Talk:Intelligent design/Archive 68

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Hatnote text

I've created this section because we have a couple editors going back and forth on the hatnote. In order to avoid an edit war, let's BRD. The issue appears to stem from how specific the hatnote ought to be. Is there a reason to specify who the DI is in the hatnote ("public policy think tank organization")? There's no disambig on the Discovery Institute article, so I don't see why this would be necessary. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 14:48, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

@MisterDub: I'm the person who wrote the hatnote, and agree that "public policy hink tank organization" is unnecessary. But something is. Namely, a tip off that this is about a form of creationism, and not about a general system of belief or philosophy. I propose:
This article is about intelligent design, a form of Creationism promulgated by the Discovery Institute. For other uses, see Intelligent design (disambiguation).
Likewise, the word creationism has to appear very early in the lead, because that is the most essential element of the definiton of the term. Right now, it is buried deeper down in the lede, so that readers may be mislead that they are reading about a general religious belief or philosphical concept. I propose:
"Intelligent design is a form of creatonism based on the proposition that...".
This will head off a lot of the readers who are expecting to read about the general religious or philosopical concept. Thoughts? Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 15:27, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
If we need to identify ID with creationism in the hatnote, I think your first suggestion is fine. Or similarly, "This article is about intelligent design, a form of creationism promulgated by the Discovery Institute. For other uses, see Intelligent design (disambiguation)" should do well. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 16:03, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

The problem with the end, "Discovery Institute," is that it can confuse some readers (such as myself) into thinking that it is an educational institution. When I clicked through the link, I was slightly confused and surprised at the the first sentence, which is why I specifically stated in the hatnote that it is a "public policy think tank," which it most certainly is. I propose: This article is about intelligent design as promulgated by the Discovery Institute public policy think tank organization." I don't think there's a need to mention creationism. - M0rphzone (talk) 04:41, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

You have hit the nail on the head: this article has been edited to death for a small group of WP editors who know all this stuff. It is not written to inform the general public. Yopienso (talk) 09:21, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
I see your point about readers mistaking the Discover Institute with a legitimate educational institution. But creationism does have to be mentioned, for the reason I have have given above. How about this:
"This article is about intelligent design, a form of Creationism promulgated by the Discovery Institute, a public policy think tank. For other uses, see Intelligent design (disambiguation)."
What do you think? Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 09:34, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
This proposal is a lot more clear, but now I think there is a problem with the specific reference. The disambiguation note should probably be more general; the fact that "ID was promulgated by the Discovery Institute" is too specific. - M0rphzone (talk) 22:23, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
It seems to me that this hatnote's purpose is to distinguish ID from the teleological argument. So let's ask, "How would we do this in the simplest, clearest manner?" To me, the difference is stark: one is creationism, the other is philosophy. Maybe we don't mention the DI at all (and remove any unnecessary confusion about that organization), but simply say it's a form of creationism: This article is about a form of creationism. For other uses, see Intelligent design (disambiguation). -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 15:11, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
The proposal above is general enough to easily let readers know what the subject is about. And also, the other problem with referencing Discovery "Institute" is that: Is it really the only organization that proposed these ideas/thinking? I'm pretty sure there are many other organizations who have contributed to this set of ideas. Discovery Institute isn't the sole notable one. Should it be the only one to be specifically mentioned? There are other organizations as well. - M0rphzone (talk) 22:23, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
Well, there are other organizations that support ID, but the leaders of ID (those who've advanced the theory) are all associated with the DI. Furthermore, the verb promulgate means to "promote or make widely known (an idea or cause)" and doesn't necessitate they be the only organization involved with ID; it is still true that ID is/was "made widely known" due to the efforts of the DI, even if other organizations support their cause. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 14:12, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

thanks and comment on falsifiability

As someone who agrees with thearticle, may I thank the editors, who have put so much in and deal with so much on the talkpage ? (I think there is a sociology or psychology PhD thesis to be mined from the talk) As a practicing scientist,I think the reliance among - shorthand here as i don't know the right term - liberals on "falsifiability" is a bit misplaced. While it may be important in legal circles,and discussed by historians and philosophers of science, I don't think practicing scientists actually care that much. regards and again thanksCinnamon colbert (talk) 03:06, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

Not sure exactly what you're trying to say here. Falsifiability is the corner stone that holds the idea of science together; without it a proposition can't exist in the realm of science. It's a huge aspect of the philosophy of science (and there aren't liberals or conservatives in any meaningful sense here, though there is positivism and post-positivism). I couldn't tell you if most scientists care about it, but I imagine the ones who understand it sure do. If you're saying that many scientists aren't educated in the philosophy of science then I sadly agree with you. It's an unfortunately state of affairs. SÆdontalk 03:17, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
I think the point that need be emphasized here is that this article needs to be closely aligned with how the topic is described by the most authoritative sources. And it does, in terms of the facts anyway. The "tone", which may be too pushy here, is probably more of a factor here to most of its more fair criticisms. I attribute the "tone" rather than the problems with its factual content for sending too many critics haywire intent to correct it by bolstering some mythic depiction they've formed in their minds about what ID is.
The task of writing with the appropriate tone is a more delicate business than putting the proper facts in order. That task has been made much harder than it otherwise should be here because a) confusion is no accident-DI explicitly promotes and exploits it, b) editors weighing in here are too often bringing these notions of ID from this ID "ethersphere" rather than reliable sources and c) other editors, as a result, are driven to reactionary overkill to create an environment where solid claims will actually stick rather than be weaseled by a million cuts into la-la-landishness. Professor marginalia (talk) 06:08, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
I can't imagine that someone who has gone through a doctoral program wouldn't fully understand the need of Falsifiability for a hypothesis, it's something that's taught in undergrad level, and something that would be absolutely necessary to know at grad level since that's when your formulating your own research and hypothesizes. To make that claim makes it very likely you have no science background and definitely not a doctoral background. — raekyt 07:32, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

Undirected meaning in article

Why does http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Undirected or Undirected in the opening paragraph of the ID article redirect to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graph_(mathematics) instead of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randomness ? Undirected is they synonym for Randomness and random is the semantic opposite of non-random(Design), which is a pattern with a Purpose.

But http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-random redirects to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randomness, is the intention of the Wikipedia editors to assert that randomness is the same thing as non-random? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 196.215.189.117 (talk) 12:57, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

I'd be careful with linking to the Randomness page anyway, as that term is used in different ways. For example, random can mean disordered, unpredictable (at least to some extent), or unguided by an intelligence. I think the best way to convey this meaning via Wikilink would be to link undirected to the Wikitionary definition of unintentional. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 14:22, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
Random's majority metaphor is disorder or a pattern without a purpose. Dictionaries define the majority metaphor. There isn't such a thing as a literal meaning, all of language is an IC metaphor. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 196.215.189.117 (talk) 17:50, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
The wording "an undirected process such as natural selection" is that used by ID proponents, but is rather vague and inaccurate, and we should not be trying to guess the translation of definition of "undirected" in that context. It's wrong because natural selection is directed by the environment of organisms, an environment that includes other organisms. What they are trying to convey is a lack of purpose in natural processes, the purpose they have in mind is the divine purpose central to teleology, but if we want to convey that we need a reliable secondary source making that point, not some dictionary definition of a word with multiple meanings. . dave souza, talk 18:46, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
The ID and YEC premise are that all semantic objects can only be used to represent a pattern with a purpose or a pattern without a purpose. Those opposed to ID have the premise that this Platonic primary binary contrasts is incorrect and that there is an assumed third option. See http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/Pattern_or_design. Thus the issue is not what does Natural Selection mean but what is meant with this semantic construct,because its majority metaphorical meaning as derived from a dictionary is the oxymoron purposeless purpose. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 196.215.189.117 (talk) 19:41, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
IP, I don't quite comprehend what you're saying. I understand binary pairs, which seems to be what you're getting at, but how do they relate to this article? How does the purpose-accident binary (or whatever you would call it), whether or not it is a true dichotomy, affect the term unguided as quoted from the DI? -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 20:00, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
P.S. Any changes to the article ought to be made because of verifiability in reliable sources or better conformance to Wikipedia policies. It would also be helpful to present one of them as your justification for amending this article, otherwise these discussions can continue endlessly. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 20:06, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
See http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/Pattern_or_design#Majority_and_minority_metaphor for what I mean with Platonic opposites and the book Tautological Oxymorons by John D. Brey - If deconstruction is easily absorbed into the apophatic behemoth supporting Western metaphysics, what would happen if Western metaphysics applied deconstruction to the modern scientific materialism which acts as the cornerstone of the worldview setting itself in opposition to Western metaphysics?Tautological Oxymorons is an attempt to deconstruct the language and logic used to present scientific materialism as though it were a viable alternative to pre-Enlightenment theology, philosophy, and mythology. By examining modern scientific materialism in the light of language (and proper language use) we can see that much that's taken for granted as 'obvious' and a mere 'given' (within the context of scientific materialism) is rather (when carefully examined in the context of precise language usage) nothing more than sheer unadulterated absurdity! http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/Tautological_Oxymorons — Preceding unsigned comment added by 196.215.189.117 (talk) 11:31, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
I'm afraid all that is all off topic. Agree with Dave Souza that it's pointless to interpret what the DI means by "undirected". Semantic analysis of the type you are suggesting would be original research and synthesis. If you have CONCRETE proposals about the wording or contents of the articles, backed up with reliable independent secondary sources, then by all means start a new section and present your proposal there, concisely, clearly and on-topic. This thread has wandered far too deep into WP:FORUM territory, and should be terminated. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 11:43, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
The abstract authority Mr.ID does not exist, what you mean is that some leading figure in the ID movement such as Dembski has not defined what he means with undirected. There is no language without a motive, who is this person that has not defined his terms? If you don't know what Dembski means with undirected how could you then conclude that he is erroneous in his views.
No, we mean that the source from which the definition is taken is the Discovery Institute, and it is published without mention of an author. Also, that Scratchpad wiki is not a reliable source (especially since, after reading most of it, it appears to be heavily biased, poorly written, and completely irrelevant) and cannot be used as justification for any change here. We prefer secondary sources over primary ones, and this book doesn't seem to have any reviews (after a brief Google search); Amazon doesn't even have a single, customer review for it! The next question on that DI's FAQ page, however, asks if evolution is incompatible with ID. The answer contains the following (emphasis added):
Additionally, Stephen C. Meyer has written the following article which also explains a bit of ID (emphasis added):
It seems from these sources that the term unguided is set against "a guiding intelligence," and unintentional is the intended meaning ( :D ). Assuming that this is not just my interpretation (is it?), I support Wikilinking the term unguided to the Intention article. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 15:04, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
From these sources it would be more accurate to say that "unguided" means "undesigned", "lacking direction by a designer" or "unpredictable and purposeless", and while that exposes circular reasoning in ID, we really need a secondary source for interpretation rather than trying to fathom the DI's misdirection. . . dave souza, talk 16:09, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
MisterDub, in what way is unguided or unintentional the same thing as Intentionality or purpose? See http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/Purpose1 and after googling "meaningless sentence" we find http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/Meaningless_sentence at nr.4 because if you view is that random/non-random , good/bad are the same thing we have Newspeak Orwelian doublethink: the power of holding two contradictory beliefs and accepting both of them. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 196.215.189.117 (talk) 06:47, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
IP, you are reading into this too much. No one is claiming that intentional is the same as unintentional, or random is the same as non-random, etc. The concepts represented by these terms have their respective articles, and the reader is left to apply any negating factors him- or herself. And again, that Scratchpad wiki is not a reliable source. If you want to make a change, please be clear about what you want and present reliable sources for verifiability. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 15:09, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
http://thesaurus.com/browse/undirected?s=t states that the synonym for 'undirected' is purposeless and the antonym is purpose. You disagree with the thesaurus on this point? Whenever I try to link 'undirected' to http://thesaurus.com/browse/undirected?s=t to its definition namely 'having no goal' you remove the link insisting that the thesaurus is incorrect. Would you mind elaborating why. Note that the thesaurus is only providing two Platonic binary opposites, there are no third options. In your world view Platonic opposites don't exist because they derive their authority from Genesis 1 and Revelation the last book. In other words you are using volitional type language to express a view where such volition does not exist to you. As a materialist you don't believe in volition. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 196.215.189.117 (talk) 16:23, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── IP, no one is disagreeing with any thesaurus, and please refrain from commenting on your fellow editors. Your edit was reverted because linking these terms is publishing original research, unless you have some secondary sources making the connection explicit. I don't really think it's necessary to define terms tangentially related to the article anyway, but I tried finding sources for your change and, as primary sources from an entity known to be disingenuous, they were not strong enough to justify the edit. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 17:15, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

http://www.arn.org/docs/guides/stan_gd1.pdf and ID think tank asserts that natural selection is an unguided unintelligent process. Why then isn't it a stupid process? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 196.215.189.117 (talk) 17:22, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
While it could be argued that ARN and any ID think tank is a stupid process, you seem to think that "an unguided unintelligent process" would be "a stupid process". While I don't know if you're an advocate of intelligent falling theory, do you think gravity is "guided" or do you think it is a stupid process? Thought we'd fall for that one? . . dave souza, talk 21:45, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
In the Youtube video on Type-III secretory mechanism Kenneth Miller states that natural selection is blind. Why isn't it then stupid? See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hW7ddJOWko and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2alpk8PUd4 Gravity only represents itself as a pattern. Design is a pattern with a purpose, that represents something other than itself. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 196.215.189.117 (talk) 09:24, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
Youtube is not a reliable source, so this information can't be included in the article. This is all arguing semantics anyhow. Mildly MadTC 14:35, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

A religious proposition

User Abtract has added an adjective I feel unnecessary to the article, and possibly even WP:OR. The justification for the initial edit was that it makes it clear that this isn't a scientific position, but a religious one; however, the term proposition does not imply any connection to science, the next sentence states that ID is creationism (obviously not scientific), the whole of the lead makes it clear that ID is not scientific, and many religious organizations accept evolution and criticize ID. I see no reason for this change and it could be interpreted as being endorsed by religion when it's outright rebuked by many religious groups: a religiously motivated proposition isn't necessarily a religious one. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 17:38, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

As you explained, perhaps religiously motivated is a better adjective to distinguish what the topic is about. (It's best to be clear than ambiguous). - M0rphzone (talk) 06:05, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
Honestly, I don't see a need for any adjective in that first sentence. It seems we're getting into a habit of slamming ID every chance we get by stating that it's a religious idea in every sentence. If people are adamant about making this clear right out of the chute, I'd suggest we rewrite the lead to more closely resemble the Intelligent design (disambiguation) page. Something like the following, perhaps:
This way, the first thing you see is that it's a form of creationism, followed immediately by the DI's definition. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 16:09, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
I heartily endorse that suggestion. Creationism is the most important word in the definition of ID. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 17:56, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
I agree, and so was bold. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 18:43, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
My problem with it is that it's been attached to a sourced claim and that's not what the source says. In articles about controversial topics, there's little hope of getting any claim to "stick" without a good citation linked to it, and deviating in any way from what the linked citation leads to trouble. This change is almost sure to cause more problems than it solves. The claim was fine just as it was, before the tweaks. Professor marginalia (talk) 21:14, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
I've divided the sentence so that the creatonism claim is no longer linked to the sources cited. It is instead amply sourced in the rest of the article. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 22:34, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
It wasn't fine before because mention of both creationism and the DI are essential elements of the definition of DI, and should appear very early in the lede. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 22:36, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
I like the change - it's more readable for one thing. But it leaves the last of the paragraph out of tune. While thinking how I can fix it, the "politically conservative think tank" bit was one issue in the way. Where did that come from? I couldn't find it stated in the linked citations. Professor marginalia (talk) 06:39, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

Thank you for taking my suggestion seriously and working on it so assiduously. Abtract (talk) 09:30, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

No problem, Abtract. We're all here to improve the article.
Professor marginalia and Dominus Vobisdu, good call on changing the sentence structure. I've looked into the "politically conservative think tank" bit and found this (which doesn't explicitly say it, but implies it heavily), this, and this. The last link was written by Philip Gold, who used to be the "director of defense and aerospace studies at Seattle's Discovery Institute" according to this (at the very bottom).
As for the "out of tune" part of that first paragraph, would moving "a politically conservative think tank" to the first sentence help?. The first sentence would read: "Intelligent design (ID) is a form of creationism promulgated by the Discovery Institute, a politically conservative think tank." And the last sentence would then read: "The leading proponents of intelligent design are associated with the Discovery Institute and believe the designer to be the Christian God." -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 14:54, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

ID and the traditional design argument

Possible source: Feist, Richard; Sweet, William (2007). Religion and the Challenges of Science. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. pp. 48–49. The notion of 'intelligent design' has gained much attention in recent years. However, it is important to distinguish this modern understanding of design from the traditional position. For intelligent design theorists like Phillip Johnson, Michael Behe and William Dembski, design is associated with biological structures (termed 'irreducibly complex') that purportedly could not evolve by natural processes. However, the traditional interpretation of design focusses on the beauty and complexity in nature and does not deal with the mechanisms by which these processes arose.  . . dave souza, talk 13:35, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

That's a point I've been trying to get across for a long time. There is no historical continuity between ID nad earlier uses of the teleological argument, from Aristotle to Paley. The term "intelligent design" in its present incarnation did not exist until "Of Panda's and People". Thaxton clearly states he got the phrase from a NASA scientist, and, judging from his comment, was unaware that the term had been used before in philosophy. Thaxton gave the phrase the meaning it has now. The connection with earlier uses came afterward, and is thus coincidental. That is why I want to delete the first two paragraphs of the "History of the concept" section and the entire "Origin of the term" section, as they have nothing to do with Intelligent Design (TM). Basically, the subject of this article has no history at all before Thaxton except Creation Science, which it clearly is a continuation of. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 13:55, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure about removing anything from the "History of the concept" section. One could say the difference between the teleological argument and intelligent design is that the latter is proposed as science. Or in other words, ID proponents want to prove the teleological argument true through scientific experimentation (to their credit, they did devise a couple of testable, though falsified, hypotheses). I think having a WP:SUMMARY of the teleological argument is therefore justified.
I will agree that the first section in "Origin of the term" has no relevance to the article. Or, rather, it can easily be condensed to a sentence or two that precedes the following "Of Pandas and People" section, which shows the origin of the term in its modern usage (the relevant part). I think it would be enough to say that the term was used in a philosophical/religious manner before its adoption by American creationists, while being careful not to present it as though the term was used in greater prominence than it was.
As for the source, we could include the biological nature of intelligent design in the article as a means to distinguish it from the teleological argument: whereas the teleological argument relies on a general sense of apparent design in nature, intelligent design focuses specifically on the biological aspect (i.e. the evidences purportedly falsifying the modern evolutionary synthesis). -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 16:44, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
We could, but why would we want to? Clearly design in living creatures is biological. I'm not seeing how dumbing down this article and spoon feeding the reader, thereby introducing a bit of inaccuracy, could improve it. I'd prefer to leave it accurate, and if the reader is too ignorant to realize that living things are biological in nature then their ignorance is beyond the scope of this article to cure. KillerChihuahua?!? 17:38, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
I think you misunderstand me. The teleological argument isn't necessarily talking about living creatures or biology, but any feature of/in the universe that appears to have design and purpose. Intelligent design, on the other hand, is specific to biology. Including this information may help the reader with the distinction between ID and the teleological argument, therefore reducing the number of complaints/concerns equivocating the two. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 17:48, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
Apparently there is a misunderstanding somewhere. ID is a teleological argument. You're saying you ant to remove that from this article and create a false "distinction between" the two, and your argument is that since there are other teleological arguments which are not biological, then we shouldn't mention that ID is a teleological argument? How can this make sense? KillerChihuahua?!? 18:02, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
No, not at all. I don't want to remove any information about ID being a teleological argument. I'm merely suggesting we could add a sentence/clause in the "Origin of the concept" section that distinguishes ID from other teleological arguments, as is described in the source presented by dave souza. Hopefully that clears things up. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 18:11, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes, thank you, that clears things up enormously. I misread what you were saying, it seems. What verbiage do you have in mind? KillerChihuahua?!? 21:23, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
I'm thinking we could add a sentence after the first one in the third paragraph of the "Origin of the concept" section. This section begins with, "Intelligent design also has Paley's argument from design at its centre". I'm thinking of something like the following: "And, whereas teleological arguments traditionally 'focus on the beauty and complexity in nature and not the mechanisms by which these processes arose', intelligent design is associated with 'biological structures that purportedly could not evolve by natural processes.'" I'm not fond of the use of direct quotes here, but you'll at least get the gist of my proposal. If we could paraphrase this better, I think it would fit well. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 16:15, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

"Part of a series on Philosophy of religion"?

Is this sidebar of any particular relevance to this article? ID isn't even mentioned in the main Philosophy of religion article, and its relevance to philosophical arguments for the existence of God more applies to Teleological argument than to this article itself. The sidebar in question appears to be a recent creation mainly by a single editor. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 10:59, 11 May 2012 (UTC)

Monton on Behe

The article currently states:

Philosopher of science Bradley Monton defends Behe on this point, noting that Behe does not view every complex biological system whose evolution is currently unknown as irreducibly complex. This shows, Monton continues, that Behe is not appealing to ignorance, but is "giving a positive argument that it's unlikely for such systems to evolve without an intelligent designer." He says that ID proponents predict that we will find evidence of a designer.

This appears to be WP:Complete bollocks. The only differentiating factor between Behe's IC examples and other complex biological systems is that that Behe is particularly incredulous of (another name for the argument from ignorance is the argument from personal incredulity), and ignorant of the research on, the evolutionary pathways for the former. Monton has therefore failed to offer a genuinely distinguishing difference, and his argument appears to resemble a special pleading.

Given that Monton's claims have not been subjected to peer review within the philosophy of science academic community, that they seem unlikely to have wide acceptance within that community, and Morton is not himself a particularly prominent member of that community, I would question why we should be including his fallacious views. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 07:04, 18 May 2012 (UTC)

It is a somewhat peculiar argument. (Does he propose a scientist must be taken seriously who argues that the sequence of complex events necessary for the Moon to have acquired its current form naturally are so unlikely that it is more reasonable to conclude it was molded by an intelligent sculptor?) But the issue is Monton's notability, not the quality of his argument. Also, I don't think the removed claim was synth; it just wasn't sourced properly. The citation (which is still there) was added as an external link to the Monton citation. It should have been placed as a separate reference. Notability may be an issue for that citation as well, however. ID is so well documented by more prestigious and/or notable parties, and we should stick to those. Professor marginalia (talk) 19:41, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
I've removed it. If further sources can be found giving prominence to these claims (either positive or negative), an argument might be made for reincluding them. The PT source doesn't mention Behe (plus, as a blog, doesn't add much prominence). HrafnTalkStalk(P) 08:35, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
I also ran a Google scholar search of citations of Monton's book] -- and could find little evidence that it is viewed positively or given much weight. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 09:45, 20 May 2012 (UTC)

WTF?

Why the hell is an editor edit-warring to delete a ref to fucking Nature using "paywall" as a rationale? Seriously, there's no reason for that. This seems to have degenerated into simple disruption. Guettarda (talk) 16:41, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

Um, unless I am mistaken, I RESTORED the ref to fucking Nature using paywall as a rationale, and informed, and informed Mark about the policy on his user page. Maybe I fucked it up, in which cause please feel free to repair it. Have a nice day :) Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 16:53, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Sorry if I wasn't clear; that wasn't a reference to your edit, or Dave's. Guettarda (talk) 16:59, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Eh, I removed that link to defuse Mark's objection: the DOI works as a link to the same page (for me, anyway}. The main this was that Mark shouldn't have removed the reference, and the guideline he cited doesn't suggest that he should remove paywalled references. He also seems to have thought wrongly that Nature (journal) is Yank, so I've pointed out that link on his talk page. As for a nice day, it's been rather windy and rainy, but the forecast for tomorrow is remarkably optimistic. . . dave souza, talk 17:05, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Could someone please explain what possible difference it makes whether a source is American or not? Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 17:21, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
I assume "yank" meant "pull out" in this context, not American. Professor marginalia (talk) 18:49, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Ah, my misunderstanding. Dare I suggest that yank pay link masquerading as source is perhaps an Americanism? Not common usage in this context in UK English. . . dave souza, talk 19:00, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Yes, yank as in "yank out weeds from the lawn". American usage, and implying a rather negative assessment of the thing being "yanked". Guettarda (talk)
The point is that when I restored the ref I identified it as a source, and he still removed it again. The first time might be a mistake, the second removal was not. It's that total lack of willingness to work in a collegial, collaborative manner that makes this behaviour stray into disruption. Guettarda (talk) 19:38, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

Use of weasel words

This article uses weasel words that are not clarified. I have tried to clean these up, but keep getting reverted, and a message to take it to the talk page? Why is that? What is there to discuss? Wikipedia Style guide is very clear. Weasel words deny the reader the opportunity to assess the source of the viewpoint. See words to watch and WP:WEASEL for examples. To me it shows a bias towards one of the subjects in the article, and is not in the interest of Wikipedia's style guidelines. You guys are clearly camping on this page!

  • 1st edit // clarify, remove weasel word
  • 2nd & 3rd edits // weasel word + // weasel word, you state one but don't want to state the others? This is known as weaselling
  • 4th and 5th edits // this article clearly contains weasel words that some authors do not wish to acknowledge, see previous edits that keep getting reverted; also read the definition of weasel words: Anywhere "some" is used without attribution... this is weaselling

Mark Renier (talk) 04:03, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

I thought my edit summary was clear. You can't just change one sentence without regard to the rest of the paragraph. If you read the paragraph, you'd see that the statement in question ("some intelligent design proponents...avoid the argument from poor design") is connected not simply with Nelson, but also with Behe and Johnson. That isn't "weaseling", that's proper framing of an idea - starting with a general statement and moving on to more specific examples.
The second problem with the edit I reverted is even bigger. You changed a (supported) generalisation into a specific statement about Nelson. That changed the meaning, putting far more emphasis on Nelson (which in itself could be a problem) and orphaning the statements about Behe and Johnson from their proper context. The change you made broke the structure of the paragraph. Which is a problem. Not only was your rationale incorrect, your action also degraded the quality of the writing and reduced the accuracy of the section. Guettarda (talk) 03:41, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
My intent was to make the article MORE clear by removing the ambiguity (use of "some") without references. Help rewrite those sentences then so they do not use weasel words. Surely if there is need for "some" then the article can be better clarified by specifying exactly "who" the "some" are. Mark Renier (talk) 04:03, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
It's also important to note that your response to being reverted was far from optimal. Try using the talk page after the first editor reverts you. Don't wait until the third person does. If someone disagrees with your edit, repeating the same rationale over and over isn't going to make them suddenly see the light. Make your argument. Respond to what others said - if you didn't understand what I had to say, you could have asked. And seriously - "you guys are clearly camping on this page"? Accusing people of misdeeds isn't a good way to start a conversation. Not to mention that it's a rather weak argument - there are 1141 people with this page on their watch list. No one is conspiring against you - it's just one of the better-watched pages in Wikipedia. Guettarda (talk) 03:50, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, you are probably right about it being a better-watched page. I prefer to edit the articles and not the talk pages. Almost every time I have to come to the talk page it is because of favoritism of the subject, not the article. Making five edits of the style that I do on other pages and having ALL of them reverted is strong evidence this article is no different. I DID attribute my edits with WP:WEASEL but not words to watch: these are Wikipedia guidelines that state my case. I would ask, why do these standards NOT make my case? Please help make some edits and remove the ambiguities of "some". Mark Renier (talk) 04:03, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

Here are two generic statements, one of them is a weasel problem and one of them is not:

  1. Some people believe that snow white is based on a true story.
  2. Some people, such as Fred Nottingham, believe that Snow White is based on a true story. Other believers exist as well, including the head of the Snow White was Real!™ foundation, Barney Addelson.

While both sentences use the word "some," the second sentence is clarified by later writing and so is not using "some" in a weasel context. In at least one of the edits you made, "some" was immediately followed by exactly who, and yet you put a who tag in. SÆdontalk 04:09, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

WP:WEASEL actually says it pretty well: Phrases such as these present the appearance of support for statements but can deny the reader the opportunity to assess the source of the viewpoint...The examples given above are not automatically weasel words, as they may also be used in the lead section of an article or in a topic sentence of a paragraph, where the article body or the rest of the paragraph supplies attribution (emphasis added). Guettarda (talk) 04:37, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
Guettarda and Dominus, instead of warning Mark about revert warring and telling him to take it to the talk page, why didn't you two start a discussion about it before engaging in revert warring yourselves? Mark was making good faith edits to this article, wouldn't you agree? Cla68 (talk) 04:59, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
By the way, you should never revert-war over placement of a tag on an article, as you did with the "Weasel" tag, until discussion on it is complete. A tag does not alter the text of the article, it invites further discussion by interested editors. I will leave a note on your talk page also. Cla68 (talk) 05:03, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
Common practice is that the person making an edit brings their edit to the talk page after being reverted. There is no policy requirement that one start a discussion every time they revert. If that was the case I would have wasted hundreds of hours on talk page discussions that would have gone nowhere because the reversions I've made were for obvious reasons (as is the case here because again, these were not weasel words). SÆdontalk 05:17, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
When an edit is obviously made in good faith, as Mark's were, then any reverts without discussion are unnecessarily confrontational. It doesn't hurt at all to talk it out first. It means that the edit might stick or it might not, but at least there won't have been any edit warring. Anyway, not all the reverts were of text edits. There was at least one revert of a discussion tag. That is clear revert warring. Cla68 (talk) 05:22, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
Mark, I notice from your contribution history that you have been very busy lately cleaning up articles in a wide variety of topics. Have you had anyone revert your edits as quickly and as brusquely in any of those other articles, including reverting your attempts to place discussion tags, as has occurred here? If so, then Wikipedia appears to have a big problem. Cla68 (talk) 05:26, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
Cla68, it is common practice to review the sequence of events before accusing people of "revert warring". Your claims are false and your twisting of policy is nothing more than harassment and disruption. You've been sanctioned by the arbcomm for your battlefield conduct. Please don't bring that behaviour of yours here. Guettarda (talk) 11:51, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I thought WP:WEASEL spells it out pretty clearly, also. "Claims about what people say, think, feel, or believe, and what has been shown, demonstrated, or proved should be clearly attributed." If you use Some, then you must attribute the statement: who? If you do give an attribution, then we don't need Some in that sentence, or the following sentence in one case here. The word Some implies there are others that are not attributed. Using the word Some in there does not add any more information. If you know who made the claim, then reveal it to the reader. If there is no attribution, its actually disinformation. Notice there are several instances of the word Some in this article that I did not touch because I believe they were properly in context. The writer can also be more succinct by combining the meaning of the sentences into conveying one thought. Mark Renier (talk) 17:40, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
The standard meaning of "some" is "an unspecified number;" in logic "some" means "at least one." Neither definition implies that there are others beyond those who are mentioned. SÆdontalk 18:24, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
I never thought I'd possibly be arguing for the status quo in this article (which needs substantive changes) but if it's in the sources (or "sky is blue" certain) that more than just that one person do/say that, then I would think that "some" would be a reasonable summary. If not, not. North8000 (talk) 18:41, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
Exactly right, Saedon, Some here means unspecified. But Wiki is about specifics. We want attributions here. Get specific. unsupported attributions : "... can pad out sentences without adding any useful information and may disguise a biased view." I have demonstrated that I can reword this sentence to remove the useless information, and it's possibly disguised biased view. Mark Renier (talk) 07:21, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
Instead of "Some intelligent design proponents...", how about saying, "The following intelligent design proponents..."? Then the meaning doesn't change, you get rid of ambiguous Some, and you can keep tacking names on before the end of the paragraph. Mark Renier (talk) 07:38, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
Both of your examples above should be rewritten. The first example by your admission; it's a weasel. The second example is also a weasel but it is in disguise. "Other believers exist as well, including the head of the Snow White was Real!™ foundation, Barney Addelson." is not a full sentence (because it does not stand on it's own as a complete thought) and needs grammar fixes. If the 2nd sentence stands with the preceding sentence, follow Brown Little and use a semicolon to complete the thought between the two, like this: "Some people, such as Fred Nottingham, believe that Snow White is based on a true story; others believe as well, including the head of the Snow White was Real!™ foundation, Barney Addelson." Because Wikipedia is about verifiability of its contents, after fixing your incorrect grammar I would further rewrite it as "Fred Nottingham believes that Snow White is based on a true story. The head of the Snow White was Real!™ foundation, Barney Addelson, also believes that Snow White is based on a true story." Then you also get rid of the colloquialism "as well" which is also quite trite. Just write factual statements. Do not editorialize. WP:OPED There is no need to be overly obtuse about just stating facts, and hiding meaning behind ambiguous words like Some. Mark Renier (talk) 14:04, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
OK, let me try to phrase this differently. If the article said: One means by which the problem of poor design in nature has been avoided is through the assertion that people have simply failed to understand the perfection of the design. This changes none of the meaning of the sentence, it merely converts it to the passive voice. There's nothing wrong with that sentence (except that it's clunky and poorly written) - it stands or falls on whether it is supported by a source. Guettarda (talk) 15:57, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
Try again. Stop working with offhand examples, and start working with the actual contested content. You dragged me to this talk page to get consensus on the changes I proposed, right? Your example does not even have the contested word Some in it. Mark Renier (talk) 20:15, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
(a) I didn't "drag" you anywhere, and (b) that's precisely the point - you can remove the word "some" without changing the meaning. Thus, the word "some" isn't the problem. Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Words to watch, like other guidelines and policies, should never be read narrowly like a legal document. It's a useful guideline to avoid making mistakes. It does not say "kill with fire". In fact, it clearly explains that "some" is perfectly acceptable when used like this. Guettarda (talk) 03:25, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
I think you are rationalizing now; you are trying to find a situation to prove your point. Drop the examples and work with the actual text. Do you guys always waste so much resources on talk pages with your feet on the brakes like this? This is for the first of five edits, involving only three words! Mark Renier (talk) 17:16, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
There's nothing wrong with the text. If you understood WP:WEASEL, you'd understand that. There's PLENTY wrong with your edit to the text - it breaks the meaning of the sentence. But, you're right, we should not the "wast[ing] so much [sic] resources on talk pages". You appear not to get it - not WP:WEASEL, not the idea of collaborative editing, not the idea of consensus (as we use it in Wikipedia). The statement, as it stands, is accurate, it's within policy and it is (per WP:FACR 1(a)) relatively well-written. Your proposed addition is inaccurate and badly written.

If you want to propose changes and work collaboratively to ensure that the changes are actually improvements, then I'd be happy to work with you. All you're doing right now though is arguing that you are right and everyone else is wrong. Please stop doing that. Guettarda (talk) 18:31, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

Now there's a recommendation! From someone with 41K edits, also! Thanks, yes, I will gladly stop trying to make minor edits to a page where the consensus makers recommend argumentum ad populum as a solution, Guettarda. Mark Renier (talk) 20:15, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
Mark, again I apologize for the reception you are receiving in response to your good faith attempts to improve this article. As I said below, please list your proposed changes to the article and, I at least, will attempt to civilly discuss them with you. Cla68 (talk) 04:37, 13 June 2012 (UTC)

Page protected

Due to the reverts I am seeing in the article, I have protected the page for 3 days as an alternative to blocking anyone for edit-warring, so that everyone can continue discussion and hopefully come to a resolution. When the protection expires, resumption of contentious edits may result in further protection as well as blocks. ~Amatulić (talk) 18:32, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

So when does the vote take place? Who gets to say the final "OK", is that you, Amatulic? Do you post a poll here and people vote or what? Is there a deadline to register to vote also? What is the next action? Mark Renier (talk) 07:21, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
There is no voting. The burden is on you to create a consensus for the changes you want. If you want to create a poll or RFC or use some other mechanism to measure consensus, go right ahead. If I may suggest an approach, perhaps try proposing each change you want to make, individually in subsections, with your supporting points for each. Then see how others respond. The end result may be an improvement over both your version and the status quo version. ~Amatulić (talk) 14:40, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
{ec}No voting, just discussion and proposals to improve the article. Instead of making changes to the article after the protection is removed, we should talk about the changes we want made here until we come to a new consensus. Once consensus is reached, we can change the article. As the primary exponent for these changes, I suggest that you list the edits you want made and the reasons for doing so; other editors will respond with their reasons and we will eventually reach a consensus. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 14:42, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
Uh-huh...who is "we"? What you mean is, somebody other than me. Obviously, it won't be me, since you only need two dissenters to force an editor to the talk page and one sympathetic editor to protect that page. My edits are reverted and now the page is locked down. From my point, I don't see I have a vote in this crap at all. I link in policies and post valid arguments, but I still do not see any good responses. The content-to-noise ratio is very low for this article. Mark Renier (talk) 17:16, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
Mark, please assume good faith: the we I mentioned does indeed include you, as well as all other editors who are concerned with the reverted changes. I actually think some of those instances of some could be removed, but we need to make sure they're removed in a way that preserves the cited information and doesn't leave the grammar in shambles. Please list your requested changes and we can work together to ensure the article improves in quality. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 17:31, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
I do AGF, but with all due respect, Mr. Editor sir, I don't see me being involved at all in your "we" here. I have tried six times now to edit this article. Each time with individual attributions to standard WP. My net effect to this article still stands at zero characters, not because of my edits, but because of the reversions of those edits. Not helpful edits, just outright reversions. Net effect to this talk page is +2500 characters. Just to try and get through the first three-word edit. If all you need is two dissenters and one editor to block an editor, you guys have fun with your personal ambiguous article written by elite example givers and your patented revert/revert/page-protect scam...I must admit it is pretty effective in keeping out honest edits. I like to keep my C2N ratio over 95%, so will be heading off to a more productive use of my time, but I will stop back in every few days to make sure the page is being protected with just a single three-word edit backed by a standard wiki policy. Mark Renier (talk) 20:15, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
Yes, that's how this kind of thing works: someone is Bold, it is Reverted, then a Discussion on the Talk page arrives at consensus which is then applied to the article (WP:BRD). Instead of complaining about how we're adhering to this policy, please join in constructive dialogue. For instance, that first edit can be accomplished much easier by simply removing the word some and capitalizing the new first word of the sentence, which still makes it clear that there is more than one subject. The sentence in question would then read: "Some iIntelligent design proponents such as Paul Nelson avoid the problem of poor design in nature by insisting that we have simply failed to understand the perfection of the design." The second and third edits were just WP:WEASEL tags (suggestions?), and the 4th and 5th edits instituted some poor grammar (unfortunately, it's locked that way now). These are the issues that concern me. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 20:50, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
Also Mark, from the admin's point of view, the admin doesn't care about the dispute. All that matters is stability. It is an admin's job to prevent disruption, and warring is disruptive. The version of the page at the time of locking it isn't a concern for the admin locking the page. In fact I have been accused of protecting m:The Wrong Version a number of times in the past. No matter what version is protected during a dispute, one side or the other will always be unhappy about it. That's just the way it goes.
You want to make changes. The WP:BURDEN is on you to create a consensus that those changes are necessary, or at least everyone should work out proposed edits that are acceptable all around. You have been advised above, by myself and MisterDub, on how you might proceed to accomplish this. ~Amatulić (talk) 17:48, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
I understand wiki editing and building consensus; you can see my history, I work with it; sometimes I win, sometimes I lose. That's fine, I can handle constructive criticism, but there is no constructive criticism in these reversions to my edits, all the constructive criticism is here on the talk page where eventually it is archived i.e. wasted. Mark Renier (talk) 20:15, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
If you strive to keep your article to talk ratio at 95%, then consider the possibility that you might not actually understand how consensus-building works, especially for contentious articles such as this one. Wikipedia is a collaborative project. Collaboration involves more than communicating through edit summaries. Collaboration, including constructive criticism and building consensus, happens on talk pages. That's what talk pages are for. From where I sit, I see that other editors have offered valid criticism on the edits they reverted and you have not yet substantiated your desired changes by addressing these concerns or by proposing alternatives that address these concerns. ~Amatulić (talk) 22:15, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

Proposed changes

Mark, could you please list your proposed changes below so that we can discuss each one individually? I apologize that your attempts to improve this article have been greeted with revert warring. Let's take your proposals one-by-one. OK? Cla68 (talk) 23:24, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

He already did, at the beginning of this thread. I'll reproduce them here: [1] [2] [3]
The first one, as MisterDub already pointed out above, can be resolved simply by omitting "The" or "Some" from the first word of the sentence. If you guys can agree on that point, then work on alternatives to the other two. I locked this article because it's a content dispute in which both sides have valid arguments: On one hand, the article should reflect the sources accurately. On the other hand, the presence of weasel words, even if they are appropriate in this context, still appear as weasel words and should be rephrased if possible. ~Amatulić (talk) 15:08, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
I agree with you and think it's really sad that Mark's good-faith efforts to improve the article were met with edit-warring and comments which could have been phrased with a more friendly tone on the article talk page. Anyway, later today I will try to suggest some compromise wording. Cla68 (talk) 22:29, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, Cla68, but I'm going to beat you to it.  :P As it stands, I see four edits that require our attention:
  • Some intelligent design proponents such as Paul Nelson avoid the problem of poor design in nature by insisting that we have simply failed to understand the perfection of the design. (Intelligent designer, paragraph 3, sentence 1)
  • Some scientists argue that even when taken as mere speculation, these arguments are poorly supported by existing evidence. (Fine-tuned Universe, paragraph 2, sentence 2)
  • Arguments for intelligent design are formulated in secular terms and intentionally avoid positing the identity of the designer. The majority of principal intelligent design advocates are publicly religious Christians who have stated that in their view the designer proposed in intelligent design is the Christian conception of God. (Religion and leading proponents, paragraph 1, sentences 1 and 2)
  • Stuart Burgess, Phillip E. Johnson, William Dembski, and Stephen C. Meyer are evangelical Protestants, Michael Behe is a Roman Catholic, Jonathan Wells is a member of the Unification Church. David Klinghoffer is Jewish, and Michael Denton, who is agnostic, are examples of Intelligent Design proponents who are Jewish or agnostic,. (Religion and leading proponents, paragraph 1, sentences 3 and 4)
My suggestions for these statements follow:
  • Some iIntelligent design proponents such as Paul Nelson avoid the problem of poor design in nature by insisting that we have simply failed to understand the perfection of the design.
  • Some scientists argue that, even when taken as mere speculation, these arguments are poorly supported by existing evidence.
  • Although Aarguments for intelligent design are formulated in secular terms and intentionally avoid positing the identity of the designer, Tthe majority of principal intelligent design advocates are publicly religious Christians who have stated that, in their view, the designer proposed in intelligent design is the Christian conception of God.
  • Stuart Burgess, Phillip E. Johnson, William Dembski, and Stephen C. Meyer are evangelical Protestants; Michael Behe is a Roman Catholic; and Jonathan Wells is a member of the Unification Church. Non-Christian proponents include David Klinghoffer, who is Jewish, and Michael Denton, who is agnostic, are examples of Intelligent Design proponents who are Jewish or agnostic.
As you can see, I really didn't know what to do with that second item. We could remove some and attribute the claim to the cited author as we did in the first edit, but I don't know who "PvM" is. Or we could add more citations and leave some as the first word. Or... ? -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 18:16, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
  • For starters, I strongly endorse #4. The original sentence was pretty badly crafted. Guettarda (talk) 18:58, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Regarding #2, it needs a complete workover, since Pim van Meurs is a computer scientists, iirc. PT has generally been considered an RS, but you can't use his article to speak for "some scientists". Guettarda (talk) 19:05, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
  • #3 also looks good to me.
  • With regards to #1, I'm going to take a look at what is it exactly that Pennock is saying before I discuss modifications. I'm concerned about changing the meaning - actually I'm a little concerned that the current wording my be a bit poorly crafted. Guettarda (talk) 19:07, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

Regarding #2, I note that this sentence is sourced and the preceding one isn't. The first two sentences could be combined, eliminating the term "metaphysics", and still cite the same source. So instead of:

Scientists have generally responded that this argument cannot be tested and is therefore not science but metaphysics. Some scientists argue that even when taken as mere speculation, these arguments are poorly supported by existing evidence.

How about this:

Scientists have generally responded that these arguments are poorly supported by existing evidence and cannot be tested.

That pretty much sums up the cited source, I think. ~Amatulić (talk) 19:12, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

Amatulić, I think that's a great way to revise that statement, though I too am concerned about the sourcing. If Pim van Meurs is not an expert in the relevant field, I think we either need to remove the sentence or find alternative citations supporting the claim. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 20:46, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
I thought the name was uncommon enough that a quick search could resolve it. A search on Google Scholar gives several hits but the areas of interest indicate there may be different people with that name. ~Amatulić (talk) 16:38, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
@Guettarda: #1 is poorly supported. Pennock writes of both ID proponents and opponents addressing "imperfect design" in nature. Nelson's claim, per Pennock, is that scientists who offer exmples of imperfect design in support of biological evolution is a case where methodological naturalists are trying to play it both ways: that both intelligent design argument and imperfect design arguments presuppose "the intelligibility of theological assumptions about what God would or would not have done".
There's another error in the same paragraph. The Behe passages are good. But the Johnson/AIDS claim is wrong as it is worded. Johnson is not described in Pennock as making the claim about AIDS. Johnson, of course, is named as subscribing to the "purposeful design" argument, but not the notion that AIDS was designed as a punishment (that claim was made in passing on p280, and attributed to some unidentified evangelicals). Pennock himself, not Johnson, is using the purposeful creation of AIDS claim to illustrate the inadequacy of Johnson's "theistic science" to test the hypothesis, and Pennock should probably be given attribution in that passage. Professor marginalia (talk) 20:50, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
Correction: the Johnson claim is actually not as far off as I describe above. His view of AIDS is better described a few paragraphs below what I'd been reading-I missed it initially. Professor marginalia (talk) 18:48, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Okay, I made changes #3 and #4 to the article since I haven't seen any disagreement on those edits. I'm still really critical of #2 as well, for the reasons cited earlier. Should we remove this claim entirely? And is #1 acceptable, per Professor marginalia's latest comments? -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 14:39, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
I located a book by Stenger that supports #2 and the entirety of Susskind's The Cosmic Landscape is a refutation of the fine-tuning argument, hence I added these citations to the rewritten sentence. I think that improves the grammar and citations for the section in question. I also made the change to #1, since it's just a minor edit. If anyone feels the source is not accurately portrayed here, he or she can remove/rephrase the sentence. Thanks, all! -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 17:46, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Promulgated

Promulgation gives a specialist meaning, more general usage here as wikt:promulgate. My dictionary gives the general meaning as "promote or make widely known (an idea or cause)", the thesaurus suggests " they promulgated their own views: make known, make public, publicize, spread, communicate, propagate, disseminate, broadcast, promote, preach; literary bruit abroad." . . dave souza, talk 07:30, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Indeed. And I don't think the word is that unusual to warrant explanation. It's a "SAT"-level word. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 07:35, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
I've reverted this twice now and placed a 3RR warning on Mark's talk page. Absolutely ridiculous edit. SÆdontalk 09:05, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
While I believe that the narrowing in the sentence (emblematic of the narrowing in the article) is incorrect, I think that "promulgated" is an appropriate word. North8000 (talk) 11:29, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Would "proclaimed" be an adequate substitute? It doesn't have the connotation that it's their invention, but seems to cover the issue, otherwise. I have no objection to "promulgate", and this editor's actions appear similar to that of a now-blocked (for other reasons) IP. He couldn't be the IP, as he's been active longer; but he has (among other strange ideas) the idea that even obvious words should be linked, if the link is available. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 16:46, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
No, "proclaimed" wouldn't be better. "Promulgate" is exactly the right word. Thanks for the info about the IP, but, like you, I think it's unlikely. I've seen other editors go overboard on links before. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 16:58, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
{ec} No, proclaim isn't an accurate replacement. The DI might proclaim that ID is true, but they can't proclaim ID... that doesn't really make sense. Propound might be a decent substitute ("put forward (an idea or theory) for consideration by others" Oxford Dictionaries Online), but I still think it's less accurate than promulgate, which denotes a popularizing rather than an authoring.
And North8000, I'd really appreciate it if you refrained from complaining about the scope of this article in every comment you make. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 17:08, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
I was supporting wording-in-question on on part of a sentence where I found the other part of that sentence to be problematic. So this is a natural clarification to make. Nevertheless, I do feel that the article has the noted severe problem. North8000 (talk) 17:39, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
You mean, "Cathago delenda est". Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 17:50, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Yes, we're painfully aware of your opinion. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 17:48, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Both of you please lose the insulting smugness. I had a very solid argument (that there is substantial sourcing that ID is not limited to the DI version, and that the group here has decided to exclude it via relabeling away from its common name and correct name in the sources.) which folks here chose to avoid. You wore me out and I went away, and just make an occasional small comment to that effect (both times while supporting you on a different point) in the hopes that it will help it to someday get fixed. North8000 (talk) 21:09, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── That's an interesting interpretation. As I recall, the only thing that needed fixing was your fundamental misunderstanding of Wikipedia's naming policy, which multiple editors have explained to you repeatedly (and in excruciating detail). Please drop the stick. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 00:56, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

That's a mis-characterization, complete with irrelevant links as insults. There was only ONE conversation which got even close to addressing the issue directly (you and I in a good conversation on my talk page User_talk:North8000#Your_participation_on_ID_page) and then, tellingly, you faded away right when we distilled it to the heart of the matter. North8000 (talk) 02:06, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
You mean, right when I asked you to support your claim with WP:RSs and you failed to respond? And if you look through that first link, you'll see Jess also explaining WP:UCN to you, while the rest of us (myself included, at the time) were floundering around trying to figure out what the flying f*(^ you were talking about. Here's the deal: make a new section with a clear and concise proposition, supported by RSs, for the change you wish to make, or stop beating the dead horse! -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 02:20, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
I will drop the assertion that promulgated is the wrong word, in exchange for considering moving the statement to a later stage in the lead. At this point in the article, the reader knows nothing about what it is. I would lead with a factual statement along the lines of animal, mineral, vegetable, concept thing. To lead in with Promulgating assumes the reader knows something about the item already. It's better suited for elaboration at a later phase after the reader understands the first basic thing about the article. Give the article lead form and color, then talk about what it can do and what it is involved in. Something like, "Intelligent Design is a concept about <blah> <blah> <blah>". Maybe I am wrong and there is actual promulgation going on, but that would be its own section below in the article, wouldn't it? Mark Renier (talk) 04:05, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
We're not in a negotiation where we'll capitulate to a request in response to you offering to no longer push a previous request. There is a clear consensus that your attempt to remove/link promulgate from/in the article is inappropriate so that's kind of a moot point now. I don't agree with your new idea either; the only thing a reader is assumed to know is what the word promulgate means, which is a word I've understood since at least 9th grade. DI's promulgation of ID is an integral aspect of the subject and belongs exactly where it is. SÆdontalk 06:33, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, Mark, but your request is unreasonable and misses the mark by a mile. The article already starts out with a factual statement: "Intelligent Design is a form of creationism...", and the Discovery Institute is immediately mentioned as it is the most essential distinguishing feature of this form of creationism. "Concept" is a weak, namby-pamby word that really means nothing here. Your dislike of the word "promulgated" is completely unjustified. This is not Simple English Wikipedia, and the word is the exact correct word to use in this context. Consensus is abundantly clear in this regard. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 07:36, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

Use of weasel words

This article uses weasel words that are not clarified. I have tried to clean these up, but keep getting reverted, and a message to take it to the talk page? Why is that? What is there to discuss? Wikipedia Style guide is very clear. Weasel words deny the reader the opportunity to assess the source of the viewpoint. See words to watch and WP:WEASEL for examples. To me it shows a bias towards one of the subjects in the article, and is not in the interest of Wikipedia's style guidelines. You guys are clearly camping on this page!

  • 1st edit // clarify, remove weasel word
  • 2nd & 3rd edits // weasel word + // weasel word, you state one but don't want to state the others? This is known as weaselling
  • 4th and 5th edits // this article clearly contains weasel words that some authors do not wish to acknowledge, see previous edits that keep getting reverted; also read the definition of weasel words: Anywhere "some" is used without attribution... this is weaselling

Mark Renier (talk) 04:03, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

I thought my edit summary was clear. You can't just change one sentence without regard to the rest of the paragraph. If you read the paragraph, you'd see that the statement in question ("some intelligent design proponents...avoid the argument from poor design") is connected not simply with Nelson, but also with Behe and Johnson. That isn't "weaseling", that's proper framing of an idea - starting with a general statement and moving on to more specific examples.
The second problem with the edit I reverted is even bigger. You changed a (supported) generalisation into a specific statement about Nelson. That changed the meaning, putting far more emphasis on Nelson (which in itself could be a problem) and orphaning the statements about Behe and Johnson from their proper context. The change you made broke the structure of the paragraph. Which is a problem. Not only was your rationale incorrect, your action also degraded the quality of the writing and reduced the accuracy of the section. Guettarda (talk) 03:41, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
My intent was to make the article MORE clear by removing the ambiguity (use of "some") without references. Help rewrite those sentences then so they do not use weasel words. Surely if there is need for "some" then the article can be better clarified by specifying exactly "who" the "some" are. Mark Renier (talk) 04:03, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
It's also important to note that your response to being reverted was far from optimal. Try using the talk page after the first editor reverts you. Don't wait until the third person does. If someone disagrees with your edit, repeating the same rationale over and over isn't going to make them suddenly see the light. Make your argument. Respond to what others said - if you didn't understand what I had to say, you could have asked. And seriously - "you guys are clearly camping on this page"? Accusing people of misdeeds isn't a good way to start a conversation. Not to mention that it's a rather weak argument - there are 1141 people with this page on their watch list. No one is conspiring against you - it's just one of the better-watched pages in Wikipedia. Guettarda (talk) 03:50, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, you are probably right about it being a better-watched page. I prefer to edit the articles and not the talk pages. Almost every time I have to come to the talk page it is because of favoritism of the subject, not the article. Making five edits of the style that I do on other pages and having ALL of them reverted is strong evidence this article is no different. I DID attribute my edits with WP:WEASEL but not words to watch: these are Wikipedia guidelines that state my case. I would ask, why do these standards NOT make my case? Please help make some edits and remove the ambiguities of "some". Mark Renier (talk) 04:03, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

Here are two generic statements, one of them is a weasel problem and one of them is not:

  1. Some people believe that snow white is based on a true story.
  2. Some people, such as Fred Nottingham, believe that Snow White is based on a true story. Other believers exist as well, including the head of the Snow White was Real!™ foundation, Barney Addelson.

While both sentences use the word "some," the second sentence is clarified by later writing and so is not using "some" in a weasel context. In at least one of the edits you made, "some" was immediately followed by exactly who, and yet you put a who tag in. SÆdontalk 04:09, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

WP:WEASEL actually says it pretty well: Phrases such as these present the appearance of support for statements but can deny the reader the opportunity to assess the source of the viewpoint...The examples given above are not automatically weasel words, as they may also be used in the lead section of an article or in a topic sentence of a paragraph, where the article body or the rest of the paragraph supplies attribution (emphasis added). Guettarda (talk) 04:37, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
Guettarda and Dominus, instead of warning Mark about revert warring and telling him to take it to the talk page, why didn't you two start a discussion about it before engaging in revert warring yourselves? Mark was making good faith edits to this article, wouldn't you agree? Cla68 (talk) 04:59, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
By the way, you should never revert-war over placement of a tag on an article, as you did with the "Weasel" tag, until discussion on it is complete. A tag does not alter the text of the article, it invites further discussion by interested editors. I will leave a note on your talk page also. Cla68 (talk) 05:03, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
Common practice is that the person making an edit brings their edit to the talk page after being reverted. There is no policy requirement that one start a discussion every time they revert. If that was the case I would have wasted hundreds of hours on talk page discussions that would have gone nowhere because the reversions I've made were for obvious reasons (as is the case here because again, these were not weasel words). SÆdontalk 05:17, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
When an edit is obviously made in good faith, as Mark's were, then any reverts without discussion are unnecessarily confrontational. It doesn't hurt at all to talk it out first. It means that the edit might stick or it might not, but at least there won't have been any edit warring. Anyway, not all the reverts were of text edits. There was at least one revert of a discussion tag. That is clear revert warring. Cla68 (talk) 05:22, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
Mark, I notice from your contribution history that you have been very busy lately cleaning up articles in a wide variety of topics. Have you had anyone revert your edits as quickly and as brusquely in any of those other articles, including reverting your attempts to place discussion tags, as has occurred here? If so, then Wikipedia appears to have a big problem. Cla68 (talk) 05:26, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
Cla68, it is common practice to review the sequence of events before accusing people of "revert warring". Your claims are false and your twisting of policy is nothing more than harassment and disruption. You've been sanctioned by the arbcomm for your battlefield conduct. Please don't bring that behaviour of yours here. Guettarda (talk) 11:51, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I thought WP:WEASEL spells it out pretty clearly, also. "Claims about what people say, think, feel, or believe, and what has been shown, demonstrated, or proved should be clearly attributed." If you use Some, then you must attribute the statement: who? If you do give an attribution, then we don't need Some in that sentence, or the following sentence in one case here. The word Some implies there are others that are not attributed. Using the word Some in there does not add any more information. If you know who made the claim, then reveal it to the reader. If there is no attribution, its actually disinformation. Notice there are several instances of the word Some in this article that I did not touch because I believe they were properly in context. The writer can also be more succinct by combining the meaning of the sentences into conveying one thought. Mark Renier (talk) 17:40, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
The standard meaning of "some" is "an unspecified number;" in logic "some" means "at least one." Neither definition implies that there are others beyond those who are mentioned. SÆdontalk 18:24, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
I never thought I'd possibly be arguing for the status quo in this article (which needs substantive changes) but if it's in the sources (or "sky is blue" certain) that more than just that one person do/say that, then I would think that "some" would be a reasonable summary. If not, not. North8000 (talk) 18:41, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
Exactly right, Saedon, Some here means unspecified. But Wiki is about specifics. We want attributions here. Get specific. unsupported attributions : "... can pad out sentences without adding any useful information and may disguise a biased view." I have demonstrated that I can reword this sentence to remove the useless information, and it's possibly disguised biased view. Mark Renier (talk) 07:21, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
Instead of "Some intelligent design proponents...", how about saying, "The following intelligent design proponents..."? Then the meaning doesn't change, you get rid of ambiguous Some, and you can keep tacking names on before the end of the paragraph. Mark Renier (talk) 07:38, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
Both of your examples above should be rewritten. The first example by your admission; it's a weasel. The second example is also a weasel but it is in disguise. "Other believers exist as well, including the head of the Snow White was Real!™ foundation, Barney Addelson." is not a full sentence (because it does not stand on it's own as a complete thought) and needs grammar fixes. If the 2nd sentence stands with the preceding sentence, follow Brown Little and use a semicolon to complete the thought between the two, like this: "Some people, such as Fred Nottingham, believe that Snow White is based on a true story; others believe as well, including the head of the Snow White was Real!™ foundation, Barney Addelson." Because Wikipedia is about verifiability of its contents, after fixing your incorrect grammar I would further rewrite it as "Fred Nottingham believes that Snow White is based on a true story. The head of the Snow White was Real!™ foundation, Barney Addelson, also believes that Snow White is based on a true story." Then you also get rid of the colloquialism "as well" which is also quite trite. Just write factual statements. Do not editorialize. WP:OPED There is no need to be overly obtuse about just stating facts, and hiding meaning behind ambiguous words like Some. Mark Renier (talk) 14:04, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
OK, let me try to phrase this differently. If the article said: One means by which the problem of poor design in nature has been avoided is through the assertion that people have simply failed to understand the perfection of the design. This changes none of the meaning of the sentence, it merely converts it to the passive voice. There's nothing wrong with that sentence (except that it's clunky and poorly written) - it stands or falls on whether it is supported by a source. Guettarda (talk) 15:57, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
Try again. Stop working with offhand examples, and start working with the actual contested content. You dragged me to this talk page to get consensus on the changes I proposed, right? Your example does not even have the contested word Some in it. Mark Renier (talk) 20:15, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
(a) I didn't "drag" you anywhere, and (b) that's precisely the point - you can remove the word "some" without changing the meaning. Thus, the word "some" isn't the problem. Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Words to watch, like other guidelines and policies, should never be read narrowly like a legal document. It's a useful guideline to avoid making mistakes. It does not say "kill with fire". In fact, it clearly explains that "some" is perfectly acceptable when used like this. Guettarda (talk) 03:25, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
I think you are rationalizing now; you are trying to find a situation to prove your point. Drop the examples and work with the actual text. Do you guys always waste so much resources on talk pages with your feet on the brakes like this? This is for the first of five edits, involving only three words! Mark Renier (talk) 17:16, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
There's nothing wrong with the text. If you understood WP:WEASEL, you'd understand that. There's PLENTY wrong with your edit to the text - it breaks the meaning of the sentence. But, you're right, we should not the "wast[ing] so much [sic] resources on talk pages". You appear not to get it - not WP:WEASEL, not the idea of collaborative editing, not the idea of consensus (as we use it in Wikipedia). The statement, as it stands, is accurate, it's within policy and it is (per WP:FACR 1(a)) relatively well-written. Your proposed addition is inaccurate and badly written.

If you want to propose changes and work collaboratively to ensure that the changes are actually improvements, then I'd be happy to work with you. All you're doing right now though is arguing that you are right and everyone else is wrong. Please stop doing that. Guettarda (talk) 18:31, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

Now there's a recommendation! From someone with 41K edits, also! Thanks, yes, I will gladly stop trying to make minor edits to a page where the consensus makers recommend argumentum ad populum as a solution, Guettarda. Mark Renier (talk) 20:15, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
Mark, again I apologize for the reception you are receiving in response to your good faith attempts to improve this article. As I said below, please list your proposed changes to the article and, I at least, will attempt to civilly discuss them with you. Cla68 (talk) 04:37, 13 June 2012 (UTC)

Page protected

Due to the reverts I am seeing in the article, I have protected the page for 3 days as an alternative to blocking anyone for edit-warring, so that everyone can continue discussion and hopefully come to a resolution. When the protection expires, resumption of contentious edits may result in further protection as well as blocks. ~Amatulić (talk) 18:32, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

So when does the vote take place? Who gets to say the final "OK", is that you, Amatulic? Do you post a poll here and people vote or what? Is there a deadline to register to vote also? What is the next action? Mark Renier (talk) 07:21, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
There is no voting. The burden is on you to create a consensus for the changes you want. If you want to create a poll or RFC or use some other mechanism to measure consensus, go right ahead. If I may suggest an approach, perhaps try proposing each change you want to make, individually in subsections, with your supporting points for each. Then see how others respond. The end result may be an improvement over both your version and the status quo version. ~Amatulić (talk) 14:40, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
{ec}No voting, just discussion and proposals to improve the article. Instead of making changes to the article after the protection is removed, we should talk about the changes we want made here until we come to a new consensus. Once consensus is reached, we can change the article. As the primary exponent for these changes, I suggest that you list the edits you want made and the reasons for doing so; other editors will respond with their reasons and we will eventually reach a consensus. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 14:42, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
Uh-huh...who is "we"? What you mean is, somebody other than me. Obviously, it won't be me, since you only need two dissenters to force an editor to the talk page and one sympathetic editor to protect that page. My edits are reverted and now the page is locked down. From my point, I don't see I have a vote in this crap at all. I link in policies and post valid arguments, but I still do not see any good responses. The content-to-noise ratio is very low for this article. Mark Renier (talk) 17:16, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
Mark, please assume good faith: the we I mentioned does indeed include you, as well as all other editors who are concerned with the reverted changes. I actually think some of those instances of some could be removed, but we need to make sure they're removed in a way that preserves the cited information and doesn't leave the grammar in shambles. Please list your requested changes and we can work together to ensure the article improves in quality. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 17:31, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
I do AGF, but with all due respect, Mr. Editor sir, I don't see me being involved at all in your "we" here. I have tried six times now to edit this article. Each time with individual attributions to standard WP. My net effect to this article still stands at zero characters, not because of my edits, but because of the reversions of those edits. Not helpful edits, just outright reversions. Net effect to this talk page is +2500 characters. Just to try and get through the first three-word edit. If all you need is two dissenters and one editor to block an editor, you guys have fun with your personal ambiguous article written by elite example givers and your patented revert/revert/page-protect scam...I must admit it is pretty effective in keeping out honest edits. I like to keep my C2N ratio over 95%, so will be heading off to a more productive use of my time, but I will stop back in every few days to make sure the page is being protected with just a single three-word edit backed by a standard wiki policy. Mark Renier (talk) 20:15, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
Yes, that's how this kind of thing works: someone is Bold, it is Reverted, then a Discussion on the Talk page arrives at consensus which is then applied to the article (WP:BRD). Instead of complaining about how we're adhering to this policy, please join in constructive dialogue. For instance, that first edit can be accomplished much easier by simply removing the word some and capitalizing the new first word of the sentence, which still makes it clear that there is more than one subject. The sentence in question would then read: "Some iIntelligent design proponents such as Paul Nelson avoid the problem of poor design in nature by insisting that we have simply failed to understand the perfection of the design." The second and third edits were just WP:WEASEL tags (suggestions?), and the 4th and 5th edits instituted some poor grammar (unfortunately, it's locked that way now). These are the issues that concern me. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 20:50, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
Also Mark, from the admin's point of view, the admin doesn't care about the dispute. All that matters is stability. It is an admin's job to prevent disruption, and warring is disruptive. The version of the page at the time of locking it isn't a concern for the admin locking the page. In fact I have been accused of protecting m:The Wrong Version a number of times in the past. No matter what version is protected during a dispute, one side or the other will always be unhappy about it. That's just the way it goes.
You want to make changes. The WP:BURDEN is on you to create a consensus that those changes are necessary, or at least everyone should work out proposed edits that are acceptable all around. You have been advised above, by myself and MisterDub, on how you might proceed to accomplish this. ~Amatulić (talk) 17:48, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
I understand wiki editing and building consensus; you can see my history, I work with it; sometimes I win, sometimes I lose. That's fine, I can handle constructive criticism, but there is no constructive criticism in these reversions to my edits, all the constructive criticism is here on the talk page where eventually it is archived i.e. wasted. Mark Renier (talk) 20:15, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
If you strive to keep your article to talk ratio at 95%, then consider the possibility that you might not actually understand how consensus-building works, especially for contentious articles such as this one. Wikipedia is a collaborative project. Collaboration involves more than communicating through edit summaries. Collaboration, including constructive criticism and building consensus, happens on talk pages. That's what talk pages are for. From where I sit, I see that other editors have offered valid criticism on the edits they reverted and you have not yet substantiated your desired changes by addressing these concerns or by proposing alternatives that address these concerns. ~Amatulić (talk) 22:15, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

Proposed changes

Mark, could you please list your proposed changes below so that we can discuss each one individually? I apologize that your attempts to improve this article have been greeted with revert warring. Let's take your proposals one-by-one. OK? Cla68 (talk) 23:24, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

He already did, at the beginning of this thread. I'll reproduce them here: [4] [5] [6]
The first one, as MisterDub already pointed out above, can be resolved simply by omitting "The" or "Some" from the first word of the sentence. If you guys can agree on that point, then work on alternatives to the other two. I locked this article because it's a content dispute in which both sides have valid arguments: On one hand, the article should reflect the sources accurately. On the other hand, the presence of weasel words, even if they are appropriate in this context, still appear as weasel words and should be rephrased if possible. ~Amatulić (talk) 15:08, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
I agree with you and think it's really sad that Mark's good-faith efforts to improve the article were met with edit-warring and comments which could have been phrased with a more friendly tone on the article talk page. Anyway, later today I will try to suggest some compromise wording. Cla68 (talk) 22:29, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, Cla68, but I'm going to beat you to it.  :P As it stands, I see four edits that require our attention:
  • Some intelligent design proponents such as Paul Nelson avoid the problem of poor design in nature by insisting that we have simply failed to understand the perfection of the design. (Intelligent designer, paragraph 3, sentence 1)
  • Some scientists argue that even when taken as mere speculation, these arguments are poorly supported by existing evidence. (Fine-tuned Universe, paragraph 2, sentence 2)
  • Arguments for intelligent design are formulated in secular terms and intentionally avoid positing the identity of the designer. The majority of principal intelligent design advocates are publicly religious Christians who have stated that in their view the designer proposed in intelligent design is the Christian conception of God. (Religion and leading proponents, paragraph 1, sentences 1 and 2)
  • Stuart Burgess, Phillip E. Johnson, William Dembski, and Stephen C. Meyer are evangelical Protestants, Michael Behe is a Roman Catholic, Jonathan Wells is a member of the Unification Church. David Klinghoffer is Jewish, and Michael Denton, who is agnostic, are examples of Intelligent Design proponents who are Jewish or agnostic,. (Religion and leading proponents, paragraph 1, sentences 3 and 4)
My suggestions for these statements follow:
  • Some iIntelligent design proponents such as Paul Nelson avoid the problem of poor design in nature by insisting that we have simply failed to understand the perfection of the design.
  • Some scientists argue that, even when taken as mere speculation, these arguments are poorly supported by existing evidence.
  • Although Aarguments for intelligent design are formulated in secular terms and intentionally avoid positing the identity of the designer, Tthe majority of principal intelligent design advocates are publicly religious Christians who have stated that, in their view, the designer proposed in intelligent design is the Christian conception of God.
  • Stuart Burgess, Phillip E. Johnson, William Dembski, and Stephen C. Meyer are evangelical Protestants; Michael Behe is a Roman Catholic; and Jonathan Wells is a member of the Unification Church. Non-Christian proponents include David Klinghoffer, who is Jewish, and Michael Denton, who is agnostic, are examples of Intelligent Design proponents who are Jewish or agnostic.
As you can see, I really didn't know what to do with that second item. We could remove some and attribute the claim to the cited author as we did in the first edit, but I don't know who "PvM" is. Or we could add more citations and leave some as the first word. Or... ? -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 18:16, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
  • For starters, I strongly endorse #4. The original sentence was pretty badly crafted. Guettarda (talk) 18:58, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Regarding #2, it needs a complete workover, since Pim van Meurs is a computer scientists, iirc. PT has generally been considered an RS, but you can't use his article to speak for "some scientists". Guettarda (talk) 19:05, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
  • #3 also looks good to me.
  • With regards to #1, I'm going to take a look at what is it exactly that Pennock is saying before I discuss modifications. I'm concerned about changing the meaning - actually I'm a little concerned that the current wording my be a bit poorly crafted. Guettarda (talk) 19:07, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

Regarding #2, I note that this sentence is sourced and the preceding one isn't. The first two sentences could be combined, eliminating the term "metaphysics", and still cite the same source. So instead of:

Scientists have generally responded that this argument cannot be tested and is therefore not science but metaphysics. Some scientists argue that even when taken as mere speculation, these arguments are poorly supported by existing evidence.

How about this:

Scientists have generally responded that these arguments are poorly supported by existing evidence and cannot be tested.

That pretty much sums up the cited source, I think. ~Amatulić (talk) 19:12, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

Amatulić, I think that's a great way to revise that statement, though I too am concerned about the sourcing. If Pim van Meurs is not an expert in the relevant field, I think we either need to remove the sentence or find alternative citations supporting the claim. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 20:46, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
I thought the name was uncommon enough that a quick search could resolve it. A search on Google Scholar gives several hits but the areas of interest indicate there may be different people with that name. ~Amatulić (talk) 16:38, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
@Guettarda: #1 is poorly supported. Pennock writes of both ID proponents and opponents addressing "imperfect design" in nature. Nelson's claim, per Pennock, is that scientists who offer exmples of imperfect design in support of biological evolution is a case where methodological naturalists are trying to play it both ways: that both intelligent design argument and imperfect design arguments presuppose "the intelligibility of theological assumptions about what God would or would not have done".
There's another error in the same paragraph. The Behe passages are good. But the Johnson/AIDS claim is wrong as it is worded. Johnson is not described in Pennock as making the claim about AIDS. Johnson, of course, is named as subscribing to the "purposeful design" argument, but not the notion that AIDS was designed as a punishment (that claim was made in passing on p280, and attributed to some unidentified evangelicals). Pennock himself, not Johnson, is using the purposeful creation of AIDS claim to illustrate the inadequacy of Johnson's "theistic science" to test the hypothesis, and Pennock should probably be given attribution in that passage. Professor marginalia (talk) 20:50, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
Correction: the Johnson claim is actually not as far off as I describe above. His view of AIDS is better described a few paragraphs below what I'd been reading-I missed it initially. Professor marginalia (talk) 18:48, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Okay, I made changes #3 and #4 to the article since I haven't seen any disagreement on those edits. I'm still really critical of #2 as well, for the reasons cited earlier. Should we remove this claim entirely? And is #1 acceptable, per Professor marginalia's latest comments? -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 14:39, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
I located a book by Stenger that supports #2 and the entirety of Susskind's The Cosmic Landscape is a refutation of the fine-tuning argument, hence I added these citations to the rewritten sentence. I think that improves the grammar and citations for the section in question. I also made the change to #1, since it's just a minor edit. If anyone feels the source is not accurately portrayed here, he or she can remove/rephrase the sentence. Thanks, all! -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 17:46, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Promulgated

Promulgation gives a specialist meaning, more general usage here as wikt:promulgate. My dictionary gives the general meaning as "promote or make widely known (an idea or cause)", the thesaurus suggests " they promulgated their own views: make known, make public, publicize, spread, communicate, propagate, disseminate, broadcast, promote, preach; literary bruit abroad." . . dave souza, talk 07:30, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Indeed. And I don't think the word is that unusual to warrant explanation. It's a "SAT"-level word. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 07:35, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
I've reverted this twice now and placed a 3RR warning on Mark's talk page. Absolutely ridiculous edit. SÆdontalk 09:05, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
While I believe that the narrowing in the sentence (emblematic of the narrowing in the article) is incorrect, I think that "promulgated" is an appropriate word. North8000 (talk) 11:29, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Would "proclaimed" be an adequate substitute? It doesn't have the connotation that it's their invention, but seems to cover the issue, otherwise. I have no objection to "promulgate", and this editor's actions appear similar to that of a now-blocked (for other reasons) IP. He couldn't be the IP, as he's been active longer; but he has (among other strange ideas) the idea that even obvious words should be linked, if the link is available. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 16:46, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
No, "proclaimed" wouldn't be better. "Promulgate" is exactly the right word. Thanks for the info about the IP, but, like you, I think it's unlikely. I've seen other editors go overboard on links before. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 16:58, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
{ec} No, proclaim isn't an accurate replacement. The DI might proclaim that ID is true, but they can't proclaim ID... that doesn't really make sense. Propound might be a decent substitute ("put forward (an idea or theory) for consideration by others" Oxford Dictionaries Online), but I still think it's less accurate than promulgate, which denotes a popularizing rather than an authoring.
And North8000, I'd really appreciate it if you refrained from complaining about the scope of this article in every comment you make. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 17:08, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
I was supporting wording-in-question on on part of a sentence where I found the other part of that sentence to be problematic. So this is a natural clarification to make. Nevertheless, I do feel that the article has the noted severe problem. North8000 (talk) 17:39, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
You mean, "Cathago delenda est". Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 17:50, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Yes, we're painfully aware of your opinion. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 17:48, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Both of you please lose the insulting smugness. I had a very solid argument (that there is substantial sourcing that ID is not limited to the DI version, and that the group here has decided to exclude it via relabeling away from its common name and correct name in the sources.) which folks here chose to avoid. You wore me out and I went away, and just make an occasional small comment to that effect (both times while supporting you on a different point) in the hopes that it will help it to someday get fixed. North8000 (talk) 21:09, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── That's an interesting interpretation. As I recall, the only thing that needed fixing was your fundamental misunderstanding of Wikipedia's naming policy, which multiple editors have explained to you repeatedly (and in excruciating detail). Please drop the stick. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 00:56, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

That's a mis-characterization, complete with irrelevant links as insults. There was only ONE conversation which got even close to addressing the issue directly (you and I in a good conversation on my talk page User_talk:North8000#Your_participation_on_ID_page) and then, tellingly, you faded away right when we distilled it to the heart of the matter. North8000 (talk) 02:06, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
You mean, right when I asked you to support your claim with WP:RSs and you failed to respond? And if you look through that first link, you'll see Jess also explaining WP:UCN to you, while the rest of us (myself included, at the time) were floundering around trying to figure out what the flying f*(^ you were talking about. Here's the deal: make a new section with a clear and concise proposition, supported by RSs, for the change you wish to make, or stop beating the dead horse! -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 02:20, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
I will drop the assertion that promulgated is the wrong word, in exchange for considering moving the statement to a later stage in the lead. At this point in the article, the reader knows nothing about what it is. I would lead with a factual statement along the lines of animal, mineral, vegetable, concept thing. To lead in with Promulgating assumes the reader knows something about the item already. It's better suited for elaboration at a later phase after the reader understands the first basic thing about the article. Give the article lead form and color, then talk about what it can do and what it is involved in. Something like, "Intelligent Design is a concept about <blah> <blah> <blah>". Maybe I am wrong and there is actual promulgation going on, but that would be its own section below in the article, wouldn't it? Mark Renier (talk) 04:05, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
We're not in a negotiation where we'll capitulate to a request in response to you offering to no longer push a previous request. There is a clear consensus that your attempt to remove/link promulgate from/in the article is inappropriate so that's kind of a moot point now. I don't agree with your new idea either; the only thing a reader is assumed to know is what the word promulgate means, which is a word I've understood since at least 9th grade. DI's promulgation of ID is an integral aspect of the subject and belongs exactly where it is. SÆdontalk 06:33, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, Mark, but your request is unreasonable and misses the mark by a mile. The article already starts out with a factual statement: "Intelligent Design is a form of creationism...", and the Discovery Institute is immediately mentioned as it is the most essential distinguishing feature of this form of creationism. "Concept" is a weak, namby-pamby word that really means nothing here. Your dislike of the word "promulgated" is completely unjustified. This is not Simple English Wikipedia, and the word is the exact correct word to use in this context. Consensus is abundantly clear in this regard. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 07:36, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

Scope-defining statement

Responding to MisterDub, I'd start with proposing a scope-defining statement on the talk page as follows: "The scope of this article is significant belief sets which have been called "intelligent design" by their proponents, followers, prominent or noteworthy writers and reliable sources" and having the rest of the article follow that. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 12:13, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

That is incredibly vague and problematic. How would you suggest, under this revised hatnote, that we distinguish ID (this article's subject) from the teleological argument? Or from Raelism? Or from some Joe deciding that all artists and engineers are ID proponents because they design things? Furthermore, if you're suggesting that ID (the prominently known ID) is this broad, we'd still really love to see supporting RSs. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 14:57, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Answering your questions / points in reverse:
  • On your last sentence, no, I'm proposing that we follow the above scope statement wherever it does and doesn't lead us.
  • On your "some Joe" item, I thought it was implied that this was with respect to an intelligence being behind how life or the universe came to be. Not about saying that a well-designed bridge is an "intelligent design".
  • Raëlians call their belief set Raelism, not intelligent design. The ID term is not used at all in the article except once as a name of a book. Other than maybe one sentence and a link, it would not be in this article.
  • Teleological argument is an argument, not a belief set. The term "intelligent design" is used extensively in that article as a major belief set that uses that argument. The "distinction" is that one is an argument, the other is a belief set.
Finally, I'd recommend eliminating the scope hat, not replacing it. My idea was just for the talk page.
Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 19:11, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
What you are proposing is a WP:COATRACK article with a made-up, nonexistent and meaningless catch-all subject. The subject of this article, ID as promulgated by the DI, is sufficiently distinct from all other "belief sets" sometimes labled as "intelligent design" to warrant its own separate article. Per WP:COMMONNAME, this article should be called "Intelligent Design". Other uses have to be treated in separate articles, as they have little or no relevance to Intelligent Design as proposed by the DI. The notable concepts already have their own articles, so content forking is a problem. As MisterDub has pointed out, reliable independent sources rarely, if ever, use the term as you propose. There are major WP:NPOV problems, too. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 19:14, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Instead of throwing around irrelevant links and insults of the idea as a tactic, on "reliable independent sources rarely, if ever, use the term as you propose" you might try reading the articles more closely. Both this article and the Teleological argument article have sourced material using the term exactly as I propose. This article actually conflicts with itself regarding that. It rightfully describes use of the ID term long before the DI was even in diapers. North8000 (talk) 19:52, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

If anybody wants to discuss this civilly, I'd be happy to. Otherwise I'm not going to be drawn into an argument by insults like calling the entire proposal above as being for "a coatrack article on a made-up, nonexistent and meaningless catch-all subject." with "NPOV problem". And this for a proposal for having an article cover what is in its name. How rude. North8000 (talk) 21:21, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

The phrase "intelligent design" has been used by kitchen designers and by those discussing the teleological argument, but the term "intelligent design" is specific to the rebranded "creation science" that is the subject of this article. The relabelling of creationism using the term "intelligent design" dates specifically to Pandas, as shown in the article, and there is a clear distinction between that and the more general phrase describing the activity of designing in an intelligent manner. The article makes this clear, and is appropriately specific to this commonly understood usage of the term.
Out of interest, what specific third party sources do you propose to support your suggestion that other "significant belief sets" have been called "intelligent design" by their proponents? Not, you will note, examples of proponents using the phrase when describing a belief set labelled by another term. . . . dave souza, talk 21:55, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Well, you could start with THIS article and the sources it is based on. Starting with:
"The concept of intelligent design, the teleological argument, is one of three basic religious arguments for the existence of God which have been advanced for centuries"
Then move on the the whole history section in THIS article covering what beliefs were covered by the term "Intelligent design" from 1850 through 1979. All predating the Discovery Institute version. And, by the way, all calling it "intelligent design" not "the teleological argument". A name for an argument made by the belief set is not even a name much less the name for the belief set.
I have given up on this article...that could change someday, but not now. I would be happy to have a friendly specific discussion on anything but will not engage with anyone who is just firing volleys and maneuvers. Not speaking about anyone specifically. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 11:13, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
A good point in that we should be clear that the argument from design (not callled intelligent design but commonly using that phrase) is theological concept, an argument for the existence of God. Not science. This is covered pretty well in the cited source, I'll review improvements to make these points explicit. . dave souza, talk 12:11, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
As a sidebar I'm an atheist so I never was arguing that any of this is science. (So my POV on the POV battle that underlies this article is with the folks that I argued against!) My core observation/assertion is that overall the article erroneously covers only the DI version of ID, and defines ID as being only the DI version. Except for it's own history section which refutes those assertions. And that the hat to the telelogical argument article does not resolve that error. Again, happy to discuss in a friendly way, but I've given up on the article with respect to doing anything beyond that. North8000 (talk) 13:01, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
North8000, all those things in the History section of this article are the same concept. The DI didn't author this theory, and if you read the Of Pandas and People section, you will see how future DI members will adopt and popularize the term before the DI was even formed. That's okay. The DI has promulgated ID and made it popular. When people say "I believe in ID" they are talking about this concept, the concept which is a teleological argument purported to be a field of scientific inquiry, whose history is traced back to creation science, and which came to prominence through the efforts of the DI. There aren't multiple IDs described in this article. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 14:46, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
North8000, the whole point of ID is that it's claimed by its proponents to be science which should be included in public school science classes. No one has any objection to the design argument being held as a belief, or taught in comparative religion, philosophy or theology classes where these are part of the curriculum. As with creation science before it, it's a rebranding of a religious argument, and this article is about this specific brand of creationism. . . dave souza, talk 16:17, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
I agree with what you both just said 100%. My argument is one of scope.North8000 (talk) 16:50, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Maybe you can restate your argument, then, because I have no clue what you're proposing. What specific changes do you want to make, and what specific sources/policies justify these changes? -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 17:03, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
My core assertion is that the appropriate scope of the "Intelligent design" article is to include all belief sets (regarding how the earth, life or the universe came to be as it is) whose primary self-identification for that belief set is "intelligent design". More briefly/less precisely, include all belief sets on this topic who self-identify as "intelligent design" Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 17:31, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Okay, so do you have a specific belief set which self-identifies as intelligent design that you would like included in the article? -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 17:39, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

With secondary sources confirming that it's an identifying label or brand, not just use of a variation on the phrase. It's arguable that the article goes too far already by listing use of the phrase by Dove, Darwin, Wallace et al. . . dave souza, talk 17:59, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Responding to MisterDub, the material is already in the article, e.g. in the history section. The problem / my assertion is that there are other areas of the article which make assertions which ignore that. North8000 (talk) 18:05, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
SPECIFICS PLEASE! -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 18:07, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Dave's idea that "the article goes too far already by listing use of the phrase by Dove, Darwin, Wallace et al." is right on target. In fact, the section "Origins of the Term" except for the "Of Panda's and People" subsection can be deleted in its entirety, as it conflicts with the reliable sources on the origin of the term, which state that Thaxton had heard the phrase from a NASA engineer and adopted it because of its "scientific" sound, apparently unaware of previous usages at the time. The uses in this section belong in the article on the argument for design, if anywhere, as they have no connection to the use of the term "Intelligent Design".
As for North's suggestion that the scope of the article be expanded to be a catch-all article for anything describing itself as "intelligent design", that is tantamont to expanding our article on London to include London, Ontario, or our article on Paris to include Paris, Texas.
The topic of ID as promulgated by the DI is discrete and distinct enough to warrant a separate article, and it gets dibs for the title of "intelligent design" because that is how those words are overwhemingly used in reliable sources. Even if there are other "belief sets" that describe themselves as "intelligent design", they, like London, Ontario and Paris, Texas need to be described in other articles, not this one. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 18:34, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
To be clear, any material in this article that is not directly and proximately related to ID(TM) as promulagated by the DI should be removed, rather that the scope of the article be enlaged to include it. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 18:50, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
It's a bit of a straw man to say that any scope that is broader the the DI version is equivalent to putting both Londons into the same article. We're not talking about covering well built garages as an "intelligent design". We're talking about what's covered by the common meaning of the term within the obvious context. And I gave the content that is already in the article as example. Conversely, the fact that some (I think) are proposing removing the "history" material that is already in the article to support the "ID is only about DI" premise suggests that it is an unnatural narrowing of scope. You could probably solve all of the problems instantly and eternally by renaming the article to Intelligent design (Discovery Institute version) and having it cover just that. Again, I have given up on this so there is no need to "parry" what I'm saying. Just an opportunity for a pleasant discussion if you feel like it and see it as such. North8000 (talk) 13:30, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
There's no need to "parry" what you're saying because you haven't said anything substantive. You've proposed no specific changes to the article, nor provided any source or policy to justify the vague change of scope you want to see (and its vague nature is exactly what makes it a WP:COATRACK). It seems you don't understand one of the following:
  1. WP:COMMONNAME: There are no other "significant belief sets which have been called intelligent design by their proponents, followers, prominent or noteworthy writers and reliable sources". (Don't agree? Present sources.)
  2. WP:COMMONNAME: The phrase intelligent design has been used to describe concepts known prominently by other names, reflected by their article titles (i.e. Teleological Argument, Raelism). They are not prominently known as "Intelligent design." (Don't agree? Present sources.)
  3. WP:PRECISE: The prominent name for "Intelligent design (Discovery Institute version)" is simply "Intelligent design" (Don't agree? Present sources.)
So, in case it's not abundantly clear, you need sources to support the change you've been trying to make. Making sweeping statements without justification is just a waste of everybody's time. Furthermore, I ask that if you have truly "given up on this," that you refrain from mentioning it in unrelated discussion threads. Thank you. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 19:37, 5 July 2012 (UTC)


I'm not trying to make any change, and (as it sounds more like parrying than discussing) the reply certainly isn't a pleasant discussion, so let's just let it fade out. Which just leaves one point. In order to clear up what you were falsely implying (debating this article elsewhere, and doing so since I gave up on this, both incorrect) please tell us (and preferably link to) specifically what you were referring to when you said "mentioning it in unrelated discussion threads". North8000 (talk) 20:45, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
I was not implying either of those things; I was simply referring to your previous habit of trying to steer every discussion on this talk page toward the article's scope. But if you're not trying to make a change and are done with it, then let's be done with it. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 22:09, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
Sounds good. The best to you. North8000 (talk) 00:33, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

Origins of the term

Dominus, you've mentioned removing the Origin of the term section before and I must admit I wasn't too keen on the idea. Now, however, I think you're correct. The whole section (except for its subsection, Of Pandas and People) seems to be a list of uses in scientific/philosophical literature before the DI, without much context. Could we delete this section and perhaps rename the Of Pandas and People section to Modern usage (or even leave it as Origin of the term)? -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 19:21, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
To be clear, I was not proposing the deletion of the "Of Panda's and People" section, just the section before it, none of which has to do with the subject of this article. Delete away! Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 19:36, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Most of that section is based on primary sources, and as such is original research. Matzke is a good secondary source, making it explicit about these earlier uses "most of them with absolutely no evidence of having influenced the actual actors in the 1980s who created the ID movement (there are some legitimate precursors, but they are in explicitly creationist works, e.g. Lester and Bohlin’s (1984) The Natural Limits to Biological Change, so the ID guys won’t cite them post-Kitzmiller)." He does raise and interesting example of near usage by A.E. Wilder-Smith, a European “creation scientist" who could be worth noting in a brief statement. The secondary source for Fred Hoyle's rather unrelated usage is a blog by Bilbo, don't think that's a very good source. . . dave souza, talk 19:50, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Ha! You beat me to it, dave!
With that information, would you suggest that the section in question be reduced substantially (instead of removed)? Essentially to one or two sentences describing that its use previously was not influential in its adoption by future DI members? -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 20:09, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Just wanted to thank you, dave, for the recent edit. I think the section is far more relevant now. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 20:54, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Actually, Dave, well souced or not, I still can't see any reason for leaving the SI and Darwin examples in. They are, as you put it, "examples unlinked to the modern usage of the term". They are thus outside of the scope of the article. Do you have any reason for retaining hem except for the fact that they are well sourced, which is a requirement for inclusion, but does not require inclusion? Thanks for deleting the rest!

Also, I still have scope-related reservations about what is now the first paragraph of the "History of the concept" section that you rewrote. It's close to bedtime here, so I'll read it through carefully and discuss my concerns with you later. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 21:02, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

Thanks, please treat these edits as a first step and make or propose changes if you think further trimming will add clarity. In the 'term" section it seemed useful to show examples where the religious context is obvious, these are the two cited by the source, but I'm open to this being reviewed. . . dave souza, talk 21:12, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Will do. My goal is to make it clear in the reader's mind that the article is specifically about ID(TM) as promulgated by the DI, and not about "intelligent design" as a synonym for the argument for design or similar concepts. I added that to the disambiguation hatnote at one time, but it also seems to have been deleted. I think it should read: "This article is about the form of creationism promulgated by the Discovery Institute...". What do you think? Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 21:20, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Fair points. With that in mind, I've tightened up the paragraph, and moved the examples to the footnote so that they're still available for interested readers, but don't intrude on the text. As for hatnote, looking through the sources I'm struck by Buell's preface (still available from the Wayback Machine) and Dembski's expert witness report:
"Of Pandas and People was and remains the only intelligent design textbook. In fact, it was the first place where the phrase “intelligent design” appeared in its present use."[7]
Having said that, the current hatnote covers it pretty well. I've tried modifying the hatnote to be that alternative uses are "of the phrase", and have clarified the mention in the lead from "The first significant published use of intelligent design" to "The first publication of the phrase "intelligent design" in its present use as an alternative term for creationism", citing Stott and Matzke's PNAS publication.[8] . . dave souza, talk 10:54, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
On the suggestion that we expand the hatnote wording This article is about a form of creationism, we don't need to as immediately below the hatnote the article starts with "Intelligent design (ID) is a form of creationism promulgated by the Discovery Institute." . . dave souza, talk 11:18, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

ID seeks to redefine science in a fundamental way that would invoke supernatural explanations

I find this paragraph quite disturbing. The first paragraph of the article discredits ID via an ad hominem argument while this paragraph seems to assert that truth is whatever the majority believes (even though I am unaware of the survey evidence that establishes what the majority, including the majority in hindu, muslim, or buddhist nations, rather than a vocal fringe believes)What I dislike most though is the idea that science refuses to consider supernatural explanations. Science may be defined in many ways, but in essence science is the search for truth about the physical universe. I would like to contribute a new paragraph about ID and human evolution

The central ideas go something like this 1. The idea that natural selection does not provide a complete explanation for the existence of humans on this planet has a respected history in science fiction (most famously in 2001 a space odessey)where either alien intervention or alien immigration is posited. 2. Natural selection as a theory offering a complete explanation of the existence of humans has a number of problems. For example 2A. It can not provide any explanation of the origin of life on Earth. This requires some story about how the production of certain chemicals becomes the reproduction of those chemicals in a process mediated by those chemicals. It has nothing to do with DNA 2B. There are choke points in recent human evolution (say the last 10 million years) when incredibly unlikely genetic changes had to occur in a small population (say average size 10,000) over a small number of generations (perhaps 50,000)The absolute size of these numbers doesn't matter, their relative size does.

I am happy to provide drafts in this talk thread. Comments? Tonygandal (talk) 07:05, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

If you "dislike most...the idea that science refuses to consider supernatural explanations", then your problem is with science, not Wikipedia. HiLo48 (talk) 07:27, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Tony, suggestions are welcome but please remember that any additions to the text need to be backed-up by reliable sources. The sources need to relate what you say directly to ID so that we aren't introducing synthesis into the text, which is against WP's rules. What sources would you use to support what you suggest? Cla68 (talk) 07:33, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps a misunderstanding: natural selection is a significant mechanism of evolution, though not the sole mechanism. It does not not provide an explanation of the origin of life on Earth, the nearest we have to that in science is abiogenesis. As for alleged improbability, a lot can happen in 10 million years. Especially in small populations. . . dave souza, talk 10:04, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

Although I do not agree with the suggested changes by tonygandal (for example, the discussion of supernatural causes in the natural sciences, or the use of science fiction novels as a source), I do very much regard the opening paragraph as polemical and tendentious. It reads like an attempt to attack the intelligent design movement and contains several serious inaccuracies:

1. Intelligent design is not creationism. Creationism is an account of the origins of the universe based on a literalistic approach to the book of Genesis in the Bible. Intelligent design confines itself to arguments in favor of design in biology, and does not go beyond this. The motives of those advocating this theory is another issue, but the idea itself is not creationism.

2. The Discovery Institute is the principal promoter of ID theory, but not the only one. ID is a movement among a minority of natural scientists, which goes beyond the Discovery Institute.

3.Unbalanced use of citations: The sources cited are disproportionately from critics of ID.

This article should not be permitted to become a polemic in favor of any particular opinion. It should follow NPV policy. I think that the introduction clearly violates NPV. MatthewCHoffman (talk) 12:22, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

Thank you all for the rapid feedback. It's kind of like going back 30 years to graduate school. Here's a first look at what a paragraph on human evolution and intelligent design might read like

Intelligent design is the idea that human evolution can be directed (as opposed to Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection where evolution is undirected). The concept was popularised by 2001; a space odyssey, the top grossing film of 1968 where a race of aliens introduces a group of primitive humans to the concept of weapons and it rests in the observation that a lot of things happened in a very short space of time,in evolutionary terms, to produce humans from their immediate predecessors. Looking forward the question is not whether humans can direct their future evolution, as evolution by intelligent design is an active area of research and progress in genetic engineering (Discover magazine Mar 2009 "Evolution by intelligent design" Jane Bosveld), but what changes should be made and to whom in the emerging field of enhancement evolution.

I suppose my problem with the article as it stands is that it is political and obsolete. Yes, in the 1990s the concept of ID was hijacked from SciFi by the creationists but that usage of the term is historic now, especially outside of the USA. Intelligent design is an aspect of genetic engineering. ID is a case of science fiction rapidly becoming science fact and insofar as Wikipedia is an ecyclopedia it should keep up to date Tonygandal (talk) 12:36, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

The quote "as opposed to Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection where evolution is undirected" is just patently false and shows a severe lack of understanding of what evolution is. Natural selection is a nonrandom directed influence of evolution, it's contently driving the population to be better adapted to it's environment, that's direction. — raekyt 12:50, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

I'm sorry Raeky whoever you are, but you are out of your depth here. Evolution by natural selection is undirected. Tonygandal (talk) 13:01, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

You can state whatever you want, mr brand new account with no editing history. But: Natural_selection#Directionality_of_selection, Directional selection and Directed evolution. — raekyt 13:07, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
I don't think that you two are disagreeing, you are just using two different definitions of "directed". North8000 (talk) 13:09, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

It’s nice of you to try and find a middle ground here, but wrong is wrong. Evolution by natural selection is undirected. That is not controversial. You just don’t know what you’re going to get after 50 million years of natural selection in a changing environment or environments. Have a look at any popular book in the field (The Blind Watchmaker by Prof Dawkins is probably the classic) However, when a population is introduced to a new environment the frequency of some alleles will move to a new equilibrium, a directional shift (not a directed one). And yes, there is such a thing as directed evolution – it’s a variant of intelligent design which aims to produce proteins not found in nature.

These are high school errors. People shouldn’t pretend a level of knowledge they do not have. Tonygandal (talk) 13:28, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

I need to echo Cla68's comment and ask where the reliable sources are which would support such an inclusion. And I really don't think this article ought to include any science fiction story when it's quite long and information-saturated already (with far more pertinent information).
MatthewCHoffman, please familiarize yourself with WP:DUE to understand how we apply WP:NPOV to fringe science and pseudoscience articles. The "Unbalanced use of citations" is per Wikipedia policy. Furthermore, the DI does not need to be the only supporter of ID; they are the engine for developing and promoting ID, and this is captured well by the verb promulgate, which means to "promote or make widely known." -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 14:36, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
MisterDub, perhaps you are the one who needs to familiarize yourself with those policies. They require us to not give undue weight to fringe scientific theories. However, the entire article is about a fringe scientific theory, and if we are to accurately inform readers about that theory, we must cite and quote the advocates of the theory itself, not just publish an article that gives voice to the theory's opponents in an attempt to refute it. We are not here to refute or confirm any theory, but rather to inform readers about the topic. MatthewCHoffman (talk) 19:49, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
MatthewCHoffman, I didn't mean to sound insulting; it's quite obvious that you are a new user and I thought you might not yet be familiar with these policies. From WP:FRINGE:
I agree that we are not here to confirm or refute any theory, but most of the reliable sources that don't come from ID proponents (see bolded sentence in quote), are from those who are critical of ID. If you have reliable sources that "balance" this out without giving undue weight, please help improve the article by adding them. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 20:17, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
MrDub: Thanks for your clarification on your citation of Wikipedia policies. I agree wholeheartedly with Wikipedia policy that 'the notability of a fringe theory must be judged by statements from verifiable and reliable sources'. One point to keep in mind is that the very existence of a Wikipedia entry on this topic indicates that it is in some sense notable, which could be for many reasons (scientific significance, cultural significance, political significance, etc). Also, the issue I am talking about here in particular with regard to citations is the actual content of the theory itself. The content of the theory can only be determined by the theorist. Whether or not it is a a good theory, or whether or not its proponents have ulterior motives for promoting it are other issues (which should also be addressed). If we are to accurately explain the content of the theory, we do need to cite the theorists themselves.
Actually, Wikipedia wants us to avoid primary sources as much as possible. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 20:41, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Matthew:
1) It appears that way, but is part of the strategy of misdirection. Proponents of the ID movement have betrayed themselves again and again to actually be advocating specifically Christian creationism under the guise of scientific terminology. It is actually treated under the section Religion and leading proponents. See the example of Dembski. - OBSIDIANSOUL 14:57, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
I believe you are confusing the motive of a theorist with the theory itself. The theory of intelligent design is that biological structures found in nature have an origin in a designer. That is the limit of the theory. The motive of most theorists may be to make theism more believable to people, but that is a distinct issue and should be addressed as such. To give an example on the other side of the issue: Thomas Huxley, the famous advocate of evolution, admitted that he had an ulterior motive to promote evolution, which was to eliminate the ontological basis for morality and give himself freedom from certain ethical norms. Atheists often promote evolution because they believe that it tends to vindicate their materialistic worldview. Others might simply believe the theory on the evidence. However, the private motives of the individual theorists are not the same as the theory. The theory must be presented as is, and any motives ascribed to the theorists should be treated separately. However, if we are going to treat the motives here of the ID movement, we should also treat the motives of those who disagree with them. MatthewCHoffman (talk) 19:49, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
2) Links? If similar movements become notable, they can be added. But the ideology itself is the brainchild of DI. - OBSIDIANSOUL 14:57, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
A simple keyword search in Google will reveal that there are individuals and groups who subscribe to some form of ID without being members of the Discovery Institute. There are those scientists who have signed petitions in favor of ID, for example, who are not necessarily members. There is also the Intelligent Design Network, which does not indicate on its site any connection to Discovery [1] MatthewCHoffman (talk) 19:49, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
3) Please read the policy on the neutral point-of-view and WP:RS. "Balance" does not entail equal weight being given to sources, especially primary sources. Judging the reliability of the source is an intrinsic part of neutrality. Otherwise we'd be treating sasquatches, chupacabras, vampires, fairies, and loch ness monsters as factual organisms because of the sheer number of people who have blurry photos of them. And "majority" refers to the number of reliable sources, not the numerical majority of the people supporting them. The reason why it seems to be skewed towards the anti is because all reliable independent sources are overwhelmingly against ID. And I stress the independent part. Virtually all of those sources are completely independent of ID and of each other. i.e. It's not a case of two groups. It's a case of one group being consistently rejected by multiple independent groups. And before you cry foul, that's actually how peer-review works in the scientific community, no matter what the hypothesis. Ideas that are corroborated by others' conclusions get supported, ideas that are contradicted by others' conclusions (or in this case, ideas that are completely untestable in the first place) get rejected. It's the responsibility of the originator to introduce new arguments, not claim censorship when their hypothesis is deemed insufficient. Furthermore, a lot of the sources are actually from ID. The famous Wedge document, in particular, which illuminates a great deal of the true aims of the movement, is from ID itself. - OBSIDIANSOUL 14:57, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
I answered this last point above in response to MisterDub. Regarding the Wedge document: That is obviously legitimate material to include. However, if the point of the article is to only include material from ID proponents that will tend to reflect badly on ID or undermine its credibility, then the article is straying from NPOV. MatthewCHoffman (talk) 19:49, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
The bottom line is that creationism is a specific movement among certain Evangelical Protestants to advocate an absolutely literal reading of the genesis creation account. That is simply not the content of Intelligent Design theory, which is subscribed to by people of various religions and in some cases, agnostic scholars. ID does not go beyond the argument in favor of an intelligent designer, and does not specify any characteristics of the designer, although obviously the majority of its advocates are theists who personally believe that ultimately, the designer is God.
What I state is even supported by the National Center for Science Education, which is a bitter enemy of Intelligent Design theory. They admit that:
"ID parallels but is not identical to creation science, the view that there is scientific evidence to support the Genesis account of the creation of the earth and of life."
The article goes on to acknowledge that although people might have their motives for promoting it, ID does not specify the designer. [2] MatthewCHoffman (talk) 19:52, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Matthew, you're stating commonplaces that don't mean what you seem to think they mean. Who said ID is identical to creation science, or specifies the "designer"? See the article for clarification. Also, please take more care to sign your posts and don't add confusing interjections into the posts of others without making it very clear where their comment ends and yours starts. . . dave souza, talk 20:16, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Dave Souza: Apparently you have not read the first sentence in this article, which says that ID is a form of creationism (that is the word I used...you are the one who put 'creation science'. Also I did sign my posts, as you can see above. I believe I missed one signature the last time I posted, which I immediately corrected.MatthewCHoffman (talk) 20:33, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Matthew, you are confusing the scope of the article. This has happened before, hence why at the very top of the article is a rather conspicuous hatnote. What you are referring to is an old old idea that dates back to the ancient Greeks, probably older, certainly predating Christianity. It's known as the teleological argument. Intelligent design is only a kind of teleological argument, a very specific modern kind originating from DI and focusing specifically on Christianity and the teaching of Christian creationism in public schools as a legitimate science. Not all teleological arguments are ID.- OBSIDIANSOUL 03:36, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
Tony:
This is not ID
If you're at a "higher level of knowledge", why is it that you seem to be under the impression that evolution is synonymous with natural selection and that it includes explanations for the abiogenic origin of life? Both misconceptions are worse than "high school errors". People above have already answered you on both points. The origin of life is a completely different question from the origin of species. Evolution has been an established science for 100 years now and is actually the backbone of the modern sciences of biology, genetics, and to a certain extent, medicine. It's been corroborated not only by the sciences which rely on it, but completely separate sciences like geology and physics. In contrast, the primordial soup theory (your "reproduction of chemicals") is very much still on tenuous grounds scientifically. In fact, one of its competing theories is panspermia (from Greek for "all seed"), the hypothesis that simple life is omnipresent throughout the universe and develop into higher lifeforms under suitable conditions. Sounds like science fiction, no? But it's considered a legitimate (if farfetched) hypothesis because it is testable, in contrast to simply claiming that an invisible and unknowable being made us.
Furthermore, Arthur C. Clarke is one of my favorite authors, but the 2001 series is still fiction. 2001 also does not negate evolution at all, it merely introduces the idea of "uplifting" - accelerated evolution of which humans already have the capability of in genetic engineering and to a limited extent animal husbandry. These concepts are still reliant on evolution being a fact. After all, artificial evolution would be impossible without a natural one, no? When the monolith uplifted those apes, where did the apes come from in the first place? Turtles all the way down?
And while I agree that things perceived as "supernatural" should not be dismissed out of hand (one of Carl Sagan's criticisms of the scientific community), they can not be accepted as valid either by merit of them being an "alternative" alone; that is unless someone actually goes ahead and proves them to have a scientific basis. See my response #3 to Matthew above.
And lastly, your proposed change is bizarre. What you are describing is actually a completely separate and well-known concept (both in fiction and in modern fringe religious groups) known as ancient astronauts. And here's the thing, it's NOT intelligent design and creationists are very much opposed to it. The main difference between ID and the ancient astronauts idea is that ID assumes that all life and the universe itself is designed by a Christian God. Ancient astronauts, on the other hand, has a far more limited scope.-- OBSIDIANSOUL 14:57, 3 July 2012 (UTC)


@MatthewCHoffman: You're making a major category error here in assuming that "Intelligent Design" is a theory, rather than a poorly developed ad hoc collection of PR, political and legal ploys dressed up in "scientific" and "philosphical" language intended to deceive the public, politicians and judges into supporting the teaching of religious-based creationism in public schools, or to have scientific evolution removed or minimized. It does not resemble a scientific theory in any way whatsoever. Neither is it well-developed as a philosphical or theological concept.
As such, it was launched by the DI, which remains its primary proponent by a landslide. Organizations like the Intelligent Design Network are promoting the product developed by the DI, and work very closely together with the DI and its affiliates as part of the Intelligent design movement, in which article they are already mentioned.
As for the NSCE statement, it is true, but not in the sense you think. ID is creation science that has been stripped of overt religious references to make it more palatable to the public, politicians and judges. As such, many creationists object to it, since they see it as a denial of the Christianity they wish to promote. ID and overtly religious creation science have thus to some degree diverged, and ID thus represents a distinct camp in the overall creationist movement. There are creation scientists that do not share ID's language, methods or goals. ID does, however, remain a subset of creationism. It also cannot be divorced from the DI and its political allies, or from the creationist movement, as it has little substance as a philosophical concept or as an honest attempt at science. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 20:43, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

"Creationism" is an inappropriate term for intelligent design

The term "Creationism" is loaded and appears to be an attempt to use the page for polemics over this subject. There is no question that ID is rejected by a majority of scientists in related fields and that should be stated, but to editorialize is inappropriate.

Suffice it to quote ID's principal opponent on the web, the National Center for Science Education:

"ID parallels but is not identical to creation science, the view that there is scientific evidence to support the Genesis account of the creation of the earth and of life.

"ID and creation science share the belief that the mainstream scientific discipline of evolution is largely incorrect. Both involve an intervening deity, but ID is more vague about what happened and when.

"Indeed, ID proponents are tactically silent on an alternative to common descent. Teachers exhorted to teach ID, then, are left with little to teach other than 'evolution didn't happen.'

http://ncse.com/creationism/general/intelligent-design-not-accepted-by-most-scientists}

Surely if they can be fair and describe ID accurately, so can we. ID is not creationism. Creationism is an attempt to use the natural sciences to support a literalistic reading of the Genesis creation account. ID is more general. As for motives, they can be discussed, but the motive for an idea is not identical to the idea itself. Atheists often promote Darwinism with a desire to make atheism more intellectually respectable, but Darwinsim is not, for that reason, atheistic. It is not proper to confuse an idea with the motives of its proponents, although both can be discussed without any problem. MatthewCHoffman (talk) 22:18, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

The source you quote specifically calls ID creationism. Many times. In fact, it calls it IDC (Intelligent Design Creationism). Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 22:30, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

Advocates of the ideas collectively known as "creationism" and, recently, "intelligent design creationism" hold a wide variety of views. Most broadly, a "creationist" is someone who rejects natural scientific explanations of the known universe in favor of special creation by a supernatural entity. Creationism in its various forms is not the same thing as belief in God because, as was discussed earlier, many believers as well as many mainstream religious groups accept the findings of science, including evolution. Nor is creationism necessarily tied to Christians who interpret the Bible literally. Some non-Christian religious believers also want to replace scientific explanations with their own religion’s supernatural accounts of physical phenomena.

— Science, Evolution, and Creationism. National Academy of Sciences, 2008.
ArtifexMayhem (talk) 23:08, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

From the Kitzmiller trial decision:

  • The evidence at trial demonstrates that ID is nothing less than the progeny of creationism. (page 31)
  • The overwhelming evidence at trial established that ID is a religious view, a mere re-labeling of creationism, and not a scientific theory. (page 43)

The main book behind the movement, Of Pandas and People: A comparison of an early draft of Of Pandas and People to a later 1987 copy showed how in hundreds of instances the word "creationism" had been replaced by "intelligent design" and "creationist" replaced by "intelligent design proponent" Seems pretty clear it's just a rebranding of creationism. This article is about a VERY SPECIFIC type of intelligent design, that promulgated by the Discovery Institute, as the opening sentence says, and in their version, it's clearly just a rebranding of their creationism. — raekyt 23:18, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

A trial judge's decisions regarding the law are one thing, but in terms of a finding of fact about a scientific matter, or a definition of a word, a court has no more authority than any other layman. This decision can't be cited as authoritative over the meaning of a word.

Lexicographers, however, are in fact experts when it comes to definitions of words. Merriam-Webster is the oldest and most prestigious dictionary of American English. Its definitions recognize the difference between ID and Creationism.

Here's the ID definition:

the theory that matter, the various forms of life, and the world were created by a designing intelligence http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/intelligent%20design

Here's the Creationism definition:

cre·a·tion·ism noun \-shə-ˌni-zəm\

a doctrine or theory holding that matter, the various forms of life, and the world were created by God out of nothing and usually in the way described in Genesis — compare evolution 4b

— cre·a·tion·ist \-shə-nist\ noun or adjective

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/creationism

The Encyclopedia Britannica articles on this topic are models of balance in comparison to our tendentious article. Although it discusses the common perception that ID is motivated by a type of creationist agenda, it doesn't claim that ID itself is creationism. It even mentions the Dover decision as an interesting fact, because it IS relevant from a legal standpoint, which is fine in its proper context:

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1081911/intelligent-design-ID

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1277002/Intelligent-Design-Scientific-Concept-or-Religious-View-Year-In-Review-2006#ref909809

Again, if we are going to have a serious article here, rather than an editorial, we need to distinguish between an idea or theory, and the motive behind its promoters. The two are in fact different. We can mention a commonly-ascribed motive without fudging proper distinctions. MatthewCHoffman (talk) 00:14, 23 July 2012 (UTC)

MCHoffman, you are obviously correct that Merriam-Webster calls ID a theory. In the context of this WP article, however, we use the formal scientific definition of theory: "a comprehensive explanation of some aspect of nature that is supported by a vast body of evidence."
You are utterly correct that this article is not objective but is written to slam ID. I have mentioned this before, citing, IIRC, HowStuffWorks.com. I urge all editors to peruse the articles at Britannica.com and HowStuffWorks.com as models of objectivity and then strive to introduce the same objectivity to this article. (Note I said "objectivity," not "sympathy.") Yopienso (talk) 01:30, 23 July 2012 (UTC)

Explanation to IP user 98.200.227.100

Defining ID has been a challenge. The consensus at this article is that the word "theory" denotes a scientific theory, not speculation as per popular usage. ID works backwards from the perception that the Universe demonstrates an underlying (or overarching) design to try to explain how things came to be as they are. A scientific theory is the result of research and testing conducted to find an explanation for a phenomenon, further refined by input from an existing body of scientific thought and critiques by experts. "To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning," according to our article to which I've linked. Also, the "and/or" form isn't the best. Yopienso (talk) 03:55, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

First sentence

Imagine you are a kid researching this topic for a school paper. Would the first sentence give you any clear summary of what it actually is? The first sentence doesn't even mention that it's an intellectual perspective on the origin of life and species. Or that it's a mostly pseudo-scientific "theory" that challenges Darwinian Evolution. Or that it's extremely popular among Christians. Or that tens of millions of Americans agree with it. Either let my proposed first sentence stand, or someone else come up with a better one. Zyx1xyz (talk) 17:53, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

Or let things stand as they are, of course. What is your proposed first sentence? GaramondLethe 17:58, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
See his edit. I don't have time to join this discussion, however. As for Zyx1xyz's question in the edit summary, please read the previous discussions in this page and you'll know why. -- OBSIDIANSOUL 18:02, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. GaramondLethe 18:08, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
Oppose, due to unnecessary violence inflicted upon the English language. GaramondLethe 18:08, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
Please make specific criticisms of the grammatical errors to whch you object, thanks. KillerChihuahua?!? 18:16, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
To the best of my knowledge the grammar is fine. The sentence is wordy, awkward and reads like a laundry list. GaramondLethe 18:40, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

The first sentence must summarize the subject, and in cases other than schoolboys, it matters. In mobile devices, that is often all which shows; when linking to public forums, such as FaceBook, which have a preview, that is often all that shows. It must convey accurately the sum of the article, insofar as is possible. The proposed change is accurate, so far as I can see. Does it summarize the article better than the current first sentence? KillerChihuahua?!? 18:16, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

First, when has it been characterized as an "intellectual perspective"? I'd like to see the source on that. Secondly, it's a rather atrocious run-on sentence and requires a restructuring, at the very least. My final issue with this is that it's unnecessarily verbose: a really quick way to say "controversial, pseudo-scientific, intellectual perspective on the origin of life and its various species on earth, rooted in traditional Western religion, popular among many Christians, rejected by most of the scientific community" is creationism, which is how the article is currently written. Why would we want to introduce such convolution? -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 18:25, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
Ball is in your court, Zyx1xyz. KillerChihuahua?!? 18:28, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
(ec) It must convey accurately the sum of the article: I looked in the WP:MOS and didn't see anything along those lines. If this is your personal preference as to how the opening sentence should be written, that's fine: I think we can agree to disagree. If you're repeating what is accepted as house style or policy, I'd appreciate a pointer to where you got it from. Thanks. GaramondLethe 18:40, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
WP:LEAD, specifically the WP:MOSINTRO and WP:BEGINNING parts of it. ~Amatulić (talk) 18:47, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
Thanks! Zyx1xyz, you might want to give this a read. There are lots of good examples. You might also want to look at the first sentences that introduce evolution, naturalism (philosophy) and, oh, I don't know, coalescent theory. Compare those to the first sentence of scientific creationism. I find the former much easier to read and much more effective in drawing me into the article (or, just as important, letting me know quickly that this isn't the article I was looking for). GaramondLethe 19:07, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

Zyx1xyz, this is a very contentious article and being bold can quickly lead to edit wars. To avoid this, please discuss your proposed change(s) here before changing the lead. Thank you. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 21:03, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for all the feedback. The run-on sentence has been significantly trimmed in the latest edit.Zyx1xyz (talk) 21:56, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

Let's say that you see a popular Wikipedia article that has an extremely cryptic and convoluted introductory paragraph, defining its subject by reference only. The paragraph is so bad that it's almost unreadable, and is embarrassing for Wikipedia. What do you do? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Zyx1xyz (talkcontribs) 22:12, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

You head straight to the talk page and make a suggestion as to how it could be improved? Theroadislong (talk) 22:15, 15 August 2012 (UTC)


Wikipedia at its worst

This article is an example of Wikipedia at its worst: a disjointed jumble of semi-relevant minutiae that feels to the reader like a runaway computer program wrote it. Read any of these other articles that I found on a quick web search and they are all MILES and MILES better than ours: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1081911/intelligent-design-ID, http://people.howstuffworks.com/intelligent-design1.htm, http://www.intelligentdesign.org/whatisid.php, http://www.conservapedia.com/Intelligent_design.

A quick glance shows that many of the prominent facts in our article are just plain wrong. But even worse, these other competing articles and CLEAR and EASY TO READ - totally unlike our mess.

We Wikipedians should be EMBARRASSED. This article is the result of a broken process. Hundreds of petty little editors bickering and undoing one another's edits led to this mess. A thousand whining little arguments can't make a single well-written, intelligible page of prose on a simple subject. We should be ashamed of ourselves. Wikipedia deserves better. Our readers deserve better. If we don't get our act together, somebody else will fill the niche. Look around; there are already competing sources out there now. Your bickering and noodling just helps them in their quest to replace Wikipedia.

What needs to be done? Administrators need to take control, lock down this article, re-write it from scratch so it MAKES SENSE and is ACCURATE, and then start the process again. Reboot needed. This article is BROKEN. It's serving nothing more than embarrassing us, confusing readers, and providing an arena for petty noodlers to argue with one another. It's a huge of waste of time better spent. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Zyx1xyz (talkcontribs)

What specific facts are "wrong"? If you have nothing constructive to say, why are you bothering to post here? If you are incapable of comprehending the sources, then explain why. If you can write a better article, do so in your user space and propose it. If you disagree with Wikipedia's policy about referencing only reliable, secondary, independent sources, then either go to the policy page and lobby for changing it to your liking, or spend your time somewhere else that you feel is more worthwhile. In any case, nothing you have said so far is constructive criticism. ~Amatulić (talk) 22:58, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
The Brittanica entry is a reliable, secondary, independent source which we can use to help us improve this article. Cla68 (talk) 23:16, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
Closing WP:SOAPBOXING. Please make constructive and specific comments as ranting about your experience here helps no one address the supposed issues Sædontalk 23:17, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.


I've spent the last 24 hours making a multitude of suggestions from all different angles and perspectives and they've all been lost in a din of crowd noise, bickering, "drive by" pot shots, and the like. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Zyx1xyz (talkcontribs) 23:20, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

Unaffiliated publications

Actually there are a number publications in independent scientific editions supportive of ID (e.g. those online: Joseph A. Kuhn, “Dissecting Darwinism”, Baylor University Medical Center Proceedings, 2012, Solomon Victor and Vijaya M. Nayak, “Evolutionary anticipation of the human heart,” Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, Solomon Victor, Vljaya M. Nayek, and Raveen Rajasingh, “Evolution of the Ventricles,” Texas Heart Institute Journal). The reference to Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District according to which "the intelligent design movement has not published a properly peer-reviewed article supporting ID in a scientific journal, and has failed to publish supporting peer-reviewed research or data" is prone to staling as various publications do appear since 2005. As such paraphrasing is needed IMO. Brandmeistertalk 23:44, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

Uh...I think the issue here is, no offense, but you seem to not be grasping what real peer review is, or what would qualify something to be a professional scientific journal. I don't think a thing on your list would hold up to the rigors necessary to be one.Farsight001 (talk) 00:00, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
I hardly think those could be disqualified as unreliable sources. If you don't agree, take them to WP:RSN. Brandmeistertalk 00:07, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
From the examples provided it remains obvious that "the intelligent design movement has not published a properly peer-reviewed article supporting ID in a scientific journal, and has failed to publish supporting peer-reviewed research or data." The key is actually doing the science, not just talking about it. The latter method has been out of favor for more than 400 years. — ArtifexMayhem (talk) 00:08, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict) The first one, Kuhn "Dissecting Darwinism", the front page of Baylor University states "A top Texas Christian University." If this publication by that university is properly peer reviewed I'd eat a copy of it. What evidence do you have that this is peer reviewed or anyway credible in the scientific community? He makes the Irreducible Complexity argument in it, and states that life can't arise from non-life argument, all of which is demonstrably false. So that right there calls into question the legitimacy of the claim that it's peer reviewed. The second paper by Victor does talk about ID in it's conclusion some, but this is a Review article, review articles are not held to the same kind of standards as an actual paper, and likely wasn't peer reviewed. On the journal's home page it states it allows controversial topics, and as a review it could have some controversial material. But I HIGHLY doubt they would accept a research paper that stated their data showed evolution wasn't possible and ID was the only conclusion. There's a big difference between being published in this manor and publishing an actual research paper, should be obvious to anyone who's read a lot of journals I think. The third paper by Nayek is a editorial in a "journal" by the Christian organization "Texas Heart Institute", again hardly a rigorously peer reviewed journal, and even if it was it's an editorial not a research paper. — raekyt 00:10, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
And I'll be WP:BOLD enough to state, that if you want to use any of these as evidence to remove the statement from the trial, then it WILL have to go through RSN first.... — raekyt 00:18, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
Wow, that's really inappropriate, Raeky. You have publicly stated here that a university's publication is disqualified because of it's confessional status. That's totally inappropriate, and shows the agenda that is motivating you. You cannot disqualify a peer-reviewed source from an accredited university because you don't like the religion of the university's management. I ask you to retract that and to remove your statement.
If these articles were peer-reviewed then claiming that no peer review has been done of this theory is wrong. We should therefore verify these articles as such, and then amend the Wikipedia entry. It doesn't mean claiming that this is a mainstream theory or commonly accepted (obviously it isn't), but facts are facts and again, this article is not for editorializing about anything. It is meant to inform the reader accurately about the topic, not to persuade him to take a particular position on an issue.

MatthewCHoffman (talk) 00:28, 23 July 2012 (UTC)

There's no reason to retract, the first is a journal from a christian school, that right there calls into doubt it's scientific status, then the content of the article calls into doubt their standards. The second is a review article, which generally are not peer reviewed, even in peer reviewed journals, reviews are not research papers, third is a editorial in journal from a christian organization, again that calls into doubt it's scientific status, and it's a editorial which is generally not peer reviewed like review articles, it's not a research article. You need to have a basic understanding of what a scientific journal is, anyone can claim their journal is scientific, claim it's peer reviewed, but that doesn't mean it holds any credit in the scientific community. That's why RSN will be necessary if you want to use any of these specific examples. — raekyt 00:37, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
And nobody has said the is because they "...don't like the religion of the university's management." A statement that is really uncalled for. —ArtifexMayhem (talk) 00:43, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
Again your statement that the Christian confession of an accredited university calls into question the scientific status of its publication is inappropriate. It violates Wikipedia policy, and is nothing more than an expression of unjust discrimination. If you don't retract, this is going to become a complaint. You cannot use Wikipedia to engage in this type of discrimination. Baylor is accredited. MatthewCHoffman (talk) 00:46, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
Please link to this policy, thanks. — raekyt 00:51, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
LOL. Do you know the meaning of the word? Peer-review is not synonymous to being published. Creating your own journals like BIO-Complexity just to get "published", creating imaginary scientific-sounding institutions like "Department of ProtoBioCybernetics and ProtoBioSemiotics, Origin of Life Science Foundation, Inc." to give the illusion of decorated affiliations, or publishing in journals isolated from the rest of the scientific community (and only remotely connected to actual biology) is not "peer reviewed".
It's even hilarious how bad these are. Victor and Nayak's 2000 paper for example simply rehashes comparative anatomy and then nonsensically waxes philosophical quoting Da Vinci, citing the "Designer" as an a priori fact, and claiming that for a species to change they'd need microprocessor technology. LMAO. And it manages to consistently misspell Homo sapiens sapiens as a compound word Homosapiens sapiens.
And the most damning thing about this "peer-reviewed" article? FOURTEEN of the 18 references are also papers by Victor and/or Nayak. The references which aren't by the same authors are only tangentially related or completely unrelated at all (not to mention unscientific). The opposing views they sourced to an article on the National Geographic and on Darwin's original paper itself. And the remaining two? This is where it gets even more hilarious: a book on Indian mythology and the Holy Vedas.
That is not peer-review. That's circle-jerking. It's not even science.-- OBSIDIANSOUL 01:45, 23 July 2012 (UTC)

Discrimination

Wikipedia:Discrimination http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Discrimination

I quote: "Wikipedia and English Wikipedia should not give privilege in writing and freedom of speech, and expression, scientific inclusion, etc. to some in expense of others and will not tolerate promotion of discrimination through its content. Such rule stops or bans using any other rules included and existing in Wikipedia in discriminative manner.

"In discrimination notion is included any discrimination on base of: ... religion ..." MatthewCHoffman (talk) 01:24, 23 July 2012 (UTC)

Please note that that is not a policy, but an essay, and a failed essay at that, so it carries with it almost no power, secondly what you bolded means we hold scientific value of this resource to be pretty high, and scientific value is what I'm promoting. It is perfectly acceptable to question the motives of a christian journal when it comes to evolution/ID topics and specifically if they publish the linked article it definitely calls into question the reliability of the source for scientific information. I don't know what your trying to pull, or if you just don't understand WP:DUE, WP:NPOV, WP:FRINGE and the level of standards we generally expect for scientific journals, but these sources are not quality sources. The second one is the only journal I would even remotely consider as a valid scientific journal, but the article linked from it isn't a research article, and only minorly makes assertions of ID, and in any case would never be considered as evidence for ID with what was presented there. Since it's a review article it PROBABLY WASN'T peer reviewed, as is generally understood for scientific research articles. So again there is no reason to retract my comments, and your threats hold no weight and are potentially in violation of policy yourself. — raekyt 01:40, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
I'm sorry that I had to refer this to the administrators (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Administrators%27_noticeboard#Religious_discrimination_issue), but your open contempt for Wikipedia's clearly defined policy compelled me to do so. I asked you more than once to retract what you had stated or to delete it, but you refused. You don't have a license here to discriminate against Christian-identified universities that are nationally accredited like any other university. --MatthewCHoffman (talk) 16:37, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
I suggest you look at the top of the page. There's a FAQ. See question #3.-- OBSIDIANSOUL 17:55, 23 July 2012 (UTC)

{e/c}Did you see the notices at the top of that page?

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You are correct that the Baylor journal is peer-reviewed. It's archived at NCBI. The author of that particular article, though, identifies it as a review. Hence, the purpose of this paper is to review the arguments that have been leveled against the concept of evolution as proposed by Charles Darwin and John Hunter, surgeon and biologist extraordinaire. [Break] Since this review is offered by a physician and surgeon. . . It doesn't seem to be a peer-reviewed paper. Yopienso (talk) 01:43, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
Was basically my point, except after reading that paper I'd never trust that journal for a controversial evolution/creation type article since they allowed that to be published even as a review. But as I said, reviews and editorials do not go through the same peer review process as a research article and are not held to very high standards. So using these as arguments to remove the statement from the court ruling would not be sufficient. (also note Yopienso, I made those links to the templates so they wouldn't interfere here). — raekyt 01:49, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
The creationist BS claim about the Kuhn paper is that it was "published in a peer-reviewed journal", which is deceptive, because although the journal does indeed publish real peer-reviewed papers, the Kuhn paper is not one of them. It is an editorial (Kuhn is on the editorial board of the journal), and certainly did not undergo any form of peer-review, as no original scientific research is being reported on. The fact that the journal is published by a Christian university is immaterial. Baylor is not a "Bible college" anymore, but has become a serious university with a fine reputation. The medical center is a top notch research facility. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 05:36, 23 July 2012 (UTC)

ID re creator

Ironically, the group here has pretended that ID is only the (DI) version which specifically avoids and has nothing in it regarding a creator. That tack seems to be backfiring or self-conflicting at the moment. North8000 (talk) 12:26, 23 July 2012 (UTC)

LOL. Hardly. — ArtifexMayhem (talk) 13:29, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
LOL indeed. "which specifically avoids and has nothing in it regarding a creator."[citation needed] -- OBSIDIANSOUL 17:52, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
Was that not in fact the point of the DI version of ID.....to specifically leave out anything regarding a creator so as to be able to say that it is not religion? Also a point made in this article? North8000 (talk) 18:08, 23 July 2012 (UTC).
And the point made by the district court judge in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District was that that tactic was transparent deceptive. ID remains pretty much a religiously motivated movement. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 18:21, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
Agree and Agree. But it has nothing about a creator. North8000 (talk) 18:52, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
Yes, there is a creator in ID; it's just not specifically called God. I guess my request that you (North8000) stop trying to steer every conversation toward this end was conveniently ignored. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 19:01, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
<ec> Nothing? "Phillip E. Johnson puts forward a core definition that the designer creates for a purpose, giving the example that in his view AIDS was created to punish immorality and was not caused by HIV, but such motives cannot be tested by scientific methods." You've got to watch what those cdesign proponentsists say. . . dave souza, talk 19:04, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
Disagree at two levels. First, taken literally/ostensibly, creation is not a core tenet of ID, even though many of its proponents have that belief. Second, within what it posits/implies are other mechanisms besides creation for intelligent intervention/guidance in the process. North8000 (talk) 13:05, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
So, just to be clear, you're suggesting that the intelligent designer posited by ID "decided upon the look and functioning of [organisms on Earth], typically by making a detailed drawing of [them]," (Oxford English Dictionary) and then... gave it to someone else to create? -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 15:28, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
No I meant that it allows for beliefs such as guiding certain natural processes to arrive at what we see now rather than creating it. North8000 (talk) 16:32, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
Then you're talking about theistic evolution, not ID; ID is meant to challenge evolution by positing that natural processes can't produce the organisms we observe on Earth. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 16:42, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
Agree with the second part of your post. And if one notes (or agrees) that ID doesn't go much farther than what you just said, then such supports my original statement. ID allows for creation and non-creation "interventions" and thus does not dictate/narrow to only creation ones. North8000 (talk) 17:28, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Do you have a change to the article that you'd like to propose? GaramondLethe 17:38, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

The ID article should cover ID as a whole, and, more to the point, not imply that it is limited to the DI version. But I have temporarily given up on that except to make a few occasional comments (especially when the current error presents such quandaries) like that one that started this thread. North8000 (talk) 18:05, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
So, no. Also, how's that stick? -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 18:19, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
Quit the crap. The situation is nowhere near what you are trying to imply by that baseless link. And escalating a low key conversation into something else by injecting insults into it is really bad behavior. North8000 (talk) 19:27, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
You brought an edit proposal to this Talk page and it was rejected, but you continue to make comments about it in completely unrelated sections for no other reason than to vent your frustration. What else would you call that?
From WP:STICK:
  • If you have "lost" – sorry, hard luck. Now go about your business; don't keep reminding us of the fact that your "opponent" didn't actually "win" because of... whatever.
  • If the debate died a natural death – let it remain dead. It is over, let it go. Nobody cared except you. Hard to stomach, but you're going to have to live with it.
-- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 19:39, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
My previous comment applies, including on your further mis-representation of the situation. I'm not engaging further on the crappy insult-based level reflected in your posts. North8000 (talk) 19:49, 15 August 2012 (UTC) Signing off on this thread. North8000 (talk) 19:49, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

Deja vu

We've been here before, at length. The Kuhn paper is nonsense and wasn't peer reviewed, there may be useful sources there on some of the other proposed papers. . . dave souza, talk 18:27, 23 July 2012 (UTC)

Are all the sources used in this article peer reviewed? If a source isn't peer reviewed, does that automatically make it "nonsense"? What is it about the Kuhn paper that makes it "nonsense"? Cla68 (talk) 22:50, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
Cla68, no, the lack of peer review doesn't make an article nonsense--that was a personal judgment--and peer-review is not a Wikipedia requirement for inclusion of a source. However, the particular claim this source intends to contradict is that "[t]he intelligent design movement has not published a properly peer-reviewed article supporting ID in a scientific journal, and has failed to publish supporting peer-reviewed research or data." As an editorial, the Kuhn paper would be sufficient for his opinion on ID/evolution, but since he is not a professional in a relevant field it cannot be cited for more than this purpose (and since Kuhn is a non-figure in the "controversy," I don't see why his opinion would merit inclusion anyway). -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 14:23, 16 August 2012 (UTC)