Talk:Level of support for evolution/Archive 1

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NPOV warning[edit]

While I am in support of evolution, I do find that this article is difficult to put into the light of a neutral point of view. :: Colin Keigher (Talk) 03:19, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

I would dispute this. The topic is that support exists. Whether that support is justified or not is another issue. I have copious references from both sides and it is a bit hard to deny that support exists in the scientific, religious and other communities. How is that being biased to summarize the support that exists?--Filll 03:25, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
First of all, there is no article for support on Creationism nor an article on support for Intelligent Design. Second of all, something like this would be better put into an article that discusses the debate, and not a separate article all together. What you may want to consider is maybe an article like List of groups that support the theory of Evolution instead of what we have here now. In all honesty, this cannot keep with the goal of NPOV, and so this is why the article has been tagged. :: Colin Keigher (Talk) 03:30, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Great resource and good work gathering information. In the context of the Evolution article it is NPOV, because it pertains to evolution and it covers both science and religious support. It just states facts. As an independent article then I understand concerns of NPOV, but the article title states Support for evolution. There is no ambiguity on the topic, nor does it merit mentioning organizations against evolution or mention other topics like creationism or ID. Organizations that state support for evolution are making a statment of conviction or policy that is factual and useful for political or legal recourse. It may not warrant being a usual topic for an encyclopedia, but I don't see the NPOV issue. I don't see that Creationism or ID not having a similar article as pertinent as there is nothing stopping the creation of similar articles by agents in support of creationism and ID. My only qualm would be is it a useful topic (a few months ago I would have said no, but now I see it could be useful.) GetAgrippa 04:21, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

I do mention the argument on the creationist side in numerous places, plus have links to 4 of the major creationist organizations which also have lists of supporters that they compile, with links to the lists. I could remove them all and place them all in a separate section called "Dispute of support for evolution". I will see what others think..--Filll 04:24, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

This is already covered elsewhere, and smells like a POV fork. This article is very unnecessary, and is basically a response to crazy creationists. Wikipedia is not a soapbox. Titanium Dragon 11:18, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

I can see the logic of Titanium Dragon, that it might be construed or misconstrued as a soapbox response to creationists. However, I will reserve judgement. If, for example, the topic covered in this article is covered by disinterested parties elsewhere, then having a similar wikipedia article is probably beyond debate. If many interested parties have written about this topic, then having a similar wikipedia article is probably beyond debate. I will comment more after I think and research more. Meanwhile, no opinion, just less than informed comments from a relatively new contributor. I only came to this talk page because of an invitation left by User:ScienceApologist on Talk:Creation-evolution_controversy StudyAndBeWise 04:46, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Do articles have addendums? The information is a reference pertaining to the "majority support" statement. The info gives a range of org., etc that support evolution. Gives the audience a taste what that statement means. I guess a review article would be more appropriate. GetAgrippa 15:22, 4 January 2007 (UTC)


Well my impression was that this was a review article, or that was its intent, but I can see the difficulty. I suggest that this material, with more supporting material, be placed under a different theme. For example, Creationism-evolution controversy measures or Measuring opinions on creationism or Measuring opinions on evolution, and then describing the different methods that have been used to gauge the level of support in different communities (polling, surveys, petitions, declarations of support by different organizations {religious, scientific, academic, government, educational, corporate, etc.}, court cases, laws, political speeches, and so on) and the results of these. Each side has some in their favor and some not:

  • polls on biologists-E dominates
  • polls on scientists-E still dominates but not as much
  • polls on the public-C dominates, but more ambiguous than at 1st glance
  • petitions-E dominates, but this is not independent of polls
  • declarations of support by scientific org-E dominates, again not indep.
  • declarations of support by academic, educ. orgs-E
  • declarations of support by corporations-surprisingly weak for E
  • declarations of support by politicians-C dominates
  • declarations of support by evang. religious-C dominates
  • declaration of support by mainstream religious-E dominates
  • court cases-E dominates, but it is far more ambiguous than people realize; there are huge loopholes in the court decisions
  • laws-E has slight edge, but C is making progress

Additional note: Although C has about half of the public behind it, with E capturing maybe another 35% in a religious version of E, and 15% or so believe in an areligious version of E, a large fraction of the population that favors a religious version of E is not averse to including C in schools and passing legislation favoring C, or at least not discriminating against C, etc. So although the support might be somewhat soft for C in some ways, in other ways the dominance of C is greater since most of the non-C public is amenable to allowing C in science and in schools etc.

Comments?--Filll 17:01, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

You are buying into a false dichotomy argument WAY too much in this article. It also doesn't support a worldwide view. Creationism is a uniquely American (or at best English-language) concept as is the creation-evolution controversy. This kind of attempt to characterize its "support" is highly misleading. --ScienceApologist 16:08, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
I would respectfully disagree. There is a growing creationist movement in Turkey. There have been recent creationist controversies in the UK, in Italy, in Serbia, in Russia and in Poland. There is a substantial creationist movement in Australia. Many Muslim countries like Pakistan are confronting the issue, and teaching evolution is banned in many Muslim countries. India also has a creationist problem (which has a slightly different character, but exists nevertheless and shares many features with the one in the US). What false dichotomy am I buying into too much? Do you claim that creationism is not a threat anywhere? Is it only a threat in the US? Is it not really a threat in the US either? Is there no controversy? I would again respectfully disagree with any of those positions. Even if it was only in the US (which it is not, and it can be demonstrated with references that it is not), it would be important, considering the numerous lawsuits that have occurred and the proposed state laws on this issue and state laws that passed on this issue (dozens and dozens of these). The title might be a bad title, but removing all references and links to this article from Wikipedia and then campaigning to get it deleted puzzles me. What are you trying to do? What is your purpose? What is your position? Should science just surrender? Should the National Center for Science Education just fire all its members and close its doors? I do not understand what you are trying to do, clearly in the face of overwhelming consensus to do otherwise.--Filll 19:22, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Neutral. This is an article about support for evolution (and a very good one!), not an article in support of evolution. I think the NPOV tag should be deleted. Snalwibma 20:41, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
Then someone should remove it. I am not sure that I am allowed to.--Filll 20:49, 14 January 2007 (UTC)


I have added the tag again. As has been stated above, many editors think this article should be deleted because it is a POV fork. This has more to do with a lack of general scientific literacy than it does with evolution. Wikipediatoperfection 09:13, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

Yes. This is not from a NPOV. It also contains a logical fallacy, 'Appeal to the People'... As seen from the fact that the Earth is round, not flat, it is quite obvious that very large groups of people can be entirely wrong. It contains this fallacy in the following statement: 'accepted by the overwhelming majority of biologists' This needs to be changed. It is possible for some people to be fooled into thinking that majority belief is actual evidence for anything(i.e. renowned scientists used to think that the world is flat, poop creates flies, etc. Scientists who knew the truth were afraid of standing against popular opinion.) Sincerely, Captain Vimes 02:17, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

How can you say that the objections are not significant enough to be included in Wikipedia along side support for evolution and then say "Scientists who knew the truth were afraid of standing against popular opinion."? The last statement indicates significance and thus contradicts the idea that Wikipedia should not discuss "Appeal to the People".--Jorfer 02:34, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

Jorfer, I don't understand the point you are trying to make. Can you rephrase it? Sincerely, Captain Vimes 16:54, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

Redirected the article[edit]

I think that the "no conensus" was misread by the closing admin. I believe that pushing this article over to evidence of evolution is a better read. --ScienceApologist 16:08, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

You are profoundly mistaken. The final vote was:
1 - Merge contents of support for evolution into creation-evolution controversy
2 1 - Merge contents of support for evolution into evidence for evolution
6 - Move contents of support for evolution to opinions on evolution, and turn support for evolution into redirect to evidence for evolution
8 - Delete
10 11 - Keep
You are the only person, with the possible exception of orangemarlin, who voted to have this article be merged with "evidence for evolution" (probably because that's such a silly idea; the level of support for a claim is not evidence that the claim is true, that's fallacious reasoning). I am amazed that you would so dramatically violate consensus in promoting your idea, without any further discussion, at the expense of the views of 25 other editors who voted to delete the article, keep it as-is, or move/merge it elsewhere. The only user who even arguably supported your views is orangemarlin, and his comment was a vague "Merge" that could have been in agreement with a number any of different merge proposals, though since he was replying to your comment I'll assume he was supporting yours.
To understand why you'd make such a dramatic error in interpreting the results of the discussion, I'll assume that you simply misread the comments of the many users who supported Philosophus' proposal (which was not to merge the article into "evidence", but rather to change its name and turn the old name into a redirect; no merging involved!) as supporting your own view. Though even if you conflated the votes for Philosophus' proposal with the votes for your own, that'd only give you 8 votes, 2 less than "keep" and the same number as "delete". So I'll assume good faith and hope that you simply miscounted; since the vote was long and complicated, this is much more likely than a deliberate distortion. Regardless, it is inappropriate to make such a move against consensus, so further discussion will be needed before a merger could be considered acceptable. -Silence 18:30, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

I as well am stunned to discover this. I do not understand ScienceApologist's opinion or what he is basing it on. I certainly understand that it might be better to change the title. I am not sure what title to change it to. I would unilaterally change it to Levels of support for evolution, which was Silent's suggestion, but it is a long title. I am not sure if it should be voted on. However, evidence of evolution is on a COMPLETELY different subject. I am truly amazed and I must assume this is the result of misreading or misunderstanding of some kind. Because otherwise it makes zero sense. And 25 other editors felt the same way. I also suggest that Orangemarlin was probably not supporting this idea, and I would be glad to get him to clarify his position if you wish. Especially considering that Orangemarlin helped me with the writing of this article.--Filll 19:29, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

If you think Orangemarlin wasn't supporting the idea, I'll restore his vote to the "keep" section (his first vote) until he says otherwise, since his "merge" one is ambiguous. And, I don't think Level of support for evolution is too long (cf. History of evolutionary thought, etc.), though we can certainly discuss the different options here. There seems to be agreement that the article contents shouldn't be deleted (only 8 people felt otherwise), so we should discuss how best to present those contents: be it by merging it into some other article, like evidence of evolution or creation-evolution controversy, to change the scope and title of the article, like to opinions on evolution, to keep the current scope or title, or to keep the current scope but change the title to something less ambiguous, like Level of support for evolution. There seems to be some disagreement on which option is best, so we should discuss them all rather than leaping to assume that any of them already has consensus behind it. -Silence 19:37, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

Straw Poll[edit]

It seems to me that we have some options for the placement of this article's contents:

Don't move or merge article[edit]

Keep at Support for evolution

Move article[edit]

Move to Level of support for evolution
  1. Agree--Filll 20:51, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
  2. Agree. This is a somewhat more neutral and unambiguous title than "Support for evolution", as it makes it clear that this isn't an article supporting evolution, but rather one gauging the level of support (and opposition) to evolution. -Silence 21:05, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
  3. Agree. Me too. Snalwibma 23:04, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
Move to Opinions about evolution
Move to Measures of support for evolution

Merge article[edit]

Merge into Evolution
Merge into Creation-evolution controversy
Merge into Evidence of evolution

Discussion[edit]

I hope you don't mind if I change this into a straw poll to discuss and weigh the options and determine consensus. Decisions on Wikipedia are generally done through discussion and consensus-building, not simple popularity polls. I also added options for merging, as opposed to moving, since at least a few people (2-3) supported that option, and I could at least see a case being made for a merger into creation-evolution controversy or something similar, if not evidence of evolution. This poll is a good idea to help discern what our options are, however, and who supports what. Anyone can feel free to add new options by simply putting another option up in the poll (so an "Other" section isn't necessary). If you disagree, feel free to revert my restructuring of the poll. -Silence 21:05, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

Why the article needs to be redirect[edit]

Support for evolution is through its evidence. Who "supports evolution" is a topic of speculation that is not encyclopedic and the article as written pretended mostly that the support for evolution was demarcated along the lines of creationists and evolutionists. Very poor form. I have reinstated the redirect. Please try to understand that substantively, no one has made any argument that this article shouldn't redirect to evidence for evolution. Certainly some of the material can be kept elsewhere, but this article should go. --ScienceApologist 21:10, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

Of course the evidence is the most important thing that decides if a scientific theory is accepted or not. No one is denying this. However, substantial amounts of effort have been expended by both sides over the last 40 years or more to try to measure who accepts the theory of evolution and who does not. This has been done internationally. This has been done within different groups. This has been done over time. Different methods to try to gauge the amount of acceptance have been attempted. This has been part of the material presented at more than 10 trials, including at least one that was decided by the Supreme Court of the United States. This has been part of the reasoning of literally hundreds of schoolboards and tens of states as they have considered bills about the teaching of evolution, creationism, intelligent design, or other similar subjects. This article attempts to document some of the results that have been obtained by gauging this level of support over the last 40 years in the US and other places. Material on which laws are based and on which court cases are decided is certainly worthy of an encyclopedia article. It might be of less importance to the science, although this is not only about the science; it is about education, it is about laws, etc. Whether the science is permitted to continue will depend on these laws and the outcome of these court cases. Basically, the factual evidence that supports evolution is not near as important as what people think, since science is a human activity, and without the support of humans in state and federal legislatures and in the courts, the science will cease to be taught, cease to be funded or even made illegal altogether. So in that sense, this article is extremely important. Also, this material is important enough that it is worth having it all in one place so all of it does not have to be retyped everytime someone in the dozens and dozens of articles on this subject on Wikipedia wants to refer to it.--Filll 21:22, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
Good point. This article is about the sociological support for evolution—who, rather than what, supports (i.e., favors, accepts, etc.) evolutionary theory. Evidence for evolution, in contrast, is about the scientific support for evolution—what supports (i.e., justifies, proves, verifies) evolutionary theory. The two topics are very different, so they should not be conflated. And both are verifiable and noteworthy encyclopedic topics, so both merit articles. If there is concern over the sociological and scientific meanings of "support" being confused, then this confusion should mostly be resolved when we move Support for evolution to Level of support for evolution (since that will help clarify what the article's topic is), but if there's any lingering ambiguity, we can simply add a dab-style notice to the top of the article clarifying the article's scope and linking to Evidence of evolution in case anyone came to the article looking for the scientific, rather than popular, support for evolution. -Silence 21:31, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
In fact, that gives me a good idea. Another option for a title might be Acceptance of evolution.--Filll 21:49, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
That raises the same potential problems as "Support for evolution", though—it could be misconstrued as POV advocacy. "Level of support for evolution" should resolve both the POV concerns and ScienceApologist's concern about the different meanings of "support". In fact, I'm tempted to just make the move to Level of support for evolution now, before anyone else gets tripped up by the current title's ambiguity. We can continue discussions under the new title if there's any further disagreement. -Silence 22:21, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
While we discuss it, to avoid any misunderstandings, I took the bull by the horns and moved the page. If people object, we can move it back or to another title, or consider some other option.--Filll 00:01, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
You are misunderstanding the meaning of "Support" here. "Support" in this article is being used in the sense of "Public support" or "Popular support", used as an antonym to "Opposition". It is not being used to mean "What makes evolution credible". It is comparable to usages like "Support for health care" or "They are supporters of string theory", not in the sense of "The evidence supports evolution". "Who supports evolution" is not a matter of speculation, because it can be verified through surveys and polls; but even if it was, it would still be a noteworthy topic, not necessarily because Wikipedia can definitively say "X% supports evolution and Y% opposes it" with absolute certainty, but rather because there are so many claims one way or the other about evolution's level of support, making it a significant topic to write about. We do not need to be 100% sure of who's right in order to neutrally report on what different verifiable sources have claimed about the issue. -Silence 21:18, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
This problem could be obviated by avoiding the word "support" at all; pretty much all of the proposed names so far have been awkward or misleading. I suggested popular opinions of evolution on Filll's talk, or some similar wording emphasizing that this article is to describe popular reactions rather than the science itself. Opabinia regalis 02:27, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
"Popular opinions of evolution" isn't acceptable because it's too vague. It sounds like a "List of statements about evolution" article, because an "opinion" can amount to anything. There is no substance or structure in such a meaninglessly vague topic; it cannot serve any real purpose except as a muddled repository of quotes and paraphrasings, and Wikiquote serves that task much better. This artlcie isn't about "opinions of evolution", but rather about those opinions which are directly relevant to whether evolution is supported, accepted, etc. by people. "Opinions" in general, as opposed to opinions of support and opposition, are too vague to have any encyclopedic value in tabulating.
"Level of support for evolution" makes it as clear as possible (and as clear as necessary) that this article is about people who support evolution (and people who don't), rather than the evidence that verifies it; and anyone who is still confused will have their error immediately corrected by the dab notice at the top of the article. For these reasons, I consider this a nonissue; there are more pressing issues to discuss for this article now than the comparably trivial issue of whether anyone will misunderstand the word "support" (which was unlikely to begin with, and impossible now).
I believe that every significant ambiguity thus far has been resolved by the move to "Level of support for evolution"; Filll agrees, and even ScienceApologist seems to agree, since he's changed his tact from capitalizing on a misunderstanding of "support" to alleging bias in the very idea of a creation/evolution dichotomy. To misinterpret the meaning of "support" in this context would take a willful decision to ignore common sense, as no one could be misled by it as-is. -Silence 03:53, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
I realize I'm late to the party, but honestly, "level of support" is awkwardly phrased and yes, ambiguous. Level of support for evolution is clearly better than level of support for creationism, but neither is optimal. I even checked Special:Prefixindex/Level of support, thinking the phrase might have been chosen in deliberate parallel to another existing article, but apparently not. This title gives no indication that the article is meant to cover popular controversy rather than the historical reactions among scientists to Darwin's original publication (this article apparently starts in 1966). The current text is also not explicitly about levels (polls and the like). It strikes me as a stretch to think that "support" is unambiguous wording in any case, or that the addition of "level of" makes the original "support for evolution" NPOV (if it wasn't in the first place). "Popular acceptance" presents itself as a possibility. Opabinia regalis 05:14, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
This article should cover both current and historical levels of support for evolution. The fact that this article currently lacks information on pre-1966 levels of support (which needn't be reserved solely for polls, if we have other resources to draw on) is a deficiency that should be remedied at some point in the future, to give a broader historical context and emphasize how much the support for evolution increased over time (or, even more interestingly, point to areas where it has decreased). The fact that this article doesn't cover 100% of the topics it could is not a reason to rename it, but to expand it. And, "Support for evolution" was NPOV in the first place, but "Level of support for evolution" makes its NPOV obvious even to those who don't bother to read past the title, whereas in the past its title could be misconstrued as POV if the article was not read. I agree that "Level of acceptance" is a possibility, though it raises different problems than "Support" (and has as its antonym "Rejection", a more loaded and suboptimal term than "Opposition"). "Popular" is a possible addition to either topic if we end up deciding that it is necessary to further clarify the topic, though I think the article title's long enough already, and ambiguity is unlikely to crop up over it in the future. -Silence 05:47, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

Totally disputed[edit]

This article is not about evolution. Since when does an article about evolution start out with describing what creationists believe? That's absurd. I'm moving it to "support for creationism". --ScienceApologist 15:34, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

Do you not realize what sort of situation that we have to deal with here on Wikipedia? I would like nothing better than to take an extremely hardline position against creationists. They make me physically ill; they are disgusting and loathesome. Ignorant and often aggressively stupid. It often comes with a huge dose of intolerance for other ideas or other beliefs. However, we are on WP. We have to practice NPOV. Rearranging the order is minor. What you have done repeatedly is act unilaterally and against consensus. Do you think this is advisable?--Filll 15:51, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

WHAT IS GOING ON HERE? Sorry - must stop shouting. I thought there was a reasonably well-reasoned debate in progress about the title of the support for evolution article, and about whether to move some or all of it. Suddenly I find its content has been moved lock stock and barrel to level of support for creationism, and the title has been turned into a redirect somewhere else. Even if it's a good idea (and maybe it is, who knows...) it's a bit much to do it on a whim with no discussion! I strenuously object. Snalwibma 16:50, 15 January 2007 (UTC)


I do not want to get into an edit war with Science Apologist. I am just trying to understand his motives and reasoning, which seem strange at best to me. Support for creationism is just the flip side of support for evolution. Why is one that much better than the other? I suppose one could have a title like Gauging the opinions and relative levels of support of evolution and creationism in the context of the creationism-evolution controversy but that is a bit unweildy. Here is what Science Apologist left on my talk page by way of explanation:

Unilateral action
Do you not realize you are going against consensus? Do you not realize you might get yourself in trouble by these kinds of actions? This is not reasonable to do without consensus and it is asking for trouble. Please do not act like this.--Filll 15:47, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
Acting against consensus
As far as I can tell, the article in question is very much "under construction". The article dealt with "support for evolution" as though it was purely a matter of a conflict that was brewing between evolutionists and creationists. That isn't a discussion of the support for evolution, that's a discussion of what creationists believe is the support for the various sides in their invented controversy. Moving the article to a name that doesn't involve evolution is important because it has only to do with what "evolution" is in the minds of creationists/general public influenced by creationists. --ScienceApologist 15:50, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

I do agree that the article is "under construction" but so are all articles on WP, especially those that are fairly new. I thought that the article OrangeMarlin and I produced was pretty well-developed for a new article, frankly. The part I am still not happy with is the discussion of trends.--Filll 17:06, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

Some further comments:
  • I still do not understand why being "under construction" is some sort of a black mark, when ALL of Wikipedia is "under construction". This is a hallmark of WP.
  • The wording of the title could be improved, and some other title might be better. That is why we were having a strawman poll above. Just aggressively and destructively moving the article unilaterally does not do anything but spread ill will. This is not some crisis and World War III will not occur if this article has what you personally consider to be the wrong title, in disagreement with EVERYONE ELSE it seems. Now you might be able to convince us of your point of view with reason. And I encourage that. But just being aggressive does not reflect well on you. Sorry.
  • You might believe this is an invented controversy. It is not a scientific controversy, it is a social controversy. When we have 20-40 states considering laws that favor the creationist viewpoint, and over 10 major court cases including one that went to the supreme court, it is an important social controversy. IT IS NOT A CONTROVERSY FROM A SCIENTIFIC STANDPOINT, but from a social standpoint. I and others have repeated this many times. Do you think you are unable to understand that point? Are we wrong? Is there something we are not explaining well enough for you to be able to grasp this point? Do you think that creationists will stop if they ban the teaching of evolution in school science classrooms? You did not see the anti-stem cell ads in the last political campaign? Believe me, research in evolution and cosmology and linguistics and dozens of other topics will be next if scientists do not take a stand now.
  • The article is not only about what the public thinks. I would suggest you read the article. Thanks awfully.--Filll 23:07, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

"Support for creationism is just the flip side of support for evolution."[edit]

This statement is a misconception that is the driving concern behind my repositioning of this article. To wit, creationism derives its support from specific religious/socio-political groups. Evolution derives its support from the scientific method and the scientific community. They are two very different things. There is a problem that many of the editors to this page assume that the conflict defines support for one "side" or the other when in fact there is quite a bit of ambiguity with respect to "sides" (theistic evolution anyone?) and the "evolution side" often doesn't even acknowledge the existence of the "creationist side". Not to mention that the "creationist side" is exclusively under the purview of a very limited religious following while the "evolution side" is accepted by scientists the world over, including in cultures and societies where Christianity/creationism is all but absent. By trying to make this a "one the one hand/on the other hand" article, the authors are (perhaps unwittingly) buying into a false dichotomy. It is in this sense that the article is promoting a POV: specifically a POV of conflict between religion and science, faith and reason, creation-evolution controversy, etc. Please, try to understand that this article needs to be recouched if it is to survive at all. In particular, science does not derive its support/acceptance from opinion polls or from signatories of letters. It is derived from evaluation of the scientific method. The driving wedge from creationists and IDers is trying to establish that a "controversy" exists -- and they often want to do this by citing polls. It's a practice that is entirely not NPOV, and I think this article suffers for it. --ScienceApologist 18:31, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

Well I am glad you were finally sufficiently motivated to elucidate some of your reasoning. I humbly suggest this would have been better to have stated initially, so your concerns could have been understood, discussed and accommodated if necessary.--Filll 18:38, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
I actually did state it, in the AfD discussion and in my discussions with you regarding these subjects. In any case, this issue needs to be addressed because it is the fundamental thesis of this article that a conflict exists between religion and science and that support for one or the other can be ascertained. This kind of polling is very problematic (when people are forced to choose, they are forced to buy into a particular POV). What this article does right now is further entrench sides, something which promotes a particular POV (ironically, a POV that is often shared by vocipherous people on both sides of the creation-evolution debate). --ScienceApologist 18:45, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Creationism is indeed not the flip side of evolution, in theory. In practice, however, the overwhelming majority of people who reject evolution are creationists, and are motivated to do so by their creationism; this doesn't mean that all creationists reject evolution (you correctly note theistic evolution, though it should be noted that at least by some narrow definitions of "creationism", that wouldn't necessarily qualify as creationism), but it does mean that it is not inappropriate to mention creationism centrally in an article discussing the level of support for evolution, as creationists are by and large the only people who dispute whether evolution is widely or universally supported. They are noteworthy as outliers, if nothing else.
  • However, regardless of the merit to your point, if there is a problem with the lead section of Level of support for evolution mentioning creationists too immediately, then that problem should be resolved by editing or reframing the article's text, not by moving the article to a new title; contents should be changed to suit the title, not vice versa. Moving this article after you have been repeatedly instructed to discuss the issues first, and moving it to prove a point rather than to improve Wikipedia's encyclopedic coverage, is a violation of Wikipedia:Do not disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate a point. Consequently, the article title will be reverted, and we can further discuss how best to present the relevant information without any more aggressive unilateral actions. -Silence 19:59, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
But Silence, the "level of support for evolution" is dictated only by the evidence for evolution unless one's context is the creation-evolution controversy, in which case see the next section. --ScienceApologist 13:58, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
Polls, surveys, petitions, statements, etc are an indirect measure of the evidence for evolution. The claim in science is that a theory is accepted by most scientists when the evidence for it is strong. And therefore, if the evidence for evolution is strong, we should expect to see that it is accepted. And according to the data presented in this article, the theory is accepted by the vast majority of scientists working in areas that are germane to evolution. This presents evidence for the objection "few scientists accept evolution" or "a growing controversy about evolution exists in the scientific community" by attempting to measure the controversy.--Filll 14:47, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
Polls, surveys, petitions, statements, etc are an indirect measure of the evidence for evolution. -- Have any verifiable source that indicates this is true? Or does this represent original research? --ScienceApologist 17:16, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Response to ScienceApologist[edit]

Allow me the liberty of examining your statements in detail and responding:

"Support for creationism is just the flip side of support for evolution." This statement is a misconception that is the driving concern behind my repositioning of this article. To wit, creationism derives its support from specific religious/socio-political groups.

Well I will point out that this is not completely accurate. Creatonists do employ some pseudoscience reasoning to justfiy their beliefs, arguments and statements.--Filll 23:31, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
Big deal! Creationists also quote mine and lie. That's irrelevant to the point. --ScienceApologist 07:00, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

Evolution derives its support from the scientific method and the scientific community. They are two very different things.

You and I claim that the evidence is on the side of evolution. The creationists claim the evidence is on their side. Science claims that evolution is an accepted theory. Creationists claim that most scientists do not support it, or that there is growing disagreement among scientists about evolution. However, the statements, statistics, polls, surveys, etc that are presented in this article demonstrate that this is false. What is wrong with presenting this material? Do you want to just declare that creationist are stupid #$%^& by fiat and that then everything is ok because they will believe you because everyone knows creationists are stupid? Sorry it does not work like that. It would be nice if it did, but it does not.--Filll 23:31, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
No, I claim that there are no "sides" unless you believe there are sides. Creationists can claim whatever they please as may their detractors, but inventing controversies is part of the issue. There is nothing wrong with presenting material. There is a problem with the assumption of "sides". --ScienceApologist 07:00, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
We are an encyclopedia. We are not free to believe there are no "sides" since there are sides in court battles, and sides for and against legislation. We are here to report what transpires in the real world. And in the real world there are sides. So it is irrelevant if you personally believe that acknowledging the existence of sides is detrimental to science. Society has decided for you already.--Filll 15:09, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
The flip of this comment is that we are not free to believe that there are "sides" since court battles are not the subject of this article. Unless you rewrite this article as a report on court battles, this idea of "real world sides" is not relevant to this discussion. --ScienceApologist 17:14, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

There is a problem that many of the editors to this page assume that the conflict defines support for one "side" or the other when in fact there is quite a bit of ambiguity with respect to "sides" (theistic evolution anyone?)

If you had read the article, you would see that I did address this, extensively. With sources. With statistics. With signed statements. Etc. And theistic evolution is NOT creationism. In fact, I can find many quotes for you from creationists that talk about theistic evolution as the work of the devil, and people who believe in theisitic evolution are atheists and satanists and worse. What is going on, is that this is a commercial enterprise for these creationist jerks. They do not want to admit that there is another path but their own. And this page documents it. And the weakness of support of the public for creationist positions.--Filll 23:31, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
Theistic evolution is creationism if they want it to be. After all, a synonym is "evolutionary creationism". You are assuming some sort of word ownership that is, frankly, not even well-addressed on the creationism page. You arguing that the creationists are "jerks" is buying into the false dichotomy "right and wrong" "truth and falsehood", etc. Read the lead of creation-evolution controversy. --ScienceApologist 07:00, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
Theistic evolution is a very broad category. I would not presume to define it for someone else. However, creationists do deny that theistic evolution is the "right" path, and I can provide multiple sources for that assertion. What word owndership am I claiming? I am not arguing they are jerks. I am describing the situation as it currently exists.--Filll 15:09, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
Now you are implying that "creationists" deny that theistic evolution is the right path, except that there are some self-styled "creationists" who believe in theistic evolution. Who are you to tell them that they aren't creationists? --ScienceApologist 17:14, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

and the "evolution side" often doesn't even acknowledge the existence of the "creationist side".

Historically it did not. And it lost out substantially in the public venue as a result. However, all the data presented in this article, plus the existence of the National Center for Science Education demonstrate that the science community does treat this at least somewhat seriously. Do you deny the existence of the National Center for Science Education? I assure they are quite real. I called them on the phone and spoke to them. They even come to the talk pages and watch the debates. They even know some of us quite well by our postings. --Filll 23:31, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
Well, having been a member of NCSE for a while, I'm not sure where you are going with this, but anyway... --ScienceApologist 07:00, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
Well you claim that the National Center for Science Education denies there are sides? Do you claim that National Center for Science Education does not state the result of polls and surveys, and list statements by scientific and other organizations in support of evolution? Do you deny that they do not include a good measure of the material I have included in this article? If you do deny this, then I suggest you check their website. If you do not deny this, then I humbly suggest you should not be a member since they disagree with your core principles, clearly. --Filll 15:09, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
I claim that what the NCSE does or does not believe is irrelevant to how this article should be written. We are not writing an article for NCSE, we are writing an article for Wikipedia. I do not think that NCSE is a "good measure" or a "bad measure". They are "a measure" and are fairly reliable and verifiable as a source. I'll thank you to not denigrate my personal affiliations with whatever means you have divined what are "core principles" of an organization and what that has to do with editting a random Wikipedia article. --ScienceApologist 17:14, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Not to mention that the "creationist side" is exclusively under the purview of a very limited religious following while the "evolution side" is accepted by scientists the world over, including in cultures and societies where Christianity/creationism is all but absent.

DID YOU READ THE ARTICLE AT ALL? In the US, there is 30-60+% support among the public for creationism. Laws are being passed. Lawsuits are happening. In Muslim countries, creationism has won already, in most cases. It is OVER. That includes 1-2 billion people. There is also a strain of Hindu creationism that is gaining currency. Both nonChristian. Both anti-science. Both anti-evolution (although the Hindu version less so because it is more syncretic). It does not matter what scientists accept. The public makes the laws. The public pays the bills. Scientists dont really matter in the face of this, in some sense. Scientists are irrelevant because the public can shut science down if it wants, and very effectively too.--Filll 23:31, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
Whoa Nelly! You are making some very blanket statements here that are borderline personally insulting to me, as a secular Muslim. So watch out, buster. Your biases are not well dealt with. You should re-read WP:NPOV, in particular the part about everybody having their own. Your perspective is one of many, and I don't think your advocacy is as even-handed as you may think it is (perhaps in directions you hadn't thought of). --ScienceApologist 07:00, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
I have nothing against Muslims. I have attended many lectures by Imams at the mosque near my home. However, do you deny that there is not a strong flavor of Islamic creationism? You cannot find evolution taught in schools in Pakistan or Morocco or many other Muslim countries, according to my sources. And the large number of Muslim anti-evolution websites speaks volumes I think. But to deny that this creationism business is ONLY about Christian fundamentalists operating in the US is to deny reality.--Filll 15:09, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
You are changing your tune now. If you want to discuss Islamic creationism, take it to that page. It is basically untrue that you "cannot find evolution taught in schools in Pakistan or Morocco". That's about as tremendously blanket a statement as I have ever read. There certainly exist schools in Pakistan and Morocco that do not teach evolution, but to try to make a sweeping generalization as you just did is about as orientalist as I've ever seen. Your statement is as blanket as someone claiming "You cannot find evolution taught in schools in the United States". No one is saying that creationism is a purely Christian cause. That you would even bring up this tangent makes no sense to me. --ScienceApologist 17:14, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

By trying to make this a "one the one hand/on the other hand" article, the authors are (perhaps unwittingly) buying into a false dichotomy.

If you read the article, you will see there is plenty of ambiguity mentioned in public support and religious support. However, it is a binary discussion when it comes to things like:
  • is evolution allowed in the science classroom of secular public schools or not?
  • is creationism allowed in the science classrooms of secular public schools or not?
These are pretty much binary. So the ambiguity is not quite useful here. The decision is binary.--Filll 23:31, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
Evolution is science is evolution. If people ignorant of science want to displace evolution in "science classes", said classes are no longer science classes. That's the end of the story. It's completely unverifiable for you to assume that there is of some sort of undifferentiated "necessity" for a conflict to exist over this. To wit, once creationism displaces evolution in science classes, said classes cease being science classes. So, it's not even a meaningful question: "Should creationism be allowed in the science classroom?" --ScienceApologist 07:00, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
Well that might very well be. However, in some states up until the Supreme court decision in 1987, creationism was required instruction in "science" classrooms in the US. And it was like that for decades. That is why they are fighting so hard. They want to get back into the science classrooms that they were thrown out of. So the question might not be meaningful to you, but it is a huge issue. There are laws being passed and court battles being fought. You might disagree with the premise personally, but that is irrelevant. This is an encyclopedia, and we just have to describe the situation. Even if the participants in the situation have misunderstood it, we have to describe it.--Filll 15:09, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
Right and after 1987 it was case law that such classes automatically became religion classes. I understand that there are people who believe that their religion is science, however, such a conflation does not belong as a basis for an article. Such a conflation, in actuality, is a misunderstanding. Isn't it great that we have an article where we can delineate such things? --ScienceApologist 17:22, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

It is in this sense that the article is promoting a POV: specifically a POV of conflict between religion and science, faith and reason, creation-evolution controversy, etc.

DEFINITELY INCORRECT. Look at the section on religion in the article. My goodness.--Filll 23:31, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
Um, irrelevant to the point of this sentence. The article makes the assumption because of its focus and content. --ScienceApologist 07:00, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
I do not think there is a conflict between faith and reason and between religion and science. But some obviously do. And so we have to describe their conflict as they imagine it.--Filll 15:09, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
We also need to attribute this view to those who believe in it since it is obviously not universally held. --ScienceApologist 17:28, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Please, try to understand that this article needs to be recouched if it is to survive at all.

So all the people on the AfD page that liked it, were they just deranged??--Filll 23:31, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
In a word, yes. --ScienceApologist 07:00, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
Well this speaks volumes. Unfortunately, decisions on Wikipedia are not decided on the basis of who is correct or what is the truth or what is the best strategy for defeating the creationists. It is about consensus. And even if the consensus consists of people that are deluded, you have to convince us we are wrong to get us to change our minds. You cannot declare unilaterally, by fiat, that you are correct, in the face of all evidence to the contrary. That is what the creationists do.--Filll 15:09, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm not trying to do it "by fiat". You simply asked my opinion on the matter. --ScienceApologist 17:28, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

In particular, science does not derive its support/acceptance from opinion polls or from signatories of letters.

Again as described in the article quite clearly, with sources. Do you not read these articles?--Filll 23:31, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
That's the whole point of me arguing that the article may be best trashed. If the article contains points that specifically contradict the fundamental premise of the article's exist, what we have is a self-contradicting article. Now what's the good of that? --ScienceApologist 07:00, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
If the situation as it exists is contradictory, then that is reality. Scientific organizations and National Center for Science Education might be making mistakes, but that is not up to us to judge. We just describe the situation. We do not judge.--Filll 15:09, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
We can clarify contradictions by proper attribution. Right now the article insists upon itself as being a delineator of a real and "measurable" conflict. --ScienceApologist 17:28, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

It is derived from evaluation of the scientific method. The driving wedge from creationists and IDers is trying to establish that a "controversy" exists -- and they often want to do this by citing polls.

Both sides cite polls and make lists of supporters and issue proclamations etc. Maybe meaningless, but they both do it. And have done it for decades, as I noted in the article.--Filll 23:31, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
Because both "sides" believe in "sides". I understand that both "sides" do it. Now why does this justify the existence of this article again? --ScienceApologist 07:00, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
Because we are not here to pass judgement on the rightness or wrongness of "sides". We are here to do exposition; a pure description of the situation.--Filll 15:09, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
That's not happening right now. Right now you aren't describing the fact that evolution's support is universal because denial in evolution is denial in science and as soon as you deny science the question of whether or not a scientific subject has support becomes an absurdity. It's like trying to answer the question "independent of politics, how much support does George W. Bush have?" --ScienceApologist 17:28, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

It's a practice that is entirely not NPOV, and I think this article suffers for it. --ScienceApologist 18:31, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

It is NPOV to note that polls are taken and described by the people involved in this controversy? And to state the results? --Filll 23:31, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
No, it is not an issue of NPOV when we write an article about inherently flawed polls. Should we have articles about polls that ask the question "Did you start beating your wife before or after last year?" Poisoning the well is what this article does. --ScienceApologist 07:00, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
It is not up to us to decide if the polls are flawed or not. They exist. That is enough.--Filll 15:09, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
Nonsense. Wikipedia can and does point out verifiable flaws in polling questions or omits mention of polls that defy reliability. Most creation-evolution polls actually are not reliable for reasons outlined above. --ScienceApologist 17:28, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
Then a huge fraction of the science community has been involved in poisoning the well. All the people who signed those petitions. All the nobel prize winners who filed briefs. All the scientific societies who issued statements. According to you, they are all playing into the hands of the creationists. Is that your contention?--Filll 14:09, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
It is my contention, but it is almost irrelevant to the point at hand. The article is written from the perspective that the controversy exists. If the controversy doesn't exist, then this article would be dubious in terms of accuracy and verifiability. Think of it this way, imagine if there was an article titled "level of support for biological death" which enumerated who believed in ghosts and who didn't believe in ghosts. Such an article would be inherently problematic in its existence because it makes an assumption that there is some sort of controversy over whether or not biological death is mutually exclusive with "ghost-status". What's more it mixes up the whole discussion beyond any sort of reasonable ability to evaluate any content included in the article. The article has effectively poisoned the well by its very existence. --ScienceApologist 17:06, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
I will point out that as an encyclopedia, it is not up to WP to plot appropriate strategy against the creationists. It is up to us to describe the situation. And if the scientific socieities have adopted this strategy, flawed as it may be in your eyes, we still have to describe it.--Filll 14:11, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
But "scientific societies" haven't really "adopted" the strategy, they're responding. A more neutral title might be "Response to creationist ad populum arguments". At least such a title wouldn't have the problem of poisoning the well on the get-go. --ScienceApologist 17:06, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Proposal to rename the article[edit]

I think one way to address the desire to have an article like this is to rename it "Gauging the support for the sides in the creation-evolution controversy". That's really what this article is about. --ScienceApologist 07:00, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

Yes it is a passable name but it is too long. Also, clearly people are upset about the word "support" it seems. What do you dislike about the word "levels"? No one could mistake "levels of support" for "scientific evidence" which was your previous claim if I a not mistaken. And it is not about the process of "gauging" but the end result of "gauging", so your proposed title is in fact not only too long, but inaccurate. Also, you are complaining about dividing the controversy into sides, and how improper and imprudent that is, and then included the notion of sides in the title itself. Hmm...--Filll 14:18, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
Also, ScienceApologist, I thought you wanted to emphasize that creationism and evolution aren't always opposing "sides", but that there's some overlap? If that's your intent, then the current title does a much better job of avoiding that misconception than your title (which emphasizes that creationism and evolution are opposing "sides") would. -Silence 14:36, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
No, the current title pretends that is describing the "support" for evolution, but it doesn't: it only is describing the "support" for evolution in the context of the creation-evolution controversy. How about "Enumerating sides in the creation-evolution controversy"? --ScienceApologist 19:06, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
The reason it describes the support in the context of the creation-evolution controversy is because the creation-evolution controversy is the only thing that makes this topic noteworthy, or disputed by anyone. We don't have comparable articles for "Level of support for gravity" for no reason other than that there is no significant creation-gravity controversy. It is not misleading to not mention "creationism" in the title of this article just because the article's importance is a result of the creation-evolution controversy, because we make that clear at the very start of the article. It doesn't describe the support "only in the context of the creation-evolution controversy", but the creation-evolution controversy is the relevant backdrop for debates over that level of support. -Silence 19:13, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
I think you are contradicting yourself when you say "It doesn't describe the support "only in the context of the creation-evolution controversy", but the creation-evolution controversy is the relevant backdrop for debates over that level of support." What is context if not a "relevant backdrop"? --ScienceApologist 19:23, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm using "backdrop" in the sense of "background; circumstances and events surrounding or leading up to an event or occurrence". The creation-evolution controversy is not the only context in which we can discuss the support for evolution, but it's important to discuss right off the bat because it gives us a perspective on what makes this article worth writing to begin with. It's a context for this article, but it needn't be the only one. -Silence 21:02, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
No contradiction that I can see. The article describes all the support, in whatever context. But it so happens that the only context in which the idea of supporting it arises is the "creation-evolution controversy". I agree that the very notion of having to document the level of support for evoluton is ludicrous, and I am a bit concerned that the very existence of such an article panders to the dangerous fictions that (a) there is a meaningful debate between two equally respectable "scientific" viewpoints, and (b) the way these things are best decided is by a show of hands, but there is a valid topic in the article, and I think the present name is about right. Snalwibma 21:06, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
One could argue that the creation-evolution controversy panders to creationists' desires much more than this one does, since its very title states that there is a controversy and thus lends credence to "Teach the Controversy" objections. We don't base article titles or subjects on whatever we think will help the creationists the least; we base it on what we think will be most informative to readers. -Silence 21:54, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
But since this article isn't about the "level of support for evolution" (which is as high as the level of support for gravity or optics or any other current scientific model you care to name) the title doesn't inform but, in fact, misleads readers. --ScienceApologist 17:01, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Enumerating the sides in the creation-evolution controversy[edit]

Who disputes it as a name for this article? --ScienceApologist 19:25, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

  • I disagree with the proposal to move it to anything like Enumerating the sides in the creation-evolution controversy. The article describes and discusses the extent to which there is support for evolutionary theory/fact out there. Yes, it inevitably also devotes some space to the question of how much support there is for anti-evolution. The present title is fine. Neat, succinct, reasonably accurate. Snalwibma 20:55, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Verifiably incorrect. The article describes the "level of popular support" for an advocacy against creationism. --ScienceApologist 14:27, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Disagree in that that title implies that there are only two "sides". As ScienceApologist himself points out, there is (arguably) some overlap, so "Level of support for evolution" is a more neutral title. -Silence 20:58, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Fair enough. That title is better, but since the article is in context of the C/E controversy, I made a new proposal below. --ScienceApologist 14:27, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Popular support for sides in the creation-evolution controversy[edit]

Who disputes it as a name for this article? --ScienceApologist 19:25, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

  • No! By which I mean I do dispute it. All the faults enumerated above. Please stop asking questions with (in effect) double negatives. Please ask who supports, not who disputes! Snalwibma 15:21, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
  • I do not like that name. As above--Filll 16:37, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Popular support for creation and evolution[edit]

As an alternative to the above. --ScienceApologist 14:33, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

I agree, Opabinia's most recent suggestion is the best one thus far, after Level of support for evolution itself. The only significant disadvantages to it that I see are that its use of "popular" implies that this doesn't discuss the scientific consensus for evolution, which it does, and that its opposite would be "Rejection", rather than the more neutral "Opposition". ScienceApologist's suggestions are trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist; not all articles related or relevant to the creation-evolution controversy need to mention both creationism and evolution in their titles. -Silence 15:43, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Except that the acceptance in question is "popular" acceptance. The article doesn't deal with scientific reception since such an article would be much different. --ScienceApologist 18:35, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
I disagree. A huge section of the article has to do with the scientific community. In fact, I had to make it smaller because people thought it was biased against creationists and unbalanced. Are the views of scientists and scientific societies just "popular? Are the rulings of courts just "popular"? --Filll 19:21, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
But the article shies away from the way the scientific community supports evolution (through evidence of evolution). --ScienceApologist 19:38, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
The title discusses the level of support, or level of acceptance, of evolution by the science community. And among other communities. Of course, the level of acceptance of the science community is a direct function of the evidence for evolution. If there were no evidence, the science community would not support it. And neither would the courts. And probably not the educational institutions. And probably public support would be drastically altered as well.--Filll 21:16, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
I like the use of the word 'popular' because, to the extent that this article does touch on the acceptance in the scientific community, it discusses ways that community has tried to convince the public (petitions and suchlike). Everything in this article that isn't directly about the public, is about various attempts to communicate with the public. 'Popular acceptance' is obviously the focus here. Not that that's a bad thing, but the title should describe the content. Opabinia regalis 02:28, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
I think Opabinia has a finger on the pulse. The "popular" aspect should be noted in the title. I think a consensus is beginning to emerge. --ScienceApologist 06:08, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
Sorry but I see no consensus. And even if you agreed with Opabinia, two does not carry much weight.--Filll 13:04, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

I think the problem without using "creation" in the title is that the entire article is written from the perspective of the creation-evolution controversy. If this controversy didn't exist, this article would not exist. So... it seems disingenuous to title the article as solely about "evolution". --ScienceApologist 18:34, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

It is very clear when a person reads anything more than the title that this is about the controversy. Please, why are you trying to find problems where none exist? Surely you do not think there is something funny when you are the only person out of about 30 that has looked at this so far that has this problem?--Filll 19:21, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
So why not change the title so that people can find out from the name of the title? After all, there is a precedent for titling articles after their subjects. --ScienceApologist 19:38, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
You are the one who seems to have the biggest problem (and perhaps the only problem) with understanding what this name means. Are you a native english speaker perchance?--Filll 21:18, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I'm a native English speaker. Are you a creationist perchance? --ScienceApologist 06:09, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
Goodness! Have you not seen the article? I have to work hard to bolster the creationist case to keep it NPOV, because my first drafts were judged to be decidedly POV. Have you not seen my other edits? Anyone calling me a creationist has not been paying attention. Whatever would give you that impression?--Filll 13:04, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
Now maybe you understand why it is so inappropriate for you to ask about my English speaking status. --ScienceApologist 16:52, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
Misunderstandings about evolution only exists because of the creation-evolution controversy, and deals almost entirely with creationist claims, yet you don't demand that it mention "creation" in the title. You're applying a double standard to articles. -Silence 19:32, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
Absolutely not true. There are plenty of people who have misconceptions about evolution who are not involved in the creation-evolution controversy. Students in introductory biology classes, for example. An example includes that "survival of the fittest" is often attributed to Charles Darwin when it was actually a Spencerian idea. --ScienceApologist 19:38, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
The "survival of the fittest" misunderstanding isn't even mentioned in Misunderstandings about evolution, except very briefly at the bottom, without any explanation that it's a misunderstanding, in a section copy-pasted from Evolution that doesn't even deal with misunderstandings, but rather with the history of social controversies surrounding evolution. :P Only creationist claims are dealt with in the article! And several of those creationist claims aren't even misunderstandings of evolution, they're misunderstandings of information theory and thermodynamics that have been applied to evolution as creationist arguments. Just like people would misunderstand evolution without creationists, people would support evolution without creationists, so both topics exist either way; but what tipped the scales in favor of making articles for them was their importance in the creation-evolution controversy. That's why there's an entire section for the history of the creation-evolution controversy at the bottom of "Misunderstandings"! It's pretty blatant. -Silence 20:03, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

I note that ALL of the "misunderstandings" in Misunderstandings about evolution are actually those of creationists, not culled from the experiences of some biology teacher. So that title is "misleading" as well.--Filll 21:13, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Since when is a Wikipedia article considered a finished product? The potential for misunderstandings that go beyond the creationists' misunderstandings is there in that article. However, I see no potential for this article to rise above its limited purview. --ScienceApologist 06:07, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Ad populum arguments (creation-evolution controversy)[edit]

Here is another alternative for the title. This encompasses the subject of the article completely. --ScienceApologist 06:11, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

  • No. This is getting silly, and that title is particularly silly. Maybe you should devote some energy to what the article says, rather than to the relatively trivial (yes, I know you will disagree with that - don't bother to respond) matter of what it is called. Snalwibma 10:51, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
Not a substantive objection. --ScienceApologist 16:22, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
Excuse me, but the objection is substantive. I say no because the proposed title is silly. Incidentally, I like the look of most of what you have been doing on the article - keep up the good work! Snalwibma 16:52, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
  • No. An ad populum argument claims that something is true because it is popular. In contrast, saying that something is well-accepted because it is popular is not succumbing to this fallacy, because it is fully relevant to discuss popularity when popularity itself, not veracity, is what's in dispute, which is true for much of the creation-evolution debate. It is not an ad populum argument to point to statistics supporting or opposing evolution unless these statistics are used to attempt to show that evolution is or isn't true. This proposed title is inaccurate, misleading, and circuitous; the current title is accurate, informative, and clear and direct. -Silence 18:14, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
Here's something that's important to note. The following arguments are not ad populums:
  • "The overwhelming majority of scientists say that evolution is true. Therefore, evolution is uncontroversial in the scientific community. Therefore, the controversy around evolution is social, and should not be taught in science classrooms."
  • "Many scientists dispute evolution. Therefore, evolution is controversial. Both sides in a controversy should be explained to students who are taught about a controversial topic. Therefore, both sides in the creation-evolution controversy should be taught to students learning about evolution."
In contrast, these arguments are ad populums:
  • "The overwhelming majority of scientists say that evolution is true. Therefore, evolution is true."
  • "Many scientists dispute evolution. Therefore, evolution is false."
The difference is clear, and most creationists and scientists alike avoid this obvious fallacy. Even the Teach the Controversy argument doesn't make this fallacy, since it argues, correctly, that a dispute is a controversy, not necessarily that a dispute means that evolution must be false. The primary error on the creationists' side is not an ad populum, but a mistaken belief that popularity in the population at large, rather than acceptance in the scientific community, is what determines what is taught in science classrooms. This, combined with various factual errors in their assumptions about how disputed evolution is, or what aspects of it are disputed, or how much basis there is for the claim that the Bible is supported by science, is what leads to the creationists' flawed and erroneous arguments. Likewise, scientists almost never make the mistake of saying that something is true because it is popular: they claim, rather, that evolution is popular because it is well-evidenced! (Whereas creationists often try to explain scientists' acceptance of evolution as being part of a grand conspiracy to attack Christianity and God. But, again, neither is an ad populum as long as it's not trying to disprove or prove evolution based on popularity alone.) -Silence 18:30, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
What you are missing is that ad populum arguments are not always fallacies. They are simply appeals to popular support to substantiate your claim. If your claim is "popular support indicates the following" then this ad populum claim is not a fallacy. Don't confuse the gradeschool rhetoric contentions for what is an attempted neutral description. --ScienceApologist 16:50, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
Even if that's true, the fallacious use of ad populum outweighs the neutral use in commonality a thousandfold. Its common pejorative connotaion is therefore unacceptable as an article title attempting to characterize this issue; it would be like listing the 2004 U.S. presidential campaign under the name "Ad hominems (2004 presidential campaign)". It amounts to a rhetorical attempt to discredit arguments on both sides, rather than to neutrally describe them without any Original Research—and characterizing all these arguments as ad populums without citations is a blatant violation of WP:NOR, whether it's neutral or not. And whether it's true or not, most of the arguments dealing with the "level of support" in the context of the creation-evolution controversy are not ad populums, since they do not claim that popularity affirms the truth of evolution or creationism. Your attempt to rename this article is a transparent ruse to violate NOR and NPOV in order to propagate your own POV that these arguments are absurd; you are relying on the common conception of ad populum as fallacious to give readers the impression that everything on the page is a bad argument, and relying on the rare conception of it as in some cases non-fallacious to try to justify the name-change to other editors. This wordplay is a rhetorical tactic unbecoming of any "Science Apologist", and certainly an unacceptable stance for Wikipedia itself to take on this issue. -Silence 18:20, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Oh, come on. SA, I don't know how you can say 'consensus is emerging' and then propose this; you know perfectly well this has nothing to do with argumentum ad populum. The current title is lousy but this succession of increasingly implausible alternatives is worse. Opabinia regalis 01:58, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
I know nothing of the sort. These arguments on this page are all ad populum and as seen in the comment below, the title of this page is really problematic. I don't see anybody willing to address this in a concerted manner. --ScienceApologist 16:48, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

This article[edit]

There are a number of problems with this article. The first is the title. The `level of support for evolution' is a vague, ill-defined concept which, moreover, is inherently time-dependent in nature and hence not really suitable for an encyclopaedia article. Moreover, since the content of the article, despite the 100-odd references, can (should?) be summarised as `anyone who actually understands evolution accepts it; those who don't are either uneducated or irrational or both', is there any purpose to it being here? I propose that we delete it, as a needless potential battleground for trying to keep the fundies at bay. Rosenkreuz 16:44, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Forgive my stupidity. I see there's a bloody great banner at the top of the page proclaiming that someone else already tried this. Oh well...the comment below still applies. Rosenkreuz 16:53, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
Afterwrit: As I understand it, at present the article could be used an argument of the form `a large segment of the American public does not support evolution. Therefore it is a theory in crisis, compared to the creationist account accepted by the masses'. This does not work. Rosenkreuz 16:48, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for your input. This is very close to what I've been discussing all along on this talkpage. We need to find a better positioning for the salvageable content on this page. Unfortunately, the overt advocacy and implied subtext of this article is generally not dealt with by a few of the other editors. --ScienceApologist 16:58, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Time-dependency does not render something unencyclopedic. In a sense, every article on Wikipedia is time-dependent, with perhaps the acception of a priori truths; almost nothing is true at all times. The fact that the level of support for evolution changes over time is in no way a reason not to have an article about the level of support for evolution; it is, rather, a reason to work on expanding the level of coverage regarding how that level has changed at various times since Darwin's day. And even if we accept your statement that the article can be summarized as "anyone who actually understands evolution accepts it; those who don't are either uneducated or irrational or both", that clearly would not make the article useless, because that's an important point that a remarkable number of people aren't aware of. :) If an encyclopedia can provide people with information that, although obvious and simplistic to us, could be very valuable and enlightening to those who belabor under certain misconceptions, then the encyclopedia is doing its job. The only problem is if we explicitly state anything to that effect (and then it's a problem with NPOV, not with usefulness), rather than simply letting the evidence speak for itself. Also, the fact that an article might become a "battleground for trying to keep the fundies at bay" is not a deletion criterion.
  • Therefore, none of your criticisms are relevant if your intent is to get the article deleted or moved; the first one is a content issue, and absurd as an argument for deletion ("the article needs to deal with the past more, so we should delete it"), the second one is a non sequitur ("I interpret the article as having a simple overall message, therefore it should be deleted even though that message is an important one that a lot of people don't recognize"), and the third one is speculation about possible behind-the-scenes editor conflits in the future, and therefore irrelevant to the article itself ("fundies will dispute this article, so we should delete it").
  • Your later claim is also irrelevant. Whether an article could or couldn't be used by creationists is not a criterion for deletion; all that matters is that the contents are noteworthy, verifiable, and neutral. Wikipedia bases its article selection on how informative an article is, not on what organizations we like or dislike would or wouldn't benefit from the article's existence. Besides, it is clear from actually reading the article that the article could not be used for any coherent criticism of evolution or for a "Teach the Controversy" argument, since it rebuts the idea that there is a scientific controversy over evolution. Creationists already constantly use the argument that evolution is controversial; this argument dispels the basis for that argument, by providing readers with claims on both sides followed by actual statistics on the matter. Without articles like this, creationist arguments are free to prosper, thriving on people's ignorance of the actual facts of the matter; with articles like this, on the other hand, anyone who wishes to dispel a creationist's argument can simply cite this Wikipedia page and clarify the matter with well-referenced, clear, and factual information. So your argument is absurd: the article has the opposite effect from what you claim, and even if it didn't, that would not, in itself, be a basis for deletion. -Silence 18:08, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
When I read comments like those of ScienceApologist, or Rosenkreuz, I have to wonder if they have actually READ the article, or just fantasized about its content, and if they have ever been in a real debate with a creationist? I frankly cannot believe that they have read the article or have any real experience dealing with creationists.
  • Does a controversy exist? Yes in some spheres it does. This article lets the reader clearly understand WHAT those spheres are, and how big the controversy is. Now we can either deny that the controversy exists (which is not reality) or we can describe it as accurately and as NPOV as we can.
  • Should we delete articles that might cause controversy? As attractive as that option sounds, that would mean deleting evolution and creation-evolution controversy and abortion and Christianity and Holocaust and any number of other articles. I cannot even describe my amazement at hearing such a ridiculous argument.
  • Because support levels change with time, then the subject is unencyclopedic? So should we remove articles on George W. Bush ? I am stunned. How can anyone take someone seriously who writes such things? --Filll 20:09, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

There must be something I am missing, because I do not understand the offense that this article and/or its title seems to generate. And especially when we just went through an AfD and had it carefully scrutinized and then it was decided it was on balance, useful and there was no consensus to delete? If I were the editors who found that I was in the minority, I would not just claim "all the other editors are arrested and a bit thick" and then unilaterally proceed to act, often with minimal explanation. This type of material, in abbreviated form, is in dozens of articles on WP. All it does is make a more extensive and comprehensive collection of it all in one place so we can understand this phenomenon better. What is wrong with that?--Filll 20:29, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Filll, I think what you are missing is a general description of the article. The article only serves as a synthesis of polls, letters, and websites of varying degrees of notability that are collected together solely because they either name or count people (whether they be scientists, goofballs, or the general public) who agree to a randomly constructed statement relating to the creation-evolution controversy. This description seems to be either of amateurish intent or worse. The problem is: why do we care if some person or group agrees to a randomly constructed statement regarding the creation-evolution controversy? What makes this topic any more worthy of report than an article that, say, summarizes surveys, letters, and statements about popular opinions of female celebrities? --ScienceApologist 10:34, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Let me try this again, although I am sure I have said this repeatedly:

  • We encounter this theme of "levels of support" or "levels of acceptance" in every article on evolution and creationism and the controversy, of which there are probably 100 or more now. This puts it all in one place that is easy to find and easier to maintain and can easily be linked to from all articles as needed.
  • This is a major point of discussion in the controversy; who supports it, and by how much? And I constantly encounter misunderstandings about the levels of support in different groups.
  • Notable organizations like the various main creationist organizations and National Center for Science Education, National Academy of Sciences and American Association for the Advancement of Sciences and dozens of others all are involved in this activity, and devote considerable energy to it and appear to put a lot of stock in it. This is important because even if we do not agree with it or this strategy, they do it. And so it is notable. It is an important part of the public discourse
  • This material has been part of the laws considered in the UK, in Australia, and at least 40 of the US states in the last few years. This alone would make it worthy.
  • There have been at least 10 major court cases in the US where this type of evidence has been part of the trial. This also alone would make it worthy.
  • This information is part of the considerations of school boards, and parent teacher associations and schools and teachers and school book publishers when trying to decide curricula. Maybe it should not be, but we live in an imperfect world.
  • This information is part of the extensive media coverage of this controversy, so again it is an important part of public discourse on the subject. It is worthy of inclusion
  • There are huge amounts of money being spent on this issue.
  • The AfD failed. This was brought before the community. We can do it again if you want but I think the result will be the same. You just personally declared all the other editors wrong. That might be true, but that is not how things are done on WP.
  • This article describes the support demographics. It shows interesting patterns which many people are unaware of. You might think they are obvious, but they clearly are not. It is of interest to all people involved in the controversy, and to those outside trying to understand what its nature is. (which of course is the purpose of this article in an encyclopedia).
  • You seem to be under a misapprehension that this article is written only to argue for or against evolution or creationism, and that this is the wrong strategy. That is not what this article is; it is trying to survey the landscape that exists. This article is not a strategy. It is meant as an encyclopedia reference, much like List of Christian denominations by number of members or Major religious groups, just to catalogue the situation as it exists. Hopefully as impartially as possible.
  • This is important also because of its potential reprecussions. Until the late 1950s, evolution appeared in almost no US school science textbooks. Until the mid 80s, it was illegal for teachers in some states to refuse to teach creationism as part of the school science curriculum. It is still possible that children are being taught creationism as science in many school science classrooms in the US; it just cannot be required by law. Many politicians want to change the laws to require that creationism be taught in school classrooms; both Gore and Bush initially supported this position in the 2000 Presidential election. Creationists claim the Santorum Ammendment does exactly that. And given the restrictions on Stem Cell Research and pronouncements by Creationists and Evangelicals who seem to have a lot of political pull in Washington, I suspect that if they get creationism into school science classrooms, that is only the beginning. They want to get things like cosmology and radioactive dating out of school science curricula. Tree ring dating will have to go. Discussions of fossils and dinosaurs. I also would not expect them to stop at the public schools, but want to go after the Universities, as has already been done in Turkey and Pakistan. And research funding. So this is an important issue. And I think the best a resource like Wikipedia can do is to provide information. Let's understand what the terrain looks like. Lets compile the information and have it available and look at it. Lets not hide from this. --Filll 16:16, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Response to Filll[edit]

We encounter this theme of "levels of support" or "levels of acceptance" in every article on evolution and creationism and the controversy, of which there are probably 100 or more now. This puts it all in one place that is easy to find and easier to maintain and can easily be linked to from all articles as needed.

I think this is something of an exaggeration (every article?) but be that as it may what you are trying to argue is that because the level of support is mentioned elsewhere it deserves its own article. What you fail to realize, however, is that level of support is characterized differently depending on who is talking. As an editor who is (very) familiar with these pages I'd say that the "level of support" is dictated by the evidence when we are dealing with the science side and the theology when we are dealing with the religion side. Trying to couch the "level of support" in terms of who signed what document or who responded to what poll is not really indicative of what the substance of the "issue" is.

This is a major point of discussion in the controversy; who supports it, and by how much? And I constantly encounter misunderstandings about the levels of support in different groups.

Except this is not in-and-of-itself a justification for a Wikipedia article. See WP:NOT. We aren't here to explicate major points of discussion, we are here to write articles that belong in an encyclopedia.

Notable organizations like the various main creationist organizations and National Center for Science Education, National Academy of Sciences and American Association for the Advancement of Sciences and dozens of others all are involved in this activity, and devote considerable energy to it and appear to put a lot of stock in it. This is important because even if we do not agree with it or this strategy, they do it. And so it is notable. It is an important part of the public discourse

Again, that's not in-and-of-itself a justification for this article. Reporting on the strategy can be done at any one of the articles you reference. Having a clearinghouse article on the subject is borderline POV-pushing (for the POVs of those organizations).

This material has been part of the laws considered in the UK, in Australia, and at least 40 of the US states in the last few years. This alone would make it worthy.

If you want to write an article on "laws regarding the creation-evolution controversy, I think that such an article would be wonderful. This article, however, is not on such a subject.

There have been at least 10 major court cases in the US where this type of evidence has been part of the trial. This also alone would make it worthy.

Again, see the above comment. Major court cases about the creation-evolution controversy would be a fine article, but this isn't what this article is about.

This information is part of the considerations of school boards, and parent teacher associations and schools and teachers and school book publishers when trying to decide curricula. Maybe it should not be, but we live in an imperfect world.

Again, not a sufficient justification for inclusion in Wikipedia. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a handbook for aforementioned groups.

This information is part of the extensive media coverage of this controversy, so again it is an important part of public discourse on the subject. It is worthy of inclusion

Arguable point. Media coverage tends not to revolve around this subject. It mostly deals with particular stories or incidents. I have never seen a media story that is specifically on this subject.

There are huge amounts of money being spent on this issue.

Not a sufficient justification for inclusion in Wikipedia. There are gobs of money being spent on lots of things that are routinely deleted from this encyclopedia.

The AfD failed. This was brought before the community. We can do it again if you want but I think the result will be the same. You just personally declared all the other editors wrong. That might be true, but that is not how things are done on WP.

You are missing the point. The AfD discussion seemed to indicate that there were major problems with this article, problems that have not been addressed at this time. Whether or not the article should be deleted is a procedural matter, but whether it should be improved is something else. Don't take a successful "keep" as a carte blanche toward ownership of the article.

This article describes the support demographics.

I can find no reference to legitimate demographers made anywhere in the article, so this statement is absolutely wrong.

It shows interesting patterns which many people are unaware of.

This is dangerously close to an WP:ILIKEIT defense for the article. It is not a good idea to support an article's content just because you are interested in it. There are content guidelines that should be looked at.

You might think they are obvious, but they clearly are not. It is of interest to all people involved in the controversy, and to those outside trying to understand what its nature is. (which of course is the purpose of this article in an encyclopedia).

Even if I agreed with your premise that it was important that people know this subject, it is not at all clear that this article (as an amalgmation of a lot of different perspectives, views, polls, letters, and statements by various groups) is the best way to do it. Whether such a synthesis ever belongs in Wikipdia is debatable (there are good arguments either way), but you haven't addressed the point that many of these descriptions can be handled in the articles about the individual groups, for example.

You seem to be under a misapprehension that this article is written only to argue for or against evolution or creationism, and that this is the wrong strategy. That is not what this article is; it is trying to survey the landscape that exists. This article is not a strategy. It is meant as an encyclopedia reference, much like List of Christian denominations by number of members or Major religious groups, just to catalogue the situation as it exists. Hopefully as impartially as possible.

If this article were just a list, I would be much more happy to let things slide. However, it is more than a list. I consider it to be an original amalgamation of material selected for reasons that do not synchronize with Wikipedia policies and procedures.

This is important also because of its potential reprecussions. Until the late 1950s, evolution appeared in almost no US school science textbooks. Until the mid 80s, it was illegal for teachers in some states to refuse to teach creationism as part of the school science curriculum. It is still possible that children are being taught creationism as science in many school science classrooms in the US; it just cannot be required by law. Many politicians want to change the laws to require that creationism be taught in school classrooms; both Gore and Bush initially supported this position in the 2000 Presidential election. Creationists claim the Santorum Ammendment does exactly that. And given the restrictions on Stem Cell Research and pronouncements by Creationists and Evangelicals who seem to have a lot of political pull in Washington, I suspect that if they get creationism into school science classrooms, that is only the beginning. They want to get things like cosmology and radioactive dating out of school science curricula. Tree ring dating will have to go. Discussions of fossils and dinosaurs. I also would not expect them to stop at the public schools, but want to go after the Universities, as has already been done in Turkey and Pakistan. And research funding. So this is an important issue.

This looks to me like a political treatise and political treatises are clearly not good justifications for why things should be a certain way in an encyclopedia. In any case, the political import of a topic may make it interesting from a political standpoint, but only if you can find verifiable third-party political reports which indicate this. This issue is very obscure within political circles, to the point of it being buried deep in party platforms for reasons dating back to William Jennings Bryan's failed presidential bids.

And I think the best a resource like Wikipedia can do is to provide information. Let's understand what the terrain looks like. Lets compile the information and have it available and look at it. Lets not hide from this.

Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information. We need to have encyclopedic reasons for how to arrange content and what subjects to include as stand-alone articles. I encourage you to think carefully on this criticism. Much of the article's content may be salvageable, but we need to rethink whether we are serving the purpose of an encyclopedia by having this particular amalgmation, and, moreover, whether it makes sense for it to be called "Level of support for evolution".

--ScienceApologist 14:39, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

In case you had not noticed, you do not WP:OWN this topic, and your interpretation of the WP rules and guidelines are not the only one. And in case you had not noticed, a substantial number of people disagree with you. Just a little reminder.--Filll 15:21, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

I believe that it will be very difficult to make any headway here by discussion. Here is an interesting response:

So all the people on the AfD page that liked it, were they just deranged??--Filll 23:31, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
In a word, yes. --ScienceApologist 07:00, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
  • That's a pretty damning comment, yes. Accusing every editor who disagrees with you of being "deranged" is exactly the sort of uncivil, intolerant, and closed-minded polemicism that we should strive to avoid in all Wikipedia interactions (albeit Filll seemed to be trying to bait you into making such an attack, which was also inappropriate). However, Filll, I believe we should try to respond to ScienceApologist's specific points, not just dismiss them with weak arguments like "you don't OWN this article" (he would probably say the same to you) or "that's just your interpretation of the WP rules and guidelines" (which isn't any inherently worse than yours; rather than making such a trivial statement, explain what's wrong with his interpretation). We've finally gotten ScienceApologist to stop making unilateral, undiscussed changes to the article and start actually explaining his reasoning and engaging in a dialogue; that's an important step forward in resolving this issue, and we should encourage a civil and open-minded discussion about the matter by treating him and his arguments respectfully, no matter we strongly we disagree with them.
  • Yes, a "substantial number of people disagree with" ScienceApologist, but while that makes it inappropriate for him to try to institute any major, immediate changes (like a page-move) on his own at this point, it doesn't make him wrong. What makes him wrong is that this article does not contadict any Wikipedia policy, is informative and useful for readers, and does not constitute an inherently POVed or misleading topic. Attack the argument, not the arguer.
  • "As an editor who is (very) familiar with these pages I'd say that the "level of support" is dictated by the evidence when we are dealing with the science side and the theology when we are dealing with the religion side." - This has already been addressed above. You are misdefining support as it is being used here. This article is about the level of popular support/acceptance for (as contrasted with opposition/rejection to) evolution, not about what arguments and evidence "support" the scientists' or creationsts' views. The latter is too broad a topic for one article; the former is perfect for an article.
  • "Trying to couch the "level of support" in terms of who signed what document or who responded to what poll is not really indicative of what the substance of the "issue" is." - It is a violation of WP:NOR for Wikipedia to attempt to dictate what the "issue" is in the creation-evolution debate, when many different issues are in fact involved. The fact that you consider arguments and polls regarding evolution's level of popular support to be "beside the point", or even red herrings, does not mean that the issue doesn't exist. Whatever topics are most frequently debated in a major social controversy like this, Wikipedia must write about, no mater how silly or beside-the-point they may seem to Wikipedia's editors. It is our job to report on national debates, not to "judge" them and dismiss whichever ones we think are "not really indicative of what the substance of the 'issue' is".
  • "Except this is not in-and-of-itself a justification for a Wikipedia article." - Um... yes, it is. As long as the point of discussion is major enough. Nowhere on WP:NOT does it state that major issues in ongoing national controversies cannot have articles written about them, as long as the information is verifiable, neutral, and in-depth enough to merit such an article.
  • "Major court cases about the creation-evolution controversy would be a fine article, but this isn't what this article is about." - You're right on both counts. That would be a fine article (though it's probably not entirely necessary, since we already should have links to all the major court cases in creation-evolution controversy, and their individual article pages are generally the best places to go into detail on them), and it's not what this article is about. But what you fail to realize is that this is also a fine article. Someone could just as easily use your arguments against this page (that both supporters and opponents of evolution don't rely primarily on popular support, but rather on evidence and theological or scientific arguments) to invalidate a page on major court cases (i.e., "both supporters and opponents of evolution don't rely primarily on legal decisions, but rather on evidence and theological or scientific arguments, therefore this is not a major issue and shouldn't have an article"). This illustrates how baseless your criticism of this argument is: it basically dismisses all Wikipedia articles related to the creation-evolution controversy that are not either strict theology or strict evolutionary biology, dismissing entirely the social and political aspects of the controversy.
  • "I have never seen a media story that is specifically on this subject." - I have never seen a media story on the creation-evolution subject that didn't mention the level of support for evolution in one way or another. Complaining that no one story can be said to be exclusively and solely "on this subject" is quibbling. Many of the articles on Wikipedia have been referenced in news stories, but relatively few have had news stories exclusively about them, especially when we're talking about daughter articles of larger issues.
  • "The AfD discussion seemed to indicate that there were major problems with this article, problems that have not been addressed at this time." - Actually, an unbiased reading of the AfD discussion indicates that most, if not all, of the problems that spurred the AfD nomination had been resolved by the time of its closure, and many more have been resolved since then (such as the ambiguity and potential POV of the title "Support for evolution", as opposed to "Level of support for evolution"). I'll agree that there are still problems to be fixed, but I fail to see any of them as grounds for deletion.
  • "Whether such a synthesis ever belongs in Wikipdia is debatable (there are good arguments either way), but you haven't addressed the point that many of these descriptions can be handled in the articles about the individual groups, for example." - By that logic, creation-evolution controversy itself should be deleted. There is no reason not to present information in the individual groups' article that is too specific for those pages, and information on this article that is too general (e.g., comparisons between different groups, or generalizations over several groups, and just any information that is specifically relevant to the "level of support"), when having both is more useful and informative than only having one or the other.
  • "If this article were just a list, I would be much more happy to let things slide." - That doesn't make any sense at all. A list couldn't adequately present the same information, and thus would be less useful to readers. If you're OK with a list being made on a certain topic, it seems absurd to object to an article being made on the same topic on the grounds that the topic is inappropriate (as opposed to on the grounds that the information is better-suited to a list).
  • "Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information." - You're right. Wikipedia is a discriminate collection of information. Which is exactly what Filll was describing, and exactly what this article adheres to. -Silence 15:36, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
I will also add that the article started out as much more of a list. And slowly but surely, the lists have been removed. I have removed several in response to complaints (a big part of the reason an AfD was filed in fact). And subsequently, several other lists were removed by other editors. I might not personally agree (although in truth, I am neutral about it, since both formats have advantages and disadvantages), but since I do not WP:OWN this article, and I believe in consensus, I welcome this community input and feedback. I know from a lot of past experience that if I write something, and come back to it much later, I will find fault with what I wrote before. Sometimes I am shocked at how poorly written it is, and how little I agree with what I wrote before. So one can short circuit this process of rewriting considerably by employing others to proof-read it and correct mistakes. And a lot of other views can be very beneficial. Also, I apologize if it seems like I am baiting ScienceApologist. I was, and still am, just incredulous at this seeming rejection of consensus, when that is one of the hallmarks of WP. I just do not know how to respond to this disregard for one of the tenets of WP. And over what seems like a sort of minor issue, since Wikipedia is not paper as many people seem to point out to me over and over.--Filll 16:17, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Responses to Silence and Filll[edit]

First of all, User:Filll, your very uncivil attempt to draw attention to an exchange that you took out of context should be rethought. Especially the double big tags. It makes it very difficult to assume good faith when you do things like that, in specific violation of Wikipedia:Wikiquette.

However, let me respond, in turn, to each of the accusations.

Accusing every editor who disagrees with you of being "deranged" is exactly the sort of uncivil, intolerant, and closed-minded polemicism that we should strive to avoid in all Wikipedia interactions (albeit Filll seemed to be trying to bait you into making such an attack, which was also inappropriate).

I don't beat around bushes and I do believe in generalization for effect. If you can't figure out what I mean when I say that people who "disagreed" with a statement that wasn't made in the AfD were "deranged" then you are not only making mountains out of molehills, you are planting your foot firmly in your mouth. My one-word answer to Fillls' outrageous comment was indicative of my belief that nobody expressed such a sentiment in the AfD. That's all.

However, Filll, I believe we should try to respond to ScienceApologist's specific points, not just dismiss them with weak arguments like "you don't OWN this article" (he would probably say the same to you) or "that's just your interpretation of the WP rules and guidelines" (which isn't any inherently worse than yours; rather than making such a trivial statement, explain what's wrong with his interpretation). We've finally gotten ScienceApologist to stop making unilateral, undiscussed changes to the article and start actually explaining his reasoning and engaging in a dialogue; that's an important step forward in resolving this issue, and we should encourage a civil and open-minded discussion about the matter by treating him and his arguments respectfully, no matter we strongly we disagree with them.

I appreciate this overture.

Yes, a "substantial number of people disagree with" ScienceApologist, but while that makes it inappropriate for him to try to institute any major, immediate changes (like a page-move) on his own at this point, it doesn't make him wrong. What makes him wrong is that this article does not contadict any Wikipedia policy, is informative and useful for readers, and does not constitute an inherently POVed or misleading topic. Attack the argument, not the arguer.

Actually, this article does contradict some Wikipedia policies including the fact that its title is misleading and its subject ill-defined.

You are misdefining support as it is being used here. This article is about the level of popular support/acceptance for (as contrasted with opposition/rejection to) evolution, not about what arguments and evidence "support" the scientists' or creationsts' views. The latter is too broad a topic for one article; the former is perfect for an article.

Since "support" and "level of support" are vague, the proper thing to do is rename the article so people know what the subject is. As we have it right now, the article's subject and the article's title do not coincide and so the "support" as it is being used here is ill-defined and inappropriate.

It is a violation of WP:NOR for Wikipedia to attempt to dictate what the "issue" is in the creation-evolution debate, when many different issues are in fact involved. The fact that you consider arguments and polls regarding evolution's level of popular support to be "beside the point", or even red herrings, does not mean that the issue doesn't exist. Whatever topics are most frequently debated in a major social controversy like this, Wikipedia must write about, no mater how silly or beside-the-point they may seem to Wikipedia's editors.

I have no problem discussing the points in this article. I do have a problem that the article does not reference any sources that discuss the points in the manner in which the article discusses them. It looks like an original amalgamation: original research.

It is our job to report on national debates, not to "judge" them and dismiss whichever ones we think are "not really indicative of what the substance of the 'issue' is".

I agree. So tell me, where are these national debates taking place about what the level of support for evolution is independent of the creation-evolution controversy? If there are none, then why isn't creation-evolution controversy explicitly in the title?

Um... yes, it is. As long as the point of discussion is major enough. Nowhere on WP:NOT does it state that major issues in ongoing national controversies cannot have articles written about them, as long as the information is verifiable, neutral, and in-depth enough to merit such an article.

Point being that the issue isn't a "major" one. The creation-evolution controversy may be considered a "major" issue, but every tangentially related article does not automatically gain merit from that. You have to evaluate each article on its own terms. This article makes it out to be that there is some major controversy over who does and doesn't support evolution. I haven't seen any evidence that this exists outside a tangential argument that takes place in the C/E debate. You have to make it clear that the article is major in its own right.

But what you fail to realize is that this is also a fine article. Someone could just as easily use your arguments against this page (that both supporters and opponents of evolution don't rely primarily on popular support, but rather on evidence and theological or scientific arguments) to invalidate a page on major court cases (i.e., "both supporters and opponents of evolution don't rely primarily on legal decisions, but rather on evidence and theological or scientific arguments, therefore this is not a major issue and shouldn't have an article").

You have obviously missed my reasons for objecting to this article as an article in its own right. What you used was an objection I had to the article's title.

This illustrates how baseless your criticism of this argument is: it basically dismisses all Wikipedia articles related to the creation-evolution controversy that are not either strict theology or strict evolutionary biology, dismissing entirely the social and political aspects of the controversy.

No, I want Wikipedia to include articles that are notable and unoriginal reports and that are not unique amalgamations of arbitrary material like this article is.

I have never seen a media story on the creation-evolution subject that didn't mention the level of support for evolution in one way or another. Complaining that no one story can be said to be exclusively and solely "on this subject" is quibbling.

It's not quibbling at all: It's my main point. That this one subject is not considered independent of other subjects is a good reason to rid ourselves of this article and include its information in reference to the other subjects which do have articles.

Many of the articles on Wikipedia have been referenced in news stories, but relatively few have had news stories exclusively about them, especially when we're talking about daughter articles of larger issues.

I challenge you to name some.

Actually, an unbiased reading of the AfD discussion indicates that most, if not all, of the problems that spurred the AfD nomination had been resolved by the time of its closure, and many more have been resolved since then (such as the ambiguity and potential POV of the title "Support for evolution", as opposed to "Level of support for evolution"). I'll agree that there are still problems to be fixed, but I fail to see any of them as grounds for deletion.

Disabuse yourself of the notion that you have an unbiased reading. YOUR reading of the AfD discussion, etc. is that all issues have been resolved. However, I think the title of this article is horrible and I don't think that the substantive problems have been dealt with.

By that logic, creation-evolution controversy itself should be deleted.

No, because creation-evolution controversy is reported as a subject outside of Wikipedia.

There is no reason not to present information in the individual groups' article that is too specific for those pages, and information on this article that is too general (e.g., comparisons between different groups, or generalizations over several groups, and just any information that is specifically relevant to the "level of support"), when having both is more useful and informative than only having one or the other.

Since when is specific information about specific groups "too specific" to include in articles about "specific groups"? That is just about the weirdest argument I've seen yet. Trying to satisfy all parties by being inclusionist is your opinion, but as a deletionist, I don't like to see repetition for repetition's sake.

That doesn't make any sense at all. A list couldn't adequately present the same information, and thus would be less useful to readers.

Say's who? The God of Wikipedia? I've seen many lists that adequately present information. I think much of this article could be covered in a list: most of the prose is completely throwaway or could easily be included elsewhere.

If you're OK with a list being made on a certain topic, it seems absurd to object to an article being made on the same topic on the grounds that the topic is inappropriate (as opposed to on the grounds that the information is better-suited to a list).

No it isn't. There is precedent for this. Articles related to the creation-evolution controversy was written to accomodate an editor who wanted to write some big summary article about every issue related to the creation-evolution controversy. The list works better than any text we could write.

You're right. Wikipedia is a discriminate collection of information. Which is exactly what Filll was describing, and exactly what this article adheres to. -Silence 15:36, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Actually, the collection is indiscriminate because there is no third-party which has presented this as a topic.

I was, and still am, just incredulous at this seeming rejection of consensus, when that is one of the hallmarks of WP. I just do not know how to respond to this disregard for one of the tenets of WP. And over what seems like a sort of minor issue, since Wikipedia is not paper as many people seem to point out to me over and over.--Filll 16:17, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Filll, disputes arise. It is simply natural when you have more than one editor writing anything. I don't consider the issue to be minor, but you do. I don't like seeing an article with what I consider to be glaring problems, regardless of whether it is easily changeable or not. I would rather see the changes done now rather than pretend that consensus has occurred. In order to get consensus, in principle every reasonable editor has to agree, and while it is possible to be an unreasonable stick-in-the-mud, I disagree that this is what I'm being since I have received support from others in what I'm saying here and have yet to see you offer anything in the way of compromise. For example, you haven't admitted that the title of the article is equivocal and you haven't seen fit to address the issue that the subject material is basically synthesized. I will continue to press these matters until there is resolution, but until resolution occurs, dispute is what we have.

--ScienceApologist 19:42, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Do not blame Silence for my own bad judgement of placing the double <big> tags. Ok so they were deranged because they disagree with you. Fine. I get the message. Loud and clear.--Filll 19:50, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

ScienceApologist writes: I do have a problem that the article does not reference any sources that discuss the points in the manner in which the article discusses them. It looks like an original amalgamation: original research.

I guess there is something I am too dense to see. Unless I can find a book or a newspaper or a magazine article that lists all of these points in the same article, in the same way, with the same statistics and the same sources, it is not suitable for WP? Is that what you are stating? Wow that does not sound very scholarly, or very much like what I know of an encyclopedia. --Filll 19:57, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Not "all these points", but at least an article that is ostensibly about the subject. As it is, the haphazard nature of this stuff makes it very close to original research. I would be much more comfortable if you can find me a single article outside of Wikipedia that discusses the "popular support" for evolution in this fashion. I agree that this sentiment does not sound "scholarly", but remember the point of Wikipedia is not to be a scholarly publication: it's to be an encyclopedia that reports things that have already been done. --ScienceApologist 20:01, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
To make this even more clear, I was involved in a similar dispute involving nonstandard cosmologies which was an article written with a lot of problems in terms of defining subjects. Then one of the other editors pointed out that an article had been written outlining the subject by a third party. Suddenly, the article had focus and a subject that could be verified by a secondary source. In fact, most articles in Wikipedia are best written from secondary sources for this reason. We can avoid the original research issues if we just report what has been done before. --ScienceApologist 20:07, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Failed "good article" nomination[edit]

This article failed good article nomination. This is how the article, as of January 20, 2007, compares against the six good article criteria:

1. Well written?: No problems I will agree with silence (below) that the organisation needs work. Sections 3+6 should go under Section 1 and it should be clarified that churches have more surrendered to evolution than embraced it.
2. Factually accurate?: Huge amount of sources
3. Broad in coverage?: It could help to add support from Physical Scientists, Philosophers, and others professions that may have a different angle. It would also help to have a more global view.
4. Neutral point of view?: It has a disputed neutrality banner on the top of the page! The article only attempts to discredit the general public without even attempting to give credibility to general public's beliefs (i.e. They did not go to a college that actively propogated it). It fails to address cause and effect (i.e. Is it the lack of the teaching of alternate theories in schools that causes scientists to believe in evolution or vice versa). This demonstrates a failure to examine reasoning the motives behind scientists decisions. The article also fails to distinguish between microevolution (which most Creationists support) and that of macroevolution (which many will deny). It also fails to address that the Gallop poll does not include old-earth creationists which do not believe in God guided evolution.
POV Disclaimer: I am a Creationist
5. Article stability?It is stable for such a controversial issue.
6. Images?: It needs at least one (i.e. A picture of protesters, Supreme Court building or document for that section, a picture of a church or church leader, map of the U.S. for the U.S. support section, picture of the world for the international support section, a medicine and industry picture, a picture of the cover of the Origin of the Species, etc.).


GA review (see here for criteria)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS):
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    a (fair representation): b (all significant views):
  5. It is stable.
  6. It contains images, where possible, to illustrate the topic.
    a (tagged and captioned): b lack of images (does not in itself exclude GA): c (non-free images have fair use rationales):
  7. Overall:
    a Pass/Fail: [[File:|16px|alt=|link=]]

--Jorfer 06:41, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

This review is enlightening[edit]

And pretty funny. Wow. Just makes me shake my head.--Filll 06:14, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

A good review. I would add that it could use a little reorganization for clarity's sake; it is confusing to have things mentioned in reverse chronology at the start of the article, then in normal chronology at the end. We should distinguish between "Level of support" as in "Level of acceptance" and as in "Level of advocacy", as some of the sections seem to only deal with the latter (e.g., the second section). "Project Steve" also clearly belongs under "Scientific support". -Silence 06:17, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

While the review is mostly good, the image part seems completely nonsensical. How can the article possibly be graded on "(b) a lack of images does not in itself prevent an article from achieving Good Article status.", and how can the article fail this? It's a statement, not a measurement. Furthermore, all of the images in the article are in fact correctly tagged and captioned, and all of the non-free images have proper fair use rationale, since there aren't any images at all. I can see how that one could reasonably complain using the Good Article criteria that the article has no images, but the way in which the review does so is absurd. I might suggest that keeping more to the spirit of the guidelines instead of the sentence numbers might be more appropriate when doing reviews. --Philosophus T 07:37, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

I think the second criterion means "Would the article be significantly benefited by including images?" If an article doesn't need any images, then 6b gets a + mark. Jorfer probably figured that this is an example of an article that should have images before it's a GA, perhaps to graphically illustrate certain statistics? -Silence 15:06, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

I would agree that graphs and charts would help. I also agree that it needs to be a bit better organized. I also am not happy with the trend section yet.--Filll 15:39, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

What I was trying to convey is that the articles needs at least one picture to help make it more appealing (i.e. A picture of protesters, Supreme Court building or document for that section, a picture of a church or church leader, map of the U.S. for the U.S. support section, picture of the world for the international support section, a medicine and industry picture, a picture of the cover of the Origin of the Species, etc.). I had problems figuring out the template too so I just marked no on all of them.--Jorfer 15:27, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Those are all excellent ideas to consider. I do prefer articles with pictures myself.--Filll 15:39, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Filll's analysis of the review[edit]

I would agree that graphs and charts would help. I also agree that it needs to be a bit better organized. I also am not happy with the trend section yet. The parts I was not sure of were:

It should be clarified that churches have more surrendered to evolution than embraced it.

Although this might be true, it is a sort of unverifiable statement. And I am not sure I agree with it in all instances. All one has to do is read some of their statements of support in the links and it sure sounds like they embraced it.

It could help to add support from Physical Scientists and Philosophers

I am not sure how relevant the opinions of physical scientists are. Why not Chemists? Psychologists? Librarians? And philosophers have written a huge amount about it, but do they support it? Not in the same way that this article is written. They do define the terms used like "naturalistic materialism" and "scientific method" and "falsifiability" and "verifiability" but that is just defining the terms of the debate. I am fairly sure there are no surveys of, or petitions by philosophers or physicists (aside from those already listed in the links) and they are not near as relevant as the ones already described explicitly in the text.

  • Comment: Physical science includes both the branches of Chemistry and Physics, which means that Physical scientist is a broader description then Physicist.--Jorfer 16:00, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
The only relevant scientists are a subset of the Earth scientists, such as paleontologists. We have the often-cited Newsweek survey result on that issue, and I included some discussion in the trend section. However, as I said before, I want to improve that section.--Filll 16:22, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

4. Neutral point of view?: It has a disputed neutrality banner on the top of the page!

True; mainly a disagreement about the title however.

The article only attempts to discredit the general public without even attempting to give credibility to general public's beliefs

Well I am not sure how to do this and be NPOV. THhe public in the US supports it to a large degree, as I note, but the pubic supports a lot of things, as also noted. And it appears that the support is a bit soft and contradictory and changing with time, as also noted. It is the truth, both the good and the bad.

(i.e. They did not go to a college that actively propogated it).

It is possible that if schools were forbidden to teach evolution that public opinion surveys might be different. One thing that might be tried is a correlation of belief levels and educational requirements across time, or across country. I am not sure how much of this data exists, and it starts to verge into Original Research. To even mention this is sort of POV speculation however.


It fails to address cause and effect (i.e. Is it the lack of the teaching of alternate theories in schools that causes scientists to believe in evolution or vice versa).

As above, pretty much POV speculation.


This demonstrates a failure to examine reasoning behind scientists decisions.

Again, this is speculation. We can link to evidence for evolution and history of evolutionary thought, but more than that is speculation and outside the purview and theme of this article, and verging on OR.--Filll 15:38, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

The article also fails to distinguish between microevolution (which most Creationists support) and that of macroevolution (which many will deny).

This is basically a creationist canard. It could be mentioned as an aside that some creationists have no problem with microevolution, which is now a disused term in science.

It also fails to address that the Gallop poll does not include old-earth creationists which do not believe in God guided evolution.

I have no idea what this even means. Sorry.--Filll 15:38, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

  • Comment: This just means that the Gallop poll fails to include all perspectives.--Jorfer 16:00, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Even though there are many surveys, they might not ask all the things we would like to know or be as extensive or as reliable as we would like. They cost a lot of money to produce. So we have what exists. They might be biased or inadequate in various ways, but that is what we have.--Filll 16:20, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
That's irrelevant: Abiogenesis isn't part of the theory of evolution anyway. Adam Cuerden talk 19:53, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
It would be great if we had a very extensive reliable set of surveys on exactly what people believed in every country as a function of time, including all different major varieties and types of creationist beliefs about
  • how long a creation day is
  • how old the earth is
  • where life came from
  • where species come from
  • if evolution within species happens and why
  • if Noah's ark was real
  • if the flood was real
  • if adam and eve were real
  • what is the reason for two creation accounts in genesis
  • if the bible is literally true in whole
  • if the bible is literally true in part and which parts
  • if the sun goes around the earth or the earth goes around the sun
  • what is the shape of the earth
  • old testament dietary rules
  • old testament laws about stoning and punishments for various crimes
  • rules against "bearing false witness"
  • level of biblical knowledge
  • how the person being polled reconciles differences between what they believe and what the bible claims; for example, if they claim the earth is round, and the bible disagrees but they claim to subscribe to biblical inerrancy, how do they explain this contradiction?
and literally hundreds of other things. Including profession, and religious background and current religious beliefs and so on. It would be great if we could have this data extending back at least 200 years or more, and collected yearly. However, this does not exist. So it is sort of pointless to worry about it. --Filll 20:10, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Suggestion for a legal/court article[edit]

I have in fact pondered this off and on for the last few weeks. I even started a rough draft. I am not sure it could fly, but it might be a good idea. I have compiled a list of the 10 or 15 most important US court cases on the subject (I think I slipped them in this article as well, but with no comments). Not all of them have separate articles here on WP. They probably all should get separate articles. A short summary article that described the basics of each case in a paragraph with links might be quite useful. There is a page that does this on National Center for Science Education here but it does not have as many cases listed as I have in my list (I also used the National Academy of Sciences list and merged it with the NCSE list)

Since there have been pro-creationism laws considered in at least 40 states, the details could be tracked down and listed with sources, for every state in the US. Of course these laws have changed over time, in some cases several times, so this could be quite an undertaking.

There have been legal cases in the UK, in Australia, in Turkey and numerous other countries on this issue as well. This could also be compiled. Of course, all this would have to be done very carefully because the volume of material might easily be too much for one article.

So I agree that this would be a great article. I am not sure how easy it would be to do, and I am not sure how accepting the community would be of such an article.--Filll 16:36, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

I would support such an article. --ScienceApologist 19:48, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

How about Creation-evolution controversy in law as a title? --ScienceApologist 19:59, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Fine except it does not cover intelligent design, which might then require a separate article. And I am not sure if that is a good idea.--Filll 20:08, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Intelligent design is neo-creationism. So it does cover it. --ScienceApologist 20:10, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

A note on titles[edit]

I have agreed with several suggested name changes, and made several suggestions of my own. I guess you were not paying attention. I have expressed approval or partial approval for about 10 other titles. However I have some thoughts on titles:
  • A title that is too long is not good.
  • A title that is poor English is not good
  • A title that uses excessively obscure or erudite language is not good. We do not need circumlocution in our titles.
  • A title that suggests the process of producing the measures of support rather than the end result of those processes is not good
  • A title that focuses too much on creationism or the creation-evolution controversy is not good since intelligent design is also relevant and important in this context, but many claim intelligent design is not creationism. What do intelligent design and creationism share? A dispute with evolution. And in fact, I would include in this context people who disagree with evolution on nonreligious grounds, some of whom are involved with the discovery institute purely because they dislike evolution, not that they subscribe to the Genesis account or the divine origin agenda.--Filll 20:08, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Without getting too bogged down in the sticky issue of a distinction between creationism and intelligent design, it has basically been revealed that intelligent design is nothing more than creationism reapportioned in a way to fulfill the Wedge strategy. This is bizarrely uncontroversial because even when people disagree with this idea, the evidence is plainly there that this is what it is, and there is no evidence refuting this. I encourage you to sift through the mammoth talkpages at Talk:Intelligent design for more on this. However, the long-and-the-short-of-it is that there is not "two controversies" there is one. --ScienceApologist 20:13, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Filll, I agree with everything about titles except for the first and last point. The last point is disputed above. The first point is too equivocal. What makes a title "too long"? Long titles are sometimes necessary for specificity and while a paragraph would be inappropriate, sometimes a sentence is okay. Concise is nice, but when you can't be concise, it's okay to have titles that are a little longer than normal; especially when you have articles that are as iteratively specific as this one is trying to be. --ScienceApologist 20:16, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

A new title[edit]

I don't like the term "support". It is equivocal because it means so many things. How about a title with more clarity:

Endorsement and opposition to evolution

of if you are a stickler for grammar:

Endorsement of and opposition to evolution

This would satisfy my POV-title issues since endorsement and opposition can only be popular in nature.

Thoughts?

--ScienceApologist 14:31, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

I like those better than some of the other options so far. I have to mull it over. --Filll 15:15, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Silence? Orangemarlin? Opabina? Anyone else have any input?--Filll 20:04, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

I agree that the above suggestion is an improvement upon past suggestions, but it's also awkward because of the grammatical issue mentioned. If we're going to make the title awkward like that, we might as well remove any lingering ambiguity with something like "Support for and opposition to evolution" or "Acceptance of and opposition to evolution", since "Support", not "Endorsement", is the opposite of "Opposition". (The reverse of "Endorsement" would be more like "Rejection" or "Disapproval".)
Just because a word has multiple potential meanings does not make it equivocal, as long as it is not used in those multiple meanings. Simply using a word that has two meanings is not equivocation; only alternating back and forth between those meanings is. Therefore this not a problem for this article: we don't equivocate between the different meanings, and we make it clear from the very beginning (through consistent usage, through the dab notice, and through the "Level of support" phrasing in the title itself) which meaning is being used. It is thus exceedingly unlikely that anyone will be genuinely confused in this way by the title as-is. -Silence 22:09, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

I liked Silence's suggestion of

Endorsements and rejections of evolution

That seems to me like a very clear title that doesn't suffer from ambiguity (if not equivocation). I take the opinion that we should strive for the best possible titles so that readers have the best possible first impression. --ScienceApologist 22:31, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

I would prefer a format like "Endorsement and rejection of evolution" (or, better yet, "Level of acceptance of evolution") because it is more generalized, and more in accordance with Wikipedia's naming conventions, than the plural version. "Endorsements and rejections of evolution" makes this article sound like a loose collection of quotations endorsing or rejecting evolution, something more appropriate for WikiQuote. "Endorsement and rejection of evolution", in contrast, is more general and encyclopedic. Though I don't like the use of either "Endorsement" or "Rejection"; "Acceptance" and "Support" are better general terms for "pro-evolution", and "Opposition" is a better "anti-" one. -Silence 22:57, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

I would prefer level of acceptance of evolution, or even acceptance of evolution.--Filll 23:14, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

I agree. Though I prefer "Level of support for evolution" over that, because it is less POVed—"acceptance" has a positive connotation, whereas "support" is neutral. -Silence 23:21, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Acceptance has some strange connotations. And does not suggest the temporary nature of the "support" that is part and parcel of scientific theories; provisional assent as they say.--Filll 23:33, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Indeed. One supports (or opposes) a proposition; one accepts (or rejects) reality. Not to say that evolution isn't reality, but phrasing it in such a way frames the topic in a subtly POV way, which should be avoided if possible. -Silence 23:41, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

I agree with others in rejecting "Acceptance". I like "Level of support for evolution" because it neatly encapsulates a spectrum of opinion from zero to 100% and therefore does away with the need to complicate the title by including both pro and anti words. But I'd go along with "Endorsement and rejection of evolution" if it had strong support (sorry, endorsement!) from others. Snalwibma 23:57, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Endorsement and rejection of evolution looks like a better title to me and has received gaurded support from both User:Snalwibma and User:Silence. What does User:Filll think? --ScienceApologist 01:59, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

I'm not the one you have to impress, but since Filll asked me to comment, I like this one. Most of this article is about "endorsement", ie, statements of support, rather than support itself. Opabinia regalis 02:37, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

I still prefer other choices more, but if I had to pick a title along those lines I might try level of endorsement of evolution. Or maybe rejection of evolution. Or maybe evolution support and denial. But to be honest, they all seem awkward to me. So I am not sure.--Filll 03:24, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

Filll, do you understand why "level" and "support" are problematic terms to include in the title? --ScienceApologist 19:59, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

Neither term is problematic. -Silence 20:32, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
They're both problematic because they are ambiguous. A dozen people coming across these terms in an article such as this would have a dozen different ideas about what the content of the article should be. Ergo problematic. --ScienceApologist 22:24, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
Neither word is ambiguous in this context, because they are clearly defined in an intuitive, simple, consistent manner. I see no reason to believe that a dozen different people would have a dozen different ideas about this article's scope; my suspicion is that all 12 would be likely to view the article as covering the amount of acceptance of, or popular support for, evolutionary theory (and, in various groups, the lack thereof). -Silence 23:06, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
Nonsense. This is a title, so there is no context unless it is specified in the title. The only context there is is "level", "support" and "evolution". Evolution is itself ambiguous (thus the need for the disambiguation page), so that leaves you with "level" and "support" as your context. I will note that Wikipedia:Naming conventions (precision) seems to support my opinion that since "level" and "support" have a lot more dictionary definitions than endorsement or rejection, it's better to use a more precise title. --ScienceApologist 01:49, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Why not frame it as a U.S. controversy in the title and concentrate on that. The endorsement by international entities would still be valid. I haven't noted a surge of protest that Iranian political leaders encourage fundamentalist notions and censure and censorship of scientist. Mexico nor Canada have a problem with evolution so it is not a North American issue. The U.S. controversy is interesting in its own right and the article is excellent in that regard. Maybe frame it as an issue of fundamentalist Abrahamic religions and include U.S. and muslim nations. The level of support as a list is more like an addendum to evolution, but the controversy makes it an article.GetAgrippa 21:27, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

Filll refuted this argument at the end of #NPOV warning. We should expand this article's global focus, not artificially restrict it and thus raise the question of why we aren't paying attention to any countries other than the U.S. -Silence 23:06, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

Good point but the only people I read complaining in muslim countries are scientist. I agree it would be better to expand for NPOV. It still seems a mix of naivety and fundamentalist Abrahmic religious belief that precipitates most of the concern. The controversy is the issue is it not. Saying 99.99 % of scientist believe or support evolution is not a statement that their belief is correct. I would rather their publications make that point, which of course the literature does support. The majority of people on earth are people of faith but that doesn't mean they are correct in their beliefs it is just a statment of fact. 1 in 100,000 scientist are guilty of fraud per year is a low end estimate (it also known that fraudulent data and papers can persist in the literature for some time), and 1 in 100 scientist report knowing a researcher they believe is guilty of misconduct or fraud (I can attest to that over the years). One could draw an erroneous conclusion that a significant number of scientist display questionable ethics and erode the significance of their opinion. Seventy percent of medical research is either biased or is proven wrong or not significant. One could draw the erroneous conclusion that medical research is not a tenable endeavor. GetAgrippa 01:10, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

It is true that the main arena that scientists think is respectable is refereed literature. And they are disdainful of anything else. Carl Sagan was looked down on. So was Gould. I am sure Dawkins is in some circles as well (in fact I know he is, since more than one "real biologist" has told me I am an idiot for reading and enjoying the Selfish Gene, almost as if I had been excited about "The Dancing Wu Li Masters", which is complete crap). However, this is not to their credit, since the public funds science. And votes on laws, or votes on politicians that vote on laws and confirm judges etc. And so in this particular debate, knowledge of where the score stands is important, from an encyclopedic point of view. It is not particularly important from a scientific point of view, except from an anthropologic point of view, or psychology. But in terms of the wider societal issue, which is what the encyclopedia should cover, the support levels are important. Second, this battle IS being waged and has been waged in the media and the public arena. And both sides have tallied up their relative support to throw at each other in the political debates, and in the court room, and in the press. So from this perspective as well, it is something that an encyclopedia should cover. Third, the purported lack of support in the scientific community for evolution is an objection that creationists use. And from an encyclopedic standpoint, investigating this and other objections is important. So this article is also valuable from that perspective. Fourth and finally, the public has no real way of evaluating scientific evidence. You can present the evidence, and you should, but then Ham comes along and says most fossils are from the flood; the flood happens, everything dies, bones get buried in mud. At that point, you are trying to argue stratigraphy and age estimates, and Ham has just trumped you by saying flood--> death--> buried bones. And anyone who tries to argue against that to Joe Six pack has already lost. This Flood-Death-Buried Bones argument is an attractive appealing argument. It requires no thought. If someone tries to talk about radioactive dating, it is just easier to dismiss it and claim it is better to ignore it. That way one does not have to worry about equations. No equations. No decay rates. No isotopes. No alchemy of turning uranium into plutonium or carbon 14 into carbon 12. Instead, what Ham offers is Simple. Easy. No thought required. So of course the public buys into the easy explanation. God did it. Do not think. God did it. So for the public, all your mountains of evidence are worthless. Even when you say you are using Occam's razor, to them, just to say "God did it" trumps everything else you can say. What could be simpler? You sure as heck will get no place with half-lives and mineralization of bone and racemic dating techniques. So what can you go on? Support from scientists. Scientists are like MDs. They have a certain amount of trust. No one knows what they do, but they are highly trained and trusted. So when the creationists say we have many scientists who think evolution is nonsense, and there is a huge controversy about it, these statistics can dismiss that. They are an indirect measure that the evidence is convincing enough to make such a huge volume of scientists give their assent to evolution. This is the indirect gauge that the public can understand. You sure as heck will not get the public to understand DNA and chromosomes. You will not get the public to understand alleles. But if you tell the public that over 99% of all scientists think creationism is nonsense, then the public knows at least something. Some might dismiss this lack of scientific support as a conspiracy. Some might think all scientists are satanists. But I do not believe all people will buy that argument. It is effectively an indirect argument for the weight of the evidence for people that are not able to evaluate the evidence for themselvs. So for that reason also, it is valuable in an encyclopedia. I wish we did not have to measure the support levels. I wish we did not have to deal with creationism at all. But the truth is, we do. And for these four reasons, and probably more, this article is completely reasonable for an encyclopedia. Because it is NOT just about the SCIENCE of evolution. It is about the social phenomenon of creationism. It is about the social anthropological phenomenon of the scientific process. It is about the cataloguing of the dispute, including the evidence used on both sides in the public and legal and political arenas. This is NOT just a science encyclopedia. It is an encyclopedia of the world, including this bizarre conflict. And to be honest, the conflict has very little to do with science. That is why scientists seem to be losing the conflict; scientists think it is about the science, when it really has nothing to do with science. It is a dispute between different religious factions and world views. It is about people that believe in superstition and do not want to think about causes, and those who dismiss superstitions and think rationally.--Filll 04:48, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
Fill I support your efforts and agree with your valid concerns. I have always stated that the material in this article is useful. I was just making a logical argument and I guess venting. I was just reading of another case of fraud by a Korean scientist doing monkey embryonic stem cell research. It gets to be a monthly occurence of some accusation of fraud or misconduct. I recollect reading of a academic physicist going through dissertations and finding mass plagiarisms at MIT or something like that. The general public believes in science as the hope of the future, and I see this as bad publicity in gaining public trust. The Bell labs scientist scandal and the Korean embryonic stem cell fraud and a list of accusations and investigations leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I worry about a decline in ethics in science or at least that perception. GetAgrippa 05:15, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

I do not have to read it; I have lived it. I have seen it. And I am sure you have too, or will eventually. It is a bad business, but the way the system is organized, in a sort of feudal fashion, there is not much that can be done.--Filll 06:29, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Sorry, I missed the posting of this question. I'm watching so much stuff these days, and I got into a bit of a battle over NHL teams (probably more fun and more emotional than all of the Evolution articles). I don't like the word endorsement. I don't endorse Evolution, mostly because it doesn't need my endorsement, and my knowledge falls far below many of the other editors on here. In other words, one cannot endorse the Fact of Evolution. It just is. Orangemarlin 18:36, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree with your sentiment regarding not needing to "endorse" evolution. But then you don't need to "support" it either. So this objection really isn't actionable since it applies equally well to the current title and the current title is less precise. --ScienceApologist 01:49, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Introduction[edit]

This article is titled Level of Support for Evolution, yet a large part of the introduction is spent explaining a US education controversy. Is this to justify the idea that support for evolution exists? It is also not clear to me why this article belongs in project Creationism. Many groups debate evolutions validity. Bookswinters 14:48, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

As you might have noticed, the title of this article is being currently discussed. The article itself contains information about the level of support of evolution outside the US, but the most active controversy is in the US, at the moment. The most money is being spent on the issue, the most noise in the media, most of the internet sites on the issue, etc all have to do with the US. Now I know that there are people in Islamic countries that dispute evolution as well. But at least in the English media and on the English internet, we do not hear as much about it. And from my reading, in places like Pakistan and Turkey, there is not much controversy. Creationism has already won in those countries.--Filll 15:20, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

However, I will agree that the lead does look somewhat US-centric, and we might need to rewrite it slightly to make this clearer and maybe introduce some information about foreign situations as well.--Filll 15:26, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

And of course, only in the US and certain Muslim countries do the Fundamentalists spend so much time trying to control the educational system. I would say that this article will have a US bias because it seems to be mostly a US problem (outside of those few Muslim countries). Ponder that thought. Orangemarlin 18:38, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

NPOV Tag[edit]

Following one of the pillars of Wikipedia, WP:BOLD, I'm going to remove that NPOV tag, since this article is very neutral. I think it can add a few more things, but given the title of the article, it is neutral in expressing what that support is. I hate using this as my example, but Noah's Ark is a bunch of hooey, yet I was roundly criticized for trying to introduce science, because, since it is hooey, why spend time finding science to debunk it. This is a mirror image. The support for Evolution is widespread, and, honestly, Creationism is centered in, amazingly, the United States and a few Muslim countries (and I mean very few). If it weren't such a serious issue, I'd be laughing hysterically. This is a well-written, NPOV article. I'm removing the tag. The other editors can beat me up herein! Orangemarlin 18:45, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

I agree! I think a dose of ignorance and fundamentalist Abrahamic religious notion is the seed in both cases. (I know Christian and Muslim but how about Jewish Orange?)It makes a nice branch off the Evolution article and touches the next tree Creationism (a growing tree apparently to my amazement-I am still at the laughing stage and hadn't fathomed the seriousness). Anyways I think Fill communicates well in all his edits and tries to follow NPOV. I think education is the key and I remember a sideline article in Science where a college level evolution course was taught in two formats:evolution book alone and evolution and a creationist book. After the course student opinions were tallied and a greater percentage of converts to evolution were in the comparing two book course. Educate and let the students decide (college students of course) and you see reason wins the day! Not that I'm endorsing teaching creationism, but I thought that anecdote was interesting.GetAgrippa 20:33, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

I have maintained something similar all along. If *I* taught the course, I would have no problem teaching both. But of course I would *REALLY* teach it and cast a critical eye everywhere that one needed to. However, I do not trust most teachers to teach evolution and creationism together. Especially with the variety of characters I have met. Just watch people like Dr. dino or Ken Ham lecturing and see if you want your kids sitting in that classroom. Ugh. Let's face it. The goal of the curriculum committees and others who say "teach the controversy" is not really to teach the controversy. So I do not trust them. If they dealt with the controversy the way we do at least on some of the articles here on WP, I would not have a problem. I will also note that there are some extreme fundamentalists of various varieties in Judaism. Just look at the Lubbuvitchers in Brooklyn that thought the Rebbi was the Messiah. And many other Chabad and other extreme versions of Judaism. My Jewish friends would privately have nothing good to say about them, but of course they do not say much to their faces.--Filll 20:46, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure I'd agree to teaching both. I wouldn't teach that the Holocaust is a Hoax. Or the Loch Ness Monster exists. Or anything that belongs under the category of myth. Creationism is religion. It belongs to faith, and that shouldn't be taught in a publicly funded school. Now, if I were a college professor, I might do as you mentioned. I expect college kids to be smarter (well, at least in most schools) who can think critically. Orangemarlin 21:01, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
I think if you carefully compiled the arguments and evidence on both sides, namely that the Holocaust never happened and that it existed, and let students examine it, I think that it would do tremendous damage to the Holocaust-denialist position. They would come out looking as lunatics and worse.--Filll 15:54, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Yep, I think this story is much the same. In a side by side comparison young previously unbiased and biased college kids sided with evolution. I don't understand why this article doesn't produce the same effect? Maybe the article needs more pizaaz or some visual minimovie like Carl Sagan or Disney would do. Just kidding! GetAgrippa 16:22, 29 January 2007 (UTC)


Considering Israel is basically a Jewish state, Evolution is the standard of science teaching there. So there are probably some conservative Orthodox Jews who believe in an unerring Torah, but I give them a pass, because they don't traditionally control countries or school districts. Orangemarlin 20:49, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

That is the thing that people do not get. If these people did not want to change science instruction in secular publicly funded schools throughout the whole country, people would not really care. If they just wanted to introduce it in religion classes, or teach it in private schools, or make it voluntary, people would not care. It is because they want it mandatory for all students in all public schools in all science classes that they have crossed the line.--Filll 20:56, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

  • I have already outlined in the GA review why it is still not NPOV. It is a failure to address the possible reasons behind such support other than being the best explanation of life. A Creationist, such as myself, would argue the support exists because of the dogmatic preaching of it in public schools and most universities combined with the rote learning style of today's public school system and not because it is the best explanation.--Jorfer 21:33, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
Jorfer, you said in the GA review that the article text is not NPOV. But the template that was removed, the one added by ScienceApologist, states that the title and/or subject matter is not NPOV, which you never claimed and which your GA review does not suggest. The reason the template was removed is because so many editors (for starters, myself, Filll, Orangemarlin, and GetAgrippa) apparently reject the claim that the title/subject matter is POVed, and discussion's been going on for a long time without any alternative title or solution gaining acceptance. Since you haven't provided an argument to the contrary, but just misunderstand what the current POV tag means, I'm going to remove that tag; feel free to replace it with a more appropriate NPOV tag (i.e., one for contents rather than title), like Template:NPOV.
Also, as for your specific claims, do you have any reliable sources to back up the claim that evolution is accepted solely because of "dogmatic preaching of it in public schools and most universities combined with the rote learning style of today's school system and not because it is the best explanation"? Do you believe that the scientific community and every expert in the field in the world only accepts evolution because they were brainwashed in public schools? (Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if a large number of scientific supporters of evolution didn't even learn evolution in public school, or learned very little.) Understand that even if this is true, it is a violation (not affirmation!) of WP:NPOV and WP:NOR for us to give an unsubstantiated minority conspiracy theory-esque view like this predominance. No sociological study or other research has ever indicated that evolution's support is based on either "dogmatic preaching" or "rote learning".
I am also concerned that you GA-reviewed an article which you have a personal stake in, because of your religious views. Although your GA review was largely acceptable and well-done, the fact that you base your concerns for the article's NPOV at least in part on the fact that your own POV (that evolution has no scientific basis and its teaching is a result of deliberate and/or accidental misinformation) is not adequately represented in the article is a serious breach of expected editorial review standards. Although I don't think this article deserves to be Good either, I think you can understand why this would be an issue of concern, particularly since you opted not to disclose your views when you made the review; if a Flat-Earther reviewed and rejected Age of the Earth for GA status, you would surely want a second opinion. I'm not questioning whether you acted in good faith, but in the future I recommend being explicit in stating when your personal views are relevant to the article you're reviewing, to avoid accusations of bias. -Silence 21:54, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
Silence - you just beat me to it. I heartily concur with the removal of the NPOV tag. It's a decent article about a tricky subject. It adheres to WP:NPOV. Snalwibma 22:01, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
Jorfer, I don't want to repeat what is written above, but basically Evolution is not only the best explanation of the development of life on earth, it is the only one that fits all of the facts that have been observed and that have been tested. There simply is no verifiable proof of a supernatural control over the evolution of organisms on Earth. That a verifiable article violates your POV on the issue of Evolution does not mean the article is a POV. It is neutral. Since you claim to be a creationist, you could contribute to the various Creationist articles in the hope of improving them, if they need it. Orangemarlin 22:17, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
Jorfer, the consensus is that this article does not violate NPOV. Why would you arbitrarily place the tag without discussing it. Just because it violates your POV does not, in fact, mean it is a POV article. Orangemarlin 22:27, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
I put up a tag (which was just taken down) for the content instead of the title and did write a disclaimer in the GA review. The tag is that it is disputed so it should naturally be put up until the dispute is resolved. I know I am not the only person that feels that the support is because of John Dewey's advocation and not Charles Darwin's theory so I will find sources but the tag should stay up anyways. As for snal's claim that it is a violation of POV, the article by not giving any other reason for the level of support for evolution implies that it is the best explanation which is POV. Also, just because other people have not disputed the content does not mean that they do not, it just means that they have not commented yet. As for Orangemarlin's POV rant, I just find it ironic that evolutionists, who believe that human nature was formed by millions of years of evolution (it is millions, correct), can so quickly dismiss human's natural inclination to believe in a Creator. The interesting is that people exist today that are not bent on survival of the fittest but are dedicate to help the meek, the unloved, the poor, the hungry. How could this genetic code survive until today in a world where only the strongest surive. Surely a creature who did not help the outcasts of society would have a better chance of individual survival than one who did, yet we care and love. Just on human nature alone, humans capacity for good contrasting with their capacity for evil would seem to vindicate the Bible's story. People can be ruthless and cunning but they can just as easily be caring and loving.--Jorfer 23:03, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

This is a very interesting conjecture of Jorfer. The statement that Jorfer is making is that, the only reason that evolution has any level of support from scientists or anyone is that they are taught evolution in schools. We can explore and contemplate this conjecture in a rational way:

  • All scientists and the general public went through the same school system, by and large. Nevertheless, according to the article there is a huge difference in levels of belief in evolution between scientists and the public. A scientist in biology is more than 440 times more likely to support evolution than someone in the general public. Why is this? Is it because scientists are dumber? Is it because they are more gullible? Is it because there is some sort of filter that gives everyone who does not believe in evolution a bad grade to keep them out of biology graduate school? Is it that no people who do not believe in evolution are interested in plants and animals?
    • Comment:Scientist get more "education" spend more time in school and pay more attention to it then the general public.--Jorfer 23:36, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
      • So you subscribe to the same philosophy that Ray Mummert does:

"We've been attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of the culture" Rev. Ray Mummert

        • The general public is too apathetic skeptical of scientists claims to be brainwashed.--Jorfer 00:17, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
  • We have a perfect example of a society of several hundred million people that blocked all access to evolution information for decades. Anyone who claimed to believe in Darwinian evolution or natural selection and similar concepts would go to jail; sometimes to be tortured. Some were executed for believing in evolution and genetics related to evolution. This was the Soviet Union, which subscribed to the AntiDarwinian system of Lysenkoism between 1929 and 1965. And this program had the full power of a brutal state was behind it. No knowledge of evolution could leak in by video tapes or radio or TV or the internet. And what was the result? No explosion of science leading to biotechnology like there was in the west. As soon as the restrictions came off, the Soviets went back to evolution as fast as they could. If it did not explain anything, surely a period of 36 years with no information in the media or in the libraries or schools would be enough to stamp evolution out for good. Why did the Soviets adopt the theory of evolution, if it did not explain anything and it was not real science or good science but just a fraud?
    • Comment:Are you forgetting that Christianity was also banned?--Jorfer 23:36, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
      • Of course not. But surely that would have stamped out evolution if it was such a lousy theory.--Filll 23:56, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
        • Surely that would have stamped out Christianity as if it was a lousy religion (You do realize how much persecution Biblical Christianity has gone through and it has survived).--Jorfer 00:17, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
  • The Butler Act in Tennessee was passed in 1925 and was on the books until 1967. Surely this 42 year period forbidding evolution in all schools and libraries etc in TN (and a few other states) would have been a long enough period of time to drive evolution away for good if it did not explain anything. Granted, information could still leak in from outside the state. However, surely this would have given Tennessee a huge leg up on biological science if they could get rid of this false theory. Huge advances in biology should have resulted. Surely 42 years is long enough. Tennessee would have given birth to all the biotech companies, not Berkeley and Stanford and New York/New Jersey, because its students in biology were not polluted with a faulty fake understanding of biology. Tennesee students would be highly sought after. Pharmacy companies would have all moved to Tennessee because its students were better trained. In America, we decide things based on $$$$. It is called capitalism. So why do we not trust capitalism in this situation? Do you not agree with the free market? Do you harbor communist leanings?
    • Comment:You are acting like Creationism is the only variable without regard to population, education (there is other parts to it then evolution), taxes, and others factors.--Jorfer 23:36, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
      • If it is so important, it should have made all the difference in 42 years.--Filll 23:56, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
        • Did I miss something? Is Tennessee currently a biotech hot spot.--Jorfer 00:17, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Many people lump the Big Bang in with evolution. I do not know if you do or not. However, the Big Bang theory was originally created by Father Georges-Henri Lemaître, a Belgian priest. So was Lemaître developing this theory because he was against God? Against the bible? Against creation? Nature? And Pope Pius XII proclaimed the Big Bang as proof that God exists and that the creation had happened. Was he just a crazy old fool? Stupid? The Devil? They were not taught the Big Bang in school; they were there at its birth (and in the case of Lemaître, even was the midwife). So why did they adopt it? What was wrong with them? Surely they would have had a bias if anyone did to not propose if it did not fit the facts. Of course, as time went on, the data supporting the Big Bang has just become immeasurably stronger.--Filll 23:05, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
    • Comments: No one Few argue the Big Bang itself, just how it is used to imply something from nothing.--Jorfer 23:36, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
      • So you claim that no creationist argue with the Big Bang? Hmm....interesting claim.--Filll 23:56, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Currently it is not illegal to teach creationism. You can teach it in churches. You can teach it in private schools. You can teach it in religion classes, philosophy classes, law classes, current event classes, debate classes, literature classes, history classes, political science classes, etc. You can even get creationism taught if the teacher gets permission to do it and teaches it voluntarily. As far as I know, the law since the 87 Supreme Court decision has been only that creationism cannot be required in science classes in secular public schools. So there is not much of a restriction on creationism, but still scientists do not believe it in very large measure. Why is that?--Filll 23:05, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
    • Comment: Tell that to any teacher who has been fired for even talking about God in a public school.--Jorfer 23:36, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
      • I do not know of any such cases. However, in the USA we have "at will" employment: the principle that anyone can be fired at any time for any reason or no reason. Some professions and employers have a slightly higher standard because of contracts and unions etc. But still, that is America: the right to fire anyone an employer wants for any reason whatsoever. And if you disagree with that, you are not much of an American and not in favor of Capitalism and more of a Communist or Socialist I guess.--Filll 23:49, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
        • The Supreme Court and lower courts have effectively outlawed Christianity in public schools. Look it up.--Jorfer 00:17, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

Examining Jorfer's statement[edit]

I put up a tag (which was just taken down) for the content instead of the title and did write a disclaimer in the GA review. The tag is that it is disputed so it should naturally be put up until the dispute is resolved.

Well I have not done anything to the tag. But I feel that it is balanced, if you read teh article. Some areas evolution is stronger and in some areas creationism is stronger. And in the end, I point out that all these measures of support are meaningless.--Filll 23:24, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

  • Comment:If you look at Examining the level of public support and Recent scientific trends, they attempt to discredit Creation supporters in the general public and scientific community respectively so it is NPOV that an attempt to discredit evolutionists be included.--Jorfer 00:59, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

I know I am not the only person that feels that the support is because of John Dewey's advocation and not Charles Darwin's theory so I will find sources but the tag should stay up anyways.

I suspect that whoever told you that John Dewey was an inordinant influence on world culture was grossly overestimating his effect. Basically I have never heard of him and when I look at his life's accomplishments, to me it does not amount to a hill of beans. Just some philosophical meaningless nonsense. Sorry.--Filll 23:24, 27 January 2007 (UTC)


As for snal's claim that it is a violation of POV, the article without it does not give any other reason for the level of support for evolution than that is the best explanation which is POV.

The article does not give any reason behind any support levels. It does not conjecture. That is OR. We do not know the reason, basically. --Filll 23:24, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Also, just because other people have not disputed the content does not mean that they do not, it just means that they have not commented yet.

I hardly know how to respond to that. Just because the earth has not opened up to swallow me whole does not mean it won't happen soon. It just has not happened yet. Just because pigs do not have wings does not mean they will not all sprout wings tonight and fly around tomorrow. It just has not happened yet. And so on and so forth.--Filll 23:24, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

As for Orangemarlin's POV rant, I just find it ironic that evolutionists, who believe that human nature was formed by millions of years of evolution (it is millions, correct), can so quickly dismiss human's natural inclination to believe in a Creator.

Thanks for "POV rant" statement. You mean speaking about a subject with verified sources, supported by 99.9% of scientists on this planet, and is a fact. OK, I'll accept that it is a factual rant. Let me put it bluntly. This human being does not believe in a natural inclination to believe in a creator. Humans default to supernatural explanations for anything that they do not understand. Whether it is fire-breathing dragons invented because some people saw fossils in the ground, UFO's and little green or grey men are seen because they don't understand swamp gas, or stating the earth is flat because people rarely travelled more than 10 km, it is all supernatural. I prefer two answers: we figured it out or we haven't. Evolution has been figured out except in the US (amongst a certain class of individuals and in extremist Muslim countries. Orangemarlin 16:03, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

How do you know it is not hardwired in from evolution? And how do you know that the Creator did not create the laws that evolution operates under to make it happen? Or do you not believe that the Universe was created by a Creator with some purpose in mind? Do you think he had no purpose in mind, or changed his mind constantly? Does not sound very omnipotent to me. Sounds like a weak version of God made in Man's image. In otherwords, blasphemy and obscenity to dishonor God.--Filll 23:24, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

  • Why would the author of Genesis write 10 times in the first chapter that he made organisms according to their kinds had God not known that it would be suggested later that there were no kinds and inspired him to do so. I am not aware of this being an issue back then.--Jorfer 00:59, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
I would rather read the Creator's message directly in nature, than in the words of some unknown authors, with unknown motivations, with translation and interpretation and contradiction and error problems. I would rather hear directly from the Creator thanks. But if you would rather listen to humans not God, be my guest. Just do not try to force it on others.--Filll 23:08, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

The interesting is that people exist today that are not bent on survival of the fittest but are dedicate to help the meek, the unloved, the poor, the hungry.

I have seen a lot more dedication to help the meek and the poor out of the left wing, rather than the right wing that fundamentalists and creationists are in bed with. Dominionists etc. Disgraceful.--Filll 23:24, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

  • Did I necessarily say Christians. All are capable of good and evil.--Jorfer 00:59, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

How could this piece of the genetic code survive until today in a world where only the strongest surive.

Huh? what do you mean, Genetic code? And you think we have the same genetic code that life started with on earth? Unchanged?--Filll 23:24, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Surely a creature who did not help the outcasts of society would have a better chance of individual survival than one who did, yet we care and love.

Ever consider that altruism might be selected for, in an evolutionary sense? In fact, that is Dawkin's theory. You are arguing for the theory of an avowed atheist.--Filll 23:24, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

  • I already made a statement regarding the idea of God-guided evolution.--Jorfer 00:59, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

Just on human nature alone, humans capacity for good contrasting with their capacity for evil would seem to vindicate the Bible's story. People can be ruthless and cunning but they can just as easily be caring and loving.--Jorfer 23:03, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Most of the ruthlessness and cunning I see does not seem to be divided along creationist and noncreationist lines. Otherwise, creationists and fundamentalists would be upstanding citizens and prime examles of Goodness. Instead of...lets see...Jim Baker. Garner Ted Armstrong. Osama Bin Laden. Kent Hovind. Ted Haggard. How many more do you want me to name? I have often thought about making a list here of the most "righteous" religious leaders and most "pure" and fundamentalist so they could be examined carefully in the light of day. Nothing disinfects like sunlight, as they say.--Filll 23:24, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

  • Again, I never specified that any group is entirely good or evil. Just that all people are capable of both.--Jorfer 00:59, 28 January 2007 (UTC)


Jorfer has tagged this article on the grounds that his/her POV is opposed to evolution: this looks like tag vandalism. Both viewpoints are covered in the article as is required by WP:NPOV. If specific suggestions are produced for improving the statements on either viewpoint, these can be discussed and implemented, but tagging an article on the grounds that you don't agree with a viewpoint presented in it is inappropriate. .. dave souza, talk 00:50, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree. There is nothing that he has written that is anything more than his POV that either Evolution is wrong or Creationism is right (which I guess are the same thing). I do not want to continue to revert his tags, because someone will accuse me of WP:3RR. Am I the only one here that thinks his tags are bogus and are an attempt to discredit this article? Where are the rest of the Creationists on here? Orangemarlin 00:41, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
  • As I have already said above, the article attempts to discredit Creationists beliefs in Examining the level of public support and Recent scientific trends but fails to attempt to discredit Evolutionist by for example indicating it is the only thing taught in public schools. For a thorough and NPOV analysis both sides have to be examined. Is that specific enough for you Dave?--Jorfer 01:19, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
Jorfer has admitted above that he has no references to back his point up. It is perfectly fine for us to give him time to seek out such references, but until he finds them, it is grossly inappropriate for him to put an NPOV tag based on his opinion alone. Until we have reliable references backing up a dispute, this is a clear-cut case. This is not a place for re-fighting the creation-evolution debate; it is a place for neutrally reporting on the level of popular support for evolution. This conversation is therefore irrelevant here until reliable sources are provided to justify making a change to the article. Until then, this conversation should be taken to the User Talk pages or off-Wikipedia, as they are not article-related. -Silence 01:12, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
Well can you remove those ugly tags? I do not want to get the third revert, because someone will slap a violation of 3RR on me. I'm tired of this discussion, because he has rehashed information that has been thoroughly discredited over and over and over and over. Orangemarlin 00:43, 29 January 2007 (UTC)


The continuation of this discussion can be found at User Talk:Jorfer--Jorfer 18:24, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

POV Sections[edit]

  • I know I need sources to claim that the support for evolution is a result of the school system, but I do not think that I need sources to claim the Examining the level of public support and Recent scientific trends are POV because the information presented only attempts to discredit Creationists. For example, to be NPOV the article could consider Wikipedia itself as an example of collective intelligence to try to give credence to the masses. This time I am putting it on the sections instead.--Jorfer 02:27, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
I am glad that Jorfer has now come up with specific examples of what he dislikes. These can be addressed much more easily when we know exactly what he thinks is unbalanced. If Jorfer can come up with reasonable peer-reviewed studies and other high quality references demonstrating that biases in the US public education system have created this disparity in support levels among scientists and the general public, then we can include them. I am not sure that Wikipedia is particularly relevant as an example of anything; there are plenty of claims on both sides that it is reliable, or that it is a worthless piece of garbage full of errors.--Filll 18:40, 28 January 2007 (UTC)


  • I am also disputing in the Support for evolution in medicine and industry section as WP:WTA needs to be seen regarding the words "claim" and "however", a citation needs to be given, and a sentence rearranged to make it NPOV.--Jorfer 14:19, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
I have once again removed Jorfer's POV tags from the article. First, there is no back-up. Second, at worst one of the sections require a couple of citations, but that just requires a {{fact}} tag instead. Jorfer is on a one-man rant here.Orangemarlin 15:56, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
Entertaining, isnt it? It makes me smile. Wow. But at least he is stating exactly what he has a problem with, instead of vague hand-waving statements.--Filll 18:40, 28 January 2007 (UTC)


In fairness, Jorfer is correct that we should avoid words like "claim", and he cited policy to back that up. Forget warring back and forth about NPOV tags; the fact that it's one person making the argument doesn't, in itself, invalidate everything he says. Work on improving the article; there are indeed aspects that could be more neutral, so we can use Jorfer's feedback to help improve those sections (by acting on his correct criticisms, and ignoring his incorrect ones, like his misconception-laden anti-evolution rant above) rather than turning it into a pointless battle. What matters is that we keep article criticism to this page, and debate over whether evolution is valid elsewhere. Jorfer is at least not giving specific, actionable criticisms, whether we disagree with them (or him) or not; we might as well take them seriously, and either fix the problems or explain why things are OK as-is. -Silence 16:01, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

I agree that the lanquage in Recent Scientific Trends could be more neutral. For example::"the Discovery Institute in 2007 has managed to get the endorsements of about 600 "scientists" after several years of effort." could simply state the Discovery Institute in 2007 reported 600 scientist after several years of effort. I think the 2000 census has statistics of life scientist, etc. and solid data would be better than inference. I agree with the analysis. Really the language issue is minor because the article ends on a sound neutral note. GetAgrippa 17:40, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

As I have said repeatedly, I am not particularly happy with the "Trends" section. This will give me the excuse I need to improve it and make it tighter and more neutral.--Filll 18:40, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

Reference 97 is not some unimportant fact to be hidden on the bottom of the article and should be included in Examining the level of public support:

a b c Smart People See Ghosts, Brad Steiger, Fate Magazine, April 2006 Issue, p. 52-56; the unusual thing found by Farha and Steward was that belief in the supernatural increased with education level, contrary to many other surveys. However, that aspect of their study is not being used here.

--Jorfer 23:02, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

Ghost simply don't exist. Smart people also believe in Aliens and UFO's. Smart people voted for George Bush. Smart people allowed Hitler and the Holocaust. Smart people believe in the Jesus Myth. Orangemarlin 00:46, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
That is just a copy of the reference that was already at the bottom of the page Orangemarlin--Jorfer 02:25, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
True. And I guess I will dig up 5 references that refute that suggestion. That is not a repeatable result. It was just curious. I am not using that aspect of their study here; all that I need is to show that people believe a lot of stupid things. And this study shows that, clearly.--Filll 02:28, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

This is contrary to numerous other studies so I am not sure I want to emphasize the contrary study. It could be the topic of a separate article, but I suggest that it would be off topic to have a huge section of dueling arguments about whether more education means more belief in the supernatural or less.--Filll 23:05, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

Simple question for Jorfer[edit]

Why, given the hundreds of people who post on these articles, are you the only one without a signature that can be readily accessed? Are you hiding something? Can you not use Wiki-code? Just asking. Orangemarlin 00:38, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

He is a high school student from florida.--Filll 00:42, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
I was pretty smart in High School, so that cannot possibly be an excuse. My stepson, who is also a very bright kid, posts on Wikipedia and seems to get it write frequently, so I'm guessing Jorfer is trying to avoid something. But I certainly don't want to accuse him of anything. Orangemarlin 00:45, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
My mistake, I checked the box underneath the preference tab when I was just starting out on Wikipedia. Thanks for pointing that out. I was wondering why mine didn't light up, but I assumed it was supposed to be like that when you looked at your own signature.--Jorfer 02:28, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Thank you. We had a troll on here once who did not use an official signature, because he kept using a variety of sockpuppets to avoid bans. I didn't want to presume you were one. Orangemarlin 04:30, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Page move imminent[edit]

Per Wikipedia:Naming conventions (precision), this page is going to have to be moved. If editors do not start proposing ideas soon, I will attempt to force consensus by appealing to Wikipedia:Requested moves.

I think right now the title with the fewest objections is

Endorsement and rejection of evolution.

The table is open. Please find a more precise title.

Thanks,

--ScienceApologist 01:53, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Maybe go another way and call it: The Evolution Lobby or The Lobby for Evolution and Creationism. The level is really a lobby of individuals, groups, and organizations that support Evolution or Creationism, and their statements are to lobby public opinion or political opinion.GetAgrippa 02:10, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

I think that a "lobby" is a bit too legalistic for what we are trying to describe here. Accordingly, the definition of a "lobby" is "A group of persons engaged in trying to influence legislators or other public officials in favor of a specific cause". I don't think most of these signatories or the opinion polls referenced were trying to do this. --ScienceApologist 02:44, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Yeah it is a legislative term. Organizations, Groups, and Individual support for Evolution seems appropriate but long and dry. Evolution popularity is not appropriate. Degree of Support for Evolution doesn't sound right either. GetAgrippa 02:58, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
I have indicated my preference for the present title first, and second for level of acceptance of evolution. I have made several other suggestions. I will move it myself, although I do not understand where the fire is.--Filll 02:12, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Again, I don't like the word "endorsement" because it is "an act of giving one's public approval or support to someone or something." One doesn't endorse Evolution, one either accepts or, because of some religious reason, rejects Evolution. The current title is bad, I'll agree. How about this: Advocacy of Evolution. Why does it require the negative? Orangemarlin 02:15, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
The word "advocacy" is a bit ambiguous as a title since "advocacy" is often associated with promotionalism and advertising. In point of fact, you'll see that this article really is about people who "endorse" evolution explicitly according to the definition you found. You and I agree that evolution needs no endorsement, but people do it anyway. It is not for us to criticze the fact that these people gave public approval to support evolution, they did it anyway. What's more, the negative is needed because included in this article are discussions of people who don't endorce or advocate for evolution. So to be specific we need to include them as well. The title needs to describe, as precisely as possible, the content of the article. Obviously, right now, the title does not come close to doing that. --ScienceApologist 02:26, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Another one I would suggest is Evolution acceptance levels. Or Evolution support levels. I could come up with many more that would be better than Endorsement and rejection of evolution.--Filll 02:16, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Filll, "support" and "level" should not be in the title because those words are not precise enough. Check out how many definitions each of those words has at the dictionaries recommended in the policy quoted. --ScienceApologist 02:27, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

I honestly care more about the content than the title , but I would like to keep it simple with Acceptance of Evolution or Popularity of Evolution.--Jorfer 02:38, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Acceptance is no good because it doesn't describe the contents of the article well-enough. Evolution is "accepted" based on the evidence, not based on popular opinion. Your other suggestion may have some merit, but to me it sounds a bit hokey. --ScienceApologist 02:42, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

(Running down the Thesaurus) How about Approval of Evolution, Acknowledgement of Evolution, Assent to Evolution, Adoption of Evolution, Favor of Evolution, Belief in Evolution, Accession to Evolution? (I know there has to be a simple title we can come to consensus on)--Jorfer 03:08, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Synonyms probably will not help. Approval and acknowledgement are both way too ambiguous and do not deal with the content. Assent, accession, adoption, and belief all connote evolution as a philosophy rather than a scientific fact. And "favor of evolution" makes no sense. --ScienceApologist 03:51, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Words to eschew in our new title[edit]

  • acceptance
  • accession
  • acknowledgement
  • adoption
  • advocacy
  • approval
  • assent
  • belief
  • denial
  • level(s)
  • support
  • opposition to
  • measure(s)

Add more (or delete more) as we discover/discuss them, please.

This is frustrating!!!!! How about "Evolution is a fact." Or Evolution Rocks (get it...never mind). I give up. Orangemarlin 04:29, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Degree of Evolution Support, or International Views on Evolution, or Worldwide General Acceptance of Evolution, or Worldwide Views on Evolution, or General Acceptance of Evolution, or perhaps Level of Support for Evolution is appropriate and why not? Oh, I know Myth and Ignorance and the birth of a Modern Dark Age (just kidding!).GetAgrippa 04:53, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

How about Smart People Support Evolution. Or Evolution--You can Believe it. It's late, I've had two glasses of wine, and I'm reading some merger documents. I'm a bit goofy. Orangemarlin 05:00, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Any substantive objections[edit]

Beyond the fact that some people have expressed an undifferentiated disdain for

Endorsement and rejection of evolution

Does anybody have a substantive objection? I would like to move forward beyond this stagnant pool of unserious and imprecise suggestions. Please stop offering alternatives. Explain what exactly is wrong with this suggestion since I've seen dozens of ideas now and this one seems like it is the best. And yes, that's counting the current title which defies the precision naming convention. I feel like I'm repeating myself a lot -- I wonder if anybody is actually reading the naming convention page I referenced.

--ScienceApologist 05:30, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Because no one agrees with you. That is an awful title and we suggested many others. Please do not be pushy and let the process work.--Filll 05:34, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Filll, that's just not true that no one agrees with me. Since you're being reticent, I have no choice but to move this discussion over to requests for page move. Sigh. --ScienceApologist 05:36, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
I didn't know that this action was the most important thing we were doing with this article. If it means so much, please go ahead with your suggestion. It really isn't worth getting everyone upset. I don't care that much, as long as there are links in the various Evolution and Creation articles. Orangemarlin 06:07, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
It's not the "most important thing" we're doing. It's something that I've been trying to arrange for days. The final straw was when I asked for a substantive objection to the proposed title and Filll responded with condescension, platitudes, and personal remarks. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by ScienceApologist (talkcontribs) 06:20, 29 January 2007 (UTC).

I dispute in the strongest possible terms that I am being reticent. I have given a good 10+ suggestions. Why are you in such a rush? Do we really need a battle royal over this? Why do you want to push for increased rancor? Do we need to engage in formal dispute resolution? We are discussing it. You cannot get your own way and you cannot dictate to others, if I understand the rules of WP correctly. I believe that this is a consensus building exercise. Am I wrong? I am afraid that it does not appear to me that you are acting in good faith. It is most disappointing. I hope I have the wrong impression, but that is the appearnce. I am sorry. --Filll 06:09, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Filll, you are definitely giving the impression of dragging your feet on this. For what reasons I can only surmise. I first proposed this particular renaming five days ago. I still have yet to receive a substantive response from you detailing your objections to the wording despite my having restarted the discussion on three separate occasions. Instead, you offer titles that have the word "support" and "level" in them which defeats the entire purpose of the exercise. You seem to not understand what I'm saying when I point out that the title's phrasing and choice of words is confusing. Fine. Let's let some other people have their say. --ScienceApologist 06:16, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

You seem to not understand my responses and Silence's responses and reject out of hand any other suggestions. I suspect that if you do not get your way out of some consensus type discussion, you will again decide the other editors are deranged if you cannot dictate to them. Is that how it will be again? And why is the house on fire tonight??? Is it because Silence is not around? I am afraid I am not getting a very good impression here. Sorry. I wish I could say otherwise.--Filll 06:20, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

I haven't rejected any suggestion out-of-hand. For every single suggestion made I gave reasons why it may not be best. Some suggestions were better than others. For some reasons, yours always included the words "level" and "support" as though you were goading me. It makes it really hard to assume good faith when I can't get a straight answer out of you and have to remind you on your talkpage to respond to points I make here which is met with a snide "I have to think about it" response. You and Silence haven't really given me any reasons you think that this particular title is so "awful", in fact Silence has at some point suggested the opposite. There is no fire, I just want to move on from this point. My interest in this article is making a title that conforms to naming conventions. If everyone else doesn't think that's a priority, fine, but please don't put up obstacles to dealing with the situation. --ScienceApologist 06:26, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Ok. I understand your point of view. I hoped we could resolve this amicably. But it does not appear so. So let's dance. Bring your dancing shoes.--Filll 06:31, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived debate of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the debate was no consensus. Kyle Barbour 23:34, 10 February 2007 (UTC)


ScienceApologist, I consider it quite dishonest of you to characterize the level of support for your proposal as "moderate (if somewhat guarded) support"; I am one of the 2 or 3 users you believe give "guarded support" for this title, and I explicitly opposed the title. A better characterization of the reaction to your proposal is mild rejection (as compared with "strong rejection", the case with your past proposals). I also consider it remarkable that you find any ambiguity in the title "Level of support for evolution"; I would not be surprised if the overwhelming majority of users do indeed interpret this title in the way you describe from the start (as being "about polls and open letters regarding both the endorsement and rejection of evolution in the context of the creation-evolution controversy", at least indirectly), and any who don't will immediately have their misconception eliminated when they go to the page itself and read its dab notice and/or any of the article text. Your continued unwillingness to acknowledge that your dissatisfaction with the title is in the minority and to work to improve, rather than merely rename, the article, is both counterproductive and pedantic. If there is an ambiguity in the title, it is so minor as to be irrelevant, and it is not improved upon by any alternative proposed thus far, including "Endorsement and rejection of evolution", which is problematic for a whole host of reasons that "Level of support for evolution" is not, including that rejection is a POVed way of characterizing opposition to a view, that endorsement and rejection are not opposites, and that endorsement is overspecific, and thus misleading, in the context of the article. -Silence 06:21, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Finally, after a lot of beating around the bush, three substantive objections. Let me respond:

  • "rejection is a POVed way of characterizing opposition to a view," --> How so? If you reject an idea, you reject it. There is nothing "POV" about it.
  • that endorsement and rejection are not opposites, --> Interesting. It was you who proposed above that they were opposites. [1]
  • and that endorsement is overspecific, and thus misleading, in the context of the article. --> Really? Can you point to an instance mentioned in the article that doesn't function as an endoresment. I'll remind you that endorsement is defined as "The approving of an action, especially when done by one in authority".

--ScienceApologist 06:33, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

  • I already explained the problem of "rejection" above, in #A new title: "Indeed. One supports (or opposes) a proposition; one accepts (or rejects) reality. Not to say that evolution isn't reality, but phrasing it in such a way frames the topic in a subtly POV way, which should be avoided if possible."
  • I said that the reverse of "endorsement" would be "more like" "rejection" or "disapproval" (as opposed to "opposition"), not that they're true opposites.
  • "Evolution" is a theory, not an action, so none of the statements of support for evolution explicated in this article constitute an endorsement, by your very own definition. By your own definition, an "endorsement" of evolution should be something like "I agree with the suggestion that we should evolve fins", rather than "Evolution is a fact" or anything of the sort. -Silence 07:45, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Repeating what I have already above - somewhere way up there...) - The best title that I have seen is "Level of support for evolution". If there is clear support for "Endorsement and rejection of evolution" I'd go along with it. I can see what Silence is getting at (immediately above) in discussing the nuances of "rejection" and "endorsement", but I think this fine-detailed investigation of individual words is not going to get us anywhere. What matters is the overall impression created by the title. For me, "Level of support for evolution" does it the best. So, ScienceApologist, you can leave me on your list of "guarded supporters" - but it's very guarded, and depends crucially on seeing evidence of widespread support (endorsement, acceptance, approval) by others. Snalwibma 08:27, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

I essentially agree with Swalwibma—I don't see this as a crucial enough issue that I'd be bothered enough to make a big deal about the title if there was consensus support for at least some of the alternate titles that have been proposed so far. It seems too trivial a matter to bother waging a war against consensus for. (You, ScienceApologist, apparently feel differently from myself and Snalwibma, however; you are quite willing to wage such a war.) My objection is that you are trying to replace a perfectly adequate title with one that is in every way (clarity, conciseness, neutrality, even coverage, etc.) an inferior one. The fact that you are wasting so many valued editors' time with such a trivial issue, and waging such a stubbornly zealous campaign against this harmless and useful title just because you initially misunderstood the meaning of "Support" here (probably because you didn't bother to actually read any of the article; and in any case that initial ambiguity was subsequently eliminated by the move to "Level of support" and the addition of a dab notice) just adds insult to injury. This is, quite frankly, becoming silly. There are more productive ways for us to spend our time than squabbling over a title that never had anything serious wrong with it to begin with. -Silence 08:46, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
While I don't have any great problem with Level of support for evolution which can of course be low or high, it seems to me that an even more neutral proposal would be Public opinion on evolution which covers a lot of the subject, and can be expanded as "public opinion amongst scientists", "amongst religious organisations" etc. Just my tuppenceworth, dave souza, talk 09:13, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
I do like that idea as a strong possibility, if we end up deciding to change the current title. The main problem I see with "Public opinion on evolution" is that the connotation of "Public" seems to rule out scientific opinion on evolution, which obviously should play a major role in assessing support for evolution. (This is similar to the problem with article titles like "Level of popular support for evolution", which could be misconstrued as referring only to the general public's level of support, rather than to people in general.) Yet without "public" in the title as you suggested (e.g., "Opinions on evolution"), the article title and/or article becomes so vague as to be useless. So, there isn't any title which is absolutely perfect; in light of these many competing imperfections, "Level of support for evolution" seems an adequate compromise. -Silence 09:30, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Of the dozens of suggestions that have been put forward, I am not positively disposed towards any title using the phrase "public opinions". Public opinion for me connotes only a portion of the article; it does not include religious opinion or scentific opinion. It also bears with it some image of polls or surveys, and less on statements issued by official bodies, or petitions.--Filll 12:43, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

I also believe that this issue is being carried to a ludicrous extreme, as though some dispute over the present perfectly reasonable title is a proble of upmost importance to address. It will indeed waste the valuable time of many editors that could be much better spent doing real work than assuaging the hurt ego of ScienceApologist, or engaging in some full blown war with the attendant hurt feelings that will result. However, if forced, I will respond to the challenge. Do I have to compile a list of all the suggested names, and all the steps that have taken place to this point? The unilateral actions? The actions that might be construed as constituting badgering and bullying? I will do it if I have to, but I think that this is ill-advised. The previous large scale community examination of this article had over 25 participants discussing its deletion. The result was unpleasing to ScienceApologist, so he cavalierly dismissed the entire result. The same is likely to happen if we attempt this a second time, and only deepen the unpleasantness. However, bear in mind that there is a record to be examined and characterized before the community, and I will do so if backed into a corner. This seems to me to be a singularly bad course of action. I would appeal to everyone to step back and reconsider before we venture down this path.--Filll 12:43, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Let me also add my analysis of the proposed title Endorsement and rejection of evolution:

  1. It is not concise.
  2. It is redundant to include endorsement and rejection
  3. It seems overly pedantic for a title
  4. The definition of endorsement as "The approving of an action, especially when done by one in authority" makes it evident why the word endorsement is inadequate in this context. In no way whatsoever are the public opinion polls described in this article included under most reasonable interpretations of the phrase "one in authority". I concede that endorsement might apply to the petitions that have been signed, but is less applicable to the polls and other measures. Also endorsement seems to be more appropriate to actions, as in "endorsement of a candidacy", as suggested by your quoted definition. This is not what evolution is; it is a principle, an idea, a proposition.
  5. Rejection is also too strong a word and carries the wrong connotation in many instances. While some do reject evolution outright, in many cases people who do not embrace evolution whole-heartedly in these polls and other measures are adopting some intermediate position, like theistic evolution, or do not understand what evolution is, or are undecided, or are just declining to sign the petition or to issue some supportive statement for a variety of other reasons. Contrary to your previous objections based on how negative it was to characterize the dispute in bipolar terms, your suggested title does exactly that. Your suggested title implies that there are only two positions for or against evolution. The situation is more nuanced and ambiguous, as suggested by the current more general title.--Filll 13:02, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
  1. It is not concise --> By what standard is this statement not concise? It is only five words long, the same number of words as the current title!
I do not believe that number of words is the appropriate metric in this instance. Renunciation, approbation, encomia apropos evolution for example is only five words.--Filll 16:30, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
  1. It is redundant to include endorsement and rejection --> No, they mean very different things so it is impossible for them to be "redundant".
In this sense it is confusing then.--Filll 16:30, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
  1. It seems overly pedantic for a title' --> as opposed to "level of support for evolution" which is more "real world" I suppose? I don't buy this argument at all.
I believe that simple is better.--Filll 16:30, 29 January 2007 (UTC)


  1. The "authority" in question is the polling agency.
Open to interpretation and misunderstandings.--Filll 16:30, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
  1. Rejection may be a strong word, but it gives the reader the sense at least what the article will be about. The nuance of the situation is not suggested by teh current title because instead the current title isn't specific enough about what the topic of the article is in the first place.
The present more inclusive title more accurately describes the content.--Filll 16:30, 29 January 2007 (UTC)


--ScienceApologist 13:32, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
I like Dave's idea Public opinion of evolution amongst scientists, especially if such articles have been written elsewhere, or as chapters of books. The current title seems better than Endorsement and rejection of evolution, though. The name change seems much ado about little, and the current name seems fine. My opinion on this matter has a cash value of 1/20 of 1¢. You may ignore it. StudyAndBeWise 05:09, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

I must be blind or incompetent[edit]

Would someone please point me to the location in the WP regulations, chapter and verse, where we are told expressly to avoid the following words, or that these words are inappropriate or their use is somehow deprecated?

  • acceptance
  • accession
  • acknowledgement
  • adoption
  • advocacy
  • approval
  • assent
  • belief
  • denial
  • level(s)
  • support
  • opposition to
  • measure(s)

Thank you very much.--Filll 06:34, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

These were words that I deprecated because I had given explicit unanswered objections to them as being ambiguous in various contexts. I was just keeping the list because I got tired of people suggesting the same titles over and over again. --ScienceApologist 06:42, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Oh, I see. It is you *personally* that have unilaterally decided this. Thank you for clearing that up.--Filll 12:27, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

I suspect if the general community was queried, they would not have your own peculiar and particular biases against the words you have compiled in the list above. I personally see have no objection to many of those words, although one or two are needlessly abstruse for use in a title. It is my understanding that one editor cannot dictate to all the others on WP about such matters. It is not a democracy, but it is a weak dictatorship under Florence Nibart-Devouard, not under ScienceApologist.--Filll 13:09, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

What's your point? Is there any policy or guideline that prevents me from writing down a list of words? You're really grasping at straws here and your comments are delving closer and closer to personal attacks. Keep it up and I will report you. --ScienceApologist 13:25, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for your kind words. I am glad to have this contention expressed.--Filll 13:31, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

It's bad enough that we have to fight off some of the trolls who come in here with their Creationist babblings, but now we have two of the good guys fighting. Filll, your comments are harsh. If you were Raspor, we'd have keel-hauled you already. And ScienceApologist, to somewhat agree with Filll, I don't get what you're trying to do. You have an agenda, and frankly, you're not getting a lot of support. Yes, the title sucks, we all agree. But is there a rush? Why don't you propose a couple three titles that sounds, well, bold or something. I have not read a single title that has been presented that really warms my heart, and I think that's the problem. You seem to have taken responsibility for this area, yet a lot of editors aren't jumping up to help. Maybe they don't care, or maybe they can't think of a good one given your standards. Anyways, we need a new title, and we need consensus, and you two jumping on each other isn't going to help. Orangemarlin 13:43, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Part seems a semantic argument. I agree with Orange's suggestion to provide three or so titles and let's vote. We all know unbiased editor's to request assistance in a name change vote if the response is poor. Fill (usually a logical sort) can let his frustration get the better of him at times, but who doesn't around this Wiki. ScienceApologist shouldn't threaten "I will report you" just state the rules. GetAgrippa 14:54, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

It does seem like a semantic argument in part. It might not be the entire argument, but I believe a major component is routed in semantic disagreements.--Filll 16:18, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Cataloguing the suggestions for another name[edit]

Besides the current title, the following titles have been suggested:

  • support for evolution
  • Creationism-evolution controversy measures
  • Measuring opinions on creationism
  • Measuring opinions on evolution
  • evidence for evolution (merge)
  • opinions on evolution
  • creation-evolution controversy (merge)
  • Acceptance of evolution
  • popular opinions of evolution
  • level of support for creationism
  • Popular acceptance of evolution
  • Gauging the opinions and relative levels of support of evolution and creationism in the context of the creationism-evolution controversy
  • Response to creationist ad populum arguments
  • Enumerating the sides in the creation-evolution controversy.
  • Results of attempts to enumerate the positions in the creation-evolution controvers
  • Popular support for sides in the creation-evolution controversy
  • Popular support for creation and evolution
  • Level of acceptance of evolution
  • Acceptance of evolution
  • Ad populum arguments (creation-evolution controversy)
  • Endorsement and opposition to evolution
  • Endorsement of and opposition to evolution
  • Endorsements and rejections of evolution
  • level of acceptance of evolution
  • acceptance of evolution
  • evolution support and denial
  • level of endorsement of evolution
  • rejection of evolution
  • The Lobby for Evolution and Creationism
  • The Evolution Lobby
  • Advocacy of Evolution
  • Evolution acceptance levels
  • Evolution support levels
  • Acceptance of Evolution
  • Popularity of Evolution
  • Approval of Evolution
  • Acknowledgement of Evolution
  • Assent to Evolution
  • Adoption of Evolution
  • Favor of Evolution
  • Belief in Evolution
  • Accession to Evolution
  • Degree of Evolution Support
  • International Views on Evolution
  • Worldwide General Acceptance of Evolution
  • Worldwide Views on Evolution
  • General Acceptance of Evolution
  • Popularity of evolution
  • Popular support for evolution
  • Approval of evolution
  • Level of approval of evolution
  • Measuring support for evolution
  • Evolution support metrics
  • Gauging evolution support
  • Measures of support for evolution
  • Measuring opinions of evolution
  • Measuring evolution beliefs
  • Evolution belief statistics

To me at least, this suggests that there has been a vigorous response to this question. Some I like, and some I am neutral to, and some I dislike. I suggest that a useful exercise might be for each person to express their top three (or five possibly) preferences, in order. Comments? Addendum: I guess it might be good to ask people to list the worst 3 or 5 names, in their opinion.--Filll 16:15, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

You mentioned that this article has been moved a couple of times. What were its previous titles? And has there been any discussion to making it a subsection of another article???? Orangemarlin 16:30, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

It was previously support for evolution and Support for creationism and Level of support for creationism and possibly some others. It was supposed to be merged with creation-evolution controversy and evidence of evolution among others, possibly. This was discussed in the AfD.--Filll 16:32, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

These would be my top three preferences from the above list, in order.
  1. creation-evolution controversy (merge)
  2. opinions on evolution
  3. Popular support for creation and evolution
Tevildo 16:58, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
So I guess I have to ask, where do we have room for this much material on creation-evolution controversy?--Filll 17:04, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
We don't. If the articles were to be merged, then the vast majority of the text from this one would have to go. I'm afraid that, IMO, this article is trying to be a secondary rather than a tertiary source, which is not (theoretically) what WP is designed for. Were it to be AfD'd again, my "Delete" would be unequivocal. Tevildo 23:37, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Keep it simple and concise:

  1. Popularity of evolution
  2. Belief in evolution
  3. Acceptance of evolution Popular Support for Creation and Evolution

Fine I will agree to the less concise name.--Jorfer 22:38, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

I like "Popular Support for Creation and Evolution" in the list above. That really says it well. GetAgrippa 22:42, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Popular Support for Evolution and Creationism....that would be my fine tune to GetAgrippa's suggestion. Orangemarlin 23:28, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
My top two:
  1. Level of support for evolution
  2. Popular support for evolution and creationism
Snalwibma 00:19, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

This is interesting to me. I really do not understand why people like "popular" as a word, since the article topic is much broader than just cataloguing popular support. It has scientific acceptance, support from scientific organizations, levels of support from evangelical organizations, creationist organizations, mainstream churches, from business enterprises, from the court system, and from the educational system. Only a small part is about popular support. But it is still interesting to see the views of people here.

A bit difficult to put very much credence in someone who writes here anonymously but thanks anyway.--Filll 04:09, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Unilateral Action?[edit]

Jorfer, you are going about this incorrectly. You're the one who thinks the section is POV, then build a consensus to throw a tag on it. It's not my job to prove the negative, that is, the section is not not POV (or NPOV). What other reasonable editor agrees with you? Just because the section may not meld with your viewpoint, does not, in fact, make it POV. I've read the WP:NPOV section, and it lists out lots of things that make a section or article POV. None of them are here. Orangemarlin 23:34, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

One more point, you threw the tag on the first time. You should have a section on here that discusses it. From above, what I've read, almost every editor agreed it was not appropriate. I'm not sure why they don't toss them, but I'm going to once again. Mostly I don't get into revert wars, because they are useless. But in this case, you are plain wrong. Orangemarlin 23:35, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Look at the talk page section titled POV sections--Jorfer 23:36, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
I did. You have no support. Orangemarlin 16:39, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

I am slowly fixing those sections. When Jorfer points out the places he has problems, I just strengthen them with references and a bit of rewriting. So it is good really.--Filll 17:08, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

An interesting aside for the non evolutionists.[edit]

This rant by User:213.170.207.96 is not relevant to working on this article, and has been moved to User talk:213.170.207.96. -Silence 07:08, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

The level of support for evolution is a frequently disputed topic in the creation-evolution controversy.[edit]

First line of article:

Sounds like something I might have written. --Uncle Ed 16:57, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Hoping not to step on anybody's toes, I think this needs a citation. User:Filll helped find a good citation (and acquired) the Newsweek article (good job Filll, thanks for the legwork--I know it was a lot of work to improve a single citation, but I think it was worth it). In reading about many polls, it is hard to imagine that there is a controversy regarding the overwelming support. Consequently, I think the first sentence needs a reference, or needs to be reworded. I understand from other polls there are some strange results (e.g., even though up to 45% of the population believes in a religious sense a Bibilically based creation, most Christians support the teaching of evolutionary theories in the class room). But is there a disinterested party that claims the Level of Support for evolution is a frequently disputed topic?

In any event, a simple citation that this is indeed a controversy (the level of support) would do much to allay such concerns. I'll add a [citation needed] to the first sentence, and a wikilink. StudyAndBeWise 04:00, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Depends on what you mean by disinterestged party. Creationists definitely claim there is a big controversy and a growing number of scientists who support creationism. There are books and books on this. And many claims on websites and in lectures. I find this hard to believe you even think this needs a citation. But sure, I can find some. They will not be disinterested, however. The only people who claim there is a controversy are those who are either ignorant, or who have an axe to grind. Because from the data, it is pretty clear that there is minimal scientific basis for a controversy. And there is the public who are confused, but they also are not really experts in this area or able to judge very clearly. So I guess I do not know what you are getting at. --Filll 05:06, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree with you, it's hard to imagine the level of support could be disputed. I'll look for some references too, that the level of support it is frequently disputed. I agree also that if the level of support is disputed (either among scientists or the general public), it is either by ignorant people, or people who are parties to the controversy. Hopefully they are not just fringe parties to the controversy, though. "Disinterested" is just the best type of refernce in my opinion, but often other refernces suffice. E.g., references from interested parties on both sides who say this is a dispute, are not as good, but probably good enough (My heiarchy of references is my own personal bias, probably not wikipedia policy.) I'll try to help out on this if it is difficult. To be honest, I've been in the threnches of the creation-evolution controversy, and am not as up on this aspect of the controversy as I might be. StudyAndBeWise 05:20, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
Also, some of the other refernces might be useful if the initial sentence is rewritten. E.g., it is often asserted in the creation evolution controversy that thousands of scientists are creationists.(Eg.g., see [2]). Hopefully the sentence as it stands can be cited without rewriting, as it does justify the article, which has a lot of work that went in to it. StudyAndBeWise 05:27, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Actually, the first 3 references already address this. For example, here is a quote:

Today there are thousands of scientists who are creationists and who repudiate any form of evolution in their analysis and use of scientific data. Creationist scientists can now be found in literally every discipline of science and their numbers are increasing rapidly. In the Creation Research Society (2717 Cranbrook Rd., Ann Arbor, MI 48104) alone there are over 650 scientist members with either doctor's or master's degrees in some field of natural science. Among the additional 2,000 + sustaining members of the Society, many are also scientists with bachelor's degrees, in addition to numerous social scientists and other highly educated people with postgraduate degrees in their own fields. Evolutionists are finding it increasingly difficult to maintain the fiction that evolution is "science" and creation is "religion."

This is right out of the first reference. The next 2 give similar information. So it is really the creationists who dispute the level of support. Then the public picks up on it because they get fooled. I have had dozens of people just echoing what the creationists tell them. Most scientists think it is nonsense and that there is no controversy and just want to ignore it, but the public and the creationists feeding them (including the politicians) claim otherwise. That in fact, is the entire basis of the teach the controversy campaign. I do have a couple more polls which are flakey and show up to 20% support among scientists for creationism, but I do not trust them so I have not included them yet. They are not from major independent polling organizations and might be badly biased.--Filll 05:33, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Flaky sounds right. I've never seen anything more than a 5% figure among scientists, and that's not for support of Creationism but doubt of evolution. --Uncle Ed 17:00, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
"So it is really the creationists who dispute the level of support." But that is not what the first sentence says. Maybe it would be more accurate to say (based on the currently discussed ciations): "Many Creationists in the Creation-evolution controversy frequently claim that...." with citations to such creationists. I think having a disinterested citation who basically argues what the first sentence states would be best, but there might be acceptable alternatives.
A reference should be easy to find if the first sentence is true. I have a Book that is a bibliography of books on the topic ("The Creation/Evolution Controversy: An Annotated Bibliography" by James L. Hayward). I am not done searching it yet, but I have been unable to find in this bibliography even an interested party who asserts the level of support for evolution is a frequent area of dispute. I've also done quick searches on books by Numbers and Larson.
This is not to say that the statement is wrong. But if it can't be cited, it might be constured as being original research. I'll keep looking so that the first sentence doesn't need to be reworded using weasal words. (e.g., "Many creationists dispute the level of support of evolution in the creation/evolution controversy" with citations to select creationists making this claim.) Besides having weasal words in the opening, it might also be considered an soapbox introduction. Given your performance on tracking down the Newsweek citation details, I think you'll beat me, but I'll keep my eyes open for a reference to support the current opening sentence. StudyAndBeWise 07:01, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Before searching, my guess would be that the only people who would claim there is a controversy, besides a creationist, is someone like a journalist who has bought into the creationist line, or just wants to sell papers.--Filll 07:07, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

I am searching for a journalist or commentator who points out that the level of support for evolution is a "frequently disputed topic in the creation-evolution controversy." I am not searching for a journalist who actually believes there is any question on the level of support. I hope I am being clear enough. StudyAndBeWise 07:26, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Ok. Those were my words (with some help from silence), so I am not sure we will get the same wording.--Filll 07:27, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

It is very important to cite the first sentence[edit]

I am not sure the importance of being able to cite the premise of the whole article is being taking seriously enough. I think this is potentially catastrophic if we cannot cite it. Toward that end, I will report something that will approach a good citation for the first sentence, but I think it falls short in that it only alludes to the premise of the article. I'll provide it to help, because I would be sad to see such a well-researched article disappear. Maybe this citation, in the absence of finding a better one, can be used to rework the article's first sentence?

The reference is less than ideal because it refers to critics mis-characterizing controversies within biological science. This could reasonably be viewed as disputing the level of support--but it is not as explicit as the first sentence. Also, the quote refers to "some critics." The first sentence of the article states that the level of support is frequently disputed. However, another Another problem is that Dennett is an interested party. Without being able to find a disinterested party, finding a citation to a published creationist sympathsizer who also alludes to this would be improve the reliability of the citations for the first sentence. I hope this helps (so that Filll won't hate me so much:). With quotes from opposing interesting interested parties reaching the same conclusion, I think the citations from opposing interested parties in this case it would be sufficient (though less preferable than a quote from a disinterested party) StudyAndBeWise 18:38, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

Reconsider first sentence[edit]

The problem with the first sentence is the assertion that it "is a frequently disputed topic", which goes beyond the citations provided and is hard to support with a neutral assessment. My suggestion is that the sentence be reconsidered so that it is directly supported by the sentences that follow it:

The creation-evolution controversy features claims about the level of support for evolution in the scientific community, among adherents to religion and among the general public.

Here's an alternative phrasing for consideration:

The creation-evolution controversy commonly features assertions by either side as to the level of support for evolution in the scientific community, amongst adherents to religion and in the general public at large.

Note that evolution isn't linked in the bold title, as my understanding is that's bad practice and it's better to link the word where it appears at the end of the second sentence. Any alternative ideas or suggested modifications? .. dave souza, talk 10:16, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

Here is what the first section used to look like:

The level of support for evolution is a source of controversy. Creationists say that few scientists accept

evolution, and that a significant controversy about evolution exists in the scientific community.[1][2][3]


Supporters of evolution counter that these claims are unequivocally false. For example, evolution supporters claim that

  • Over 99% of all biologists in the US support evolution.
  • Dozens of scientific societies representing hundreds of thousands of scientists support evolution.
  • A petition in favor of evolution was endorsed by 72 US Nobel Prize winners
  • In the US, so far the creationists have lost numerous court battles (although this may change or become irrelevant, as noted below)

These statements are examined in greater detail. The vast majority of scientists accept evolution as the most reasonable scientific theory to explain the data.

On the other hand, creationists point out that they have, at least in some countries, persuaded far more of the general public that creationism is a more convincing explanation for the natural world. In addition, creationists have been far more successful making inroads in the political realm in the US and other countries.[4][5][6][7][8]

We probably should consider the LEAD carefully. I have not searched extensively, but what it appears to me is that we have a situation where we have two sides in a controversy. There are not a lot of "neutral" sources that examine this particular aspect of the controversy, however. Scientists claim that most scientists support them and that the controversy does not exist. Creationists and ID supporters claim that a huge controversy exists and is growing, and that growing numbers of scientists disagree with evolution. Both sides make claims that religious authorities back their views. Creationists sometimes use the argument that the public is on their side. Scientists note that the courts recently have sided with them.--Filll 14:13, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

I revised the LEAD to try to address these concerns.--Filll 22:50, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

Looks like an improvement to me, will be interested to see StudyAndBeWise's thoughts. A minor point: WP:LEAD says it "should briefly summarize the most important points covered in an article in such a way that it could stand on its own as a concise version of the article", and "In the lead try to have a sentence, clause, or at least a word devoted to each of the main headlines in the article". Therefore it would be worthwhile mentioning religion, perhaps on the lines that creationists often portray it as a dispute between faith and atheism, while evo actually supported by many churches: cite would perhaps be needed for the former. Presumably a mention should be made of medicine, industry and trends. .dave souza, talk 23:25, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree it would be nice to have a first sentence that was very specific and also broad enough to cover the entire theme of the article. Unfortunately in this case, there is just too much ground to get very specific. So the present first sentence is maybe overly vague and broad, but at least it is short. I am following the lead of Silence who rewrote the LEAD.--Filll 03:57, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
I think it is an improvement, but the problem still remains. To illustrate, I was reminded today about the infamous case of Michael Dini (note, the wiki article needs updating and correction, see also Michael Dini). You may recall that Dr. Dini required students seeking a recommendation letter from him for medical school to basically affirm their belief in evolution, and not just be able to explain it. At the time the story hit the news, I took to opportunity to email Dr. Dini. He was very resolute in his right to deny recommendation letters for whatever reason he chose, and ultimately, I agreed he had a right, but thought he was being a prick about it abusing his power. In any event, this was made famous by the media.
Other than being sensational, I have not come across any references to the infamous Dr. Dini in any books (I am focusing my efforts on disinterested accounts to the best of my abilities). My dilemma is, while I would like to include the Dr. Dini incident in the creation-evolution controversy, I don't think I should, since it could be construed as either undue weight (a fluke case of an evolutionist requiring a religious test) or original research. Maybe I am wrong, and the case of Dr. Dini does belong in the creation-evolution controversy.
Getting back to the point at hand, I agree that the first sentence is true (and the way it was written is probably also true). The question is, is it original research and an opportunity to inject information via wikipedia that you believe to be important? A citation from a disinterested party or citations from opposing interested parties would do much to allay my concerns. But I am too new here, and I am not going to answer the question, but it is a question I try to evaluate when I contribute.
Filll, you're doing a wonderful job contributing to wikipedia; I'll leave it to your judgment whether or not this present article is original research or an attempt to promolgate information you feel is important. After I gain more experience, I will possibly revisit the situation, but for now, I will drop it. StudyAndBeWise 02:27, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

Is the Dr. Dini incident mentioned in his own article? That might be the place for it. I am not sure that we need to have lots of references for the LEAD, especially when the statements are not particularly controversial. There are lots of citations in the body on this point. And there are a few in the LEAD, but not any on the first sentence, because the references are all either on one side, or the other. I have not found anything that might be viewed as neutral. I will keep my eyes open however.--Filll 03:57, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

Some tables[edit]

2004 Gallup Poll on human origins
Evolution:
Human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life...
"Creationism"
... but God had no part in this process ... but God guided this process God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so
"Darwinism" Creationism


Some say that:

The majority of Americans believe in evolution
Supporters of Evolution "Creationists"
51% 45%


Others say that:

Americans overwhelmingly reject evolution
"Evolution" Creationism
13% Progressive creationism (38%) Young-Earth creationism (45%)


Each side claims the entirety of the "middle ground", based probably on different intrepretations of "Theistic evolution". --Uncle Ed 16:55, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

I believe these tables as I said before, are oversimplified, but still useful. I disagree with some of it. For example, suppose a person thinks that God is omnipotent, and set up the natural laws of the universe to result in life etc. God just set it in motion, but does not "tweak" things and fiddle with things, the way some religious texts suggest. It is an image of an omnipotent and omniscent God, the God of Thomas Jefferson more than the God of Pat Robertson. Is this person a creationist? A supporter of intelligent design? A supporter of evolution? There is an element of intelligent design in their beliefs, but not in the sense of the Discovery Institute, but closer to those of the Vatican. The person subscribes to the findings in evolution, and also believes that God was involved in the universe, but not in the sense of guiding evolution. So this person does not fit in the easy categories. And I can think of other exceptions as well. Nevertheless, this is still useful. As I said before, a taxonomy of creationism might be valuable. I am not sure how to put something like this in this article, but it might be suitable here too. --Filll 17:31, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
There are also many old earth creationists who reject evolution who do not fit easily into that picture. And other stranger beliefs (like those of William Jennings Bryan who believed in an Old Earth and evolution for all creatures but humans). Or those who believe that there were two separate creations, corresponding to the two creations in the bible, separated by perhaps billions of years (like Harry Rimmer). And many other strange variations. Like some who believe there was a race of men that lived before Adam. Like some Hindu sects that believe man has lived on earth in unchanged form for millions of years or longer.--Filll 17:36, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

References[edit]

Voices for Evolution Revised Edition Edited by Molleen Matsumura Introduction by Isaac Asimov

Published by The National Center for Science Education, Inc. P.O. Box 9477, Berkeley, California 94709.

Printed and bound in the United States.

Library of Congress 95­74815 ISBN 0­939873­53­2 from [3]--Filll 20:36, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

New Title[edit]

I think there is a consensus for Popular Support for Creation and Evolution and moved it, but Fill thinks otherwise and moved it back.--Jorfer 23:22, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

That is correct. The discussion is underway above, and seems to have stalled. As I have stated repeatedly, and I think some others concur, the word "popular" is inaccurate because this article also deals with the courts, the school systems, the churches, the scientific societies and the scientists. None of these qualifies as popular support. There is a section examining public or popular sentiments, but I doubt if it is even 50% of the article.--Filll 23:32, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
I'm trying to figure out why one editor, Jorfer, continues to slap a NPOV tag on this article without any support whatsoever. Orangemarlin 23:58, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
I dont get it either. I am still learning how WP works, and some of these things are just mysterious to me.--Filll 00:10, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
To say that "there is a consensus for Popular Support for Creation and Evolution" is putting it a bit strongly! Under Cataloguing the suggestions for another name (above) I see contributions from six editors, plus one anonymous, and three of these include Popular Support for Creation and Evolution in their lists of possibles, while two include the variant Popular Support for Evolution and Creationism. Hardly strong evidence of consensus. Snalwibma 00:44, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
To be fair, I did not slap that on. If you look at the history it will show you that science apologetics put it up, if I am not mistaken. All I did was put it back on when Fill moved the article back. From the lack of significant rejections to the name or a similar name, there at least seems to be a consensus and for those that disagree this is a perfect time to speak or forever hold your peace.--Jorfer 00:51, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

I am speaking now, that is for sure. Any use of the word popular to me is just misleading. A big part of ScienceApologist's complaint was the use of the word "support" so I would suggest a replacement of "support" with "acceptance". I see no reason to make the title unwieldy by including the words "creation" or "creationism" in the titel. --Filll 01:36, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

This is particularly true when we have 5-10 types of creationism, none of which agree with each other. At least evolution and its definition is fairly well defined by scientists, and fairly well accepted. So that use is not ambiguous. Support for creationism on the other hand is very ambiguous, since there are so many types.--Filll 01:38, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

Object to the aborted move attempt. Also removed the pov tag as the above discussion is rather vague as to the reason for it. In addition removed the creationism box thingy, as this is not a part of creationism. Vsmith 02:37, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure what the best title for this article is, but I don't really think that this title is ideal. Guettarda 02:39, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

Would anyone object to it being called as Level of acceptance of evolution?--Filll 02:46, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

Not strongly, no, though that title is inferior to the current one—albeit less inferior than just about all of the other suggestions. If there are concerns with the current title, though, I don't see why the use of the word "support" would be a significant issue out of those concerns. There are more relevant issues; the supposed controversy of the word "support" has been largely fabricated by ScienceApologist. -Silence 02:54, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
It isn't a "fabricated" controversy - it's just a smart move to prevent having to deal with real POV forks. Guettarda 03:00, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
I would agree that it is manufactured. It seems largely specious to me.--Filll 03:04, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
POV forks such as...? There is no actual or potential POV fork that could arise from "support" but not from "acceptance" or other variants thereof. The "fabricated" controversy is indeed a fabricated one, at least in the sense that ScienceApologist has been promoting it, as though "support" specifically was the problematic word in the affair due to lexical ambiguity. You are wise enough to avoid this silliness and criticize the sense of the words, rather than the use of the specific word "support"; your problem isn't with the ambiguity or clarity of this specific word, but with whether it is POV to frame an article in any sort of way that explicitly mentions "support" or "approval" or "acceptance" or the like. Conflating your objections with Apologist's is unwarranted, as they are practically opposites. -Silence 03:12, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
[edit conflict]Yeah - anything "level of [support, acceptance, etc.]" has a confirmation bias. It seems to me that it automatically becomes a POV fork, or at least invites criticism of being a POV fork. It also invites the opposite - articles documenting support for creationism or other things like that. Guettarda 02:59, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
I have no problem with an article on Support for creationism, although I think it would have to strive very hard to find new material on this topic, unless it was something like Evidence for creationism.--Filll 03:04, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
In my view, such an article is unnecessary because it is not as noteworthy or complex a topic as the level of support for evolution. Unlike the level of support for evolution, which cannot be covered in Evolution (a science article), the level of support for creationism can be effectively covered in Creationism. -Silence 03:12, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
I disagree. The reverse would be true ("level of opposition to X"), but "level of support" is neutral because it is the default expected format for a page dealing with the level of support (and lack thereof) for anything. "Level of support" can apply equally to well-supported and poorly-supported topics, negating the realistic possibility of a POV fork. (Besides, for this to be a POV fork it would need to be a fork of an existing article, but there is no article other than this one dealing directly and exclusively with the level of support for evolution.) -Silence 03:12, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

Biggest objection[edit]

I will note that one of ScienceApologist's biggest objections was that there was no publication that covered the topics that are in this article. Actually, I found three, and noted them in this sentence in the article:

This is a topic that has been addressed repeatedly in publications such as McCollister and Asimov (1989),[9] Matsumura (1998),[10] and Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science, released by the National Academy of Sciences in 1998,[11] and addressed as well on numerous websites.

  1. ^ The ICR Scientists, Henry Morris, Impact #86, Institute for Creation Research website
  2. ^ Evolution: A theory in Crisis, Michael Denton, 1986
  3. ^ The Discovery Institute issued a press release August 19, 2003, signed by 24 Texas faculty members that stated that "in recent years, a growing number of scientists have raised significant issues that challenge various aspects of neo-Darwinian theory. Thus, we think the best science education will present students with both 'the strengths and weaknesses' of neo-Darwinian theory." However, an analysis of the signers demonstrates that only one was a biolgist (emeritus). The others were from other fields like military science, religious studies or journalism. A second press release September 5, 2003 was signed by 40 "scientists", many that signed the earlier press release, claiming, "We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged. The Darwin-only lobby tries to claim there is no scientific debate over the strengths and weaknesses of neo-Darwinism, and this proves that's just bogus."Texas Citizens for Science Responds to Latest Discovery Institute Challenge, Steven Schafersman, Ph.D., September 2, 2003
  4. ^ For example, in the US Presidential Race in 2000, both George W. Bush and Al Gore's initial political platforms included advocating the teaching of both evolution and creationism in science classes (George W. Bush, The Last Relativist, Timothy Noah, Chatterbox: Gossip, speculation, and scuttlebutt about politics, Slate, Oct. 31, 2000).
  5. ^ UK Prime Minister Tony Blair appears to have been supporting efforts to establish schools teaching creationism in the UK (Revealed: Tony Blair's Link to Schools that Take the Creation Literally, Nicholas Pyke, The Independent, 2004-06-13)
  6. ^ In Italy, former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi wanted to retire evolution from schools in the middle level; after one week of massive protests, he reversed his opinion.(We put the clock back a 1000 years, Peer Meinert, dpa -German language).
  7. ^ Serbia reverses Darwin suspension
  8. ^ Poland saw a major controversy over creationism in 2006 when the deputy education minister, Mirosław Orzechowski, denounced evolution as "one of many lies" taught in Polish schools (And finally..., Warsaw Business Journal, 18 December 2006).
  9. ^ Voices for Evolution, Betty McCollister, Isaac Asimov, National Center for Science Education (November 1989), ISBN-10: 0939873516
  10. ^ Voices for Evolution, Molleen Matsumura (Editor), National Center for Science Education; Revised edition (June 1995), ISBN-10: 0939873532
  11. ^ Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science (1998), National Academy of Sciences, National Academy Press, Washington DC, 2006

Selective quoting on part of John Richard Schrock[edit]

As I have written elsewhere, I obtained the Matsumura|1998 article What Do Christians Really Believe About Evolution?.

The John Richard Schrock editorial should be tossed out as an unreliable source. Specifically, the Matsumura|1998 article states:

It should be noted that Matsumura|1998 bases her grouping of the SBC into chruches that support evolution education soley on briefs they filed in McLean v Arkansas, and this is fully explained in the article. StudyAndBeWise 21:37, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

I believe we should quote her exactly then.--Filll 22:00, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
On this article, I'll leave that to you. Seems a bit long to include in the article. I think an explanation or full quote in the citation would be better than making the article that much longer... StudyAndBeWise 22:03, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

This article might be a bit long, but if it becomes unwieldy, we can split it into two in some way. I want to have a ready accurate repository of material on this topic so it can be a resource. I put it in the footnote so the article itself would flow smoother.--Filll 00:12, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

To be honest, after reading the Masumura|1998 article, she is trying to make a point about teaching evolution in the classroom, and the level of support for this among most of the largest chruches in the United States. Toward that end, she creatively classifies most of the 12 largest denominations as supporters of evolution education. It is a dressed up editorial. I'll try to upload it so you can read it for yourself. It only confirms my thoughts about her organization being an interested party (not that she doesn't have a point). StudyAndBeWise 00:17, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
I uploaded it to wikisource. It's not the type of source I prefer, but you all can be the judge. StudyAndBeWise 00:27, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

"belief in evolution"[edit]

From article:

Strictly speaking, evolution is not a belief system. It is a scientific endeavor. Consequently, I would reword it to say something like:

In other words (and this is me putting meaning on the studies) even creationists believe in the seperation of church and state, as well as the seperation of Science and Religion. StudyAndBeWise 01:37, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

I am not sure where these statements are.--Filll 04:07, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
I changed it. See the diff in case you want to change it back. StudyAndBeWise 04:22, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

I tried to create a hybrid version that included the best from both versions. I did not want it focused only on education, because I wanted to link it in with the general theme of the article. Therefore it had to have at least some statement that was a bit broader and vaguer. I also tried to make the "77-89.6" statement a bit clearer.--Filll 13:59, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

The point of the Matsumura|1998 article is summarized nicely in its last sentence:
This is an editorial from an interested party attempting to allay the concerns of Christians by encouraging teachers to tell Christian studnets students what most Christian denominations think. I don't disagree with the general conclusion that most Christian denominations probably support seperation of church and state and the seperation of religion and science. However, a disinterested party coming to this conclusion, or an interested party clarifying their own position, would bolster the Matsumura|1998 reference. Matsumura herself makes some leaps of logic. For example, she mixes a support for teaching evolution with support for evolution, without explaining the leap.
Also, I am speculating here, but many of the Christian denominations cited by Matsumura might have their own views about what it means to "teach evolution". Some might not support teaching all of evolution (e.g., common descent of man). Evaluating and explaining these various official positions, if they are indeed parsing "evolution", is no easy task. And then there is the problem that in the United States people belong to denominations that they do not necessarily agree with every official position, from abortion in the Catholic church (e.g., pro-choisechoice Catholics) to the teaching of Evolution in the SBC (e.g., pro-evolution baptists).
All in all, the Matsumura reference is a good starting point, but perhaps it would be bolstered by also, in the same citation, referencing at least a few of the official denominational positions that okay the teaching of evolution, to let the interested reader dig in. StudyAndBeWise 15:29, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

If you look back in the history, you will see that originally I listed all the religious organizations that had issued statements in support of evolution:

American Jewish Congress American Scientific Affiliation Center For Theology And The Natural Sciences Central Conference Of American Rabbis Episcopal Bishop Of Atlanta, Pastoral Letter General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) (2002) * The General Convention Of The Episcopal Church Lexington Alliance Of Religious Leaders The Lutheran World Federation Roman Catholic Church (1981) Roman Catholic Church (1996) * Unitarian Universalist Association (1977) Unitarian Universalist Association (1982) United Church Board For Homeland Ministries United Methodist Church United Presbyterian Church In The U.S.A. (1982) United Presbyterian Church In The U.S.A. (1983)

You can see these at [4] and they make very interesting reading. Some of these are very forceful statements. This of course is in the links in the article. I had to remove it because people were so upset that it was unfair to creationists and made the article NPOV. I wonder if there are any denominations that are members of Americans United for Separation of Church and State --Filll 16:03, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

What the phrase "teaching evolution" means is a key to the public debate.
Creationists worry that evolution will be taught in a way that implies that natural processes alone are sufficient to account for the emergence of all forms of life. They object to this implication because it then becomes a premise of the following argument:
  1. Natural processes alone created the various species, including man.
  2. God's intervention was not necessary.
  3. God might not exist.
  4. Atheism is a viable philosophy, enjoying scientific support.
On the other hand, "teaching evolution" could mean simply describing efforts by biologists to determine when each species first appeared, to trace the probable line of descent, and to pose a natural mechanism for speciation without implying that natural processes alone are sufficient. In that case, creationists would generally have few or no objections. This gives room for students and teachers to speculate on supernatural causes.
I'd like to see the article clarify what various parties mean when they say they "support evolution". --Uncle Ed 14:15, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree that it would be best to articulate and organize various levels of support for teaching evolution among religious organizations. This should be a goal. However, it might be difficult. Do you have any suggested sources for this material, aside from reading, organizing, characterizing individual denominational positions (which would probably be original research)? StudyAndBeWise 04:45, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

Unjustified reversion of editorial wording[edit]

User:Filll arrogantly reverted the changes I made yesterday to the lead and the first section without so much as commenting on the talkpage. I have reinstated the changes. These changes need to be made because the lead made claims not substantiated by the sources regarding the "almost universal" nature of the support for evolution in the scientific community (it is TOTALLY universal) and the "overwhelming" support (this word is one that should be avoided because it is a subjective qualifier). All of the changes I made improve the prose. Please do not revert but discuss your concerns here. --71.57.90.96 13:59, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

Well Mr. or Ms. Anonymous, how on earth is 95% support the same as TOTALLY UNIVERSAL support? Even 99.9% support is not universal. If it is universal support, how did the creationist organizations get lists of 100s of supporters with PhDs and faculty positions in science? Did you even read the article? Do you understand NPOV? And you do not get the right to make changes and then force everyone to convince you. That is not how this works. We do not even know who you are or what your history or record of editing is. You have zero credibility here. And how is the word "overwhelming" bad ? You can not make such claims and expect to get your way by fiat or fatwah.--Filll 16:02, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
In the scientific community, the "level of support" is not gauged by polls or lists of PhDs who sign letters: it is gauged by the literature, the texts, and the building of consensus through the standards and practices of the scientific method. The "popularity contest" aspect of your claims are applicable only to creationism which is a popular idea. Evolution is a scientific idea and so must be evaluated on the basis of science: not popular polls or open letters. The person with the NPOV problem is you, not me. None of the efforts creationists have made to describe a "controversy" are applicable to our description of what the scientific community supports. To wit, read the latest article in the NYTimes about scientists who are creationists pursuing secular degrees. In order to do this, these people need to put on airs and pretend to support evolutionary thinking because evolution is (not just nearly) universally accepted by the academic institutions they attend. There is no minority enumerated because the scientific community doesn't use polls and open letters to determine consensus within itself. Therefore, insisting on including "overwhelming majority" or "almost universal" is inappropriately weasly. Universal paradigmatic support is what process science is all about, and that's what evolution enjoys in biological science today. All you need to do to show otherwise is point to a single peer-reviewed paper that treats the subject differently from what I'm saying. --71.57.90.96 13:00, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
As much as I would like to slam the creationists, and state they are going against 100% of all scientists or even 100% of all biologists, I cannot. There are people who have tenure and espouse these views, even at major schools. There are emeritus professors who espouse these views, and are they no longer scientists? There are people who do not let it interfere with their work, like the people in the NYTimes article. Should we claim they are no longer scientists? There are people like Baumgartner who has been able to survive scientifically at Los Alamos with his views. There is or was Michael Denton. And many others on the creationist lists. If we did what you wanted, we would get hit with NPOV charges up the wazoo by creationists. It is better to be honest and state it as it is, even if we do not like it.--Filll 18:57, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Furthermore, User:Filll arrogantly concluded in his edit summary that there were inaccuracies in the new version. However, not pointing them out means I have no way of evaluating this statement. Obviously, not every single edit made was inaccurate, so I encourage User:Filll to enumerate them here, or fix them as he sees fit. --71.57.90.96 14:02, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

I fixed them as I saw fit: I reverted them. And back off on the insults, because you are making yourself look even worse than you already look.--Filll 16:04, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
Your ownership problems make you look pretty bad as well. Your reverting without discussion is pretty insulting. --71.57.90.96 13:02, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
Please try to be calm or else this will get ugly I suspect. And there is no reason to do that.--Filll 19:08, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

I have placed the disputed tag on the article since there is a dispute between myself and User:Filll. --71.57.90.96 14:02, 9 February 2007(UTC)

Anyone so "arrogant" not to spend the two minutes to get a registered name on here has no right to call anyone names. Of course, maybe you ought to read the following things:

Orangemarlin 02:15, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

There is no requirement for people to get an account to edit at Wikipedia. You would be wise to read WP:BITE. --71.57.90.96 13:02, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
I note that User:Vsmith reverted the changes without discussing rationale on talk. --216.125.49.252 18:35, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
How long does the disputed tag need to persist? I don't see substantive discussion occuring among the disputing parties? I propose the tag be removed unless 71.57.90.96 discusses why his or her changes belong. I see no effort along these lines. I am going to remove the dispute tag. If you want to add it back, please articulate the section or sections you are disputing, and why. I don't think the {{disputed}} tag is intended to flag articles in which an anonymous user has a disput with a single contributor, but rather, to flag articles with content of disputed accuracy. StudyAndBeWise 04:57, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
The only thing disputed about this article is the civility of some of the editors. The two anonymous editors (who may be the same person) have shown themselves to be rude and "arrogant." If you didn't remove the tag, I was, since there was no support for them. Orangemarlin 02:17, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
I find this suggestion to be rude and arrogant and assuming bad faith regarding annonymous editors please retract this discourse. It is unbecoming of Wikipedia culture. --71.57.90.96 13:02, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
Anonymous editors have been problematic on the various creationism and evolution discussions. That's all. Be careful with your statements. Orangemarlin 16:53, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Position of the Unification Church[edit]

We cannot but question the validity of such a view. As Gould himself admits, his concept of preadaptation cannot explain the formation of all the different complex organs. [5]

I read this as a definitive objection to the concept of "Evolution through natural selection". However, it cannot be read as an objection to Progressive creationism.

Discussions of whether a given church "supports evolution" or "opposes evolution" should clarify which aspects of evolution they support or reject. Otherwise it gives the false impression that the support or oppose every aspect of it. --Uncle Ed 18:33, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

See my comments in Belief in evolution above. StudyAndBeWise 04:47, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

I think you might be confusing the Unification Church with the Unitarian Church or Unitarian Universalist Church. Also, it would be great to have an article describing the position of each of 50-100 different major sects and major religions precisely, and how those positions have changed over time, and how they even vary with location. However, it is beyond the scope of this article, and either another article would have to be written, or the interested reader is directed to the references.--Filll 18:41, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Weasel wording etc[edit]

Some anonymous editors (maybe just one person) is repeatedly objecting to descriptions that state that most scientists support evolution, or something similar. They would prefer to have it state that all scientists support evolution, and anyone who does not is not a scientist. However, as sympathetic as I am to such an argument, it cannot be written this way. First, it is inaccurate. It is not up to us or WP to declare certain individuals who might have PhDs from major schools and teaching positions at major schools with tenure, as not being scientists. I might question their judgement, but I cannot allow them to be branded as nonscientists, much as I disagree with them. Also, I believe that such a litmus test is a bit dangerous since science is always changing what is accepted theory. I am sure at some point the modern synthesis will be replaced with another theory or expanded to include other details that are not presently known. We cannot commmit the same mistakes as creationists do by declaring one and only one explanation as the truth and unquestionable, because this is science, not religious dogma.--Filll 18:48, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

This is incorrect. When "scientists" make claims that evolution is inaccurate, they are no longer speaking as scientists but as those opposed to science. You cannot write that it is a "majority" of scientists because doing this violates the NPOV outline of how science is "supported" within the scientific community. Science is not an appeal to authority nor is it delineated by individuals but is a community effort. As such, when people dispute evolution, they necessarily do it by definition outside of science. It is not a matter of there being one and only one "truth". It is a matter of how science works.
To put this another way, placing qualifiers such as "vast majority of scientists" in articles on any other scientific subject would not stand for describing the level of scientific support for that subject. You wouldn't say that the "vast majority of scientists believe in kinematics". That type of prose is ignorant of how science works.
--216.125.49.252 18:56, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

This is by the way exactly how science is done. It is a rare theory that is accepted by 100% of all scientists. Certainly one that is in an active area of research. General relativity is not accepted by 100% of all scientists as unquestionable. Neither is quantum mechanics. Or many other theories. And evolution is no different. However, I do not believe that creationist "theories" are viable scientific theories, but they exist nonetheless. And both sides of the controvery argue over how many support their side. --Filll 19:06, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

How many PhDs and masters degrees do you have and from what institutions? --Filll 19:00, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
All I want is accuracy. Not every single scientist supports evolution. And yes, I have a problem with a scientist who does not support evolution, but facts are facts. Orangemarlin 19:01, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
By the way, I have a MS in Biochemistry from Syracuse University, an MBA from the University of Rochester, and an MD from SUNY-Upstate.  :) Orangemarlin 19:03, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

I have a PhD and 3 masters in mathematics and physics from MIT and University of California, and two bachelors in physics, so do not presume to lecture me about what science is and is not, Mr. Anonymous.--Filll 19:06, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

OMG. You're way too smart for me. I'm going to no longer edit articles with you!!!!!!! Berkeley? You long-haired liberal pinko!!!! LOL Orangemarlin 19:08, 13 February 2007 (UTC)


Haha....I am pretty far right wing in some circles. I am not really right or left wing in general; I have my own view on things that is not so easy to categorize.--Filll 19:10, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Well if that's the case, stay away from my user page!!!! Orangemarlin 19:18, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

You have to remember I am from Canada, and in Canada the far right is probably left of the Democrats on many issues.--Filll 21:24, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Q.: what's red in colour, has one wing, millions of arms, and udders?
A.: a left wing military cou.......... dave souza, talk 19:51, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
Dave, I love a good joke (and any joke that picks on Canada is a particular favorite of mine), but I don't get the punch line. Orangemarlin 22:55, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

---

It is a rare theory that is accepted by 100% of all scientists. -- sayeth Filll. The problem with this rationalization is that the policies of Wikipedia on how to report scientific consensus clearly state that undue weight should not given to fringe holdouts. Characterizing the paradigmatic consensus of the scientific community with terms such as "vast majority" or "overwhelming majority" begs the question of who the minority is. Such practices are clearly in violation of the undue weight standard of Wikipedia. For example, those who believe in modern geocentrism would not warrant accomodation on a page describing the level of support in the scientific community for general relativity. Neither should those who work outside of the scientific community and dispute evolutionary biology be subsumed into the scientific community on this page. When writing an encyclopedia, allowances must be made to ensure that nitpicking over assumed universals does not result in over-accomodationist qualification of statements of fact. That's why the alternate version is so problematic. The scientific community is exclusive, dismissive, and in general opposition to those who dispute the results of empirical science. To pretend otherwise is to push a point-of-view that claims inclusive magnamity for the scientific community that frankly is neither verifiable nor based on reliable sources. Since no one has pointed to genuine scientific dischord over evolution, to claim that there is anything other than universal acceptance for evolution within the scientific community is basically original research. --216.125.49.252 19:10, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

I don't see any support for your changes, let alone a consensus. AvB ÷ talk 19:39, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
I don't see any referenced support for declaring that there is anything like a minority in science who opposes evolution. Do you have any references which indicate this?

I hate to suggest this, but if you do not stand down, I will be calling in my friends who are creationists here. So just relax. I think it is not in your best interest to be pushing your POV like this. I hate to be put in the position of defending creationists, but I will defend them if I have to. And WP has the tools to do it. So let's not invoke those.--Filll 02:50, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Threats such as this will get you nowhere on Wikipedia. Wikipedia welcomes all contributors regardless of their POV. However, there has been no sources provided that indicate that there is a "minority" in science who oppose evolution. --216.125.49.252 14:38, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
This is hysterical. We are all staunch supporters of Evolution, consider Creationism to be pseudoscience, and we have to calm down someone who is essentially on our side to maintain NPOV. Orangemarlin 06:12, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
I still have yet to see a single piece of evidence indicating that there is any scientific controversy over the acceptance of evolution in the scientific community. It is claimed that there exist "scientists" who "oppose evolution", but this statement is a misleading perspective as to how science operates. As I pointed out above, we wouldn't describe any other scientific concept as a majority/minority split in deference to the paradigmatic function of science. Therefore, we should not kowtow to influences that want to see science relegated to a popularity contest. No editor has provided even a single source that indicates that there are any scientists who actively research in contradiction to the evolutionary paradigm. Since the only way science works is through discussion in scientific settings (that is, through peer reviewed research) it is abundantly clear that there is not just majority support for evolution: there is universal support. --216.125.49.252 14:38, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
The fact remains that not all scientists support evolution. I may deplore it, you may deplore it, Filll may deplore it, but it's a fact. It may indeed be the case that the scientists who don't believe in it don't know what they are talking about, and are working in completely different fields, but they are still scientists. Please do not delete the "overwhelming majority" statement again. To say or imply, as you do, that if a "scientist" does not support evolution he/she is thereby not a "scientist" is a POV distortion. To a large extent I share that POV, but it is inappropriate to sneak it into the article. Snalwibma 15:42, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
If that is a fact, where is your reference that indicates it? Which scientist disputes evolution as a practice of science? The implication of sentences you reverted is that as scientists these people dispute evolution. They don't dispute evolution as scientists. They dispute evolution through other extra-scientific venues. It is not problematic to remove statements that are unreferenced, not verifiable, and not based on fact so I will continue to remove the statement until somebody shows me a reference that indicates that a scientist disputes evolution through the practices of science. Otherwise, to call the person disputing evolution a "scientist" is misleading. --216.125.49.252 18:33, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
The article does not say they dispute evolution as a practice of science, so there is no need to provide a reference for that. All that is claimed is that (a) they are scientists; (b) they dispute evolution. Having said that, maybe there is an implied connection which is worth thinking about and clarifying. In other words, maybe you have a point - so let's discuss it here. But let's not have any more edit-warring. Discuss, build consensus, change as agreed. Snalwibma 21:32, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Yes it does because by couching the minority as "scientists" it necessarily assumes there is something about their "scientific" status that causes them to dispute evolution. This is creationist POV-creep, pure and simple. I'm glad you see my point here. I have rewritten the article to avoid the implied connection problem altogether. --216.125.49.252 00:13, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
Scientists don't believe in absolutes. Maybe there are very few scientists who don't believe in evolution, but I cannot believe that 100% do. This month's National Geographic had an article about the head of the Human Genome project (I think that was his title, but I don't have the magazine here), and he talked about his faith as a Christian vs. science. I don't believe he was asked about Evolution, but my impression was that he was not pro-Evolution. Orangemarlin 23:01, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
This is wikipedia. We don't base our prose on impressions gained from reading tangentially related articles. We base our prose of reliable sources and verifiable facts. --216.125.49.252 00:13, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

To say that the scientists who do not support evolution do so for religous reasons is tantamount to my claim above that the support for evolution is a result of the educational system. Both of are claims do not currently belong in the article as they are both unverified claims because they are almost impossible to prove. The editors are treating your claim just like anyone elses. The claim that not all scientists believe in evolution is in the article; it is referenced in this paragraph:

In continuing attempts to counter the charge that there are no scientists who disagree with the principles of evolution, creationist organizations have gathered lists of hundreds of scientists that disagree with evolution and support creationism. Some prominent creationist organizations that have produced these kinds of lists include the Discovery Institute[1], the Institute for Creation Research[2], Answers in Genesis[3], Creation Ministries International.[4] and Christian Answers.[5]

  1. ^ A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism, a list of scientists who dispute evolution on the Discovery Institute's website
  2. ^ List of Creation Scientists , a list of biological and physical scientists that support creationism on the Institute for Creation Research website.
  3. ^ Creation scientists and other biographies of interest, a list of scientists that support creationism on the Answers in Genesis website.
  4. ^ Creation scientists and other specialists of interest, a list of scientists who support creationism on Creation Ministries International's website. It should be noted that Creation Ministries International is the international arm of Answers in Genesis and not an independent organization.
  5. ^ Creationists holding DOCTORATES IN SCIENCE, Who's who in Creation/Evolution (list of 94)

--Jorfer 22:30, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Creationists like User:Jorfer shouldn't be trying to strong-arm anon editors just because they want to promote their creationists POV. By the way, his attempt to claim that there was something scientific about those who dissent evolution is total garbage and treats creationist opinion as fact even though it is plainly false and ignorant of the way in which science operates. --216.125.49.252 00:15, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Though I do not agree with Jorfer's philosophy, despite being young, he has worked hard to make this an NPOV. However, "Answers in Genesis" is not a very good source for the Creationist side. It's really poorly done, and almost everything written has been refuted by Scientists. There are much better sources for your side--but I'm not going to tell you Jorfer, it's now time for you to step to the plate if you want get into the Major Leagues. Orangemarlin 00:54, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
I am only pointing out what was already in the article.--Jorfer 01:55, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
I appreciate that Jorfer works hard at NPOV, but he is only human and fallible. His attempted contributions are all very problematic and should be resisted until he learns to evaluate what are reliable sources for scientific ideas while also learning what statements are verifiable and which ones are points-of-view. --216.125.49.252 18:32, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Changed wording[edit]

The issue is now avoided entirely. Since programatically, evolution is accepted as the only explanation in peer reviewed journals and other scientific discourse, we can simply report this. --216.125.49.252 00:00, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

You are missing the point. That is not the topic of this article. And you have no consensus for your changes. Should we protect the article to keep you out of it? If you continue like this, I might suggest it. You are playing into the worst caricature of an "evolutionist" or a "Darwinist" by a creationist: dogmatic, inflexible, etc. As you very well know, since I have a pretty good idea of who you are, hiding behind your cloak of presumed anonymity, WP cannot produce these sorts of POV articles that you want, just as it cannot produce POV religious tracts like the creationists want.--Filll 00:16, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
Science is inflexible just as much as religious thought is inflexible. The only difference is that scientific understanding is based on empiricism and observations while religious belief is based on dogmatic interpretation of ideologues. I'm not hiding behind any coat. I choose to remain anonymous as is anyone's right on Wikipedia. There is nothing POV about my contributions and I would appreciate it if you would keep the conversation regarding the content rather than my identity. --216.125.49.252 18:29, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
How many times do the editors have to point out that this is not an article on the scientific support for evolution, but on the public perception of evolution so to put it bluntly science does not matter on this particular article.--Jorfer 02:05, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
My stomach turns getting into this discussion. As an editor, I would like to write, "Evolution is a fact, Creationism is bogus." But that's so POV, it wouldn't fly. What the Anonymous User who makes life difficult by not getting a real name is saying might make us all happy, but it's just plain POV. We are with you Anonymous, but let's not fall into the Creationist trap! Orangemarlin 00:47, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
As an editor, you may write anything that is verifiable and based on reliable sources. Since evolution is a fact, writing this statement and citing it to reliable sources is perfectly fine in the right context. "Creationism is bogus" is an opinion and should be attributed. The rules of procedures and guidelines are very clear. I get the feeling you haven't looked at my contributions because you aren't addressing them as I wrote it. Therefore, I would appreciate it if you didn't character-assisinate and instead focused on the content. As far as I'm concerned, the creationist trap is trying to say that there is scientific dissent when there isn't any. --216.125.49.252 18:29, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Maybe you are not understanding. This article does not claim that there is any substantial serious scientific dissent. Only that there are a very tiny minority of ascientists who dissent. Get the picture? --Filll 18:46, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

But there are no reliable sources that indicate that there are any scientists who dissent within the scientific community. Get the picture? --216.125.49.252 18:51, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Mr/Ms Anonymous - if you think the wording should be changed (and I guess you do!), please make a proposal here first and build a consensus. Snalwibma 18:48, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

If you have problems with any of my changes please outline them here before reverting. Thank you. --216.125.49.252 18:51, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
In essence, see above, passim. Snalwibma 19:09, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

This is more of a continuation of edit warring and general difficulties that has erupted with a single editor who refuses to accept consensus. Now he has taken it upon himself to push for AfD for the 2nd time in 2 months. If he can't get his way, he will cause as much chaos as possible. --Filll 19:48, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Filll, if I offended you personally in any way, I apologize. We disagree on how to report various points. I have outlined my rationale for nominating this article for deletion (which I did not do the first time) and we can discuss it there. Clean slate? --ScienceApologist 19:59, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

I ask that you abide by the wishes of the majority as being amply revealed in Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Level of support for evolution. You have no consensus. You never have had one. Most people do not subscribe to your own peculiar POV. And in fact, several of the people who agree with you seem to be creationists. Interesting, isnt it? Does that tell you anything? It better. The community is giving you a message loud and clear. Are you listening? Or too conceited to listen? --Filll 15:11, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Protection required?[edit]

Is it time to protect or semi-protect this page to prevent editing by anon IPs? I guess so, How do we achieve this? Snalwibma 18:48, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

We need an admin I think.--Filll 18:52, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
I know how, but I'm not going to explain it to you because I don't think you are acting in good faith towards my contributions. Complaining that I am not "explaining" myself on the talkpage belies the fact that I have made plenty of explanations above. I don't see any of your objections outlined here on the talkpage, and yet you insist on reverting. Why? --216.125.49.252 18:53, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
As soon as you semi-protect the article I will log in, by the way. I don't want to log in, but I will do that to prevent this absurdity. --216.125.49.252 18:53, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

You have no consensus. If this continues I will recruit an army of people to stop this nonsense.--Filll 18:54, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

FYI: I think you'll find that resorting to this form of army recruitment is not generally looked upon favorably here. --ScienceApologist 20:01, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

I do not need to, since you already beat me to it: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Level of support for evolution.--Filll 14:59, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Editors of this page should be careful in how they treat otherse[edit]

I noticed a lot of biting, personal insinuations, lack of civility and page ownership going on while I was an anon that made me fume and lash out. For my own part in this debacle I apologize. However, editors should be careful that they do not attack people just because they don't have user accounts. --ScienceApologist 19:48, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

I wholeheartedly support this cri du coeur, also noting that it applies to everyone, logged in or not. AvB ÷ talk 00:14, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
Let me be as passive-aggressive as I can possibly be. Whatever. Orangemarlin 07:36, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Title suggestion[edit]

How about Societal acceptance of evolution or something along that line? (Public acceptance? Societal objections? Public support?) Adam Cuerden talk 03:05, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

I am leaning towards Scientific and societal accceptance of evolution, but I do not know why this is such a big deal.--Filll 03:18, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Well, Filll, it's good to know you don't think it's a big deal, but we all now know you're a creationist, making this article as a POV fork, so clearly you're in no way fit to judge, are you?

Also, I just had an idea for it, so thought I'd mention. Adam Cuerden talk 04:55, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

NPOV sources for Science Apologist[edit]

I would suggest the 1991 and 1997 Gallup Polls, and the 1987 NewsWeek article. But seeing how this has gone so far, I am not so sure this will be sufficient. I will point out that it would seem to be sufficient for any reasonable person, at least as I see it. --Filll 15:15, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Suggested name change[edit]

Given the continued unhappiness with the current name, I propose to change the name to Level of acceptance of evolution. Comments?

This has been proposed many times above. The main problem is that acceptance is more POVed than "support", and, unlike "support", lacks a clear and unbiased opposite. ("Rejection", unlike "opposition", is emotive and unencyclopedic language; and "acceptance" carries some of the same connotations.) Moreover, despite the many (contradictory) suggestions that have been put forth to rename this article as, Level of support for evolution continues to be the best of the bunch, in terms of conciseness, clarity, accuracy, and neutrality. However, if we do decide to rename the article to something like this, my current suggestion is that we rename the article to Level of popular and scientific support for evolutionary theory, since these changes would resolve the only really substantial criticisms of the current title (the most significant one being that evolution here refers to the theory rather than the process, and we should clarify that fact for the same reason we do on articles like Social effect of evolutionary theory). -Silence 21:28, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Delete!!![edit]

I have just made substantial changes to the intro of this article. The information I have added is necessary to explain the nature of the support for/controversy over evolution which is a necessary backdrop to the level of support. As those of you who follow the Evolution/Intelligent Design articles can tell, virtually all of the info has been pulled from other articles. This information is necessary to this article, and yet it shows that this article has no real reason to exist. All of the real info on this topic is contained in numerous articles/could be. Information that is not contained in other articles (most of the relevant info is already) could be moved to an article on scientific literacy or lack thereof, specifically as it pertains to Evolution. As it has been previously argued, this is a POV fork from the Creation-evolution controversy article.

I agree with the below which is excerpted from the last deletion request by ScienceApologist: "The article as it is formed functions basically as an undercover creationist POV-fork of the creation-evolution controversy article. This fact may be difficult for some to see, but consider that the article takes as its main thesis that there exists a way to gauge the “level of support” for the scientific concept of evolution by means of opinion polling, open letters, and the like. This very particular and peculiar point-of-view cannot accommodate the fact that no scientific theory in the context of science (which is the context in which evolution is defined, supported, and described) is “supported” by such means. We do not subject the theory of relativity to an article regarding opinion polls on the subject. Support for the principle of least action is not gauged in our encyclopedia by counting how many open letters were written regarding the subject. Even more controversial scientific subjects such as the Big Bang or the Gaia hypothesis do not have articles that treat the subjects in such a way. The only reason we have such an article ostensibly about “evolution” is because we are effectively accommodating a uniquely creationist POV-pushing perspective of evolution and how its support should be “measured”.

Consideration for this deletion proposal is guided in part by guidelines for how to cover science at Wikipedia. In particular, discussions about science that are neutral need to deal with science as it is evaluated by reliable and verifiable sources. Polls, open letters, and opinion pieces are not how this is done for scientific subjects. To advance the idea that a scientific principle can have its support gauged in such a fashion is a POV which is obviously at odds with how we have dealt with scientific subjects in the past.

We have an old problem with such problematic content forks at Wikipedia regarding evolution. I would remind the community of this AfD which was ostensibly on the same subject and was deleted for reasons similar to the ones I outline here. I believe that precedent for deleting articles of this sort is well-established and that the community can work to include the verifiable content in other articles."

This article is POV in nature and should be gotten rid of. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Wikipediatoperfection (talkcontribs) 10:32, 17 March 2007

Why is your opinion so much more important then everyone elses that you can put a big banner over the article outlining why it should be deleted? There is no consensus for this and if you want to have it deleted you can drag it through another failed AFD, but trying to put a big distracting banner that repeats the same thing twice on the top of the page is not solving anything. This is not a fork and there is no consensus that it is. The idea that it is an "undercover" one is ridiculous as it indicates their is a huge amount of paranoi exists among Wikipedians that Creationists are underhandidly trying to influence Wikipedia which is incredible because I have spent much time arguing with the authors of this page on Evolution as they are Evolutionists, which takes a pretty large amount of paranoi to explain. I would say it is much worse than my suggestion that support for Evolution is a result of the teaching of it in the educational system and not the science. Both sides refer to the level of support the same amount of time. Evolutionists refer to the overwhelming support of scientists in many court cases, and Creationists refer to how the teaching of evolution in public schools goes against their parents beliefs (the general public). I am therefore reverting the ridiculous addition to this page. You can try to dismiss Creationism as a pseudoscience, but that is even more POV then what you are suggesting this article is doing. This article is important on a cultural/societal level because public opinion hold (many would say undue) sway in Democracies. This articled is just a result of that, and if you have a problem with this article then, it is likely because you are mad at Democracy.--Jorfer 12:44, 17 March 2007 (UTC)
I can count on one finger the number of times I've agreed with Jorfer in Wikipedia discussions. Here's number 2. Wikipediatoperfection made a unilateral decision that has no consensus, and no support. I'm glad Jorfer reverted your edits and especially that obnoxious banner at the top. This is a well-written and very useful article. If you want a perfect Wikipedia, you're going about it wrong. Orangemarlin 14:45, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

I am astounded at this third attempt in as many months to delete this article. Just because one or two people dislike a certain article does not mean that their personal views should weigh out over everyone else's. That is not how a consensus is formed; that is more akin to a dictatorship. As I and others have pointed out repeatedly, this article is NOT about the science of evolution, but about the sociological and political phenomenon associated with the controversy. It is closer to the science of sociology than it is to the science of biology. Do you have something against sociology? Granted, it is a soft science, but it is a field that is not completely without merit. I could pick apart the copious errors in logic and grammar that are bountifully evident in this "contribution" of Wikipediatoperfection. However, that might be a bit cruel and viewed as an ad hominem attack. Permit me to remark, however, that if his work was taken as an example of the "perfection" sought for Wikipedia, that Wikipedia would soon be destined for the ash heap of intellectual history, and would devolve into an academic embarassment and blight on the internet. I could say a lot more, but in the interests of comity, I will refrain.--Filll 15:22, 17 March 2007 (UTC)


I am quite obviously not a type editor or an eloquent writer so I will accept any jokes on my name as par for the course. I am sorry if I went about this in rash or unilateral way. I apologize, I'm relatively new to Wikipedia. I will try to reach a consensus in this talk page. Here is the problem as I see it. Intelligent Design (and previously Creationism) are not science.

"You can try to dismiss Creationism as a pseudoscience, but that is even more POV then what you are suggesting this article is doing."

Creationalism is a religious belief. If it is compared to Evolution on scientific grounds it is pseudoscience at best and junk science at worst. That is not to discount Creationalism as a religious belief. However, it is junk science. What do you want from me? That's the truth. There are only so many ways you can beat around the bush. But, the fact remains, that it is not science. Furthermore, Evolution is not incompatible with Christianity. Currently, however, the term currently used in place of creationalism is Intelligent Design. I would encourage you to go to the Intelligent Design page. Here is the intro:


Intelligent design is an argument for the existence of God,[1] based on the premise 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."[2] Its leading proponents, all of whom are affiliated with the Discovery Institute,[3][4][5] claim that intelligent design is a scientific theory that stands on equal footing with, or is superior to, current scientific theories regarding the evolution and origin of life.[6]

The scientific community states unequivocally that intelligent design is not science;[7] many scientists and at least one major organization of science teachers have also termed it pseudoscience,[8] and some have termed it junk science.[9] The U.S. National Academy of Sciences has stated that intelligent design "and other claims of supernatural intervention in the origin of life" are not science because they cannot be tested by experiment, do not generate any predictions, and propose no new hypotheses of their own.[10]

In Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District (2005), a United States federal court ruled that a public school district requirement for science classes to teach that intelligent design is an alternative to evolution was a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. United States District Judge John E. Jones III ruled that intelligent design is not science and is essentially religious in nature.[11] During the trial, intelligent design advocate Michael Behe testified under oath that no scientific evidence in support of the intelligent design hypothesis has been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.[12]


As the page states it is not at all scientific. It is an argument for the existence of God. It's own advocates admit that not a single peer reviewed scientific journal article has been published in support of it. However, now we get to the problem with the article we are currently discussing. This article lends credence to the teach the controversy argument because it does not specifically state that it is a load of bull. Wow, you say, total POV statement. Well, if the article actually said "load of bull" yeah. But if you take a look at the intro of teach the controversy it is bull. Here it is:

Teach the Controversy is the name of both a strategy and a campaign designed and led by the Discovery Institute[13][14] and other intelligent design (ID) advocates that manufactures the controversy they want to teach[13][15][16] by promoting the false perception that evolution is a "theory in crisis"[16][17] with scientists criticizing evolution[18] and claiming that "fairness" and "equal time" requires educating students about the alleged scientific controversy. The advocates then offer Creationism as an alternative to science.[19]

Opponents, comprised of the overwhelming majority of the scientific community and science education organizations,[20] reply that there is in fact no scientific controversy and that the controversy exists solely in terms of religion and politics.[16][21] The American Association for the Advancement of Science and other science and education professional organizations say that Teach the Controversy proponents seek to undermine the teaching of evolution[16][22] while promoting intelligent design,[23][24][25] and to advance an education policy for US public schools that introduces creationist explanations for the origin of life to public-school science curricula.[26][27] This viewpoint was supported by the December 2005 ruling in the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial.[27]

From these two articles we can see that there absolutely is no scientific controversy. That the political movement to "teach the controversy" by its nature ignores science. When you say the following:

"As I and others have pointed out repeatedly, this article is NOT about the science of evolution, but about the sociological and political phenomenon associated with the controversy."

You are ignoring that because the whole political movement for Intelligent Design has been about manufacturing a controversy, if you do not make clear that the controversy is entirely political and that Intelligent Design has no scientific merit, then you are feeding in to what the Discovery Institute wants, which is for people to think there is a scientific controversy. If you want to study this sociologically that is fine by me. However, we have an obligation to make clear that this article in no way supports the idea that there is a scientific controversy. As the other articles on this topic demonstrate, there is none. If you want to look at this as a political and cultural phenomenon that is fine, but the article should in no way imply that there is any real doubt in scientists' minds. It should explicitly state that this article looks at political and cultural support for Evolution or creationalism, but that scientifically speaking there is no controversy. Arguing that there is pushes pseudoscience. Many people "do not believe" in Evolution. There objection is religious in nature. That should be made clear. I also think scientific literacy should be discussed in this article and lack thereof presented as a possible reason for why so few Americans support Evolution. Wikipediatoperfection 18:36, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

I have no objection to a short sentence clarifying this. But this shortcoming does not imply that the entire article is without merit. I think that an article on scientific literacy would be great. Why don't you write one so we can reference it?--Filll 19:38, 17 March 2007 (UTC)
That is a good point that you should have said in the first place without resorting to the giant banner at the top of the page that just rehashed ScienceApoligists criticisms. The teach the controversy article states:

...Opponents, comprised of the overwhelming majority of the scientific community and science education organizations...

Overwhelming majority means most, but not all. So the teach the controversy article actually goes against your point that all scientists accept Evolution. The reference for there not being a controversy is made in regards to the nature of science being naturalistic and since Creationism is not naturalist then there is no "scientific" controversy which is a POV statement due to the subjective nature of what is considered science and what is considered pseudoscience. It is important to note that, just because the teach the controvery article is well sourced, does not make it NPOV as glancing at Wikipedia:What is a good article? will show you because the two are listed separately. Well referenced articles tend to survive challenges, but I would argue the teach the controversy is POV, most obviously because of its use of quotation marks.--Jorfer 19:22, 17 March 2007 (UTC)
It says overwhelming majority which translates to virtually every scientist in the field.
"The reference for there not being a controversy is made in regards to the nature of science being naturalistic and since Creationism is not naturalist then there is no "scientific" controversy which is a POV statement due to the subjective nature of what is considered science and what is considered pseudoscience."
One of the basics of actual science is publication of research in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. As supporters of Intelligent Degign/Creationism have testified under oath, there are no such articles in support of either Creationalism or Intelligent Design. We are not going to redefine science to include religion. Pseudoscience or junk science is something that claims to be science, but is not. Creationalism and Intelligent Design are not backed by any scientific research. If presented as science, they are the definition of pseudoscience or junk science. To say that they are science is to say that my theory that everyone besides me is from Mars, is scientific. Scientifically, they are both absurd. This may politically be considered POV by creationalists, but factually it is 100% accurate. Wikipediatoperfection 20:52, 17 March 2007 (UTC)
Just because a theory has not been published in peer-reviewed journals does not make it unscientific. If you are unaware, there is controversy over the validity of peer-reviewing (see Peer review). Most great scientists, if I am not mistaken, have come out with books instead of appearing in peer reviewed journals. Creationist scientists are such a small group that, rather than come up with original research, many choose to use already available scientific knowledge to write books on the matter.--Jorfer 21:21, 17 March 2007 (UTC)
There is a difference between a theory, as in I have a theory that on Tuesdays I'm more awake than Wednesdays, and a scientific theory:
In science, a theory is a mathematical description, a logical explanation, a verified hypothesis, or a proven model of the manner of interaction of a set of natural phenomena, capable of predicting future occurrences or observations of the same kind, and capable of being tested through experiment or otherwise falsified through empirical observation. It follows from this that for scientists "theory" and "fact" do not necessarily stand in opposition. For example, it is a fact that an apple dropped on earth has been observed to fall towards the center of the planet, and the theory which explains why the apple behaves so is the current theory of gravitation.
Intelligent Design is not a theory in the scientific sense, but in I think I am more awake on Tuesdays than Wednesdays sense. Indeed, as theories go, I am more awake on Tuesdays than Wednesdays has more scientific validity in that it could be tested, whereas the "theory" of intelligent design could not. Today, virtually all great scientists write articles for peer reviewed journals. They may also write books, but their ideas are scrutinized by their colleagues nonetheless and they also submit peer-reviewed journal articles. Peer-review may have its problems, but it is generally accepted, and thus there is no controversy surrounding it, but rather a good natured debate which does not distort the facts, as Intelligent Design seeks to do. This in no way should be used to cast doubt on evolution and argue that Intelligent Design has scientific merit despite never having received support in a single article in a major science journal. That isn't to say that it has gotten some support as you portray it. It is to say that it has gotten no support. Intelligent Design, as US courts have ruled, is an argument for the existence of God, and by definition is unscientific. This may be POV to the folks at the Discovery Institute, but it is the cold hard scientific reality. Wikipediatoperfection 23:02, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

So many wrong or misleading statements from both sides! Filll got the main idea right by pointing out that this article isn't only about science, within which evolution has nearly universal support, but also about society, within which creationism has significant support (upwards of 45% in the U.S.). As for Jorfer's argument that Creation Science or ID have respectable publications in the form of books, W2P actually understated his case---it's not just great scientists that publish in peer-reviewed journals, it's *all* of them, right down to the total boneheads. Let's keep the issue clear---within mainstream science, support for evolution is virtually universal; within society, there's lots of support for conflicting views. Gnixon 23:28, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

By the way, I'm not saying this *is* a good article, but it certainly could be. Gnixon 23:29, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

  1. ^ "ID is not a new scientific argument, but is rather an old religious argument for the existence of God. He traced this argument back to at least Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century, who framed the argument as a syllogism: Wherever complex design exists, there must have been a designer; nature is complex; therefore nature must have had an intelligent designer." (Known as the teleological argument) Ruling, Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, December, 2005
  2. ^ Discovery Institute, Center for Science and Culture. Questions about Intelligent Design: What is the theory of intelligent design? "The theory of intelligent design holds 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."
    Primer: Intelligent Design Theory in a Nutshell Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness (IDEA)
    Intelligent Design Intelligent Design network.
  3. ^ "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, 2005, testifying in the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial. Kitzmiller Dove Testimony, Barbara Forrest
    • "The Discovery Institute is the ideological and strategic backbone behind the eruption of skirmishes over science in school districts and state capitals across the country." Politicized Scholars Put Evolution on the Defensive Jodi Wilgoren. The New York Times, August 21 2005.
    Who is behind the ID movement? Frequently Asked Questions About "Intelligent Design", American Civil Liberties Union.
    • "Discovery Institute, a Seattle-based think tank established in 1991. The institute, which promotes a conservative public-policy agenda, has occupied a lead role in the ID movement recently, most notably through its Center for Science and Culture, which boasts a number of leading ID proponents among its fellows and advisers." The Evolution of George Gilder Joseph P. Kahn. The Boston Globe, July 27 2005.
    "Who's Who of Intelligent Design Proponents," Science & Religion Guide Science and Theology News. November 2005. (PDF file)
  4. ^ Intelligent Design and Peer Review American Association for the Advancement of Science.
  5. ^ "The engine behind the ID movement is the Discovery Institute." Defending science education against intelligent design: a call to action Journal of Clinical Investigation 116:1134–1138 (2006). doi:10.1172/JCI28449. A publication of the American Society for Clinical Investigation.
  6. ^ Stephen C. Meyer, 2005. Ignatius Press. The Scientific Status of Intelligent Design: The Methodological Equivalence of Naturalistic and Non-Naturalistic Origins Theories. See also Darwin's Black Box.
  7. ^ See: 1) List of scientific societies rejecting intelligent design 2) Kitzmiller v. Dover page 83. 3) The Discovery Institute's A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism petition begun in 2001 has been signed by "over 600 scientists" as of August 20, 2006. A four day A Scientific Support for Darwinism petition gained 7733 signatories from scientists opposing ID. The AAAS, the largest association of scientists in the U.S., has 120,000 members, and firmly rejects ID. More than 70,000 Australian scientists and educators condemn teaching of intelligent design in school science classes. List of statements from scientific professional organizations on the status intelligent design and other forms of creationism.
  8. ^ "for most members of the mainstream scientific community, ID is not a scientific theory, but a creationist pseudoscience." Trojan Horse or Legitimate Science: Deconstructing the Debate over Intelligent Design David Mu. Harvard Science Review, Volume 19, Issue 1, Fall 2005.
    • National Science Teachers Association, a professional association of 55,000 science teachers and administrators in a 2005 press release: "We stand with the nation's leading scientific organizations and scientists, including Dr. John Marburger, the president's top science advisor, in stating that intelligent design is not science.…It is simply not fair to present pseudoscience to students in the science classroom." National Science Teachers Association Disappointed About Intelligent Design Comments Made by President Bush National Science Teachers Association Press Release August 3 2005
    Defending science education against intelligent design: a call to action Journal of Clinical Investigation 116:1134–1138 American Society for Clinical Investigation, 2006.
  9. ^ "Biologists aren’t alarmed by intelligent design's arrival in Dover and elsewhere because they have all sworn allegiance to atheistic materialism; they’re alarmed because intelligent design is junk science." H. Allen Orr. Annals of Science. New Yorker May 2005.Devolution—Why intelligent design isn't.
    • Also, Robert T. Pennock Tower of Babel: The Evidence Against the New Creationism.
    Junk science Mark Bergin. World Magazine, Vol. 21, No. 8 February 25 2006.
  10. ^ National Academy of Sciences, 1999 Science and Creationism: A View from the National Academy of Sciences, Second Edition
  11. ^ Ruling, Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, Case No. 04cv2688. December 20 2005
  12. ^ Ruling, Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District 4: whether ID is science
    Pieret, John, The Quote Mine Project: Or, Lies, Damned Lies and Quote Mines, TalkOrigins Archive. (A response to a criticism of Jones' decision)
  13. ^ a b Steven C. Meyer:"Forget intelligent design, they argued, with its theological implications. Just require teachers to discuss evidence that refutes Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, as well as what supports it." They called it "teach the controversy," and that's become the institute's rallying cry as a leader in the latest efforts to raise doubts about Darwin in school. Does Seattle group "teach controversy" or contribute to it? Linda Shaw. The Seattle Times, March 31, 2005.
  14. ^ Small Group Wields Major Influence in Intelligent Design Debate ABC News, November 9 2005
  15. ^ "That this controversy is one largely manufactured by the proponents of creationism and intelligent design may not matter, and as long as the controversy is taught in classes on current affairs, politics, or religion, and not in science classes, neither scientists nor citizens should be concerned." Intelligent Judging — Evolution in the Classroom and the Courtroom George J. Annas, New England Journal of Medicine, Volume 354:2277-2281 May 25, 2006
  16. ^ a b c d "Some bills seek to discredit evolution by emphasizing so-called "flaws" in the theory of evolution or "disagreements" within the scientific community. Others insist that teachers have absolute freedom within their classrooms and cannot be disciplined for teaching non-scientific "alternatives" to evolution. A number of bills require that students be taught to "critically analyze" evolution or to understand "the controversy." But there is no significant controversy within the scientific community about the validity of the theory of evolution. The current controversy surrounding the teaching of evolution is not a scientific one." AAAS Statement on the Teaching of Evolution American Association for the Advancement of Science. February 16, 2006 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "AAAS" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "AAAS" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "AAAS" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  17. ^ Ruling, Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, page 89
  18. ^ "That this controversy is one largely manufactured by the proponents of creationism and intelligent design may not matter, and as long as the controversy is taught in classes on current affairs, politics, or religion, and not in science classes, neither scientists nor citizens should be concerned." Intelligent Judging — Evolution in the Classroom and the Courtroom George J. Annas, New England Journal of Medicine, Volume 354:2277-2281 May 25, 2006
  19. ^ Cite error: The named reference wedge_doc was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  20. ^ See: 1) List of scientific societies rejecting intelligent design 2) Kitzmiller v. Dover page 83. The Discovery Institute's Dissent From Darwin Petition has been signed by about 500 scientists. The AAAS, the largest association of scientists in the U.S., has 120,000 members, and firmly rejects intelligent design and denies that there is a legitimate scientific controversy. More than 70,000 Australian scientists and educators condemn teaching of intelligent design in school science classes. List of statements from scientific professional organizations on the status intelligent design and other forms of creationism.
  21. ^ "That this controversy is one largely manufactured by the proponents of creationism and intelligent design may not matter, and as long as the controversy is taught in classes on current affairs, politics, or religion, and not in science classes, neither scientists nor citizens should be concerned." Intelligent Judging — Evolution in the Classroom and the Courtroom George J. Annas, New England Journal of Medicine, Volume 354:2277-2281 May 25, 2006
  22. ^ "In summary, the disclaimer singles out the theory of evolution for special treatment, misrepresents its status in the scientific community, causes students to doubt its validity without scientific justification, presents students with a religious alternative masquerading as a scientific theory, directs them to consult a creationist text as though it were a science resource, and instructs students to forgo scientific inquiry in the public school classroom and instead to seek out religious instruction elsewhere." Ruling - disclaimer, pg. 49 Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District.
  23. ^ "ID's home base is the Center for Science and Culture at Seattle's conservative Discovery Institute. Meyer directs the center; former Reagan adviser Bruce Chapman heads the larger institute, with input from the Christian supply-sider and former American Spectator owner George Gilder (also a Discovery senior fellow). From this perch, the ID crowd has pushed a "teach the controversy" approach to evolution that closely influenced the Ohio State Board of Education's recently proposed science standards, which would require students to learn how scientists "continue to investigate and critically analyze" aspects of Darwin's theory." Chris Mooney. The American Prospect. December 2, 2002 Survival of the Slickest: How anti-evolutionists are mutating their message
  24. ^ Teaching Intelligent Design: What Happened When? by William A. Dembski"The clarion call of the intelligent design movement is to "teach the controversy." There is a very real controversy centering on how properly to account for biological complexity (cf. the ongoing events in Kansas), and it is a scientific controversy."
  25. ^ Nick Matzke's analysis shows how teaching the controversy using the Critical Analysis of Evolution model lesson plan is a means of teaching all the intelligent design arguments without using the intelligent design label.No one here but us Critical Analysis-ists... Nick Matzke. The Panda's Thumb, July 11 2006
  26. ^ "has the effect of implicitly bolstering alternative religious theories of origin by suggesting that evolution is a problematic theory even in the field of science." . . . The effect of Defendants’ actions in adopting the curriculum change was to impose a religious view of biological origins into the biology course, in violation of the Establishment Clause. Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, Conclusion, page 134
  27. ^ a b "ID's backers have sought to avoid the scientific scrutiny which we have now determined that it cannot withstand by advocating that the controversy, but not ID itself, should be taught in science class. This tactic is at best disingenuous, and at worst a canard. The goal of the IDM is not to encourage critical thought, but to foment a revolution which would supplant evolutionary theory with ID."Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, whether ID is science, page 89