, "...widely recognized peer-reviewed literature in physics and cosmology that supports intelligent design..." As an avid student of cosmology and physics, I've yet to run across one quote that supported ID. If one wishes to misquote Einstein's, "God does not play dice with the universe" (as has been done), one needs to be aware that Einstein was referring to a God of Order, of Math, of Logic, not a God of Mystery and Miracles. In fact, he was, if memory serves, directly referring to quantum mechanics, specifically a portion of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.
As for Fred Hoyle, Paul Davies, and Guillermo Gonzalez, only Hoyle was ever really seen as important albeit at odds with cosmologists as a group, and he was really a proponent of the Anthropic principle more than anything else. If Dembski wishes to see this as support of ID, he is free to, but it's a bit of a stretch to say that Hoyle's papers directly supported ID. In addition, to imply (subtly of course), as Dembski and others have, that the beliefs of Hoyle pervade cosmology or physics is asinine. Anyone who has ever read any papers by the leading cosmologists of our time, Witten, Weinberg, Hawking, Green, Greene, Kaku, etc., knows that the concept of ID is not at all supported: in fact, several more recent books and papers by these leading cosmologists have raised and then torpedoed ID's arguments.
In any case, ID is still being sold by the yapping terriers of ignorance as the only alternative to evolution, and has not strayed from biology, except, perhaps in the invocation of the absurd FTU. Should IDists decide to take physics and cosmology straight on, they'll quickly find that they've bitten off far more than they can chew, and that's OK with me. I'd love to see a debate between Dembski and Witten, or Behe and Hawking -- Dembski and Behe will spend the next ten years looking for a way out of the black hole they dove into. •Jim62sch• 09:41, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
Albert Einstein's statement "God does not play dice" was made in reference to the uncertainty principle in quantum mechanics in 1926 at the time Heisenberg was first proposing the principle. Later experiments would show that Heisenberg was quite correct and that Einstein was incorrect here. It's an interesting twist... Kenosis 15:32, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

Apparently DLH has never read [33]; Dembki's list[34] merely repeats the Discovery Institute's long debunked list[35] yet one more time. The Discovery Institute list seems to pop up in various forms about every 3-4 months or so here, whenever someone is duped by its sweeping claims and decides to correct this article without first reading it and noting it already mentions the DI's list and why it's not accurate. As a sidebar it's also worth noting that 1) Dembski's list never made it into testimony in Kitzmiller, as he withdrew from the trial, 2) it is completely contradicted by Behe's testimony that "there are no peer reviewed articles by anyone advocating for intelligent design supported by pertinent experiments or calculations which provide detailed rigorous accounts of how intelligent design of any biological system occurred"[36], 3) and the judge's ruling in Kitzmiller states specifically that ID has failed to produce papers in peer-reviewed journals. [37] FeloniousMonk 17:25, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

FolniousMonk I have read your link. Need to take its POV with a grain of salt. I think you misread Behe in citing him. Behe does not say there are no ID peer reviewed articles, just none detailing "how intelligent design... occurred." Behe makes even stronger statements like this about evolution. He reflects the condition of origin theories. E.g., Since "Natural Selection" depends on having something to "select", please show me an article showing the detailed evolution of the first cell by abiogenesis. DLH 03:44, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

Well, as responsible editors we should take all sources "with a grain of salt." It's just when it comes to the Discovery Institute and the claims of its fellows, evidence and experience have shown time and again that a bucket of salt that's required. Any claims of the institute that contradict statements from the mainstream scientific community must be approached very circumspectly since the institute, as the driving force behind the ID movement, certainly has a dog in the race and a lot to gain is seeing such claims become widely accepted. I see no reason why Wikipedia should help them. Also, each of their claims will be always viewed in the light of their strategy outlined in the Wedge document.
Regarding Behe, his actual testimony is unquivocal and it's much worse than you realize or would have us believe:[38] Not only does he say there are no peer review ID articles (Q.: And, in fact, there are no peer reviewed articles by anyone advocating for intelligent design supported by pertinent experiments or calculations which provide detailed rigorous accounts of how intelligent design of any biological system occurred, is that correct? A.: That is correct, yes.[39]), he even recounts how he tried to arrange to have his book DBB "peer reviewed" by cronies and that in the end it was not peer reviewed at all in any meaningful sense of the term.[40].
The essential fact remains that the Discovery Institute's list can be verified by anyone with an internet connection: A search for "intelligent design" on the scientific database PubMed yields 46 results, of which none are scientific arguments for ID but 26 are about the movement and the ID/evolution conflict (compared to 154296 scientific articles returned when searching for "evolution" on PubMed). The same searches on the scientific database Sciencedirect offers the same picture: 91375 articles on "evolution" and 6 articles on "intelligent design" again, all about the movement. That there are no pro-ID peer reviewed scientific articles in the mainstream scientific journals as evidenced by complete the absence of relevant results in the two primary scientific database search engines is a fact that all the partisan lists in the world can't explain away, and the Discovery Institute fellows of this world are in deep denial. FeloniousMonk 04:45, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
As someone pointed out (on the Panda's Thumb I think) a while ago, a pubmed search for "horse feces" turns up more hits than for "intelligent design." Not really relevant, but does help emphasize the point. JoshuaZ 04:52, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

Fred Hoyles mathematical conclusions were that evolution could not have happened within the known history of earth, and thus advocated pamspermia. This is similar to Dembski's Universal complexity bound applied to Earth. If you can show the probability of Evolution being greater than the Universal Complexity Bound, there's a Nobel Prize awaiting you. Look forward to your analysis. DLH 03:44, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

PS Jim62sch Your comments of "asinine" are an argumentum ad personam attack and unworthy of serious editors. It raises serious questions about the validity of the rest of your comments besides violating Wiki Policy. See Wikipedia:No personal attacks. Please withdraw them. Lets keep this discussion civil. DLH 03:44, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
Agreed about keeping the discussion civil. ( Jim would you consider apologizing and striking the remark?) The discussion should also be factual and reflect the weight of the available evidence. To say that the opinions expressed above based on the Demski representations about "peer review" of ID are "completely wrong", "factually incorrect", etc. would be more accurate and non-judgmental of the person reporting the claims while remaining factual in our analysis of the issues relating to the ID article. DLH, the DI unfortunately has done this to a significant number of people, and every once in awhile a review of the previously conducted fact checks seems to be in order with regard to the background for the ID article...Kenosis 03:53, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
Jim, I now see that you were referring to Dembski's statement as "asinine", not DLH. Sorry...Kenosis 06:17, 7 June 2006 (UTC) ... Speaking of keeping the discussion factual, this should have been obvious on a plain reading of Jim's statement above ... Kenosis 06:19, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
Dembski prepared this list to submit as an "Expert Witness" under oath. It is thus probably the most defensible list of papers around and will probably be submitted in the future under oath.

{Changed "submitted again" to "submitted"DLH 04:08, 11 June 2006 (UTC)} So before dissing it, examine carefully the legal definition of "peer review" and the see if you are prepared under oath to say under cross examination that they were not "peer reviewed". (Appearing as an Expert Witness is a very high responsibility as well as high risk. Perjury could easily destroy your career.) E.g., examine closely the peer review process of Cambridge press for its monographs. Then consider if you can justify the categorization "completely wrong" with your career at stake. I doubt it! (I know the work it takes to arrange reviews or review even a conference paper and can imagine the work to prepare a monograph). See Dembski's rebuttal to Scott 2003:

"To see this, it is enough to note that The Design Inference was published by Cambridge University Press as part of a Cambridge monograph series: Cambridge Studies in Probability, Induction, and Decision Theory. Scott doesn’t point this out in her letter of September 30, 2003 because if she had, her claim that my book was editorially reviewed but not peer-reviewed would have instantly collapsed. Academic monograph series, like the Cambridge series that published my book, have an academic review board that is structured and functions identically to the review boards of academic journals. At the time of my book’s publication, the review board for Cambridge Studies in Probability, Induction, and Decision Theory included members of the National Academy of Sciences as well as one Nobel laureate, John Harsanyi, who shared the prize in 1994 with John Nash, the protagonist in the film A Beautiful Mind. As it is, The Design Inference had to pass peer-review with three anonymous referees before Brian Skyrms, who heads the academic review board for this Cambridge series, would recommend it for publication to the Cambridge University Press editors in New York. Brian Skyrms is on the faculty of the University of California at Irvine as well as a member of the National Academic of Sciences. It is easy enough to confirm what I’m saying here by contacting him. Scott either got her facts wrong or never bothered to check them in the first place."

Can you list any monographs you have prepared and what the review process was?

Next consider Dembski's summary descriptions, and consider how you would provide a counter argument under oath before cross examination of what proponents vs opponents of ID would say from a scientific basis. From such an evaluation, I submit the following NPOV description:

"Following is a list of peer reviewed articles referred to by proponents as supporting ID, while critics dispute their applicability." Then list the articles with citation to source (without the discussion). DLH 02:34, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

PS Bringing up the Wedge Document is a red herring because there are even stronger statements by atheists stating that they support evolution because of its metaphysical consequences. Lets stick to objective editing. DLH 02:38, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

No, it's not a red herring, and your analogy is false. Intelligent design was created by those who created the Wedge Document. Intelligent design's main supporters are those responsible for the wedge document, and those who support them. Their support is essential for ID. Evolution is not the creation of atheists, and its most significant support group is scientists. That some atheists also endorse it is irrelevant for evolution's continued scientific acceptance . - Nunh-huh 02:47, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
Interesting that Dembski first attacks Scott on her distinction between editorial review and peer review, and then goes on to mislead by trying to imply that, because the review board included many prominent people, they have "approved" his ideas. As for the issue of perjury - it's all just speculation. One could conclude, as you did, that, because the list was prepared for the trial, it would have stood up under oath, or one could conclude that Dembski withdrew because he realised that giving the testimony would cause him to perjure himself, or one could conclude that this was not the testimony he would have given under oath, 'or one could conclude the he never actually intended to testify, or... Guettarda 03:03, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
DLH keeps harping on Dembski's expert testimony over and over. But what DLH fails to mention everytime is that Dembski never testified in Kitzmiller- he withdrew before the trial started - so his "expert testimony" was never considered. That means he was never cross-examined and his testimony was never considered by the Judge. Since Dembski's testimony is 1) completely contradicted by Behe's testimony under oath (which was heard and considered), and 2) the same tired old tired Discovery Institute list already mentioned in the article, it's safe to say that Dembski's list is but a footnote to the debate and warrants no mention here. Certainly not sort of privileged treatment DLH thinks it deserves. FeloniousMonk 03:32, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
Moreover, Dembski's "expert witness report" was withdrawn prior to deposition, that is, prior to the pre-trial process of merely being asked detailed questions about the report by the opposing attorneys. ... Kenosis 07:25, 10 June 2006 (UTC) Ultimately, Behe did WWJD under cross-examination in the trial...Kenosis 07:28, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
There's a rhetorical "shell game" going on here in regard to usage of the term "peer review." One side says, ID advocates don't have peer reviewed science research, and, through very careful and ultimately misleading use of wording ID advocates don't actually say that they do but at the same time pretend that they're addressing the same criticism when actually they're simply arguing that there is some peer reviewed science research that supports their ideas. (And if you don't believe me then you're not paying attention to the words they're using.) These are two different statements. (There's one exception to this, and that is the Stephen Meyer article, which is a special case, and which is further damaging to the claims of ID advocates.)
For example, Dembski's book is a philosophy book, not science research, yet it is presented - even using precise wording to do so ("peer-reviewed publications that support intelligent design in biology") - as if it is the same thing as a science research paper in biology, which it certainly isn't.
By being in the right place at the right time an ID editor got the Meyer paper (again, Meyer is a philosopher and theologian, not a research scientist, further demonstrating the misleading nature of the ID rhetoric) published in a journal whose board of editors later repudiated the paper, canned the editor (Richard Sternberg, whom many think is an ID advocate who holds his cards very, very close), and implemented stricter policies to help prevent such a thing from happening again - in other words, they certainly didn't consider the paper to be properly peer reviewed.

Statement From The Council Of The Biological Society Of Washington The paper by Stephen C. Meyer, "The origin of biological information and the higher taxonomic categories," in vol. 117, no. 2, pp. 213-239 of the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, was published at the discretion of the former editor, Richard v. Sternberg. Contrary to typical editorial practices, the paper was published without review by any associate editor; Sternberg handled the entire review process. The Council, which includes officers, elected councilors, and past presidents, and the associate editors would have deemed the paper inappropriate for the pages of the Proceedings because the subject matter represents such a significant departure from the nearly purely systematic content for which this journal has been known throughout its 122-year history. For the same reason, the journal will not publish a rebuttal to the thesis of the paper, the superiority of intelligent design (ID) over evolution as an explanation of the emergence of Cambrian body-plan diversity. The Council endorses a resolution on ID published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (, which observes that there is no credible scientific evidence supporting ID as a testable hypothesis to explain the origin of organic diversity. Accordingly, the Meyer paper does not meet the scientific standards of the Proceedings.

Some ID advocates have portrayed the repudiation of Meyer's paper as part of a kind of "evolutionist conspiracy" against intelligent design, but in fact many parts of Meyer's paper have been substantively dissected, showing dozens of specific reasons why in terms of biology and paleontology this would never have passed any proper peer review.
The Axe articles are legitimate peer reviewed science research articles, but they are not articles by an ID researcher nor are they about intelligent design. Certainly some ID advocates claim that the article supports their ideas, but that (1) does not mean it actually does support their ideas (see "Bill Dembski and the case of the unsupported assertion", 2/16/2005), (2) does not mean it is a peer reviewed science article about intelligent design, and (3) does not mean it is a peer reviewed science article by an ID advocate about intelligent design.
And so on in this vein. This is why I call it a rhetorical shell game. The whole time the Discovery Institute pretends to be addressing the specific thing at issue, they're actually addressing something else and misleading you to think they're addressing the issue with the related words and phrases they use, which is why I began by referring to it as a rhetorical shell game. (Greeneto 00:55, 11 June 2006 (UTC))
Kenosis, I am not a member of DI and don't speak for them. DLH 04:16, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
Jim, and Kenosis. It does not matter who the attack was addressed to.

Wiki policy requires: "Be civil to other users at all times." "No personal attacks. Don't write that user such and so is an idiot, or insult him/her (even if (s)he is an idiot). Instead, explain what they did wrong, why it is wrong, and how to fix it. If possible, fix it yourself (but see above)."

I repeat my request that you withdraw your attack to maintain a civil discussion here. DLH 04:08, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

FeloniusMonk from your perception that I am misscharacterizing Dembski's report, I have corrected my previous statement from "submitted again" to "submitted". I agree that this list was not submitted. I thought that was understood. BUT I hold that it was prepared to be submitted under oath and cross examination, and thus the author should be given the benefit of the doubt per wiki policy. I believe you missread Behe's statement. Please show where Behe repudiated each of these publications as not supporting ID or that they are not being referred to by proponents of ID as supporting ID. DLH 04:16, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

Richard Sternberg disputes your statement "canned the editor" Sternberg had already finished his editing and had asked for someone else to continue it.

My bad. The timing seems rather coincidental. (Greeneto 18:14, 18 June 2006 (UTC))

You appear to be denegrating Dembski and trying to detour the discussion with ad hominem attacks by stating: "For example, Dembski's book is a philosophy book, not science research." What credentials do you bring to state that a PhD in Probability theory is "Philosophy rather than science research"?

"The Design Inference" Dembski (1998) was published under the Cambridge University Press "Studies in Probability, Induction and Decision Theory" which I understand to deal with "Probability" not "Philosophy". With a minor in Math, I have had enough graduate level math courses to recognize that Dembski is working at a higher level of math that I struggle to understand. cf Ch 3, Probatility Theory. Ch 4, Complexity Theory. Ch 5 Specification. Ch 6, Small Probability. etc.

You appear to be accusing Cambridge University Press of not knowing what they are doing in publishing Dembski (1998), in order to avoid inserting the proposed statement and listing these ten publications.

Please explain what you have read of Dembski (1998), what credentials or evidence you have for stating that this is not "a peer-reviewed publication", or that "proponents of ID do not refer to it", or else withdraw the objection.DLH 04:16, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

I have to admit you have a knack for red herring and missing the point. Just as one example, your comment about Cambridge University Press seems to imply that everything they publish is professional peer-reviewed science research, which is, of course, ridiculous. The relevant point, which you never refer to, is that Dembski's Design Inference is not science research published in professional peer-reviewed science publications. (Greeneto 18:14, 18 June 2006 (UTC))
Greento your statements: "(1) does not mean it actually does support their ideas ...(2) does not mean it is a peer reviewed science article about intelligent design, and (3) does not mean it is a peer reviewed science article by an ID advocate about intelligent design" are but objections that reinforces the proposed statement

"while critics dispute their applicability."

i.e., your comments prove the validity of the proposed statement.DLH 04:08, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

The relevant points are that (1) the scientists who actually did the research don't think it's intelligent design research, and (2) intelligent design advocates themselves have no peer-reviewed science research on intelligent design in the professional science literature. Please try not to miss these relevant points so diligently. (Greeneto 18:14, 18 June 2006 (UTC))
Kenosis, Debski's reports are posted at his site Now matter what happened at that trial, Dembski's posting them qualifies as "referred to by proponents as supporting ID." DLH 04:16, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
Guettarda et al. See Richard Sternberg re Meyer's paper:

"Sternberg claimed that the paper had been peer-reviewd by three scientists, who whilst not agreeing with its content, considered that it had merit and was worth publishing." After objections by evolutionists, the Biological Society of Washington withdrew the paper. Their statement does not say that the paper was not peer reviewed.DLH 04:16, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

Sternberg claimed that the paper was peer reviewed, but did not produced the reviews or reviewers, AFAICT. In addition, your statement "after objections from evolutionists" is another red herring - to begin with, the term "evolutionists" can be applied to just about every scientist, just about all the members of the Society... so it's a meaningless statement. Evolution is the established scientific milieu in which all biological research is done. It's almost impossible to imagine how anyone could carry out any research in the biological sciences or make any inference without working within an evolutionary framework. In addition, your juxtaposition of the objections and the withdrawal is misleading. On one hand, if no one complains about a paper, the editorial board of a journal will never look at it, and thus, it's unlikely to be withdrawn. On the other hand, anyone who looks at the paper can see it's sloppy work that shouldn't be in any serious publication, so once the editorial board reviewed the paper it was a foregone conclusion that it would be withdrawn. It's just that bad. Guettarda 18:31, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

DLH & Peer Review again

Redux: The proposed statement under discussion is:

"Following is a list of peer reviewed articles referred to by proponents as supporting ID, while critics dispute their applicability."

This is verifiable: Dembski is a leading ID proponent if anyone is. I have tried to state this NPOV.

If you cannot falsify the proposed statement and Dembski's list of ten publications, then the statement holds and gets inserted. Lets keep focus and not get sidetracked into POV polemics.

I call for finalizing this discussion. DLH 04:08, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

This discussion was finalized long before you arrived, read the archives, you've brought nothing new to the discussion. Dembski's list is the exact same one already mentioned in the article. FeloniousMonk 04:15, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
That accusation appears incorrect. Axe (2000), Axe (2004) and Denton & Marshall (2001)appear to be in Dembski's but not the Discovery list.DLH 01:39, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

Rearranged the statements on peer review as follows to address both sides of the controversy. Included Dembski's list as counter to arguments on Kitzmiller v. Dover, and since it does not fully overlap the Discovery list.

The Discovery Institute maintains an annotated list of at least 45 “Peer-Reviewed & Peer-Edited Scientific Publications Supporting the Theory of Intelligent Design” (including hostile witnesses.) Critics claim the intelligent design movement has yet to have an article published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.[2] In the Kitzmiller trial, intelligent design proponents referenced one paper, on simulation modeling of evolution by Behe and Snoke. Critics argue that it mentioned neither irreducible complexity nor intelligent design and that Behe admitted did not rule out known evolutionary mechanisms. William Dembski was ready as an Expert Witness to defend under oath an annotated list of 10 Peer Reviewed ID Articles (prepared for Kitzmiller v. Dover but not called.)

PS WIki Policy says "Be Bold" so showing this substantial clarifying edit to address peer review articles up front. DLH 02:20, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

Kenosis reverted without cause or discussion. Restored that reversion. No serious reasons have been given for not giving both POV. Most of this section is strongly anti ID. Needs balancing perspective to be NPOV.DLH 02:36, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

The cause for the reversion was just discussed by the editors on this very page. In addition, the current (prior to DLH's edit today) version was repeatedly discussed before involving many editors. Other discussion may be found in Archive 28, where the same issues were thoroughly parsed after and based upon the evidence presented by both sides of the debate in the Kitzmiller trial. ... Kenosis 03:01, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
I reverted it as well, as I think it is very strong POV, and not accurate. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 02:53, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
Kim was correct to revert the insertion. This has been discussed at length here and elsewhere. It is factually incorrect, full of weasel words and parts of it are very unclearly written. Guettarda 03:02, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
Enough is enough with this nonsense -- being bold does not equate to being disengenuous. Kim and Kenosis, well done, DLH, read the archives. •Jim62sch• 03:43, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
I'd have reverted it as well had I seen it - it was both inaccurate and highly POV. Time for DLH to move on to another topic/issue; this one is a dead horse. FeloniousMonk 04:06, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
Recent edit by DLH highly POV and disrepectful to other editors who have engage him in the Talk Page as he ignores consensus. Invoking (WP:Be Bold) as a means to bypass the consensus is also highy disingenuous and only serves to start a revert war. He has previously engaged in discussions in the Talk Page and presumely he read the following which is part of the page warning:
"Tempers can and have flared here. All contributors are asked to please respect Wikipedia's policy No Personal Attacks (WP:NPA) and to abide by consensus (WP:CON)."
Futhermore I agree with Guettarda in that the edit is factually incorrect.--LexCorp 10:27, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
Neither of you have demonstrated where the statement is factually incorrect. All I hear is accusation and innuendo.DLH 02:24, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
The factually incorrect bit is "Peer Reviewed". The demostration is all over this talk page and the archives. Round and round we go around this infinite loop.--LexCorp 14:38, 20 June 2006 (UTC).
DLH, your participation here has been wholly partisan - promoting the ID viewpoint to the exclusion of all others. That qualifies as tendentious editing, something cautioned against by policy, guideline and convention at wikipedia. Your constant refusal to accept that policy provides for both viewpoints to to be presented compounded with your refusal to accept that evidence for the viewpoints you wish to insert in the article wants for credibility, notability and balance is combative and disruptive. You should move on to another issue here or another subject elsewhere, but this is a dead horse, and all the flogging in the world will never change that. FeloniousMonk 02:47, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Recently, the Discovery Insitute added to its list the publication Øyvind Albert Voie: Biological function and the genetic code are interdependent. Chaos, Solitons & Fractals 28:4 (May 2006), 1000–1004. The paper seems to be so ridiculously bad that hardly anybody even seems to comment on it – it's not even mentioned at [41] and [42]. Also found some source on details of how it came to be ("I would not have written it if Steve Meyer had not encouraged me to do so. Dave Abel further encouraged me to submit it to a scientific journal."). It's not explainable by undirected natural forces how it could have passed a peer review. Either there was no peer review, or something similar to the Sternberg peer review controversy happened, or, perhaps, it's a new indication for an intelligent designer directly intervening the peer review process? >;-> It was even listed uncommented at Wikipedia:Wikipedia as an academic source (I fixed that). --Rtc 20:33, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

thanks for the encouragement on NPA. I will review archive 28.

Please state where my addition is "inaccurate" vs not your POV. I believe every word was accurate and I am trying to be objective. It appears that your bias is so strong you denounce it without considering its merits. Since this page is on ID, I believe it is appropriate to present what ID claims as well as the vociferous attacks against it. I thought Wiki was committed to NPOV. I do not see much evidence of that in this exchange. I had just gone through obtaining detailed feedback and did not think any gave any data disputing the accuracy of thq statement that those were peer reviewed publications claimed by ID proponents as supporting their position. (Whether you believe that the articles favor that or not is besides the point.) It appears that your POV is vehemently against even admitting that others may claim that there are peer reviewed articles. That does not appear to be an ojective NPOV position.DLH 02:47, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

RTC claims "It's not explainable by undirected natural forces how it could have passed a peer review." That is the crux of the issue of ID vs evo.

ID is modeling and examining method to detect intelligent causation for current, historic or origin theories. If you a priori exclude such options, you can never examine whether that might exist or not. Thus those committed to Evo based purely on naturalism have nothing to say on the validity of whether intelligent causation is detectable currently, historically or in biological origins. Your negative evaluation of the paper has nothing to do with the issue at hand on whether that paper was peer reviewed and that some claim it supports ID (and I am not a member of DI or had any say in how that was added.) Hostile witnesses can be used in a court of law just as well as favorable witnesses to buttress a case. Your statement is a classic case of an ad hominem attack of diverting attention away from the logic of the case.DLH 02:56, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

This makes no sense. This is not the crux of the issue of ID vs. evolution (I reluctantly use your description of a conflict which I don't personally feel exists). You are correct to say that ID "models and examines". One thing it doesn't do, however, is make useful predictions and formulate experiments in order to learn something. It's meaningless to say "those committed to Evo based purely on naturalism"; there is no other meaningful basis on which to be committed to a scientific theory. The real crux of the issue is that ID is creationism with a veneer of science, whose supporters claim is scientific. Science has no comment to make on ID because ID is not based on anything that can be measured or observed, ie., natural phenomena. Anything which is not observable and falsifiable is a priori excluded from discussion; that is science. Kasreyn 03:21, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
Kasreyn that is an explicit mischaracteriation of ID and its assumptions. ID examines the empirical evidence and tests it against models to detect intilligent vs natural causation whether in current, historic or origin applicationss. As such, ID does not exclude the option of an intelligent cause whatever the situation. Naturalism a priori excludes non-naturalistic causes, and consequently can only say its models are for naturalistic causes. It has no basis for commenting on reality outside that.
e.g., There are numerous objective empirical scientific experiments being conducted, that include double blind or triple blind experiments, that are examining the efficacy of prayer to a non-physical entity. DLH 20:28, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
Name 1 please. Mr Christopher 20:45, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
See: Experimental Evaluation of Prayer

See also:

Mark Herringshaw. “Effects of long distance intercessory prayer and anti-tobacco communication on teenager intention to smoke cigarettes.” May 2001 PhD Thesis Regent University, Virginia Beach. Dr. Herringshaw used a triple blind study of the effects of remote intercessory prayer to the Judeo-Christian deity, on isolated students and showed a statistically significant correlation. etc. I understand that there are several hundred when you get into the literature. These are objective empirical tests for a non-natural cause.DLH 21:12, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

That's as may be, and more power to them. However, science restricts itself to natural phenomena, i.e. directly observable phenomena. Determining the possible attributes or potency of a non-physical entity does not fall within the realm of scientific inquiry. Proponents of Intelligent Design wish to describe their theory as "scientific". Very well; let them do what all other scientists do, and restrict their theorizing to natural, observable phenomena. I don't have a problem with people who believe in supernatural forces or creators. I just have a problem with people who claim that science includes the study of the supernatural. It most emphatically does not. Cheers, Kasreyn 20:48, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
Some choose to a priori restrict their models to natural causes. There are other scientists who go where the evidence leads.DLH 21:12, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
And where does the evidence lead? Without explaining a mechanism for the results, they are just statistical variations. I could argue that at the same time the prayers took place I was praying for a false positive. So which prayer did the deed?. You see "controlled experiment" are not just words you stick to any scientific study. You have to prove how you control the experiment. If you do not provide a mechanism for the prayers then you really are not controlling anything. So basically all this experiments are flawed at the design stage. --LexCorp 22:13, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
You seem to be referring to the more loose definition of science rather than the more rigorous. I feel this is disingenuous. The reason ID supporters wish to have ID acknowledged as "science" is because they want ID to have equal stature with science so that it can be taught in science classrooms. However, the science which the public has such respect for - the science which is "good enough" to be taught in classrooms - is precisely that research which is based on methodological naturalism. Essentially, you are saying that ID should be allowed to use the broader definition of science - "any systematic field of study or the knowledge gained from such study" - in order to declare itself equivalent to information supported by science as defined more rigorously: "a system of acquiring knowledge based on empiricism, experimentation, and methodological naturalism". The result of this would be to exploit the public's ignorance of the nuances in definition of "science" in order to give ID greater credit than it deserves. The term "science" as popularly understood includes the limitation to methodological naturalism; it is not appropriate to abuse the looseness of the definition of the term "science" to give non-naturalistic research an appearance of parity with more rigorous research methods. Kasreyn 22:18, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
Herringshaw's thesis specifies a hypothesis, sets up reproducible triple blind method and shows statistically significant results. That is ojbectively reproducible by whoever wishes to repeat the experiment. Because you do not know or understand the mechanism does not mean it canot propose and demonstrate reproducible phenomena.DLH 02:24, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
DLH a hypothesis does not neccesarily describe a mechanism. I mean somenthing like a postulate that prayers create particles called Prayitons that go forth to god and interat with him. Then god depending on the properties of the Prayitons would in turn produce Miracletons that somehow fly into the ill and makes them better. How can I study this phenomena? and How can I ensure that no other prayitons interat with god and that no other Miracletons, say from the FSM, get into the patients?. You are under the mistaken illusion that a clinical test is always scientific. Well now you know a dirty secret from medicine in that they seldom are. They are mostly statistical studies. And I don't need to remind you the little problem they have with placebo.--LexCorp 14:38, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
None of which has any bearing on this article and its content, which is what this talk page is provided for. If you want to debate or discuss off-topic issues there are plenty of messageboards and blogs for that; this is not the place FeloniousMonk 02:50, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
I'm told that boxing has been called the "sweet science" [43]. Perhaps we should offer boxing as an alternative to biology. Al 22:23, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
Hmm. Which part of that experiment observes, measures, or tests a supernatural entity or phenomenon? People praying seems natural, and quitting smoking seems pretty natural too (albeit, insidiously hard). Tez 08:23, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

ISCID PCID Link. The artle criticizes ID publications without reference to give readers option to examine them. Thus added a link to ISCID's PCID and stated its review policy. Changed the incorrect "exclusively" to "predominantly" ID supporters. e.g. Zachriel ISCID Member # 1793 appears to be defending evolution in Brainstorm: Can some aspect of Darwinism be falsified?. A name and/or link is needed for the other publication referred to.DLH 03:23, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

Weasels vary in length from 15 to 35 centimeters

Critics claim that this was inappropriate for you are changing the text to be misleading. They object to transforming descriptions of facts into opinions assigned to a small anonymous minority. Some critics kindly say it would add to the quality of wikipedia if that is not done. WP:NOT says "Wikipedia is not a soapbox or a vehicle for propaganda and advertising", such as putting weblinks to publications directly into the text, especially if those publications don't have relevance. As soon as you are appealing to the reader to 'form his own opinion', you are violating NPOV, since Wikipedia should describe existing opinions, not actively work towards stimulating the reader to form new ones. BTW, aforementioned paper contains only one long rhetoric device employed to hide some major errors in its reasoning to make some arbitrary conclusion. If you say that people are not open for intelligent design because they "a priori exclude such options" as 2+2=5 then you are just exactly damn right. --Rtc 03:43, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

RTC Swearing does not advance your cause and violates WIKI policy. Please withdraw that.DLH 15:35, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
Please point out what in the proposed statement is "opinion" vs a statement of both sides of the issue. I repeat the statement:

The Design Institute maintains an annotated list of at least 45 “Peer-Reviewed & Peer-Edited Scientific Publications Supporting the Theory of Intelligent Design” (including hostile witnesses.) Critics claim the intelligent design movement has yet to have an article published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.[2] In the Kitzmiller trial, intelligent design proponents referenced one paper, on simulation modeling of evolution by Behe and Snoke. Critics argue that it mentioned neither irreducible complexity nor intelligent design and that Behe admitted did not rule out known evolutionary mechanisms. William Dembski was ready as an Expert Witness to defend under oath an annotated list of 10 Peer Reviewed ID Articles (prepared for Kitzmiller v. Dover but not called.)

DLH 21:02, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
You completely misunderstand the concept of opinion vs. fact and the NPOV policy. Facts are not what both sides of a debate agree on. Instead, they're entirely independent from the debate: Facts may be what both, none or exactly one of them agrees on. So concerning some fact, to make some arbitrary public claim of the contrary as a minority group (which is not even the case here), does not change it into a mere opinion of an anonymous group of "some critics"! The rationale of the NPOV policy is to describe the controversy in a neutral tone. So neutrality merely means that we are not going to use polemics or offensive language or are trying to manipulate the reader. (Such as in "But the paper did not mention irreducible complexity or intelligent design at all. Even Behe himself admitted it did not rule out known evolutionary mechanisms. Additionally, it was completely refuted by Lynch 2005. How poor! Why did they even refer to this paper to their own disadvantage? They must be stupid! This shows clearly their profound failure, and if that's the best paper they can present, the others are without doubt even worse." just as an example of several things that would be inappropriate.) So NPOV does not mean that there is fair time or protection for some minority position. The minority position is to be described as such! It does also not mean that simply because the Discovery Institute makes a claim, that this claim is in any way to be taken seriously or represented as if there might be some truth in it (which is not the same as actively trying to convince the reader that it is false). What you are doing with the change is not to be neutral, but to fool the reader, in that you are trying to give the discovery institute's blatantly misleading claims an accentuated position and using implicit "what if dembksi had been an expert witness" speculations to argue for the validity of these misleading claims. There has been enough discussion about this now. If you don't understand that, I can't help but to encourage you to use CreationWiki, which represents exactly that kind of 'Neutrality' you are looking for. --Rtc 04:21, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
RTC By facts I mean objective verifiable empirical data.

I agree with "describe the controversy in a neutral tone." I understand that to mean the editor makes neutral statements of what the two sides state or opine, NOT where the editor takes sides with one or the other side.

Neutrally stating what one side's opinion, is an objective verifiable statement of fact without implying whether that side is "correct" or not.

I agree with "So neutrality merely means that we are not going to use polemics or offensive language or are trying to manipulate the reader." and your subsequent statement being a inappropriate. HOWEVER, please review your subsequent statements. I do not believe they are consonent with your previous ones. Galileo had a minority position vis the jealous Aristotelian academics. It appears you are siding with a POV majority in prejudging the truth/falsity of the minority position rather than as a neutral editor. You are contradicting the NPOV policy you are appealing to.DLH 15:32, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

"I understand that to mean the editor makes neutral statements of what the two sides state or opine" No. That would be equal time. --Rtc 22:30, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
RTC "What you are doing ... is to fool the reader" is an an ad hominem attack alleging false motives to me without basis. I ask you to withdraw that allegation and restate your argument on a neutral basis. You are explicitly "trying to manipulate the reader" against me using falacious arguments by that allegation. DLH 15:32, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
It's an attack against what you are effectively doing. It's not some attack against your person, it's not 'ad hominem' at all. Nowhere I am speculating about motives of why you are fooling the reader or if you do it deliberately. But you are doing it. --Rtc 22:30, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
RTC By stating characterizing: the "Discovery Institute's blatantly misleading claims" demonstrates very strong POV interpretation siding with the majority. That is not an objective neutral statement of fact of the two sides own positions and positions respecting the other side. I ask you to calm down and try to restate both positions from a neutral WIKI editorial point of view.DLH 15:32, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
That's why I don't write this into the article, right? Your request for "objective neutral statement of fact of the two sides own positions and positions respecting the other side" is a request for equal time, not a request for NPOV. --Rtc 22:30, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
RTC You mischarcterize my position by "what if dembksi had been an expert witness." I stated the objective fact that he had prepared an expert witness report which by definition means that he was prepared to defend that in court. Having prepared expert witness reports, that is an objective description whether the case or the expert report is presented in court or not. Please review your position.
Please get this simple fact: Dembski did not appear as an expert witness. It is thus entirely irrelevant to mention that he 'prepared', since nothing is known about the outcome; plus you are only telling half of the truth. Even Facts can be presented in a POV way. --Rtc 22:30, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
"(prepared for Kitzmiller v. Dover but not called.)" must be Weasel for "Dembski withdrew from the Kitzmiller trial before it ever started, hence his evidence was never presented or considered." More spinning of the facts from DLH in furtherance of his viewpoint. FeloniousMonk 04:42, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
FeloniousMonk I made a compact summary with links to further reference for details. It makes no implication as to the cause of why it was not presented. Your statement is an ad hominem accusation as to my purpose and intent. I ask you to withdraw that ad hominem attack. I ask that we keep this a civil discussion.DLH 15:32, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
As explained to you many times by many editors here your "compact summary," otherwise known here as Dembski's list, was irrelevant and POV; it added no value and so has no place in the article. Also, there's no ad hominem in pointing out the obvious. Your participating here has been wholly partisan and fruitless. Partisan flogging of a dead horse will at some point be considered willful disruption. Time to give this issue a rest. FeloniousMonk 22:42, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
The only point on which DLH has been right is that the specific organization I had in mind when writing the passage in the article is ISCID, the pro-ID group, and PCID, its "journal"; both founded and run by Dembski and the ususal ID cadre of Discovery Institute fellows. ISCID claims "The society provides a forum for formulating, testing, and disseminating research on complex systems through critique, peer review, and publication." [44] In other words, they've set up their own alternate channel for publishing "peer reviewed" articles outside and apart from the mainstream scientific journals.
What DLH fails to diclose, likely because it would show his addition to the article was promoting a particular POV, is that PCID's publishing policy states "Articles accepted to the journal must first be submitted to the ISCID archive. To be accepted into the archive, articles need to meet basic scholarly standards and be relevant to the study of complex systems. Once on the archive, articles passed on by at least one ISCID fellow will be accepted for publication. The journal will be published in electronic form only (there will be no print version)."[45]
Not too long ago PCID published a pro-ID polemic on mainstream scientific peer review methods: [46] (full PDF version here: [47]) Dembski then tellingly described PCID's new, "improved" method for referreeing submissions: "Henceforth, papers accepted for publication need simply pass the following two-step review process: (1) Having met basic scholarly standards and being relevant to the study of complex systems, the paper will be accepted into the ISCID Archive. (2) Once in the ISCID Archive, the paper will be accepted for publication in PCID provided at least one fellow of ISCID signs off on it. Except for papers by fellows submitted in their own name, papers accepted for publication in PCID will therefore be peer-reviewed."[48]
Clearly peer-review to people like Dembski means little more than pats on the back by fellow crackpots partisans, and if you're already in the club you don't even need to be peer reviewed at all to have your article published. There's little evidence of rigor or adhering to the scholarly method in the process as described, but evidence for plenty of opportunities for cronyism abound. Cronyism is anthema to the scholarly method. It's safe to say it lacks rigor. This is also covered at talkorigins giving us another source to cite. FeloniousMonk 05:21, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
RTC's deletion is POV in explicitly trying to hide this link from the public. Please show WIKI policy that justifies removing links and references to support this anti-ID censoring policy. Otherwise I believe it should go back in.DLH 21:02, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
No, your insertion is POV in the first place. There is no other external link in the main text. You are effectively advertising the journal if you are linking it this way. That's censoring Pro-ID-POV. Neither Pro- nor Anti-POV is tolerated, in fact, no POV is tolerated at all. Neutrality does not mean Pro-POV needs to be countered with an appropriate amount of Anti-POV as you understand it (and what you understand as Anti-POV ist not POV in this sense just because it feels uncomfortable to you) . --Rtc 04:43, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
RTC "there is no other external link in the main text" is a major weakness of this article. There appear to be many statements in this section that are POV assertions without referenced justification.DLH 15:32, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
I would be delighted for you to include those links. Nature magazine is now experimenting with a public review policy.DLH 21:02, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
Speaking of Dembski, he seems to have had a little problem with statistics :) ...dave souza, talk 10:41, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
I don't see why are we even getting into how the ISCID reviews articles. From the start they make it clear that the PCID is not a scientific journal. So to claim that papers published there have been peer reviewed by a scientific journal is absurd.--LexCorp 11:39, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
If I may offer a generalization, my observation of these kinds of lengthy debates has been that once accusations of "ad hominem attack" and "swearing" (re. the use of the word "damn" above) begin to take center stage, the original arguments usually have little or no remaining substance to debate. Possibly it's time to wrap this one up? Seems to me the points of disagreement have been quite well identified and the consensus remains the same as before DLH re-introduced material that had already been thoroughly researched and analyzed by the editors. The only new information I see above with any relevance to the article is that Dembski has relaxed the standards for publication and thereby rendered the words "lack rigor" more accurate than they were before. ... Kenosis 16:05, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

One-word change

I have made anonymous wikipedia changes in the past on technical computer security subjects, so didn't realize I was walking into a maelstrom when I made a one-word change. JoshuaZ explained that I shouldn't edit this particular page directly without going through an extra talk page process to get consensus. Reading history it looks like everyone is a bit touchy.

In "Its leading proponents, all of whom are affiliated with the Discovery Institute..." can I get agreement to change the word "all" to "many?" I wouldn't put in in the article, but my references are: Bush: Boehner: (not a very good link, sorry, but you get the drift)

Thanks, Skye

Bush and Boehner are notable ID advocates, but not ID's leading proponents. The fact remains that all of ID's leading proponents, i.e.; Dembski, Behe, Johnson, Meyers, Wells, are indeed affiliated with the Discovery Institute. FeloniousMonk 03:56, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

Please see: pro·po·nent ( P ) Pronunciation Key (pr-pnnt) n. One who argues in support of something; an advocate.

Does this sway your view that "all" is incorrect? I was not asking for the word "some" but would go with "many".... -- Skye

A "leading proponent" is one who actively leads a "field". Neither of your examples serve particularly well as ID leaders. -ScienceApologist 12:58, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

Let's analyze. I didn't say Bush was an ID leader which might imply a leader on the scientific research front. But do you agree he is an ID proponent? He also attempts to advance the ID agenda at the US national level as a proponent. Put the two together and he is a a "leading proponent." Is it the leading or the proponent part you do not agree with? By logic, it is a clear counter-proof case showing that the word "all" is an incorrect phrase. Are you too close to this to be an unbiased editor? Please think this through and reconsider. -- Skye

Good god. Your logical rationale is flawed, go to a repair shop and get it fixed. You can certainly say Bush is a leading political leader and advocate of ID. But why those facts make him a leading advocate or proponent of ID is beyond my understanding and that of anyone with a grain of logical reasoning in their brain. Go forth, learn some logic and rational reasoning and then by all means contribute to this page--LexCorp 23:01, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

Calm down and please watch the flame. I went beyond saying Bush is a leading political leader. I am saying the cititions show he is highly influential proponent for the advance of ID. I heard Tom Ridge speak about a month ago at a Cisco security conference of all places. He described how his proposals would be disregarded until Bush weighed in. When the US president says ID should be taught, he is a "leading proponent." Political leaders in favor of ID are interpreting legislation With this reasoning, can we agree that "all" is incorrect? Maybe there is another phrase that would correct, but be better than my proposed one-word change. Can you suggest something? "President Bush invigorated proponents of teaching alternatives to evolution in public schools with remarks saying that schoolchildren should be taught about "intelligent design," a view of creation that challenges established scientific thinking and promotes the idea that an unseen force is behind the development of humanity." —Preceding unsigned comment added by Skye.houston (talkcontribs)

The Washington Post said that, not Bush. If you read the article you'll find that Schonborn is also cited as a "leading proponent", when both were being led into making remarks that echoed the "teach the controversy" wedge strategy enough for them to be interpreted as giving it support. Next, Bush is a leading proponent of motherhood and apple pie. ...dave souza, talk 04:50, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

Same article: "Both sides ought to be properly taught . . . so people can understand what the debate is about," -- Bush See response from Barney Frank and Barry Lynn. The change "all->many" would correct this sentence. But let's work together. It appears you do not agree with the definition of "proponents." How about changing that to somthing more specific like "scientific researchers?" -- Skye

What about "artificers" --LexCorp 12:34, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

Is that unwanted sarcasm, or are you coming around? See definition below which I don't think you intended. Of interested editors, are there only three respondents willing to comment but none to help get this page off the disputed list and correct the errors? -- Skye ar·tif·i·cer ( P ) Pronunciation Key (är-tf-sr) n. A skilled worker; a craftsperson. One that contrives, devises, or constructs something: “The labyrinth... was built by Daedalus, a most skillful artificer” (Thomas Bulfinch).

Also artificer- 3. Someone who is the first to think of or make something. --LexCorp 00:12, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
And your point is? Luna Santin 19:41, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
My point is that if you don't like "proponents" you can use "artificers" as an alternative. I rather prefer "proponents" myself but "artificers" will also fit nicely as a group of people who are the first to think of something, say a concept, say ID.--LexCorp 22:32, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
Fair enough. =3 To me, at least, "artificers" is more charged, I guess it seems to imply that the idea itself is fabricated. At least that's my feel, if others disagree that's fine. Good suggestion, though. I think I also like "proponents," which seems confusing, because I'm not sure anymore if there's anybody here who doesn't. Luna Santin 22:42, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

I'm not sure how "all" would make sense, honestly. There's a lot of subjectivity, here -- who qualifies as a "proponent," a "leader," or even a "leading proponent"? What standard do we apply? Is it fame? Frequency of activism? Apparent effectiveness? Influence on others? I might argue that the article contradicts itself only a sentence later, stating "Nearly all intelligent design concepts... are products of the Discovery Institute," which implies to me that some ideas are not products of the DI. There's an obvious case that DI is a powerful force, here, but "all" is an incredibly powerful word. Luna Santin 19:41, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

Have you read the archives on this subject? We went through a discussion of how to look at this. The "leading advocate" sobriquet simply refers to the standard bearers of the subject. This means that 1) They support the concept of "intelligent design", 2) they are consistently pointed to as such, and 3) they are the developers, promoters, and proselytizers of the idea (all three simultaneously). There really are only a dozen or so leading advocates: Johnson, Behe, Dembski, and a few others. They're all affiliated with DI. --ScienceApologist 23:01, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

ID isn't bad science, it is just different

Haha, just kidding.   ⇔   | | ⊕ ⊥ (t-c-e) 08:59, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

One big proof against ID and existance of God is that if there was God, He would have eradicated USA and its population by now :) That stinky pseudoscience does not even deserve to be mentioned in the wikipedia. It's too bad that most Americans believe in such lousy theories..

It's too bad that you are scared of it and want it banned. rossnixon 10:21, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
I agree that it's bad science, but Wikipedia is about the free sharing of information. The belief is notable and well-deserving of an article. Our job is to present facts and let others decide based on those facts. If factual analysis demonstrates the impossibility or improbability of ID, why isn't that something we'd want to share? Silencing an argument proves nothing, it's far better to publicly and effectively refute it. Luna Santin 19:24, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
ID is designed to be vague enough that it is impossible to disprove. That is the main reason why is it bad science. Guettarda 19:32, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

Intro tweaks

I removed "neo-Creationist" [49] pending consensus that ID should be associatied with Neo-Creationism.

I also added a 4-word transitional sentence:

Scientists and jurists disagree. [50]

I note that Joshua did not wait for discussion but immediately reverted this sentence, with the following Edit Summary:

rem unsourced and overgeneral statement "Scientists and jourists disagree." [51]

I think these are small changes, but I welcome discussion on them. --Uncle Ed 13:09, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

Do you have any sources that show that scientists and jurists disagree? --ScienceApologist 13:13, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
Not for the "and jurists" part, so I shortened it to "Scientists disagree." [52] --Uncle Ed 13:17, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

(after edit conflict) SFAIK, there is absolutely no reason to add the very general and unsourced commentary "Scientists and jourists disagree". Perhaps if you gave us a reason to consider it, Ed? I can not see that it adds anything to the article that has any value whatsoever. KillerChihuahua?!? 13:15, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

"Scientists disagree" is not commentary; it is a transitional sentence. It introduces the next paragraph, which describes the disagreement. --Uncle Ed 13:19, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
Why do you think a transition is necessary? This is an introduction which adheres to Wikipedia:Summary style. As with many introductions, abrupt transitions are par for the course. Besides, adding this statement is almost begging for some syncophant to swoop in, add the qualifier "some" or "many" to your sentence, and then argue for a megabyte about what qualifies someone as a "scientist" who "agrees" or "disagrees" with the characterizations of the first paragraph. This is an unnecessary statement, so let's just not use it okay? --ScienceApologist 16:02, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

The long-standing intro was accurate and balanced, both syntactically and content-wise, before your edits, which are no improvement. FeloniousMonk 14:57, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

Regarding neo-creationism, I don't understand how there can be any question as to whether "ID should be associatied with Neo-Creationism". What rationale is there for questioning the association? Neocreationism specifically describes ID and its kin. Excluding it would be a clear violation of NPOV. Guettarda 19:20, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

I can see where you're coming from. If I understand it right, the removal had less to do with that aspect, though, and more to do with this particular article being the Wikipedia equivalent of WW2; if there's no consensus that an association should be made, it might be best to build that consensus, first. That said, I don't see a problem with the association. Luna Santin 19:46, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

:I put neo-creationist back in. I think Ed needs to read about ID elsewhere (including the Kitzmiller decision). ID is neo-creationism, arguing that it isn't is like saying "feces" and "shit" aren't synonymous. •Jim62sch• 23:29, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

Heh-heh. Since SA decided to wander to the dark-side, I thought I'd try it. ;) •Jim62sch• 23:39, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
Come on in! The water's fine. --ScienceApologist 00:23, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

I agree with this change

Rossnixon just made the change: [53]. I agree with it. The previous sentence provides enough context for people to come to their own conclusions. It's dubious to judge that the intellectual rigor is diminished by not having outside sources and while the impartiality is obviously affected, that definitely goes without saying. I say, let's leave this clause out of the article. --ScienceApologist 22:53, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

I disagree. We can't expect lay readers to know the implications of having peer review conducted by cronies as opposed to impartial panels. Noting the specific issues that arise therein is warranted. I'll attribute it a specific critic and cite it if necessary, but just leaving it out imparts undue weight in the form of legitimacy. FeloniousMonk 23:04, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
Please do attribute it. The part about "intellectual rigor" is especially distressing to me as peer review is really only a checkpoint and doesn't really say anything about whether something is intellectually rigorous or not. Of course, if you're going to lack intellectual rigor, having your convivants review your article is a good way to go about it, but it is fallacious to claim that simply because the situation has exploitable potential that it is necessarily exploited in such regard. A technicality, perhaps, but we should strive for accuracy. I put in the citation needed tag to request a fuller attribution which I think may actually put this whole matter to rest. --ScienceApologist 23:08, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
There's the cause of the confusion. "Intellectual rigor" was a recent addition. Previous to recent edits for months it only said: "that intelligent design proponents have set up their own journals with "peer review" that consists entirely of intelligent design supporters which lack rigor" which is accuracte. It's the peer review process of ID proponents that lacks rigor, not their intellect (no comments). I'll restore the original language and we'll avoid the issue altogether. This confusion is just the sort of nonsense that arises from editing for editing sake destablizing perfectly fine articles. FeloniousMonk 23:37, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
OK, I've changed "intellectual rigor" to the original "rigor" and added a cite. FeloniousMonk 23:50, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

Paley, Pandas, Hubble, Meyers, Jones and Johnson images

This article is already large (76 kilobytes of text) and fits a lot of information on the page. Is it really adding much quality by including these two additional images? I'm not sure they add enough value to offset the pushing of content further below the fold. FeloniousMonk 00:09, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

Remove whatever images you like. I'm just trying to be bold and putting some in as options. It was mentioned in some of the FA discussions that more images in this article would be nice. (By the way, size restrictions seem to be less-and-less of a concern these days.) --ScienceApologist 00:18, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

If anyone is interested in seeing what the article looked like with the images in place: please see this version: [54]. I think it would be better to have more than one image in the article. --ScienceApologist 00:20, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

Not everyone in the world has broadband. In fact, most don't outside the US. The page was already slow with dial-up. FeloniousMonk 00:27, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
True, but isn't the recommendation to use text-only when using dialup? --ScienceApologist 00:33, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

What's interesting about those images is how much of this argument is confined to WASPy men. I note that most academic biology departments these days are far more diverse than those Discovery Institute proponents. Yikes! --ScienceApologist 00:23, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

Most of the US university biology departments I've seen in the last ten years are largely Asian with a large portion being foreign-born. I wonder what they think of all that? FeloniousMonk 00:27, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
In keeping with my visitation to the Dark Side, I was thinking we could use even more pix; for example: Darwin, TH Huxley, Dumbski, Behe, e-coli and its flagellum, scaffolding, God (preferably stuck in a gap), an alien Johnny Appleseed, a bible, Jesus, Cardinal Schonborn, the SETI logo, William of Ockham, etc. •Jim62sch• 11:17, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

E. coli and its flagellum is a classic one. We should find that image and put it on the irreducible complexity page anyway. --ScienceApologist 11:52, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

EscherichiaColi NIAID.jpg
Escherichia coli seems rather short on flagella: anyone know of a pic of a beastie that has one? ..dave souza, talk 22:14, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
IMHO pics are good but I think we should use only those that relate to the subject. So the personality pics should go really as well as the starlfield. --LexCorp 11:55, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
So you'd like to see "Of Pandas" included? --ScienceApologist 12:10, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
Oh but it has such a nice cover of a Panda driven to almost extintion because his mad creator made him with an appetite for a very limited diet. Seriously I think that particular pic makes better sense in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District or Teach the Controversy.--LexCorp 12:24, 10 June 2006 (UTC) Note: Change "creator" with "Intelligent Designer" acording to taste.
Addendum: I thought just came to me. A Mad Intelligent Designer could indeed look like a Unrational Designer which in turn produces somewhat the same results that you get with evolution. Most definitely there is something to be said about the theory of MID (Mad Intelligent Design). That I believe this MID fits to a tee with the Flying Spaghetti Monster should not be used to claim my theory is unscientific. After all MID could also be a really nutty alien from outer-space.--LexCorp 12:42, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
So the Gods must be crazy? :) Fwiw I've often entertained the notion that maybe god just has a nutty sense of humor and we're his idea of slapstick comedy. But in scientific terms, a difference which makes no difference is no difference. Kasreyn 17:16, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

Description of Johnson's Darwin on Trial

I've made a minor revision to the description of Phillip Johnson's Darwin on Trial in the "Origins of the Term" section. It read: "The term was promoted more broadly by the retired legal scholar Phillip E. Johnson following his 1991 book Darwin on Trial which advocated redefining science to allow claims of supernatural creation." As a factual matter, Johnson does not advocate anything of the sort in Darwin on Trial.

I've revised it to read: "...which argued that, more than the evidence, an a priori commitment to philosophical naturalism is at the root of widespread acceptance of Neodarwinism in the scientific community." I believe this is an accurate précis of Johnson's principal argument in the book and should not be controversial. My edit was previously reverted by User:Duncharris without explanation. --Afterall 07:04, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

So, Duncharris has reverted my edit once again with the brief explanation: "rev to more accurate version." If Duncharris believes the original version to be more accurate, I invite him to provide a single citation from Darwin on Trial in which Johnson "advocated redefining science to allow claims of supernatural creation." It is tempting to think that Duncharris has not read the book at all since Johnson scrupulously avoids suggesting anything of the sort. And, because Duncharris has chosen not to explain his reversions here, may I encourage other editors of this page to weigh in on this apparent impasse. --Afterall 09:56, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

Ok. Neither of you provide a single citation from the book so I suggest you go and search for one that supports either one view or the other. Also Afterall you describe your edit as minor, which is your opinion and your justification for the edit is because you believe your edit is more accurate, which again is not good enough. You are the one that changed the article and you should have either demanded a citation for its content or provaided one for your edit.--LexCorp 10:34, 11 June 2006 (UTC) --LexCorp 10:27, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

A reasonable request, LexCorp. I'll type in some appropriate quotes as soon as possible. In the meantime, it's worth noting that the Darwin on Trial page right here at Wikipedia does a good job of summarizing the book:

Johnson states that he has no interest in discussing the Biblical account of creation in Genesis. Rather, the focus of the book is to examine whether evolutionary biologists have proven their case using evidence evaluated with an "open mind and impartially", that is, whether there is convincing evidence that the variety of life on earth came about through the purely material processes of natural selection. He suggests that they have not, that there are serious evidentiary holes in the theory, and that their conclusions are driven mainly by their prior assumptions and "faith" that there must be a naturalistic explanation for everything.

Citations from the book coming soon. And thanks for weighing in. --Afterall 10:48, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

Here's the first quote I ran across thumbing through Darwin on Trial. I believe it is consonant with the summary I've offered above and especially worthwhile as it's taken from the last page of the book where authors are inclined to sum things up.

"Darwinists took the wrong view of science because they were infected with the craving to be right. Their scientific colleagues have allowed them to get away with pseudoscientific practices primarily because most scientists do not understand that there is a difference between the scientific method of inquiry, as articulated by Popper, and the philosophical program of scientific naturalism. One reason that they are not inclined to recognize the difference is that they fear the growth of religious fanaticism if the power of naturalistic philosophy is weakened. But whenever science is enlisted in some other cause — religious, political, or racialistic — the result is always that the scientists themselves become fanatics. Scientists see this clearly when they think about the mistakes of their predecessors, but they find it hard to believe that their colleagues could be making the same mistakes today." (p. 154) --Afterall 11:09, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

LexCorp, I misunderstood the criteria for an edit to be considered "minor". My bad. Another citation from Darwin on Trial:

Darwinist scientists believe that the cosmos is a closed system of material causes and effects, and they believe that science must be able to provide a naturalistic explanation for the wonders of biology that appear to have been designed for a purpose. Without assuming these beliefs they could not deduce that common ancestors once existed for all the major groups of the biological world, or that random mutations and natural selection can substitute for an intelligent designer. Neither of these foundational beliefs is empirically testable..." (p. 144)

While one may think Johnson is out to lunch here, I think it is clear that the revised description of the gravamen of Darwin on Trial is justified by these citations. --Afterall 11:38, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

I am ok now with your edit. In fact I consider it a very positive comment on the nature of science by Johnson. What I do not understand is why this Johnson guy puts it forward as some kind of criticism when in fact it is a complement. If scientist do not seek natural explanations then they would not be doing science but hocus pocus. And it would really be a pety if they wasted their lives on that. The whole concept of Science is to investigate phenomena is a framework that allows for theories that explains things within that framework. Trying to find theories that are not naturalistic or making them up would not really explain anything and thus their pursuit will be unlogical if your end result is an explanation. So it looks to me that this Johnson guy could really be the father of ID as he clearly thinks that we shouldn't bother trying to explain gaps in modern evolution but instead delude ourselfs with the notion that there is a supernatural creator. Well I have tried but I cannot delude myself no matter what I do. So I guest the only thing left for me to do is continue sopporting Science.--LexCorp 12:12, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

Afterall's edits have some problems, so I've reverted them. His edit "which argued that, more than the evidence, an a priori commitment to philosophical naturalism is at the root of widespread acceptance of Neodarwinism in the scientific community" is no improvement on "redefining science to allow claims of supernatural creation", which is technically accurate and exactly what Johnson argues for in the book. There is no "a priori commitment" in the scientific method to philosophical naturalism, but there is one that all explanations should be empirically testable & falsifiable, which is where ID fails. In the book Johnson is simply building up and furiously tearing down a strawman; I see no reason why Wikipedia should help him. FeloniousMonk 13:42, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

While meaning well, LexCorp's request wasn't the correct way to go. We are supposed to reply on secondary sources, so in either case, the description should come from a secondary source, not from Johnson's book (which is the primary source). This is, at its heart, the problem with "original research" - we shouldn't be interpreting Johnson's words/meaning - we should leave that to experts. Guettarda 13:59, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

FeloniousMonk, if you believe there is something incorrect about my revision, please articulate it. To equate my revision with the original text is puzzling. The relevant difference between the two is that the revision is accurate (as demonstrated in the provided citations and seconded by the editors on the Darwin on Trial page), while the original is not. If you disagree, I urge you, as I did DunCharris, to provide some citation from the book that "advocates redefining science to allow claims of supernatural creation." --Afterall 14:13, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

As I pointed out above, we shouldn't be relying on quotes from the book, but from secondary sources. There's a danger in taking a few sentances out of context to argue one way or the other. We need to avoid this. Guettarda 14:16, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

Fair enough, Guettarda. Here's a relevant quote from Stephen Jay Gould's scathing review of Darwin on Trial, "Impeaching a Self-Appointed Judge":

"[Johnson] might still have a good argument for the major thrust of his text; the attempt to show that Darwinism is a dogma, unsupported by substantial and meaningful evidence, and propped up by false logic. But here he fails utterly, almost comically."

Clearly, Gould is not a sympathetic reader of Johnson, but he does get the main point Johnson is arguing for basically correct. --Afterall 14:40, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

I am neutral to this discussion. But to me what this Johnson guy says in his book is irrelevant. It all boils down to the false dicothomy that if science can't explain something then it must be god. It is laughable to expect any rational person to agree with it. FeloniousMonk is right in saying that the original sentence was more clear and unambiguous. But as I haven't read the book I cannot judge if the citations provided are a good representation of the book and thus the edit by Afterall an improvement or not. --LexCorp 14:55, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
Afterall's line is, as far as I know, a concise summary of what Johnson says, but leaves out the redefinition of terms inherent in Johnson's argument. Naturalism (philosophy) has both the meaning of "methodological naturalism", which empirical science inevitably involves since the supernatural is by definition untestable, as well as Johnson's alternative meaning of Metaphysical naturalism used to support his idea that the beliefs of scientists unfairly exclude supernatural design. ..dave souza, talk 15:12, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
In the book, Johnson does distinguish between methodological and philosophical (metaphysical) naturalism, but the link you added to Naturalism (philosophy) where this distinction is made is surely helpful in preserving this distinction here. Kudos, dave souza. --Afterall 15:36, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

Allow me to briefly explain why I think this edit is important. Above, FeloniousMonk charges that Johnson "is simply building up and furiously tearing down a strawman." If so, this is indeed a serious transgression. Let us not be guilty of the same by misrepresenting the argument of another, whether we agree with them or not. LexCorp makes the surprising comment, "To me what this Johnson guy says in his book is irrelevant." This page is about Intelligent Design. Johnson is the leader of the Intelligent Design movement. If this is to be a quality Wikipedia entry, we should at least care to understand that which we are describing here. --Afterall 16:58, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

I see now. Another disingenous attack on Naturalism. Well if those are the facts and Johnson does not pin down the meaning of Naturalism in his book them the former sentence should be used or Afterall version should be modified to include Metaphysical naturalism.--LexCorp 15:30, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

Note: Duncharris has reverted the revisions again without explanation and without interacting with the dialogue here. Bad form, my friend. Any of you who believe I have sufficiently substantiated my revision above, I invite you to revert to the revised version. --Afterall 16:21, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

Certainly less bad form than repeated ignoring consensus and repeatedly insisting on forcing your viewpoint into the article. I support Duncharris' reversion. FeloniousMonk 17:09, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

Ignoring consensus? Seems to me that Dave souza and LexCorp have both offered qualified agreement while only FeloniousMonk and Duncharris have demurred, neither of whom have offered any rationale for their reverts. FeloniousMonk, is there any basis for your support of the original version? I have certainly offered extensive support for the revision. And, why am I "forcing my viewpoint" and Duncharris is not when I am taking considerable time to enumerate reasons for the change and he is not? Far from trying to force my viewpoint, I'm trying to remove an innacurate clause from the page which is itself very likely motivated by a viewpoint rather than on a close reading of the text to which it refers. --Afterall 17:41, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

You conveniently forget Guettarda, who, along with myself, has explained why letting Johnson's own depiction of his reasoning goes against policy and fact. I don't read Dave's or LexCorp's comments being supportive of you; sorry. The long-standing summary of Johnson's book is accurate and aligns better with policy here than your selected quotes which merely re-assert what Johnson does. FeloniousMonk 17:52, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

On the contrary, I responded directly to Guettarda's request for a secondary source with someone of no less stature than Stephen Jay Gould, not to mention the accurate summary here on Wikipedia at Darwin on Trial. FeloniousMonk, you keep on insisting that the original clause is correct without offering any substantiation, while I have offered numerous examples to the contrary. Again, do you have any basis for your position? --Afterall 18:01, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

An important basis for the current language is that trying to extend "science" into the realm of the supernatural violates the most basic priniciples of science. This spot in the article is not the place to define science and parse the distinction between metaphysical naturalism and methodological naturalism for the reader, but to succinctly identify what Johnson intends to violate while he seeks inclusion for his supernatural views under the umbrella of the hard-earned credibiliity that "science" has gained by diligently limiting itself to investigating and explaining the natural world. Johnson wants a piece of that action, and "science" is responding by saying "sorry, we don't do supernatural, spiritual or religious inquiries here". ... Kenosis 18:35, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

The idea attributed to Johnson have been widely attributed to him. I think the real issue here is where he said that. I gather than Afterall believes that Johnson did not say this in Darwin on Trial (JDT). This is an important aspect of ID, and it belongs in the article. So the issue is one of attribution. This isn't an article about JDT, it's an article about ID. A discussion of JDT needs to address the issue of Johnson's use of "naturalism". But that isn't useful in that part of the article. So, the issue is, where did Johnson say this, not what did Johnson say in JDT. The section of the article addresses an important aspect of ID. So the important issue is to attribute it properly. Thus, I was a little off track in my first comment - I made the mistake of answering the question posed, not looking at the quote in context (which is, amusingly, just what I advised against). While in this case it is possible to address this issue by reading Johnson's book, it's still preferable to rely on secondary sources. So, having looked at it, I don't support Afterall's edit; although he may be correct to say that Johnson didn't say that in JDT, the comment is still important. So what we need to do is either make sure that it came from JDT, or change it to correctly attribute it. Guettarda 19:51, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

Taking your earlier point about looking at secondary sources, the Darwin on Trial#Critical reviews all seem to make the point (not made clearly in the criticism section of the article) that Johnson's central premise is that science and evolution is an atheistic, naturalistic philosophy which leads to dismissal of non-naturalistic explanations. Terry M Gray finds this convincing, but then takes issue with the science and the failure to acknowledge "Christian biologists who are persuaded by the evidence". The others point to the distinction between methodological naturalism in science and ontological naturalism in atheism, which Johnson apparently regards as the same. Eugenie C. Scott writes that "Johnson´s crucial error is not distinguishing between these two kinds of naturalism... Although science has made great progress by limiting itself to explaining only through natural causes, Johnson would have us allow the occasional supernatural intervention for those phenomena that cause problems for his particular theology." This supports the original brief statement which has the advantage of not needing a detailed explanation of Johnson's casuistry. ...dave souza, talk 22:19, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

It is true that Johnson and other Intelligent Design proponents believe and have argued that philosophical naturalism is both an unnecessary and unhelpful presumption in scientific research into the origins of life. It is, of course, appropriate to address this in describing ID (and it is noted in numerous places in the article). What is remarkable, and quite disheartening, is the general lack of interest here in accurately describing one of the seminal works in the ID movement and instead sticking to an uncited clause that attributes a thesis to the book which it does not, in fact, contain. This is especially unfortunate when it is clear that those protesting the correction I have proposed have not even read the book. And this, too, is telling. If other editors are uncomfortable with allowing Johnson's actual argument to see the light of day, may I suggest, as an alternative, that the clause be struck for the sake of accuracy. --Afterall 02:06, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

Look, the section of the article noting Darwin on Trial is not about Johnson or his beliefs, it's about the origins of the term "intelligent design." Specifically, it only says the term "intelligent design" was promoted more broadly after the publication Darwin on Trial. Johnson's actual reasoning in Darwin on Trial is not germane here, so any quotes are unnecessary.
Furthermore, Johnson has argued for a redefinition of science allowing for supernatural explanation in every single major book he's written - Darwin on Trial, Reason in the Balance, Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds, The Wedge of Truth - all of them. Why should Wikipedia help him? It's easy to criticize long-term contributors here for being "closed-minded" and unwilling to compromise. Are you open-minded enough to consider whether your idea that a quote of Johnson being necessary here might be wrong? Or that Johnson sought a redefinition of science in Darwin on Trial, to which I've added a proper cite now? FeloniousMonk 03:10, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
I'd say the issue is now settled - the issue was where Johnson had said this - the answer is "just about everywhere", including Darwin on Trial. Since this was probably the first big place he said so, it's a good source. Guettarda 03:24, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
Now let's have a beer. FeloniousMonk 03:29, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for providing a citation, FeloniousMonk, albeit from a very impartial source. I do think we've earned a beer. Obviously consensus is stacked against the revision, and therefore settled for the purposes of the Wikipedia article. Just for the record, lest my case for the revision be judged unjustified, no one has provided a citation from Darwin On Trial "which advocated redefining science to allow claims of supernatural creation." As for Eugenie Scott, she offers two references, neither of which advocate redefining science. In fact, the second quote specifically discourages the innappropriate injection of God into science. In case you're curious:

"I don't know what creation-scientists may suppose, but it seems to me that the peacock and peahen are just the kind of creatures a whimsical Creator might favor, but that an "uncaring mechanical process" like natural selection would never permit to develop." (p.31)
"The features Futuyma cites may exist because a Creator employed them for some inscrutable purpose; or they may reflect inheritance from specific common ancestors; or they may be due to some as yet unimagined process which science may discover in the future. The task of science is not to speculate about why God might have done things in this way, but to see if a material cause can be established by empirical investigation." (p. 71) [Emphasis mine] Peace, out. --Afterall 04:22, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
Note that virtually all of Johnson's comments have secondary and tertiary meanings that are often missed. ;)
In any case, something to ponder:
"If a faithful account was rendered of Man's ideas upon Divinity, he would be obliged to acknowledge, that for the most part the word "gods" has been used to express the concealed, remote, unknown causes of the effects he witnessed; that he applies this term when the spring of the natural, the source of known causes ceases to be visible: as soon as he loses the thread of these causes, or as soon as his mind can no longer follow the chain, he solves the difficulty, terminates his research, by ascribing it to his gods...When, therefore, he ascribes to his gods the production of some phenomenon...does he, in fact, do anything more than substitute for the darkness of his own mind, a sound to which he has been accustomed to listen with reverential awe?" [emphasis mine]
-- Paul Heinrich Dietrich, Baron von Holbach, Systéme de la Nature, London, 1770 •Jim62sch• 09:44, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
...Afterall: and your point is? I'm sorry, I must be missing it. What change are you suggesting for the article? KillerChihuahua?!? 10:23, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

Should Dr. Thomas Hunt Morgan's Comments Removed (dated 1903)?

Hello fellow Wikipedians, I respect the reasons for the removal of my insertion of Dr. Morgan's comments (after all, the comments were from 1903). However, I would like to be told with citation if there has ever been a case of transmutation from one species into another one. If this has never been shown to be true through proper documentation, then without objection I will again place my comments where they had been. Thanks so much. —Preceding unsigned comment added by MEGOP (talkcontribs)

You can start by looking under "speciation" in Wikipedia. There are some examples there. --Ramdrake 22:50, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
Hey, thanks for telling me about where to find information about speciation. Also, thank you to whoever signed my name above. I genuinely forgot. --MEGOP
Hello again. I skimmed through the Wikipedia article on speciation and the website that has been sited on this talk page ( and found examples done with Drosophila melanogaster (though the fruit fly never ceased to be a fruit fly) and known phenotypic changes through the transplanting of trees. It appears as though speciation is disputed among the scientific community due to the various definitions of species (as mentioned in Wikipedia and on the website. --MEGOP
No. Speciation is not disputed at all. The problem is that most of the examples are in the process of splitting from a population. And that makes it hard to identify or even clasify a given individual into a category. But there is not doubt as to speciation happening. Just look at the Ring Species, they are a classic example of speciation taking place. It is funny, with fossils sometimes a intermediate example is missing from the record and we get the subsequent "evolution wrong -> then god". Here the problem is that the sequence is so complete that it is hard to clasify each individual into progressive niches along the speciation line. --LexCorp 14:56, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
That always puzzles me, the argument that "because fossil x is missing, evolution must be wrong, therefore there must be a creator". I'm sure they've been told that fossilization is a special case that does not happen to the vast majority of dead creatures. The fossil record is incomplete because fossils are an accident, not the natural fate of all dead things. We will never have a truly complete fossil record. It's startlingly disingenous that some creationists continue to demand evidence that they know full well will forever be out of reach. Kasreyn 23:37, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
Well at least IMHO they should keep up with current knowledge at a minimun. Answering to 100 years old statements in the field of biology is ridiculous. I sometime wonder if they have even read the Bible at all. They can find a perceived inconsistency in scientific literature quite well (and argue to death on its explanation) but they seem to be blind to actual inconsistencies in the Bible. That puzzles me even more.--LexCorp 17:04, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

Seems to me to be at least several issues here. ... Kenosis 14:55, 13 June 2006 (UTC) The edit that was reverted is in the second paragraph of the introduction, proposed new material emphasized in bold here:

An overwhelming majority[3] of the scientific community views intelligent design not as a valid scientific theory but as pseudoscience[4] or junk science. [5] 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.[6] However, Dr. Thomas Hunt Morgan, professor at both Columbia and Caltech and noted for his work on fruit fly geneticts, stated: "Within the period of human history we do not know of a single instance of the transmutation of one species into another one.... Therefore it may be claimed that the theory of descent is lacking in the most essential feature that is needs to place the [Theory of Evolution] on a scientific basis. This must be admitted."[7] Edit by MEGOP, placed on talk 14:55, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
  • First, the intro is not the place to put specific material of this kind or any other kind. The introduction was agreed by consensus of opponents, proponents and neutral parties to consist of three short paragraphs 1) What ID is and who the primary proponents are, 2) what the scientific community says, and 3) what the legal status is.
  • Second, the nature of the material, which is specific and counter-argumentative, is a POV about a very specific aspect of the very broad debate about evolution generally, which is adequately summarized in several places of an already very lengthy article on intelligent design, with links to many articles on topics that relate to the subject. Perhaps the Morgan material belongs in the article on evolution, creation-evolution debate, or another article relevant to that specific topic? ... Kenosis 14:55, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
MEGOP, you can sign and date with time of submission given automatically by using four successive tildes ( ~ , on the upper left of the keyboard ). ... Kenosis 14:59, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

MEGOP here you have Another recent example on speciation. This type has never been seen on animals before. Just shows that science is never idle.--LexCorp 10:41, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

This quote was from early in Morgan's career; his view changed fairly drastically, mainly based on his own work and the related work of Dohbzhansky. It should probably not be used at all, except perhaps in history of evolutionary theory.--ragesoss 13:30, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

To date, I must concede my opinions on speciation. I read this statement in the Micropedia of Britannica's 1994 edition in the article of speciation: "Genetic studies now show that morphological change does not always accompany speciation, as many apparently identical groups are, in fact, reproductively isolated." MEGOP 18:36, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

What were your opinions on speciation? What were they based on? Does that means, that now that presumely you have new info on the subject, you are ok with evolution?. Why do you use the term "concede"?. Opinions are not surrended. They just change as new knowledge is taken in and reasoned against previous beliefs. I ask all these because to me it is still a mistery the point that once you explain what science and evolution is to someone like an IDer (no implying you are one) and futhermore show him the evidence, they just turn away and look for more weakeness in the theory instead of changing their views on it. I presume it has something to do with religious education or something. Or the point that they think evolution attacks their belief on god at some level.--LexCorp 19:11, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

Use of "god", "God", etc.

In the same way that the traditional blessing after the name of Muhammad is not used, the name of the Christian deity has no particular need to be capitalised. When used as a generic term indicating a deity, no capitalization is required. When prefaced with "Christian", as in "the Christian god", again, no capitalization is required, as the deity is being referred to as an object rather than a person, in the context of recognition of the beliefs of other peoples. It is only in the context of referring to God, the central character of the Bible, that it becomes encyclopedically appropriate to use the capitalized form, as a specific individual whose name is "God" is being referred to; ie., "God" is a proper noun (a name), while "god" is merely a noun, which like all non-proper words, should only be capitalized at the beginning of a sentence.

Wikipedia should never go out of its way to be disrespectful of any particular religious belief, but neither does it owe any religion anything, such as observation of certain traditional blessings, spellings, or taboos. Another example would be if a Jewish editor replaced all instances of "Jehovah" or "Yahweh" with "Adonai" or "Hashem" due to the taboo against saying or writing the name of the deity. This would also be inappropriate, as Wikipedia serves a far broader audience than either Jews or Christians. It should be clearly understood that Wikipedia is a secular, not a religious, project and that secular explanations and descriptions of the various religions may be encountered in it. If these secular explanations still give offense through simple adherence to best encyclopedic practise and proper English grammar, then there is nothing further that can be done about it.

If it is very important to others, I could also suggest that rewording sentences to place the name of the deity at the start of the sentence would be an excellent way to combine grammatical propriety with an appearance of observance of tradition. Kasreyn 02:22, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

An excellent and helpful explanation, Kasreyn. Your idea to restructure the sentence is not a bad one since the current syntax will likely be read as an aspersion by the less grammatically astute. Another option would be to use "Christian deity" in place of "Christian god." --Afterall 09:18, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
How about "the Judeo-Christian god" or "the Judeo-Christian deity"? Ladlergo 12:19, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
I've got a question. When the article comments on the "Christian god" does this denote that religiously devout Jewish scientists are not on board with the ID movement. --MEGOP 10:16, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
Which ones? I'm not sure about whom you are speaking. Guettarda 14:21, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
Though by no means Jewish, this chap should be considered, with his argument that "In short, Intelligent Design is not alien to Islam. It is very much our cause, and we should do everything we can to support it.". ..dave souza, talk 00:05, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
The Wikipedia article currently reads, "the personal view of many proponents is that the designer is the Christian god." While I have no doubt that many of those who are sympathetic to Intelligent Design theory have no allegiance to the Christian god, it would be difficult to argue that this statement is not accurate. The phrase wisely uses "many," unlike the contested introduction which suggests that "all" leading proponents of Intelligent Design are affiliated with the Discovery Institute. What makes Guettera's question difficult — "Which ones?" — is that Intelligent Design theorists and supporters rightly do not proclaim their religious affiliation as one of their credentials, as in the 500 scientists who signed the Dissent from Darwinism document. No one would expect an evolutionary biologist to disclose his or her religious leanings, whether they be atheistic, agnostic, or theistic. Since Intelligent Design proponents insist that it is not a religiously grounded theory, it is understandable that you don't find statements to the effect, "I am Jewish and I support Intelligent Design." If you did find such statements, no doubt the argument would go the other way, "because he's Jewish, and therefore religiously motivated, he cannot be trusted as an objective source." --Afterall 01:06, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
I'd agree with Afterall on this one. In general, advocates of Intelligent Design seem anxious to distance themselves from the appearance of sectarian motivation. After all, they are claiming Intelligent Design is "science". Kasreyn 15:32, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
I read his comment as a reference to someone specific, hence my question. Guettarda 16:07, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
Actually, Afterall's argument is specious. He is talking pomegranites and nectarines. Would any of you taker offence to, "All drivers at the Pocono 500 are members of NASCAR, many are from the South."? •Jim62sch• 21:40, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
Denying religious motivation is the Discovery Institute's policy, but unfortunately once again their line runs counter to the evidence. It all depends on who ID proponents are a speaking to. To the public they say ID is not concerned with the identity of the creator. But when addressing their constitutency they say things like: "Intelligent design is just the Logos theology of John's Gospel restated in the idiom of information theory"[55] and "intelligent design should be understood as the evidence that God has placed in nature to show that the physical world is the product of intelligence and not simply the result of mindless material forces."[56] There are literally dozens and dozens of such utterances from Dembski, Johnson, Meyers, Wells, etc.
These points have been previously dealt with many, many times here already and the existing article content he refers to is the result of repeated discussion, see the archives. He's bringing nothing new to the topic to prompt a change. There's a significant amount of evidence to overcome; it's extremely well-documented that the leading ID proponents speak out of both sides of their mouths on the issues of identity of the designer and their religious motivations. FeloniousMonk 17:12, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
Oh, trust me, I'm well aware of that. I agree with you that ID is just creationism in sheepskin clothing. I was just trying to be circumspect and civil about it, was all. Perhaps I misunderstood the point Afterall was trying to make? It appeared to me that he was merely pointing out that we should not assume more than we know about a given ID proponent's religious beliefs, due to their known reluctance to share those beliefs. Besides, it's best not to press the point; it can only make the asker look like a bully, and the one refusing to answer look like a martyr. Better, always, to debate a point on its own merits and not the merits of its proponents. Cheers, Kasreyn 18:11, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

I'm so tired of this issue

About every week or so someone trapses in here and changes "all" to "some" or "many". Let's try to reword this so that we can avoid this headache. Here's my idea:

Its leading proponents, who are affiliated with the Discovery Institute[8], 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.

Perfect? No, but I think it may avoid the headaches of people coming in and constantly editting that sentence. --ScienceApologist 21:28, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

That's called equivocation. Accuracy should not be sacrificed because some are uninformed while others are promoting a viewpoint. Until there actually is a prominent ID proponent who is not affliated with the Discovery Institute, a complete and accurate article would state that all leading proponents are affiliated with the institute. FeloniousMonk 21:40, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
There is a reading of the above sentence that does make this statement. There is a fine-line between equivocation and nuance. I'd claim that my wording is nuanced rather than equivocal. --ScienceApologist 21:44, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
I think it's the "leading proponents" that throws most of the traipsers. Apparently the adjective is lost in the midst of the fuzz inside their pointy little heads.
In any case, I understand both points, and yes, SA's point is nuanced (quite well, in fact). Unfortunately, nuance tends to be utterly lost on most -- especially in this article. (Rather ironic when you consider that ID is built on nuance and word-play.) •Jim62sch• 21:55, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
Tired of seeing the same issue repeatedly need to be justified as well. But when I first arrived here, I could not imagine how the statement "all of whom..." could possibly be accurate. As I recall, when the language was first being consensused, participants in the discussion were repeatedly challenged to come up with three leading proponents who were not, then ultimately even one notable proponent, let alone leading proponent, that was not affiliated with the DI. No one could, and the process was repeated several times. I'm not opposed to a better phrasing, but perhaps long-time editors here should make a note of where these discussions are archived? ... Kenosis 21:59, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
Or you could just put a note in the text asking people to discuss this before changing it?[57] Guettarda 22:22, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
I think it's important to make a clear point about where all the ID pressure is coming from so support the inclusion of "all". I think it's just a loop that needs to be gone through - we could look upon it as part of our wedge strategy! Sophia 22:38, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

I'll voice my criticism of this passage, even though I know it's futile. "Leading proponents" is inherently fuzzy, as is "associated," so some people will interpret it broadly enough to include people that most of you guys exclude from the definition. Leaving out the all makes that part sound less extreme, even though it essentially means the same thing. Since there are pro-ID books from non-DI-affiliated people, readers of those books will tend to think of the authors as leading proponents. And since politicians get lots of media attention for taking a stand on ID, people like Santorum and Bush can get lumped in as well. (Incidently, Mike Gene, the long-time ID forum denizen (I think he's mentioned briefly in Creationism Trojan Horse) announced his forthcoming book recently and seems to be aiming for the "first non-DI leading proponent" distinction.) The Forrest quote that is refenced refers to "leaders" rather than "leading proponents," which definitely has a different connotation, and it refers to the IDM, not ID. We have a different article for IDM, so clearly we are distinguishing between the two. I would prefer someting like: "the most important proponents are associated with the Discovery Institute," which implies a graduated scale of leading proponents, rather than a black-and-white cutoff between leading proponent and not leading proponent, while preserving the basic point that the DI is the font of ID.-ragesoss 23:59, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

In other words, "leaders" of the IDM are DI affiliates, but they do what? hand off to "leading proponents" of merely ID who are not affiliated? Interesting. Well, maybe the situation will change with this upcoming book by Mike Gene. I suppose it would actually be nice not to have to deal with this same situation every week or two...Kenosis 00:15, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
"Leaders," to me, implies the people who are planning and directing the (political or intellectual) action, while "leading proponents" seems more about the most successful promulgation of the ideas (regardless of whether the ideas are taken verbatim from others). According to one plausible reading, one could be a leading proponent simply by being a leading person (in a general social or political context) and being a proponent. Regarding the situation, I think it probably won't change with this book. Part of what makes the leading proponents/leaders (as opposed to the handful of non-DI pro-ID authors) leading ones is that they have the IDM social/political machine to promote their books, etc. If Mike Gene's book managed to gain significant traction within ID circles, I'd be pretty surprised, precisely because he doesn't support the IDM.--ragesoss 01:00, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
Appreciate hearing your thoughts about the issue, Ragesoss. As I indicated, I'm not saying it couldn't possibly be said differently, and I was at first taken aback by the assertion in the intro. But after researching it became clear that the chosen language for the article's introduction was accurate. Despite numerous debates about it on the talk page, no one, not one person not affiliated with the DI, was named who could reasonably be asserted to be a leading proponent. Amazing. ... Kenosis 02:45, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
I do agree that it is accurate in the intended meaning (disregarding the possible ambiguities I suggested above), but the main problem I've had with that bit, and this article in general, is one of emphasis rather than accuracy. Specifically, ID-sympathetic viewpoints outside of the DI are systematically eliminated (with the implicit result that all ID-supporters also support the IDM, and support ID for theological reasons). For example, when I tried to introduce the Dover trial viewpoint of Steve Fuller in a footnote, to balance the current footnote 6 ("However, philosopher and sociologist Steve Fuller considers ID legitimately scientific, although it is an inferior theory to evolution: see Fuller's testimony from Kitzmiller v. Dover.") It was removed supposedly because it was a discursive footnote and discussion belongs in the main text, but no attempt was made to actually add any relevant alternate views to the text. I don't support ID, but I don't think everyone who does is a fuzz-brained pointy-head and/or fundie either. Anyhow, I've said my piece; I've accepted that this article is firmly controlled by a handful of regulars, and in particular that SA and FM will get their way.--ragesoss 03:36, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
(ri) Clearly what we have here is an English comprehension issue, one that we can do nothing about as comprehension issues relate to an earlier, elementary period in one's linguistic development. In fact, when I noted "fuzz inside their pointy little heads", the context should have made it clear that I was not referring to IDists, but to the folks who insist on arguing the point every week or so. Believe it or not, not all of them are IDists. No offence, Rage, but it'd be better if you read what I wrote, not what you think I wrote
Second, it seems to me that the alleged ambiguities raised are nothing more than strawmen. After all, we are not trying to determine what the meaning of "is" is. (As I noted, SA, nuance is lost on this article).
Third, the comments by Fuller might better be explored in the article that covers the Kitzmiller trial, not this article. Admittedly, I find his statement to be asinine, but it was offered as testimony, so inclusion in the Kitzmiller article might shed a little more light on the debate from the standpoint of the trial. •Jim62sch• 10:27, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
Given the amount of non-neutral stuff that people try to insert into this article, it isn't surprising that we are a little resistant to change. So make the effort. You seem to be saying that no one has acted on your suggestion. If you think it's worth inserting, and the opinion has been expressed that it should be in the main text and not in a footnote, why not try to come up with a way to insert it into the text. If you know the material well enough to believe that its a viewpoint that should be in the article, then you probably know better than the rest of us the most accurate way to phrase the insertion. So why not come up with the proposed text and let us discuss it? No matter what you think of the rest of us, Dave Souza is always willing to give people a listen, and usually has something constructive to say. Guettarda 04:28, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

I added a bit on Fuller to the appropriate section. I don't enjoy the kind of contentious editing that happens on articles like this, so I will leave it to you guys to decide whether to keep it, modify, or revert it. BTW, I do appreciate what a tough job you guys have taken on in keeping this article consistent and concise, even if I have problems with the end result. May the Wiki be with you--ragesoss 05:13, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

New insertion removed and put here for analysis as to content and relevance

I have removed Fuller's testimony and am putting it here for discussion as to its relevance and placement. It was tacked onto the end of the section on "Defining intelligent design as science". ... Kenosis 15:02, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

"Steve Fuller, a witness for the defense, had argued instead that intelligent design is legitimately scientific—though an inferior theory to evolution—and that "methodological naturalism is not an essential ingredient of scientific inquiry."[9]" 15:02, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

As you said it is misplaced and irelevant in that part of the article. This philosopher of science and history is trying to push his so called "Social epistemology", a term under a bit more controversy than the term "Science". He argues in esence that science is a social undertaking and thus it follows that the knowledge it generates is filtered by society. Thus subjective at some level. I think he is wrong and he is taking his arguments too far into a field (Science) that especifically evolved to counter that problem.--LexCorp 16:09, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
I agree with LexCorp. Fuller's position is biased and arguing for intelligent design as a valid research program is clearly a false conclusion, but there is some truth in it: He is perfectly right in that methodological naturalism is not an essential ingredient of scientific inquiry. It should be carefully considered to mention this at least partly. (I even think to spread the urban legend of methodological naturalism was the most successful part of neo-creationist strategy.) But if carefully inspected under Kuhn's or Popper's philosophy, intelligent design just fails as badly (there is some criticism about the former, see Creationism#Political context under creation science). Note that naturalistic explanations in almost all imaginable cases have an inherently (and enormously) higher degree of falsifiability. But that is then a rational consequence of falsificationism, not a 'dogma', as creationists like to present the methodological naturalism. --Rtc 16:21, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
Fuller's testimony carried little to no weight with the judge; his ruling completely dismissed Fuller's claim and reasoning. That ID proponents think ID is valid science is already prominently noted in the article; Fuller's viewpoint is neither notable nor significant enough to merit specific mention. FeloniousMonk 16:46, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
Concur with FM; this article is already large, and adding non-noatable views which are already covered with cites from notable sources is not only redundancy; it is bloat without merit. One puppy's opinion. KillerChihuahua?!? 17:14, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
I tried to fix the problem without refering to Fuller. --Rtc 17:34, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
User:KimvdLinde reverted my change, but did not give any reasoning beyond "Sorry it is based on, not boils down to". As I have shown, this is simply wrong and creationist POV. Science is based on the philosophy of science, for which there are many directions, most notably Popper's and Kuhn's. The practice of science as resembling methodological naturalism is a consequence of these philosophies, but methodological naturalism is not their base. --Rtc 17:55, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
"Boils down to" isn't encyclopedic language in my opinion, but that's anouther matter. Could you consider a different wording? Jefffire 18:16, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
(after edit conflict) You have not shown this to my satisfaction; nor, apparently, to Kim's. At any rate "boils down to" is incredibly unprofessional writing; please do not use colloquialisms except as necessary in quotes, or in articles about such phrasing. KillerChihuahua?!? 18:17, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
I am sorry, English is not my native language. (I looked it up in a dictionary and seem to have hit the bad connotation, this was unintended) You are free to improve the wording so as to keep the meaning intact. PS: "You have not shown this to my satisfaction" What's incorrect about what I wrote? What would you expect from me to show this to your satisfaction? There should be no question about methodological naturalism being a creationist hoax. If I look at recent history of philosophy of science, there is Popper, Kuhn, and, perhaps, Feyerabend and Lakatos. None of them subscribes to methodological naturalism. --Rtc 18:21, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
"boils down to" is speaking language, and is somewhat vague. As if there where a lot of other options and that it is kind of a half way choice between varous options. It is not, and based on is really the right way to say it. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 18:30, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

Yes, but 'based on' is technically incorrect either and I refuse to accept POV. All modern philosophies of science have something resembling methodological naturalism as a consequence, it is not 'kind of a half way choice'. But methodological naturalism is not a dogmatic premise on which science is based either, as the text suggests. Please fix this. It's hard to see for a biologist. But it's a matter of epistemology, not a matter of biology. And just look at Scientific method: It does not even mention methodological naturalism. Can you name any notable work in epistemology that argues for methodological naturalism? I can't. This it seems like a creationist hoax to me. --Rtc 18:45, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

Scientific method: Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for the investigation of phenomena and the acquisition of new knowledge of the natural world, as well as the correction and integration of previous knowledge, based on observable, empirical, measurable evidence, and subject to laws of reasoning., is methodological naturalism as far as I can tell. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 18:55, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
It appears to be a misunderstanding or disagreement on what scientific naturalism means - what do you understand it to mean, Rtc? KillerChihuahua?!? 18:59, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
I can't say because I did never really see a consistent definition of scientific naturalism, and I think there can't be one even in principle. Can you give one? Kim cites the definition of scientific method, but that more closely resembles falsificationism, not methodological naturalism: This definition does not contain any restriction to natural explanations, in fact, there can't be such a restriction without being entirely arbitrary. What is natural, what is not? Is an atom natural? Just get the simple fact that you can only define it so and that already observations, or supposed 'facts' are 'theory laden'. Please read a good book about epistemology, such as Logic of Scientific Discovery. (And don't let you fool by misunderstandings of falsificationism that are all around in the intelligent design movement propaganda! It is not sufficient for a new theory to have a microscopic falsifiable aspect to become scientific, as they are trying to suggest. addition: 'new theory' does not refer to intelligent design here, which is not falsifiable. It refers to specific claims used in the propaganda to allegedly support intelligent design, such as a flagellum not being evolvable.) Methodological naturalism can only be seen as a straw man employed by creationists to discredit science as a dogmatic enterprise and call for far reaching relativism. --Rtc 19:15, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
Briefly, naturalism is what happens in nature, as opposed to what happens supernaturally. So the scientific method is, ipso facto, scientific naturalism. Intelligent design is not; it makes the claim of being scientific, but includes supernatural as well as natural explanations. Does that help? KillerChihuahua?!? 19:18, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
It doesn't help at all. Intelligent Design is not scientific, that's correct, but not because somebody made an arbitrary definition of natural and then ruling it out based on that definition. You are drawing the right conclusion from a wrong premise. --Rtc 19:22, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
I'm not drawing a conclusion at all. I'm trying to give a simple explanation of scientific naturalism, the term. I only used ID as a contrasting example. Faith healing is also not naturalistic. KillerChihuahua?!? 19:29, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
You did not give a simple explanation since you left nature undefined; you can't define nature but arbitrarily. Please read Popper's work and see why your naive intuition is doomed to fail and how science can nevertheless be rescued keeping coomon sense intact and without falling back to relativism. --Rtc 19:35, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
  1. I am not your dictionary nor your secretary; look up "nature" yourself.
  2. "naive intuition" ? Indeed. That is either nonsense or very close to a personal attack.
  3. What is this, a reading assignment? This has nothing to do with defining "scientific naturalism". You are trolling by suggesting I read Popper - Popper has nothing to do with defining this phrase. Stop asking questions then arguing something else. KillerChihuahua?!? 19:42, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
    • So now that you ran out of arguments, you are falling back to personal attacks? Nature, according to Wikipedia, says "Nature (also called the material world, the material universe, the natural world, and the natural universe) is all matter and energy, especially in its essential form." That's an entirely arbitrary definition. What it really means is that Nature is everything that can be described by the current scientific theories of physics. But why are these theories scientific? According to your argument, they are, because they are natural explanations, and they are natural explanations because they are scientific theories. That's circular reasoning and what I call a naive intuition, which is by no means meant as some attack on you, but on your argument. It's not as easy as you think, though your conclusion that intelligent design is not science is correct. Popper has in fact very much to do with the whole problem since he solved it. --Rtc 19:53, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
What is this, a pseudo-philosophy course given by a Popperite? This hardly seems like the appropriate forum. "Nature" as used herein is an abstract, so any definition, including Popper's will be somewhat subject (although not likely "arbitrary" in the standard sense of the word".
In addition, running over to Naturalism (philosophy) to try to stuff your views into that article in the hope that that article might support your views here is rather dishonest (nice catch Kenosis). KC is correct, you're trolling. •Jim62sch• 08:35, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

I don't have an argument. I'm not arguing for the inclusion of the term; I was trying to help by defining it for you. I have made no personal attacks. I strongly suggest you take a less argumentative tone, cease putting words in my mouth, and if you have a suggestion for the article, make it without further straw men and specious sparring with arguments which have not been stated and do not exist. KillerChihuahua?!? 19:58, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

What strikes me as ironic is that the argument is that it needs to be more precise language, while the proposed change was less precise. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 19:59, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

Rtc: Had you bothered to read the archives you would have found I have indeed read Popper and have utilized his arguments several times; you choose to presume that since I am attempting to define a term you yourself stated you did not understand that I am making some kind of argument for its validity, and (from either some imagination of yours or an alternate reality, I really can't guess) stating, with no evidence whatsoever, that I am using the term as "proof" that ID is not science. I cannot state more clearly that you are arguing something I have never stated, and declaring my position false when I have in fact never stated that as my position. Read my posts, dont' attempt to read my mind. KillerChihuahua?!? 20:02, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
Okay, let's not start a meta-discussion now. Your stated: "So the scientific method is, ipso facto, scientific naturalism." I stated: "Science is based on the philosophy of science, for which there are many directions [some of which have, some of which have no scientific method], most notably Popper's and Kuhn's. The practice of science as resembling methodological naturalism is a consequence of these philosophies, but methodological naturalism is not their base." Popper's philosophy clearly has the falsificationism as a scientific method, not methodological naturalism. What is the difference between the two and why is the latter 'ipso facto' the scientific method and why not the former? (Who claims that, after all, except the creationists?) Can you name a prominent epistemologist adhering to methodological naturalism (under that name) and can you name some work in support? I named Logic of Scientific Discovery as in support for falsificationism and clearly Popper is a prominent epistemologist. --Rtc 20:30, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
Am I somehow being massively unclear? I am not arguing for the inclusion or use of the phrase. I was trying to clarify the meaning of the phrase for you, something which I have no indication I have succeeded at doing. I see absolutely no reason to do research regarding something about which I am completely agnostic. That said, the current wording is infinately preferable to "boils down to" which is colloquial phrasing, to put it kindly. KillerChihuahua?!? 20:37, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
Right, you did exactly not succeed at clarifying the sentence to me, since your explanation resulted, to me, in a circular definition. You tried to make me understand, sure. And 'boils down to' is inappropriate, fair enough, but in the end, the actual problem, naming a prominent epistemologist adhering to methodological naturalism (under that name) and some work in support, remains unsolved. --Rtc 20:44, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
Falsification is based on methodological naturalism. Popper started with that. Anything supernatural becomes natural as soon as we can either verify or falsify it. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 20:45, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
That's a bold claim. Can you name any sources? I think you are incorrect, but I only have a German edition of the Logic. If thats fine for you, I can quote the relevant part. --Rtc 20:48, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
Yes, it is a bold claim, but by all means give the quote, german is not a problem for me. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 20:50, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
And to add, how would falsification work on supernatural things? -- Kim van der Linde at venus 20:51, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
I am using Karl R. Popper: Logik der Forschung (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2005), 11th Edition, ISBN 3161481119. It contains a whole section, it's section 10, Die 'naturalistische' Auffassung der Methodenlehre. It closes "Wir lehnen also die naturalistische Auffassung ab: Sie ist unkritisch, sie bemerkt nicht, daß sie Festsetzungen macht, wo sie Erkenntnisse vermutet; so weden ihre Festsetzungen zu Dogmen. Das gilt für das Sinnkriterium, es gilt für den Wissenschaftsbegriff und damit auch für den Begriff der erfahrungswissenschaftlichen Methode." I hope that's enough to show you that Popper's philosophy is most certainly not based on methodological naturalism. You ask how fasification works on supernatural things? That's easy, by predicting falsifiable consequences; in effect offering an equal or higher degree of falsifiability than other theories, and by making better predictions than those theories (which means it must contradict these theories for falsifiable consequences). An atom is perfectly supernatural (or metaphysical to use a different word), yet predicts lots of falsifiable consequences. Intelligent Design does not have any falsifiable consequences and is neither implied by IC nor by SC (nor are these concepts for themselves formally consistent or sound) --Rtc 22:32, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
This being the English Wikipedia, might I request that you translate your quotation from Popper so those of us who don't know German can follow the discussion? Thanks, Kasreyn 23:21, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
go to [58]. Search for the exact string logic of scientific discovery naturalistic. It should give "The Logic of Scientific Discovery - Page 31" as the first hit. click it. The last paragraph on that page is the last paragraph of the section and the one I quoted in German above. Okay? --Rtc 23:33, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
Wow, in both languages it amounts to the same thing: Die naturalistische Auffassung ist Stierscheiße (Naturalism is bullshit). Popper was very deep. ;) •Jim62sch• 08:56, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

Definition of methodological naturalism

This is something that the related topics in Wikipedia tend to skirt around, though naturalism (philosophy) has a good go at it. The best word for its relationship to science that I've seen is "inherent" - if you follow the scientific approach of requiring testability, then the supernatural is inherently beyond its scope, unless of course you find the phenomenon being investigated isn't supernatural after all. Judge Jones has a useful, slightly different, take on it at whether ID is science. He cites the NAS: "Science is a particular way of knowing about the world. In science, explanations are restricted to those that can be inferred from the confirmable data – the results obtained through observations and experiments that can be substantiated by other scientists. Anything that can be observed or measured is amenable to scientific investigation. Explanations that cannot be based upon empirical evidence are not part of science.” ..dave souza, talk 20:04, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

"if you follow the scientific approach of requiring testability" Sorry, but that's falsificationism to me, not methodological naturalism. --Rtc 20:38, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
Rtc, you are picking fights about phrasing on the talk page. Cease. Do you have a suggestion for the article? KillerChihuahua?!? 20:42, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
You can read the suggestion from my reply: Change methodological naturalism to falsificationism, or, at least, clarify the differences, if there are any, or, alternatively, explicitely say that they are the same. --Rtc 20:45, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
Are you suggesting this:
The scientific method is based on an approach known as methodological naturalism to study and explain the natural world, without assuming the existence or nonexistence of the supernatural. Intelligent design proponents have often said that their position is not only scientific, but that it is even more scientific than evolution, and want a redefinition of science to allow "non-naturalistic theories such as intelligent design"
Be changed to:
''The scientific method is based on an approach known as falsificationism to study and explain the natural world, without assuming the existence or nonexistence of the supernatural. Intelligent design proponents have often said that their position is not only scientific, but that it is even more scientific than evolution, and want a redefinition of science to allow "non-naturalistic theories such as intelligent design"? KillerChihuahua?!? 21:02, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

Falsification is only a partial component (all swans are white, a single black swan suffices to falsify), research questions can be frased in the opposite way in verifiable questions (most swans are white, a single black swan verifies), so, suggesting that falsificationism is better is just tossing out other naturalistic methods. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 21:12, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

What KillerChihuahua asks me to propose seems reasonable to me (from a philosophic point of view), but I don't know if that still matches the topic of the article! What Kim is presenting is a positivistic approach, which Popper explicitely argued against and showed why it is doomed to fail. 'most swans are white' cannot be verified. "Der Satz 'Hier steht ein Glas Wasser' kann durch keine Erlebnisse verifziert werden. [...] Mit dem Wort 'Glas' z.B. bezeichnen wir physikalische Körper von bestimmten gesetzmäßigem Verhalten, und das gleiche gilt von dem Wort 'Wasser'." (p. 70, 71), ie., observations are theory laden and thus cannot be verified. You are doing a classic mistake and mixing observations with Popper's basic statements (Basissätze). Falsifiability is a logical property, while the correspondence of observations to basic statements is rather conventionalistic. So much for the philosophy, but I would not even be against describing it from a positivistic point of view if only some reference is given where I can look at a reputable definition of methodological naturalism (by that name). Please name a textbook! If the judge says 'methodological naturalism', it must be supposed to be correct, so please find a reference and make it explicit (methodological naturalism fails to name a reputable source) Perhaps methodological naturalism really is supposed to be logical empiricism? --Rtc 22:32, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
Popper has not the final word on this. He is influential, but not the end. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 07:13, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
I did not claim so but merely requested a reputable source describing methodological naturalism by that name. Or has the alleged base for the scientific method never made it into a publication? --Rtc 07:21, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
Can I humbly suggest that is based on be replaced by inherently involves an approach known as methodological naturalism...? ..dave souza, talk 22:05, 15 June 2006 (UTC) clarifieddave souza, talk 22:08, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
That doesn't solve the problem. Please help to find a reputable source defining and supporting methodological naturalism by exactly that name. --Rtc 22:42, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
I found some promising source there on the discussion page: It supports my hypothesis that it's a creationist hoax. It's quoting Numbers "The phrase 'methodological naturalism' seems to have been coined by the philosopher Paul de Vries, then at Wheaton College" and goes on to state "In case you didn’t know, Wheaton is a conservative evangelical school where the faculty and staff must agree with a detailed statement of faith." --Rtc 22:44, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
I tried another solution, removing the claim entirely that methodological naturalism is the base of the scientific method, since this relationship is plainy wrong; there are several methodological rules that have been proposed in philosophy of science (most rule out Intelligent Design as a science), my other example was falsificationism, so the presumably positivistic methodological naturalism is only one among them. Please have a look at it! --Rtc 23:00, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

You don't seem to have noticed in the Panda article that "De Vries distinguished between what he called “methodological naturalism,” a disciplinary method that says nothing about God’s existence, and “metaphysical naturalism,” which “denies the existence of a transcendent God.” - not all christian philosophers try to conflate the two or support ID. Better links at Naturalism, including one to Pennock's paper: his testimony at Kitzmiller was cited by Judge Jones, see the above link. ..dave souza, talk 00:00, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

Thats an entirely artificial dichotomy well known to me and has no effect on the outcome. Defining nature is entirely arbitrary and dogmatic. Falsificationism is superior, as Popper recognized correctly. --Rtc 00:15, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
Excuse me, but it is not an entirely arbitrary and dogmatic distinction. Rather, the distinction is critical to differentiating what a person acting as minister or priest says from what a scientist says. And it is also critical in differentiating spiritual speculations from assertions of a community of scientists based upon empirical evidence that can be double-checked when in doubt. It also has very much to do with the difference between empirical evidence and faith or personal belief, etc., etc. ... Kenosis 06:40, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
You are effectively arguing that, because the distinction is important, it cannot be arbitrary and dogmatic. That's not an inference I accept as valid. --Rtc 07:09, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
Hmmm, I submit that the definition of "valid" is arbitrary and dogmatic. •Jim62sch• 09:13, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

To show that out of trolling comes forth sweetness, Pennock's paper actually gives a pretty good source for the philosophical concept of “methodological naturalism”, as does his book Tower of Babel - see the Scientific American review. ..dave souza, talk 10:44, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

If I am a troll, you should not feed me. The statements above are trolling and seriously misinterpreting my intention, so I won't reply to them. Concerning the article, the current version is okay since it does not claim anymore that the scientific method is actually based on methodological naturalism, instead, giving a more general account which is not discriminating against other philosophies of science, such as Popper's. I don't see Pennock's writings as a reputable source concerning methodological naturalism; he has written a book about neo-creationism, not about empistemology. But you could add this as a source to naturalism (philosophy) anyway, since a bad source is better than none at all. --Rtc 15:43, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
Isn't that kind of like saying eating rat poison is better than eating nothing at all? •Jim62sch• 20:53, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
Delighted to hear you're not trolling, Rtc, just your enthusiasm for the worthy Popper was reminiscent of the creationist line that he has refuted the scientific credentials of evolution. I have to admit that I've no knowledge of empistemology, but then few seem to have. Even epistemology seems to have only indirect relevance to this article, which last I heard was about ID. Which, by a remarkable coincidence, is a field in which Pennock is notable. Methodological naturalism appears to be a term which has gained currency in the philosophy of science specifically in relation to neocreationist claims that science = atheism. The sentence now looks fine, but unfortunately Scientific method says nothing about the supernatural according to my Find function. It'll be splendid if you can work on that article so that it supports the claim being made in this article. ..dave souza, talk 22:55, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
"Popper [...] has refuted the scientific credentials of evolution" I strongly disagree. Popper has criticized evolution in the darwinian sense for lacking falsifiablity, but he has proposed solutions for this without casting doubt on the basic claim. In contrast to creationists this is an entirely legitimate criticism and a constructive improvement. Popper has been abused und misquoted by creationists as have been many other great philosophers and scientists. --Rtc 23:56, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
Following on Dave souza's comment just above:
The fact that the scientific method article says nothing about the supernatural makes sense. Certainly it could have mentioned the supernatural, but thus far it hasn't, despite that a great deal of work has been put into that article by many knowledgeable editors. Although different writers on the subject have used different terminology to describe it, the basics of method described in that article are fairly standard. For instance, note the cyclical and progressive nature of the empirical inquiries described in the hypothesis/testing method in that article. It is generally taken as granted among practitioners and the vast majority of non-practicing commentators (i.e., reputable philosophers) that the method is not suitable for discovery and explication of spiritual principles, but instead is highly adept at discovering and clarifying empirically based knowledge. Hence the mere mention of a phrase such as, say, "excluding supernatural factors," would in general be unnecessary in an article about scientific method (though maybe that will change – who knows?). Nonetheless, in the intelligent design article it was absolutely necessary to refer to the word "supernatural" because of the nature of ID. It had been widely assumed that we in the "civilized world" had learned our lesson of why it is necessary to keep our personal religious, faith-based beliefs – unfalsifiable and untestable as such perspectives are at least within this lifetime – separate from our science.
So, you might say the ID movement wants a piece of the credibility that "science" has accumulated by diligently limiting itself to verifiable and testable empirical inquiries. And the proponents of ID want to redefine science to allow its advocates to sell it in the public arena. Kind of like religious lobbyists getting into the political mix and saying, "hey, we're credible too" and trying to redefine science so as to mandate selling their POV to the next generation of kids in school. ... Kenosis 00:02, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

Rtc, thanks for that clarification of Popper's work which, as you say, doesn't stop creationists from misrepresenting him as part of their divine mandate to mislead and commit perjury. Kenosis, you're spot on. This unstated assumption of the scientific method is inherent in the requirement of testability, but is misrepresented by ID to claim that their supernatural explanations should be accepted, and to claim that mainstream science is atheistic. The term methodological naturalism apparently has been adopted by philosophers of science seeking to counter ID claims by making the relationship of science to the supernatural explicit. Which is why a link to the term and a citation of a link to Robert T. Pennock are appropriate in this article, and why he was a witness for the prosecution at Kitzmiller. ..dave souza, talk 08:49, 17 June 2006 (UTC) revised 08:59, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

Arguments from Ignorance

In the ID article, I see that there is a section entitled "Arguments from Ignorance". I would like readers to also consider the statements made by the opponents of ID from a mathematical paradigm. Geometry makes use of something called indirect proofs; that is, it attempts to prove a math statement by assuming the opposite it correct. So, by some calling the ID movement's methodology of using a similar technique "ignorant" is a misguided conclusion. --MEGOP

  • You are comparing apples to oranges. --Rtc 23:50, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
Quite right, Rtc. Arguments from ignorance look something like: "if x were true then y, but we have no evidence y is true, therefore not x" whereas arguments of the type you outline look like this: "if x were true then y, but y is false, therefore, not x" (otherwise known reductio ad absurdum). Of course, there is another fallacy in many intelligent design articles: that if evolution is not true, then intelligent design is (this is, in fact, the other kind of argument from ignorance). To say that ID arguments are "arguments from ignorance" is not to say that are "ignorant", but rather to say they are logically fallacious. Many ID arguments in fact take the form "if x were true then y, but there is no evidence of y, therefore z". See the problem? iggytalk 00:41, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
Megop, you are aware that "argument from ignorance" is specific terminology describing a well-known logical fallacy, not a personal attack or claim that ID supporters themselves are "ignorant", right? Kasreyn 00:44, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
Megop, Maths is not science. Comparation is irrelevant.--LexCorp 12:09, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
The comments that have been made seem to make sense, and I agree to some extent. However, it seems to me that any questions posed by ID towards what others have understood evolution to suggest should be greeted by organizations whose existence has not been compromised (i.e. the National Science Teacher's Association, the U.S. National Academy of Science, et cetera).--MEGOP 18:27, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
Don't get you at all. Maybe my fault as english is not my native language. Can you explain what do you mean?--LexCorp 19:19, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
Command of English isn't the issue - I don't understand what he means either. Guettarda 20:23, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
Beats me. And Lex, your English is fine. •Jim62sch• 20:55, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

Not such a dead horse

My searches in philosophy of science have turned up an article by Raymond Bradley, an Emeritus Professor of Philosophy in New Zealand, clearly using the old chestnut about "Either the universe itself could exist without being designed or created, or the designing and creating deity must himself have been designed and created. So either we were left with the universe where we started or we launched ourselves on the path of an infinite regress." and restating "the infinite regress of explanations" in the context of criticism of ID. An entertaining read, even if a source ain't needed. ..dave souza, talk 10:29, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

Hm. I've always wondered about that one... why is it that no one ever rebutted Aquinas thusly: "How can there be such a thing as a first cause? What would be the cause of that first cause? Doesn't this seem to indicate that it is impossible to meaningfully define a 'first cause'?" Kasreyn 10:32, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
Are you kidding? This is one of the most common rebuttals given by ID opponents. This argument even has a name like "regression".
By the way, is this a "scientific" anti-ID argument, a "theological" one, or what? ;-) --Uncle Ed 15:27, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
Theological? Be my (totally unthought-out) guess. Guettarda 16:49, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
I don't consider it an anti-anything argument. It's neither scientific nor theological, I'd put it in the realm of philosophy. Nothing but a momentary digression into the metaphysics of a long-dead monk. Kasreyn 07:20, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Another interesting link: Detailed Syllabus for Cornell Evolution/Design Course (posted 5/16/2006) BioEE 467/B&Soc 447/Hist 415/S&TS 447: Seminar in History of Biology Summer 2006 - Syllabus... "In addition to the course blog and website, the following websites are recommended as sources of information:" includes this page and evolution. ..dave souza, talk 11:35, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

Negative slant of article

I slapped the following label on the article:

The neutrality of this article is disputed because:

it asserts that ID is a thinly disguised pseudoscientific attempt to promote Creationism. In defiance of Wikipedia:Ownership of articles, a small group of contributors revert nearly all attempts to present ID in anything but a negative light.

I wonder how many minutes will pass before even this neutrality-dispute notice is censored. --Uncle Ed 16:56, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

Well, do you have any evidence to support your assertion? There's been a campaign to POV-push on this article, which has been resisted. But information suppression? I'd like to see a some support for such a claim. And as for WP:OWN - that doesn't apply when the majority of editors work to prevent POV-pushing in the article.
So anyway Ed, how about some evidence? Guettarda 17:02, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
The article does not represent a POV, but instead provides objective, verified information about this subject. In light of the reams of verified information made available to editors and readers in the article and talk page, the article itself is quite deferential, patiently explaining the relevant concepts and points of contention to the reader. That is not a POV, but rather a factual presentation based upon overwhelming evidence of, e.g., wedge strategy and other relevant verified facts of the matter. ... Kenosis 17:09, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
No, it bull-headedly and inexorably explains the anti-ID points of view regarding ID concepts and takes the anti-ID side on nearly every point of contention. --Uncle Ed 17:35, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
Ed it has been established (see Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District) that "ID is a thinly disguised pseudoscientific attempt to promote Creationism" so no problem there really. If anyone reads the WHOLE article, they will have a clear understanding of the IDers opinions, views and arguments as well as of those that are critical of the concept. --LexCorp 17:19, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
An excellent example of what I'm talking about. The ID article endorses the POV of this court, instead of remaining neutral. Wikipedia policy does not say that "the latest court decision on a matter shall determine Wikipedia's position on all controversial subjects". --Uncle Ed 17:22, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
You must be joking. Every statement can be said to be POV. I consider the statement that "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."" to be highly POV. I consider ID to be a strategy to impose evil moral values foreign to my own unto society by means of destroying science and the creation of a represive and destructive theocratical state. All done by a bunch of thirsty of power bastards and hypocrites who manipulate ignorant and weak minded people to follow their doctrine. Of course to put my personal views on the article may be constructed as POV as well as breaking multiple Wiki policies. Having said that, to equate my POV views' worthiness or yours with the one expresed by a federal judge while performing his duties is laughable. By your standars nothing could be added to wikipedia. The article is balanced and factual as it is and you are welcome to improve it.--LexCorp 17:52, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

Here is the bias:

  1. The POV of the article is thatEvolution by natural selection is true, objective, verified, etc.
  2. The POV of ID is that evolution is untrue, not objective, unverified.

Wikipedia should not take sides in this matter but describe both points of view fairly. This is the definition of NPOV policy.

There has been a campaign to POV-push on this article (against ID and in favor of evolution), but all attempts at resistance have been crushed by superior numbers. If WP:OWN permits group ownership, then perhaps this is okay but it still violates NPOV.

  • It is not our job to edit Wikipedia so that it reflects our own idiosyncratic views and then defend those edits against all-comers. (copied from [[59]])

The first improvement needed is to recast the intro so that it's not 90% explaining patiently that scientists and jurists oppose ID. At least 50 to 100 words should be added explaining what ID is first. --Uncle Ed 17:19, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

One could always go back to David Hume for a conceptual resolution (to wit, arguing against inductive reasoning, the fact that the sun has always risen in the east is no guarantee that it will continue to do so). You might draw upon John Stuart Mill ("There is no such thing as absolute certainty, but there is assurance sufficient for the purposes of the conduct of life"). The capsulation above that evolution by natural selection is true, objective, verified, etc. is not a POV. The knowledge of the fact of evolution (originally a theory I suppose) has thus far successfully provided a verifiable and verified basis for the whole of biology and all its important offshoots including some very important modern medical techniques (e.g. modern virology and immunology). Sure there are modern disputes about how more complex species tend to evolve stepwise rather than in continuous random fashion (thank heavens biology is evolving) – the successful resolution of that scientific question will depend on a theory a bit more specific than "because something really smart was involved." Yes, evolution is true, objective and verified sufficiently for the purposes of the conduct of life.
As to the second alleged POV above, I'm not going to respond beyond saying that "Uncle Ed's" assertion that the article puts forward that "[t]he POV of ID is that evolution is untrue, not objective, unverified" is in itself untrue, not objective, uverified. Perhaps a restatement of what Uncle Ed believes actually reflects the article's content would be helpful. ... Kenosis 17:47, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

Ed believes that the POV of the article is that Evolution by natural selection is true, objective, verified, etc.

I don't see the evidence of this in the article at all. I find this kind of undifferentiated, non-specific criticism to be nothing more than posturing and is righly ignored as irrelevant to the discussion of the article. It's not even worthy of discussion. Ed's only proposal is to augment the introduction to ID in the intro. This is fine to suggest, but I don't see any specific suggestions and I don't think that the current intro does a poor job of introducing the concept. --ScienceApologist 18:04, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
Eh, why doesn't Ed want to represent the majority (scientific) view as the majority view and the minority (sometimes pseudoscientific) view as the minority view; and, moreover, explain how scientists have received ID theories? ...dave souza, talk 18:13, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
Dave, I've always said it's much more than a majority: 95% of scientists accept it, and 99.8% of biologists. Where did you get the idea that I don't want to represent the majority as a majority? I just want the minority view of ID to be mentioned and described fairly in the article. --Uncle Ed 18:20, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
I would think Ed's assertion is consistent with a belief that the overwhelming majority of the scientific community is itself holding a POV bias. These wild stretches of the concept of POV really do leave you right back with David Hume's problem of induction. It gets ridiculous at some point. ... Kenosis 18:16, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
Kenosis concedes my point, freely admitting that he regards the pro-evolution points of view as (to quote him exactly) "true, objective and verified". But this is exactly the problem with the article. It should NOT agree with Kenosis that evolution is true but cite those advocates who make this assertion.
Anyway, the intro should point out that ID stands in opposition to the hypothesis (or theory if you will) of "evolution by natural selection". It should state which organizations or individuals agree with ID. Something like:
The thing ID says (or its supporters say it says) should come before the part of the article that says ID is wrong. --Uncle Ed 18:17, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

Ed's objections here are plainly specious and nothing more than sour grapes for my role in his pet new policy Wikipedia:Text move being scuttled. My apologies to all. FeloniousMonk 18:18, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

Specious and increasingly irrational. To wit, the assertion that the essential components of biological concepts of evolution are debated and debatable is in fact quite verifiably a creationist POV. Or did I miss something important here? ... Kenosis 18:25, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
I've now documented this outburst and disruption at his RFC and would welcome input there from the regular contributors here on next steps since Ed has ignored the previous attempts to stop this disruption. FeloniousMonk 18:43, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

I think FeloniousMonk deserves a standing ovation for his continued patience. Well done Sir --Petersian 22:08, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

Two points of view

Sorry to resort to the "+" sign again, but edit conflicts are hard to deal with:

My point is that there are 2 points of view:
  1. That evolution is debatable (ID says this)
  2. That evolution is not debatable (95% of scientists and 99.8% of biologists say this)
Therefore, the article should NOT say that evolution isn't debatable but rather that x percent of scientists says so. And the article should not take the POV that these scientists are right but explain each aspect of the ID argument along with any rebuttals by the "majority".
But it should not imply or even hint that merely because most scientists (and one US federal judge) oppose it, ID is wrong. Please don't miss this. --Uncle Ed 18:32, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
I'd like to see a credible citation for the 95% figure. Frankly, I speculate 95% is an awfully low estimate, especially given that many major scientific organizations have published clear statements about the unscientific nature of ID (baraminologists excepted of course). No equivalent statement such as, say, "a significant minority disagree with the tenets of evolution" has been issued. Like to see a citation of the 99.8% figure too, though it sounds about right. ... Kenosis 18:39, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
Saul's balls, this is idiotic. The fucking introduction already clearly says "an overwhelming majority", includes cites, and is pretty damn careful not to endorse one POV. What's your problem? Graft 18:50, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
Ed's problem seems to be he genuinely has a hard time with consensus going against his perspective. --ScienceApologist 18:53, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
Trying to remain rational in the face of increasingly absurd assertions. But the evidence of intentional disruptiveness continues to accumulate. Ed Poor has already been notified and warned per Wikpedia rules about notification and opportunity to correct one's self. Personally I'm willing to spend a bit more time on it at this point and have clearer evidence of to what extent rationality will need to suffer in order to justify further disruptiveness. ... Kenosis 18:59, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
No doubt he's on the wikipedia IRC channel right now, just like during the last incident, trying to drum up sympathy and support. FeloniousMonk 19:04, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
Incorrect, Ed. These are the two points of view:
  1. Everything is debatable. (Scientific point of view)
  2. Everything is debatable except the idea of an intelligent designer, which must be accepted despite a lack of evidence (ID point of view).
Wikipedia has no compelling requirement to give special attention or consideration to fringe views. By attempting to take on the mantle of being "science", Intelligent Design opens itself up for being criticized in the context of the scientific community. Therefore it is appropriate for this article to focus on the extent of ID's support within that community, which not surprisingly, is exactly nil. Kasreyn 19:39, 19 June 2006 (UTC)


I notice in the section on "irreducible complexity" that Behe's example of the mousetrap is outlined. Would it be worthwhile to include a note on John H. McDonald's reducibly complex mousetrap? Before you argue that McDonald's mousetrap isn't notable, please note that Behe himself has published a rebuttal of McDonald's illustration. Opinions? Kasreyn 07:33, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

McDonald's argument certainly warrants its mention on Irreducible complexity, but it is really a quite specific instance of the point that the article attributes to "critics". It might be helpful to add this link as a reference for that paragraph, however. iggytalk 16:53, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
Ahh! I didn't realize there was an article on Irreducible Complexity. Thanks! Kasreyn 17:49, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
  1. ^ "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." Discovery Institute. What is Intelligent Design? Questions About Intelligent Design
  2. ^ a b Ruling, Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District 4: whether ID is science
  3. ^ See: 1) List of scientific societies rejecting intelligent design 2) Kitzmiller v. Dover page 83. The Discovery Institute's Dissent From Darwin Petition has been signed by about 500 scientists. The AAAS, the largest association of scientists in the U.S., has 120,000 members, and firmly rejects ID. More than 70,000 Australian scientists and educators condemn teaching of intelligent design in school science classes. List of statements from scientific professional organizations on the status intelligent design and other forms of creationism.
  4. ^ National Science Teachers Association, a professional association of 55,000 science teachers and administrators in a 2005 press release: "We stand with the nation's leading scientific organizations and scientists, including Dr. John Marburger, the president's top science advisor, in stating that intelligent design is not science
  5. ^ "Biologists aren’t alarmed by intelligent design’s arrival in Dover and elsewhere because they have all sworn allegiance to atheistic materialism; they’re alarmed because intelligent design is junk science." H. Allen Orr. Annals of Science. New Yorker May 2005.Devolution—Why intelligent design isn't. Also, Robert T. Pennock Tower of Babel: The Evidence Against the New Creationism.
  6. ^ National Academy of Sciences, 1999 Science and Creationism: A View from the National Academy of Sciences, Second Edition
  7. ^ Thomas Hunt Morgan, Evolution and Adaptation(New York: The Macmillan Company, 1903), p.43
  8. ^ "Q. Has the Discovery Institute been a leader in the intelligent design movement? A. Yes, the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture. Q. And are almost all of the individuals who are involved with the intelligent design movement associated with the Discovery Institute? A. All of the leaders are, yes." Barbara Forrest, 2005, testifying in the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial. Kitzmiller Dove Testimony, Barbara Forrest
  9. ^ Steve Fuller. Expert testimony. Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial transcript, Day 15, October 24, 2005. Quote from AM, p. 89.