Talk:Intelligent design/Archive 50

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Archive 49 Archive 50 Archive 51

Footnote 24

Not sure if there are any like this one, but footnote # 24 which is supposed to document what Philip Johnson advocates in his book, Darwin On Trial refers to an article by his critic Eugenie Scott. Shouldn't the note show where Johnson makes this claim in the book or other works of his own? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Spiker 22 (talkcontribs) 08:08, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

I believe that is the NCSE explaining what the changes advocated by Johnson, in his book, would have entailed for science. Johnson never explictly stated this fact, but the changes he was advocating were aimed at accomplishing that goal. Baegis (talk) 08:43, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
This is an underlying theme of Johnson's books rather than a specific claim. HrafnTalkStalk 08:59, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
In accordance with WP:NOR, analysis of the primary source (Johnson's writings) is based on a reliable secondary source, Scott's critique. ... dave souza, talk 09:15, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

Scott's critique is rather good. The point here is one of standards. Would we use Michael Behe as a source for Darwin's views? If this is an underlying theme in Darwin on Trial, which I, for one have read, it may have been explicitly stated by Johnson himself somewhere else. It is always possible for even the most reliable person to misunderstand what another thinker is advocating and when there is a primary source for said thinkers views, why use a secondary source? Information is simply always better when drwan from the original source. Spiker 22 (talk) 03:45, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Firstly, under WP:NOR and WP:V we look to secondary third party sources to provide any analysis or interpretation of original sources which are close to the subject of the article or section. For Darwin's views we look to a reputable expert modern historian, which Behe is not. Johnson's writings tend to be elliptical and lawyery, and focussed on complaint rather than positive suggestions. However, from his writings at that time,
"1.5 The question is whether this refusal to consider any but naturalistic explanations has led to distortions in the interpretation of empirical evidence, and especially to claims of knowledge with respect to matters about which natural science is in fact profoundly ignorant.
2.0 The continued dominance of neo-Darwinism is the most important example of distortion and overconfidence resulting from the influence of scientific materialist philosophy upon the interpretation of the empirical evidence."[1]
"The theory in question is a theory of naturalistic evolution, which means that it absolutely rules out any miraculous or supernatural intervention at any point.... Victory in the creation-evolution dispute therefore belongs to the party with the cultural authority to establish the ground rules that govern the discourse. If creation is admitted as a serious possibility, Darwinism cannot win, and if it is excluded a priori Darwinism cannot lose."[2]
A few years later, " In our culture there are two distinct models of the scientific enterprise, and the persuasiveness of the case for Darwinian evolution depends entirely on which model you adopt..... The second, or empirical model.... whether an intelligent cause must be postulated, is eligible for investigation".[3]
Read these extracts in context. Johnson is explicitly calling for a change in the ground rules of science. .. dave souza, talk 10:40, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

In Specified Complexity section

"The conceptual soundness of Dembski's specified complexity/CSI argument is strongly disputed by the scientific community." I can't see anything in the Times article that says specified complexity is strongly disputed. I thought for the most part considered scientifically and mathematically unsound and a non-issue in the scientific community? (talk) 22:13, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

It might not be in that article, although there are some references to its unsoundness but not in those words. I am not sure those words are meant as a direct quote. Do you doubt the truth of those words? --Filll (talk) 01:39, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

I agree that the current reference doesn't support the statement so a better citation is needed, and that "totally discredited" (or similar) might be a more accurate phrasing than "strongly disputed" -- as the latter implies active ongoing argument, rather than a settled issue. HrafnTalkStalk 02:50, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
I read through the times article and couldn't find anything that vaguely mentions that the validity of specified complexity (SC) is being even discussed by the scientific community, much less "strongly disputed". For the most part SC as a conjecture is mathematically unsound and as Hrafn said above "totally discredited". I say we correct this. Sjschen (talk) 03:44, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
I've altered the phrasing to state "The conceptual soundness of Dembski's specified complexity/CSI argument has been widely discredited by the scientific and mathematical communities." & inserted the three citations used in the lead of specified complexity to support a similar statement as sources. HrafnTalkStalk 04:12, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Origin of ID movement

Under Origins, Barbara etc. show a number of ID related events from 1984 - 1986. e.g.:

Barbara Forrest describes the intelligent design movement as beginning in 1984 when Jon A. Buell's religious organization the Foundation for Thought and Ethics (FTE) published The Mystery of Life's Origin by creationist chemist Charles B. Thaxton.[44] In March 1986 Stephen C. Meyer's review described it as using information theory to suggest that messages transmitted by DNA in the cell show "specified complexity" specified by intelligence, and must have originated with an intelligent agent.[45] In November of that year Thaxton described his reasoning as a more sophisticated form of Paley's argument from design.[46] At the Sources of Information Content in DNA conference in 1988 he said that his intelligent cause view was compatible with both metaphysical naturalism and supernaturalism,[47] and the term intelligent design came up.[48]

Consequently, there are a number of statements that the ID movement began in 1987 that need to be corrected.

  • 1) In the intro:

"Intelligent design" originated in response to the 1987 United States Supreme Court Edwards v. Aguilard ruling involving separation of church and state.[18]

  • 2) In the overview:

The term "intelligent design" came into use after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the 1987 case of Edwards v. Aguillard that to require the teaching of "creation science" alongside evolution was a violation of the Establishment Clause, which prohibits state aid to religion.

  • 3)

The modern use of the words "intelligent design", as a term intended to describe a field of inquiry, began after the Supreme Court of the United States, in the case of Edwards v. Aguillard (1987), ruled that creationism is unconstitutional in public school science curricula.

Propose the first of these read:

  • 1) Intelligent design was discussed alongside Charles Darwin's publications, and publications by Horrigan(1979), Hoyle (1981), Thaxton (1984), Thorson (1985) and Meyer (1986). The term Intelligent Design came to prominence after the US Supreme Court Edwards v. Aguilard 1987 ruling on teaching creation science alongside evolution.

Reference: The Intelligent Design Timeline DLH (talk) 18:35, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

I'd prefer something like "Although the phrase 'intelligent design' had existed before ... [cite] the modern movement for intelligent design can be traced as a response to the events leading up to and following Edwards v. Aguilard [cite]" --ZayZayEM (talk) 02:03, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
I'd support wording along these [ZayZayEM's proposed] lines. HrafnTalkStalk 12:03, 31 January 2008 (UTC)[clarified HrafnTalkStalk 13:10, 31 January 2008 (UTC)]
DLH is mixing up the idea presented in ID with the introduction of the term itself. It's fair to say that the whole concept and indeed the movement was there in its essentials from the early 1980s, the name was introduced after Aguilard as a substitute for "creation science". Thus:
  • ""Intelligent design" originated in response to the 1987 United States Supreme Court Edwards v. Aguilard ruling involving separation of church and state.[18]" could be accurately put as
  • ""Intelligent design" was named in response to the 1987 United States Supreme Court Edwards v. Aguilard ruling involving separation of church and state.[18]",
or more informatively stated as
  • "Creation science was rebranded as "intelligent design" in response to the 1987 United States Supreme Court Edwards v. Aguilard ruling involving separation of church and state.[18]. ... dave souza, talk 12:54, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
The phrase, "intelligent design", was first applied as a description of a field of study in the draft of "Of Pandas and People". All earlier occurrences of the phrase were used as a simple descriptor. This is simple stuff. We should not confuse the reader by damage-control POV statements. --Wesley R. Elsberry (talk) 19:17, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

Answers Research Journal

Off-topic, if you want to discuss this journal go to Talk:Answers in Genesis or Talk:Young Earth creationism
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

It's A NEW CREATION, the very first volume appeared in January 2008: the very long-awaited Answers Research Journal!

Type answers + research + journal in your favorite search engine and you will find it, a professional, peer-reviewed technical journal for the publication of interdisciplinary scientific and other relevant research from the perspective of the recent Creation and the global Flood within a biblical framework [SIC].

It's not a joke, but it's extremely fun to read!

However, even the less competent prophet of the Universe could easily predict with a lot of confidence that this new creature will soon be generating a lot of lines in Wikipedia, especially around the page dealing with the intelligent design belief. So: let's be prepared! Sophos II (talk) 23:39, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

Maybe. There are already a lot of similar "journals".--Filll (talk) 01:06, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
Please give some examples. AFAIK, this is the first one pretending to be peer reviewed and it is obvious that the intentions are to create a "scientific" journal to support ID. If indeed there are already a lot of journals having the same pretentions, then OK, definitely not worth mentioning it in the page about ID. Sophos II (talk) 10:01, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
can I mention not-a-forum. Is this relevant to this article? It's pure YEC isn't it, not ID?
ARJ has had mentions in Nature and New Scientist, so may be worthy of its own article?--ZayZayEM (talk) 02:06, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
Well, if you read the Proceedings of the Microbe Forum that is mentioned in the homepage of their website you wil find a lot of YEC, indeed. But when dealing with the subject of microbial evolution for example, there is (inevitably) a lot of ID involved. I though it was worthy to be mentioned (but just mentioned, nothing more) in the page about ID, and of having its own dedicated article. This one is unlikely to be written by me as I unfortunately don't have enough time these days (and I can't foresee any improvement anytime soon). Sophos II (talk) 10:01, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Peer review

Off-topic, if you want to discuss this topic go to Talk:Answers in Genesis or Talk:Young Earth creationism
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Although I totally accept Hrafn's decision to declare the above Answers Research Journal discussion as having turned off-topic and be banned from further progression on this page, I still insist by saying that a few of you are totally missing the point.

Have a look at the actual Peer review section to which this discussion page is directly implicated. The second sentence of the first paragraph clearly states that to date, the intelligent design movement has yet to have an article published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Well, that might have been true until last year, but since January 2008 the intelligent design movement has not only managed to have a few papers published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, it has even also created its own scientific journal to do so, a fact which has not been so swiftly ignored by Nature and New Scientist, as ZayZayEM pointed out in the skipped previous discussion. And this very real fact is right now: in February 2008, just plainly and totally ignored in the page about ID to which this very own talk page is dedicated, notably and precisely with respect to that Peer review section. Have a nice weekend. Sophos II (talk) 00:06, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

No Sophos II, the discussion did not turn off-topic, it was off-topic from the start. ARJ is YEC not ID, so discussion of it has no place here. As to your next point ARJ is neither ID nor a "peer-reviewed scientific journal" (as any peer-review is not performed by the scientific community, but merely by fellow YEC 'Creation Scientists'), so is in no way a counterexample to the statement in the article. HrafnTalkStalk 02:40, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
I agree with your first point because I simply gave up this subject (see my talk page) and even if I continue to insist because I have read what is published in ARJ: that is clearly a vehicle of intelligent design propaganda. For example, the first sentence of the Proceedings of the Microbe Forum is the explicit statement "For many years the roles of microbes as part of God’s wonderful design have been neglected". A complete article about ID should not deliberately ignore the existence of such a vehicle, but I am completely fed up and I give up. However, concerning the second point, I regularly publish and review scientific papers in my field of expertise and therefore I know a bit how the peer reviewing process works. Contrary to what you state there isn't such a thing as a scientific community that decides who is entitled to create a journal and to contribute to the peer reviewing process of its articles and who is not. Moreover, people involved in ARJ claim to have an academic legitimacy to do research, and there is no reason to doubt that they have such an academic background. As such, they would also have the legitimacy to claim to be part of a scientific community who decides what is a scientific journal or not. That is my opinion after having read some of their literature, but of course, I also doubt that ARJ will one day be indexed in databases such as ISI-WoK or MEDLINE (just to cite the two that I am most familiar with) and I seriously doubt that its impact factor will one day raise very significantly above zero, but I don't think either of these two criteria are strictly required for the qualification. Thus, for your objection to be acceptable a better definition of what constitutes a peer-reviewed scientific journal and a convincing explanation of why ARJ does not comply with those criteria would be very welcome. I may have missed something somewhere though, and if that was the case I would be the most grateful to you if you could point out where to find that crucial piece of information. --Sophos II (talk) 13:28, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
In terms of intelligent design articles, the first crucial piece of information is a reliable secondary source stating that ARJ is publishing intelligent design papers. Your perception that a reference to "part of God’s wonderful design" qualifies is original research on your part, and so inadmissible. As it happens, the open reference to God is clearly out of line with the ID approach. Similarly, it's not up to you to evaluate ARJ, a reliable secondary source with impeccable scientific credentials is required so that the opinion can be verified. . . dave souza, talk 14:34, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
From the "Answers (in Genesis) Research Journal":

"Answers in Genesis is excited to announce the launch of its online technical journal called Answers Research Journal (ARJ). Hosted at (but linked to AiG’s website), this will be a professional peer-reviewed technical journal for the publication of interdisciplinary scientific and other relevant research from the perspective of the recent Creation and the global Flood within a biblical framework."

Key is that AIG is only publishing articles that are from a bibical perspective, not a scientific one. Now, Sophos II, pull the other one (and claim you're being persecuted by the other editors just to make it that much funnier! Thanks. Angry Christian (talk) 15:51, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
And what that means, Sophos II, is that our creationist friends at AIG are going to exclude any papers that conflict with the bible. THAT is not science nor is it peer review. That's is called a racket, dear boy. A sham, a disgrace to scientific inquiry. It's also called anti-science, or pseudoscience if you will. Angry Christian (talk) 16:02, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

Clearly, Answers in Genesis is at odds with other creationist organizations like the Discovery Institute because they are competing for funds. This is not about God or spreading the word or anything, it is about money, and Answers in Genesis will do anything to win. After all, Answers in Genesis is in a viscious lawsuit with Creation Ministries International and has walked away from mediation. Answers in Genesis hasl even accused the wife of Carl Wieland of practicing witchcraft and engaging in necrophilia!!! Now someone who would make a charge like that in a lawsuit definitely is a "good christian" right? There have been numerous articles in AiG publications and on its website about how intelligent design is wrong. And I can find similar statements from Institute of Creation Research publications in their own "research" journals about design going back decades, long before the intelligent design movement. Mention of this journal belongs clearly in the article on AiG if anywhere. --Filll (talk) 15:59, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

Thanks all of you for your answers, I am having a better picture now. Just one thing to set the record straight: contrary to what Dave souza believes, I don't want to evaluate ARJ. I am just arguing against the idea that this should completely be ignored from the Intelligent Design page for one reason which I don't want to argue anymore and because "it's not a scientific journal as there is somewhere an obscure community that has decided so". Of course ARJ is not scientific, but can someone tell objectively why? (yes, I know, they won't let you publish anything that is against their scope, but don't all journals do that as well?) Moreover, a "reliable secondary source with impeccable scientific credentials" that mentions ARJ is required. Of course, that is just an essential but completely ordinary requirement for every line of every article written in Wikipedia. Well, I don't know about the quality of the following source, but it should be fairly acceptable, in my humble opinion:

"The organization that last year opened a US$27-million creation museum in Kentucky has started its own 'peer-reviewed' scientific research journal."

Source: Nature 451, 382-383 (23 January 2008) doi:10.1038/451382b

I rest my case, have a nice weekend. --Sophos II (talk) 16:30, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

You are missing the point. This 'peer-reviewed' (as Nature phrased it) "scientific research journal" has nothing to do with intelligent design.

It is from a competing movement and organization and viewpoint in the creationism spectrum. And it belongs in that article on AiG. Ok?

This is nothing new. The Discovery Institute has at least one "peer-reviewed" scientific Research journal. So does Creation Ministries International and Institute for Creation Research and several others. So what? This should go in the appropriate article, which is not here. I am astounded that you are not quie understanding this. AiG HATES intelligent design, because it takes money out of their pockets. Get it?--Filll (talk) 16:45, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

Yes, chill down, you don't need to be so aggressive! I have dropped the ID argument a while ago, you should follow a bit the discussions before instinctively raising your testosterone above the level of cordiality. -- Sophos II (talk) 16:50, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

Sophos II, if you dropped the "intelligent design" part, what are you doing contributing to this page? --Filll (talk) 16:57, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

At the moment I am just answering you, but I am on my way home and that will be the end of it. -- Sophos II (talk) 17:05, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
"I rest my case" um, Sophos II, you don't have a case. AIG excludes anything that conflicts with the bible. That is not science not matter how many of their bibical/anti-science peers review it. Your quote from Nature does not change that fact. And please don't get your panties in a bunch, what you're trying to do here is obvious to anyone. Angry Christian (talk) 16:55, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
And what am I trying to do? Trying to get answers from you about what defines a scientific journal, as that was one of the arguments for not talking about ARJ in the ID page (for Fill, yes, there was also that other argument, please do not bring it back). So far nobody has come with a clear and objective definition. The "case" was just about that "reliable secondary source with impeccable scientific credentials", nothing else. And this whole discussion is now completely off-topic. -- Sophos II (talk) 17:05, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

No offense but this discussion has always been offtopic, as you have been told here repeatedly. IT DOES NOT BELONG ON THIS PAGE. This page is about intelligent design, not other topics. Is that more clear?

Nevertheless, I will humor you. To be a peer-reveiewd scientific journal, the journal must be about science, right? Well about 10 court decisions including a couple of supreme court decisions have been that this material in this journal is not science. Also, the vast majority of scientists (see level of support for evolution) do not feel it is science either. So the judicial and scientific communities do not feel it is science, so it is not science. No matter what tongue in cheek sarcastic news notice you find in the news section in Nature. Get it?

Also to be peer-reviewed, it must really be reviewed by peers in a scientific discipline, and typically those peers are scientists who disagree with the main thesis of the article. Do you think that scientists that think creationism is nonsense or pseudoscience think that these articles will be worthy of publication? I think not. Until you can show that, it is not peer-reviewed. Sorry.--Filll (talk) 17:12, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

I completely agree with you. Are you happy now? Another day, with the above arguments, you will explain why the journal called Homeopathy (and a few other similars) is to be considered a peer reviewed, scientific one, ok? --Sophos II (talk) 17:35, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

I am not happy. I am trying to educate you about the world a little bit so you can understand and make more rational statements.

And who said that the journal Homeopathy is a peer-reviewed scientific journal?--Filll (talk) 17:37, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

Here: --Sophos II (talk) 17:44, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

I am afraid you seem to be confused on several points:

  • There is no mention that this is a peer-reviewed science journal on that page
  • This journal will clearly include plenty of articles debunking homeopathy. Will any creationist journal publish articles debunking creationism?
  • There have been no court decisions as far as I know that homeopathy is not science
  • There are no surveys or official statements about homeopathy's status as a science, or if there are, they are not prominent. I would love to find some however.
  • Just because a publisher announces a journal does not mean much.

So it is not a parallel situation. Sorry.--Filll (talk) 17:58, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

Points 3 and 4 are accurate and there is nothing to say. Point 1: this was just a link to the journal, not to "a page that says". If you really want one of those we can choose another journal of the same vein: There are quite a few of these journals, especially around the medical field, which some people say is "part science, part art, and that's why". The art part in that context is a matter of beliefs, so it's just like a religion. Point 2: you are clearly talking without even having seen a table of contents or read a few abstacts. If you are interested, this journal is indexed in several databases such as MEDLINE. Point 5: publications in the two journals that I have pointed out are sometimes used as references in paper appearing in much "more scientific" journals. You may want to believe that the situation between these faiths (homeopathy and christianity) is not similar at all, but you are not entirely right. -- Sophos II (talk) 18:27, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

Sophos II rested his case, so could either of you answer for me why we're discussing Homeopathy on the talk page of an article about intelligent design? Why are we still discussing this peer-review nonsense with someone who doesn't get it? Since when is it our responsibility to educate uneducated people on the talk page? Sophos is clearly wanted/wanting to portray the bibical AIG journal as something that is peer-reviewed and he still doesn't get why that's a sham. Perhaps you two could take this to Sophos II's talk page. Angry Christian (talk) 18:03, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

He was encouraged 2 or 3 times to take this someplace else. At some point, the option is to just remove all discussion and comments summarily from this page and place them on his talk page, for example. I am ready to do that now if he responds again. The reason for meeting his comments firmly is to not encourage the "camel's nose under the tent". On some articles, where an inch is given, a mile is taken. And this is one of those articles. But dont worry I am ready to either archive this or dump it on his talk page if he responds.--Filll (talk) 18:24, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

For me, this discussion is now over. --Sophos II (talk) 18:27, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

Richard Sternberg‎

User:TableManners is attempting an (in my opinion revisionist/whitewashing) rewrite of Richard Sternberg‎. Having attempted to limit the damage to the article for a couple of days, I think it is time for wider scrutiny and cooler heads. I know we've been through this before (e.g. with ImprobabilityDrive on Creation-evolution controversy‎), so any editors who are familiar with the particulars would be particularly welcome. HrafnTalkStalk 10:31, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

It's a white wash alright. He needs to make a case for such controversial edits on the talk page first. FeloniousMonk (talk) 19:05, 3 February 2008 (UTC)


I casually perused the intro and found it to be absolutely containing what seemed to me to be unreliable claims. For example, the views of the federal district judge in a trial on history, theology, and other matters were presented as absolute fact, even though a judge isn't either a historian or a theologian. Similarly, the views of witnesses in the trial were selectively presented as absolute fact, even on matters in which they had an obvious self-interest. Testimony by a Discovery Institute official about the prominence of the Discovery Institute was presented as unattributed fact. And so on. All claims here need to be attributed, particularly primary sources making analytic claims; peoples' own claims about their own importance should be discounted (and the relationship at least disclosed), and so on. It might be best if every claim being made was presented skeptically, no matter which side it's coming from. Best, --Shirahadasha (talk) 02:39, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

(interpost) Are you serious? Have you any clue of American jurisprudence? Or even western jurisprudence? Yours is such a ridiculous, yet oft-repeated, tack to take. Scientia morit, ratio morit, vive stultas. •Jim62sch•dissera! 01:12, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
Everything you wrote is true, but you can see how much it matters. Z1perlster (talk) 17:25, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
This is he result of the consensus of literally hundreds over a period of years. Viewing your suggestions, I found them inaccurate, or weasle-worded. If a person wants to know the justification of the wording, there are copious cited references to examine.--Filll (talk) 03:30, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
A fallacy is a fallacy, no matter how many use it in an argument. The first paragraphs of this article rely heavily on appeal to authority. For that reason, I, and I'm sure many other readers, didn't bother to delve further into this piece. Z1perlster (talk) 17:25, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
And a fact is a fact. Great effort has been made to provide the highest quality of supporting reliable sources for the statements made. Doubtless many many more sources can be produced at the drop of a hat, and perhaps a more extensive bibliography should be given. However, one thing this talk page has demonstrated is that no number of sources, however unimpeachable they may be, will satisfy all of the naysayers. This says more about the naysayers, though, than it does about the quality of sources. And your argument about "appeal to authority" is spurious. This is an encyclopedia article, so outside authorities must be appealed to: see WP:V and WP:RS. Silly rabbit (talk) 17:34, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

"The first paragraphs of this article rely heavily on appeal to authority"

That is an absurd comment. And a compliment, I suppose, to the folks who contributed to the article. Angry Christian (talk) 17:38, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
(Edit conflict - mostly to Silly rabbit) True, though WP:NPOV has, 'Assert facts, including facts about opinions—but do not assert the opinions themselves. By "fact" we mean "a piece of information about which there is no serious dispute. [...] By value or opinion, on the other hand, we mean "a matter which is subject to dispute."' Is it the case for all the matters listed by Shirahadasha that they are not subject to any serious dispute? If it is, that's fine. If not, they should be listed as opinions of the attributed source rather than as undisputed fact. (What constitutes 'serious dispute' is, of course, the kicker here!)
I do agree that the 'appeal to authority' argument isn't relevant, though. We're not here to assemble arguments of logic - indeed, to do so usually constitutes Original Research - but to present the facts recorded by reliable published sources, attributed appropriately to those sources - as Angry Christian says, appeal to authority is exactly what Wikipedia should do (but it must, of course, be clear what authority is being quoted). TSP (talk) 17:47, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
This article is titled "Intelligent Design". To include "scientists say it's false" is a blatant appeal to authority. Yes, articles in an encyclopedia should be free of fallacies. If the article was titled "Views of various groups on Intelligent Design", then the opinions of a particular demographic would be relevant. How about "48% of American adults hold to the creationist view of human origins"? That is a fact , but just as irrelevant as to the validity of Intelligent Design. Z1perlster (talk) 18:39, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
The opinion of scientists on pseudoscientific mumbo-jumbo that persistently relies on (ironically) fallacious reasoning (such as appeals to authority) to masquerade itself as science in the public forum is very pertinent to a comprehensive description of an idea. Intelligent design pretends to be science, so the opinion of relevent authorities (including some scientists who do/did/oops agree) is very very relevant and is not a /fail at appeal to authority. Appeal to authority is when you use the opinion of airline pilots to create an argument about how to raise children. It's only a fallacy if the authority figure isn't relevant.--ZayZayEM (talk) 00:58, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

<reduce indent>

Z1perlster, on your talk page you wrote:

"What do the organizers of the Bowl Championship Series have in common with evolutionists - They don't have a clue about intelligent design."

Can you explain what this means, exactly? Angry Christian (talk) 17:42, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

If you survey the general public in the US, only 35% do not believe in haunted houses, only 18% do not believe in psychic healing, only 32% do not believe in demonic possession, only 34% do not believe in ghosts, only 42% do not believe in telepathy, only 40% do not believe that extraterrestrial beings have visited Earth, only 43% do not believe in fortune telling and prophecy, 44% in communication with the dead, 54% do not believe in astrology, and 55% do not believe in reincarnation. So...
So why are the views of the public relevant here about intelligent design, even though intelligent design is supposedly science? Do you go to your plumber for heart surgery? Do you go to your veterinarian to get your car repaired? Do you hire your manicurist act as your lawyer in court to fight a traffic ticket? Enough already.--Filll (talk) 18:47, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
To add to what Filll said, Z1perlster, the article has to do with what intelligent design is, not how many Americans believe in creationism\IDc. I think that's obvious, not sure why you missed that fact. And in defining what IDc is we've used authorities on both sides of the "debate". In fact the opening line is a direct quote from creationists who believe in creationism (aka intelligent design). Based on the quote you put on your talk page, Z1perlster, I suspect you believe no one truly understands IDC but you. That attitude will not help you in your efforts to improve the article. Angry Christian (talk) 18:56, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
Hey Z1perlster, it's good to see that you have removed the hostile comments towards "evolutionists" from your talk page. As I implied, hostility towards your fellow editors does not typically help encourage consensus. Angry Christian (talk) 21:57, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Redefine science

My recent edit of the intro apparently got the scope wrong. Also I made an error in phrasing. "explanations to explain the origin and complexity of living things" should have been "explanations for the origin and complexity of living things". I still think the sentence is not complete - is left hanging. Can someone more familiar with the "scope" of the claims make a suggestion? AFAIK the ID'ists aren't suggesting ongoing supernatural interventions in the material world. rossnixon 07:58, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

Sure are – how else do you describe Behe's explanation of the origin of malaria and HIV, and just in case you think it's just living things, consider the astrological astronomical ideas of Gonzalez ... dave souza, talk 19:29, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

My understanding from the Wedge Strategy and various pronouncements of ID promoters and Phillip E. Johnson etc is that biology is just the first target; the "low hanging fruit". The ID agenda is to introduce supernatural into all forms of science like physics and chemistry and all of academia and all fields of knowledge and all aspects of life. And to eventually get a theocracy. The goal is to take us back 1000 or 1500 years (like Al Ghazali did with the Muslims), and have the ID elite in charge of course, kicking the stuffing out of all those who are the wrong sort of people or who believe the wrong thing etc. Just like the Taliban. Nice.--Filll (talk) 21:17, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Don't exaggerate, Filll. The aim is to take us back almost exactly 200 years, to 1807 when a lot of species were recognised but Noah's ark was still scientifically just about reputable, and evolution was beyond the pale. The rest is pretty accurate, though. ... dave souza, talk 21:40, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Report on 'secret' ID symposium

Pandas Thumb has posted a description of a symposium that IDers hosted in which they attempted to convince some hapless genuine scientists of their views, by one of the said hapless genuine scientists. Retroactively they attempted to gag them by stating that it was a "private meeting" and that they were expected to refrain from discussing it.
ID: Intelligent Design as Imitatio Dei (report on the 2007 ‘Wistar Retrospective Symposium’)
HrafnTalkStalk 05:35, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Not so hapless, from what I've read so far, and apparently there's some really interesting work going on regarding information theory, complexity, information entropy and evolution. Not being done by the IDers, obviously. Quite some article. .. dave souza, talk 21:35, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
This reminds me of the secret IDC listserve that Dembski moderates. The one that banned David Heddle for pointing out the obvious (no scientific support for ID) while questioning the wisdom of YEC - read more here Members of that IDC listserv are sworn to secrecy as well. And then we have the Discovery Institute funded secret ID lab in Redmond Washington that refuses to answer questions or allow anyone to tour. Their web site has said "coming soon" since 2005....Why all the secrecy I wonder... Angry Christian (talk) 18:21, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
"Why all the secrecy"? Official reason: "because otherwise all the despicable 'Darwinists' would "expel" us". Real reason: most probably because its less embarrassing to make a complete fool of yourself in private. HrafnTalkStalk 01:27, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

Evolution/Creationism images up for deletion

The following images are up for deletion: Image:Leonard Darwin.jpg, Image:Causes of evolution.jpg, Image:Design inference.jpg, Image:Blind Watchmaker.jpg. As the original uploader is inactive, I thought somebody who knows the image-copyright process might like to take a look to see if they're worth saving. HrafnTalkStalk 02:19, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Opening section

The opening section looks like one long paragraph on the screen — extremely difficult to read. I tried to break it into four grafs, but couldn't. When I printed it out, though, it miraculously (!) broke into four paragraphs on its own. The paragraphs begin as follows: (1) Intelligent design is the assertion that . . . (2) The unequivocal consensus in the scientific community is that . . . (3) "Intelligent design" originated in response . . . (4) In Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School . . . Is there any way to provide better typography on the screen so these four paragraphs are separated from each other? Or can we use bullets or some other typographic device to do so?

Sincerely, GeorgeLouis (talk) 18:50, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Caroline Crocker

With Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed expected shortly, I was putting together a stub on Caroline Crocker. When I was about to place it into mainspace, I discovered that an article on her was deleted by an AfD 2 years ago (Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Caroline Crocker). I therefore thought it best to attempt to get a consensus as to whether she's notable (per WP:NOTE & WP:BIO) first. any opinions? HrafnTalkStalk 07:42, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

If what you say in the article is true, then she is Notable. Sincerely, GeorgeLouis (talk) 07:48, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, Hrafn, she was borderline barely notable two years ago, but has now become the focus of attention with Expelled and is getting new attention. Good call. ... dave souza, talk 08:31, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Okay, I've put it up: Caroline Crocker. I'll go through and wikilink related articles. If I've missed/misrepresented anything please correct these oversights. HrafnTalkStalk 08:59, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Old Earth creationism

A new editor, besides insisting on imposing some odd ideas on template-placement, is making a number of (I suspect) rather dodgy edits on Old Earth creationism. I'm too tired, and have already gone too many rounds with him over the templates, to take an objective look at this myself. Could somebody take a look (it's an article that normally doesn't get too much traffic/oversight). HrafnTalkStalk 18:33, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

The edits don't look too bad to me, I've tried commenting and hope that the attention will bring improvements to the citations and to the article. .. dave souza, talk 19:35, 16 February 2008 (UTC)
Yes, taking a fresh look at it, you're right -- the phrase that was ringing alarm bells was in fact in the original, "theory of origins", and Ed merely pluralised it to "theories" (it's soo easy to read more than is there into difs if you don't read them carefully). I'm still not happy with calling Creationist viewpoints "theories", but can't immediately think of a better phrasing, and would only have made myself look a fool if I'd blamed Ed for it. Thank goodness I slept on it instead of editing further. :) HrafnTalkStalk 04:58, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

Template:Intelligent Design

Discussion at Template talk:Intelligent Design#Kitzmiller versus the Santorum Amendment has gotten no response, I'm bringing this here. Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District has had both far more publicity, and a far greater impact, than the Santorum Amendment on Intelligent design. Would anybody mind if I replace the latter with the former in the template, on this basis? HrafnTalkStalk 10:47, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for the heads-up, good idea. .. dave souza, talk 11:27, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

Blind Spot

I don't know if this helps, but since the human eye and its ability to focus over both long and short distance is cited as an example of 'intelligent' design, wouldn't it be pertenant to ask why the human eye has a blind spot whereas squid, and other similar creatures, don't? Just seems like an obvious point. It's actually an example from Unspeak by Steven Poole, if you're after a reference. I've lent the book for a bit, so I'll be able to get you a page number in a bit. --J.StuartClarke (talk) 02:45, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Cars have a "blind spot" and they are designed. No? DannyMuse (talk) 16:14, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

Vandalism on Kent Hovind

A new editor, apparently virulently pro-Hovind, is repeatedly making (mostly nonsensical) edits on this article. Is there an admin around who can do something about it? Or should I go to WP:AIAV? HrafnTalkStalk 06:58, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

I am that I am. Raul654 (talk) 07:01, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Oh, and he just left me this gem on my usertalk: "I can come back as many times as it takes, under as many psuedonames, as many ip addresses, on as many computers, etc."[4] Is explicitly stating one's intention to sockpuppet in order to edit-war a banning offense? HrafnTalkStalk 07:04, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Checkuser is a very useful, powerful tool. He might think he has a lot of IPs and stockpiled sockpuppets, but checkuser queries and few well placed network blocks can very quickly deplete that supply. Raul654 (talk) 07:10, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
PS - I've already indef-blocked him. Raul654 (talk) 07:10, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
He's back -- this time as Datzilarious. Not exactly bright, but certainly persistent. HrafnTalkStalk 07:21, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
Also on the IP HrafnTalkStalk 07:24, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

All proponents are assoctiated with the discovery institue?

How can you say anyone who supports intelligent design is associated with the discovery institute? I support Intelligent Design, but I have nothing to do with the discovery institute. It is more correct to say many, instead of all. Saksjn (talk) 21:37, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Please read carefully. The statement "Its primary proponents, all of whom are associated with the Discovery Institute" is supported by the sources cited. You'll need a reliable source showing that you're a primary proponent and have nowt to do with the disco. .. dave souza, talk 21:55, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Are you a primary proponent? For example, how many books on intelligent design have you published? How much did they sell? If there were scientific publications on intelligent design, you might be able to claim you had a substantial publication record in ID, but unfortunately that literature does not seem to exist. Are you paid by an intelligent design organization that is separate from the Discovery Institute and any of its myriad related organizations? For example, Physicians and Surgeons for Scientific Integrity claims to be unrelated, but closer examination shows that they use the same web page coding, have the same boards of directors, sponsor each other's "scientists" etc. The same is true with several other organizations.--Filll (talk) 23:49, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Good point on the primary proponent thing. Are there any major proponents that aren't affiliated with them. I can think of a proponent that isn't affiliated with them, but has only published one book. That would be a man named Walden Owen. Saksjn (talk) 14:03, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

From previous debates on this, the most prominent non-DI ID proponent is probably Percival Davis, co-author of Of Pandas and People; he doesn't seem to have done much in the movement since then, though. TSP (talk) 14:46, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
Since the two bits of "science" in intelligent design, irreducible complexity and specified complexity do not appear in Of Pandas and People, it is a bit hard to call Davis a primary proponent. The movement for ID really got started with Johnson, and once Johnson was involved, Davis was no longer involved and could not really be called a proponent since he wrote the book. What exactly is and was the relation of Percival Davis to the Discovery Institute? How much do we know about this?--Filll (talk) 15:24, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

Changes in pseudoscience/pseudoscientist categories

I see that User:Sapphic has been moving a large number of ID/Creationism-related articles out of Category:Pseudoscience & Category:Pseudoscientists on the basis of the articles being already in parent categories. Do we necessarily agree? My impression was that it is permissible to have articles in both a category and its parent if including it in the parent provides information that is not immediately apparent from membership in the child-category. Given many creationist fields have "sciency"-sounding titles, I suspect that continuing to have them explicitly categorised as pseudoscience would be informative. HrafnTalkStalk 00:25, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

Without checking the guidelines on categories, my distant impression is that they're there as a navigational aid to finding groups of pages and not as a way of saying something about the page. Thus all articles categorised as creation science will automatically be in a subcategory of pseudoscience. However, some types of creationism make no claim to be science, and hence aren't pseudoscience, therefor the main creationism category isn't a subcat of pseudoscience. Haven't checked recently, but that's my understanding. .. dave souza, talk 01:05, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
Can you give an example of what you are terming "sciencey sounding titles". I think an article like Creation science would need explicit categorisation as Pseudoscience. But individual people categorised under Category:Intelligent design advocates do not need such explicit categorisation (even people like Michael Behe who is also categorised as a Category:American biochemists). The exception to this would be a ID-advocate who is equally notorious for espousing another form of pseudoscience under which he is not already categorised.--ZayZayEM (talk) 02:48, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
Further sciencey-sounding titles: Flood geology, Creation geophysics‎, Baraminology‎. The things with Michael Behe & William Dembski is that they're notable for their promotion of specific pseudoscientific concepts (Irreducible complexity & Specified complexity, respectively) as well as their general ID-advocacy. HrafnTalkStalk 03:44, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

User Box Created

I Created a user box for wikipedians that believe in ID. Thanks to User:Mayor Coffee Bean for the help on it. Saksjn (talk) 14:00, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

The Earth seen from Apollo 17.jpg This user believes in Intelligent Design

Origin of life template

Do we really want this? [5]--Filll (talk) 17:45, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

:I don't want it but I'm sure those who support/believe in IDC will. Why not? Angry Christian (talk) 17:56, 22 February 2008 (UTC) Sorry Filll, I missed your point and thought you were talking about that ID user box. I should have seen/clicked your link Angry Christian (talk) 18:04, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

Sorry, I added the template. Someone added "Intelligent design" last month to the template as an origin of life, but did not add it to the article. Since it was on the template, it should go on the article. I did not realize the addition to the template was inappropriate (I did not add it to the template). I have removed [6] "Intelligent design" as an origin of life from the template. Regards. --Old Hoss (talk) 18:46, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
Thanks Hoss Angry Christian (talk) 19:56, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

Can I gather more ire from certain editors and suggest this is a good idea. As long as Intelligent design isn't listed in science. ID is on origin of life, just because it is a silly poorly constructed idea doesn't change that.--ZayZayEM (talk) 01:54, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
ZayZayEM: what hypothesis does ID present, specifically, as the "origin of life"? Rather it seems to argue that, once life existed, evolution wasn't sufficient to get the variety (and more specifically the complexity) of life we get today. HrafnTalkStalk 03:16, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
You are kidding me right? ID is a direct counterpoint against abiogenesis. Parts cannot come together unless directed by a designer. If it wasn't a creation myth restrung we wouldn't be able to call it creationism rebranded. Don't create weird goalposts that it needs to present a hypothesis (does ID generate any hypotheses?). All I'm saying is that poorly constructed idealogy and risibility should not be hinderence to its inclusion as being related to Origin of Life.--ZayZayEM (talk) 04:20, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
No. ID is an attempted direct counterargument against evolution. It is only tangentially an argument against abiogenesis. It isn't "a creation myth restrung" so much as a bunch of creationist anti-evolution arguments repackaged -- as it doesn't argue what did happen, merely that evolution didn't (or didn't happen sufficiently to explain everything). HrafnTalkStalk 05:59, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
I would further note that the article doesn't explicitly mention abiogenesis even once, though mentions evolution numerous times. HrafnTalkStalk 06:01, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
To be accurate, ID is opposed to macroevolution primarily, although Behe (for example) appears to be OK with microevolution. Of course, it is tangentially concerned with life origins via implication. A very odd conflation of creationism and theistic evolution; naturally, the extent to which it relies on each is changed to meet the needs of the audience. &#0149;Jim62sch&#0149;dissera! 21:00, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
Naughty Jim, macroevolution is a field of study and not a line between natural variation and magic introduction of "kinds" as creationists would have us believe. Behe accepts speciation through natural selection, but tries to set an "edge" to such evolution so that it needs a benevolent designer to create new varieties of malaria and HIV when they look like being beaten by medical science. IDists occasionally use abiogenesis as an anti-evolution argument, but that's a supporting argument rather than central. .. dave souza, talk 21:33, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
Snagged ... damn, I was saving that part for later ... &#0149;Jim62sch&#0149;dissera! 22:30, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Point conceded on technicality of ID's sidious facade focuses on evolution. I still can't get the idea that the number one objection-to-evolution that always seems to be brought up by ID or other creationists seems to be "Evilution don't explain where it all started from".--ZayZayEM (talk) 16:55, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

They all have different views which they try to submerge to stay in the "big tent". The creation scientists do not quite get it, partly out of jealousy and partly out of feelings of superiority and sniping among different groups. Behe quite prominently believes in common descent for humans, but of course this does not mean that God did not push things along at certain points. Meyer and a few others want to wave their hands and claim that the negative parts of evolution like creating new bad diseases are not the work of God, and the parts of evolution we can explain are not the work of God either, only the parts we cannot quite yet explain are the work of God. Of course, if you read Meyer etc they say this with HUGE words and it is a big complicated mess, but that is what it comes down to.--Filll (talk) 04:30, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

origin of life cat?

Someone just added this article to the Origin of Life category. Um...Why comes to mind. Next question - if ID then Flying Spaghetti Monster should be added as well as they are both equally scientific. Angry Christian (talk) 17:50, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

It seems awfully tenuous to me. I would favor reverting.--Filll (talk) 17:53, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
I just reverted with the note that he/they justify this on the talk page Angry Christian (talk) 17:55, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
You did not revert [7] a category, you reverted a template! :) (See above thread.) --Old Hoss (talk) 18:52, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
Umm. No. TFSM is satire. See Russel's Teapot and Pink Unicorn. Sadly, ID is serious (well, to certain people anyway), and regards the origin of life. Origin of Life does not appear to be a scientific term as used in this category. Please mind NPOV. --ZayZayEM (talk) 04:24, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

The Edge of Evolution‎

User:Inspectre, who is almost certainly ID-advocate & positive-reviewer of the book Cameron Wybrow, is edit-warring on that article in an effort to, among other things, claim that Michael Denton is the "author of two books on evolutionary theory" & erase his admission of his "many failed tries" to get a positive review published. Further oversight would be welcome, as the other editor who watches over it, WLU, is offline at the moment. HrafnTalkStalk 02:47, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

If that is him, having read a bit of his commentary, he is scientifically clueless. He is an instructor at various Ontario colleges in the "history of religion". And I have read a nice rant of his in the Toronto Globe and Mail where he claims that Canadian undergraduate education is inferior to American undergraduate education: [8]. Reading that, it is clear to me that this guy has no clue what he is talking about when comparing the educational systems of the two countries, and yet he is glad to spout ignorantly and furiously on the topic.--Filll (talk) 18:05, 25 February 2008 (UTC)


Should the watchmaker analogy be added to the series? It seems like it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by RJRocket53 (talkcontribs) 23:57, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

That analogy is already in the article. What "series" are you talking about? Angry Christian (talk) 01:15, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
I think the user means the sidebar, which reads "Part of a series on intelligent design." Silly rabbit (talk) 01:17, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
I see, thanks. Well since the IDC portal icon is a watch perhaps a link explaining what the watch is about would be helpful. Angry Christian (talk) 15:40, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
It would however take up room that could be better employed linking to more crucial ID concepts. HrafnTalkStalk 17:18, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
It is a rather major ID analogy that could warrant its own article, we probably should put a link. Saksjn (talk) 16:10, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
No. It was William Paley's analogy. The major ID analogy is Behe's mousetrap. HrafnTalkStalk 17:05, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

<undent> Hrafn's right that the mousetrap is the main ID analogy, and fewer references are made to the watchmaker. It may be noted that the watchmaker analogy article which refers to it as a teleological argument for the existence of God shows how old the analogy is, predating Paley, and mentions its relationship to ID and the ID movement, as well as noting the outcome of Kitzmiller. The problem with adding it to the template is that it should not be given the same weight as the concepts that are already listed there. .. dave souza, talk 18:14, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

Under Intelligent Design, Richard Dawkins is paraphrased: 'Richard Dawkins, another critic of intelligent design, argues in The God Delusion that allowing for an intelligent designer to account for unlikely complexity only postpones the problem, as such a designer would need to be at least as complex' However in Ben Stein's recent movie "Expelled (2008)," Dawkins during an interview allowed for the possibility of an "Intelligent Designer as an alien life form (but not God)that may have found the means to 'plant a seed for life on Earth'. TDH TDHuntington, 19 Apr 2008