Talk:Intelligent design/Archive 78

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Recent reverts

Breenhill has been adding content to this article and several others which indicates that "hundreds of scientists" express doubt about Evolution. The content is very distinctly opposed to WP:WEIGHT, but Breenhill seems intent on edit warring to include it. Breenhill, you need to discuss this content on the talk page, not edit war to get it included.   — Jess· Δ 17:54, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

I'm looking at this list and even if it accurate, half the people on there are unqualified to give an opinion. Professor of Electrical Engineering? Lecturer in Computing? Ph.D. Philosophy? --NeilN talk to me 18:05, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
Breenhill: We have an entire article devoted to this list (A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism). See also Project Steve. Garamond Lethet
18:48, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
Breenhill I would suggest the aticle is unrecoverably biased, but you could try being explicitly factual, something like "However hundreds of professional scientists were willing to sign A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism expressing the same sort of skepticism that intelligent design theorists espouse regarding the explanatory power of current proposed mechanisms posited to explain biological diversity, specifically the mediums of natural selection and genetic mutation. [1]" Markbassett (talk) 21:13, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
That would also be incorrect. See A_Scientific_Dissent_From_Darwinism#Defections_and_disagreements. And how is a Ph.D. in Philosophy a "professional scientist"? --NeilN talk to me 21:17, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
Statement of something that exists is "incorrect" sounds like NPOV lost. Statement of the fact re hundreds of scientists was reworded to include the wikilink being talked about to make it explicit as to source, weight, and findable in objections. That it had objections or larger number of opposing views does not delete it's existence and is weight-presented properly by "hundreds" being prominent rather than "thousands" or "most" or such. This seems now correct and explicit in what it refers to. If you can more accurately phrase it's existence - then go ahead. If you are unable to do so without inserting "I don't hear that" or immediate detractions then please refrain until the sentence it exists is stated. Markbassett (talk) 21:42, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
How this for accuracy? "About 0.01% of scientists in the relevant fields were willing to sign A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism expressing the same sort of skepticism that intelligent design theorists espouse regarding the explanatory power of current proposed mechanisms posited to explain biological diversity, specifically the mediums of natural selection and genetic mutation." --NeilN talk to me 21:48, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
Still too much weight, Neil. We can mention the dissent list (and I'm surprised to find we don't), but it needs to be in the context of the DI advocating for ID, not in the context of scientists "dissenting from darwinism".   — Jess· Δ 21:50, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
The statement does not mention intelligent design, so it's not clear to me why it should be referenced in this article. It does belong in the DI article, and it's already there. Garamond Lethet
21:54, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
I know. I apologize for being somewhat facetious but that 0.01% number is a hell of a lot more meaningful than hundreds of "professional scientists". --NeilN talk to me 21:55, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict)@Garamond The dissent list has been one of the DIs most notable ways of advocating for ID, and so it's featured in ID literature fairly often. See Discovery Institute intelligent design campaigns. Also, the dissent article details the connection a bit. I would expect the mention to be short. Right now it's only mentioned (and not linked) in the section on Islam.   — Jess· Δ 22:05, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
@Neil Heh, yep. I got it. I was just trying to make sure we were clear for Breenhill and Mark. I agree with you. :)   — Jess· Δ 22:09, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

I think focusing on the exact number (.001 percent) is a misleading way to talk about the signed statement since not all the scientists in the United States were presented the statement of skepticism. It's like saying that a 150,000 signature petition for gun control is insignificant because there are 300 million people in the United States. Also, even if scientists who don't have specializations in biology and chemistry are removed from the skepticism list, a sizeable amount of scientists in biological and chemical fields still remain. Perhaps the information can be reworded to say that "a few hundred scientists in biological and chemical fields have expressed some skepticism about the sole explanatory power of the mechanisms of natural selection and genetic mutation to explain biological diversity." — Preceding unsigned comment added by Breenhill (talkcontribs)

Hi Breenhill. You might have missed what I wrote above. We can include mention of the dissent list, but it needs to be in the context of the DI promoting ID. It can't be in the context of scientists opposing evolution, because in that context the number of scientists is so fringe it should not be afforded additional weight. Our policies on WP:WEIGHT and WP:FRINGE deal with this; we cover it in that context in Objections to evolution, Scientific Dissent From Darwinism, Level of support for evolution, and other articles specifically about that fringe concept, but this article has a broader scope. In terms of proper wording, the first 2 sentences of Intelligent design campaigns#Petition campaigns might be worth considering. I would imagine we would want that or something shorter.   — Jess· Δ 22:17, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict)It sounds like you folks have a pretty good handle on this, but just to be clear, if this information is to be included in the article, it needs the proper context. For example, "hundreds" of scientists isn't much. The NCSE had fun with this little charade by drafting their own document and permitting only scientists named Steve or a variation thereof (~1% of the US population) to sign. They stopped accepting signatures shortly after they reached a kiloSteve, which statistically represents 100,000 scientists. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 22:26, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
Breenhill Meh. Provided language about facts and "hundreds" with explicit sourcing and you see what comes back. If separate from working on this 'hundreds' stated and cited properly someone wants to follow it with other supported facts like 1200+ signed Project Steve all well and good. I welcome any actual facts and RS cites, though I rather doubt the math that puts hundreds as .001% and so Project Steve as .003% (implied: tens of millions of scientists, 99.996% silent). That "hundreds" did sign was simply a fact, and I offered language to make the Talk explicit in the article. Markbassett (talk) 23:15, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
Markbassett, are you a native English speaker? I ask because I tend to have great difficulty reading your comments. For example, it looks like you've address Breenhill, but the content is more in response to my post above. I'm also not sure what point you're making with the percentages. It almost sounds like you're rejecting my comment, but the statistical correlation is absolutely correct (it's just simple math: if you let only 1% of a random sample of the population sign, each signature represents 100 people). Could you please clarify these points? Thanks! -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 23:07, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
MisterBub: this Talk section was started for "Breenhill has been adding content to this article and several others which indicates that "hundreds of scientists" express doubt about Evolution." I think we can ignore the NeilN suggestion that it include percentages as NeilN later admitted he was being facetious and the RS wording is 'hundreds'. I've fixed my typo and indents above (from haste of discussion whacks things) but please let us return to how to present that fact of 'hundreds' and anything separate from that is a different topic. Markbassett (talk) 23:27, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
No, you missed my key point - 0.01% is a lot more meaningful than hundreds of so-called professional scientists and that it shows we should not be implying A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism enjoys any kind of meaningful support - perhaps minuscule but not meaningful. --NeilN talk to me 23:40, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Mark, Neil was correct. A percentage is more meaningful than a raw number, and if we use any numbers, we would be compelled to contextualize them within the global scientific community. I don't think we should include any numbers at all, but if we did, it could not be "hundreds of scientists oppose evolution".   — Jess· Δ 23:46, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Mark, let me simplify this. Here is wording we cannot use:

  • "Hundreds of scientists signed a petition opposing evolution."
We cannot use that wording because it implies that "hundreds of scientists" is a significant number, when it is not.

Here is wording we can use:

  • "The Discovery Institute issued "A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism" in an attempt to show that the theory of evolution lacked scientific support."
We can use that wording because it shows the claim is being made by the discovery institute. We would need to add wording after it which showed that their claim was not true.

Here is the wording that I propose:

  • "In 2001, the Discovery Institute issued A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism, a petition aimed at giving the impression that there are widespread doubts about the Theory of Evolution among scientists. The list continues to be used in Discovery Institute intelligent design campaigns in an attempt to discredit evolution and bolster claims that intelligent design is scientifically valid by claiming that evolution lacks broad scientific support."

We could mention Project Steve after that. I'd welcome suggestions to shorten the wording. I do not think we should include raw numbers; if we do include numbers, it will just increase the amount of explanation needed.   — Jess· Δ 00:06, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

I don't think that just saying "the Discovery Institute issued "A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism", a petition aimed at giving the impression that there are widespread doubts about the Theory of Evolution" is adequate because it's not a petition. It's a declarative statement about science that's signed by scientists (petitions are requests). Also, maybe we could say "a few hundred biologists and chemists express doubts about the explanatory mechanisms behind evolution, namely natural selection and genetic mutation to fully explain biological diversity." "A few hundred" is an empirical fact and it is not in any way misleading. And the statement doesn't question evolution, but rather the mechanisms behind evolution to fully explain biological diversity. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Breenhill (talkcontribs) 04:55, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
We cannot say "a few hundred scientists". I already explained why, several times. It's factually incorrect even if it weren't contrary to one of our foundational content policies. The number is appropriately in other articles; it does not belong here. We can change "petition" to "statement". I just co-opted the wording from another article. I would still prefer it to be shorter.   — Jess· Δ 05:19, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I saw your reasons but they were nonsense. Hundreds is empirically the number of scientists on that list that doubt the mechanisms. Also, you say that it's misleading to say a few hundred because that somehow makes their position more credible than it is but that is a poor argument since the truth of the number isn't affected one bit by your social agenda--just because it's inconvenient that hundreds of scientists signed that statement doesn't mean they didn't sign it. Just because scientists support a "fringe" view doesn't mean that it's appropriate to deny that hundreds of scientists supported a statement that supports a "fringe" view. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Breenhill (talkcontribs)
My social agenda? You've misunderstood. If we put a raw number in, it would be less than "a few hundred", because many signers are not scientists, others were mislead into signing, and so on. It would then need to be reduced to relevant scientists (biologists) as every other comparable list is. That real number would then need to be contextualized within the scientific community, by explicitly stating the percentage of relevant scientists it represented. Because of WP:DUE, we would then need to provide an appropriate amount of weight describing, in detail, the level of acceptance of the statement within the relevant community. All of that takes space, and none of it is directly relevant to the actual topic, Intelligent Design. It would be worse in promoting your view, and it would pollute the article with irrelevant information. That data is important, and should be represented; the right place to do it is A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism, level of support for evolution, objections to evolution, project steve, and so on, where it's already recorded in depth.   — Jess· Δ 06:09, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
  • ALL * : Yeesh enough bias running rabid already. This talk section was started for "Breenhill has been adding content to this article and several others which indicates that "hundreds of scientists" express doubt about Evolution." That it is fact and factually is the language of the cite and an accurate description of the number has been shown, and language was proposed for the article to make the source obvious which is the end of the requested topic. If there are other facts with cites then put them in separately and let the perspective be obvious from reality. I would welcome any actual facts and RS cites of separate topics from this Talk section. Meanwhile, all this talk seems like kneejerk bias flaming up as (a) facetious chat or (b) demands that only Anti-ID content be allowed or (c) negotiating that one edit is is allowable only if it has a desired effect or must have unsupported words inserted in to alter the cite into an anti-ID OR. That 'hundreds' cannot be allowed based on it sounds bad is obvious bias or saying that factual cite when pointed to is "incorrect" is willful self-deception because you don't like it. Bias is simply human nature and part of why this mess may be as good as it can get, but try and get a grip guys and deal with it calmly as teeny piece in flawed article and make your own sentence after that one or before that separate from this Talk section. 'Hundreds' is obvious enough to me a minority position but if you feel compelled to put Project Steve next to it go ahead, and please try to keep more focus on facts and cites. Markbassett (talk) 14:47, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
You completely ignored what Jess wrote above. And from the NY Times article on this, "Of the 128 biologists who signed, few conduct research that would directly address the question of what shaped the history of life." --NeilN talk to me 15:01, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
NeilN - implicit in my outdenting is that was not a response to the last series of Jess but rather attempt to return to earlier level of what the post is. Jess persists in denial even after "hundreds" is given explicit cite shown, saying phrasing of "cannot be allowed" or "is incorrect" and Breenhill pinged him already for it, so was time to move on back to the wording for hundreds was stated, if you can improve it fine, if you want to put some other topic else in that belongs to a different Talk section. Breenhill can see it's gotten one suggestion for improvement and lots of silly remarks and blind opposition is mostly what he's gotten back. Meh, I still think the article is unrecoverably biased and this Talk exchange shows little opening but if Breenhill wants to edit it into article or not is up to him. Markbassett (talk) 18:39, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
My only possible response would be to repeat myself. If we're going to persist with not listening, then I think it's time to move on. Consensus opposes the change. I may try adding my suggestion and see if other editors have any input.   — Jess· Δ 19:00, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

Does lead first sentence fail verification due to SELFPUB problem?

(As the original poster in this thread, after substantial discussion I'm tabling my concerns for a time. Not sure if I'll revisit or not, but want time to review the archives and watch further discussion before deciding.NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 19:03, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

The current form of the first sentence asserts that the "proponents" (as in all of them) say xyz, but the cited source is a WP:SELFSOURCE from the Discovery Institute which only qualifies as an RS in terms of their description of their own views. Consequently, the sentence should be truncated after "creationism", the remainder should be moved to the bit about what the DI says, where the word "proponents" is changed to refer to the DI. Doing this will convert the source into a reliable source for what the DI has to to say about their own views. To pass verification as-is there has to be some invisible RS that says the DI controls the Intelligent Design catechism and their leaders speak with infallibity for the entire movement. Whether or not they tell themselves this, I think we can all agree it is unlikely to be true. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 00:05, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

PS, I belatedly realized that there are two sources included in a single citation. The other is from someone called "Intelligent Design Network, Inc", but the same objection can be made about this source. It can not be used as a basis for what ALL proponents say, only what they say. As an aside, it strikes me as stupid to have two sources in a single citation. Do our guidelines allow that? NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 00:09, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
Ugh. I don't know if you're aware, but we've talked about this whole issue a whole lot. So much, in fact, that we were on the verge of going to AE. You may want to check the archives. The gist of it is that this article is about a version of the teleological argument which is promulgated by the discovery institute. It isn't about some other "form" of intelligent design. Basically, this article is about the DIs version of intelligent design, and they are the largest players in it... so much so that it's hard to find any leading proponent outside of their organization. I don't think now is the best time to bring this up again. We just ended discussion about it after three solid months.   — Jess· Δ 00:13, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the history. It's always a pain when a new person shows interest on one of these pages.
I'll look at the archives eventually, but maybe you can help me catch up?
(A) If this is truly about the DI's version of ID, then why doesn't the title include "discovery institute" somewhere?
(B) If that does not work because there are other players, then I remain firmly convinced there is a SELFPUB problem in the first sentence and am sticking to my first post, whatever people may have said before. SELFSOURCE-s are SELFSOURCE-s, after all.
NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 00:20, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
Hey. I dropped you a note before I saw this post.
(A) The article title is due to WP:COMMONNAME. The term "Intelligent design" almost exclusively refers to this version in reliable sources. There are some instances of the words "intelligent design" in some other sources, but they appear to be descriptive rather than a label. For instance, "X was intelligently designed". There has been some discussion of moving Intelligent design (disambiguation) here and this article to Intelligent design (Discovery Institute), but the proposal was largely opposed.
(B) We have other sources which back up that definition. We use the DI as a source for it because, again, the DI is just such a large player in this area; they're pretty much the only player, in fact. The first sentence used to be more "constructed" from a variety of sources, but after significant discussion we settled on letting the DI speak for itself. I had some reservation about that, but I'm comfortable enough with the current formulation that I'd rather not wade back in.
We could replace the first source with another one, but I don't know that I agree it is necessary in this case. I wouldn't oppose it either.   — Jess· Δ 00:42, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
And, by the way, I didn't mean to imply that you commenting was a pain. Just that the conversation on this topic we just finished (last month?) had been a pain. I've usually appreciated your input elsewhere, and it's good to see you stop in here too, of course!   — Jess· Δ 00:48, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
No worries, I didn't take "pain" to mean "pain in the ass". But it is cumbersome for everyone, thanks for handling it well.
From what you have said, making this a disambig and renaming this to Intelligent design (Discovery Institute) certainly makes good sense. Did anyone identify any adverse results from doing that? And if, as I think you are saying, other uninvolved sources say "DI" and "ID" in essentially the same breath at the top of their column, then I would argue ID is not the common name at all, since (as I understand it) uninvolved sources don't say one without the other. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 00:50, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
I think a disambig is most useful when there are multiple candidates in common usage. I don't think that's the case here. The two main players in this topic are teleological argument and Intelligent design. The words "Intelligent design" almost always mean the latter. I'm a little frazzled, so I think I'm going to head off-wiki for a while and let others comment, but from my understanding of the sources we have, I think the current setup is probably best. The area I would have liked to have seen improved is the first sentence. I would prefer a definition similar to the CFI's, instead of the DI. That's what we had to begin with, if I recall correctly. But again, I don't think it's worth stirring the pot to make that kind of change, personally.   — Jess· Δ 01:00, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks again, that's about as far as a catch-up can really take a newcomer anyway. Enjoy your break. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 01:12, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
Another point is that the title "Intelligent design (Discovery Institute)" strongly implies that there are other forms of ID that are common. That point was the focus of extremely repetitive and tedious discussions on this page in recent months. Editors have been able to find references where the words "intelligent design" have been used elsewhere, but no sources show that there is some other "thing" with that name. No other group has promoted the ID phrase except to support the DI view, so there is only one ID, and it is a theory proposed by the DI. An analogy is that ID is a product, and DI is the manufacturer, although of course there are lots of ID supporters who are not from the DI. Johnuniq (talk) 02:02, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
You are completely blending and confusing two different discussions. The larger "All ID is DI" claim problem was resolved many months ago by extensive sourcing that showed that to be incorrect. A lesser IMHO problem is the implicit claim that all ID claims to be science was then discussed at length but faded away unresolved. North8000 (talk) 02:59, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
Nonsense. You think you have proven more than you have. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 15:59, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
The "ID is just DI" claim is instantly blown away from it in "Pandas" predating DI. I didn't assert that my second point (essentially that not all ID claims to be science) was proven. North8000 (talk) 16:27, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
No, you're wrong on the first statement too. ID has always been the same people, even before they were associated with the DI. The claim you've consistently made is intended to bolster a false idea that ID is more than just reactionary creationism; it is not. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 16:46, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
You are confirming rather than refuting my point on the "ID is just DI" claim....existence prior to DI. North8000 (talk) 18:45, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
Unless there is a proposal on the table, let's not get into this again. I agree that the summary saying it was proven is not reflective of consensus at the time or now. I, and others, have explained that quite a bit. But it doesn't matter, because it doesn't influence any content decision we're making now. Let's just move on, and let past discussions speak for themselves in the archive.   — Jess· Δ 18:52, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
Yes, agree. North8000 (talk) 23:43, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

[User:NewsAndEventsGuy|NewsAndEventsGuy]] -- the hat was changed 7 Oct 2013 from "This article is about the form of creationism promulgated by the Discovery Institute. For the philosophical "argument from design", see Teleological argument. For other uses of the phrase, see Intelligent design (disambiguation)". (That DI specific hat or lede had been on there since 31 July 2011, and no hat seems there back to article start in November 2001.) Other usages of the terms and disambiguation have been shot down this year by majority vote. For example, there was Talk on the fact that the term was in fairly significant use for evolutionary discussions circa 1880-1900, and there was debate on the questionable story over how Pandas chose the term, and for other usages such as one architecture movement or focus, and about 'promulgated by Discovery Institute' implies that there forms from other sources would be separate topics. Markbassett (talk) 16:11, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

FYI, per the note I left in italics at top of this thread, I'm putting this on back burner for awhile. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 19:03, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

A scientific dissent from darwinism

I included a snippet about A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism. I mentioned above that it is often included in ID literature, so I expected at least a brief mention here. I trimmed my proposed wording a bit. Input would be appreciated. Should Project Steve or Level of support for evolution be included as well? I didn't want to bloat the section, but just establish context for the "scientific consensus" section. Thanks.   — Jess· Δ 19:28, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

OK. I think the article is unretrievably flawed and doubt this location but I'll dare the fates. In the first sentence I've fixed the wording to match the document and put in a cite to it. I would suggest the second sentence should be deleted as off thread but if you want it then it should show cite(s). Markbassett (talk) 20:28, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
Your correction isn't actually what the sources say. It's what the Dissent list says, but that's a primary source and was crafted with the specific intention of being misleading. Our secondary sources which cover the dissent list explain its purpose, which is what makes it relevant to this article. See the NSCE writeup about the original list, which backs up what I just said. We prefer secondary sources, and must differ to them over using misleading wording from the DI.   — Jess· Δ 22:25, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
I also added two sources, per your request. They were copied from A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism.   — Jess· Δ 22:27, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
Looks great, Jess. Thanks for your work! -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 22:34, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
This shouldn't be at the start of the section, as it's a DI response to the reaction from scientists, and it must be noted that the actual statement as signed is ambiguous: it could easily be signed by a proponent of neutral theory. In addition, only a minority of the signatories were in relevant fields, and a significant number were creationists or evangelicals basing their views on religion, not science. We also have to indicate that, in turn, scientists responded by Project Steve and a counter-petition, A Scientific Support For Darwinism. I've edited it accordingly. . . dave souza, talk 22:54, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
That's a lot bigger than I was hoping for, but I'm fine with that too. Thanks Dave! :)   — Jess· Δ 23:18, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, it will be good if it can be put more concisely but it's important to show the smoke and mirrors as well as the rather misleading claims. dave souza, talk 23:25, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
The correction was factually giving an exact quote of what the ad text said with cite of it -- rather than start with an unsourced reinterpretation of what was said. The article has has inserted a new second line asserting DI claiming "widespread doubts" that is unsourced, and the now-third line asserting DI 'still using' it has still not been supported, although it now has two unrelated cites to criticisms of that go to the second sentance, one saying "[Darwinian]" was misleading, and the other saying many were not biologists. Meh, about par for this article. Markbassett (talk) 15:25, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
To be clear, the ad says there "is scientific dissent to Darwinism", not "are widespread doubts about evolution" and for wikipedia purposes the first is correctly describing the DI statement and accurately presenting that side. Indeed, scientifically Darwinism is discredited while evolution is still accepted, Darwinism having been replaced with more recent concepts on evolution that are still struggling with many of the same historical issues and still figuring things out. Both the quoted statement above are really third-party statements about the signed statement rather than the statement itself anyway and both should be expected to be a bit wordgamey as partisan PR. Markbassett (talk) 16:04, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
What you just described is precisely why we can't say that. The DI formulated the wording for their statement to mislead the public. They said "Darwinian evolution" in the hopes that scientists (who understood this distinction) would be more willing to sign, but the public (who did not) would still understand these scientists to be saying they rejected evolution in whole. There's quite a bit of literature discussing this. We cannot coopt intentionally misleading wording in an encyclopedia. It also has nothing to do with intelligent design. What is relevant to ID is that the DI formulated a statement with the intention of conveying that an increasing number of scientists are now doubting evolution (in whole). They've used the statement for that express purpose, which they've stated directly. We defer to secondary sources for this reason. Independent, secondary sources converge on the same coverage of the dissent list, showing that it was crafted and used for that purpose. That's what's relevant and appropriate for this article.   — Jess· Δ 16:46, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
Mark, I added a cite to "widespread". The list itself was updated June 2013, so I'm not sure that we need a cite for "still used" (esp. as we have an entire article devoted to this topic). As an aside: "discredited" as a more precise meaning in the sciences, referring to ideas that were abandoned rather than refined. Garamond Lethet
18:24, 2 January 2014 (UTC)

Garamonde - that cite does not have "widespread", though it does have the obviously factual "growing" or "mounting" (from 100 to 300 which is also obviously still not "widespread") and is a RS for what DI said. The 2004 press release and the main article also do not support "still used" and "still" is poor wording since "still" is a moving target. And Darwinism being discredited is more to point out thqat both sides reworded to advance their causes, using wording that is true but needs to be read closely. Markbassett (talk) 19:02, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
Getting more signatories after casting a wider net is not factually "growing" or "mounting" (implying there is a growth in the percentage of doubters). --NeilN talk to me 19:27, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
(ec) Mark, I changed "widespread" to "mounting" to be in line with the source, and added a cite and changed the wording to limit the DI's use of "Dissent" through at least 2011. Garamond Lethet
19:33, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
NeilN, the cite is to illustrate what the DI claimed. Garamond Lethet
19:33, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
"In 2001, the Discovery Institute published advertisements under the heading..." DI did not making the mounting claim in 2001 but rather in 2004, using the increased amount of signatories as proof. --NeilN talk to me 19:56, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
NeilN Your edit makes it appear the DI made one claim, in 2004. There were multiple claims from 2004 through 2011, so I suppose the correct thing to do is put in those cites and change the wording to "...and from 2004 through at least 2011, the DI used the increasing number of signatures on the list as proof of mounting..." or suchlike. Is that change ok with you? Garamond Lethet
22:06, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
Garamond Lethe Rather than adding even more detail, what about something like " but starting in 2004"? --NeilN talk to me 22:10, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
NeilN, that's a much better idea than mine. Make the change now if you like, or I'll make it later today if you haven't gotten around to it. Garamond Lethet
22:14, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, done. --NeilN talk to me 22:17, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
I just disambiguated an "it", but other than that it looks great. Thanks! Garamond Lethet
08:25, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

"Criticism" section, mjc-research edits=

mjc-research: thanks for contributing to the article. I have a few concerns. First, you make the edit in a footnote; if the material is appropriate, I think it would be a better fit in the article proper. Second, the Strobel quote is an argument I haven't seen advanced by Behe before. The second quote might fit well into the Objections to evolution article, but I don't see how it is specific to intelligent design. Your thoughts? Thanks, Garamond Lethet
04:30, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

User:Garamond Lethe Thank you very much for bringing this to the talk page... I appreciate your invitation to talk it over.
Not entirely sure what you meant re: the footnote, but what I was trying to do was keep the encyclopedic section succinct by adding a small section inside the article proper, but also make the footnoted/reference material more extensive and easy to find for those interested. I think I've seen this often on Wikipedia, but perhaps that's not the right way to do it? Also, Behe did address it here: [2], at least on that occasion.
Also, there were several other independent changes you reverted (maybe unintentionally?), so I've made little subsections for discussing them: Mjc-research (talk) 20:19, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
You put your edit inside an existing <ref group="n">, which meant that the text landed in the notes section. Not sure if that was your intent or not. (You have to scroll up a bit to see where that ref starts.) Garamond Lethet
17:33, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
Whoops! That was not my intention. ThanksMjc-research (talk) 01:36, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

"Scientific criticism" section

Here's where I referenced the Strobel book quote. I had written: "Advocates of Intelligent Design protest that it is in fact more open to potential falsification than Darwinian evolution (referenced Strobel) and that evolutionary history is on similar grounds since its assertions regarding past events are not strictly empirically testable(reference)." I like your suggestion and I would be fine if this were simply shortened to: "Some Intelligent Design advocates assert that many of the same claims can be made about evolution (see Objections to evolution)," along with some footnotes. Regarding your thoughts on whether this is applicable to the ID page, I think it surely is: It's a central ID contention that evolutionary history of origins isn't falsifiable, empirical, etc, just as ID history isn't (evolutionary processes would be a distinct issue, though, right? those can be demonstrated whereas either history of origins can't subjected to empirical testing, strictly speaking). It seems that if this section is going to strive toward neutrality, then it should be included that ID proponents assert a similar argument(since the article is about ID) even if their assertion is viewed as bogus.Mjc-research (talk) 20:19, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

If their suggestion is viewed as bogus by mainstream science, which is clearly the case, neutrality requires that we give WP:WEIGHT to the majority view, show how the ID claim has been received by the mainstream, and take care not to give "equal validity" to the ID assertions. Neutrality isn't "one said, the other said". . . dave souza, talk 20:49, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
Avoiding false balance is a good thingNewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 21:03, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
I'm not really proposing "one said, the other said," though. My proposed new reference doesn't present a full or even much of a partial "they said," but merely shows that the ID side (which the article is about) makes this claim. If every claim the ID side makes which the scientific community rejects should not be included, then the entire article would virtually disappear, right? This isn't the evolution page, it's the page in which Intelligent Design claims are acknowledged as having been, well... "claimed." Right? @NewsAndEventsGuy, to interact with your link and the drawing accompanying it, the ID page is essentially occupying the role of the "What Roger Thinks" page. As such, even if "Roger" is discredited, his claims still ought appear on the page devoted to reporting his claims or else why even have a page to report his claims? So methinks.Mjc-research (talk) 01:55, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
Poking around a bit, I've found a couple of references to Behe making this argument at the Kitzmiller trial. If this information is going to be included, I'd prefer that source, or a neutral secondary source. However, I'd prefer this information not be added at all: it isn't an argument for intelligent design. Rather, it's an argument that the definition of "science" be widened to include things that can't be falsified (say, astrology, as per Kitzmiller). That the argument is made by Intelligent Design advocates might be enough to include this information at Intelligent Design Movement or Objections to Evolution, but not here. Alternatively, we might want to have a specific section (or article) on how ID advocates wanted to redefine science, but that would take a fair amount of discussion here first. Garamond Lethet
17:46, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
I think a separate section would be good. Even in the lead/intro, it's mentioned, but seems to be popping up here and there throughout the whole article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mjc-research (talkcontribs) 01:38, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

"Theological Issues" section

I'm not entirely convinced that this section even belongs in the article, even though I agree it is an associated side issue. Regardless, I think it needs some work if it's going to stay. I deleted the beginning line that reads: "The insistence of intelligent design on repeated miraculous interventions rather than designed laws..." (emphasis added) since this is not the view of ID in general, to my understanding. A citation for this has been requested for a while with no one providing one. I think it can be demonstrated that this is a flawed description of ID's claims. For instance, the "fine-tuned universe" argument cited in the wiki article seeks to explain the presence of particular natural laws and constants, not replace them with repeated miraculous interventions as the line I deleted had claimed. Mjc-research (talk) 20:19, 18 January 2014 (UTC) Further, the conclusion which was then provided to this erroneous claim is that: "...this raises theological difficulties for those who believe that God's design must be perfect and should not need such changes," which is also not cited. I don't think ID or many theological systems presume suffering to be inexplicable or that the current design we observe is supposed to be perfect now. Perhaps a brief reference to the problem of evil might be appropriate if couched correctly... which I tried to do but you reverted it. : ) How might you word it? Mjc-research (talk) 20:19, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

See Padian & Matzke as cited. . dave souza, talk 21:04, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
Wrong. These authors are discussing the textbooks and their scientific inadequacy. They're not into theology. This whole thing is rather funny. It would be comparable to a College of Catholic Bishops evaluating science, but it's more like theologian wannabees evaluating science. Really fucking stupid. And, again, for the sole purpose to discredit ID (which often deserves discrediting) on all fronts possible. But a bunch of science wannabees making theological judgments about a thing that they don't like and putting it into a "reference" document is pretty funny. (Hint #1: ID has nothing to do with the problem of evil. Orthogonal issues.) (talk) 01:02, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
I tend to agree. FWIW, Padian and Matzke were witnesses at the Kitzmiller trial but not as theologians. Of course their article being heavily leaned on in in this article is about the trial, and so in essence its theological remarks are most charitably considered as thoughtful journalism, summarising the position of Haught, who was the more relevant witness.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 13:16, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
Well, I had suggested that this entire section maybe doesn't even belong in the article, but if it's going to stay it needs significant help. If you have a positive suggestion on how to improve the article, I'm sure your input would be welcome.Mjc-research (talk) 01:47, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
I know you suggested that the section does not belong, and I concur. Despite your confidence, my input is not welcome by the editors who control the article. Likely neither is yours. The only positive suggestion is to delete the section or find someone who knows a twit about the theological issues of ID (and there are a few theological issues) to write it, rather than a few theological know-nothings writing it. Really, it should just be gone because it's soooo inaccurate and amateurish that, if they had a clue, they'd be embarrassed. But they're not. (talk) 03:22, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
Right, I have no objection to the the basic inclusion of the idea, but it's kind of all smashed together. I'll make a minor edit just to make it grammatically two sentences. Also, the referenced article's quote is this: ID opens a difficult question: if a Creator can intervene in natural events, why does He not do so more often to alleviate suffering and evil? That wording does present a logical link to the ID debate, more so than the way it was worded in the article.
Due to the points you've made and read the associated references, I've reworded the intro' sentence for this section. I think the section now conveys the same information but in a more clear, logical progression. Mjc-research (talk) 05:59, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

Secondly, "The claim to be scientific implies that science can test religion...(followed in the same sentence with the problem of evil, which should have its own sentence)" seems non-neutral, since it conflates ID's claims with "religion" which is a rather broad brush and part of the debate itself. My change to make this "the claim to be scientific implies that science can test historical claims,<referenced> including historical religious claims. Some theologians do not believe science has the needed epistemology to assess their truth claims." Perhaps this could be smoothed out. But it seems better to me than what had been there before, since it describes the disagreement rather than simply presenting one side. Suggestions? Mjc-research (talk) 20:19, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

ID seeks scientific support for their religious views, but science can only analyze the testable which can be disproven. So, it it's testable science can disprove it, if it's untestable it's not science. Rather a theological bind. . dave souza, talk 21:04, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
So String theory is not science? Is it a religious view, like ID? (talk) 01:07, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
LOL. But seriously, your question points to a real issue and just to spell it out: "defenders of science" on the internet, including WP, and especially on articles like this one, are sometimes some of the worst possible explainers of science. To define the boundaries science is very difficult, but sources such as undergrad textbooks tell a simpler story and often it is about falsifiability (which in the expert sources, is controversial). I have tended not to want to confront this particular issue too strongly given that natural science does in any case imply a strong demonstrability compared to evidence which is in nature, which is kind of similar to what the falsifiability concept is trying to explain. But I have argued to some extent successfully that the article should avoid wordings which divert too much away from the subject of the article because too dependent upon taking a side in the various philosophical debates about what science and religion are and how to tell them apart.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 13:00, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
That wording makes more sense. Perhaps it could be reworded as, "Intelligent design proponents wish to have their claims validated by science. However, to the extent the claims of intelligent design are religious, otherwise metaphysical, or regard unrepeatable miraculous past events, it is argued that these claims cannot be tested, proved, or disproved by science, and therefore are out of the realm of science." I think that conveys what you are saying, but links it to the ideas of the article. The only reason I would include "it is argued" is because some scientists do indeed assert they can scientifically test or reject religious claims.

Repeated interventions vs Designed laws?

Third, I simply added another reference to the way many theologians do address the issue of suffering. Again, I'm not sure this even needs to be in an article about ID, but since it is, expanding the list from two reasons to three reasons seems reasonable and fair. It should be noted that my inclusion of the abuse of free will and other forces as making the world "fallen" is indeed the dominant view in both Eastern Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant views (all the way back to Athenagorus and Augustine at the least), in Islam, as well as some Buddhist views. Even on the problem of evil page, this view of "fallenness" or "privation of good" due to the "misuse of free will" takes center stage, whereas the other explanations which you left on the ID page are completely uncited (re: citations, perhaps an Irenaean theodicy could be cited re: reasons for why a designer would leave imperfections, although even in Irenean theodicy the question being addressed is why things are not in a state of full perfection and development (i.e., why didn't God just make us in Heaven rather than outting us on earth) rather than addressing the problem of evil, per se). Since it is pretty well established that the old "free will is the source of fallenness from a good creation" is the standard explanation, it seems strange to me to redact this normative argument (which I had merely added), while leaving only lesser known explanations. Your thoughts? Mjc-research (talk) 20:19, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

Is it an explanation presented by third party sources with specific reference to ID? We can't use "original research" or "synthesis" putting sources together to make a point they don't specifically cover. . dave souza, talk 20:59, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
Yes, here: and here: , and I don't think the issue of "synthesis" lies with me, since this section already makes the connection between ID and the problem of evil / theodicy, as well as the entire page conflating ID with religion. Either it should be removed (as I lightly suggested), or balanced.
However, I still question this inclusion, because these objections assume the designer must be all-perfect, or benevolent, and all-powerful. While these are Judeo-Christian ideas, and most ID proponents are admittedly Judeo-Christian, these are philosophical matters the individuals must deal on their own with rather than the overall theory of ID, which only needs to demonstrate that there is a Designer, not a morally good or an optimal designer (see the above Salvo article, as well as Dembski's article, here: ). I'm thinking perhaps this material just needs to be placed in the proper context and worded better. The discussion we've had here already has made a few things more logically connected than the article presents them. Mjc-research (talk) 05:59, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
Eh, these are ID sources, its proponents aren't third parties and these primary sources have to be treated with considerable care. The proper context is mainstream views of this fringe theology. . dave souza, talk 19:19, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
Actually, we should be citing ID sources, not to say they are right of course, but at least (as is relevant here) to report their claims accurately. See the FA review for this article, and WP policy generally concerning controversial subjects. Currently the article relies heavily upon sources connected to one side in one legal case (which includes Padian, Matzke, Haught, etc). This is not really a very good definition of neutral third party sources. Sources who write about the science, philosophy and theology of this subject but were not involved in those legal cases tend to give a different spin on some things, as I have discussed here before. Furthermore, I still find our choices of wording in this article to follow a particular theme which is basically from the editors here, and not from the sources. Just to take an example, the latest wording change by dave souza seems to imply that the ID movement fully rejects the idea of any working of divinity through natural laws. Not sure we have a source which takes it this far? (Also the edit does not seem to be a "tweak", as per the edit summary.)--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 08:46, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
Welcome to the conversation, Andrew Lancaster. I do have to agree. ID sources need to be cited since it is their claims which are being laid forth in this article. Also, @dave souza, I think you are tending to apply a methodology here which would be appropriate on the human evolution page, or the evolution page - mainstream ideas should be given the greatest weight by far. However, on the ID page the point of the page is to accurately elucidate the claims made by ID, not overwhelmingly present the mainstream response to them. For instance, see the article on the Loch Ness Monster, which spends a great deal of time explaining the mythology, and not the vast amount of time rebutting it. ID's claims ought to be quoted from ID sources. Then, criticisms should be put in a criticism section, or beneath the paragraph containing each claim. Mjc-research (talk) 00:11, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

Fourth, I had added an explanatory reference to this sentence: "Intelligent design proponents also avoid the problem of poor design in nature by insisting that we have simply failed to understand the perfection of the design (such as the purpose of vestigial organs), or by proposing that designers do not necessarily produce the best design they can, and may have unknowable motives for their actions." Not sure why that would be taken out, since it merely gives an example of the concept. I'm sure I can provide numerous references for this (such as Behe's Darwin's Black Box, page 226), and I don't think it's a very bold edit - most people familiar with the disagreement know about the propensity in the ID movement to discuss the formerly presumed/contested vestigial organs. I'm just putting this one back since I don't think it's problematic and probably just got swept along with the other reverts.Mjc-research (talk) 18 January 2014 (UTC)

The "unreferenced" tag was inappropriate, as the material is cited properly to Padian & Matzke 2009 which covers the points in some detail. If showing Behe's apologia, it has to be shown in context of mainstream views of his arguments. Thus the argument that vestigial organs show The Designer's unknowable motives is specifically discussed at Ktz as demonstrating that ID cannot be science, as there's no way to test the unknowable. And so on. Best to make detailed proposals on this talk page, with sources, for discussion. . dave souza, talk 20:59, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
I do see the proper cite to a portion of the statement. However, I thought the part that was unreferenced was this: "The insistence of intelligent design on repeated miraculous interventions rather than designed laws raises theological difficulties for those who believe that God's design must be perfect and should not need such changes.[citation needed]" The issue which is uncited would be who thinks God's design must be perfect? In hindsight, I think I misjudged the intent of the sentence based on the word 'be': as in 'is now,' rather than 'had been.' In regards to the vestigial organs, I was applying that to the way ID's avoid the argument of imperfection by saying "We just don't know why those things are there, but perhaps they have a reason we haven't discovered yet," not to a Designer's unknowable motives. You would, of course, be right to say vestigial organs are not used to argue that "Maybe the Designer had an unknowable reason to put weird stuff in." I think if you look at the placement of the reference to vestigial organs this will be clear. Thanks for the continued discussion! Mjc-research (talk) 05:59, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
I've reworded it in accordance with the source, and have added Haught's clarification. When time permits I'll try to summarise what Ayala has to say about the topic. . dave souza, talk 19:19, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
In some ways your edits were an improvement, but I think the rewording is overly tendentious and goes over the top to link ID to fundamentalist Christians ideas, a point which was already made earlier in the article. Again, we need to be careful to not conflate the ID proponents' claims about ID with their personal religious beliefs. This section is about the potential theological and philosophical implications of ID (actually, that would arguably be a better heading). Some ID proponents indeed are not Judeo-Christian, and do not place themselves in opposition to the idea of a Designer working through previously established laws which simply "trickle down" - there's a difference here between the exclusion of designed laws which is the way it had been worded, vs. the inclusion of miraculous intervention. I believe Andrew Lancaster was making the same point above. That's part of the reason why I proposed the wording of "To the extent that these claims are religious..." etc, etc. I reworked it and added some references. I think the overall tone is getting less tendentious and finding a more objective NPOV, while conveying the issues more coherently. I'm looking forward to seeing what the results of your further research into Ayala will hold.Mjc-research (talk) 00:11, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

I think that the "intelligent design....confirmation of repeated miraculous interventions in the history of life" (I subbed the dots in to provide focus) should go, or, as a minimum, have attribution type wording. This is an inaccurate and straw man characterization/categorical generalization of the claims of ID. The fact that one person described it that way probably does not make them a source for this statement, and even if they were, such would not be enough to put that overall characterization in as fact in the voice of Wikipedia. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 16:00, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

And your sources are? . . dave souza, talk 03:39, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
You want sources for pointing out lack of sources? North8000 (talk) 23:35, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
We've got two good sources, and you've failed to produce any reliable sources contesting their assessment. . . dave souza, talk 19:08, 28 January 2014 (UTC)


No, don't bother to tell me. From the very first phrase of this page I could tell that the people controlling the content of this page are ALL thoroughly committed darwinists. Wikipedia is supposed to be balanced and objective, and in most cases succeeds very well. Here, however, that balance is sorely lacking. For Wikipedia's own sake, that needs to be corrected.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

A few sentences from Wikipedia:Fringe theories are useful here:
  • Articles which cover controversial, disputed, or discounted ideas in detail should document (with reliable sources) the current level of their acceptance among the relevant academic community.
  • Ideas that have been rejected, are widely considered to be absurd or pseudoscientific, only of historical interest, or primarily the realm of science fiction, should be documented as such, using reliable sources.
  • Criticisms of fringe theories should be reported on relative to the visibility, notability, and reliability of the sources that do the criticizing.
--NeilN talk to me 03:02, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
If Christianity is the primary religion in Western culture, with about 2.2 billion practitioners, why would a philosophy based on Christian theology be considered "fringe". Based on those numbers, wouldn't this philosophy, among other theistic beliefs, be considered mainstream? Cla68 (talk) 05:01, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
From the article, ID is a theory that "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection." The relevant academic community is evolutionary biologists and suchlike. --NeilN talk to me 05:11, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
Cla68 - Our article Christianity says it has 2.2 billion adherents, not 2.2 billion practitioners. To my mind, and especially knowing where those numbers come from for at least my country, there is a huge difference. Neither you nor I have any idea how many of those adherents believe in ID. You chose to base your argument on "those numbers", so I feel some clarification is necessary. HiLo48 (talk) 05:19, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
This is all totally irrelevant. Science is not a ballot.--Charles (talk) 09:36, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
Science is not a ballot, neither is science what a self-select group of Wikipedia editors say it is. "Science" is knowledge of fact. And the first fact that this article blatantly rejects is that ID is not the same as DI. There are writings about ID that long precede the existence of DI. There are current writings regarding ID from respected scientists (is a Harvard emeritus astronomer sufficiently respected?) that have nothing to do with DI. The article is and has been for years, blatantly biased. (talk) 16:18, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
Wikipedia doesn't take sides, according to its policies. So, WP's voice cannot favor the science view on a topic like this, especially when the number of people in the world who support Christian theology is equal to or even exceeds the "scientific" view. Therefore, Intelligent Design, as a philosophy, cannot be considered to be a fringe view, according to WP's own policies. If half the people on the earth consider the Christian creationism theory to be a valid explanation for the existence of the earth and its people, then how could that be considered a "fringe" view, according to WP's policies? Cla68 (talk) 23:23, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
"We use the term fringe theory in a very broad sense to describe ideas that depart significantly from the prevailing or mainstream view in its particular field. For example, fringe theories in science depart significantly from mainstream science and have little or no scientific support." From WP:FRINGE. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 23:34, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
@Cla68: You've been editing here for how many years but still manage to misunderstand WP:FRINGE so completely? What part of "relevant academic community" is unclear? Sorry if this blunt, but I am frankly astonished. --NeilN talk to me 23:40, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
...and your Mathematics is appalling. It's nosensical to say that "half the people on the earth consider the Christian creationism theory to be a valid explanation for the existence of the earth." HiLo48 (talk) 01:03, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
To be fair, I think Cla68 was asking a rhetorical question. I hope... Regardless, if the "theory" makes scientific claims (which ID does), Mr. Joe Blow off the street isn't qualified to evaluate those claims. --NeilN talk to me 01:10, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
Hmmm. Possibly. Given that he failed to respond to my earlier comment on his numerical claims, I'm not so sure. HiLo48 (talk) 01:13, 28 January 2014 (UTC) & Cla68, you might find it interesting that the folks who have taken the most bruises here for advocating removal of some of the overreaching negative stuff are also Darwinist atheists. It's better than it was. :-) Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 23:33, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

If people are getting bruised in trying to improve the NPOV of this article, then there appears to be something wrong going on here. Are people who voice their ideas on this talk page still being hectored, insulted, and/or dismissed? Would any of the comments above in this particular thread fit that description? Cla68 (talk) 01:19, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
"hectored, insulted, and/or dismissed" is not all of it. They do much more nasty things about their opponents who assert. (talk) 16:18, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
Yes, up there in the first post, where it says "the people controlling the content of this page are ALL thoroughly committed darwinists". HiLo48 (talk) 01:22, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
Which all evidence points to as the truth. (talk) 16:18, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
Right. This "bias" is however supported by the "bias" of biologists, who are also all Darwinists. So this particular bias is not a problem according to the aims of Wikipedia. Wikipedia is ambitious in some ways, but not all ways. In one way it is very unambitious: it aims to simply summarize what expert published sources say, and not to go beyond them in any direction. Because this is so enshrined in the way Wikipedia works, there is really no point trying to argue against this particular type of bias.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 09:04, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
Well, I have had this article on my talk page for several years after I stumbled into a delightful discourse with a group of former (presumably) contributors to this article. Over the years, I have seen a lot of insults and disparaging personal comments made between the editors here. Some have been directed at me. I have also seen a lot of disparaging comments directed at the idea of ID, many by regular contributors to this article, some of whom openly state that they extremely dislike ID and see their participation here as important in making sure they do their part in discrediting the idea. I guess it's more a poor reflection on WP's administration that these violations of WP policy have been allowed to pass, as opposed to a poor reflection on WP's editing model. I guess I and others will keep giving ideas on article improvement and hopefully the negative and disparaging comments we receive in return will some day cease. Cla68 (talk) 01:42, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
Cla, this overt bias has been pointed out to these editors since 2005. They know about it. But rather than do this the Wikipedia Way, they go cry to sympathetic admins who become the enforcers of their doctrine regarding the article. (talk) 16:18, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
Cla68, intelligent design is a fringe movement in American creationism, which itself is part of a theological fringe movement based around biblical literalism. Most Christian denominations are neither literalists nor creationists. Suggesting (without benefit of citations) that a significant number of Christians accept creationism, much less intelligent design, tells me your not familiar with the history of this idea. We're happy to hear your suggestions, but without WP:RS it's unlikely that they will be well received. Garamond Lethet
02:05, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
Garamond, I would not call it fringe, especially by the Wikipedia definition of the term fringe. I also don't see any need for such a declaration. Normally the reason for such is exclusion of coverage of that viewpoint, but since it is the topic of the article, it will inevitably be and is covered. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 02:20, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
That is incorrect. Determining ID is fringe science means that the article "...should document (with reliable sources) the current level of their acceptance among the relevant academic community." --NeilN talk to me 03:42, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
Better include Owen Gingerich, John Polkinghorne, and Freeman Dyson, none of whom are associated with the Discovery Institute and at least two of whom have explicitly repudiated DI. (talk) 16:18, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
Hi North. I was objecting to Cla68's "why would a philosophy based on Christian theology be considered "fringe".", and evidently didn't do so very clearly. I'm happy to explain offline if you're interested, but as my comment is tangential to improving the article I think I'll leave it at that. Sorry for the confusion. Garamond Lethet
03:49, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks and agree. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 11:55, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

Friendly reminder to please be WP:CIVIL and discuss the article, not each other. EvergreenFir (talk) 02:22, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

Fine intentions there, I'm sure, EvergreenFir, but obviously the OP's first post set a poor tone. Can we start again please? HiLo48 (talk) 02:31, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
Given editors' misunderstandings of WP:FRINGE, discussing them civilly is not really something we can avoid. --NeilN talk to me 03:39, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

I'd like to draw Cla68's attention (and North's for that matter) to the notes at the top of this page under the sub-heading "Wikipedia policy notes for new editors". Yes, ID is treated as fringe. HiLo48 (talk) 02:35, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

Statements in talk page headers are assertions written by editors, and can be problematic. As an atheist Darwinist, I am not going to argue for the veracity of ID, just that it is not fringe. IMHO in the narrower context of (only) science it could be called fringe, but I don't believe that such is the criteria. North8000 (talk) 12:03, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
As far as Wikipedia is concerned you're an editor, but out of interest are atheist Darwinists opposed to neutral theory? Probably best discussed on user talk, as it's irrelevant to improving the article. . . . dave souza, talk 19:06, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps one way to describe one problem here is that Intelligent Design is several things.
  • It is definitely FRINGE with regards to its biology and its other "scientific" theories. Does anyone seriously have a problem with that?
  • But, at least if we allow that Intelligent Design is a term for Teleological Argument, it is not really fringe theology. It is an ancient argument that keeps coming up in philosophy over the centuries. (Which by the way I do not have any personal agreement with at all. I personally follow the British Empiricists such as Bacon and Hume on this. ADDED: To be extreme for the sake of clarity, by this standard, which is the original standard for modern science, ALL theology including natural theology is guilty until proven innocent of being pure fantasy.) In order to report philosophical themes well, Wikipedia needs to report about this old theological theme in a clear way based on how published sources report it, and they quite often see a lot of continuity between ancient and modern "intelligent design". I am not saying we need to put rude or emotive comments about Paley in the Paley article, just that we need to report the arguments against him and his influences and those influenced by him, old and new.
  • Thirdly, there is a movement in Wikipedia which insists that we should not simply call ID theology either, but more specifically the term should be used only to describe a fraud, scam, trick etc whereby theology is dressed up as science. I do have some sympathy with the personal opinions and emotions behind this position but it forces us into twisting sources and twisting our own words, so that our intro is saying two things at once: is ID a theological position or a social movement associated with a scam? Many published sources make a distinction between the Intelligent Design Theory, and the Intelligent Design Movement, but we are not doing this for this article, and the reason as far as I can follow is that many of our editors do not want anything called "Intelligent Design" in Wikipedia without at the same time letting readers know it is a scam. I can sympathize, but this is partly because I have no problem saying that all teleological arguments are wrong in similar ways (but I do not mean that proponents of teleological arguments do not honestly convince themselves). --Andrew Lancaster (talk) 12:34, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
Basically we should cover it (including criticisms of it) not bash it. North8000 (talk) 13:09, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
North, what did I tell you before. The biased editors who insist on controlling the article don't want to confront the fact that they are biased. (talk) 16:18, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
  1. Are you really a Darwinist and not merely someone who accepts evolutionary theory? I'm not sure that many here realize the term Darwinism has a specific meaning in Biology. (And, more importantly, who cares?!)
  2. ID is definitely fringe; there's no question about it.
  3. "But, at least if we allow that Intelligent Design is a term for Teleological Argument, it is not really fringe theology". This page is about ID, not the teleological argument. I'd appreciate it if you joined the rest of us in understanding this distinction.
  4. ID is a scam. It's an anti-evolution, big-tent operation run by fundamentalist Christians who refuse to accept modern biological facts. It's non-science presented by non-scientists as science. I don't know of a more appropriate word than scam. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 16:23, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
"ID is a scam. It's an anti-evolution, big-tent operation run by fundamentalist Christians who refuse to accept modern biological facts.", besides ignoring the history of the term that precede the "fundamentalist Christians who refuse to accept modern biological facts", and the current writing on it from respected scientists (do you want me to list them again?) that have nothing to do with the Discovery Institute, this, MisterDub, is prima facia evidence of your bias and selective memory of the facts. (talk) 16:18, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
More to the point of this discussion, ID is a specific theological view which several good sources describe as fringe or at best minority, probably small minority. Which we'll develop as time and sources permit. . dave souza, talk 19:06, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
The above two posts describe very well the position a rational, GLOBAL encyclopaedia must take. That "small minority" is almost exclusively active on any significant scale in just one country. HiLo48 (talk) 21:02, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
@HiLo. But please look at the above two posts and you can see a source of valid confusion: "ID is a scam", and "ID is a specific theological view". The term can be used for both, but these two things are clearly not the same thing. They are different in kind. We have for example no sources saying that the IDM people do not really believe in ID. (The scam of the movement, i.e. pretending to be normal modern science, is not the ID "theory", as it is disambiguated in our sources, except to the extent that all natural theology can be criticized, as it was by Hume.) I believe this is the source of valid confusions. If we could answer such valid confusions more openly and honestly on WP, then we could also handle the less valid ones more simply, i.e. not by simply collapsing whole threads for example.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 10:08, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
I'm cynical enough to believe that, as in many religions, there would be some elements of "scam" in the promotion of ID, but I'd agree that most of its promotion comes from genuine believers. HiLo48 (talk) 10:14, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
And when you say "its promotion" in this case, you clearly mean "ID", and apparently you are referring to a type of teleological argument. So then in this particular sentence you are accepting that ID can mean something which is not a scam. This is a possible and even "natural" meaning which is hard to notice when someone does it (like you just did) and even common on this talk page. It can also be found in the Padian and Matzke article which is about the Kitzmiller case, and which is a source used here to say it is a scam. Once you get away from the Kitzmiller case, it is even more common. Putting aside the question of which usage is most common, I am just pointing out that it is not insane to say that there is a dab challenge regarding this subject, which has nothing to do with the POVs of the case.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 14:45, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
@MisterDub. I do not intend to get with any programme, and I do not think WP is helped by having group think. I just looked up the sources, and reported what they said, and they still say the same things. (You have called sources anachronistic, but as you know your original opinions about mistakes or poetic devices in our sources are not useable. Dave souza claimed to have read something else than I reported, but on his talk page at least he admitted that he may have made an error.) I have shown that ID is a term which, especially (but not only) outside of Kitzmiller related sources, which DOMINATE this article (NB: the title of this thread is "Balance"), (a) tends to be discussed in published sources with disambiguation into the movement and the "theory" (b) is frequently a term for "argument from design". So to correct you, this article is about one of the things called ID.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 10:08, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Is there some specific edit being proposed here so as to improve the article? I hate to be the editor who does this but remember WP:FORUM guys. If there's no edit being proposed this thread should be collapsed. Regards. Gaba (talk) 19:16, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

The opening post was a broad attack on editors here. It should probably have simply been deleted. HiLo48 (talk) 21:02, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
Gaba p, I have undone the collapse. As much as I sympathize with some of the criticism of the opening remarks, the people contributing to this discussion have been talking about the article and real WP policies. I see no attacks or "forum like" discussion diverting away from the subject from how the article should be.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 10:08, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
The edits from Cla68 too were particularly unhelpful, and that editor seemed quite incapable of actually discussing the issue. HiLo48 (talk) 10:14, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
Andrew Lancaster "talking about the article and real WP policies" yes, that's pretty much the definition of WP:FORUM. Do you see any specific edit to the article being proposed in this thread? That's because there is not. Anyway, I won't collapse again (even though this is descending once again into your never-ending discussion about what ID "really" is) so if any other editors wants to do so, please go ahead. Regards. Gaba (talk) 11:55, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
Talk pages are clearly not only for discussion of individual specific edits are they? Discussions about due weight or balance are common and acceptable on WP talk pages. Such discussions addresses themes or principles in articles which could imply multiple edits, but need to be agreed upon as general points independently of specific edits, in order to write consistently. It is common sense. Frankly I find it odd that this needs to be pointed out, but I know that there are some habits on this talk page which are not normal all over Wikipedia, and demanding only specific edit proposals be discussed is one of them. (And the follow-up habit, of then demanding elections about such specific proposals and trying to disable or block discussion of rationales, is another, which is in fact clearly against the norms and policies of WP.) A general point of due weight has been raised, and while it might be controversial, there is nothing wrong with discussing how the sources and policies justify or do not justify various approaches?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 14:31, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
Agree. "not talking about a specific proposal" is not a valid reason to terminate a discussion, much less hide it. That said, I think we're talking about about over 7 different (valid, article-related) topics at once in this section which is not a good recipe for going anywhere with this:
  1. Possible overall pro-evolution bias and if so, whether or not that is acceptable, and (somewhat conversely) anti-religion bias and if so, to what extent is that acceptable
  2. The ongoing "what is ID?" debate (e.g. another name for the teleological argument?, a specific initiative? etc.)
  3. Whether we have or should have wording that implies that ID is just a scam/maneuver
  4. Possible pattern of editor intimidation here
  5. Does ID have some type of wp:fringe status that affects how it would be covered in this article?
Is ID WP:Fringe, (and underneath that, who counts as an ID adherent?) and if so, is that license for deprecating it here?
Is ID fringe in some narrower context, without necessarily being wp:fringe
Although I'm against terminating or hiding the discussion, it's going to be a waste of time if don't narrow it. Sincerley, 15:04, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
I do not know if it helps, but just to point out what there is no real point debating, and which I have no problem with sifting out and not spending time on:
  • The "Darwinist bias" claims. The reasons are discussed at many article such as Evolution.
  • Any claims that ID is not fringe as science in any way. It is fringe in at least one specific and clear way: As the term "science" is usually understood, there is no doubt that WP policy tells us to call fringe any natural theology or any indeed any metaphysical or supernatural explanations of nature (apart from assuming that there are regularities in nature to start with).
These can be sorted out and discarded as far as I can see, but the article is not helped by trying to portray all questions of balance as being one of the above two.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 15:16, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
I re-wrote my fringe questions because my originals were logically flawed with respect to the wp:fringe.North8000 (talk) 15:47, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
Gaba -- gotten quiet here but I think the edits called for by & Cla68 were that the article first line being biased needs to be corrected, and otherwise struggling with catch-22s about the ID article context and content.
* cla68 Point of order that article puts ID domain authority as Religion not Biology
* In religion, ID is not WP:FRINGE; in biology, ID is ... denied to be a theory or part of Biology
* Common usage per American polls are ... I'll just say it as neither side looks overwhelming.
* Technically correct words like 'Darwinism' is taken as loaded or a partisan catchphrase
* Articles of topic X by their nature are going to give WEIGHT to that so ...
Me, I think the ID article is unrecoverably biased, mitigated by being obviously so. Whether the bias is in those controlling content, well see for example this thread reaction to a comment about the first line. Talk about the first line has come up before. Cheers Markbassett (talk) 20:07, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
Markbassett, what are you proposing here? I don't actually see a suggestion. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 20:23, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
Actually in some ways Markbassett is right, and maybe it does help to point out that Wikipedia is biased against religion wherever it is in conflict with science. We use expert sources, and for biology and astrophysics it is clear that this means "modern science". There is no need to apologize for that approach I think, but anyway I think that the situation could be improved by taking this approach more clearly, not less clearly. I think the approach the article currently takes by restricting almost ALL sourcing in the article to sources related to one legal argument in the USA concerning science teaching has been handy for editors who feel they are defending science and avoiding debates about religion, just like a court would. The article is amateur politics at the moment. By their very nature legal arguments about science teaching are not going to be handling the big picture, but only looking at what mainstream science is in practice. But in Wikipedia we are told to find expert sources, and for biology, that means biologists, and for the argument from design's logic we have for example Hume's destruction of it. So I think there is no doubt that in terms of Wikipedia policy and norms, the current article is really not sourced properly. That the sourcing of the article is being restricted only to discussion of one legal debate was made very clear in recent debate which clarified what the main article editors do NOT want mentioned in the article, even when it can be sourced. For example, it is easy to source (as I showed) that theologians themselves do see intelligent design as a term that for all arguments from design, and do see continuity. I think it is has been handy to use legal case and "culture war" sourcing precisely for the reason that it keeps the article from making it clear that, yes, Aquinas and Paley are wrong according to modern science, and Wikipedia does take the position of modern science on biology and astrophysics. Ironically then, although my position might be the opposite to that of Markbasset in some ways, in the end as article editors it should not matter what we think personally about religion versus science, but at least we should all want the debates reported accurately. This is a debate between mainstream science and mainstream religion. Presently, the effect that the dominant editors have expressed their preference for is to emphasize how religion is possible to believe in even if you think arguments from design are wrong. That position, which permeates the article and the way we are handling this subject in various articles, is itself controversial and I think many philosophers and theologians would call this a type of wishful thinking or doublethink. At the very least, Wikipedia should not be silently taking such a position as if it was uncontroversial. --Andrew Lancaster (talk) 08:20, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
Andrew, I'm confused by your last few sentences, particularly the one that they are built on "Presently, the effect that the dominant editors have expressed their preference for is to emphasize how religion is possible to believe in even if you think arguments from design are wrong." I've not seen that to be even present here, much a dominant theme. Which probably means that I am misunderstanding. (Or were you not talking about this article) Could you clarify/explain? North8000 (talk) 11:04, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
Again, is anyone proposing anything... or are you just talking to talk? -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 15:05, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
That's a false dichotomy which excludes the most common valid uses of talk pages. It sort of says "if it isn't a proposal, it shouldn't be on the talk page" which is not valid. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 15:31, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
Ranting is a common valid use of talk pages now? I don't care if there's a proposal yet, but this discussion needs to be headed somewhere... and that doesn't appear to be the case. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 15:49, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
@North, I do at least try to understand the positions of people, because WP has to be based on consensus. The question is why some editors seem so desperate to keep "teleological argument" and "intelligent design" not only apart but even unclearly connected, ignoring all but the legal-case related sources, which also tend to avoid certain issues by their very nature. It seems pretty clear to me that the aim of Dave souza (who I know best, and who engages sometimes on this theme) is to have Wikipedia say that religion, and indeed maybe even the respectable Paley and Aquinas, are compatible with evolution, and not to mention that not everyone would agree. (You have to recall Dave is a fan of Darwin, who was very respectful of Paley, and very worried about the conflict of evolution with religion. My understanding is that Dave would like to tell Darwin not to worry.) Do we have sources which prove that there is consensus among experts that Darwin was wrong to worry about this? I do not think so. Anyway, I apologize in advance for posting speculations about intentions in public. It is not normally good style but of course on this talk page we have seen people openly announce that a policy of not responding to questions should be followed, so it ain't easy. Whatever the case may be, an idea about emphasizing the compatibility of evolution and ID is guiding the way we are structuring these articles. Ironically I think it also leads to some of the more valid complaints from editors who are more pro ID, because they can also see that aspects of the debate are being obfuscated. When it comes down to it, this is a debate between modern science and religion. The court case was (properly) deliberately ignoring that particular but essential fact, and only judging whether ID is modern science.
@MisterDub. In my rant above I have made concrete observations about what positions have been taken by editors. That is important for considering any proposal, because WP works based on consensus. I also referred to the sourcing of the articles and pointed to ways it could be changed in order to be more compatible with WP policies. In terms of actual edit proposals, many would be compatible with what I said, and many have been made already. I think as a frequent reader of the talk page you will have understood the concreteness of what I was saying quite well.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 09:10, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
Hi Andrew, you've clearly misunderstood my position. Wikipedia talk pages are for discussing concrete proposals for article improvement, not for speculation about other editors. The relationship of anti-evolution ID pseudoscience to the theological teleological argument is rightly covered in the article, but these remain two distinct topic areas and there is no justification for conflating them. . . dave souza, talk 09:33, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
There are a lot of factors and possibilities in play here. Ironically, IMO the main conflicts here have not been between atheists and religious folks. The latter have been completely chased away by strong ownership problems, even the FAQ's have been made mis-worded into a tool of ownership. And the main "method" has been "misbehavior" claims against folks and their actions. IMO the conflicts here have been between atheists; one group wants a narrower definition of ID as "just the political maneuver" thus deprecating the term, (and this includes renaming all other ID as the "teleological argument")(BTW, the narrowing also helps the goal of attaching the "pseudoscience" label, further deprecating it); the other opposes that narrowing. The former have been very aggressive owners here. And so building a head of steam with general "we have a problem" discussions is probably going to be needed, given the powerful ownership issues here, and thus germane to the progress of article. But slippery slope that we are sitting next to is the potential conflagration referred to in my second sentence. Less resistance to a few tweaks here could probably avoid the whole likely mess. North8000 (talk) 10:47, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── This "discussion" was already dead two months ago, I can't believe it wasn't archived and left here instead to rot. I've lowered the number of threads required to be left by the archiving bot to prevent more of this WP:DEADHORSE in the future. That said, North and Andrew please read WP:NOTFORUM. There's no edit being proposed here (since January!) so there's no point to it and should be hatted/closed. Regards. Gaba (talk) 11:32, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

From my post " And the main "method" has been "misbehavior" claims against folks and their actions". My post explains why this is germane. A good starting point proposal would be complete deletion (and starting over if any are deemed needed) of the current FAQ's, to start solving the ownership problem. North8000 (talk) 12:00, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

MisterDub - I'm pointing out that Talk about the first phrase in the article did not actually get to asking or further considering the first phrase in the article as yet. I also noted that discussion on this article has been struggling with the catch 22s and over handling bias issues. If you want to look for a proposal in this, I suppose it would be accept that it is unrecoverably biased (due to issues with scope, context and handling) on the basis that obviously biased in article and handling is sort of honest. Markbassett (talk) 15:20, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

(though I suppose an alternate proposal would be that Talk examine the first phrase mentioned) Markbassett (talk) 15:37, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
Stating that the article is biased is not a proposal. Suggestions for fixing bias, on the other hand, are welcomed. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 15:57, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
Annnnd still not talking the first phrase. Look, you asked for a proposal and I gave you two. If you want a proposal of edits you should have said proposed edit or better yet BOLD make a proposal yourself. Me, I'm sticking with proposal: mek, so it's biased but obviously so it isn't that bad. Markbassett (talk) 17:20, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

I undid the improper hiding and mislabeling of this section but we can end it here if desired and make specific new section for future discussion and proposals. North8000 (talk) 22:26, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

I would like editors watching this article to please note that the tradition here of constant demands to only have voting on edit proposals, and to forbid discussion concerning rationales, reasoning, sourcing, is a basic and clear violation of WP:NOTDEMO. Please stop all the collapsing, and the all the cynical calls to not respond to discussion. Their is no community consensus for any type of rule that talk pages are only for straw polls, and the way this is being pushed is very difficult to attribute good intentions to. This article does need more THOUGHT from the editors involved and straw polls are not achieving good results.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 08:59, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

Who said anything about polls? The thread was collapsed because it makes no attempt at constructively developing the article. It has also become too long and rambling to sensibly follow. I move to close it.--Charles (talk) 09:14, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

Certainly addressing (or asserting) significant overall problems with an article is an effort and step towards improvement. North8000 (talk) 11:32, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

What was collapsed is clearly about editing this article, and clearly does not come under WP:NOTFORUM. There was no justification to censor it, and there is way to much disruption by "umpires" on this article whose actions to block discussion show no sign of even reading the discussions they disrupt. I wonder if some are bots. My comment about demanding polls is something I stand by, because we have been through this circle before many times and we know that this is what is being pushed for all the time. If the only discussion we can have is to propose an exact edit and then people say yes or no, this is trying to edit by elections. See WP:NOTDEM.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 08:22, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

does this define a question needing consideration?

I thank Dave souza for once again being one of the only people, maybe the only one, defending this article who sometimes follows Wikipedia norms and engages concerning requests for rationales. I apologized in principle for speculating about the personal beliefs and preferences which guide his editing. I also explained why I did it. I want to focus on the comment he made in the above thread, because perhaps it helps. Dave wrote:

The relationship of anti-evolution ID pseudoscience to the theological teleological argument is rightly covered in the article, but these remain two distinct topic areas and there is no justification for conflating them.

Actually, it seems to me that this confirms that my speculation about Dave's position was correct. Possibly we have something of a "nutshell" here.

  • The fact that a court of law separated the two issues is obviously because rather than trying to resolve philosophical questions (and ID is a philosophy-related topic, as our article admits, even though it is not edited or sourced on that basis), it was trying to handle a practical legal case: does ID have a valid claim to be science as normally would be understood? Of course it did not.
  • I think a big source of angst here is that the position Dave is opposed to is a position taken by the ID movement, and a lot of editors are scared of agreeing with them on anything. For example in the court cases, the ID people eventually felt moved to call the definition of science itself into question, which is a philosophical thing to do, and which was a last ditch effort. In a court case it was bound to fail because the court was never going to be considering that. But is it only the the ID movement who see ID as fundamentally just a manifestation of a much older philosophical debate about whether science can be teleological? Nope. They are in fact correct.
  • I do not think there is any consensus amongst experts of whatever persuasion agreeing with the statement of Dave. I feel confident Hume and Darwin would find it odd. In fact we have expert sources saying the opposite, such as Ayala (who takes "intelligent design" back to Aquinas) and Sedley (who takes it back before Socrates). Both authors specifically make it clear that the intend to connect to the ID movement. The illusion which editors here have convinced themselves about, comes from the article's sources being restricted almost entirely to authors who were involved in the legal case. That is clearly not according to WP sourcing policies for a subject like this.
  • I do not believe the present article, for example in the lead, represents the fact that there is no consensus about a clear dividing line between "intelligent design" (one specific modern movement that wants taught a form of teleological argument taught in schools) and "intelligent design" (the teleological argument). The last sentence of the second paragraph is the place where we come closest but...
  • Point: ID is just one front in a long running debate in philosophy, which involves the philosophical justifications and definitions of science itself. The ID movement are right to say this, and they are not the only ones who would say this. The last sentence of our second paragraph is not doing the bigger picture much justice, and I can appreciate that to supporters of ID it also looks like we are deliberately underplaying this issue.
  • Furthermore, we are not making covering the subject's deeper roots well, it sometimes seems like this is simply in order to avoid agreeing with IDers in any way. The real philosophical questions behind this subject are (to me at least) interesting. Understanding them helps us understand who we are and how our civilization developed and changed. Teleology was a basic stepping stone in Western history which still affects a lot of our language and thinking, and then we turned around and decided it was wrong. The modern controversy of ID is not another subject than this, it is the same subject, or at least an aspect of it. There is not clear dividing line.

To repeat my understanding: that dividing line which Dave believes in was important in a court case, and convenient for some types of discussion, but avoiding reporting the fuzziness and debate of it is weakening this article and creating a justified feeling of imbalance. If the IDers could have got Plato and Aquinas taught in science courses they probably also would have been happy, and the rest was diversion aimed at trying to achieve something similar, and not "ID" itself. These guys do however really honestly believe in the teleological argument, and people call that belief a belief in "ID". Practical: Allowing that there is no clear division between the ID concept and the teleological argument does not mean that one opposes modern science, and it does not mean we must merge the two articles. Discussion of this point clearly causes angst for those scared of the ID movement being right about one thing, and it might cause angst for people who think you can mix teleology and modern science (like Darwin perhaps), but that it not my problem, not Wikipedia's problem, and it also was not the concern of the court case. So can we please have sourcing which shows there is a consensus amongst published experts on this position (described by Dave) which is guiding the editing of our article?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 09:30, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

Before someone collapses the above or designates it as a rant, let me distill some implied actions.
  • The lead should include wording which allows our readers to be informed that the subject of this article has a broad sense, which is the teleological argument generally, not just one particular scam. (I think we've been through the argument that this is against some unknown Wikipedia rule. It is not. Such openings are common.)
  • The last part of the second paragraph should be adapted in order to make it more clear that what the IDM people were arguing that this is really about (in court and elsewhere) is what their movement is ultimately about is arguing the teleological argument versus modern science, which are two things that they see as incompatible. They are not a fringe minority in holding this particular opinion, and also the court did not argue that. We appear to be trying to make it seem like this is some vague crazy point but it is not how expert sources treat it.
  • If we do not do the above two things, which aim to make the links between this article and the teleological argument article more honest, then someone should be bringing sourcing here which clearly shows that experts have consensus not to "conflate" the subjects of those two article. But that is a tough call, given that I have already shown that some experts do conflate them.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 08:31, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
Agree. Both the structure of this article and several of the sentences in it are built on unsourced OR that seeks to create a dividing line within ID created only by Wikipedia editors. North8000 (talk) 10:45, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
As the article and our sources state, intelligent design (ID) is a form of creationism which specifically involves the claim that it is an evidence-based scientific theory and not a religious-based idea. That clearly differs from the broad teleological argument. All Andrew has done previously is present occasional articles in the modern context where the phrase is used to link ID with the older theological argument. ID proponents have argued many things, most significantly that this supposed "new scientific theory" should be taught in public school science classes, and that it will overturn the methodological naturalism inherent in modern science. Which I think we cover reasonably well. It's clearly a fringe view in science, as well as in mainstream theology. Got specific proposals for changing the wording on the basis of reliable published sources? . . dave souza, talk 17:04, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
Your first sentence (implicitly) repeats the unsourced assertion that Andrew is pointing out, and which several sentences of the article are founded on.....that intelligent is limited to what you describe in the first sentence. And you don't need to provide a source to remove an unsourced claim, you need one to keep it in. North8000 (talk) 17:22, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
Nope, it's fully sourced as to what ID is. You're the one claiming it's something else. . dave souza, talk 17:44, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
You have an ambiguity there which sidesteps the question. Are you saying that you have a source that say that ID is limited to what you describe? North8000 (talk) 18:22, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Is it just me or is this the billionth time this argument has been rehashed here? Andrew Lancaster + North8000: what is the edit proposal? This is what you need to do:

  • This is the edit proposal. [source1][source2]

It's rather astonishingly simple. Can you do that? Regards. Gaba (talk) 19:10, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

Gaba - this one doesn't seem familiar to me, for whatever that means. I think the immediate proposal was to edit the lead to include material from the last line of para 2, which seems to be saying replace the first sentence in this
  • "This article is about a form of creationism. For generic arguments from "intelligent design", see Teleological argument. For the movement, see Intelligent design movement. For other uses of the phrase, see Intelligent design (disambiguation)." Markbassett (talk) 22:25, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
Edit conflict, responding only to Gaba: :Actually, for removal of unsourced assertions, you have framed it in a way that would be backwards and impossible. Sources do not cover / address wikipedia articles and false assertions in them. But I think that the idea of a specific proposal is a good one. Given the situation here it will probably need an RFC, but given that (I believe) that a few small tweaks would resolve the issues open amongst active participants here, perhaps that can be pragmatically avoided. North8000 (talk) 22:29, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
I would like to request that in Gaba P's future posts, there should be some sort of reference to either something to do with the article, or something in the post being replied to. Ideally both. (Like in, say, my posts.) Not only is it important to show that you are reading before posting, but Gaba P's posts might be software. (Or the biological equivalent of a software algorithm.) Also, just to repeat what was clearly not understood yet, see WP:NOTDEM. Gaba P's posts are in violation of the spirit and written code of Wikipedia.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 07:49, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
I find it amusing that you find my posts apparently repetitive Andrew, because that's precisely what each one of your posts are: a rehash of the same argument over and over and over again. I find it even more amusing that you point me to WP:NOTDEM when I absolutely never proposed we voted. Are you reading what editors write? Finally, for the most amusing bit, you call my short and sporadic posts "in violation of the spirit and written code of Wikipedia" while it is your constant walls of text that have become decisively disruptive and, lacking a clearly proposed edit, are entirely against WP:NOTFORUM. This has been explained to you by many editors not just me, one just has to check the archives. I seem to recall having pointed this out before but just to serve as a quick reminder: since the begginning of 2013 and up to today, you and North have made more edits to this talk page than the next 45 editors combined. That in itself is amazing.
North: it is quite easy. If you want to remove something instead off change/add, simply say: "This is what I want to remove, this are my sources". Do you see that here anywhere?
From this point on Andrew, unless one of your posts contains a clear proposed edit I'm just going to deny giving them any credit by commenting on them and I strongly advise the rest of the editors here do the same. Regards. Gaba (talk) 12:48, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
The reason why Andrew has a large number of posts is due to a combination of factors: 1.He has not been bullied away as has been the case with a long list of editors 2. He has taken a very thorough, cautious approach to dealing with the issues at hand. (maybe less direct that would be my style) On your last post to me you have again conflated two (getting to a specific proposal) is a good idea, the other (getting it backwards by demanding sources for removal of unsourced assertions) is not and not proper. North8000 (talk) 13:15, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
I'm going to have to agree with Gaba on this one - it has nothing to do with brow beating editors or anyone's thoroughness. I've spent the last 30 min reading these two threads and its impossible to determine what is actually being suggested. If one cannot concisely state a proposed edit in a sentence or two, with references stated and backup info in your pocket if pressed, the thread descends into simply a Forum-like discourse. I'm not going to go so far as to suggest we simply ignore an editor's inputs and I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings here, but Talk is for improving the page and I don't see any improvements being suggested - just endless debate. Ckruschke (talk) 18:58, 2 April 2014 (UTC)Ckruschke
Ckruschke it would be a lot easier to read this talk page without so many posts from self-assigned umpires, and continually posting off topic in order to disrupt discussion. It is like hearing a group of people shouting that everyone should stop shouting. In the case of Gaba P, it is clear enough that disrupting, indeed stopping the discussion is actually the aim. That is what Gaba P is asking for quite openly. Do you agree with that aim?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 09:13, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
Andrew Lancaster - No. I am never a proponent for stifling or dirupting discussion just "because". However, I am a definite proponent of being clear, concise, and to the point. This is what "I" read in Gaba 's obviously frustrated post - and I would be too if I was trying to be actively involved in this conversation. I don't watch this page very carefully so I have no idea what's been going on between you and other editors, I just try to get things done and I don't see how that's possible with the wall of words I see here. I can't even tell if I agree with whatever position you are stating (but maybe that's my issue)... Please take that in the goodwill spirit it is given. Sorry to disrupt your thread - I'll be quiet now. Yours - Ckruschke (talk) 15:42, 3 April 2014 (UTC)Ckruschke
Andrew Lancaster: "it would be a lot easier to read this talk page without so many posts from self-assigned umpires", you aren't being serious, right? So to you my 60 edits made here in the last year are the reason this talk page is hard to read an not your 900 edits made in the same period?. That's a ratio of 15 in case you were wondering.
I have no desire of "stopping" the discussion, quite the contrary I'd like more people to get involved because that's how an article grows and gets better. Your incessant walls of text are a highly effective deterrent from that ever happening. You treat this talk page as a WP:FORUM and you keep rehashing the same topic almost on a weekly basis. If you continue down this path I would not be surprised at all if you end up getting indefinitely blocked or topic banned for your continuous disruption of this talk page. Gaba (talk) 00:22, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
Threats etc etc.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 08:03, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

Science or theology? Both, in Dembski's mind

Gentlemen, I think attempts to define ID as either science or theology/philosophy are self-defeating. ID is a hopeful hybrid that tries to be both but winds up as neither and, being sterile, produces nothing in either field.

William Dembski: "Intelligent design is three things: a scientific research program that investigates the effects of intelligent causes; an intellectual movement that challenges Darwinism and its naturalistic legacy; and a way of understanding divine action. Intelligent design therefore intersects science and theology."

He admits in the same paragraph, "Many scientists think intelligent design makes for bad science (that it's just creationism in disguise), whereas many theologians think it makes for bad theology (that it misunderstands divine action)."

Naturally, he takes the opposite tack: "This book argues that these perceptions are mistaken and that intelligent design is just what the doctor ordered for both science and theology." Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science & Theology, (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1999), 13.

The publisher misquotes (!) Dembski's book by inserting the word "movement" after "Intelligent design." You can see part of the quote in a Google book snippet. Yopienso (talk) 07:13, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

How many other books have been published that objectively, or attempt to objectively evaluate ID? Dembski appears to be trying to give a neutral presentation on the topic. If so, this book should be a major source for this article. Cla68 (talk) 10:44, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
I think that is a helpful post Yopienso, because I think it points quite well to a bigger issue I am trying to explain. And that issue is that not everyone agrees about whether you can have something which is both science and theology. To believe that these things can be combined is in a sense against the normal principles of modern science as it is normally understood, and more like the way Aristotle and Aquinas thought. It is in a sense precisely this point which I think our sources exposed as the honest difference of positions underneath all the various smokescreens. Aristotle and his ilk argued that science is incomplete if it does not try to understand such things as what aims are trying to be achieved within nature, or in other words supernatural causes. Modern science follows Francis Bacon in disagreeing.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 11:22, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
The rub, here, of course, is that WP, on principle, must separate science from theology. Aristotle, Aquinas, Sagan, Dembski, and many others, have had a more holistic view. The key, in my mind, is to write an article that does distinguish between science and theology while preserving the view of ID's proponents that it's both. Ideally, the proponents would not be maligned for their ideas, but the article would simply describe them.
You will notice that Dembski's first proposition immediately compromises the definition of science from being strictly materialistic, which is rightfully the view WP adheres to, by presupposing intelligent causes.
Sagan? some may ask. In the last four chapters (of thirteen) of his 1980 book, Cosmos, based on the television series, Sagan veered into touchy-feely stuff. After brief quotes from ancient creation myths, he wrote on p. 258, "These myths are tributes to human audacity. The chief difference between them and our modern scientific myth of the Big Bang is that science is self-questioning, and that we can perform experiments and observations to test out ideas. But those other creation stories are worthy of our deep respect." This article has not accorded respect to the proponents of ID, probably because the strong-armed editors sincerely believe the editorial consensus is based on an opinion held by many of the sources that the proponents are purposefully deceitful.
Sagan then goes on to a serious discussion of an oscillating universe as believed by ancient Hindus and Mayans. By book's end, he masterfully and intriguingly included myths from around the globe. This is not to suggest Sagan waffled on the scientific method; on pp. 332-33 he made a sharp distinction between superstition and pseudoscience on the one hand and self-correcting science on the other, insisting "whatever is inconsistent with the facts must be discarded or revised."
My point is that this article needs to hew strictly to the scientific tradition while respecting the holistic views of ID proponents. Yes, show why ID isn't science! But dispassionately. As has been mentioned many times, it is the insulting tone to which many of us object. Yopienso (talk) 21:39, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
Yopienso you just wrote the masterpiece of analysis of the situation here and for the neutral encyclopedic approach here! One side note response....I think that Sagan was an atheist who was indirect / circumspect in his wording to avoid offending, and that the touchy-feely stuff was a part of that. North8000 (talk) 22:19, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
I think we need to remember our roles here. We're encyclopedia editors. Not culture war referees. Because there isn't, by any stretch of the imagination, any significant scholarship that characterizes ID as some ethereal, abstract Aristotle>Sagan>Dembski over the "strictly materialistic" philosophical debate the way it's been posed in this thread. So that's where the "neutral approach" flag being waved here rings hollow. It's not "neutral", at all. It's "corrective" if the science sources have it all wrong, the education sources have it all wrong, the "separation of church and state" sources have it all wrong, the courts have it all wrong...what? "Corrective" isn't "neutral". And I swear, North8000--atheist? How many times now have you raised this? Seriously, you play the culture war card at least as shamelessly as the most egregious atheists/theists weighting in these discussions. The "I'm an atheist", "he's an atheist" ?? Stop it already. Put away your Culture War script, Go To a good library and Research this Topic, like a researcher - not a "rescuer". (The "masterpiece of analysis"? No insult intended for Yopienso but his epiphany analyzing Sagan and "Cosmos" and his analysis of Sagan's "touchy feelies" is not a reliable source on the topic Intelligent Design.) Professor marginalia (talk) 07:23, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
I don't see a need to discuss Yopienso's attempt to colour in. I think Yopienso's first paragraph is clear and correct and I agree. I think that demands that this article should at least report the position of a party accurately go right back to the FA review and beyond and are really quite a cold and dry bit of policy. I can see Professor Marginalia's point as a general point to be concerned about in cases like this, but I just do not think it is encompassing what Yopienso really said about this real case. Yopienso did not say we need to be neutral about science and its distinction from theology, except when we report the opinions of someone. Actually Yopienso has said the opposite. But that is what policy and common sense always demand, and surely PM is not debating that? The article is currently not even attempting to do this, and being concerned about that does not make one touchy and feely. Indeed I think that the defenders of the present fuzzy compromise are all doing it for nice warm and fuzzy "corrective" reasons, as they make clear time and time again. The present article does not make a clear point about this at all. Furthermore North clearly mentioned being an atheist as a response to what he perceives as repeated insinuations and accusations to the effect that anyone worried about this subject must be anti-evolution. Let's not pretend we do not know that. You can accuse North of over-reacting or misinterpreting if you want, but I think that would be altogether less interesting. My suggestion: focus on Yopienso's first paragraph and be fair. Is it really wrong? --Andrew Lancaster (talk) 08:20, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────"My suggestion: focus on Yopienso's first paragraph and be fair. Is it really wrong?"

ok, here it is: "Gentlemen, I think attempts to define ID as either science or theology/philosophy are self-defeating. ID is a hopeful hybrid that tries to be both but winds up as neither and, being sterile, produces nothing in either field."

Why are we talking about what Yopienso thinks ID is? Or North8000? "The Real Case"? This is an Encyclopedia, not an Oracle. (And no, North didn't "clearly mention it" because of perceived anti-evolution blah blah blah. It's a *years* long now "atheist" card trick. Did you fall for it ? Why? -- you're giving him a pass here. Why? The thread doesn't justify this "he's only" excuse. You're bringing in the "he's only" business from some otherworld dialog, which I'm saying none of us should do. See the above, my "we're encyclopedia editors, not culture war correctors") It IS WRONG. This isn't our call. Professor marginalia (talk) 09:14, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

My comment on on the good approach put forward was regarding the "let's cover it, not bash it" theme. And the "bash it" approach has been pursued by creative sourceless editor constructions that "Intelligent design" excludes intelligent design in sources, and refers only to a particular modern initiative which purports to be science. And the same people defended (and beat up people who changed it)what was previously in the article that ID is limited to the Discovery Institute, despite that being blatantly in conflict with sources which show that even the modern ID preceded it. So let's quit the crap implying that we are "creating" rather than following sources. We are instead trying to repair an unsourced editor-creation that is in conflict with sources. North8000 (talk) 11:20, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
Put a citation needed tag on the unsourced claims and they should be sourced soon enough, or removed if nec. Almost every sentence is already sourced now, many sentences cited to multiple sources. Professor marginalia (talk) 21:03, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
LOL. The sourcing on this article is in impenetrable thickets of nested and interlocked footnotes, a sign of heavy synthesis. Discussion on the talk page about them has happened before you know? When I came looking here in August last year for the first time, as an experienced Wikipedian the first thing you think is that the footnotes in the lead show there is something wrong. PM, you are obviously distorting the point being made which is not that we should be interested in Yopienso's opinions or Carl Sagan's, but that we should follow Wikipedia policy.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 08:38, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

Yopienso, some interesting quotations there from Dembski's book. Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science and Theology. However, that is of course a primary source from 1999, and all speculation about how significant they are, or what they signify, is original research. This ID article does cover the book in the #Religion and leading proponents section, with quite a large quotation, and shows it in the context of expert third party opinion. Does anyone have another third party source discussing this? As for the speculation by others, the same need for a source applies. . dave souza, talk 12:56, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

If the book is an expert third party opinion, then why isn't used as a primary source for this article? Cla68 (talk) 06:26, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
Rephrase this please. It's not clear what you're asking. (Dembski's book is a primary, not a "third party" opinion) Professor marginalia (talk) 06:34, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
I think Cla68 that a third party opinion and a primary source are two different things. But debating about that would not be very useful. The question I raised, which led us to here, is how are we currently sourcing our version of ID's own opinions about the boundary between science and non-science. What is the primary source for the wording at the end of the second paragraph of the lead for example? I have mentioned above that in my opinion it is a hybrid that is neither clear, nor clearly the position of any real person the way that they would choose to express it in an encyclopedic and critical context. I think someone should try to answer that question. --Andrew Lancaster (talk) 08:38, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

Trying to stick to topic

@Dave, trying to stick to topic. Dave, what our article indeed states is that ID is a form of the teleological argument presented as science, but which is not science as usually understood (like the court found etc). I have no problem with that, and indeed even the ID people seem to accept it when pushed, but you seem to have a problem with it, and our article is confused and badly sourced as a result. I say that you are in conflict with this, because having concluded that ID is not really about modern science as normally understood, that it is in fact about a subject most people today would categorize as philosophy and theology, you and others are arguing (without sourcing) that the article must be written in the opposite way, not as philosophical, and not using philosophy sourcing. You take the position that we must keep it distinct from any implication that it has to do with philosophy and theology. Indeed, we are hiding links, and distorting sources. At the end of the second paragraph we even distort the ID people themselves who pretty much also admit that this is not modern science as normally understood but actually a philosophical/theological questioning of how modern science is normally understood. Instead we make this one key thing they get right impossible for readers to get. My two proposals above aim to smooth this problem away. What is controversial about saying we should sure it is clear that expert sources constantly (not occasionally) treat ID at its core as a name which can and should be applied to a bigger and older theological and philosophical debate?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 08:22, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

Andrew, ID is prominently and explicitly presented as science: the "philosophical/theological questioning of how modern science is normally understood" is essentially anti-evolution creationism. If you want some change, please provide your sources and precise proposed wording. . dave souza, talk 08:48, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
Thought for the day: What we won't do is pretend that the work of lunatic charlatans is the equivalent of "true scientific discourse." It isn't. . . dave souza, talk 09:32, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
Dave, I do not get the point you are making here and how it relates to this discussion. Are you disagreeing or agreeing with me that ID is not science, but rather a philosophical/theological creationist position?
Actually, I think you are in conflict with yourself on this. You seem to want to treat ID as a science subject while also insisting it is not science. It is not a science subject. A questioning of science is not science itself, and similarly a proposal to have a new type of science is not science either. I agree with the court cases which this article cites about that. The implication for Wikipedia policy is that this article is about a philosophical/theological subject, and should be sourced and contextualized appropriately.
The popular movement has its own article, and the legal debates and education debates are also extensively covered. This article is about the concept of intelligent design itself which both critics, and supporters, and indeed to some extent even Wikipedia, all see as being based upon a version of the teleological argument. Representatives of the movement itself have apparently admitted that this is not compatible with normal modern science, and so they admit that to the extent that they claim to be science, at least under pressure, they admit it would be a new type of science.
I continue to think that the positions of some editors of this article about the subject of this article being a type of "scam" ignores the fact that no one doubts that they really do believe in the teleological argument, and that really is what they mainly present to the public. We are obfuscating this fact on purpose, as explained in the words I cited by you at the beginning of this thread.
  • Your words which I was discussing: The relationship of anti-evolution ID pseudoscience to the theological teleological argument is rightly covered in the article, but these remain two distinct topic areas and there is no justification for conflating them.
  • Very concrete: I asked for sourcing justification for that position, which is guiding editing of the article. There is nothing vague about this question.
  • Secondly, and more specifically, I pointed to the last part of the second paragraph which seems to me to distort the sources, and indeed it seems to be designed to befuddle readers. I have given more extended comments above.
I am asking for sourcing justifications, and the onus is on defenders of questioned sourcing to respond.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 09:13, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
Andrew, I don't quite see the distortion of the sources you do. Where in the second paragraph does this occur? Also, do you have a source to support your claim that "[what the ID] movement is ultimately about is arguing the teleological argument versus modern science, which are two things that they see as incompatible"? I know the leading theorists of ID don't agree (emphases added):

As I explained repeatedly to reporters and cable-news hosts, the theory of intelligent design is not based on a religious text or document, even if it does have implications that support theistic belief (a point to which I will return in Chapter 20). Instead, intelligent design is an evidence-based scientific theory about life's origins that challenges strictly materialistic views of evolution.

— Meyer, Stephen C. (2010). Signature in the Cell. HarperOne. p. 4.

In any event, it is very much a live possibility that design in cosmology and biology is scientifically detectable, thus placing intelligent design squarely with in the realm of science.

— Dembski, William A. (2005). In Defense of Intelligent Design.

In its legal analysis, the Court takes what I would call a restricted sociological view of science: "science" is what the consensus of the community of practicing scientists declares it to be. The word "science" belongs to that community and to no one else. Thus, in the Court’s reasoning, since prominent science organizations have declared intelligent design to not be science, it is not science. Although at first blush that may seem reasonable, the restricted sociological view of science risks conflating the presumptions and prejudices of the current group of practitioners with the way physical reality must be understood. On the other hand, like myself most of the public takes a broader view: "science" is an unrestricted search for the truth about nature based on reasoning from physical evidence. By those lights, intelligent design is indeed science.

— Behe, Michael J. (2006). Whether Intelligent Design is Science.
-- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 16:42, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
@ Andrew, it's hard to see why you're confused: sources are cited in the relevant paragraphs. Taking one example, Kitz 24–25 notes that "The concept of intelligent design (hereinafter “ID”), in its current form, came into existence after the Edwards case was decided in 1987", before going on to say that John Haught "succinctly explained to the Court that the argument for ID is not a new scientific argument, but is rather an old religious argument for the existence of God." Perhaps you thought that because the argument for ID is the same as the teleological argument, the two are the same? Please note that An Objective Observer Would Know that ID and Teaching About “Gaps” and “Problems” in Evolutionary Theory are Creationist, Religious Strategies that Evolved from Earlier Forms of Creationism, that's obviously not the case with the traditional theological argument. Per p. 68, ID aspires to “change the ground rules” of science, not something that's intrinsic to the teleological argument. So, precisely what wording are you proposing, and what sources are you suggesting citing in support of this change? . . . dave souza, talk 17:23, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
Let me understand, this argument: Because ID is not scientific, it is inappropriate to show its deficiencies as science? One should not, in the article on the Flat Earth, point out that the Earth is not, in fact, flat. Because the primary motivation for belief in a flat Earth is a particular interpretation of the Bible, one should only discuss those biblical texts? Or, is it because one presents evidence of the flat Earth not being science by citing the overwhelming majority of geologists, that one is arguing that science is only what a group of people (in this case, geologists) think? TomS TDotO (talk) 18:04, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
That's not the debate. I think that here it is in shorthand:
  • Group "A" (North, Andrew et al) notes that some/most motorcycles have 2 wheels, and some have three, and wants all wording to be consistent with that.
  • Group "B" (Souza, Gaba et al) says that 3 wheeled motorcycles are either ignorable, or wants to say that the "Motorcycle" article is only about 2 wheeled motorcycles. And they put in statements like "motorcycles have 2 wheels". Group "A" says that such statements need to be re-worded.
  • "2 wheeled motorcycles" = The modern ID maneuver, which claims that ID is scientific
  • "3 wheeled motorcycles" = other types of ID, not necessarily claiming to be science.
Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 18:55, 3 April 2014 (UTC)

@Misterdub, I think that an analysis of the sources and quotes is analogous to and puts a finger on the core of the of the debate here and the rationale for both "sides". And to that end, I would argue that context is important, and ask the following your opinion is the context of those sourced quotes referring to a particular ID (e.g. the DI version) or a blanket statement about all ID? Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 00:39, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

Sorry TomS, I do accept that this is not simple and so I do not blame anyone for an honest misunderstanding. However you are misunderstanding me. In fact though, it is interesting that the following response can also work as an answer to MisterDub and Dave souza, who I would have thought understood me better:
  • I am not at all opposed to this article including scientific expert sources to show the deficiencies of ID as science. That is exactly what we should do.
  • I am also not at all opposed to our article rightly saying that the ID movement presents itself as scientific and obfuscates the fact that what they mean by science does not match up to what most people would mean, which is misleading. No problem.
  • The issue I am trying to point to is that within philosophy, it is not universally agreed, in fact I would say it is controversial, to say, as Dave does that "to “change the ground rules” of science" is "not something that's intrinsic to the teleological argument". I believe that at the very least there is no consensus for it, even if people like Dave himself, and Ayala, do want to believe it. As I mentioned before, people like Darwin and Hume clearly saw an issue with this. This is one of the oldest philosophical debates there is, though not the most commonly discussed any more, most famously presented by the dieing Socrates in the Platonic dialogue Phaedo.
I think we are coming closer to understanding of my point? I think the discussion has already achieved agreement on the fact that this statement of Dave (the quotes in the last bullet encapsulate it again) is an intrinsic assumption guiding the way our article is written. What is a source for it?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 08:19, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
@ Andrew, source please for your contention about the situation within philosophy, with quotation[s] making exactly the point you're trying to assert. Your references should explicitly discuss intelligent design. . . dave souza, talk 08:28, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
My question is clear Dave, and as I said there are thousands of years of sourcing for it. I asked you for a source for your statement. What is your source for believing that the thousands of years of debate are closed? Are teleological understandings of any type concerning how nature should be explained compatible with normal modern science? I am not saying there is one consensus answer to this, I am saying there is not. You are saying that there is one. You are saying the article should be structured based on that final answer which is apparently a consensus amongst experts. Anyway the wording I am asking for you to source is your own wording, and you have worded it several ways now, so you should understand it, right?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 09:27, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
Oh really? You're the one that's arguing that changing the ground rules of science is a standard feature of teleological understandings. Doesn't follow. . dave souza, talk 11:51, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
Andrew, I don't agree that Dave's statement guides the article. Honestly, it doesn't even seem that this discussion is relevant to this article. I don't really care if the teleological argument tries to change the ground rules of science; this isn't an article on the teleological argument, it's about the purportedly scientific theory called ID. It sounds like you should be having this conversation on the that page. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 13:58, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
Andrew, I'm not understanding or seeing the relevance of your last post. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 14:42, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Maybe it is best to note a few points, hoping some might help give traction:

  • Yes indeed Dave that is what I am saying. It is good, IMHO, that you and I now have been able to confirm a clear difference in positions in a way we both seem to understand, that can be examined in ways relevant to the article. Please that I am claiming no consensus, but you are. Correct?
  • Dave, as a source for it not being a consensus, I have for example cited Sedley's book many times, as well as the Thomist critics of ID. One of the points you hear Thomists and other Aristotelians make about modern science, which comes straight from Socrates, is that if we do not consider the ends of nature when trying to explain it, then our descriptions will be inaccurate and distorted. (Aristotle's whole scientific corpus is teleological.) This is not dissimilar to what the ID guys finally backed up into is it?
  • I can see how the discussion between Dave and I might no longer be easy to link to the article proposals above, so two comments to make there:
  • First looking at North's summary of my position, I think North you are only summarising one point which is an old point often made, about how ID has a broader sense. But there is this newer point I am discussing with Dave, and it is really about the narrow focus of this article and not telelogical arguments more generally.
  • Second, that point, as I mentioned, relates for example to the last part of the second paragraph.
  • Concerning that, as I understand it, this has evolved over time, but has always been meant to pay lip service to the demands which go right back to the FA review and beyond, that the article should, as per WP policies, make an effort to state the position of the ID folk the way they would want it. This is actually not so easy, given their specific obfuscations. But I think we are quite deliberately not really even attempting it. And the reason for this is what Dave and I are discussing.
  • It seems to be one area that leads to criticism of the article over the long term.
  • What I understand to be happening is that we are citing their opinion in terms of what their critics would say, but their critics (except for Thomists and other such teleologists perhaps, who we do not mention, and whose positions would be almost impossible to fit into the current form of the article) all believe, as does Dave, that there is a big black line between science and theology. However teleologists of a traditional stamp would not accept this, and when pushed it seems the IDM people also did not. But I think Dave feels it is important NOT to even try to be sympathetic to this theological position, so we report something which is mixed up and probably not really what anyone believes.
  • I need to mention that definitely the ID explanations do not help, because they obviously obfuscate this conflict between modern science and teleology while it is clearly the core of the matter. (Dave do you not agree it is a core of the matter?) Writers who are expert in theology and philosophy, including Thomist writers I have cited here before, have actually criticised the IDM for the way that they present themselves as just explaining things in terms of matter and motion, or in other words for not being truly teleological in their explanations.
  • Thought experiment which might help: Imagine a movement to teach Aristotelian physics as being an alternative to normal modern physics? Aristotle was not a creationist, but of course the most likely people to want to support such a movement would be creationists. (So believing in teleological causation can be distinguished from modern science, and also from creationism.) Question: in a way, is this not pretty much what the IDM movement is? But you would never get that from our article.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 11:19, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
@ Anrew, another wall of text with no specific proposals and no citations from a source. Less of your forum stuff, please. . dave souza, talk 13:00, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
Dave, how silly. Do you think posting things like this on the ends of threads stops people from noticing that there was actually a discussion about the article which you were involved in? You keep doing this and not realizing how obvious it is, and how bad it makes you look. Someone answers you in a way which stumps you, and then you pretend that the whole discussion was actually off-topic. It wasn't, and your own posts show it. There are concrete proposals, and questions and references to policy and how it relates to this article above. Indeed the starting point of the discussion was your own position about how the article is currently written.
Let's not play dumb? We have already seen several times that you and the knights in shining armour here are willing to kneejerk revert or reject any concrete edit I make or propose, including even several grammar fixes you later had to reinsert yourself. This has happened how many times already? I have no interest in repeating that circle. Once more let me also remind everyone of WP:NOTDEM.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 08:49, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
Andrew, a couple of things: 1) You say "[critics of ID] all believe, as does Dave, that there is a big black line between science and theology." Do you have sources to support this statement? I agree that the interplay between science and religion is still debated, but I don't think it's relevant to the article; I see no claim in the current article that science and religion are irreconcilable, nor should there be. The more relevant debate is whether or not science must restrict its explanations to natural ones (i.e. does science require methodological naturalism?), which doesn't necessarily throw into question the compatibility of science and religion. 2) You say that "[ID explanations] obviously obfuscate this conflict between modern science and teleology while it is clearly the core of the matter." I don't think it is the core of the matter, and I'd like to see sources to support such a claim.
Andrew, are you student of theology or philosophy? I ask because it seems like you are compiling a list of disparate sources to substantiate a logical claim not made in any of them. For example, I don't see any sources discussing the accordance of either science and theology or modern science and teleology. While dialectics of this nature can be interesting, they don't belong here unless they can be traced to reliable sources. I just don't see that in this case, which gives the impression that you are trying to publish OR. Perhaps if you can clearly and concisely identify the problem(s) you see with the second paragraph, this conversation could progress to a resolution. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 19:19, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
MisterDub, yes I have an interest in philosophy. I came to this article as a member of the WP Philosophy project and I have worked on articles such as Science, Evolution, Teleology, and various articles about Aristotelian science (which is by the way not science according to modern norms, though within philosophy it is referred to as science). I am interested in the differences between different conceptions of science, and this is something a lot of editors have trouble with because obviously we grow up with the conceptions common today. Responding to your points:
  • I have been a bit more specific, and I do not think it is me digressing here. I have pointed to the last part of the second paragraph of the lead as a bit which is apparently describing what ID supporters really think. So if you want, you can consider my point a straightforward sourcing clarification request. It is a normal thing to cite somewhere what the position of the criticized group is, but are we doing really doing it in a fair and clear way which draws out the relevant disagreements properly? In fact, the way I read it, this was more or less demanded as a sort of condition of gaining FA status in an earlier version of this article, but it seems this condition was never really met, and the article should loose that status for this and many other reasons. If we can avoid that, this would be better of course.
  • I do not really think it is valid to make the distinction you do because the debate about whether science should restrict itself to "natural" "explanations" (please define what you mean by those; I guess you mean something like materialistic ones as per Thomas Hobbes, everything in terms of matter and motion, or efficient causes as Aristotelians would say), and the debate about whether science and teleological understandings of nature (all of them, including all teleological arguments) are really compatible. I think at least there is no consensus about whether these are two different debates.
  • I don't see that we Wikipedians need to have a position about whether there might be a possibility of compatibility between modern materalist or naturalist, or whatever we want to call it, science, and some sort of teleological understanding of things. The point is that we know some people think the two things not compatible. Knowing this, we know that we should not report a consensus. In any case, concerning the IDM, when reporting what they think, we should be accurate.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 09:09, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
Andrew, to address your points in similar fashion:
  • I have responded to your recently created section below about the sources for this claim (please see that section for further commentary).
  • Yes, those two debates are compatible, but one is discussed in reliable sources (i.e. the one arguing science's commitment to methodological naturalism), and one isn't. Like I said earlier, that may be an interesting debate, but it is not relevant here unless you have reliable sources. Do you have these?
  • I agree with your last bullet point... I just don't know why it's relevant to this article. Does this article make the claim that modern science and teleological understandings (or what-have-you) are incompatible? Or compatible? I guess I don't see anything in the current article that touches on this matter at all.
I was asking about your interest in philosophy or theology for my own purposes; thank you for answering. I read quite a bit of philosophy myself, and honestly think it would be enjoyable to discuss similar matters in a different setting; however, I don't think that kind of discussion belongs here. Without reliable sources, I don't see a justification for a change to the section you identify as problematic. Moreover, given my reply in the section below, I think the questioned statement accurately reflects the cited sources. I'm not really sure why you would want to change it... or how you propose doing so. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 16:22, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
MisterDub, no problem, and thanks for that reply. I will respond further in the appropriate place where discussion has moved on to. But just on one separable point I think over recent months I have posted more than anyone concerning sourcing. I think I would not be exaggerating to say that attempts to post detailed sourcing discussions have been attacked, blocked, swamped, and resulted in people making threats, demands, etc etc. I do not see any point us all pretending this has not been happening. Short answer: yes of course there are such sources. Indeed I think your sourcing is not in disagreement with the broader sources available either. It is just that the reading of it is limited and distorted, so that the connections to the bigger literature become hard to see. --Andrew Lancaster (talk) 09:37, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

Let's finally resolve a few items

Let's tackle some of the debated sentences. Step one is to make their assertion clearer vs. inadvertently weasel worded in their vagueness, vagueness which makes it impossible to resolve in this environment. A current sentence/statement is:

  • "presented by its proponents with the claim that this is a scientific theory"

Noting that in its context, this refers to intelligent design. To force clarity to resolve this, despite being poor prose, let's at least temporarily make that substitution (thus also splitting the sentence) making it:

  • "Intelligent design is presented by its proponents with the claim that it is a scientific theory"

Now to force clarity, lets require that we clarify whether the sentence refers to "all" (as the current wording implies) "some" or "most" intelligent design:

  1. "All intelligent design is presented by its proponents with the claim that it is a scientific theory"
  2. "Most intelligent design is presented by its proponents with the claim that it is a scientific theory"
  3. "Some intelligent design is presented by its proponents with the claim that it is a scientific theory"

To try to move this along, I am going to BRD make this as a two stage edit (with the "middle" choice on the second stage) If you revert me (presumably on the second edit) please substitute a clear statement from the above so that we actually move forward on resolving it. After we get it resolved, we can smooth out the grammar problems induced by this in ways that doesn't change whatever we come up with. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 11:06, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

I sympathy with your concern. But I don't what to make of the three choices of the second stage. "all/most/some such-and-such is so-and-so" means to mean there are more than one (or many parts of one) such-and-such. Is your intent to speak of all/most/some intelligent designs: That Behe has one, that Dembski has another, ... Or that there are different things which are called intelligent: The is the ID of the bacterial flagella, the ID of the beginning of life, the ID of Mt. Rushmore, ... Or, to take a totally different issue, something perhaps better presented by the choices "ID is presented by all/most/some of its proponents ..."? TomS TDotO (talk) 12:09, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
<ec> Not good proposals, please discuss these ideas before editing: I've reverted to maintain clarity. The whole sentence is in the specific context of this modern form of creationism, "It is a version of the theological argument from design for the existence of God presented as "an evidence-based scientific theory about life's origins" rather than "a religious-based idea." If you've got a source saying that some other "intelligent design" isn't presented as "an evidence-based scientific theory about life's origins", please discuss the source here. With quotations if the text isn't readily available online. . dave souza, talk 12:13, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
Edit conflict, responding only to TomS. My concern is merely to remove ambiguity in order to cause this to move forward in some direction vs. the current weasel wording which (in this environment) has prevented such progress. That said, I think that it is implicit that we're talking about it in the context of the origin of life/ man/ the universe. North8000 (talk) 12:15, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
It's explicit that we're talking about a modern relabelled form of creationism, a specific relative of the generic "argument from design" (an older theological argument which has occasionally been called the "argument from intelligent design"). . dave souza, talk 12:22, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
If we were to modify the wording of few sentences to have them say what you just said in your first few phrases in this post, then I think that 70% of this eternal grief would be resolved. Or is that too simple/controversial? Would you support that? Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 12:40, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
Caution: the occasional use of the phrase shouldn't be given undue weight by featuring too prominently in the lead. While some rewording could be considered, particularly in the body text, this point is already well covered at the start, between the hatnote and the lead itself. While my recollection is that occasional uses can be found, a source is needed and, disappointingly, I've had to request a citation for the TA article lead, as this point isn't supported by Wildman, Wesley (2010), Religious Philosophy as Multidisciplinary Comparative Inquiry: Envisioning a future for the philosophy of religion, State University of New York , page 261.. . . dave souza, talk 16:58, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
Side issue: Yet again this article's illness spread to other articles. Dave on the talk page of that article and I think this one too you have said in various clear words that you could see that I was able to source "argument from intelligent design" as a term for arguments from design generally. All these discussions were in recent months! I do not believe this was not from the source you now claim to be the citation, and indeed how can you treat that lead as the work of others to begin with? I would also raise a secondary concern that you might now go and starting adding more footnotes to the opening sentences of that lead. Why must we fill the leads of every article with footnotes? Was this point being disputed? No, it was just spillover from the disputes here.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 10:53, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
We should make clear that both ID proponents and old- young-earth creationists deny ID is creationism. ID proponent. Creationist. Slate, thanking Tom Willis, William Dembski, and Nick Matzke for their input. Yopienso (talk) 13:17, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
Well, they would, wouldn't they? The second source is YEC, and like the Slate article predates the discovery of the missing cdesign proponentsists link. The only explicitly OEC source seems to be the disco toot itself. This was well covered at Kitz, which noted an explicit statement by defense expert Fuller that ID is a form of creationism, and "Although contrary to Fuller, defense experts Professors Behe and Minnich testified that ID is not creationism, their testimony was primarily by way of bare assertion and it failed to directly rebut the creationist history of Pandas or other evidence presented by Plaintiffs showing the commonality between creationism and ID." Fair point that maybe this needs to be shown more clearly in the body text. . . dave souza, talk 17:17, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
You're missing my point. The article is not a trial on the validity of ID; it is a description of it.
I'm correcting my OEC error; I meant YEC. :O Here's a 2013 disclaimer from the YEC side. And Pennock, while demolishing the claim that ID is not creationism, becomes a RS for the claim. "ID claimed to be free of religious commitments and to be based entirely upon science and to have nothing to do with creationism."
My argument is that an article about ID must define it as they do, i.e., the very first words should not be "ID is a form of creationism." Even if it is. That wording misconstrues ID as it is promulgated and is offensive to both ID proponents and YECs. Certainly the article should also give the mainstream view of ID. Yopienso (talk) 18:23, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
Yopienso, I think I am in agreement with you. For some time, I've thought the first sentence of the article should be "Intelligent design is the belief, presented as a scientific theory, that 'certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.'" I think it may be best to include "presented as a scientific theory" in this definitional statement as well, as the DI defines ID as a scientific theory. (I added this to the quote in my first sentence, segregated by INS tags.) Of course, I would have the very next statement explaining that it is a form of creationism; perhaps you wouldn't agree with this part. If you are proposing something along these lines, I'd support you. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 18:41, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
I suggest, "Intelligent design is the proposition, presented as a scientific theory, that 'certain features . . .'" I would put the disclaimers in the last paragraph of the lede, for two reasons: 1. The lede first should describe the subject of the article before refuting it, and 2. The casual reader will read the first paragraph and skip to the last.
Further suggestions: 1. Change the first two sentences of the second paragraph to, "The leading proponents of this version of the argument are associated with the Discovery Institute, a politically conservative think tank based in the United States. Although the argument purposely avoids assigning a personality to the designer, many of its proponents privately believe the designer to be the Christian deity." 2. Split the 2nd paragraph between "evidence of design.[n 4]" and "The scientific community." 3. Delete the 3rd paragraph; it belongs in the article on the movement. Yopienso (talk) 01:02, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
Sounds like a fair proposal. Would you make it its own section on the Talk page so it gets the attention it deserves? -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 14:10, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

If anything, I think that needs to be rephrased to avoid the word claim, per WP:CLAIM. The sentence should read, "Intelligent design is... presented by its proponents as a scientific theory." The all/most/some addition North8000 wants is unnecessary and, frankly, wrong. ID is the name of a purportedly scientific theory, and this is the article about that theory. That theory (ID) is presented by its proponents as science. End of story. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 15:19, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

Dave's revert (and refusal to pick / substitute any clear statement when doing so) has plunged it back into the vagueness which has perpetuated and stymied the resolution of the problem here. North8000 (talk) 17:12, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

How is it vague? -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 17:15, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
First, the "universe" of what readers might be thinking this meaning of intelligent design is about is those meanings relating to the origin of life/man/the universe. And if someone would just allow / not block the clarity of those first sentences to say which of this "universe" that they are referring to, I think that we would either have been solved, or set the stage for finally resolving the issues. North8000 (talk) 17:30, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but that is just absurd. We simply cannot avoid calling a purportedly scientific theory, whose name is intelligent design, anything but. The problem is that you're trying to pander to ignorance--honestly, that seems to be your SOP on Wikipedia--and it makes Wikipedia sound dumb. Please stop trying to make Wikipedia sound dumb! -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 17:41, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
Agreed MisterDub. I also second your statement on the word "claim". I don't think the word belongs. Whether its "junk science" or "loosely veiled creationism", none of the adherents would say that they are "claiming its a theory". So thanks for that edit. Ckruschke (talk) 17:53, 8 April 2014 (UTC)Ckruschke
Misterdub, that makes no sense. You wrote all of that in response to a simple request for clarity instead of ambiguity. North8000 (talk) 19:14, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
Clarity, I like. Clarity is referring to a theory by its name. Clarity is not equivocation. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 19:23, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
(I hit the "save button too soon) Misterdub, that makes no sense. You wrote all of that in response to a simple request for clarity instead of ambiguity. And I do have a lot of empathy for the average reader who in this case is typically an intelligent person who knows little about the topic. If you choose to call that something negative, I don't agree with you. I do published writing in immensely technical fields which has been used as sources by other wikipedia editors. Even those publications are written to inform rather than impress, albeit with readers that are at a higher knowledge level on the topic at hand than a typical reader here. If you call knowing your audience and writing for them something negative, then we disagree. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 19:24, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
Informing readers is a laudable goal. The locus of our disagreement is that I don't think your proposals accomplish that. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 19:31, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
Actually I haven't put forth any proposal that is intended to be that / the finish line. My proposal and edit (as I indicated) were only to shed some daylight on the core questions so that they can be resolved. North8000 (talk) 20:16, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
But your proposal and edit has its own ambiguities, as I pointed out. I don't know what it means. It was so ambiguous that I suspected that you meant something else altogether. TomS TDotO (talk) 23:56, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
Dave, in response to your request for a 'source saying that some other "intelligent design" isn't presented as "an evidence-based scientific theory about life's origins', I wonder: haven't we discussed these before? (I tried to find comments, but I couldn't). Anyway, I think the clearest example would be Robin Collins, a proponent of intelligent design who says that intelligent design is not science, e.g. [1]. --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 03:10, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for that. There's another primary source on the touchy-feely bit, Dave, with expert third-party opinion here.Also contributing were Robin Collins (suggesting that "intelligent design" should be regarded as "not as a part of science but as a hypothesis that could potentially influence the practice of science"). It would be well to remember that just as evolutionists hold a wide variety of conflicting views, so do ID proponents. Yopienso (talk) 03:41, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
Wait a minute. Robin Collins is obviously arguing for Intelligent Design to change its focus because it isn't science. He's arguing for ID to be reformed--and he's clearly a fringe view proposing changing the focus of the ID movement. So it isn't true that Collins said "ID isn't presented as science." He says the opposite, that it is presented as science but that it's a flawed approach to do so.
And of course ID proponents, like evolutionists, have their differences.  ?? Of course! But the evolution article is about evolution, not evolutionists. And it's about the predominant, consensus definition of evolution, and not the entire immense universe of unique exceptions. It doesn't resort to weasel words like "some think evolution means" out of consideration to the outliers, like saltation (which, rightfully, not only merits no mention in the lead, but doesn't appear described anywhere in the article). WP:Undue applies. Professor marginalia (talk) 05:56, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────In the lead, I'm concerned not with the content but that there's too much awkward sentence construction packed in. It's as if there's a traffic jam at the top of the page as editors try and muscle everything they think needs to be said at the very front of the line. This isn't a billboard. Can't we relax a bit on this urgency to say everything in one mouthful? Can't we write for readers who use wikipedia as an encyclopedia rather than a dictionary? Professor marginalia (talk) 06:11, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

Collins was adding his voice to the debate about just what ID is. He prefers to call ID metascience rather than science, explaining, "A major disanalogy between the ID hypothesis and other scientific hypotheses is that the ID hypothesis fails to be scientifically tractable . . ." This is a more comprehensive article by Collins that briefly addresses why Aristotle's framework of causes was dropped.
For one example of how the Evolution article shows conflicting ideas, see the subheading "Speciation": Defined by Ernst Mayr in 1942, the BSC states that "species are groups of actually or potentially interbreeding natural populations, which are reproductively isolated from other such groups". Despite its wide and long-term use, the BSC like others is not without controversy, for example because these concepts cannot be applied to prokaryotes, and this is called the species problem. Some researchers have attempted a unifying monistic definition of species, while others adopt a pluralistic approach and suggest that there may be different ways to logically interpret the definition of a species. (More awkward writing.) There's nothing wrong with showing controversy within the field. Au contraire, there would be something wrong with hiding it behind a monolithic front.
My point: The ID article should explain that some proponents present it as strictly scientific while others present it as the intersection of theology and science. It should explain that proponents and critics disagree on whether or not ID is a form of creationism.
I am concerned about the content of the lede and heartily agree with your dissatisfaction with the style, too. Yopienso (talk) 07:22, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
I disagree: Collins is adding his opinion of what the ID program should become if it is to have any bearing on science, not what it is. And I guess I still don't see how he's not a fringe view with the metascience peek Who is actually practicing ID metascience today? Professor marginalia (talk) 19:30, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
Sure, he's saying that. But the reason he is saying that about the program is because he thinks the hypothesis is not science, because it is not "scientifically tractable" and "lacking this characteristic is no small matter, since it is what allows scientific hypotheses to provide detailed explanations and predictions, and it gives scientists something to work with." Put it this way: Take three propositions: 1) Intelligent design is presented as science by its proponents. 2) Robin Collins is a proponent of intelligent design. 3) Robin Collins does not present intelligent design as science. These three propositions are not unqualifiedly consistent. 2) and 3) are obviously true. 1) is only qualifiedly true. Final point: Of course his is a fringe view—all proponents of intelligent design are proponents of a fringe view. If you mean to say that he is the only proponent of intelligent design who does not present it as science, I would suggest you look at the many others such as Robert John Russell (see the aptly-named "Intelligent Design is Not Science and Does Not Qualify to be Taught in Public School Science Classes" (2005) [2]), and Christoph Schönborn ([3]). --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 20:32, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

Late to the party, and many things to comment on:

  • @Dave, of course you are wrong that intelligent design being used as a term to apply teleological arguments not presented as science is "occasional". I have demonstrated that it is constant. It happens even in your favorite sources like Padian and Matzke.
  • The point for WP policy is that no expert source is treating the term as something with a clear mathematical style definition. Can you agree with that? (I would really like you to answer this.)
  • And if this is the case then (as I have pointed out to North in the past) there is nothing stopping WP from having our own way of breaking up subjects for discussion on WP, BUT the real issue is that we must not make it sound like all the expert sources do the same when they do not.
  • We could easily fix such concerns by adding wording referring to the way that the term is sometimes used more broadly. I think many proposals have been discussed and dismissed without really understanding the need. (Also, until I arrived here, there were unfortunate efforts made to pretend that this is against some sort of WP policy, which is nonsense.)

A second theme to address is this question of whether ID claims to be science. We are really getting ourselves confused about that, and it is a dead end discussion. The point is that the IDM claim to be science, but also make it clear (sometimes) that they do not mean science as it is understood by most people. We can not ignore this word game, because it is not in itself "wrong" to have a different definition of science. The word "science" really is used in several ways, and their way is more compatible with Aristotle and Aquinas. (Complication: Supporters of those guys do still exist, and some of them complain that the IDM themselves are hypocritically mixing up the two types of "science".) So identifying and pointing to the word game is the trick for editors here. Tricky, but it should be possible to handle, if this talk page were not so darned awkward and defensive. --Andrew Lancaster (talk) 10:11, 9 April 2014 (UTC) NOTE FOR CLARITY, concerning the second "theme" I understand myself to be in agreement with Yopienso and Atethnekos. I am not sure it is useful to combine it with the points North is making. In practical terms I had been thinking the way to address this point is in the last bit of the second paragraph.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 10:55, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

Re your first point, Andrew, you keep saying this but repeatedly fail to provide the requested citation. Please do so. . dave souza, talk 16:56, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
Dave you keep implying you have questions to me open. What request are you saying is open? (And of course if I give a detailed answer, will you then repeat your cycle of demanding I write and then complaining about a wall of words?) Please do be constructive and clear if you are interested in breaking the cycles here.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 08:33, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
"[Intelligent design's] origin may be dated conveniently to the publication of Phillip Johnson's book Darwin on Trial, in 1991, though the school owes much to an earlier work by biochemist Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (1985)....without a doubt the most important Intelligent Design publication was biochemist Michael Behe's book, Darwin's Black Box (1996), which set forth the challenge to Neo-Darwinism in strictly scientific terms...More recently, Behe's thesis was restated by mathematician William Dembski in several books, wherein he developed the notion of the design filter...The undisputed leader in the movement is the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture, a public policy think tank used by the Intelligent Design camp as their intellectual launching ground to produce books, talks, and videos to promote the teaching of Intelligent Design in schools." Fowler and Keubler, 2007. It's unmistakable that the majority of sources describe ID as the brainchild of Johnson, Behe and others in the DI camp. It's an embarrassment of riches, there are so many reliable sources on ID that define it just as it says on the mainspace here. Professor marginalia (talk) 20:04, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
Caveat wrt Fowler and Kuebler: Please note that the article currently calls ID "a form of creationism," while the Christian publishing house says F & K distinguish among "four leading schools of thought: Neo-Darwinism, Creationism, Intelligent Design, and Meta-Darwinism." The authors explain ID textually and graphically on p. 25. They fully introduce ID on pp. 31-34 and say why they disagree that it is creationism. Yopienso (talk) 21:16, 9 April 2014 (UTC)