Talk:Intelligent design/Archive 87

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RfC on Lede Paragraph

Withdrawn as nominator; no consensus for any specific change has emerged. If an uninvolved admin wants to re-close this with a summary of the discussion, feel free to do so. power~enwiki (π, ν) 00:31, 23 December 2017 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

How should the lead paragraph of the article on Intelligent design read? power~enwiki (π, ν) 19:30, 8 December 2017 (UTC)

I don't believe it will be possible to get consensus for any significant changes to the lede without a full RfC. I'm starting the process now. I expect the proposals to change somewhat over the first week, so I have not added a "Survey" section for !voting yet.

Proposal A (Status quo ante bellum): Intelligent design (ID) is a religious argument for the existence of God, presented by its proponents as "an evidence-based scientific theory about life's origins",[1][2] though it has been found to be pseudoscience.[3][4][5] Proponents claim 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."[6] Educators, philosophers, and the scientific community have demonstrated that ID is a form of creationism that lacks empirical support and offers no testable or tenable hypotheses.[7][8][9]

(amended by addition of "and so is not science" to clarify implication of lack of empirical support and testable hypotheses, as discussed below. . . dave souza, talk 13:26, 16 December 2017 (UTC))

Proposal B1 (power~enwiki (π, ν) 19:30, 8 December 2017 (UTC)): Intelligent design (ID) is an argument that the universe and all life forms were created by an intelligent cause.[6] It is a modern form of the teleological argument that attempts to prove creationism throughform of creationism that attempts to use primarily scientific arguments, and not religious ones. Most mainstream scientists feel ID is pseudo-science that lacks empirical support and offers no testable or tenable hypotheses.[8]

Proposal Workshop

Proposal B2 (Markbassett (talk) 09:12, 10 December 2017 (UTC)) Intelligent Design (ID) has been defined by its proponents as the idea that "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause."(cite CSC) It is a modern form of creationism crafted to use a scientific phrasing rather than scriptural or theological. It is strongly rejected by the scientific community(cite AAAS) and in the 2005 trial Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District case it was blocked from being taught as part of a science curriculum.

Proposal B3 (last amended power~enwiki (π, ν) 20:00, 15 December 2017 (UTC)) Intelligent Design (ID) is the claim that "various forms of life began abruptly through an intelligent agency, with their distinctive features already intact." (cite Of Pandas and People). While the argument from design has existed for centuries, the modern term originated in the 1980s in response to US legal rulings against the teaching of creationism in public schools. It uses philosophical arguments such as the irreducible complexity to attempt to disprove the theory of evolution by natural selection. While its proponents claim it is a scientific theory (cite), the scientific community views ID as pseudo-science (cite).

General Discussion

  1. Can you provide any sources calling ID an argument?
  2. Can you prove it is the most common descriptor?Michael O'hara (talk) 19:36, 8 December 2017 (UTC)
I don't believe you're making a serious request. Are you disputing that Intelligent Design is an argument, a series of statements typically used to persuade someone of something or to present reasons for accepting a conclusion? power~enwiki (π, ν) 19:40, 8 December 2017 (UTC)
Is that no then?Michael O'hara (talk) 19:43, 8 December 2017 (UTC)
It took me less than five minutes to dig those two up, and I didn't even use the references in the article. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 20:04, 8 December 2017 (UTC)
I don't think we should use the word tellyolly...something in the lede. Without wanting to vote just yet, could we find a way of actually writing out what physio-theological arguments entail, and then linking to the teleological page without actually using this term in the lede section. I don't believe this is suitably general terminology even with the blue link included. It virtually guarantees that a reader will have to navigate to another article in order to understand the lede section. (Per WP:TECHNICAL If an article is written in a highly technical manner, but the material permits a more understandable explanation, then editors are strongly encouraged to rewrite it.) Edaham (talk) 01:54, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
Teleological argument basically means "intelligent design, but from before the 20th century". It is in the hatnote, I'd personally prefer the link be in the lead. power~enwiki (π, ν) 02:03, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
I know what it means because I already looked it up and because you just told me as well. It's not a good piece of terminology for the lede unless it is explained/defined briefly, per WP:EXPLAINLEAD. I think it is well outside a general reader's reading level. It was outside mine anyway and I can almost read without using my finger now. Edaham (talk) 02:13, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
I don't see the phrase "teleological argument" as requiring the reader to know the word "teleology," because it's referring to a specific argument, like a proper noun. I see this as akin to, in an article about a battle, saying that the battle was preceded by another battle that the reader may not have heard of. The passage is still understandable if you replace "teleological argument" by "another argument". CapitalSasha ~ talk 16:37, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
The reference to the teleological argument is confusing. It is not possible to make a teleological argument through scientific arguments since science excludes teleology. If someone says the moon exists in order to cause tides on earth and light the night sky, they are providing a teleological explanation for the existence of the moon, which may or may not be true. But it's not a theory that can be the subject of scientific study. And its truth or falseness can have no influence on astrophysics. And no amount of study of the tides or the night sky with add to or diminish from the reasonableness of the theory. TFD (talk) 18:17, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
It is perfectly possible to establish conclusions scientifically through teleological arguments. Paley's watch argument for example is perfectly valid -- as applied to watches, as well as to wide categories of other human artefacts --. Its applicability to non-human artefacts, such as hornet nests is philosophically fraught, but not relevant here and now. Just because some folks might need to look the word up or click on a link does not mean we have to avoid it here; the concept is hard to avoid in evolution, scientifically or otherwise, precisely because the very basis of the concept of "natural selection" is that no teleology is involved and in Intelligent Design teleology is asserted implicitly. The onus is not on the scientist to prove a negative -- the absence of teleology-- but to demand falsifiable support for any positive claims of teleology -- otherwise one could assert a teleological explanation for every rock or bubble or grain of sand. JonRichfield (talk) 10:44, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
When scientists, such as archaeologists, identify artifacts, they are not using teleology, but relying on their a posteriori knowledge about human behavior. Same as when they identify the results of purely physical causes, such as earthquakes. TFD (talk) 02:21, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
@The Four Deuces: Possibly we are at cross purposes. I did not say that scientists in general have much of a problem with teleology, but that "the very basis of the concept of "natural selection" is that no teleology is involved and in Intelligent Design teleology is asserted implicitly". Outside the behaviour of self-aware, technologically advanced organisms, of which our only extant example so far is ourselves and close ancestors we have as yet no clear examples of teleology at all. The human behaviour you mention is in every case teleological, whether in designing a watch or a stone axe or a building or a fish hook or game trap. And it is the absence of teleology in traditional natural selection that is relevant here. Ironically, natural selection will bumble on regardless of whether we introduce teleology or not, it is just that teleology introduces far more radical and more dramatic effects than most non-teleological selection can achieve. The point of this article is that there is no basis as yet for assuming teleology of the type explicit and implicit in Intelligent Design. JonRichfield (talk) 06:51, 20 December 2017 (UTC)

power~enwiki - Well A is word salad and B1 is fairly close, and I've put in a further phrasing near your line. (Although I think the article is irretrievably biased so oddly having it obviously a-jumble is almost OK in the two wrongs almost make a right sense.) I think you're right to start with defining it but that "certain features" (some things) was used rather than the "all" phrasing of "all life forms". I also thought the 'argument' label or stating a label as fact is a bit off, as not the portrayal in sources and previously debated in TALK -- so phrased it as definition with attribution to CSC (alt. source berkley.edu). And I dropped the line about 'most' and 'pseudoscience' as I think that vague pejorative is actually more a WP fad than a WP:V capture and in any case is not lead-suitable since calling it names is not a major part of the article. I cannot tell if this will help but hope it is understandable. Markbassett (talk) 09:43, 10 December 2017 (UTC)

B2 looks pretty good. I oppose anything resembling B1. "Teleological" shouldn't be in the lead, almost all readers will choke on the word. Astronomer's don't "feel" astrology is pseudoscience, and biologists don't "feel" ID is pseudoscience. It's actually all "mainstream" scientists in the field, because by definition you can't be a mainstream scientist if you reject mainstream science. Even if we skip mainstream, word "most" scientists is borderline misleading. Only a small fraction of one percent of biologists buy ID. Any description of ID-advocates as a subset of scientists needs to be clear that it is an almost non-existent fringe view. I skimmed the article looking for a "%" or "percent" of biologists who buy ID, but I couldn't find any figure? I know there was one survey that found 0.15% of earth&life scientists who considered creationism to have any credibility, it would be good if we had some source citing a percentage of biologists who believe ID. If a percentage on that is available, it would be a good to include in the lead. Alsee (talk) 09:59, 10 December 2017 (UTC)

  • Arguing about the word 'most' is irrelevant from a neutrality standpoint: ID is a radical theory which has not gained a strong following, but many credentialed scientists have written books on it. Was Copernicus in the majority? Darwin? Either B is better than the original. I compare the wikipedia article on Scientology. Much more neutral. Not dismissed as a fraud in the first sentence. Stavanyar (talk) 04:23, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
  • My reasons for opposing B1: "through primarily scientific arguments": they may be sounding scientific at first but are pseudoscientific; "mainstream scientists feel": it's not a question of feeling. B1 introduces false balance. —PaleoNeonate – 18:02, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
Followup: After rereading all three, I still think that the status quo, A, is more complete. It was oversourced over time because sentences were often debated and disrupted; there was a lot of work involved. —PaleoNeonate – 05:04, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
  • What are the specific issues to be addressed by this RfC? It's going to be hard to come up with any reasoning to !vote that isn't some form of ILIKEIT otherwise. --A D Monroe III(talk) 21:49, 10 December 2017 (UTC)

In essence, B2 amounts to us saying "ID is what its proponents say it is". The problem with this is that we have established that ID isn't what its proponents say it is. In addition, this one definition doesn't match the scope of usage of ID - after all, the whole "cdesign proponentsists" discovery showed that, in the case of Pandas it wasn't this - it was simply rebranded creation science. Beyond this, Johnson's core argument in Darwin on Trial is "you can't trust Darwin", and Wells' Icons is essentially about poking holes in evolutionary "icons". Of the classic ID works, really only Behe's central thesis matches this definition.

Furthermore, Wikipedia articles are supposed to rely on secondary sources, not on the interpretation (by Wikipedians) of the meaning of primary sources. Guettarda (talk) 18:23, 11 December 2017 (UTC)

General replies to above comments: Clearly nobody likes including teleological argument in the first paragraph; I've struck that part. The purpose of the RfC is that I feel the current lead paragraph is bad (the Educators, philosophers, and the scientific community wording is probably the worst part), and I feel it will be impossible to get consensus for any changes here without a formal discussion. I'll read through everything tomorrow and probably propose a new version then. power~enwiki (π, ν) 05:13, 12 December 2017 (UTC)

"Bad" how, exactly? Again, I'd like to know what specific improvement this RfC is for -- prose? NPOV? clarity? "goodness"? (And, BTW, I'd think teleological argument is a useful independent detailed definition from a different perspective.) --A D Monroe III(talk) 16:14, 12 December 2017 (UTC)


  • Comment: First, apologies; I seem to have muffed my previous posting, I hope I don't do that again.
    I'm a bit at sea here. I'd like a much shorter lede in all, followed by an opening defining section that introduces the relevance of teleology (which after all, has its own article for those in doubt) and which readers are bound to encounter in discussions elsewhere. Ledes are after all not suppose3d to ramble into justifications and discussions, but to inform visitors what the article is about, just about well enough to know whether to read on. It is not yet clear to me whether re-phrasing the lede is where to start.
    Irrespective of such reservations, and in an attempt to tinker with the wording, I am considering this as an adequate complete lede; the rest of the substance in the lede, where it is not covered elsewhere in the article, should be moved into a second introductory section:
Intelligent design (ID) is the name that the Center for Science and Culture apply to their contention that an intelligent agent produced the information instantiated in life and the universe, consciously and deliberately designing and creating them with a purpose in view. In other words the creation was neither accidental nor incidental, but directed towards an end; that is to say that it was teleological. ID is a modern form of the teleological argument, claiming to prove by non-religious scientific argument, that there has been some form of directed creation. In particular it denies the possibility of evolution by natural selection. In essence ID asserts that the creator's deliberate design and workmanship leave signs in the empirical world, signs that are incompatible with spontaneous, undirected emergence of the universe as we see it. The mainstream scientific view remains that natural selection is favoured by for example the principle of parsimony; unlike ID it requires no assumption of either teleological direction nor of a creator. Intelligent Design in contrast is pseudo-scientific: in particular it offers for the most part neither testable nor tenable hypotheses calculated to discriminate between the implications of its less parsimonious assertions and those of established biology or cosmology. In every pretence at meeting scientific requirements, it achieves neither cogent nor empirical support. JonRichfield (talk) 18:15, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment — I would support the status quo over B1 or B2. The last sentence of B1 is inaccurate: "Most mainstream scientists feel ID is pseudo-science that lacks empirical support and offers no testable or tenable hypotheses." The phrase "most mainstream scientists" and the word "feel" weaken the scientific critique of ID. An accurate statement would be, "the scientific community describes ID as pseudo-science," or "rejects ID as pseudo-science." The status quo conveys scientific appraisals of ID accurately to the reader. As to B2, I think that the status quo is more complete, and the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District case is already mentioned later in the lede. -Darouet (talk) 18:17, 12 December 2017 (UTC)

I've made a (still not perfect) B3 proposal. Overall, there are two things I want to fix here. First, what is ID? I don't think it is primarily an argument for the existence of God; the part about being an alternative to evolution seems more relevant. Second, can we possibly describe it without resorting to quoting its supporters and opponents in succession? A neutral tone should mean something other than equal time for both sides here; especially when both sides feel that approach is itself biased. Separately, I'd like to demonstrate some of the people who are claiming to object in good-faith to this article what the correct process to try to improve this article is. If they would still rather complain than participate, be it on their heads. power~enwiki (π, ν) 03:34, 14 December 2017 (UTC)

power~enwiki - B3 is off, that is the line in Kitzmiller about creationism; the ID description is one below it. But I think it not useable as it is a quote from the lawyer opposing it during the American trial adversarial process, so lacks prominence, authority, and is not the common understanding. The existing article "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection." cites to a prominent source of ID. And I think you the AAAS rejection as not science really should be cited, and Judge Jones conclusion of Kitzmiller for the ruling. I also think the line "mainstream scientific view" is problematic and " is that ID is pseudo-science" is not supportable as -- they say 'not science' and use no vague pejoratives. Cheers Markbassett (talk) 04:41, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
After checking, the quote is originally from Of Pandas and People. I'm not happy with "mainstream scientific view", but I feel it's better than the current "Educators, philosophers, and the scientific community have demonstrated" construction. I would prefer not to quote the Discovery Institute in the lede if a lede can be written well without such quotes. Will reply to the rest tomorrow. power~enwiki (π, ν) 04:47, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
power~enwiki - perhaps use "scientific community" rather than "mainstream scientific" ? The "community" concept definition for science is clearly linked to the societies such as AAAS and used in Kitzmiller; but the "mainstream" could be read as 'popular' or 'general public', and portrays ID as a smaller section of science -- when it is not part of science, it's just scientifically done. The 'demonstrated' in the next line seems unsupported by cites (that are not demonstrations) and odd in listing educators since they don't demonstrate or decide what is science. Markbassett (talk) 01:06, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
I agree with the principal of B2, but mentioning a Court Case against ID is undue (Intelligent design is not an American movement or centered on American education, and a case determining how it is taught in US schools is too specific) and POV (the proper community of opposition to cite is the mainstream scientific community, which the Court deffered to when it blocked the teaching on a legal/constitutional ground, which is irrelevant for the lead, even as it stands now). I don't think the the primary goal of ID is to serve as "a religious argument for the existence of God", its primary goal is, like evolution, to try and explain how complex life exists. God/a deity is of course the obvious direction it points in and should be mentioned in the lead, but to make the very first clause that is an argument for the existence of God and not an argument (even if widely found flimsy) for the existence of life is POV. -Indy beetle (talk) 03:36, 15 December 2017 (UTC)

The fundamental problem with intelligent design is that you can't use it to explain the natural world. It's essentially a negative argument. It says, "Evolution doesn't work, therefore the designer did it. Evolution doesn't work, therefore we win by default."

But when you ask them, "What does intelligent design tell you about nature? Does it tell you what the designer did? Does it tell you what the designer used to design something with? Does it tell you what purpose the designer had for designing something? Does it tell you when the designer did it? Why the designer did it?" It doesn't tell you anything like that. Basically, it's a negative argument. And you can't build a science on a negative argument.

Quoted by Tgeorgescu (talk) 10:17, 15 December 2017 (UTC)

I'm starting a separate vote section now with the two recent vote-like comments, and have moved a comment from @Scope creep: there. power~enwiki (π, ν) 20:03, 15 December 2017 (UTC)

  • The FRC is malformed. The author themselves wrote I don't believe it will be possible to get consensus for any significant .... In such cases one has to (a) identify problems and (b) suggest changes to fix these one by one. Otherwise typically it happens what is happening now: proliferation of alternatives and chaotic discussion. Staszek Lem (talk) 17:13, 18 December 2017 (UTC)

Votes

(Suggest renaming this section from Votes to Survey, per standard RfC, as we're supposed to WP:NOTVOTE, but hopefully reach a broader consensus. --A D Monroe III(talk) 22:53, 17 December 2017 (UTC))
  • B1 and B2 Parts of B1 and most of B2. B2 employs reason in the opening argument in non reasonable subject. I have always like the word: Teleological. It both forces the reader to think, and defines the actual root, as in the idea of the argument, of why ID is guff. B2 needs work. It excludes groups who should be included. I agree with Alsee both on the use of language and a comparative figure in percentage terms of who believes it, within the scientific community. It is available, I think it is on here, but easily found. certain features of the universe cant be verified. I don't understand this: being taught as art of a science curriculum. It doesn't sound right. link to

creationism. There is nothing on WP in terms of stats that are up to date, and the ones that are present mostly cover the US. Worldwide community stats are needed.scope_creep (talk) 15:52, 11 December 2017 (UTC)

  • A, the status quo ante, is fine. I see no reason to replace it, but am not opposed to refinement. Guy (Help!) 17:19, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
  • A, the status quo, is fine. Looking at B1, it has multiple problems. For a start "(ID) is an argument that the universe and all life forms were created by an intelligent cause" is misleading at best: the central premise of ID is the argument that complexity demonstrates an intelligent cause, in other words a modern form of the teleological argument. Next, "form of creationism that attempts to use primarily scientific arguments" is clearly wrong, like earlier creationism it attempts to dress up religious arguments as science, and to do so proposes overturning scientific methodology and accepting untestable supernatural explanations. The problems with "Most mainstream scientists feel" have already been aired. . . dave souza, talk 19:55, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
  • A is still the best option. B1, no, per Dave Souza above. B2 is not absolutely terrible but doesn't really deviate too much from A without any advantage. Black Kite (talk) 20:10, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Weak support for B3 The existing statement uses as it's last sentence a statement about verifiability which while accurate will I think strike many lay readers who don't still remember basic science as a bit of a non sequitur, and I don't think it is in our interests to make many of our readers feel confused or stupid from the beginning of the article. I acknowledge that those criteria are the basis for ID's claim to be scientific, and it should be mentioned in the lede, but the current phrasing at least to my eyes doesn't really serve the interests of readers with a comparative!y weak grasp of this comparatively recent development. And there is also, I suppose, a possibly valid question as to whether ID might have qualified as scientific a few hundred years ago, and whether we are inherently obliged to possibly completely reject any earlier definitions of science which ID might qualify under. I don't actually know if my second point is valid, having not looked it over before, but in any event I think there are serious problems for the reader without a firm basis in the modern definition of science in the existing lede.John Carter (talk) 20:57, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
    • Good point that it's been left to the reader to relate the lack of empirical or testable hypotheses as significant to the modern definition of science – on that basis, I've added "and so is not science" which clarifies the point, and links to a modern definition.
      I'd like sometime to discuss with you in more detail the emergence of modern science; in brief, to a significant extent science was defined in the 1820s and 1830s by a group steeped in natural theology, including John Herschel and William Whewell. They followed Paley's version of the teleological argument which is a predecessor or ID, and believed that God was the prime mover but also sought in science natural explanations, looking to find natural laws in the expectation that these would inherently tie in with their religious convictions. Unlike ID, which jumps to supernatural explanations at the first opportunity. . . dave souza, talk 13:22, 16 December 2017 (UTC) clarified 13:58, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
  • B1. I have some minor nitpicks with it, but the big problem with the other proposals is the lengthy and unnecessary quotes and the lack of proper in-text attribution for them. Proponents say "X." Proponents say "Y." This is actually false/misleading. No, Numbers says "X," and the CSC says "Y." Version A takes quotations by Numbers and the CSC and attributes them to proponents of ID in general. This is weasely at best and failed verification at worst. On top of that, it's just bad writing to include extensive quotations in the lead section, especially in the first paragraph. Proponents' views should be be readily summarizable in our own words based on the body of the article. (I am not watching this page, so please ping me if you want my attention.) --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 21:18, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
A clarification. I'm sympathetic to the substantive objections made by Dave Souza. The precise wording could use some improvements. I guess you could say an amalgam of A and B1 would be ideal. {{nw} --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 21:27, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
  • B2 or A, because they have the “certain features” that defines ID. A is showing the biased, but since the article is irretrievably biased, it seems not so bad to be obvious about it. Markbassett (talk) 21:50, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
  • A Whatever problems may exist in the lead, none of the proposed alternatives are the fix. This appears to be yet another, subtle, attempt to weaken the article and drive it away from accurately representing the established scientific POV. - Nick Thorne talk 22:07, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
    • I object to your insinuations, both in that I feel that the proposals don't do that, and that "weaken the article" suggests that you are pushing a POV. power~enwiki (π, ν) 22:15, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
      • You are right, I am pushing a POV. The one set out in WP:PSCI. I make no apologies for this. - Nick Thorne talk 13:39, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
Nick Thorne, no improvements are possible when editors assume bad faith and analyze every single comment solely from the perspective of whether or not it reinforces PSCI. I have edited in similar spaces with Power for a long time and can assure you they have no ID or pseudoscience agenda. —Dr. Fleischman (talk) 17:49, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
  • A Agree with Nick Thorne: Wikipedia sides with mainstream science, if some people say this is unfair reporting, it says more about them than about us. Tgeorgescu (talk) 22:10, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
  • A The existing lead has been honed by extensive reasoned discussion. There is no need for change. This is after all a rational publication.Charles (talk) 21:48, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
  • B in some form. Here's my proposal, editing the various B forms:
Proposal B4
Intelligent Design (ID) is the argument that "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause."(cite CSC) It is a modern form of creationism crafted to use scientific rather than theological phrasing and support. While the argument from design has existed for centuries, the modern term originated in the 1980s in response to US legal rulings against the teaching of creationism in public schools.(cite) ID attempts to disprove the theory of evolution by natural selection by positing ideas such as irreducible complexity. Although the ID movement presents its argument as a scientific theory, (cite), the scientific community views ID as a pseudoscience (cite).     YoPienso (talk) 23:38, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
  • (bot-summoned) B3 > B4 > A (status quo ante) >> B2 > B1 "most mainstream scientists feel..." invalidates B1 by itself. I object to B2's mentioning of an American court case as undue weight in the lead (believe it or not, ID is not simply an American topic or even a Christian one), and to crafted to which implies that ID proponents knew which position they wanted to defend in advance and made up arguments to support it (which is likely to be the case, but if so it needs a truckload of cites and it does not belong in the lead anyways). The status quo is awkward but can be lived with. B4 is good except for the "crafted to" part again, though I somehow like in better in context B4 than B2. B3 is good except for the last part which creates a false balance; I feel the best would be B3 but with B4's the ID movement presents its argument as a scientific theory (emphasis added) instead of claims. TigraanClick here to contact me 16:34, 17 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Strong support for A, and opposition to B etc. Per my comments above and @Dave souza, Nick Thorne, and Tgeorgescu: the alternative leads distort and weaken the scientific critique of ID, and ID's historical origin in religious creationism. I find that every strong, clear statement in the status quo, A, is diluted in the alternatives. In this sense the alternative leads do a disservice to readers and, despite the good intentions of editors here, amount to yet another Trojan horse sneaking creationism into mainstream scientific discourse. -Darouet (talk) 19:09, 17 December 2017 (UTC)
Agree: ID has been criticized by the scientific community in the strongest possible terms, so that's what Wikipedia has to say about it. It is not a beginner's mistake, nor some researching trying to use shortcuts to tenure through publishing highly original claims. ID is an attack upon science: that's the view of the scientific community and that's what Wikipedia has to say. ID is not scientific progress, but it is highly obscurantist and reactionary. Tgeorgescu (talk) 22:12, 17 December 2017 (UTC)
Darouet, I appreciate that you AGF; so do I. How does B4 sneak creationism into the mainstream?
Tgeorgescu, I think we need to employ balanced terminology between the strongest possible terms and an encyclopedic tone. Yes, our stance is with the mainstream, but we're still an encyclopedia. Policy doesn't require us to be brutal. Take, for example, the last paragraph of the Astrology lead. Surely many scientists are more vehement and disparaging than that balanced tone. I agree that ID isn't progress. YoPienso (talk) 22:21, 17 December 2017 (UTC)
Astrology is kind of laughing stock for astronomers, so it is no longer perceived as an attack upon science. ID is an attack upon science, we have to say this. Of course, we don't have to be brutal, honest would do. Tgeorgescu (talk) 23:14, 17 December 2017 (UTC)
Modern astrology does not challenge astronomy and its adherents do not ask it be taught in science classes. They are not pushing geocentric models of the universe and trying to shut down NASA and the weather service. TFD (talk) 03:48, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
@Yopienso: I oppose B4 for a number of reasons. For example the first sentence of B4 neglects to call ID a religious argument, and does not state that it has been found to be pseudoscience (though it will later state ID is viewed as pseudoscience). The status quo does not make these errors, and for this reason it is more accurate than all B alternatives. -Darouet (talk) 15:49, 20 December 2017 (UTC)
  • A. The role of the lead is to summarise the contents of the article. While I don't love it (it has been created with an eye to compromise, not brilliant prose), it does the job of the lead better than the proposed alternatives. Guettarda (talk) 04:08, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
  • A; Malformed RFC. The RFC initiator did not explain what is wrong with the current lede, and I do not see why any alternative is overall better. Staszek Lem (talk) 17:07, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
  • New Rfc (default to A). I agree that a statement of the issues to be addressed would be better than just having various text versions. Besides the fact that having many alternate versions is very likely to spread the vote about so that none achieves a majority, the best result of an RfC is to hopefully achieve some new middle ground that satisfies nearly everyone; this RfC is structured to avoid that. I suggest starting a new RfC that will be more likely to be worth our efforts and actually improve the article. --A D Monroe III(talk) 17:51, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
  • B3-4 are nicely terse and provide historical context. The last sentence in each could be strengthened: it's not just that the science community thinks the arguments of ID are pseudoscience; there is evidence that [unlike believers in versions of the argument of design from previous centuries, which included serious scientists of their day] major ID proponents are willing to propagandize & falsify data. A fails to provide key context (re: where ID sits in the history of argument from design, when it started, and its relationship to the 'IDM movement') and has many stylistic problems. – SJ + 15:37, 19 December 2017 (UTC)
  • A most accurately addresses the the following article. Additionally, while I do not believe in ID, I think the article must still take a neutral and non-dismissive voice, and A most accurate does this. Balon Greyjoy (talk) 00:14, 20 December 2017 (UTC)
  • B1/B2 As others have noted, the lede as it stands is woefully poor. The first sentence from B1 concisely reflects ID as defined by its proponents. From there, B2 is more accurate. I'd support a hybrid of both B1 and B2. Sam T. (talk) 13:33, 20 December 2017 (UTC)

Further discussion

It strikes me that we have consensus around 3 items:

  1. Version A is the preferred version on substance. The B versions do not accurately and neutrally reflect the body/reliable sources.
  2. Version A is poorly written stylistically (a variety of concerns raised).
  3. The RfC is malformed and/or unlikely to lead to consensus due to problems with all of the proposals.

In light of this, power~enwiki, if you're amenable to this, I suggest you withdraw the RfC and folks can edit boldly to improve the existing language incrementally and stylistically. (I am not watching this page, so please ping me if you want my attention.) --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 18:17, 18 December 2017 (UTC)

I have nothing against being bold in general, but this article is under discretionary sanctions and such sanctions would reasonably be a bit of an inhibition to being too bold. And, FWIW, I myself might not say ID is an attack on science, but maybe a wrong-headed response to the idolization of science in the 50s, 60s and 70s and a short-sighted and kinda stupid attempt to keep people from expanding it's sphere beyond it's reasonable boundaries.
I know some people are going to say I sound like Vroomfondel here, but at that time there were in Western society a lot of people thinking honestly, if also perhaps wrong-headedly, that science would be able to explain everything, much like the computer Deep Thought from the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Chaos theory and other subsequent developments have done a lot to indicate that such scientific absolutism is unlikely bordering on impossible. So, in one sense, the early ID'ers may have been right in thinking science did not then and probably never will have all the answers to everything like those they disagreed with more or less explicitly assumed.
Unfortunately, although understandably given the current issues of that period, they also chose to try to say science was wrong on this particular issue while at the same time redefining science and revising scientific definitions to serve their own purposes, continuing the wrong-headedness so visible in hindsight. While the overtly religious nature of the evolution debate made this issue a broadly religious one, I'm not myself convinced that this religious issue was necessarily as central as it now seems to have been. Granted, the fact that the ID proponents haven't changed their tune in this long a time doesn't speak well for them, but as is demonstrable in political matters the same can be said for others elsewhere. Personally, I sort of speculate myself if we could find sources independent of the science and religion camps they might say something similar to what I say here, but I ain't found many if any such sources yet. John Carter (talk) 19:02, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
As an aside: it is popularized science that had such prejudices, in general scientists know full-well the limits of science and know that science isn't about WP:THETRUTH. Tgeorgescu (talk) 19:37, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
See timeline of intelligent design; ID is a continuation of creation science, part of a sequence of religious attempts to remove evolution from the science curriculum dating back to the 1920s and fears that evolutionary ideas affected the German military in the First World War. It's not an attack on science so much as an attempt to get a privileged position for a a particular religious dogma in public school education.
More broadly, religious objections to photo proto-evolutionary ideas date back to the 18th century when a dogma of fixity of species was introduced, and so predate science and the subsequent but now rather discredited "conflict thesis".
Looking for "sources independent of the science and religion camps" is based on a false dilemma – many of the objections to creationism and ID come from various religious faith groups. . . dave souza, talk 20:50, 18 December 2017 (UTC) struck out odd typo and added correction, 22:45, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
You guys can join a debate society about what ID is or isn't, but really none of this is in response to my comment, which is about how we can all move forward procedurally to improve the article. (I am not watching this page, so please ping me if you want my attention.) --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 21:28, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
The best thing I can think of is to scour encyclopedias and similar collective reference books and find their articles on the topic. Maybe making a subpage list of them with indications if the full article on ID (if there is one) in them is available online or not? John Carter (talk) 21:43, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
Dr. Fleischman, you open with the good point that "Version A is the preferred version on substance. The B versions do not accurately and neutrally reflect the body/reliable sources", so any revision has to be equal to A in substance supported by reliable sources. Stylistic concerns can be addressed line by line, or by a rewrite showing the same substance which can be justified by showing it has the same coverage. John Carter, going to other tertiary sources to see if they say something different is a bad approach – and if they say the same in different words, we have to be careful not to plagiarise them. . dave souza, talk 21:59, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
John, you have missed my point completely. You have already registered your position on the substance. Accept the fact that consensus is against you. My suggestion is about making other types of improvements to the article. These do not in the least require looking at other encyclopedias. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 22:11, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
If your comment were simply about the lead, you are right that I missed that, and my apologies, although even in that regard the similar leads in other short works of a similar nature could be useful in determining the phrasing and points to be made and order of presentation in the lead. John Carter (talk) 22:51, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Maybe we should accept that this whole recent round of complaints about bias was set off by a blocked sock who's been nothing but a pest and a liar and allow the article to remain in the relatively stable form it's in. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 21:52, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
  • by a blocked sock -- Who? Please clarify, since some of us were summoned here by the RFC bot and not familiar with article history. Staszek Lem (talk) 22:37, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
See #Argument? above, and the last comment: "Struck through edits by sock of Apollo the Logician. Doug Weller talk 15:59, 16 December 2017 (UTC)" . . . . dave souza, talk 22:48, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
User:Michael O'hara was the one who set off this entire recent round of bickering. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 22:58, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
My motivations was partially based on my earlier comments in the (hatted) "Article is persuasive against ID, not informative on the topic as it should be" section, and partially based on Larry Sanger's entirely-inadequate response to perceived bias. Michael O'hara was an obvious troll I tried to just ignore. power~enwiki (π, ν) 00:35, 19 December 2017 (UTC)
  • ... I'd like to demonstrate some of the people who are claiming to object in good-faith to this article what the correct process to try to improve this article ... We also have talk page archives and sources. To editors claiming that NPOV is being violated, please see WP:RS, WP:PSCI and WP:FALSEBALANCE. We don't give equal weight to apologetics. Reality unfortunately is a POV; in this case it's a question of evidence versus religious arguments, which reliable sources and the existing lead already point out. Even when we say "by the scientific community" or "the scientific consensus", which is right, it is even better to say "is pseudoscience", "was found to be pseudoscience", etc. (WP:YESPOV). I'm not claiming that all suggestions have been trying to give equal weight or resulted in false balance, some are obviously better than others. —PaleoNeonate – 22:50, 18 December 2017 (UTC)

@DrFleischman: the discussion still seems to be progressing, but I don't object to an early closure when discussion dies out, especially if somebody wants to propose changes in an RfC designed for a clear vote. power~enwiki (π, ν) 22:54, 18 December 2017 (UTC)

@DrFleischman: re your interest in procedural alternatives, you should start aseparate thread, and here are a few ideas

  • As 11 to 8 seems a significant non-consensus, perhaps you might start a new thread to follow up on those.
  • Approach discussion of this lead in a smaller and more specific part like just the initial line.
  • Identify which specific words lead to dispute and why, then find any alternative words.

Cheers Markbassett (talk) 05:13, 22 December 2017 (UTC)

As 11 to 8 seems a significant non-consensus Consensus is not a vote. We go by not only the numbers, but also the relative value of the arguments used. Given that the cries of bias were raised predominantly by socks and inexperienced editors (Larry Sanger has fewer than 500 edits in the past 15 years and many of them consist of pointless whining like this; indeed, he's only made 9 mainspace edits since 2004), and given that their specific objections were all answered, I think Power~enwiki has hit the nail on the head in making their three points. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 13:39, 22 December 2017 (UTC)
Counting voiced concerns per CONSENSUS dictum to include all ... seems even worse, at 3:6:2 (2 calling for rfc redo, and several voicing no concern). All of it says multiple unaddressed concerns remain and all significantly lacks consensus. That would also mean the lead needs work, that none of the above is even close. p.s. if we start qualifying editors then also toss out ones apparently squatting on topic and WP:OWN it too, ones who have (sometimes offensively) posted 10+ times, and so focus on the independent fresh eyes. Cheers. Markbassett (talk) 17:14, 22 December 2017 (UTC)
There is no consensus for any other version, and no consensus that any change is required. Much of the kvetching relies on accepting that ID is something other thna a deliberate rebranding of "creation science". We have a court finding of fact that shows this to be counterfactual. Guy (Help!) 21:53, 22 December 2017 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Rewording the lede intro sentence without changing its sense

At the moment, the lede sentence (with references trimmed) reads:

Intelligent design (ID) is a religious argument for the existence of God, presented by its proponents as "an evidence-based scientific theory about life's origins", though it has been found to be pseudoscience.

I think it could be reworded to:

Intelligent design (ID) is a pseudoscientific religious argument for the existence of God, presented by its proponents as "an evidence-based scientific theory about life's origins".

(with references restored in the correct places), increasing readability without changing its meaning.

We could even strip the quotes to make it the following, as I think the quote marks are no longer needed to clarify who said what when the sentence is presented this way round:

Intelligent design (ID) is a pseudoscientific religious argument for the existence of God, presented by its proponents as an evidence-based scientific theory about life's origins.

Does anyone agree, disagree or have any other comments? -- The Anome (talk) 22:23, 28 December 2017 (UTC)

  • I like your third option, though I believe the "has been found to be pseudoscience" was the result of a compromise when too many editors objected to "...is a pseudoscientific]] argument..." phrasing. I could be wrong though, I'd have to check the archives. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 23:05, 28 December 2017 (UTC)
  • The use of "pseudoscientific religious" together, although adequate, might not necessarily be clearer. I don't see any lost information there, so I don't object. As for the quotes, they make unambigious that these are the proponent's claims (not Wikipedia's voice), but we already say it, so I also don't object to their removal. If we do remove them, it could welcome editors to also reword "evidence-based scientific theory about life's origins" (and some variants may be appropriate)... —PaleoNeonate – 07:04, 29 December 2017 (UTC)
  • "Intelligent design (ID) is a pseudoscientific religious argument for the existence of God, presented by its proponents as "an evidence-based scientific theory about life's origins." — This is much better than the way things currently sit. And lose those stacked footnotes, they have "tendentious bullshit" written all over them. Carrite (talk) 21:00, 31 December 2017 (UTC)
The term pseudoscience is used in two ways: as a pejorative and as jargon. While ID supporters may interpret it as the first, it is meant in this article in the second way. Neither though is good style. I suggest we substitute "discredited" and in a following sentence say, it is considered pseudo-science by scientists and briefly explain why they have determined that, TFD (talk) 22:17, 31 December 2017 (UTC)
No. The term pseudoscience has a third use, a purely descriptive one as is the case here. ID is the epitome of pseudoscience and it serves no purpose to remove the term other than to give succour to those who don't like that fact. Removing the word does not improve the article, quite the opposite. - Nick Thorne talk 22:49, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
Exactly. The only situation when it is appropriate to stop using the descriptor "pseudoscientific" to describe Intelligent Design is when the proponents of ID can produce a repeatable demonstration of how ID is scientific in the first place and how ID can be used to do science in the first place. But, since the proponents of ID have neither the desire nor ability to use ID in such a manner, in favor of deliberately pretending that it is science in order to attack science, it would be profoundly inappropriate to not describe ID as a pseudoscience.--Mr Fink (talk) 23:26, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
I thought the point was that the theory was not scientific because it was not falsifiable and had no predictive value. Are you saying that we should use descriptions that lack precise definitions? TFD (talk) 00:33, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
Among other things, Intelligent Design neither is, nor never was intended or designed to be a (scientific) theory, hence it not being described as "a theory" in the led. Furthermore, Intelligent Design is described as being pseudoscience because it is a textbook example of being pseudoscience, i.e., that its proponents insist on pretending that it is science/scientific even though it is demonstratively not science/scientific.--Mr Fink (talk) 03:34, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
That's a circular explanation. Why isn't it science and what textbook are we using? TFD (talk) 03:53, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
"God did it" does not even resemble a scientific explanation. And no creationist has credibly explained "How God did it". Evolution theory should not be reduced to "Nature did it", since it nicely and credibly explains "How nature did it". So, until "How God did it" won't explain the world more credibly, more fully and more precisely than "How nature did it", scientific creationism and intelligent design stand no chance in sciences.

When two or more theories are in competition, it is common for one of them to be treated as the established position - the default option, as it were - and the others to be treated as challengers. A challenging theory is normally expected to bear the burden or onus of proof. In other words, advocates of the challenging theory are expected to provide highly convincing evidence and arguments before the theory can be taken seriously. To use a different metaphor, it is assumed that the established theory has jumped over a very high hurdle to gain its leading position and that any challenger must jump over an equally high hurdle before being in contention for the remainder of the race.

— Brian Martin, The burden of proof and the origin of acquired immune deficiency syndrome, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B, Vol. 356, 2001, pp. 939-944
Quoted by Tgeorgescu (talk) 07:50, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
Is this the same Brian Martin who is a supporter of Andrew Wakefield, sponsored Judith Wilyman's anti-vax "PhD", and promotes the discredited OPV-AIDS hypothesis? I don't consider him a reliable source. Guy (Help!) 07:59, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
Yup, he is. But the argument makes sense, despite him being fringe. That is, if ID does not outperform the modern synthesis, it stands no chance. Tgeorgescu (talk) 08:30, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
@Apokryltaros: (mr Fink): You are flat wrong. The entire point of intelligent design was that it was presented as an alternative scientific theory to be taught in science classes. The Kitzmiller trial lays all of this bare. Guy (Help!) 08:05, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
How am I wrong? Presenting a pseudoscience as a science is the whole schtick of pseudoscience. The Kiztmiller trial demonstrated that its proponents and its defenders had neither ability nor desire to demonstrate that ID was science.--Mr Fink (talk) 14:15, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
  • I prefer the status quo here. A pseudoscientific concept is something like morphic resonance. This is a religious concept which is presented as science but is not. I think the two are different. I also think that moving pseudoscience up the word order will invite yet more drama and fuel the cdesign proponentsists' paranoia. The current wording is neutral and matter of fact. The proposed changes are much more aggressive. Guy (Help!) 08:03, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
  • I do not like the phrase "for the existence of God," because using "God" as a proper noun implies that intelligent design identifies the creator it proposes, which I thought it rather specifically does not. CapitalSasha ~ talk 15:34, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
The presentation of ID doesn't identify the "creator", but it's really freaking obvious which they're referring to, given their monolithic religious views and the origins of the idea. There are no lack of RSes identifying the creator, either. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 16:29, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
If ID is an argument, then it should be described in terms of what the argument actually is, not in terms of what its proponents also happen to believe. The fact that people who make ID arguments are almost always referring to the Christian God is well-presented in the next paragraph. CapitalSasha ~ talk 18:06, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
CapitalSasha Taken in isolation that would be correct, but we have court findings of fact which unambiguously show this to be the work of Christian fundamentalist creationists and nobody else. Guy (Help!) 19:01, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
It is an argument for the existence of God presented with the proviso that, although its proponents think it proves the existence of God, it might be unidentified intelligent space aliens for the purposes of evading constitutional restrictions on imposing religious ideology on science teaching. . . dave souza, talk 19:05, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
If ID is an argument, then it should be described in terms of what the argument actually is, It is. It is an argument for the existence of God, and is described as such in the lede. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 19:20, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
What the argument is has nothing to do with who it is the work of, or the goals of who it is the work of, or even what people are trying to prove with the argument. Just change it to say "an argument for the existence of an intelligent designer, who most proponents take to be the Christian God" -- this is simply more clear and more accurate. CapitalSasha ~ talk 19:48, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
What the argument is has nothing to do with who it is the work of, or the goals of who it is the work of, or even what people are trying to prove with the argument. That is ridiculously untrue. You are suggesting that an argument is independent of the position it is made in favor of which is completely nonsensical.
Also, your suggestion is neither more clear nor more accurate, but less of each. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 20:20, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
Perhaps I should be more clear. The fact that people making an argument have an ulterior motive does not change the nature of the argument. An argument, per se, only consists of what the argument says on its face. It is different from, say, an effort to persuade, which includes the true goals of the people doing the persuading.
As an example, if I say "government welfare programs to help the poor are ineffective," my argument is that government welfare programs to help the poor are ineffective. My argument is not that we should eliminate government welfare programs to help the poor, even if I believe that, and even if my goal in making the argument is to make you believe that. CapitalSasha ~ talk 21:04, 3 January 2018 (UTC) (...and even if the only reason I'm making this argument instead of the one I really want to make is that someone banned me from making that argument... CapitalSasha ~ talk 21:11, 3 January 2018 (UTC))
Thank you, Reverend Malthus. However, rather veering from the topic. In this instance, it's explicitly an argument for the existence of God, both traditionally and in the words of ID proponents. Their occasional dissimulation about the identity of The Designer is unconvincing, as shown by reliable third party sources. Didn't know you were banned, which sounds alarming. . . dave souza, talk 21:39, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
Heh, the "I" in the afterthought was the hypothetical "I" in the earlier sentence. But now I'm really confused, as the article itself says that ID proponents "deliberately avoid assigning a personality to the designer"...how on earth could it explicitly be an argument for the existence of God? CapitalSasha ~ talk 21:44, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
Except that the argument posits a creator, which is well-sourced as being God. The fact that cdesign proponentsists won't admit that doesn't change the nature of the argument one bit. The "intelligent designer" is God, and us obfuscating this in any way, or presenting the argument as if there were other possible identities of this "designer" would be a disservice to our readers.
Re. your example, if your argument is only ever used to make the case that welfare programs should be eliminated, then it is perfectly acceptable to describe the argument as one which is used to make the case that welfare programs should be eliminated. Narrowing our scope here means excluding relevant, important, factual and well-sourced information. How could that possibly be an improvement? ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 21:46, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
Aha, so now I think we can agree. I have no problem with the description that the argument "is used to make the case that". I only have a problem with the description that the argument "is that". So if the lede were to say "Intelligent design is an argument used to make the case for the existence of God," or something along those lines, then I wouldn't have a problem. (Although I would still want a clear description of what the argument itself actually is, first.) CapitalSasha ~ talk 21:59, 3 January 2018 (UTC)

───────────────────────── For a clear description of what the ID argument is, see citation 3. "the argument for ID is not a new scientific argument, but is rather an old religious argument for the existence of God", and 2. "ID’s 'official position' does not acknowledge that the designer is God", "...[T]he writings of leading ID proponents reveal that the designer postulated by their argument is the God of Christianity.", and "The Designer of intelligent design is, ultimately, the Christian God." Not really a Flying Spaghetti Monster. . dave souza, talk 22:14, 3 January 2018 (UTC)

ID is and always was an argument for the existence of God. IDiots can deny that to their heart's content, but it was always formulated and always used that way. ID as we know it is meaningless as anything but an argument for the existence of God.
You seem to think that ID could be separated from this and still be an argument for something else, like Panspermia, except that even if it were, that would make no difference. No matter what you use it for, it was designed and created for the express purpose of being an argument for the existence of God. It will always be an argument for the existence of God, just like a claw hammer will always be a carpenter's tool, even if I use it to beat rivets into a steel car frame. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 22:17, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
I think that arguments have an independent identity from the people making them, just like a claw hammer may continue to exist long after its creator has gone. It's important to describe the usual application of something, but it's also important to be clear in the distinction between the usual application and the thing itself. I just think we should first give a clear description of what the argument itself actually says, and then describe how that has been found to be disingenuous/misleading/whatever.
I think I have made my position clear here; I understand and respect all of your positions so thank you for engaging; I will leave off here unless anyone else finds what I have said convincing. CapitalSasha ~ talk 22:28, 3 January 2018 (UTC)

────────────────────I think that arguments have an independent identity from the people making them, I agree, but that's not the issue. The issue is one of intent. Just like a claw hammer can be used by non-carpenters, yet remain a carpenter's tool. The intent by which it was designed also exists independently, as evidence by the fact that different people can share intents, and an individual person can have different intents at different times.

Here's another issue. What other use could this argument be put to? Not a related argument, but this particular one, not just as publicly presented, but as discussed in private by its proponents. You can't use it to argue for Panspermia, because there's necessarily no designer in panspermia. You can't use it to argue for the genetic engineering of terrestrial life by an extraterrestrial intelligence, because there's no mechanism in ID. You can't use it against evolutionary hypotheses because it's not testable. There's literally nothing you could use it to argue for without modifying it, and thus creating a new argument. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 22:37, 3 January 2018 (UTC)

See, I would say that the public argument and the private arguments are different arguments. But surely I could use ID to argue for, say, a unitarian God rather than a trinity, or for a God that is like the Christian God in his creation abilities but unlikes the Christian God in his sense of morality? CapitalSasha ~ talk 22:42, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
They're not arguing in private; in private they were formulating and polishing the argument, only to use it in public. That's still just one argument. And it doesn't matter what the properties of the God you're arguing for is; it's still an argument for the existence of (a) God. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 22:52, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
Aha, I would have no problem with the lede saying "an argument for the existence of a god" either, since of course that is basically what ID is saying! (OK, perhaps "creator" would be more faithful to the argument itself.) I don't think an argument inherits the thought process that went into creating the argument -- it itself is just the finished product. I absolutely agree with you that the intent is important, the backstory is important, all of this is important and rightfully belongs in the article -- I just disagree that it is what the argument itself is. (I know I said I'd leave off but now it feels like we're getting somewhere.) CapitalSasha ~ talk 23:02, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
Eh? Unitarianism is about the same Christian God as in the Trinity, just different beliefs about that God. Same ambivalent morality. . . dave souza, talk 22:58, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
OK, I mean, I guess it depends how you define a Christian God, but the point remains that there are plenty of properties that Christians regard as essential to the nature of God that could be scrapped and nonetheles result in an entity that ID could argue for. CapitalSasha ~ talk 23:02, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
Now we're into semantics (to be clear: I'm not complaining, just saying). When we say "God" in English in the West, it's generally understood to be "whatever version of the Christian God is most appropriate to this discussion." So it could be El or Yahweh, the loving God of Sunday School or the Vengeful God of Southern Baptism, one or all of the Trinity, the abstract personification of the universe or even Odin with a glass eye, vacationing in the Middle East. It's an ambiguous word with ambiguous meanings. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 23:10, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
Indeed! But what I'm saying is that you could cook up a being that is definitely not any version of the Christian God that ID would still be just as good an argument for.... in particular, the capital-G implies monotheism, which doesn't, to me, seem to be required by ID. CapitalSasha ~ talk 23:15, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
You haven't met many Christians, have you? Just to clarify: this was smirk with a smirk at the expense of Christianity as a whole, not a sneer at your expense (even if you are Christian). I'm not implying that you're ignorant, just implying that Christians have defined God as being all sorts of things, many of which would not be recognizable as the Christian God to others.
Anyways, it wouldn't matter. If the being were not God in any identifiable sense, then ID wouldn't be an argument for it, and if it were any sort of God (even an individual one in a pantheistic faith), it would still be a religious argument for the existence of God. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 23:39, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
Has anyone here suggested, implied or insinuated that modern science, unlike ID, does not contain beliefs or work on assumptions? If so, their premise is wrong. Personally, I do not think that the proponents of ID want so much to prove God's existence as they want to show how the things in and around us point to their being made by conscientious planning and design, and even this in order to explore and help them better understand extraterrestrial space and metaphysics. For them, it's already a given that God exists. Just like science, their perception of the objective world may never reach "absolute", and just like science they are always exploring and pursuing new links (or clues) that would help them understand our beginnings.Davidbena (talk) 01:57, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
Science is not: religion, philosophy, art. The "theory" of "God did it", without the "theory" of "How God did it", is bunk (as science). The theory of evolution makes no claims whatsoever about the existence of God or gods, or about their activity. Tgeorgescu (talk) 03:38, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
Well, the question of "how" is a different issue altogether (although it may be related to ID). ID, like modern science, does not purport to know all the answers to mysteries in our universe. However, like science, the first step in the process of scientific inquiry is observation and inquisitiveness. One does not necessarily need to be religious, nor a philosopher, to inquire about our beginnings. The conclusion of such research, however, may indeed point to the workings of an essence that, for the lack of a better term, we call "God."Davidbena (talk) 03:48, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
It's like this: the prosecutor says "We know that Smith murdered Jones. Unfortunately, we don't have Jones' corpse, we don't know how he was killed (poison, knife, firearm, drowning, asphyxia, thrown from a building, arson, car crash, etc.), we don't know upon which continent it happened, we have no trace of the crime itself." Why should the judge believe the prosecutor? Or like this: "Give me your i7 computer, you may have my Pentium II computer in exchange." It does not work like that. Tgeorgescu (talk) 04:35, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
Your analogy is wanting. I would rather say it is like this: if Smith was murdered, but there is no corpse, and if no one knows how he was murdered, how then does one even assume that he was murdered in the first place? ID is different. The proponents of this school of thought see, with all due respect, a woman's womb and how it is uniquely designed to receive a man's anatomical privy parts (i.e. copulation without friction, followed by the woman's pregnancy and childbirth), and they say that this is no mere accident or coincidence. They say that these human body parts were cleverly designed by a conscientious master designer to be compatible with each other, though different, in order to ensure the procreation of their species. As for God and his essence, without belaboring religious points of view, we know very little about him and his complete essence. This does not, however, take away from the idea of ID. It only means that there is much more to learn. As in science, people are permitted to make assumptions and to draw conclusions. By the way (as a side note), in Judaism they say that God has no beginning and no end, and that he himself is the essence of the universe. Science says that matter cannot be destroyed, but it can only be changed. By our limited human perception, our concept of reality or of existing things is that, somehow, everything had a beginning. Even our perception of time depends on the revolving spheres, of day and night, and the changing seasons. Yet, even before the existence of revolving spheres in our universe, such matter that is used to make-up their existence has always existed, but has only changed.Davidbena (talk) 05:01, 4 January 2018 (UTC)

────────────────────────────This is entirely off-topic. This is not a forum for discussion about the philosophical underpinnings of modern science. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 05:53, 4 January 2018 (UTC)

You are correct, and I have no more to say about this matter at present.Davidbena (talk) 05:57, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
True. And this is an unusual case in that we do not have to rely on competing meanings of ID from the scientific and religious communities: we have an unambiguous finding in court which establishes that ID is, explicitly, an argument advocating special creation by the Christian God in the form described in the Book of Genesis, and that it is consciously and deliberately dressed up to look like science in order to crowbar this specific fundamentalist Christian doctrine into the science curriculum. Thus: it is religion, and it is pseudoscience, according to the objective and technical definitions of both. Guy (Help!) 08:30, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
That seems a moderate-size distortion of what Kitzmiller document actually said, ending with some personal imagining about what it means. WP guidance is to stick to what the court actually said and what RS convey that as meaning. Markbassett (talk) 07:24, 11 January 2018 (UTC)


Section break: found to be?

I like the current wording in the lead: "Intelligent design (ID) is a religious argument for the existence of God, presented by its proponents as "an evidence-based scientific theory about life's origins", though it has been found to be pseudoscience." I like it because we use the term "psuedoscience" (the noun, as intended by WP:FRINGE) and not "pseudoscientific" (the adjective, which comes across as non-neutral and subjective, as most adjectives do).

My only quibble would be the phrase "found to be" as if Intelligent Design was once a valid theory and then later was "found" to be pseudoscience, notwithstanding the court case that actually made such a finding. Instead of "found to be pseudoscience" how about "discredited as pseudoscience"?

I don't mind either way, though. The current version, objectively calling it pseudoscience, is way better than the version using a subjective-sounding adjective. ~Anachronist (talk) 23:49, 7 January 2018 (UTC)

I like your suggestion, but let's see if anyone else objects before implementing it. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 00:47, 8 January 2018 (UTC)
I also think that's reasonable. -Darouet (talk) 00:51, 8 January 2018 (UTC)
Comment: changing "found" to "discredited" seems to cast exactly the negative aspersions on pseudoscience that you said you wanted to avoid! Being pseudoscience is not the same thing as being wrong -- it's possible (although not testable) for some pseudoscientic theories (in particular those that are pseudoscience because they are nonfalsifiable) to be true. But "discredited by the scientific community" would strike me as appropriate. CapitalSasha ~ talk 00:53, 8 January 2018 (UTC)
I do think that "discredited as pseudoscience by the scientific community" would be fine. -Darouet (talk) 01:35, 8 January 2018 (UTC)
A concern – it's not just "by the scientific community", that's covered at the end of the short paragraph by "Educators, philosophers, and the scientific community". It's worth reading source [4] by the philosopher Massimo Pigliucci, which describes ID as a case study in pseudoscience versus science. This also involves the distinction between secular and religious purposes, which are subject to constitutional law in the US. . . dave souza, talk 11:07, 8 January 2018 (UTC)
@CapitalSasha:it's possible (although not testable) for some pseudoscientic theories (in particular those that are pseudoscience because they are nonfalsifiable) to be true. We could never know that (them being untestable), therefore it would remain completely valid for us to call them false, as any attempt to verify the truth would result in failure. And since nothing meaningful can be both true and false, they would be meaningless, and thus discredited. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 14:29, 8 January 2018 (UTC)
Woah, so we can call all of religion false on Wikipedia? That's absurd. CapitalSasha ~ talk 14:51, 8 January 2018 (UTC)
If there weren't billions of religious people willing to get up in arms about it, we could.
Also note that religion -for the most part- doesn't masquerade as science. Pseudoscience -by definition- does, and thus should be treated differently. If someone wanted to hold a pseudoscientific belief while acknowledging (as the majority of theology does) that it's unprovable and not useful in a pragmatic sense (beyond the possible psychological side effects, of course), then it would be perfectly fine to simply ignore the epistemological problems with their beliefs and leave them to it, the way we generally do with religion.
But while ID is rooted in religion, it pretends to make useful, practical claims about the real world, or at the least pretends to have the ability to do so. So it's treated with much more scrutiny. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 16:07, 8 January 2018 (UTC)
This back-and-forth is a mini-example of the many, many, times I've seen this article risk getting sidetracked. My advice, not directed to you specifically, but anyone responding to the familiar baited hooks dipped into the discussion pool here .... so don't let yourself bite. If you think this article is at the crossroads where souls are bought and sold or where the winner of "The Ultimate Truth" test is decided, you took a wrong turn. If you think this is about awarding the Gold Star to the victor in this contest where science and religion duke it out to see who wins the coveted "Ultimate Truth of Everything" medal, you're a problem to the project. Intelligent design is a religious AND pseudoscientific ideology. If this article doesn't make that clear, it's a problem. Pseudoscience has a valid definition - it refers to the marketing of claims and arguments as being "scientifically based" that aren't, legitimately anyway. Not "truth based", but "scientifically based". This is an encyclopedia, right? Where when you look up "Intelligent Design" you deserve to learn what that term refers to rather than get hijacked into judging the verdict in an ultimarium, imaginarium "Science vs Religion" Thunderdome type arena???
Been away awhile....still attempting to be constructive but still feel like a broken record. Professor marginalia (talk) 07:59, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
↑ What Professor marginalia said. Ditto (and kudos). --PLUMBAGO 10:00, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
@Professor marginalia: How in the ever loving hell do you see a brief back and forth about epistemology and think that interjecting a lecture into it chiding the rest of us for getting too up in arms about it is anything but amazingly out of touch with reality? Wow. Take your own advice and chill, dude.
Yeah, some people have gotten bent out of shape about it, but this thread hasn't gone anywhere near that level of drama, and your dubious advice is more disruptive than helpful. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 13:37, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
Q: "How in the ever loving hell...?" A: Watching it play out over the course of many years exactly this way for what feels like 7 million times...." Professor marginalia (talk) 08:07, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
MPants, for my money, your comment here is the one that's out of order. Try rereading the Prof's comment again they do not say what you seem to think they do and for what It's worth I endorse then. - Nick Thorne talk 02:19, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
I already read it and I have no idea how you think those comments are anything but. This thread is about whether it's better to say ID was "found to be" or "disredited as". The comment marginalia replied to was about a tangent of that; whether ID has actually been discredited or not. marginalia's comments were to stop taking the debate over it's authenticity seriously (see "souls are bought and sold") and then goes on to make generalized comments about the nature of ID as pseudoscience before suggesting that we've let this page "...get hijacked into judging the verdict in an ultimarium, imaginarium "Science vs Religion" Thunderdome type arena". If you can't see how those comments pertain to my response, then I don't know what to tell you. Maybe read them again. A comment like that might have been appropriate 2 or 3 threads back when editors were shouting down the lack of "neutrality" here, but in this thread they're completely useless. So if you want to keep arguing about this, head on over to my user page and mind the edit notice. Otherwise, say what you have to say about "disredited as" vs "found to be". ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 02:37, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
I'm sorry if you felt singled out. In my own defense I made a point of emphasizing I was *not* directing my comments to your response. Professor marginalia (talk) 08:07, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
You have completely misunderstood both the situation and my objection to your comment. The argument over the validity of ID that cropped up several threads back was long over. The only thing being discussed was how best to call it pseudoscience. Not whether or not to call it that. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 17:41, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
Well congratulations. You've set me straight. Hypothetically speaking, why would wikipedians be here spending hours and hours negotiating over the "how best to call it" a pseudoscience? "It is pseudoscience."[according to whom?] "It's been found to be pseudoscience" [by whom?]. "It's been judged to be, determined to be, scientists/judges/philosophers/educators have denounced it as" yadayada. Why the stuttering and choking over wording the simplest statement - sourced ad nauseum ? (Not even kidding...the article when I first came to it had like 16 footnotes just to nail the term itself in the intro.) Sure looks like the "how best to say it" is more of the same because otherwise it ranks as one of the most "precious", most idiotically pedantic "disputes" ever to persist .... for years .... and years .... on the project. Professor marginalia (talk) 07:06, 17 January 2018 (UTC)

(Deep sigh) All I did was propose an extremely simple revision. A simple "support" or "oppose" one-liner from everyone would have been fine, and I would not have argued the consensus. ~Anachronist (talk) 04:12, 10 January 2018 (UTC)

@Anachronist: So far, there hasn't been a single firm objection. CapitalSasha suggested adding the qualifier "by the scientific community", but the accuracy of that qualifier was -very rightly- questioned. I would say go for it. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 13:21, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
Personally I don't see a problem with "found" and it may be closer to WP:YESPOV than "discredited as pseudoscience by...". "discredited as pseudoscience" without attribution is better, but perhaps that "but is pseudoscience" or "though it consists of pseudoscience" or another variant might be best... —PaleoNeonate – 14:03, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
What about simplifying that just a bit more and saying "though it is pseudoscience"? I mean, it's ubiquitous among the RSes that it's pseudoscience. I can see one problem with that in that the lede sentence now contains no hint of justification, whereas the "found to be" and "discredited as" wordings show that it has been examined by experts. I would also tentatively suggest rewording the entire sentence to state what it is first, followed by what it is claimed to be by proponents for obvious encyclopedic reasons.

Intelligent design (ID) is a religious argument for the existence of God and a pseudoscience[3][4][5], presented by its proponents as "an evidence-based scientific theory about life's origins".[1][2]

(Note the numbers of the pseudo-citations.)
Any thoughts on that? ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 14:46, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
My thoughts: While stating "it is pseudoscience" complies totally with WP:FRINGE, it leaves an opening for ID followers to claim Wikipedia is biased for stating a controversial (in their view) claim as a fact. Whereas saying ID "has been discredited" is actually an objective fact that's harder to argue with. I'm fine with either one, though. For now, I'll change the lead to "has been discredited" and see how that goes. ~Anachronist (talk) 17:49, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
...it leaves an opening for ID followers to claim Wikipedia is biased for stating a controversial (in their view) claim as a fact. Yeah, that occurred to me before I wrote my last comment. I didn't mention it because -frankly- it's not a policy based argument,

and I don't really think that any particular wording would be noticeably more provocative to proponents. From a removed standpoint, I agree that my wording is "objectively" more provocative, but just look through the archives here and at Talk:Creationism to see that cdesign proponentsists will find fault in and complain about the less provocative stuff with equal fervor. Anything that so much as suggests that their worldview may be wrong will be taken as fightin' words. That being said, I'm okay with the change you made for now. It's still an improvement over what we had. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 18:35, 10 January 2018 (UTC)

Some proponents always argue that Wikipedia is biased no matter how formulated (attempts to remove "pseudoscience" are constant). After rereading the above (and Darouet's comments too), I think that the current "discredited as pseudoscience" is a simple and adequate compromise. —PaleoNeonate – 02:58, 11 January 2018 (UTC)

───────────────────────── I'd support keeping "found to be" or "discredited as" because these verbs indicate, even if obliquely, something about the intellectual process (rather than ultimatum or fiat) by which scientific conclusions are arrived at. Because of this I think the language is more forceful with these verbs included. -Darouet (talk) 02:21, 11 January 2018 (UTC)

My thought exactly, but I couldn't find the words to express it like you just did. ~Anachronist (talk) 21:30, 11 January 2018 (UTC)

Anachronist - this seems confusing phrasing ("discredited as" - so it is not pseudoscience?; "found to be" - like it was explored or tested?). The starting off with a vague pejorative 'pseudoscience' is however just WP wishes, not external facts, and is often pinged as a name-calling insult indicatng not an objective piece. (I think the article is irretrievably biased, so maybe showing that makes it almost-right in a way.) Using the word is factually not supported -- the scientific community strongly rejected ID such as by the AAAS board letter as not science, also noted by the Kitzmiller opinion "while ID arguments may be true, a proposition on which the Court takes no position, ID is not science". The word "pseudoscience" is not used. Elsewhere seems to mostly categorize ID instead as a class of Creationism and talks about the properties it has in that context. Cheers Markbassett (talk) 08:06, 11 January 2018 (UTC)

There are plenty of sources which call it pseudoscience, including some other encyclopedias. "Not science" indeed, but also, attempting to pass as scientific (which is why it is)... —PaleoNeonate – 09:43, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
User:PaleoNeonate - Which other encyclopedias ??? It's been repeatedly mentioned here (with cites) which encyclopedias do not do so, e.g. Archive84 not so at Britannica, Stanford, and Infoplease. I also do not see it at Columbia, Grolier, Oxfordreference.com, or Encyclopedia2. So please cite -- which are the 'some other encyclopedias' that call it by the word "pseudoscience' ? Cheers Markbassett (talk) 04:34, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Encyclopedia of Time: Science, Philosophy, Theology, & Culture. SAGE. 2009. p. 295. ISBN 978-1-4129-4164-8.
  • Pseudoscience — A critical encyclopedia. Greenwood Press. 2009. p. 89. ISBN 978-0-313-35507-3.
  • Encyclopedia of Anthropology. SAGE. 2006. p. 2173. ISBN 0-7619-3029-9.
  • The Skeptic Encyclopedia of Pseudoscience. ABC-CLIO. 2002. p. 450. ISBN 9781576076538.
PaleoNeonate – 00:42, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
User:PaleoNeonate - thanks, that helps. Did you have any others ? Please advise, and if you have more please provide, thanks Markbassett (talk) 23:17, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
User:PaleoNeonate - Excellent ! Thanks for the update and detail. Markbassett (talk) 00:36, 17 January 2018 (UTC)


Mark, even if you were right about your claims that it's not called pseudoscience (you're not), anything which pretends to be science (as ID absolutely does) yet is "not science" is pseudoscience. We don't need a source to use the word pseudoscience if they give the definition instead. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 13:45, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
User:MPants at work Oh, but I am right about the AAAS board letter and Kitzmiler opinion do not use the word "pseudoscience". Use edit-search yourself and see no such word.
As to not needing a source that literally says "pseudoscience" -- yes, I believe that is what the ArbCom said a few years ago and resulted in the word being put into a number of articles circa ID archive 79 or 80. That it is ArbCom also justifies use of WP voice to say "is pseudoscience". Of course that leaves us with sources are saying "creationism" and wikipedia/ArbCom is choosing to say "pseudoscience" instead. All of which is part of my saying "starting off with a vague pejorative 'pseudoscience' is however just WP wishes, not external facts, and is often pinged as a name-calling insult indicatng not an objective piece." I think you also see why, to a religious editor or to one who is completely agnostic on this issue, the current opening sentence appears POV-ish. Cheers Markbassett (talk) 05:29, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
Mark, even if you were right about your claims that it's not called pseudoscience (you're not), anything which pretends to be science (as ID absolutely does) yet is "not science" is pseudoscience. We don't need a source to use the word pseudoscience if they give the definition instead. You keep making the same dumb argument, I'll keep posting the same obvious response. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 13:21, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
User:MPants at work - are you getting to some point for the "demonstrated" or "discredited" or "found" or "is" in that ? Cheers Markbassett (talk) 23:06, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
Mark, are you really confused about exactly what I'm saying? I'm standing with Tgorgescu here, and we're both telling you the same thing. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 13:23, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
User:MPants at work - I will take that as declaring not input as to the topic of wording choices. Thanks, over & out. Markbassett (talk) 00:50, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Trying to get this back on track, I am happy with "found to be" (as this is based on court findings) but also comfortable with "is". I don't relly see the implication of past validity in "found to be". Guy (Help!) 09:21, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
Guy - "is" is syntactically cleaner than either of the other two - and eithr of those at least are not as puzzling as "demonstrated to be" was. Cheers Markbassett (talk) 04:18, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
@Markbassett: You're looking in the wrong place, e.g.:

This statement, evolutionists have responded, may have theological validity, but it destroys intelligent design as a scientific hypothesis, because it provides it with an empirically impenetrable shield against predictions of how “intelligent” or “perfect” a design will be. Science tests its hypotheses by observing whether predictions derived from them are the case in the observable world. A hypothesis that cannot be tested empirically—that is, by observation or experiment—is not scientific. The implication of this line of reasoning for U.S. public schools has been recognized not only by scientists but also by nonscientists, including politicians and policy makers. The liberal U.S. senator Edward Kennedy wrote in 2002 that “intelligent design is not a genuine scientific theory and, therefore, has no place in the curriculum of our nation’s public school science classes.”

— Francisco J. Ayala, Britannica, Intelligent design and its critics
Quoted by Tgeorgescu (talk) 04:52, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
Tgeorgescu - wrong place how ? This seems just another example of sources that do not say "pseudoscience", though this one says "is not scientific" rather than "is not science". I'm not seeing how this relates to "is" being syntactically cleaner, wch is what this is placed under. Markbassett (talk) 05:39, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
"It is presented as science but really isn't science" — the very definition of pseudoscience: a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. See also UCLA newsroom: [1] (UCLA faced a lawsuit for not recognizing ID and creationist textbooks as valid education, see Association of Christian Schools International v. Roman Stearns). Tgeorgescu (talk) 07:58, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
Tgeorgescu - I'm still not seeing how this relates to "is" being syntactically cleaner, which is what this is placed under. Does it or are you just making a side comment ? Cheers Markbassett (talk) 23:11, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
You were denying that other encyclopedias call ID pseudoscience. It was an answer to your claim, not to the wording of the article. So, if you don't want such answers, do not make such claims. Tgeorgescu (talk) 11:10, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
Well, it was a very poor answer: neither Kennedy nor Ayala used the pejorative "pseudoscience." YoPienso (talk) 16:07, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
Yopienso, "...even if you were right about your claims that it's not called pseudoscience (you're not), anything which pretends to be science (as ID absolutely does) yet is "not science" is pseudoscience. We don't need a source to use the word pseudoscience if they give the definition instead." You might recognize this as a copy and paste of my response to Markbasset above. Please do so. If a source says something is "a color which appears to be equal parts red and blue", it's perfectly acceptable for us to call it "purple". ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 16:26, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
I disagree--that's what nuance and tone are about. YoPienso (talk) 14:22, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
Ahh, I see. You're suggesting that we need to strike a tone which is at odds with the facts. I don't think I can agree to that. If the source gives a textbook definition of something as pseudoscience (and that something is widely described as "pseudoscience" by many many more reliable sources) then I think not calling it pseudoscience in the article is not acceptable. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 17:34, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
User:MPants at work I suggest you read WP:TALK guide to use factually correct cites and quotes plus WP policy instead, and that further posts be relevant to the section "Section break: found to be?" discussion on wording choice "found" vs "is" or "demonstrated" or whatever your thoughts on that topic are. Cheers Markbassett (talk) 01:29, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
Markbassett I suggest you take your condescending tone, bizarre claims and highly inconsistent ability to write a coherent sentence and fuck right off unless and until you have something useful to add to the discussion. Your inability to follow the exchange between myself and Yopienso does not translate to any inability on my part to participate in it. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 14:00, 18 January 2018 (UTC)
Tgeorgescu - You've misplaced your talk. It was quite a bit above here where I gave the factually true "It's been repeatedly mentioned here (with cites) which encyclopedias do not do so, e.g. Archive84 not so at Britannica, Stanford, and Infoplease. I also do not see it at Columbia, Grolier, Oxfordreference.com, or Encyclopedia2. " and User:PaleoNeonate gave several examples that do use the word. Cheers. Markbassett (talk) 01:09, 17 January 2018 (UTC)

Outdenting so nobody feels singled out. I don't have a problem with "found to be" on the basis that it was "once considered science". (It never was considered legit science by *anything* authoritatively sourced I've come across.) It's a bit like peeling an onion. Who ever asserted it was a science? Who were they to say it is? And who has determined it isn't? It's all (hopefully) elaborated upon and made self-evident in the article body (with relevant sources)....but the intro should be a synopsis of the topic solidly elaborated upon in the article, not a verdict on the controversy it covers.

I also tend to agree with dsouza's objections to narrowing the language [who?] style to the so-called "scientific community". As I said, pseudoscience has a legit, real world definition that certainly isn't limited to any narrowly official "tribal scientific community sayso" or some such. Case In Point: When it comes to Intelligent Design, it's exhaustively sourced these efforts by the ID community to redefine their religious interpretations as "science". Professor marginalia (talk) 09:30, 16 January 2018 (UTC)

ID™ never was science. It was invented from whole cloth by the Discotute in order to try to weasel religion into science classes. That is what ID™ is. the article is not about "intelligent design" (lowercase I and D), but about Intelligent Design™ (uppercase I and D), a concept originating with and inseparable from the cdesign proponentsists who promulgated it. I have no opinion on whether there should be a separate article on the idea of an intelligent designer (other than, say, watchmaker analogy), but it seems to me that a lot of the arguments about this page come from attempts to pretend that ID™ is an idea that was always out there, which was picked up and developed at some point by the Discotute. That is false. ID™ is a Discotute invention, its lineage is clear, it originates in Creation Science™, the Discotute's previous (failed) attempt to weasel religion into science classes. Their thinking may stem from some confused idea of the historical concept of directed design, but the actual intellectual content stems 100% from their ground-up attempt to create a faux-scientific narrative for creationism in order to give them a place in the science classroom. Without Scopes there is no Creation Science™ and without Edwards v. Aguillard there is no Intelligent Design™. Guy (Help!) 14:51, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
Guy, I think you're giving ID™ rather too much credit. It's just relabelling and fancy legal phrasing of a recurring theme. The nearest that theme got to scientific legitimacy was Natural Theology or Evidences of the Existence and Attributes of the Deity, but then science didn't have its modern meaning in 1802. The question in UK terms would have been where it could qualify as natural philosophy, but even then inserting miracles was frowned on. . . dave souza, talk 19:17, 16 January 2018 (UTC)

I am much more comfortable with "is pseudoscience" rather than "found to be pseudoscience" as I think the latter can be reasonably read as having implications that are not accurate. Also, I think the formulation presently in the article is grammatically problematic, because it appears to say that ID is a religious argument that has been discredited, rather than that ID is a religious argument and the presentation of it as science has been discredited. I wonder whether a way forward might be to re-arrange the sentence to put the ID proponents view first. I realise that these are not typical for the start of a WP article, but what about something like:

Proponents of Intelligent design (ID) present it as "an evidence-based scientific theory about life's origins", though it is a religious argument for the existence of God and a pseudoscience.

or even, recognising the point that ID itself does name the creator, something like:

Proponents of Intelligent design (ID) present it as "an evidence-based scientific theory about life's origins", though it is actually a repackaging of creationism developed in 1987 – and thus it is a religious argument for the existence of God and a pseudoscience.

or

Proponents of Intelligent design (ID) present it as "an evidence-based scientific theory about life's origins", though it is actually a religious argument for special creation and a repackaging of creation science, a pseudoscience.

Its development in response to the SCOTUS ruling deserves to be in the first paragraph too, I believe, as the reasons that ID was created help a reader to understand what it is – an attempt to make a palatable creationism to include in school science curricula. EdChem (talk) 21:27, 16 January 2018 (UTC)

Question: Why must we lead with how it is presented, instead of starting out by describing what it is, like we do with the vast majority of other articles? ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 22:03, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
We don't. The current lead starts out describing what it is "Intelligent design (ID) is a religious argument for the existence of God" and goes on from there. I like the lead sentence like it is now, using "discredited as" rather than "found to be". ~Anachronist (talk) 22:17, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
User:MPants at work - starting with the bare definition of CSC was contentious over the word "theory", and so was even if the sentence started with a phrase like 'the rejected proposal' or 'the pseudoscientific view' without the word "theory". I do not recall when or why things got divided so the definition is an entirely second line, but there is likely discussion somewhere in the archives. Markbassett (talk) 01:47, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
starting with the bare definition of CSC was contentious over the word "theory", and so was even if the sentence started with a phrase like 'the rejected proposal' or 'the pseudoscientific view' without the word "theory". That sentence works grammatically, but has no appreciable syntax that I can discern. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 02:32, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
User:MPants at work It did have the definition on line 1 and it got changed to how it is now. Folks really did not like starting with the first line having the definition per CSC and then a second line saying it was rejected, they apparently wanted the rejection first and what it is second.
There were objections to a first line of 'Intelligent design is "a scientific theory which holds that certain features of the universe and living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, and are not the result of an undirected, chance-based process such as Darwinian evolution.' with second line being about the rejection. Adjusting it to put the disclaimer first something like 'Intelligent Design is the pseudoscientific view that certain features of the universe and living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, and are not the result of an undirected, chance-based process such as Darwinian evolution.' I think held up for awhile but obviously shifted later on. As to when or why the definition got pushed to the second line, you can likely find it all in the archives. Cheers Markbassett (talk) 01:07, 18 January 2018 (UTC)
That makes no sense. It doesn't match with what is currently in the lead. What's currently there first says part of what it is, then says what proponents claim it is, then goes on to finish describing what it is. This is why it looks so ugly; it's quite poor syntax.
And the reason that the sentence you quoted was objected to is because it is completely and irrefutably wrong, not because of the phrasing. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 14:00, 18 January 2018 (UTC)
EdChem - per WP:LEAD, that really isn't a part of the topic about the concept ID, that's more something for the article Intelligent design movement. Cheers Markbassett (talk) 01:38, 17 January 2018 (UTC)

Adding some clarity

Having read through some of the discussions here and in the archives, it is pretty clear that some of the long-standing disputes on this article are due to a confusion between the loose and implicit historical concept of an intelligent designer, which really traces back to natural philosophy and was never part of the world of science, and the pseudoscientific concept of Intelligent Design (which might be termed ID™, for clarity), as propounded by the Discovery Institute. A big chunk of this confusion can be eliminated by simply moving the paragraph describing the origins of ID™ up within the lede, which I have just done. We now describe it thus:

  • ID is a religious argument for the existence of God
  • ID in its present form was coined by the Discotute
  • ID asserts that it is a competitor to science, though science and courts find this not to be true

If you start by understanding where ti came from, everything else seems to me to fall neatly into place. Pandas was, rightly , front and centre in Kitzmiller because it is the smoking gun that shows ID to be rebadged creationism. Guy (Help!) 08:48, 17 January 2018 (UTC)

I added a sentence from evolution news, since their parent Discovery Institute is used to cite claims elsewhere. Subuey (talk) 00:24, 18 January 2018 (UTC)
Which has now been reverted by two independent editors as failing core policy. I presume you'll drop that now? As I pointed out, WP:PRIMARY and WP:SPS apply. We can use these sources for uncontroversial statements about the source itself, but not for anything else. In this case you inserted a self-sourced claim of reverse engineering, which is (a) blatant motivated reasoning on their part and (b) unquestionably WP:FRINGE. So if you want to include this claim of theirs, you now need to provide reliable independent secondary sources that discuss it and establish its significance and validity. Guy (Help!) 11:04, 18 January 2018 (UTC)
  • For what it's worth, there is a third editor willing and ready to revert this particular addition. The statement "...by reverse engineering biological structures they can see if they produce complex and specified information," is almost nonsensical. It presupposes that there is such a thing as "specified information" (information which cannot have come into existence through aggregation, and must have been "dictated" by a designer), and it ignores the fact that no cdesign proponentsists have managed to even conceive of a method of reverse engineering that could demonstrate such a thing, even if it existed. Their -rather feeble- attempts to do so have all been shot down so far, and could have been shot down by anyone with an undergraduate-level understanding of cellular biology. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 14:37, 18 January 2018 (UTC)
Indeed, the best "reverse engineering" we get is what biology so far achieved, with different conclusions... —PaleoNeonate – 14:39, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
Subuey- I wouldn't say that line is WP:DUE prominent enough to be present or common enough in the article for WP:LEAD. If it were, then phrased as "it is claimed" seems admissible attribution wording to me, but not as part of the sentence about trial testimony. Cheers Markbassett (talk) 12:39, 20 January 2018 (UTC)

What ID is

This thread has degenerated into an argument over the validity of evolutionary theory. That has already been established as a concrete fact, and thus this thread serves no purpose but to engender further conflict. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 18:52, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Currently:

  • a religious argument for the existence of God, presented by its proponents as "an evidence-based scientific theory about life's origins"

Really? I would say:

  • a religious presentation of the origins of life, asserted by its proponents to be "an evidence-based scientific theory"

ID is a covert argument for the existence of God, but ID is a theory of origins. Guy (Help!) 14:39, 18 January 2018 (UTC)

The current edit sounds better, in my opinion, as it is less convoluted than the suggested edit. I say keep the current edit.Davidbena (talk) 17:11, 18 January 2018 (UTC)

How about:

  • Intelligent design (ID) is a religious argument for the existence of God and a pseudoscience concerning the origins of life, presented by its proponents as "an evidence-based scientific theory".

That's just a minor tweak in wording from the last proposal I made, moving "origins of life" out of quotes. The thing I'm seeing here is that it is a pseudoscience; there are people out there thinking and writing about ID, pretending that they're doing science, and others trying to convince the public that it is science. That's a major part of what ID is. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 14:56, 18 January 2018 (UTC)

A better edit would be:
  • Intelligent design (ID) is a philosophical/religious argument which seeks to establish, through deductive reasoning, the theorem that the universe and all life forms were created by an intelligent being. Although presented by its proponents as "an evidence-based scientific theory about life's origins," ID has not garnered the support of the scientific community, which sees it largely as being pseudoscience.Davidbena (talk) 17:17, 18 January 2018 (UTC)
The "largely" bit is untrue; the scientific community sees it entirely as being pseudoscience (having a degree in science does not make one a scientist, and those supporting ID are not doing science, and are not a part of the scientific community in the sense in which the phrase is used here). And I don't believe that ID seeks to establish that the "universe" was created by God, only that all life was though I agree that it's true in the same sense that ID is an argument for the existence of God; namely that it's part of the position the argument ID is used to support. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 17:21, 18 January 2018 (UTC)
If the word "largely" is a stumbling block, we can omit it. Science is merely the art of investigation. Science is also not unassailable. Sometimes scientific "theories" are later proven false, while at other times they are proven correct. We cannot limit the meaning of the words "true science" and scientific investigation into a narrow box-like meaning.Davidbena (talk) 17:35, 18 January 2018 (UTC)
Okay. I see where you're coming from, with the "true science" comments, but you've read too much into my comment. What I meant was the "the scientific community" saying something in this context refers to what the consensus of the scientific community is. The consensus is that ID is entirely pseudoscience, and it's a clear consensus with no dissent, except from individuals who aren't actually engaged in doing science.
Also, if it's a scientific theory, putting the word theory in scare quotes is misleading even if it was proven false. Supported or unsupported by evidence, it was still legitimately a theory. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 17:43, 18 January 2018 (UTC)
Noooo, I don't think so. It was never about deductive reasoning, ID is, and always has been, policy-based evidence-making. Guy (Help!) 00:52, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
"policy-based evidence-making"? Well, I would respectfully disagree. If a person believes that a given assumption or hypothesis about our origins can be supported by analytic thought, based on variables that he sees in nature, it is still a valid argument, unless someone can show quite consummately that his logic is wrong.Davidbena (talk) 02:39, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
I disagree with literally every part of that, and can prove all of it wrong with a single logic textbook.
TL;DR: Valid arguments can be incredibly unsound (read: illogical), such as "Everything I say is true, and I say my legs are cacti, therefore my left leg is a cactus." It's a perfectly valid argument (premises which lead inescapably to the conclusion) that doesn't make one bit of sense. Also "analytic thought, based on variables seen in nature" is such a poor description of methodological naturalism that it might as well not be such a description. "Analytic though, based on variables seen in nature" literally explains all thought, including all of the supernatural and nonsensical memes known to mankind. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 02:51, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
Your logical fallacy is: reversed burden of proof. It's abundantly clear, including from court findings of fact, that ID™ starts from the religious premise that God created life, and seeks to fit everything else to that a priori assumption. If you remove the a priori assumption and ask instead what the evidence says about how life came to be, you get a completely different answer - evolution. In order to stand against evolutionary theory, any competing idea must demonstrate not only that it is logically and evidentially sound, but that it explains the observed facts better than the present theory. As far as I can tell the cdesign proponentsists are actually quite open about the fact that they have not done this. Guy (Help!) 12:00, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
Well, according to Einstein, scientific theories are precisely that (e.g. how light travels in a straight line), namely, an a priori assumption, until it can be proven without any doubt, as his theory was later proven correct a few decades later. Here, in our case (ID), no one has shown evidence to the contrary, and that is what many of our friends here do not understand. As anyone knows who has ever studied this subject, while mutations do occur in human species, it has yet to be proven that there has been a long-term evolution from a germ to our modern human species. It is still a theory. Be well.Davidbena (talk) 14:07, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
As anyone knows who has ever studied this subject I really suggest that you do study about it. Self-contradictory nonsense... And devolving again in repetitive forum discussions. I suggest we close this. —PaleoNeonate – 14:35, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
If, as your comment suggests, you seriously don't understand the difference between theory, conclusion and assumption, then I suggest you may not be competent to comment further here. Guy (Help!) 15:01, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Well, according to Einstein, scientific theories are precisely that (e.g. how light travels in a straight line), namely, an a priori assumption, until it can be proven without any doubt, as his theory was later proven correct a few decades later 1. Einstein never said any such thing. 2. That isn't even remotely true. 3. The phrase "proven without any doubt" is something that no self-respecting scientist would say with a straight face unless describing how science does not work.
Here, in our case (ID), no one has shown evidence to the contrary, and that is what many of our friends here do not understand. Classic reversal of the burden of proof. Next.
As anyone knows who has ever studied this subject, while mutations do occur in human species, it has yet to be proven that there has been a long-term evolution from a germ to our modern human species. It has yet to be proven that gravity exists. But just like gravity, it has been shown to be highly likely (so likely as to tentatively exclude all other possibilities) that "there has been a long-term evolution from a germ to our modern human species."
It is still a theory. As anyone know who has ever studied this subject, "just a theory" is a completely meaningless statement when weighing the probability of different outcomes being true. It's also blatantly untrue; evolution is also a well-accepted fact, as stated by countless scientific bodies and evidenced by literally every pertinent observation ever made.
Are you aware (as you very well should be) that if you continue to push a creationist POV on this article, even by continuing to comment and argue here at the talk page, you can be topic banned? I understand that this may seem unfair to you, not letting creationists present their case, even on the talk page of this article. But there's a very good reason for that; your case is not only completely false, it's also disruptive. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 15:05, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
As anyone knows who has ever studied this subject, while mutations do occur in human species, it has yet to be proven that there has been a long-term evolution from a germ to our modern human species. Define "proven". As far as it goes this is considered fact, i.e. proven to the point that other work may safely be based on the presumption that it is fact. Like gravity, as you point out. Of course creationists consistently demand that science prove the fact to their satisfaction. And of course they will never be satisfied until chance is replaced by their religious dogma. But we have enough transitional fossils by now to prove to the legal standard of beyond reasonable doubt - a standard well below the scientific standard for facts - that cladistics is correct, all forms currently alive have a common ancestor at some point in the past, and that there is zero evidence of directing intelligence, hence, for example, the human back, which is the most stupid design imaginable. It's amusing how at the discovery of each new transitonal form the cdesign proponentsists will demand another between that and modern or archaic forms, they have done this often enough that it can be discounted as a self-evident ploy. Guy (Help!) 15:30, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
I have also linked evidence of common descent and other relevant starting-point articles in previous discussions but it seems useless. —PaleoNeonate – 16:19, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
But we have enough transitional fossils by now to prove to the legal standard of beyond reasonable doubt - a standard well below the scientific standard for facts Not only do I want to re-emphasize this: transitional fossils have proven it to a degree far beyond what even a court would require, but also add that this is just one single line of evidence. Many more types of evidence exist, some of which are even more compelling. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 16:36, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
That's just it, if there were indeed "transitional fossils" as you propose, we would still see the intermediate stage from ape to man, and those apes who are still turning into man, which obviously there is none. We do see Homo sapiens, and all of such species can interbreed, but we have yet to see a stage of ape transitioning into man and learning to speak.Davidbena (talk) 17:22, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
Davidbena - Please provide cites. That proposed paragraph sounds decent, but like the rest of this thread it seems to be crafting a gossipy talk about the movement or judgemental statements merely by editors preferences or at least the discussion is stating basis in ways disconnected from support by cites. It's not just you, and not just one word, and there's a long history here of any word having baggage or objections. But if you're basing words at some cites, then please provide to better support the consideration, particularly for these: "religious" (especially since it's scientific phrasing not scriptural nor a part of an established church); "argument" (been pinged before, e.g. early Dec 2017 TALK); "deductive" (versus IC is a logic proposition, SC is a math framing); "all life forms" (as CSC definition is only "certain features" and "of the universe" as well as living things); scientific community sees it "largely" (scientific community is read to mean organizations like EuroScience or AAAS); and "pseudoscience" (vs strong rejections without that particular word). Cheers Markbassett (talk) 13:21, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
Thanks, Mark. I will do my best to provide you with the sources that you asked for. I will, meanwhile, first premise my words by saying that the history of this debate (including those debates from threads now archived) has been a history of science-minded individuals with preconceived notions on ID who have tried, with little or no avail, to discredit the theory of ID, while the proponents of the same theory (religious or otherwise) have failed to carry-over the message in any convincing manner, although ALL of us seem to be motivated by the same aim, which is to give some sense of explanation for our origins, based on our own limited perception, and which is solely dependent on the objects which come under our cognition. Some purport that the Universe gives evidence of design (e.g. Maimonides, in his Guide for the Perplexed (p. 184 in Friedländer's edition), while others follow the proposition of Aristotle, the philosopher, in his Metaphysics, where he alleges that the order of our Universe is the necessary result of certain permanent laws in nature, and that nothing is due to chance (Guide for the Perplexed, p. 188 in Friedländer's edition), and others, who follow Aristotle's disputant who said that "the Universe is the result of chance, and that it came into existence by itself, without any cause." (Guide for the Perplexed, p. 189 in Friedländer's edition).Davidbena (talk) 17:22, 20 January 2018 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Another tweak

Was:

Educators, philosophers, and the scientific community have demonstrated that ID is a form of creationism that lacks empirical support and offers no testable or tenable hypotheses, so is not science

Changed to:

Educators, philosophers, and the scientific community have proven in court that ID is a form of creationism that lacks empirical support and offers no testable or tenable hypotheses, so is not science

One user disputes that and in fact I think it all looks a bit weaselly so I have now changed it to:

It has been found that ID is a form of creationism that lacks empirical support and offers no testable or tenable hypotheses, so is not science

Which I think is simpler and clearer. Listing a subset of people who have demonstrated it, is problematic for me: not only have they demonstrated it, but a court has found, as fact, that they are correct. Guy (Help!) 00:25, 28 January 2018 (UTC)

That's better, but... (sigh). See the discussion at #Section break: found to be? above. The "found" bit seems waffly to me. It wasn't found to be creationism, it always was creationism. How about something similar to what we did earlier, like "ID has been discredited as a form of creationism that...." ~Anachronist (talk) 01:01, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
Years of WP:WEASELling have padded out much of the article to bend over backwards to accommodate people who will never like it unless it says that ID™ is science. The rug has accumulated dust, it is time to beat it. Guy (Help!) 10:23, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
I tried to get rid of "educators, philosophers, and the scientific community" long ago, so heartily approve of that change. Why not just say, "Because ID is a form of creationism that offers no testable or tenable hypotheses and is unsupported by empirical evidence, it is not science." The sources show who says so. YoPienso (talk) 17:07, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
Even better. Guy (Help!) 17:32, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
Agreed. It's a very minor edit too, and removes the waffling. I just made the change. ~Anachronist (talk) 22:49, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
Trimmed that way seems much clearer a statement of fact and fits well to the cites. Thanks Markbassett (talk) 02:28, 31 January 2018 (UTC)

Demonstrated vs proven in court

Let's discuss this and why this change is necessary, and particularly why the previous long-standing version is wanting in some way. Given that every single sentence in the lead has been discussed to death and met some WP:BURDEN before it was settled, an arbitrary change by someone needs similar discussion. My view is, things aren't "proven" in court. They are demonstrated. After, which, a judgment is made. The judgment was the ID is creationism. ~Anachronist (talk) 23:55, 27 January 2018 (UTC)

"Demonstrated" is a very waffly term which has a substantive meaning only in some contexts. In general English, "demonstrated" might mean waving your hands a lot while talking, or predicting the future to demonstrate the power of crystals. By contrast, what happened is that the issue was proven in court. Johnuniq (talk) 00:24, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
^ What he(?) said. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 00:29, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Discussion - try "stated that". For a line "Educators, philosophers, and the scientific community have stated that ID is a form of creationism" is at least consistent to cites. The 'demonstrated' as a word choice was puzzling as to if the common meaning of 'show by operating' was done, and 'demonstrated' in the sense of a protest march made sense but was a bit odd and did not match to the cite. Just swapping in "proven in court" seems problematic to as it goes against the "Educators, philosophers, and the scientific community" as who did it, since the case was ACLU vs Dover and the case did not declare it creationism per se, and since the court case is to only one of the listed cites. Markbassett (talk) 11:45, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
Why? It's a fact. We don't say that scientists have stated that gravity is an inverse square law. That would have been valid when Hooke first said it in the early 17th century but we have moved well past that point by now. Guy (Help!) 12:26, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
User:JzG/help - actually the line as written was false because the three parts do not match. The "proven in court" was by Kitzmiller et al with ACLU and proved the constitutionality by the legal elements of the Lemon test. So one could state "It was proven in court" or loosely "ACLU proved in court that ID is a form of creationism.", but the generic "Educators, philosophers, and the scientific community" were not all present at the trial and those there testified both ways so it just does not fit. A generic grouping "Educators, philosophers, and the scientific community" share objecting to ID so one could say validly "Educators, philosophers, and the scientific community stated that ID is a form of creationism" or object vigorously or something else that they actually do share.
I think the line got morphed into something else so this was just for clarification.
p.s. thanks for the Hooke mention. One can validly say "scientists have stated that gravity is an inverse square law", or put "Educators, philosophers, and the scientific community have stated that gravity is an inverse square law" because either of those are valid. CHeers Markbassett (talk) 02:00, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
But "gravity is an inverse square law" is more accurate since literally nobody who knows what they are talking about says anything else. Guy (Help!) 09:59, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, this suggestion is really weaselly. There's no reason for us to attribute this statement at all. It has been proven to be creationism, not just in court, but by every reasonable logical standard, and there are no RSes contradicting that. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 13:17, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
This discussion has been resolved by the one immediately below. ~Anachronist (talk) 14:37, 30 January 2018 (UTC)

Sentence order

Subuey prefers the sentence on methodological naturalism first followed by the sentences on complexity, on the grounds that the former is more "general" (it's not clear to me why). I prefer it the other way round because in my view the claims on methodological naturalism are a artefact, the primary claim is that of irreducible complexity. I am not even convinced the claimed challenge to methodological naturalism should be in the lede, because in the end it's basically obfuscation. Cdesign proponentsists don't hate methodological naturalism, they hate the idea that God had no role in the origins of life, and everything serves their goal of arguing the opposite. What do others think? Guy (Help!) 08:02, 19 January 2018 (UTC)

I completely agree. I fail to see how changing the sentence order in like that is in any way an improvement of the article, quite the opposite infact. - Nick Thorne talk 11:35, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
To be fair, he was reverting my change to the sentence order, which I think you support based on your comment. It seemed to me that putting the methodological naturalism bit first was distracting from the centrsal claim, which is irreducible complexity. The rest is reverse engineered to provide that conclusion IMO. Guy (Help!) 11:53, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
I think we might be in furious agreement. - Nick Thorne talk 12:12, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
Oh yes. Guy (Help!) 15:32, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
There is no need to be angry. Can we not have a polite discussion like grown ups? -Roxy, Zalophus californianus. barcus 16:02, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
Polite discussion?! Really?? POLITE?!?!?!?! What fucking website do you think you're on, punk?! ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 16:16, 19 January 2018 (UTC)


Guy - Why? Do you or User:Subduey have any WP:Policy or cites this ordering is trying to address ? Cheers Markbassett (talk) 13:33, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
WP:MAKEITREADLIKEPROSENOTASERIESOFDISJOINTEDSENTENCESCREATEDYENDLESSBACKANDFORTHBETWEENCREATIONISTSANDTHEREALITYBASEDCOMMUNITY. Guy (Help!) 14:37, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
Yes, I'm familiar with that policy. It's a good one to apply here. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 18:53, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
Guy - so just rearranging the furniture for the urge of the momment. Meh. Then I'm with User:Nick Thorne and see no improvement. Actually, if it's trivial and on a whim that makes no improvement of note I would prefer not to just to get some stability. Markbassett (talk) 00:18, 21 January 2018 (UTC)
No, rearranging the sentence order to give a clear picture of the development after a long period (years, actually) of to-and-fro between creationists and the reality-based community. We call this "copyediting". Guy (Help!) 11:54, 21 January 2018 (UTC)
User:JzG - Again, without some policy or news driver, I'm just seeing line order change as not better and actually a bit undesirable to be just rewording for minor impressions. You might offer links to both versions so folks can see -- caveat my preference might be the other way from yours, or to still say no change wanted. Markbassett (talk) 02:44, 25 January 2018 (UTC)
Since I posted it here for review and it received only supportive comments, I would suggest you may be in a minority. Guy (Help!) 10:31, 25 January 2018 (UTC)
A minority of one, it appears. Mojoworker (talk) 16:17, 25 January 2018 (UTC)
User:JzG - "received only supportive comments" no because I didn't, my being "minority" yes. I think the User:Subuey opposition concerns should also be considered, as best you can. Cheers Markbassett (talk) 18:16, 27 January 2018 (UTC)
What's the point of this? Is one newbie editor going to change the obvious consensus here? No, so please, drop the stick and back away slowly from the dead horse. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 18:34, 27 January 2018 (UTC)
Markbassett is not a newbie, he's been on Wikipedia since 2006 and editing this article since 2007. Or did you mean Subuey? Guy (Help!) 18:41, 27 January 2018 (UTC)
I meant Subuey. Subuey agreeing with Mark doesn't change the fact that 1) your version read much easier; and 2) I count 4 editors agreeing with your version, tacitly or explicitly. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 19:04, 27 January 2018 (UTC)
User:MjolnirPants - per WP:RFC, all concerns should be considered and it's WP:NOTVOTE. Oddly, there seems somehow some difficulty to see or to count other than supporters. Try looking again: I see Guy has had 2 others strongly voicing for his version, (Nick and Mjolnir), 2 have opposed it(Subuey by reverting and Mark voiced), and 2 had no position but made side remarks about the RFC (Mojo and Roxy). Cheers Markbassett (talk) 11:04, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
You know, your hand's going to freeze in a fist if you don't eventually let go of that stick. Just sayin'. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 23:44, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
I do not think you should be calling me a "newbie", as if that negates my opinion and telling people they are in the minority is a form of intimidation. You probably shouldn't be doing that either. Subuey (talk) 22:31, 9 February 2018 (UTC)
Firstly, you are in the minority, no intimidation there, and, frankly, you are a newbie. If the cap fits... -Roxy, the dog. barcus 23:04, 9 February 2018 (UTC)
"If the cap fits"...then this is bullying behavior. I know enough about wikipedia and her policies to have been able to get Afds overturned. Wikipedia's policies state it is not about vote counting. However, I do not think the issue of this section is very important, it's just regrettable the stops you pull to make your views come out on top. So suck it up, and act like adults. thanks Subuey (talk) 23:16, 9 February 2018 (UTC)

This Article Does Not Understand ID

Whether it's descended into NOTFORUM or not, it certainly isn't serving any useful purpose. Closed. Black Kite (talk) 12:53, 10 June 2018 (UTC))
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

It conflates pseudoscientific arguments for intelligent design and non-scientific logic argumentations like the First cause argument by putting them all in the basket of pseudoscience.

The second thing it does is confuse intelligent design and opposition to evolution. Divine-guided natural section is a view held by a lot of people.

The article should be changed to correct these inacuracies.91.235.142.81 (talk) 20:58, 9 June 2018 (UTC)

Ok, so change are you proposing? And what sources are you citing for that change? The proposal should be phrased as "I'd like to change X to Y" or "I'd like to insert X between Y and Z". Let us know. --McSly (talk) 21:10, 9 June 2018 (UTC)
Remove the wording that I have criticised above and replace with an explanation of how there are pseudoscientific argument and philosophical arguments for ID. Also remove all the text that conflates opposition to evolution with ID and replace it with a clarification of how one can support ID and oppose evolution or support ID and support evolution. Source is Thomas Nagel's paper "Public Education and Intelligent Design".91.235.142.81 (talk) 21:20, 9 June 2018 (UTC)
You did not provide a specific change so there is nothing actionable here. If you are proposing multiple changes, pick one to start with and, as previously mentioned, propose your change in the form of "I'd like to change X to Y" or "I'd like to insert X between Y and Z". --McSly (talk) 21:38, 9 June 2018 (UTC)
If someone says "get rid of sentences that state x, y and Z and add sentences that state x, y and Z" it is fairly obvious what they want when the wording in the article is/would basically be synonymous. It's extremely clear what I want, use your imagination. I could hold your hand through it if you like.91.235.142.81 (talk) 21:46, 9 June 2018 (UTC)
(ec) Yes, that would be nice. And make sure that your hand holding follows the form of "I'd like to change X to Y" or "I'd like to insert X between Y and Z". Without it, we can't do anything. Thank you. --McSly (talk) 21:54, 9 June 2018 (UTC)

Like any Christian (and indeed any theist), I believe that the world has been created by God, and hence "intelligently designed". The hallmark of intelligent design, however, is the claim that this can be shown scientifically; I'm dubious about that.

...As far as I can see, God certainly could have used Darwinian processes to create the living world and direct it as he wanted to go; hence evolution as such does not imply that there is no direction in the history of life. What does have that implication is not evolutionary theory itself, but unguided evolution, the idea that neither God nor any other person has taken a hand in guiding, directing or orchestrating the course of evolution. But the scientific theory of evolution, sensibly enough, says nothing one way or the other about divine guidance. It doesn't say that evolution is divinely guided; it also doesn't say that it isn't. Like almost any theist, I reject unguided evolution; but the contemporary scientific theory of evolution just as such—apart from philosophical or theological add-ons—doesn't say that evolution is unguided. Like science in general, it makes no pronouncements on the existence or activity of God.[1]

Quoted by Tgeorgescu (talk) 21:51, 9 June 2018 (UTC)
You can cherry pick non-academic sources out touch with the academic literature if you like but you certainly are not presenting your case well by doing that. I almost forgot to add that a letter to the editor is NOT a reliable source. Let's cop on a bit, shall we?91.235.142.81 (talk) 21:56, 9 June 2018 (UTC)
The point is, however, that the idea "evolution means no God and no design" is laughably wrong. Tgeorgescu (talk) 22:10, 9 June 2018 (UTC)
I know. That's what I said in my original post. Either way perhaps don't use a letter to the editor as a reliable source in the future? 91.235.142.81 (talk) 22:16, 9 June 2018 (UTC)
Well, I might agree about the letter to the editor. But then Nagel's article isn't a WP:RS either, since it is plainly wrong (either constructing a strawman or begging the question). You see, WP:VNT has been demoted to mere essay. Tgeorgescu (talk) 22:21, 9 June 2018 (UTC)
What publications in academic sources contradict Nagel and if such sources exist why should they be given supremacy? 91.235.142.81 (talk) 22:24, 9 June 2018 (UTC)
Irrelevant. Per WP:PRIMARY, who cites Nagel as a significant rebuttal to Kitzmiller? It's an opinion by a non-party to the case, and you know what they say about opinions. Guy (Help!) 23:31, 9 June 2018 (UTC)
Guy if you had bothered to do two seconds of research you would see. Nagel's paper was published in the academic journal "Philosophy and public Affairs". Considering you ignored my question, I will ask again, what academic sources say something that contradicts Nagel?91.235.142.81 (talk) 10:34, 10 June 2018 (UTC)
This article understands Intelligent Design exactly as the sources understand it: a stratagem developed by the cdesign proponentsists at the Discotute to try to weasel creationism into public schools. As per the findings of fact in Kitzmiller. You may argue that there is a separate subject of intelligent design, as opposed to Intelligent Design™, and you may be right, but perhaps theistic evolution is the article you're looking for. Guy (Help!) 22:25, 9 June 2018 (UTC)
I'd like to remind everybody that without specific wording of the change, which the IP has failed to provide even after been asked multiple times, anyone commenting in this thread is just essentially wasting their time. And if a specific change is not proposed quickly, an uninvolved editor should feel free to close the discussion per Not a forum. -- McSly (talk) 22:26, 9 June 2018 (UTC)
What academic sources contradict what I have said?91.235.142.81 (talk) 22:26, 9 June 2018 (UTC)
I don't think that we need a WP:RS to show us that Nagel is plain wrong, see WP:TRUTHMATTERS, Wikipedia:Inaccuracy and WP:PARITY. Tgeorgescu (talk) 22:31, 9 June 2018 (UTC)
Please don't be so silly as to appeal to the stone.91.235.142.81 (talk) 22:34, 9 June 2018 (UTC)
The gist is that according to WP:PARITY the quote from Plantinga is enough for not including Nagel's view into our article. You see, being WP:VERifiable is not the only criterion, WP:UNDUE and WP:FRINGE also apply. To cut a long story short, the theory of evolution does not prove a negative (like "there was no design involved"), it merely asserts that all design inferences are inherently unknowable, i.e. unscientific. Tgeorgescu (talk) 09:16, 10 June 2018 (UTC)
You keep asserting that Nagel is some fringe author but have no evidence it's the case. One philosopher criticising him is not proof, or even evidence. Your refusal to supply sources for your claims is telling. Why do you keep rambling on about your opinions about evolution as if I care? 91.235.142.81 (talk) 10:28, 10 June 2018 (UTC)
I did not assert that "Nagel is fringe". However, "Nagel cannot write fringe" is also unwarranted.

This latest embarrassment comes on the heels, of course, of last year's comically bad--and obviously not peer-reviewed--article about teaching Intelligent Design in the public schools and the Dover decision (here), in which Nagel largely made up what the Dover court said and made a mash of the science as well (that article was almost entirely footnote-free for very good reason). But for Philosophy & Public Affairs's wholly corrupt practice of letting the 'inside circle' of cronies publish without actual editorial oversight, this article could never have appeared in a reputable scholarly journal.

— Brian Leiter, Thomas Nagel Jumps the Shark, Part II
See also WP:NPA. Tgeorgescu (talk) 10:34, 10 June 2018 (UTC)
Ok, and? Why is that a reason to reject Nagel's view, which is held by many others? Wikipedia is supposed to be based on NPOV and reliable sources. You have not given any reason for this article to ignore the academic consensus on ID. You don't just get to ignore opinions you don't like and cherry pick sources that promote a minority opinion.91.235.142.81 (talk) 10:38, 10 June 2018 (UTC)
In case you did not notice, the relevant WP:RULES are WP:PRIMARY, WP:FRINGE, WP:UNDUE, WP:PARITY, see also WP:TRUTHMATTERS, Wikipedia:Inaccuracy. This is not a heads count: majority opinion means majority opinion among peer-reviewed publications in biology. Biologists are quasi-unanimous that ID is pseudoscience. Tgeorgescu (talk) 10:44, 10 June 2018 (UTC)
What we are talking about here is what counts as pseudoscience, what counts as pseudoscience is known as the Demarcation problem, which is a part of philosophy, not biology. What a biologist things is irrelevant here, it's not their field.91.235.142.81 (talk) 10:49, 10 June 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, right, biologists don't know anything about biology, they have to learn biology from Nagel. See WP:IDHT. Tgeorgescu (talk) 10:52, 10 June 2018 (UTC)
If that's what you got from the above then you need to reread it and try to understand it. We're talking about the Demarcation problem here, which is not biology.91.235.142.81 (talk) 10:54, 10 June 2018 (UTC)
No, I am precisely to the point: Nagel is pontificating about what biology should be. He showed that he has no idea about the theory of evolution. See WP:TE, consider this a formal warning. Tgeorgescu (talk) 10:57, 10 June 2018 (UTC)
Again, we are talking about the Demarcation problem here, Nagel's other views are irrelevant. Anyway why are you bringing Nagel into this again? 91.235.142.81 (talk) 11:00, 10 June 2018 (UTC)

References


The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Suggested edit

The lede paragraph sounds a bit wacky. Perhaps we can reword it to read: "Intelligent design (ID) is a religious argument for the existence of God, presented by its proponents as 'an evidence-based scientific theory about life's origins',[1][2] although largely viewed in the academic world as pseudoscience."[3][4][5]

Any thoughts?Davidbena (talk) 16:59, 13 September 2018 (UTC)

Yes, it is a religious argument that God has created the world. But this is not its problem, the problem is the misconception about what science can deliver (science cannot posit anything about the existence or non-existence of God). Tgeorgescu (talk) 17:19, 13 September 2018 (UTC)
"largely viewed in the academic world" is a massive understatement and it falls afoul of WP:ASSERT. I agree that the reading is a bit wonky, but I don't think this suggestion is an improvement. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 17:21, 13 September 2018 (UTC)
My friend, by citing WP:ASSERT, you make it sound as if there is no dispute whatsoever regarding the conclusions reached by Intelligent Design, or, for the lack of a better word, the harmony that we see in our universe and in the various life forms and their interaction upon earth. Well, in this I respectfully disagree. There is still a dispute. The real question, however, is whether or not scientific methods can be employed in the study of these natural sciences and which would prompt one to think that none of this could have happened by accident. Even Einstein, when considering the harmony of all things, said that "God does not play dice," as if to say that none of this came about accidentally. I will not pursue the subject further, but I do think that there's food for thought here. Have a good day, or night.Davidbena (talk) 17:57, 13 September 2018 (UTC)
My friend, by citing WP:ASSERT, you make it sound as if there is no dispute whatsoever regarding the conclusions reached by Intelligent Design, or, for the lack of a better word, the harmony that we see in our universe and in the various life forms and their interaction upon earth. Well, in this I respectfully disagree. Damn straight I am, and if you want to disagree with me you can go find another hobby, because we don't promote bullshit here. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 20:38, 13 September 2018 (UTC)
The problem here is that Einstein was actually wrong. He was arguing against the principle of indeterminacy (and the work of Werner Heisenberg). Experiment has shown that both of those are right. So basically you are arguing that until we have drilled cores all the way down tot he centre, we cannot definitively say that the moon is not made of cheese. Guy (Help!) 18:10, 13 September 2018 (UTC)
Not a scientific debate. We've been through this before... —PaleoNeonate – 18:54, 13 September 2018 (UTC)
Because Intelligent Design claimed to be "scientific" even though its proponents neither demonstrate how it is scientific nor how to use it scientifically, the lede should be rephrased as "Intelligent Design is a pseudoscientific, religious argument for the existence of God, presented by its proponents as 'an evidence-based scientific theory about life's origins'", thereby eliminating the need for the "although-" clause altogether.--Mr Fink (talk) 18:13, 13 September 2018 (UTC)
I support the phrasing suggested by Fink: "Intelligent Design is a pseudoscientific, religious argument for the existence of God, presented by its proponents as 'an evidence-based scientific theory about life's origins'". Cheers, Rowan Forest (talk) 19:02, 13 September 2018 (UTC)
Moving pseudoscience earlier in the sentence seems reasonable. --tronvillain (talk) 21:55, 13 September 2018 (UTC)
The reason it is pseudoscience is that its proponents claim that the scientific method can used to prove it. They assert it is a scientific alternative to the theory of evolution. Whether or not their theory is true or false, it cannot be used to predict future events and cannot be disproved, hence it fails as a scientific theory. I suggest a re-wording to ID "is a pseudoscientific argument for the existence of God...." We can drop "religious" because it is redundant. It's certainly not an atheist argument. TFD (talk) 23:21, 13 September 2018 (UTC)
No, let's please avoid using adjectives, which sound subjective and biased to the lay reader, and stick with more objective nouns. The lead sentence had "pseudoscientific" in it for a couple of years with endless debates about it. Since it was changed to use the noun "pseudoscience" with attribution, the discussion has quieted, because there's no controversy in saying that the academic world views it as pseudoscience — that's an undisputed fact, undisputed even by ID proponents. Nobody can argue with it. Once you start using an adjective to describe it, everybody can argue with it. ~Anachronist (talk) 23:36, 13 September 2018 (UTC)
But it is not an opinion that it is pseudoscience but a fact. Unlike most other pseudosciences, we know a priori that it is not science by its very definition as an argument or the existence of a Designer. TFD (talk) 00:13, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
^ This. WP:GEVAL and the third bullet at WP:YESPOV are not ambiguous at all. And editors should really be very proficient in determining epistemologically whether an assertion is one of fact or opinion. It's a core part of what we do in reading and evaluating sources. There's no excuse for claiming that calling ID a pseudoscience is an assertion of opinion, when it is so obviously an assertion of fact, and so well-supported by evidence as to make disbelief utterly irrational. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 02:02, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
You both completely missed my point. Nowhere did I say it's an opinion that it's pseudoscience. Rather, it comes across as an opinion when we use the word "pseudoscientific" in Wikipedia's voice. I am simply making a distinction between an adjective (pseudoscientific) and a noun (pseudoscience). It's purely a semantic distinction that makes a huge difference in the perception of bias for lay readers — and a huge difference in the frequency of complaints on this page about the lead sentence. I am not talking about editors of this article, who I agree should be proficient in reading and evaluating sources. I am talking about the audience. ~Anachronist (talk) 02:18, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
I do not see how it comes across as opinion to describe a theory as pseudoscientific as opposed to saying that it has been called that. I agree we might phrase it that way if we discussing a scientific opinion, that is if scientists reviewed the claims and the evidence used to support them. But that never comes up because the basic theory is inherently unscientific and there is no reason to look at their evidence. Teleological arguments have no place in modern science. TFD (talk) 02:43, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
Adjectives are not opinions; they are adjectives. They do not imply opinions; they imply qualities. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 02:49, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
And what other adjective can we use to describe the quality of a teleological argument whose proponents seek to replace science and scientific procedure with other than "pseudoscientific"?--Mr Fink (talk) 02:51, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
Your theory that "adjectives sound subjective and biased" sounds subjective and biased to be, and that is not because "subjective" and "biased" are adjectives. --Hob Gadling (talk) 06:00, 14 September 2018 (UTC)

Summing up. The substantive arguments presented here for moving pseudoscience to the beginning of the lead are convincing and IMHO not rationally arguable. In addition it complies with WP:PSCI The pseudoscientific view should be clearly described as such. An explanation of how scientists have reacted to pseudoscientific theories should be prominently included. This helps us to describe differing views fairly. The current construction obfuscates the issue. Making the change. - Nick Thorne talk 10:30, 14 September 2018 (UTC)

Looks fine to me, —PaleoNeonate – 18:23, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
And we're back where we started, inviting the hordes of complaints we got the last time we used the adjective instead of the noun. ~Anachronist (talk) 19:10, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
Just a friendly note: I've made similar pronouncements several times before, and been proven wrong each and every time. The nitpicky stuff that we notice, and even relatively major changes in POV are all invisible to most of the internet. Either they will come and complain about any wording that condemns ID, or they will not. The way we phrase things has little to do with it. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 19:14, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
Sure, creationists will complain. Homeopathists complain about Homeopathy (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views). This is a sign we are doing our job correctly. Guy (Help!) 14:41, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
That, and appeasing creationists by following through with their requests to insert flattering falsehoods does nothing to build an accurate encyclopedia.--Mr Fink (talk) 15:10, 18 September 2018 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 18 September 2018

Please change the opening sentence "Intelligent design (ID) is a pseudoscientific argument for the existence of God," to "Intelligent design (ID) is a scientific argument for intelligence being the originator of all information embedded within things, like the information contained in DNA."

The God of the bible is NOT an implication of this theory, it could have been that we were seeded here by a comet for all we know, or even aliens.

Observing intelligence(humans) creating information (writing a book maybe, or even a wikipedia article!) is indeed an everyday occurrence, and should not be labeled as pseudoscientific. Inferring intelligence is not new to science at all, investigators hypothesise intelligence in cases of arson, insurance (fraud) and Crime Scene Investigation. Forensic Science departments live by this hypothesis.

The evidence is then examined in order to rule out the hypothesis of intelligence, or to affirm it by ruling out chance.

Intelligent Design does the exact same thing. It hypothesises intelligence, and then goes about examining evidence for the origin of information in everyday life, and rules out chance in the inference based on the evidence.

It is arbitrary to say that we can hypothesise intelligence in cases of insurance fraud, but not in the origin of information. That would be against the spirit of science, which is open to enquiry and free of all bias. Science does not presuppose materialism.

It is not to say that Intelligent Design implies a God. That is another case altogether.

Theories like Panspermia and others are then also given a fair chance, like the aforementioned idea that life could have been seeded here by a comet or aliens.

Thanks and kind regards, Usul1980 (talk) 09:33, 18 September 2018 (UTC)

No. It is well sourced as pseudoscience.Charles (talk) 10:11, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
good grief no. Roxy, in the middle. wooF 10:19, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
 Not done: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the {{edit semi-protected}} template. Galobtter (pingó mió) 10:20, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
These arguments make no sense. But most importantly, you did not provide a reliable source to support your suggested formulation (Wikipedia articles are not based on editor opinions). —PaleoNeonate – 13:27, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
Hello Usul1980. I see you've smacked headlong into the intense bias of this place. Don't despair! (Of course ID is well sourced as pseudoscience by well-biased sources.) Bob Enyart, Denver KGOV radio host (talk) 18:40, 27 September 2018 (UTC)
Bob, if you're just here to whine about "bias", I'm going to have to remind you that that is not an appropriate use of talk pages. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 18:48, 27 September 2018 (UTC)
Yes, Wikipedia is biased in favour of empirically established reality. Creationists have always had a problem witht hat, hence Conservapedia. Guy (Help!) 14:36, 8 October 2018 (UTC)

Edit warring.

@Jevoussaluemarie: You are currently edit warring and may end up blocked if you don't stop. I'll give you a good reason to stop: theology and teleology are two entirely different things. I can see that you've mistaken the latter for the former already by claiming that the teleological argument is unrelated to the argument from design. All you need to do to show how wrong that is is to click on both links I just gave and notice that they go to the same page.

Also, the fact that you found someone who says something doesn't make that something the scholarly consensus. You need to provide sources that directly support your claims, not sources that sorta support something similar to your claim. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 22:39, 10 October 2018 (UTC)

A WP:RS: https://web.archive.org/web/20070423074520/http://www.mrrena.com/misc/Swinburne.shtml Tgeorgescu (talk) 23:46, 10 October 2018 (UTC)
In what strange universe is that a WP:RS for anything? - Nick Thorne talk 09:14, 11 October 2018 (UTC)
Why couldn't Richard Swinburne be a RS for stuff in this universe? Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 09:32, 11 October 2018 (UTC)
It's a RS that philosopher Richard Swinburne has stated "I understand by an argument from design one which argues from some general pattern of order in the universe or provision for the needs of conscious beings to a God responsible for these phenomena. An argument from a general pattern of order I shall call a teleological argument." . . dave souza, talk 10:04, 11 October 2018 (UTC)
Yes, the meaning was if Swinburne does not know that these would be different arguments, then nobody knows that. Tgeorgescu (talk) 18:00, 11 October 2018 (UTC)
But Swinburne's opinion is not the subject of this article and so his opinion is irrelevant. We reflect the scholarly consensus for articles about science and purported science. An essay by some Christian apologist philosopher may be all very interesting, but in this context it is simply an appeal to authority and thus not a WP:RS. The only way that the reference can reasonably be used is if Swinburne's comments are quoted here in the normal course of events and then it can be used as a RS to back up that he made those statements and nothing more. - Nick Thorne talk 04:21, 12 October 2018 (UTC)
Here's what Swinburne says in the extract from Is There a God? (OUP, 2010): "Now this phenomenon, like the very existence of the world, is clearly something ‘too big’ to be explained by science.... Science thus explains particular phenomena and low-level laws in terms partly of high-level laws. But from the very nature of science it cannot explain the highest-level laws of all; for they are that by which it explains all other phenomena."
Where ID breaks with Swinburne is that it claims that science can be used to prove the existence of a designer, while he says it cannot. ID falsely claims that the teleological theory is science and can be tested empirically, which is why it is a pseudoscience.
TFD (talk) 20:29, 11 October 2018 (UTC)
(much later p.s) A teleological argument is not literally an argument from design, although the two are commonly confused or conflated, including the WP article Teleological argument “also known as the argument from design or intelligent design argument”. (Saying it’s proven by the redirect going to the same page is a bit off too.). A teleological argument is an explanation in terms of the end purpose they serve rather than in terms of the initial cause by which they occurred. This is prominently but not exclusively tied to a theological doctrine of design and purpose in the world. This could also be any narrative of progress (such as a ‘what’s it good for’ re an evolutionary step) or morality position (end justifying the means). So the AfD or IDM are forms or examples of the larger things teleological, but recentism of IDM seems to be overwhelming that other things teleological exist and historically intelligent design existed before IDM. Cheers Markbassett (talk) 17:14, 6 January 2019 (UTC)
They are considered to be the same thing in reliable sources, see for example, God and Design: The Teleological Argument and Modern Science (Routledge, 2003). Teleology requires a prior reason for an evolutionary step, that is that the change was the result of design rather than say random mutations. TFD (talk) 18:37, 6 January 2019 (UTC)
and again, see teleological notions in biology including evolution, teleological arguments in ethics, or teleology in psychology. The Aquinas teleological argument for the existence of God is very prominent but an argument that uses Teleology does not necessarily have to be about God. It’s a part of or example of, but not the whole of or same as. Cheers Markbassett (talk) 01:19, 7 January 2019 (UTC)
No, evolution, biology and psychology do not use teleology. Some ethical arguments may, but ethics is a branch of philosophy, not science. Other editors have provided sources for you to read, you have provided no sources that support your position. TFD (talk) 02:29, 7 January 2019 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 16 January 2019

I suggest you simply state that some believe it is true and that others have a contrary view without stating explicitly whether one is objectively true or not. (Example: "Intelligent design (ID) is a pseudoscientific argument for the existence of God, presented by its proponents as 'an evidence-based scientific theory about life's origins'." --> "Some view Intelligent design (ID) to be a pseudoscientific argument for the existence of God, presented by its proponents as 'an evidence-based scientific theory about life's origins.'") This will increase the number of people who find this article worthy of being viewed, as fewer will consider the site discredited by such an article. Besides, evolution describes a steady change from chaos to order, and entropy describes a steady change from order to chaos. Many believe that these can hardly coexist. If one is to say that they do, without record of a world with only one species, many will see it as self-exaltation of reasoning. IF God exists, then why could not He change His physics as we know them in order to create. IF God exists, is any man that He created capable of proving or disproving His existence without His cooperation? Modern Science tries to prove the past by what it sees in the present, but that reasoning only works if the world was never affected by a creator. So, here it seems that we deduce the presupposition. As you can tell by now, this is very controversial, and a more objective view of the subject is in order. You do not want to insult another's view on a website that attempts to resemble an encyclopedia, especially when you cannot truly prove that it is illegitimate. 2600:1700:BA70:C780:599D:9B33:50A2:84F8 (talk) 15:51, 16 January 2019 (UTC)

 Not done: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the {{edit semi-protected}} template. Please see the information at the top of this page, including the FAQ and the "Please read before starting" section. ‑‑ElHef (Meep?) 16:05, 16 January 2019 (UTC)
Yup, the Universe was created last Tuesday, prove me wrong. Tgeorgescu (talk) 21:29, 16 January 2019 (UTC)
The theory of intelligent design is not science because it cannot be tested. It's pseudoscience because its adherents claim it is science. TFD (talk) 23:05, 16 January 2019 (UTC)
Re "especially when you cannot truly prove that it is illegitimate", cdesign proponentsists clearly shows it has, um, dubious parentage. . . . dave souza, talk 12:21, 17 January 2019 (UTC)