Talk:Intelligent design/all leading proponents

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Selected archived discussions on this topic are reproduced below for review by editors involved in current discussion. Please do not modify these threads, which are for review only. ... Kenosis 03:54, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

Not all leading ID proponents are members of "The Discovery Institute." As the article states they are affiliated[edit]

With that edit summary MattShepherd (talk · contribs) removed the statement "all of whom are affiliated with the Discovery Institute" from the sentance "Its leading proponents, all of whom are affiliated with the Discovery Institute, say that intelligent design is a scientific theory that stands on equal footing with, or is superior to, current scientific theories regarding the origin of life.".

Would you provide the names of leading ID proponents who are not associated with DI? Thanks. Guettarda 20:51, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

.. I dunno, Archimedes Plutonium? --CSTAR 20:54, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
D'oh! Did a search up top for Discovery Institute and replied to a statement by FeloniousMonk up there by way of explanation. Should have scrolled down -- apologies! I find the whole statement to be suspect: defining 'leading' and 'affiliated' (a fellow of? member of? employed by? Knows a guy who knows a guy?) is slippery and potentially weaselly to start with, and it gives the whole article a paranoid ring to my jaded ears. I mean, you could consider C.S. Lewis a "leading proponent" (now deceased, of course), or even George W. Bush by extension. John H. Calvert isn't a head honcho at the Discovery Institute, at least not according to their entry. But maybe he knows a guy who knows a guy or got some funding from them or ... something... Very fuzzy stuff, and again sounds awfully paranoid. I'm no fan of ID, but I think it weakens the entire article. --MattShepherd 21:04, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
This is a matter of verifiability. All of the verifiable sources of information on the subject we have indicate that the people you name are not leading proponents (that is, they are not referenced as such by sources which describe ID). The issue may be with how you define "leading proponents", but a pretty good way to do it is if you can find their name in this article, they are a "leading proponent". It would be difficult, in my estimation, to work in John Calvert into this article, for example, simply due to the lack of verifiable sources which link him to ID's main arguments. John Calvert is no Phillip Johnson, if you know what I mean. --ScienceApologist 21:15, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
Type "Intelligent Design" into Google, and the first result is the Intelligent Design Network. It's run by John Calvert. He's not a 'leading proponent'?" It's an issue with verifying the status as "leading" that's giving me a lot of trouble.--MattShepherd 21:34, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
It's fourth on Yahoo, but who cares. What is relevant is that a lot of IDN's internal links are refer-backs to DI, clearly the answer to the question, "Who's yer Daddy?" Jim62sch 22:35, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
Googleranking isn't the best way to establish verifiability. For example, the first hit on "Many Worlds" is a website for Business Strategy & Innovation Thought Leadership. That's not to say that the ID Network isn't a website about ID, but the ID network is really connected really to Kansas standards rather than being part of the ID movement as a whole. --ScienceApologist 22:23, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
On what grounds do you say that? While the Kansas thing certainly is significant for them, it's hardly the only thing. Confer for instance the symposium they're having in New Mexico[1], their publications[2], their press releases[3], and their teaching resources[4]. For good or for ill, it seems this organization is about the ID movement “as a whole” and not just for the Kansas standards. --Wade A. Tisthammer 00:30, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
Having generic resources culled from DI and moving a state over to do a symposium in no way qualifies as national or international prominence. --ScienceApologist 02:05, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
Let's not forget that the organization has divisions that go beyond Kansas, and let's also not forget the citations I gave regarding John H. Calvert's apparent prominence below. And of course, let's not forget verifiability. The claim that all leading ID proponents all belong to one organization is not only fishy, it's difficult to verify and so far has no citation to support this challenged claim. --Wade A. Tisthammer 03:09, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
The point hinges on prominence of the supporter and affiliation. As it currently stands you have not named a supporter who fits both criteria. The best way to support this fact is to link to a list of Discovery Institute fellows and admit that these are the prominent supporters. --ScienceApologist 13:36, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
Speaking of verifiability, do you have any verifiable sources that say all leading proponents of ID are “affiliated with” (whatever that means) Discovery Institute? Usually the burden of proof on challenged material (according to WP:CITE) is on the individual who wants the challenged material to remain. --Wade A. Tisthammer 21:26, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
Addendum I did some web browsing. John H. Calvert is listed as one of the 24 in the "Kansas Intelligent Design Army" here and apparently even made the closing statement to the prominent court trial according to here. Another news article says, "John H. Calvert, [is] the lawyer who runs the Intelligent Design Network and opened the questioning of witnesses." He's been mentioned in various articles, including the Washington post, which said:
Harris teamed up with John H. Calvert, a retired corporate lawyer who calls the debate over the origins of life "the most fundamental issue facing the culture." They formed Intelligent Design Network Inc., which draws interested legislators and activists to an annual Darwin, Design and Democracy conference.
And American Geological Institute quotes him commenting on a remark from the President of the United States regarding intelligent design. I also found another Washington post article that quoted him. He was also mentioned in the Kansas City Star, which seems to refer to him as "a prominent Kansas proponent of intelligent design." Are such mentions by the Washington Post and other news articles (in addition to his role in the trial) sufficient to show he is a "leading" ID proponent? --Wade A. Tisthammer 22:01, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
The facts are: There no leading ID proponents who are not affiliated with the Discovery Institute. Intelligent design arose out of the Discovery Institute's efforts. The institute remains the guiding force of the concept and movement. FeloniousMonk 21:20, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
I wouldn't say, "Intelligent design arose out of the Discovery Institute's efforts." Behe wrote his seminal book before he became a fellow of the Institute, did he not?
Did you forget about Johnson? Jim62sch 22:42, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
Matt brought up a good point regarding clarity earlier. What does the article mean when it says affiliated with? Employed by? A 'fellow' of? Hang out with other members of? It will be difficult to provide a counterexample without knowing what qualifies as "affiliated with." Nonetheless, the universal declaration that all leading proponents of intelligent design are affiliated with a single organization does seem a bit fishy.
Still, if intelligent design is merely a form of creationism, there are many "leading" ID proponents who are not affiliated with Discovery Institute (to my knowledge) such as Gary E. Parker, who argues that life is the product of intelligent design in the major creationist book What is Creation Science?. --Wade A. Tisthammer 21:26, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
There is a bit of difficulty in how ID as an idea and ID as a movement get entangled. ID is a form of creationism, but it has been caught up with its movement as a means to identify it. Morris' work is not strictly in the ID canon simply because the stated proponents of ID (who are basically the proponents by virtue of their superior funding status and their ability to attract renegades). Parker is not a proponent of ID, therefore, even though his arguments may sound similar. --ScienceApologist 22:23, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
You said, "Parker is not a proponent of ID." On what grounds do you make that claim? From his writings he certainly seems to be a proponent of ID. He advocates that life on Earth was designed. What's your definition of intelligent design theory? --Wade A. Tisthammer 00:19, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
Show me a reference that states that Parker is a leading proponent of ID and we'll talk. --ScienceApologist 02:03, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
Show me a reference that lists all leading ID proponents, show me a reference that says such a list is exhaustive, and show me a reference for each one that states they are a leading ID proponent. Show me such references, and we'll talk about leaving the challenged material in (confer WP:CITE) regarding all leading ID proponents being affiliated with Discovery Institute.
Obviously, we may have a bit of a problem here. And if this is to be a fair game, let's all play by the same rules. For the moment, let's say intelligent design is creationism or "creation science." What is Creation Science? is a major book in this field, in which Parker advocates the idea that life was designed (he never mentioned God in his section IIRC; see also p. 34 of the book). The editorial description of the book at amazon.com reads, "Two leading creation scientists provide conclusive evidence for intelligent design (an extremely popular topic today), and examine the major arguments used to support evolution."
Now, care to show me your references? --Wade A. Tisthammer 02:34, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
I asked first. --ScienceApologist 13:36, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
Irrelevant. Let's ignore my citations for the moment. According to WP:V and WP:CITE, the burden of citations is on you if you want the material to remain. Why have you ignored this? --Wade A. Tisthammer 17:24, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

So why not Be Bold and just flat-out say that the Discovery Institute is the driving force behind the ID movement? "All of its leading proponents are affiliated with" sounds like you're dissembling for technical accuracy to dodge some sort of POV bullet. I don't have any problem with the claim that the DI is the main engine behind ID, but the current use of "leading" and "affiliated" is ... well, I think weasel words is too extreme, but it's got a dodgy ring to it, no? It's a little syntax dance that avoids making a direct statement. --MattShepherd 21:34, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

I agree; "the Discovery Institute is the driving force behind the ID movement" or similar is a good replacement for the leading proponents line, as it avoids the objections that are only likely to become more frequent in the future about who exacting qualifies as a leading proponent.--ragesoss 22:15, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
I suggest just replacing "all" by "many." JoshuaZ 00:04, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
That might be the best way to go about it. We wouldn't have the factual inaccuracy of all leading ID proponents being with the organization, and we'd still convey the idea that the Discovery Institute is a prominent ID organization. --Wade A. Tisthammer 00:33, 21 February 2006 (UTC)


The fact remains the leading ID proponents Behe, Dembski, Wells, Meyer, Johnson, Thaxton, Gonzalez, Pearcey, Beckwith, Moreland are all Discovery Institute/CSC fellows:

I challenge anyone to name three leading proponents who are not. As for Calvert and his Intelligent Design Network, they are small fries; a regional group who works closely with the Discovery Institute. Wade's tossing out red herrings again. FeloniousMonk 01:09, 21 February 2006 (UTC) FeloniousMonk 01:09, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

Smells like pickled herrings to me, or maybe lutefisk. Either way, it's the same rotten stuff served up before. Jim62sch 16:29, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
Looks like we might be getting into the thicket MattShepherd described. The claim that all leading ID proponents are affiliated with the Discovery Institute seems to have problems with verifiability. For the moment, let's ignore the fact that there's no verifiable citation associated with the claim. What qualifies as a "leading" ID proponent? It's a bit vague. And Felonious, on what grounds do you call them "small fries"? The leader participated in a fairly significant court trial involving ID. And they are not merely regional--they're having their next symposium at New Mexico. And why have you dismissed out of hand all the citations I offered above that seem to suggest John H. Calvert is a prominent ID proponent? Note that I am not the only one to suggest that Calvert is prominent. MattShepherd pointed out that if you put "intelligent design" in google, the #1 entry is the Intelligent Design Network, which is run by John H. Calvert. So there appears to be some reasonable evidence suggesting that John H. Calvert is a "leading" ID proponent, and thus the claim that all leading ID proponents are affiliated with the Discovery Institute is not likely to be true. We should be skeptical of such universal descriptions anyway. I agree with JoshuaZ's idea of replacing "all" with "many." The fact that "many" leading ID proponents are affiliated with Discovery Institute is correct, but it seems like an overgeneralization to say that "all" of them are. --Wade A. Tisthammer 01:39, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
And they are not merely regional--they're having their next symposium at New Mexico. -- you've got to be kidding. Are you really suggesting that moving a symposium across state lines makes you more than "merely regional"? Googleranking is not a verifiable source for information, so we're waiting on a citation. Let us know when you find one. --ScienceApologist 02:07, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
But ScienceApologist, did you read what I said about verifiability above? The claim that all leading ID proponents are members of that one organization itself has verifiability issues. For instance, there is no verifiable citation supporting it. According to WP:CITE, the onus is on you to provide a citation for the challenged material, not on me to disprove your claim. And let's think about the symposium for a moment. If this is merely regional, why aren't they hosting it in their home state? It's because the organization has a division there (in addition to several other states). And why have you ignored the citation that seemed to refer to John H. Calvert as a prominent ID proponent? (See the citations I proffered above.) --Wade A. Tisthammer 02:48, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
The onus is on you to show that there is a contradiction to this. So far, its a reference offered by User:MattShepherd that has come the closest, but is not considered a reasonable one for reasons outlined above. So we wait patiently for you to respond with something better than a tu quoque fallacy. --ScienceApologist 13:36, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
According to WP:V and WP:CITE the onus is on you to show that all leading ID proponents belong to a single organization (namely, the Discovery Institute)--assuming you want the claim to remain in the Wikipedia article. For instance, WP:V says, "The obligation to provide a reputable source lies with the editors wishing to include the material, not on those seeking to remove it." BTW, I have given citations of my own, e.g. the Kansas City Star that seems to refer to Calvert as a prominent ID proponent. --Wade A. Tisthammer 17:46, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
A Kansas paper writing about a Kansas ID proponent does not make him a leader in the movement. The leaders in the ID movment have already been long-identified by experts on the movement:
  • Barbara Forrest's testimony [5] in the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial:
    • "Q. Has the Discovery Institute been a leader in the intelligent design movement? A. Yes, the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture. Q. And are almost all of the individuals who are involved with the intelligent design movement associated with the Discovery Institute? A. All of the leaders are, yes."
  • Barbara Forrest in her Dover Expert Report [6] for the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial:
    • "auxiliary ID organizations such as Access Research Network (ARN) and the Intelligent Design Network (IDNet), both of which work very closely with the CSC." (pg 11)
    • Forrest identifies leading ID proponents as members of the Discovery Institute (CSC) (pg 30).
    • She lists as being the leading ID proponents the following: Johnson (pg 30), Dembski (pg 32), Wells (pg 36), Meyer (pg 37).
    • She lists the following as "supporting" ID proponents: Nelson, Chien, Kenyon (pg 40).
Those with an interest in facts and a internet connection can also do their own research to verify that all leading ID proponents are affiliated with the Discovery Institute:
Again, how does one verify that all leading ID proponents are affiliated with the Discovery Institute? The citations show that many leading ID proponents are affiliated with the organization, but not that all of them are. You said, "A Kansas paper writing about a Kansas ID proponent does not make him a leader in the movement." My purpose of citing the Kansas paper was that the article referred to Calvert as a prominent ID proponent. Add to that the man leads an ID organization with multiple state divisions, was mentioned a couple times in the Washington Post, played a prominent role in a prominent court case involving ID etc. and it's safe to say he is a leading ID proponent. --Wade A. Tisthammer 22:57, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Go to [ARN], the information clearinghouse for all things ID and other bubears of christian right. Click on "Featured authors." The number of those there who write on ID and are not Discovery Institute fellows or advisors: 0. None.
But for me the most telling evidence that all leading ID proponents are affiliated with the Discovery Institute remains that which is not seen: ID proponents here showing just 1 instance of a leading ID proponent who is not affiliated. FeloniousMonk 20:58, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
The argument that googling "intelligent design" determines that IDnet are the leading ID proponents is laughable. Talk about red herrings. Further, it's supported by neither policy nor reality. Instead of going fishing with google, let's just rely on what has been written by and about the leading ID proponents. Both you and I know who they are; we've had this conversation before, so don't start another one of your disruptive games here.
The common criteria for notability is generally the most cited and published authors in any field. And the leading published ID authors in order of number of ID books published (and likely copies sold) are: William Dembski, Phillip E. Johnson, Stephen C. Meyer, Michael Behe, Francis J. Beckwith. All, every last one of them, is a Discovery Institute fellow or staffer.
Barbara Forrest, in her Creationism's Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design named the central players in its intro chapter: "Led by Phillip Johnson, William Dembski, Michael Behe, and Jonathan Wells—the four current top names of the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture—with a growing group of like-minded fellows and co-workers," [7] (PDF)
That IDnet is a small, regional group that acts in concert with the Discovery Institute, which sets the national agenda, is common knowledge:
  • Marshall Berman in Intelligent Design Creationism: A Threat to Society – Not Just Biology place IDnet in its proper relationship to the Discovery Institute: "The Discovery Institute now has state subsidiaries in Kansas, New Mexico, and Ohio. These subsidiaries began with the establishment of the Intelligent Design Network (IDnet) in Kansas, which has now branched out into New Mexico. New Mexico now has its own ID Web site: http://www.nmidnet.org/. The Kansas IDnet site is at: http://www.intelligentdesignnetwork. org/. IDnet also helped establish another state subsidiary in Ohio, Science Excellence for All Ohioans (SEAO), http://www. sciohio.org/." [8]
  • Barbara Forrest, who's testimony was central to the Kitzmiller ruling, also correctly ids IDnet as a regional player: "Discovery Institute’s efforts have caused problems in a number of states, notably Kansas, Montana, Texas and Ohio. (Only 10 states have not had problems with ID.) And there are two additional de facto Wedge subsidiaries. Access Research Network (ARN), headquartered in Colorado Springs, serves as a clearinghouse and marketer for ID books, videotapes, etc. The Intelligent Design Network (IDnet), which does a great deal of the footwork with state and local boards of education, is headquartered in Kansas but has extended the Wedge’s reach through branches in New Mexico and Minnesota. IDnet operatives also worked closely with Science Excellence for All Ohioans, which spearheaded the highly publicized effort to insert ID into the science standards in Ohio." [9]
  • IDnet's New Mexico branch acknowledges that the parent org is the Kansas branch "The Intelligent Design Network of New Mexico (IDnet-NM) was established in July 2002 as a Division of Intelligent Design network, inc, (IDnet) of Kansas. IDnet-NM operates under the supervision of its Manager, Joseph D. Renick of Los Lunas, NM and an Advisory Board." [http://www.nmidnet.org/whois.html
  • IDnet often works with CSC, something the CSC acknowledges: [10] [11]
So again, I challenge you: Name 3 leading ID proponents who are not Discovery Institute. You can't, because there aren't any; it's a simple and widely acknowledged fact. It's time to stop denying the obvious.
I predict another long, tedious, trollish denial of the obvious and common knowledge from you on this issue in you long-running POV campaign here. Just like the last 4 o 5 times you sought to insert POV by deletion of facts only to succeed in disruption. FeloniousMonk 02:21, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
"And they are not merely regional--they're having their next symposium at New Mexico." Now I know you're trolling... Please don't waste the time of knowledgable, good faith contributors here with specious objections yet again. FeloniousMonk 02:24, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
FeloniousMonk, why do you believe the fact that the organization has divisions in multiple states to be a "specious" objection? On what basis can you still claim it's regional? I'm not denying that John H. Calvert has ever worked with the Discovery Institute, but nonetheless he is not a member of that organization. You said, "let's just rely on what has been written by and about the leading ID proponents." Okay, so then what about my citations above on what has been written about the ID proponents (e.g. the Washington Post and the Kansas City Star)? All you've done is ignore them without providing any citations of your own. And according to WP:CITE, who has the onus of providing citations regarding the challenged material? --Wade A. Tisthammer 02:57, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
Wade, FM's citations are more than enough; you need to stop your contentious trolling, to stop hiding behind your own curious readings of Wiki policies/guidelines and to stop regurgitating the same tired arguments over and over. Quite frankly, your behaviour serves no purpose other than to waste people's time. Jim62sch 16:53, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
My interpretations of Wikipedia policies/guildines are curious? Please tell me how you interpret the following (from WP:CITE):
Providing sources for edits is mandated by Wikipedia:No original research and Wikipedia:Verifiability, which are policy. What this means is that any material that is challenged and has no source may be removed by any editor.
I interpret this as if material is challenged and has no citation, it can be removed by any editor. Do you agree? Then why have some editors here ignored this? And how do you interpret this (from WP:V:)
3. The obligation to provide a reputable source lies with the editors wishing to include the material, not on those seeking to remove it.
How do you interpret this? I interpret it as the burden of proof lies on the people who want the claim that "all leading proponents are affiliated with a single organization [paraphrased]" to remain in the article. This also has been ignored, and some editors almost give the impression that the burden of proof is on the other side. --Wade A. Tisthammer 17:24, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
Sadly Wade, you miss your own point. You come up with a reference from the KC star, which as we noted makes his impact regional, so you've proven nothing other than FM's point. Yes, Calvert also had one hit in the Washington Post, and, believe it or not, one in the NYT, but by the same token, the Discovery Institute had 61 hits in the NYT -- seems to me that's there's a pretty large gulf there. The problem is not that we didn't cite the statement voluminously, but that you refuse to accept the cites because they don't match the fantasy you've created (as always). Jim62sch 18:34, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
"makes his impact regional" have you forgotten that Calvert runs an ID organization that has divisions in multiple states? Calvert's impact is hardly merely regional, as evidenced further by his mention in the Washington Post and (if what you say is true) the New York Times. Add to that he played a prominent role in a prominent court trial involving ID, he is certainly a leading ID proponent even if he is not as significant as the entire Discovery Institute.
Additionally, let's not forget where the onus lies when it comes to making citations and verifiable references. Remember, according to Wikipedia policy, "The obligation to provide a reputable source lies with the editors wishing to include the material, not on those seeking to remove it." There have been no cited sources to prove that all leading ID proponents are affiliated with a single organization (Discovery Institute). I understand that DI is a very prominent ID organization, but saying that all leading ID proponents are affiliated with it seems a bit too extreme and very difficult to verify. --Wade A. Tisthammer 22:49, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
It doesn't say that they are all members of that organization, just that they are affiliated with it. By your own admission Calvert is affiliated with the DI. FeloniousMonk also just provided numerous cites. The problem isn't that Calvert isn't a "member" of the DI. "Leading proponents" and "affiliated with" are apparently just difficult concepts to grasp. Calvert, who is not even mentioned in the article, might not qualify as a leading proponent... However, I realize that most people who come to the article aren't doing so without biases. JoshZ's suggestion to replace "all" with "many" (I would prefer "most" because that seems to be closer to the truth) seems simple enough.   ⇔   | | ⊕ ⊥ (t-c-e) 11:37, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
Given the evidence, and the definitions of leading proponent and affiliated, it needs to stay all
af•fil•i•at•ed, —adj. being in close formal or informal association; related: a letter sent to all affiliated clubs; a radio network and its affiliated local stations. (Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997)
lead•ing, —adj. 1. chief; principal; most important; foremost: a leading toy manufacturer. (ibid)
pro•po•nent, —n. 1. a person who puts forward a proposition or proposal...2. a person who argues in favor of something; an advocate. 3. a personwho supports a cause or doctrine; adherent. (ibid).
None of this is really difficult stuff to comprehend. Jim62sch 17:02, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
Sarcasm, my good man. Sarcasm.  :)   ⇔   | | ⊕ ⊥ (t-c-e) 04:39, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
I should have realized that, doh! Sorry. But, your signature is these weird symbols now, and I though that maybe an alien had landed on these hallowed pages. ;) Jim62sch 01:31, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

I'll repeat my earlier suggestion of replacing "all" with "many." This also has the advantage that we will then not need to go into the defintional issue of what constitutes a "leading proponent of ID." Certainly, there are some people who are arguably proponents who are not DI connected (for example that Utah senator (what ishis name? Buttars?)). JoshuaZ 04:17, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

The Utah senator? Please, he's not a leading proponent -- and being a senator does not de facto make him one. Jim62sch 18:34, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
I disagree with this suggestion because I don't see evidence for it being verifiably more correct than what we currently have. --ScienceApologist 13:36, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

Wow. I had no idea I was opening such a can of worms -- but it looks like I've wandered into a bit of an ongoing battle and released a few more nightcrawlers.

My perspective originally was I wanted to read up on ID, because I think it's goofy (I'm a big fan of the Flying Spaghetti Monster) but felt like I'd never really given ID a real fair shake. So I popped over to their Wikipedia entry and immediately found a statement that "all leading proponents are affiliated with the Discovery Institute." Which sounded really weird to my ears... I mean, I could say that "all prominent world leaders are affiliated with the United Nations," which sounds (to me) like the UN runs the planet, which is obviously not the case. In good faith (really!) I ran a quick Google search on "Intelligent Design" and turned up this huge (apparently) ID organization run by some dude named John Calvert. Also found, in short order, that C.S. Lewis is a 'guiding spirit' behind ID, and that a lot of people attribute it's current popularity to G.W. Bush, given his 'openness' on the subject.

So right there, three "leading" (popular, at the forefront of the 'movement,' well-known, powerful) "proponents" (a favourer, supporter, in C.S. Lewis' case, a forerunner) not affiliated with the Discovery Institute. So, in good faith, I edited the phrase that sounds like at best pigeonholing and at worst a conspiracy theory, because not all "leading" "proponents" are "affiliated" with the DI.

I figured it was a sensible change, since "leading," "proponent" and "affiliated" are all difficult to verify. To me, a "leading proponent" is somebody in a position of influence either within the movement or without, who advocates ID. Calvert, Lewis and Bush all fit the bill, as do, I'm guessing, Billy Graham, Jack Chick, and a bunch of other people who are "proponents" of ID if not leading "scholars" (authors? I hesitate to call anyone who presents the flummery as a science a 'scholar,' but I'm struggling for a word here) of it.

As it stands, it's a weird-ass sentence. "Leading" is designed to let you cherry-pick your "proponents" to bootstrap them into an "affiliation" with the Discovery Institute. My argument is that the sentence weakens the entire article by throwing a conspiracy theory into the lead paragraph without any solid statement of what "leading" means or what an "affiliation" consists of. --MattShepherd 14:10, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this is almost precisely why I think "many" instead of "all" makes more sense. JoshuaZ 14:17, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
The primary problems with a change from all to many, and with Matt's position, are these: CS Lewis is dead (and isn't going to be resurected), George Bush is not a leading proponent (other than noting in one uneventful interview that both should be taught); Calvert is essentially a lackey of DI; Billy Graham, Jack Chick, et. al., are not leading proponents, they've played no critical role in ID's creation, development or insertion into school curricula.
And, while you may complain about cherry-picking, I think you are missing the point: to the best of my knowledge, Lewis, Bush, Graham, Chick and Calvert were not present at Dover for the Kitzmiller trial. DI folks were. Thus, they ARE the leading proponents. If one wishes to argue that there are other proponents in the sense of people who believe in ID but have done nothing substantive to advance its case, we'll need a 2 gigabyte daughter article to be sure that we include everybody's name. Of course in the interest of fairness, we'd need a 1 terabyte daughter article to mention all ID opponents. Jim62sch 17:17, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
Hmmm, considering that no one has been able to even name 1 leading ID proponent who isn't a Discovery Institute fellow or staff, that anyone can assert that there are 'some' leading ID proponents who are not is beyond me. Who are they?
BTW, I hope that those who intend to continue to argue these points have read Barbara Forrest's Creationism's Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design, or at least its free intro[12] (PDF) FeloniousMonk 18:05, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
The joy of Not Really Caring is that I can engage in this conversation as an intellectual exercise without getting bent out of shape and trying to actually change the article. But what you're saying, in essence, is that your definition of "leading proponent" is "alive, consistently supporting, and present at one particular trial." My definition of "leading proponent" is "person of note who supports ID in some significant way." C.S. Lewis, George Bush, and Calvert all fit MY definition of "leading proponent," but not yours. So we have different POVs of what "all leading proponents" actually constitutes. Just because my defnition of "leading proponent" doesn't meet the secret criteria of all concerned doesn't mean it's wrong. NPOV is making reasonable assertions, not sweeping generalizations. That is, of course, only my POV.
Heck, if you're comfortable with tossing an unverifiably broad conspiracy theory in the leading paragraph of an otherwise darn fine article, I'm not going to argue any further. I've spelled out how I, with no particular foreknowledge of ID and merely moderate intelligence, ran across the article and found that sentence glaringly bizarre. I stand by the fact that it's a weird-ass statement that presupposes that everyone will share your undefined and unverifiable concept of what constitutes "leading," "proponent" and "affiliated." I'll also say one last time that it weakens the entire article by leading (ha ha) with a statement that is so eyebrow-raisingly vague and conspiratorial that it puts the whole thing in an off light. With that, I wander. I'm enjoying the conversation, but it'll be better continued on talk pages, as I don't think anything is going to change in here. --MattShepherd 18:10, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
FM, can't you see? The leading proponents are A Dead Guy, A President who mentioned Creationism once, and a Discovery Institute Lackey. Oops, can't count the last guy, he's affiliated. That leaves the Dead Guy and the Prez who etc. Jim62sch 19:55, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

Given that we have Buttars, Berlinski and Calvert who are not DI fellows, the defintional issue seems to be serious. Even "almost all" would be reasonable, but the statement is too vague as it stands now. JoshuaZ 17:38, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

nm about Berlinski, it seems he is a DI fellow. JoshuaZ 17:39, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
No, we really don't have an issue. From the article itself: "Its leading proponents, all of whom are affiliated with the Discovery Institute..." (emphasis added) -- af•fil•i•at•ed, —adj. being in close formal or informal association; related: a letter sent to all affiliated clubs; a radio network and its affiliated local stations. Note the afilliated. Does not mean "Fellow". It means affiliated. Read the rest of the page where the affiliations are pointed out. Also, note the definition of leading (also above).
You'll have to read the rest of the page anyway because I need to explain why yet another of Wade's posts is in error. Jim62sch 18:16, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
Have Buttars or Calvert published many seminal ID books? No. Have Behe, Dembski, Johnson, Thaxton, Meyer? Yes. Buttars and Calvert are not leading ID proponents by any meaningful definition of "leading." FeloniousMonk 19:15, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
FM, Calvert is arguably one of the more prominent leaders. He has been incredibly sucessful in Kansas which is the only place where ID has really had any actual success so far. I'm personally inclined to agree that by most definitions they would not be leading proponents of ID. However, universal quantifiers over vague defintions are always dangerous. Jim's point about "affiliated" is a good one however, and so I am inclined to change my opinion on this possibly, although I worry that this could become tautologous. JoshuaZ 21:24, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
Again, Calvert is not recognized as a leading proponent by credible observers of the movement. Nor has Calvert published any definitive ID texts. Clavert's writings on the topic are not heavily cited and any influence they have exert is at a regional, not national level. Calvert has not contributed to the national agenda nearly as significantly as recognized proponents like Johnson, Dembski, Behe and Meyer have.
Barbara Forrest, a leading expert the movement, identified the leading proponents and their roles at the Discovery Institute in her testimony at Kitzmiller: "Q. Has the Discovery Institute been a leader in the intelligent design movement? A. Yes, the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture. Q. And are almost all of the individuals who are involved with the intelligent design movement associated with the Discovery Institute? A. All of the leaders are, yes. Q. Mr. Johnson? A. Mr. Johnson is the advisor. He's held that position as advisor. He's listed that way on the website. Q. Steven Meyer? A. Steven Meyer is the director. Q. And Michael Behe? A. Michael Behe is a senior fellow. Q. Scott Minnich? A. Scott Minnich is a fellow. Q. Nancy Pearcey? A. Nancy Pearcey is a fellow. Q. Dean Kenyon? A. Dean Kenyon is a fellow. Q. Paul Nelson? A. Paul Nelson is a fellow. Q. Jonathan Wells? A. Jonathan Wells is a fellow, in fact one of the earliest ones along with Dr. Behe and Dr. Nelson." [13] Calvert's nowhere to be seen.
Furthermore, Forrest in her Dover Expert Report for Kitzmiller says about Calvert's IDnet: "auxiliary ID organizations such as Access Research Network (ARN) and the Intelligent Design Network (IDNet), both of which work very closely with the CSC." [14] (pg 11) FeloniousMonk 21:43, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
Ok, good enough for me. JoshuaZ 21:47, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
"Again, Calvert is not recognized as a leading proponent by credible observers of the movement." Do you have a source for that? Especially considering he leads an ID organization with multiple state divisions, the existence of a citation stating he is a prominent ID proponent, his mentions in the Washington Post etc.? In any case, at least you finally have a citation regarding the claim that all leaders are "associated" with the organization (whatever that means). It's still somewhat troubling to see how the challenged claim persisted without a citation. The irreducible complexity entry is now facing a similar problem. --Wade A. Tisthammer 23:08, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
What, no claiming the cite isn't sufficient? Amazing.
A credible observer of the movement is Barbara Forrest, and she names the leading proponent above, and here: [15] Calvert is not on that list and she specifically names his IDnet as merely an auxilliary group.
The apparent lack of relevant common knowlege on the topic and the long history of raising specious challenges and tendentious points here likely have something to do with the absence of traction your objections. Something to consider. FeloniousMonk 00:26, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
"What, no claiming the cite isn't sufficient? Amazing." When the cite actually supports the claim in question, of course I must concede. But sometimes a proposed citation does not support the claim in question, and of course I must raise an objection[16]. And sometimes the obligation to provide verifiable citatations for challenged material is simply ignored, as was the case here for a time and elsewhere.
We should note that merely because a person is not on a list doesn't mean the individual is not a prominent ID proponent. And it is the case that Calvert runs an ID organization with divisions in multiple states, played a prominent role in a prominent court case involving intelligent design, has been mentioned in the Washington Post etc. and is thus quite arguably a leading ID proponent. Merely because someone calls his organization "auxiliary" doesn't change that, any more than access research network being "auxiliary" prevents members like Stephen C. Meyer from being a "leading" ID proponent. But since there is no rigorous definition of what it means to be a "leading" ID proponent (even though Calvert is technically a "leader" given e.g. the organization he runs) we'll have to make due with what we can.
Your accusations regarding me having a "long history" of raising "specious" points is itself questionable, to say the least. For instance, I'm rather curious as to why you find blatant violations of Wikipedia policy a "specious" objection [17]. And before you answer, I’d like to point out that merely pointing out the existence of a consensus (real or imagined) to ignore Wikipedia policy is not a satisfactory reason (e.g. see WP:V). --Wade A. Tisthammer 17:53, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
Wade, given that I don't recall you ever ceding a point (even when proven wrong beyond a reasonable (or even unreasonable) doubt), I'd have to say that FM's noting that you have a "long history" of raising "specious" points is hardly questionable, in fact had I a hammer, chisel and piece of marble, I'd carve his statement in there. Jim62sch 01:40, 24 February 2006 (UTC)
Really? Then perhaps you would like to explain to me why a blatant violation of Wikipedia policy is a "specious" objection? [18] --Wade A. Tisthammer 23:35, 24 February 2006 (UTC)
Wow, it's like Groundhog Day, the conversation just repeats (kinda like cabbage). Jim62sch 23:56, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps we need to distinguish between:

  1. exponents: people who come up with an idea and explain it
  2. supporters: others, who like the idea and get on the bandwagon

I'd put Johnson, Behe and Wells in the first category. Bush is not a "thinker-upper", so let's put him in the second category.

In any case, the Discovery Institute seems to be the ringleader here. We could say that virtually all of ID's primary exponents are associated with the institute. If need be, we could list each one and clarify his relationship, e.g., "fellow", "senior fellow", "founder", etc. --Uncle Ed 23:03, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

2 a : one that expounds or interprets 
  b : one that champions, practices, or exemplifies [19]

Focusing on the issue of "can we find a leading proponent that isn't in some way connected to the Discovery Institute?" is really beside the point. The current phrasing, while likely factually correct, is not NPOV:

Its leading proponents, all of whom are affiliated with the Discovery Institute[2], say that intelligent design is a
scientific  theory that stands on equal footing with, or is superior to, current scientific theories regarding the origin
of life.[3]"

The implied subtext, of course, is that because everyone who is proposing this idea is part of DI, this organization has some secret agenda or something like that. Ideas that are really advanced by only one small group are de-facto dismissed as fringe ideas. (Maybe this is the original authors' bias, but it is definitely not NPOV.) Another likely explanation is that after the founding of the Center for Science and Culture (the portion of the Discovery Institute that actually deals with ID), the ideas and publications about ID attracted other like-minded people, who had already reached compatable conclusions, and they decided to "join the club", if you will. So that leaves us with 2 questions: Do we need a mention of the Discovery Institute or CSC in the intro? (I think we do) And what is a good NPOV way to include the mention? I propose:

Its leading proponents say that intelligent design is a scientific theory that stands on equal footing with, 
or is superior to, current scientific theories regarding the origin of life.  The Center for Science and Culture, 
a division of The Discovery Institute, is the leading organization for proponents of ID."   

This is similar to some of the language in the CSC article describing the CSC as the "hub of the ID movement" --BradC 18:26, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

Ummm, the Discovery Insitute does have a hidden agenda: It's called the Wedge strategy. This is common knowledge and reflected in the Kitzmiller ruling. FeloniousMonk 20:07, 23 February 2006 (UTC)


FeloniousMonk, MattShepard and ScienceApologist: I have been following the development of the ID article with great interest for some 18 months now, and only recently obtained a username. I don't want to get too much in the thick of things here, but did first want to thank FM very much for his superb shepherding of this article. I think it's virtually complete, and have only a couple little NPOV issues I wanted to state, issues which may be in the way of this article becoming truly top-flight.

All of what the article says about the Discovery Institute plainly is true. But I would watch out for a couple of things.

First, Barbara Forrest's testimony in Kitzmiller is not necessarily proof unless it is included in the judge's finding of fact in Kitzmiller. Therefore I'd be very careful about asserting right in the article's introduction any form of the proposition that "all leading proponents are affiliated with the Discovery Institute" even if the proposition is true. Surely there is a better way to summarize the truth of the close association of ID and the Discovery Institute, and not appear as if the article is editorially biased against the Discovery Institute (even if such editorial bias is completely justified and factual).

Second, I urge caution about the use of such terms as "neocreationist" to describe the Discovery Institute, even to the degree that what the Discovery Institute does is completely consistent with the currently accepted use of the term "neocreationist" (which it plainly is). "Neocreationist is a term applied by folks other than the class of people to which it refers. That is to say, the vast majority of neocreationists choose not to call themselves such (I found one exception at http://patriot.net/~bmcgin/neo-creationism.html ), and as such it is arguably a POV term without mutual consent. Thus, much more grounded proofs should be available if one is to impose such a term on another group without their consent. Kenosis 23:42, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

Uh, whether referenced by the judge, Barbara Forrest's testimony in Kitzmiller is germane as it is sworn testimony that was not (to the best of my knowledge) contested, and accepted into the record as being absolutely true (else a charge of perjury would have been brought).
That "the vast majority of neocreationists choose not to call themselves such" is not relevant, either. It's simply a matter of politics. See the original draft of "Pandas" and compare it with the published version. Jim62sch 12:20, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

Jim: This is not a matter of "uh" or "duh". The ID article should be every bit as cautious about the use of the proposition "all leading proponents are X" as the judge was, for exactly the same reasons the judge was cautious about it.

Re:"It's simply a matter of politics" I couldn't agree more, which is why I urged the most cautious and accurate use of the language possible in this or any controversial article, so as not to fall even a little bit into that very same trap over-against the creationists. Rational voices having finally prevailed in this article, some of the current language plainly still falls a bit short of diligently objective (i.e.,NPOV). I made my offering, and if the consensus is to be visibly angry at these neo-creationist-types, so be it-- I won't argue excessively about it. (Incidentally, I did manage to source "neo-creationism" to 1997, when Dembski et.al. were first exposing the academic world to this stuff. Will note it separately on that topic, and then most likely go back to being an observer on this for a little while--.)

Having said that, I will paraphrase my original assertion, which was: All told, you and FM and SA and others have done extremely good work on a very difficult topic. Kenosis 14:45, 24 February 2006 (UTC)


I forgot one more very important thing here: If you assert in the opening paragraph of the article that "ID is the concept that X..." Then you immediately get into trouble by asserting that "all leading proponents are Y or Z. The section on Origins of the Concept describes the concept as going back almost three millennia, so you are really saying that Heraclitus, Plato and Aristotle, among others are also Y or Z (affiliated with the Discovery Institute). This all should be reconciled somehow or other.Kenosis 15:09, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

This is why I attempted the following version hoping someone would hone it further, rather than reverting it out of hand:

"Intelligent design (ID) is the concept that "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection."[1] Intelligent design proponents assert it is a scientific theory that stands on equal footing with, or is superior to, current scientific theories regarding the origin of life. The modern ID movement was both invented and disseminated by persons and groups that were recently proven in a U.S. district court to be closely affiliated with the Discovery Institute[2][3]"Kenosis 15:19, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

) ) ) )

changing all to most[edit]

i think it should be most because not every single one of the leading proponents are affilaited with the Discorvery Institute. if there isn't any objection then leave it, otherwise revert it ILovePlankton 18:12, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Please see the previous discussion on this matter. Remember to read the archives before making changes. --ScienceApologist 18:15, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Name one. FeloniousMonk 21:48, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
You know what would be nicer? "I haven't found any who aren't, but if you can find some maybe we can work it in." --Ben 23:32, 13 March 2006 (UTC)
Considering your long history of personal attacks disrupting this article, I don't think you're the one to be lecturing on the topic of "nice." FeloniousMonk 04:44, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
You don't think it would be nicer? Or maybe you do think it would be nicer, but you're just annoyed that I had to tell you? --Ben 23:27, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
And as soon as someone finds one, you'll just throw out the "not notable" excuse. Izuko 01:31, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
Not really an "excuse" since the sentence makes that caveat anyway. --ScienceApologist 02:28, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
The leading proponents of what the Discovery Institute says are affiliated with the Discovery Institute. It pretty much goes without saying. --Ben 03:42, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

One productive thing to do would be to write an article on Charles Townes if you wish, including somewhere in it an accurate portrayal of his statements referenced in the RFC, then link to it in the disambiguation. Same with whatever else you can find, such as Robert Larmer (who holds another very obscure minority view [20]). As of now, the "disambiguation" links are all referenced to more information on the only notable ID position today (the one promulgated by the DI), which is what the ID article discusses...Kenosis 05:31, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

??? If you want to boss me around, at least do it in context.--Ben 23:01, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
BEN: with that reasoning it would be better to say they are all affiliated with eachother. why do you pick the DI you could say they are all affiliated with another one.
And with that i think we should change it to "they are all affiliated with each other" instead of picking one over the other (or we could name them all). ILovEPlankton 15:06, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
This issue has been excessively hashed in previous talk threads. The leading proponents' affiliations are already articulated throughout the article-- the DI as a class of individuals, the CSC as a class of individuals, as well as, inter alia, Behe, Dembski, Thaxton. The Discovery Institute is the nexus, as is stated in the intro.Kenosis 15:34, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
where is your proof that it is the nexus? you always through out those excuses(it's non-notable, it's the nexus) where is the proof of this? ILovEPlankton 15:41, 14 March 2006 (UTC)


Please see the footnote given in the article directly below the comment. JoshuaZ 16:02, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
ILP, you are correct in a way. Some of what I have put forth above are conclusory statements. For the proof you must look though all the previous guff in the talk threads and find the relevant content amidst it. I too find this cumbersome. As I attempted to convey just above, there are productive things to do here if one wishes. The proof of "not-notability" as to Townes can rest on the poll and comments in the RFC noted above, and even that might conceivably be overcome by digging in and writing a genuine article about him. Proof of not-notability you request on the Larmer paper might rest on the fact that in the intervening four years none of his peers chose to respond.
One more thing: the burden of proof actually rests on the party asserting notability, otherwise the ID article would be megabytes in length and be virtually unreadable. The editors of this article are as a general rule not dense, nor particularly stubborn about these things. The evidence of this is that they collectively have taken a complex, immensely difficult and controversial topic and collectively written an extremely informative article on the subject...Kenosis 16:07, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

we should atleast put there wikipages at the end of the article so people don't have to read through it all to find them ILovEPlankton 16:29, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Like this[21], if not revert it. ILovEPlankton 16:34, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
ILP the problem is that this article, even though it does not say so for some strange reason, is about the Discovery Institute's body of work they call "Intelligent Design." Therefore, the leading proponents of the leading proponents' idea are the leading proponents of the idea. It is quite circular.
It's like saying the leading proponents of the decriminalization of marijuana are affiliated with the the Marijuana Party. Sure there might be other people who want marijuana decriminalized, but they are not the leading proponents.
Name one proponent of the decriminalization of marijuana who is not affiliated with the Marijuana Party. And I'll just keep saying they are not notable, because everyone in the Marijuana Party is by definition more of a proponent, and more notable. Until there is an organization on par with the Marijuana party you will not be able to find any. And since those people would simply join the Marijuana party, unless they disagreed and are no longer a proponent of the same position it is not likely to happen.--Ben 04:53, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

for the purposes of the analogy, assume there is a single leading Marijuana party. If someone acts like an idiot because they can't think abstractly, I can fix it just for them, but it will make the analogy more complicated.

Ben, are you going to give any citations or just keep making analogies? The claim has a strong reliable citation. JoshuaZ 04:57, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
Of course it has a strong and reliable citation. It is true. The reason it is true has a lot more to do with the construction of the claim than any enlightment it sheds on the subject. For all intents and purposes, it is a truism. All leading proponents of Republicanism are members of the Republican Party. All leading proponents of Catholicism are members of the Vatican. etc.--Ben 05:15, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
In this case it isn't a truism by itself. Evidence for that: see the earlier archive where I actually tried to argue that the statement was false and Felonious convinced me otherwise. Also, isn't this section about chaning all to most? If you think the statement is trivially true, what exactly are you trying to argue? JoshuaZ 05:19, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm arguing that the sentence is trivially true. The reason it is included is to keep other "non-notable" POVs out of the article, while concurrently suggesting through its inclusion that the subject is broader than it is, so it doesn't seem strange when the article criticises non-DI, but related, ideas such as fine-tuning. It's to conceal the use of this article as a soapbox. --Ben 05:31, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
Oh this. But we we're dealing with that in another section. Please don't turn every section into focusing on your issue. JoshuaZ 05:38, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
You asked me "what exactly I was trying to argue." I told you what I was arguing: the sentence is trivially true. I expanded on that since you wanted to know why I would even bother to argue this. If you want to know another reason, it's because usually it's argued through sources and I think that misrepresents the reason that is true. --Ben 05:51, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
Yes, and given that information I am now asking you to move this to an appropriate section. JoshuaZ 05:52, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
Fine by me. I was just answering your questions honestly. --Ben 05:55, 15 March 2006 (UTC)