Talk:Objections to evolution

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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Objections to evolution:

Here are some tasks awaiting attention:
  • Cleanup :
  • Expand :
  • NPOV : "If this article is about the objections to evolution, why is it constantly refuting those objections? Answering objections to evolution should be a different topic." Pat34lee (talk) 06:00, 13 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Other : *Consider other objections as possible sections, such as "evolution presupposes..." arguments (currently discussed briefly under "Evolution is unfalsifiable"). Discuss possible alternative section schemes, particularly to remedy ambiguity in "Objections to evolution's plausibility" and "Objections to evolution's possibility" oversections.

January 2016[edit]

I am planning on editing this page to reflect a more neutral tone in it, as well as include new references to support each claim.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Julio Puentes (talkcontribs)

@Julio Puentes: post any change proposal here before changing the article so you can gain consensus. --McSly (talk) 02:14, 27 January 2016 (UTC)
The changes you have already made are not neutral to begin with.--Mr Fink (talk) 02:19, 27 January 2016 (UTC)

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Unqualified citation for observed macroevolution[edit]

Under "Evidence - Lack of observation" section, there is a sentence that states:

"However, as biologists define macroevolution, both microevolution and macroevolution have been observed."

This sentence cites two references, but none of them states that macroevolution has been observed -- they describe microevolution speciation. Either a valid reference should be used to back up the claim "macroevolution have been observed" or this sentence should be removed. (talk) 00:32, 11 August 2016 (UTC)

Please read the part you quote and try to understand it. Especially the part as biologists define macroevolution and macroevolution means evolution at or above the species level. The references are valid. --Hob Gadling (talk) 08:24, 11 August 2016 (UTC)
Thank you for the response. In order to avoid a future confusion by other readers, I have clarified the article by explicitly mentioning speciation as to what biologists consider macroevolution. (talk) 18:08, 11 August 2016 (UTC)

edit to "Lack of observation" section[edit]


You undid the revision 734033265 and changed the following sentence:

  • before: However, as biologists define macroevolution (i.e. speciation), both microevolution and macroevolution have been observed.
  • after:   However, as biologists define macroevolution, both microevolution and macroevolution have been observed.

Can you elaborate what you mean by "not really true" please? How do you propose to make it sound more clear? (talk) 22:54, 11 August 2016 (UTC)

This edit really said everything that needs to be said. --JBL (talk) 23:01, 11 August 2016 (UTC)
JBL, no it didn't. Are you claiming that biologists don't define speciation as macroevolution? My edit only added "(i.e. speciation)" to clarify what macroevolution is. How is that a battle over evolution? (talk) 00:30, 12 August 2016 (UTC)
Since neither Rwenonah nor anyone else can come up with a reasonable explanation, I have undone Rwenonah's undid. (talk) 19:52, 16 August 2016 (UTC)
The explanation is: your editing is tendentious, and no one is going to humor your attempts to create rhetorical wiggle-room for an inane creationist argument. --JBL (talk) 21:02, 16 August 2016 (UTC)
In other words, other editors are subjecting you to WP:SHUN.--Mr Fink (talk) 22:21, 16 August 2016 (UTC)
And, there's clearly no consensus for the edits, time to move on. Dbrodbeck (talk) 22:33, 16 August 2016 (UTC)
@JBL, et al.
I asked you a simple question which you continue to dodge: are you or are you not claiming that biologists do NOT define speciation as macroevolution?
So, please explain why it is wrong to clarify that macroevolution defined by biologists means speciation. (talk) 23:05, 16 August 2016 (UTC)
We have seen numerous previous editors with identical requests to easily understand your request for clarification is nothing more than an attempt to use tendentious hair-splitting as a Trojan Horse to create WP:weasel word smokescreens for creationist arguments, as was previous explained to you.--Mr Fink (talk) 23:12, 16 August 2016 (UTC)
I don't know your past experience and you shouldn't expect a total stranger to know your past experience either.
However, isn't this page titled, "Objections to evolution"? Search for "creationism" or "creationist" on this page and you will find almost everywhere. So, I don't see why it is unacceptable to explain how "macroevolution" defined by creationists are different than the one defined by biologists. Even macroevolution wiki page explains this symantic issue very well. Considering that this symantic issue is the crux of the creationists' objection to evolution, it is very odd why you block the attempt to clarify the definition used by biologists.
Even the very sentence being edited starts with "However, as biologists define macroevolution", which would make no sense if it weren't trying to convey that the macroevolution defined by biologists are not the same as the one defined by creationists... (talk) 23:51, 16 August 2016 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────The problem with your editing is that macroevolution is not synonymous with speciation. Speciation is generally a result of macroevolution but these two terms, while related, are not the same thing. See:Macro evolution and Speciation for further information. Bottom-line is, your addition is not technically correct and does not improve the article. Darwinian Ape talk 23:56, 16 August 2016 (UTC)

@Darwinian Ape,
I know they are not synonymous, which is why I used "i.e." (should I have used "e.g." instead?) If you have a better way to present the information, then please go ahead with your way of clarification.
As of now, nowhere in this article does it mention about the symantic issue (which defeats the whole purpose of the topic of the article.) (talk) 00:26, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
To quote briefly from the WP article on macroevolution, "the process of speciation may fall within the purview of either, depending on the forces thought to drive it." Rwenonah (talk) 03:26, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
Here is the relevant data: so far, 6 or 7 different people have taken the time to comment in this discussion; all have communicated in one way or another that they oppose your edits. At least one other person has reverted your edits when you made them. Your parallel efforts on macroevolution have met with a similar outcome. There is zero chance that continuing this argument is going to change this situation. Why don't you go edit the article on your local high school or something instead? --JBL (talk) 13:42, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
Thank you for confirming my edit that macroevolution does indeed include speciation. Now that you've confirmed, I ask you the same thing that I asked Darwinian Ape. If you have a better way to present the information, then please go ahead with your way of clarification and edit the sentence.
As of now, nowhere in this article does it mention about the symantic issue (which defeats the whole purpose of the topic of the article.)
Here is the relevant data: so far 6 or 7 different people have taken the time to comment in this discussion; none of them understands why the edit is needed and had suggested a better way to edit. Your ad hominem attacks only further prove your non-neutral attitude, which disqualifies you as an impartial moderator. (talk) 17:47, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
Might I suggest that you follow the advice found in WP:1AM? --Guy Macon (talk) 20:01, 19 August 2016 (UTC)
  • I was asked to comment here by the IP editor as a 'neutral' party. So here's my comments:
Regarding the content: Speciation lies on the (highly nebulous) border between microevolution and macroevolution. It's as valid to say it's a part of one as it is to say it's a part of another. However, the distinction between micro- and macro- is an entirely artificial one, hence why there's no concrete definition. In practice, there's little difference, as there has never been an event where a member of one species gave birth to another species. It's all about small, incremental changes (even when one takes punctuated equilibrium into account). Then there's the issue of convergent evolution, the imprecise definition of 'species', natural chimeras and others. So it's really not useful to use speciation as a synonym, or even an example of macroevolution, because it's so easily argued that it's neither.
Regarding what to do with the page: This is actually really straightforward: Don't include the parenthetical example. The consensus from reading through this thread is quite clear. One editor with a clever argument cannot establish a consensus against the majority without demonstrating the invalidity of the vast majority's arguments, and presenting valid arguments themselves. Consensus goes with the preponderance of arguments. That hasn't been done here.
tl:dr: If some content is highly contentious, but improves the article, it should be included. If (as is the case here) some content is highly contentious but merely doesn't hurt the article, it should be left out. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 18:26, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Your statement that "It's all about small, incremental changes" is a hotly debated topic among scientists. There are many who do not support the idea that macroevolution can be reduced to microevolution (which you seem to be aware by the fact that you've mentioned punctuated equilibrium.) Here is one of the such papers. However, this is an off-topic and I'd rather not discuss it here.
  • Your recommendation to omit the parenthetical example is appreciated. Nevertheless it does not address the underlying semantics issue, which is addressed in the macroevolution page, but ironically not here. This is the crux of the objections to evolution raised by creationists, which this page attempts to describe in numerous places throughout the page. How do you propose that we introduce to the readers about the semantics issue? (talk) 19:03, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
Your statement that "It's all about small, incremental changes" is a hotly debated topic among scientists. ROFLMAO. No seriously, I laughed quite a bit right out loud when I read this. It startled my wife. This is such a profoundly wrong statement that I'm considering asking an admin to look into this and see what we can do about preventing you from editing pages which would be considered controversial to a fundamentalist Christian, as you certainly appear to be. You are free to believe what you will, but you are not free to impose your beliefs upon this encyclopedia. I strongly suggest you find articles not related to the conflicts between science and Christianity to edit. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 23:13, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
User:MjolnirPants -- has a point though. The article topic is 'Objections to evolution, so objections that proceed from an incrementalist impression, if common, should be present in appropriate WP:DUE weight. If the objection is that speciation isn't being observed and thus evolution isn't seen, then perhaps the ection needs to say that Definition is part of the objections -- that the technical definitions are not the common understanding or not accepted. Markbassett (talk) 00:40, 7 September 2016 (UTC)

@Markbassett: please read the tl;dr section (the final paragraph) of my first comment in this thread. I have already addressed this point and shown what the problem with it is. As for the actual objections creationists have, they are directly addressed by the very section in question, in detail. This edit did not add any additional objection, it merely (in wikivoice) purported to "clarify" something by wrongly conflating two terms. We don't put inaccurate information in wikivoice, ever. Nor do we put questionable or contentious information in wikivoice. If you want to add a sentence or two (properly sourced) which states that creationists often conflate speciation with macroevolution, then be my guest. But this edit? Hell fuck no. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 12:49, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
@MjolnirPants: aaaand after that, as I said, still has a point. Hope a retry will get there this time.
Point is, it is this article that is specifically about Objections and should convey whatever the objection is more clearly than it is now. I do think that he was right about this Objection is more readably stated in other articles than it is here. And that this section is doing a whole back and forth about definitions varying and he said - she said - then they said -- which is not making clear what this objection is. Directing folks into pages of other articles is also not better than just saying it here, and he tried it with a couple parenthesized clarifiers. If you stylistically dislike parenthesized clarifications then propose something. For my part, I'll offer the alternative approach of KISS -- keep only the clear bit that was in parens, and drop the multiply defined word that is a side issue. Because really, if the Objection could be simply and clearly said as 'creationists object that speciation has not been directly observed' then do it and skip the long digression. Markbassett (talk) 04:31, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
p.s. I'll also add that it didn't seem to me like he was conflating terms in wikivoice, but rather paraphrasing from other wikiarticles this one pointed to, e.g. that microevolution is change within species and macro evolution is the formation of new species, but otherwise not different from microevolution.
Hoping for response on the point in question, Cheers. Markbassett (talk) 04:31, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
aaaand after that, as I said, still has a point. Either you're not reading what I wrote, or you don't know what the edit in question was, or you're being dishonest here. I've addressed your objections already. If you don't understand how what I said has done so, ask specific questions and I'll answer them as best I can. I also suggest checking out the edit in question and carefully re-reading my prior comments. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 12:42, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
Markbassett, might I gently suggest that you follow the advice found an WP:1AM? --Guy Macon (talk) 13:21, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
Guy Macon - your essay is a different topic than just me and Mjolnir with each apparently talking different things, and thinking that the other did not understand the prior post. Cheers Markbassett (talk) 16:42, 8 September 2016 (UTC)

User:MjolnirPants -- the aaaand after that, as I said, still has a point. ... meant just that -- expressing I did reread your opinion at tl;dr and honestly afterwards did not see that as eliminating the point or even as closely related to it. I think I had already read your tl;dr opinion and the rest of thread before my input and outdented to show a break to new subtopic of he has a point that the article wording lacks clarity (oddly shown better elsewhere) on what the objection is and/or what other view(s) are. I think I understood your tl;dr comment and it's simply my not directed to clarity, so no questions. If you feel otherwise and would like to explain on how it applies to determining a presentation style or something in this subthread context, please do provide demonstration and further explanation on how it does as a response indented here under this clarity subtopic. If you're instead/also feeling I do not understand the tl;dr and wanting me to respond to the content or ask about it, then I suggest mechanically the way for that is to repost that as a outdented thread.
Relating to this subthread -- would be shown by things answering: Got a ranking of approaches for clarification between parentheses vice KISS alternative or proposing a third clarification methodology, specifically to clarify the objection ? Or opinion on even think there actually is an objection in the end vice that there is none and it's just a false impression from viewpoints and way of speaking with different definitional and semantic bits?
Again, I think I understand tl;dr as offering your opinion about edits and contention -- and still view that as just a different point than my view in there being this point so aaaand after that, still has a point.. tl;dr may be interesting -- but it has not made a connection. Cheers Markbassett (talk) 17:38, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
I did reread your opinion at tl;dr and honestly afterwards did not see that as eliminating the point or even as closely related to it. Then I'm afraid you fail to understand the most fundamental basics about how Wikipedia and Consensus works. Let me try to help:
Wikipedia works by consensus. Consensus is not a vote, but rather a balanced weighing of all views. If one point of view has raised objections to claims or arguments made by another, the other POV must reasonably address those objections. Currently, in this thread, a number of objections have been raised to the insertion of this content. They are described in detail here:
  1. The first such objection is that the edit is plainly an attempt at inserting a weasel word, which could be used by future editors as a point from which to criticize WP's grasp of evolution, and thus the pro-evolution POV in all articles dealing with creationism. This is a textbook tactic, characteristic of the wedge strategy. The IP editor has -both in this thread and elsewhere- broadly misrepresented evolution and several facts surrounding it, as well as making arguments against the representation of evolution, all with the potential effect of causing a POV shift towards a pro-creationism tone in articles dealing with it. The IP editor has, notably, dodged questions about their own views, but has otherwise strongly implied themselves to be a creationist.
  2. The second objection is that the edit is factually wrong: speciation is not synonymous with macro-evolution, but rather a process within evolution that may be a part of micro-evolution or macro-evolution, depending on the precise definitions used of all three terms, the specific subject being discussed, and the general context of the discussion. Nor is there any clear delineation between micro- and macro-evolution to which one could point in a specific context, using specific definitions to say that speciation falls squarely within the purview of one or the other.
  3. The third objection is that the article already covers the fact that creationists often deny the existence (or the observation) of macro-evolution. This edit does not add anything that was not already there. Nor does this edit actually make that case, contrary to both your and the IP's assertions. It simply puts one, factually inaccurate claim -which itself is merely a part of the overall claim that macro-evolution doesn't happen- into WP voice.
Nothing you nor the IP has written has, in any way, addressed either of the last two objections. You have implied without stating outright that the IP editor may be right despite being a creationist trying to push a creationist POV on this article, but it is not at all clear that this was intentional. If it were not (as seems more likely, given that you have never addressed the POV based objections to this edit, nor acknowledged the IPs obvious POV), then it's fair to say that none of our ojbections have been addressed. If it were intentional, then even then, it has only been partially addressed, because you haven't shown that the IPs POV is not a problem, only that it is not necessarily a problem.
Instead, between you and the IP, your side has argued (blatantly untruthfully) that the edit constituted adding an additional objection creationists make to evolution, that the edit clarified a vague statement (also blatantly inaccurate) and that the terms 'macro-evolution' and 'speciation' are synonymous (also blatantly untrue). All three of those objections to the removal of this edit have been addressed reasonably by my side, in the process of raising objections 3, 2 and 2, respectively. not to mention the fact that all of those arguments are based on (indeed, consist of nothing more than stating) factually inaccurate premises. Furthermore, as I stated earlier, no-one would object to a well-sourced statement saying that creationists often conflate the terms 'speciation' and 'macro-evolution'. Despite both you and the IP editor stating that claim is what this edit is (with the IP editor contradicting themselves about it earlier), neither of you have taken that advice to heart and attempted to re-write the edit to comply with that. Which, to be honest, implies some level of dishonesty, as a more clear wording should be highly desirable to anyone who actually wanted to insert that claim.
Furthermore, you have -in your response to Guy- completely disregarded the opinions offered by Joel B. Lewis, Rwenonah, Apokryltaros, Dbrodbeck and Darwinian Ape, in addition to the implicit support to our side offered by Guy Macon, and claimed this to be simply a discussion between you and I. That is (again...sigh...) blatantly untrue.
When one side of an argument has raised a number of valid criticisms about the claims of the other side, and successfully negated all criticisms of their own claims, that is a consensus. It is consensus even when the successful side is outnumbered, and it is a clear and overwhelming consensus when the successful side outnumbers the unsuccessful side 7-2. It is also -in the context of this discussion in which the facts are in no real doubt whatsoever and easily verified- the single best method known to mankind for arriving at The Truth. (Note that is not a link to the often-cited WP essay, Wikipedia:The Truth, but a link to the article which explains the philosophical connotations of the term. I am not speaking sarcastically here, but in complete earnestness.)
In conclusion, you simply do not have a logical argument. You have rhetorical devices, falsehoods, and implications of being oppressed. Wikipedia does not care about any of those things. Wikipedia is not here to encourage or disabuse your beliefs, or to explicate your particular points of view, even in articles that are about your points of view. Wikipedia is here only to provide accurate, verifiable information, which is what the current state of the article does, and which would be hampered by the edit in question.
tl;dr: Go back and read the whole thing. No, seriously. You really need to. This can't be summed up. Also read WP:5P, WP:ABOUT, WP:CONSENSUS and the essay Guy linked you to. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 19:47, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
(insert where responding to will be clearer) User:MjolnirPants - well, a lot in that mix, and thanks for the effort of summation on the thread overall. As to the particular subtopic I put forward on 'clarity' especially make clear what the objection as voiced is ... I've already said twice that I saw content at "tl:dr: If some content is highly contentious" as not closely related to 'the article is unclear here', and said to reply indented to that indent of clarity>tl>what>tl! etcetera if you wanted to explain a reasoning of how tl is talking about 'clarity', kind of the norms of thread in TALK.
To just any clarity aspects I can see in that though,
  • 1 - WPWEASEL seems not directly about making clarity of wording, and this isn't one of the shown phrases, but clarity would be trying to remove the current vagueness and make readable the 'accurately represent' the objection etetera.
  • 2 - 'factually correct' - it's to be clearly conveying what was factually said or meant, not 'correct', and the article already points to microevolution is change within species and macro evolution is the formation of new species, so either of the alternative just seems a way to more clearly write that.
  • 3- no, that edit seems to have cut to the chase rather than the longer path, again seems clearer to just say the final clarifications and the wording colflusion of the section should be snipped out, but a parens of the endpoint is better than what currently is there.
(/insert) Markbassett (talk) 18:58, 9 September 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Sooooooo many words :/. As far as I can tell, this latest leg of the conversation is entirely hypothetical, i.e., no one has actually said "here is a sentence in the article that I believe is misleading" or "here is a proposed paragraph to add to a particular section." If no one is proposing any concrete changes, what is there to talk about? --JBL (talk) 20:14, 8 September 2016 (UTC)

Adding "(i.e. speciation)" is a concrete change -- one which the consensus is against. Trying to explain why there is a consensus against it is understandable, but unlikely to have positive resuilts at this point. --Guy Macon (talk) 21:59, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
I feel like it would be hypocritical not to have tried one time after I offered to answer any questions he had. I don't expect that I got through to him, but no-one can look at that giant wall of text and say I didn't try. At this point however, I'm done.
@Joel B. Lewis: If you read my shorter comments above (the expanded and annotated version of War and Peace with prologue and epilogue up there is really just for Mark), you can see I told them I'd be fine if he wanted to propose a specific change that was factual and well-sourced. He pretty much ignored me. If I didn't know better, I'd think improving the article wasn't the real motive here. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 03:58, 9 September 2016 (UTC)
JBL - kind of still lacking clarity on what the objection is, and I'd added a second of just cut the digressions of the whole back and forth. "if the Objection could be simply and clearly said as 'creationists object that speciation has not been directly observed' then do it and skip the long digression. ". The artificial presentation of a dialogue is both confusing and fakeish. Markbassett (talk) 19:04, 9 September 2016 (UTC)
kind of still lacking clarity on what the objection is Well, at this point, that's your problem, not any of ours. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 19:30, 9 September 2016 (UTC)
JBL -- got any other approaches to improving the clarity of this section, particularly twhat the objection is (kind of the topic key ) ? Cheers. Markbassett (talk) 02:34, 10 September 2016 (UTC)

Website that isn't objection -related ?[edit]

@Isambard Kingdom: - I see you've put in an external link to Human Evolution Timeline. While it's pretty, it belongs in an article such as Evolution and particularly Human evolution, but I don't see how that is felt relevant or useful and speaking to the topic criticisms and denials of evolution. Please explain. It does not show an objection to evolution or a response to objection, or material that relates to the existing sections. That is, it doesn't show anything related to 'second law of thermodynamics', 'Cambrian explosion', statements about the 'Status as a theory', and so forth. So -- unless you can explain where it has content specific to Objections, please remove. Thanks. Markbassett (talk) 03:33, 10 September 2016 (UTC)

Well, one needs to understand what one is objecting to! Therefore, the linked site is relevant. BTW, same would hold for anybody invoking the 2nd law of thermidynamics as an ojection to evolution. One would need to know what it is, and once one did, it would be clear how erroneous the objection is. Thanks. Isambard Kingdom (talk) 03:49, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
Isambard Kingdom - So nothing specific to the subject of this article, showing an objection to evolution or response to one, or background to the content that is currently in this article. I'll point out the lead already starts by links to the whole of History_of_evolutionary_thought and Evolution (far more visible than at the bottom) and that others links like Natural selection or Macroevolution show topics at at the objection involving them. Think WP:OFFTOPIC and WP:EL apply, particularly WP:ELNO number 13. This one isn't tightly related and guidance points to not include.
I'm going to take it out again, suggest you might consider the article really could use more help instead at the WP:BETTER writing style, and improving clarity such as on what is the objection. Cheers Markbassett (talk) 05:31, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
This article extensively discusses human evolution, without providing all the information contained within that link. Information therein can be useful to a reader by helping to contextualize or refine information contained within this article. That is absolutely the purpose of external links. Your claims that this is off-topic are flat-out wrong. This has been discussed at WP:ELN by several users, all of whom agreed that it was appropriate to keep it on articles such as this one. Threatening to edit war over this is not how we collaborate, and I will call in an admin to take a look at this page if you insist upon following through. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 13:31, 10 September 2016 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done I put the link back in. Isambard Kingdom (talk) 16:26, 10 September 2016 (UTC)

User:MjolnirPants - thank you for the pointer to ELN previously not visible at this article, though I see this article was not one of the ones mentioned at that WP:ELN. I will point to the lines in WP:ELBURDEN "Every link provided must be justifiable in the opinion of the editors for an article." and "Disputed links should normally be excluded by default". Discussions about whether it suited some other article do not auto-magically mean it fits here. Since this seems an EL getting pasted about, and that discussions seems to have been confused with a universal permission, I will post a note at that ELN about the pasting here and that this looks like becoming a WP:LINKSPAM.
For this article of Objections to evolution, please note that your mention it "extensively discusses human evolution" factually is incorrect -- in topic this article simply is not one that focuses on that topic nor in content is it one that "extensively discusses human evolution". Factually, I see only small percentage that even indirectly relates: the phrase "human evolution" occurs only once in text; humans are at section 8.1 Morality.Humans as animals; section 4.2 Unfalsifiability at para 4 uses humans as example re apes; and the "human timeline" is not mentioned in text at all but is one of the already-better-presented items embedded at see also parts of the sidebar template in section 2 Defining Evolution and (less usefully) 6.1 Improbability.
The talk here has already stated the link in question is not about an objection or related to an objection, and seems mostly a pretty picture unrelated to this article, so I point to WP:OFFTOPIC and WP:EL, particularly WP:ELNO number 13. There also is not (yet) consensus here nor at the ELN so EL guidance points again to not include. And it's also bad for this article. All the relevant background is already more directly and better presented in other ways in the article at the places that are concerned. The EL to the picture is instead a tailend that hurts the article a bit, as it is a WP:SURPRISE whose information is not easily understood and basically a ending with diversion to an unrelated pretty picture. Cheers. Markbassett (talk) 18:21, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
please note that your mention it "extensively discusses human evolution" factually is incorrect No, it is not. The word "human" appears 43 times on that page, only once in a context that is unrelated to human evolution. There is a timeline of human evolution on the page. The genetic relationship between humans and other apes is covered extensively under the "Unfalsifiability" section. There is a subsection called "Humans as animals". There is another subsection called "Social effects" that deals heavily with human evolution. Furthermore, the phrase "human evolution" occurs 2 times in the article, not once, and an additional time in one of the sources.
I think you've confused the words "extensively" and "exclusively". MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 22:59, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
User:MjolnirPants - This article simply is not one that focuses on that topic nor in content is it one that "extensively discusses human evolution" by realistic percentage or extent. Try looking again at these:
  • Over-simplistic to count any "human" as Human evolution -- gives mostly unrelated word hits such as "humanism", "human souls", "nonhuman", side occurances in templates that are not part of article body text, parts of ref titles not included in article text itself, and so on. The ones LOOSLY related I've already mentioned as basically at 8.1 Morality.Humans as animals; and section 4.2 Unfalsifiability at para 4. (on second look, that's para 5.) And the EL to pretty picture isn't related to either of those two.
  • Perspective on Tiny count - out of 45 screens of text, 73 with cites, or 21 sections, and roughly 18 to 23 THOUSAND words total depending on if you include refs pages... the 43 'humans' (more like 18 points of human related to human evolution) is just minute. It's just not enough uses of the word to DO 'extensive discussion' on humans, and "extensive discussion" on "human evolution" would have to use the phrase more than once. That's appropriate though because the objections are usually about the evolution of any creature, or abiogenesis of life at all, or the moral effects of evolutionary view -- the which hominid stood up when is just not what these objections are about.
  • Lack of extensive Human evolution content - this article is also visibly lacking discussion of the content of Human evolution so it's not "extensive discussion". The topics of Human evolution such as bipedalism, stone tools, Australopithecus, East Africa simply are not here.
  • Recheck your objections to my input -- No, when I said "human evolution" only occurs once in text is correct, at the Unfalsifiability section para 4 -- you're apparently miscounting the footnote in the sideimage that describes Huxley text as if it were part of the body content. No, Unfalsifiability para 4 (recounting it's para 5 of 17 there) was mentioned by me as slightly related since it's comparing chromosome counts to chimps implying some relationship is tested, though not explicitly stating what let alone extensively. And no, "Moral implications - Humans as animals" is a mere 4 lines saying that teaching humans are animals would lead to animal behavior, hardly extensive or about human evolution details. Lastly 'Social effects' is variously saying evolution leads to moral relativism or constitutes its own religion or was a cause for the Holocaust -- not about hominids of Human evolution.
Look, this article is the objections and human evolution timeline is not the focus nor significantly involved in this article. An odd EL stuck waaaay down there that is hard to figure out and without an easily seen connection is just not helpful to this article. Cheers Markbassett (talk) 07:12, 22 September 2016 (UTC)

This article has a chart of human evolution already. (a much simpler, non-interactive one). You keep confusing words like "focuses" with "extensively discusses". MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 01:13, 23 September 2016 (UTC)

You know what? Nevermind. I didn't realize until Jytdog removed it that it was the only EL, and having it as the only one would look too POV pushy. Take a note, Mark: With a good reason, some of us will change our minds. Of course, if someone were to put some good EL's in, I'd support bringing this one back. Just not as the only one. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 01:49, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
In fact, please accept my apology for not taking your final comment at face value. I took it as a hyperbolic implication that this particular EL stood out, and I should have interpreted it more literally. I still think the rest of your argument is hyperbole and failure to listen, but that doesn't mean you can't make a good point or two. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 02:00, 23 September 2016 (UTC)

Thermodynamics applies universally[edit]

One can apply thermodynamics to open systems. The mathematics may be a bit more complicated, but one doesn't just throw up one's hands when working with an open system. TomS TDotO (talk) 04:49, 10 September 2016 (UTC)

TomS TDotO: Yes, "thermodynamics" can be applied to open systems, but the sentence is not about all of thermodynamics, but, rather, the 2nd law. What is the 2nd law for an open system? I don't know that there is a corresponding adjustment of the law for open systems, though I'm happy to learn about it. Otherwise, I suggest changing the sentence. We can, of course, add a note about the general applicability of thermodynamics. Thanks. Isambard Kingdom (talk) 07:10, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
I'm a bit of a physics geek, so this is quite familiar territory for me. The 2nd law is often formulated as "the entropy of a closed system can never decrease," because that is a concise way of putting it that engineers and scientists can easily understand. It can get confusing, however, because the precise definitions of "entropy" and "closed systems" needs to be understood, which in turn requires one to understand the precise definitions of "energy," "work," "open systems" and -of course- "system". I'm not going to get into that, now because I'm sure n0o-one wants to get a physics lecture from some random editor.
Suffice it to say, that with respect to the usage in this article, it is absolutely true that the 2nd law applies only to closed systems, and that none of the following are closed systems: The solar system, the Earth, terrestrial environments, multi-cellular organisms, colonies of single-cellular organisms, individual single-cellular organisms, the individual cells of multi-cellular organisms, the nucleii of individual cells, DNA, and specific proteins. All of those systems are open to outside energy. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 13:26, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
I know that some of the creationists are clever enough to exploit lack of precision in any pro-evolution argument. In the case of saying that the 2nd law applies only to isolated systems, the creationist can point to the uselessness of such a law: As if a steam engine cannot be studied by thermodynamics, because it is not an isolated system. Yes, the statement that "the entropy of a closed system can never decrease" is an OK formulation of the 2nd law. But I liken that to the law of mechanics that "the momentum of a object not subject to a force can never change" - that does not say that momentum applies only in systems with no forces applied: It would be as if one said that mechanics applies only to motion on frictionless surfaces. I am asking that we can be a little careful in our language. Can we say something like a living thing is being supplied by low-entropy energy being supplied from the Sun, or some such language, so the total entropy, when everything is accounted for, is not increasing? I think that something like that is at least as clear to the general reader - indeed, it doesn't need to mention explicitly the new concept of "isolated" or "closed" systems. TomS TDotO (talk) 14:40, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
Well, it's not so much that the second law applies only to closed systems. It's just that the statement "The entropy in a system cannot decrease over time," applies only to closed systems. The actual formulation of the 2nd law as is actually useful in physics is more like "You cannot transfer heat from a cold body to a warm body without making a change in the system," or "Heat will always flow only from warmer bodies to colder bodies unless energy is expended," or "Heat cannot spontaneously flow from a colder body to a warmer body." People often get hung on on laws having 'loopholes' and 'technicalities' and so on, because of the analogizing of physical laws to legal laws, but that's just a problem with the way people think about it. Physical laws are not analogous to legal laws. They're immutable statements of truth, and if someone finds a loophole in the way it's worded, that loophole can closed simply by wording it another way.
Another thing that often gets overlooked is that there actually are cases where the entropy of a closed system will be lower at a given point than it was at a previous point, due to complex internal workings of the system. Most formulations which mention entropy say that the entropy of a closed system tends to increase over time. As long as the overall trend is upwards from the starting point to maximum entropy, over the course of the system's existence, minor fluctuations of entropy within it are possible. Despite it being 150+ year old science, it's actually really complex. The physics we learn in high school, and even in junior college doesn't really give us any insight into how complicated classical thermodynamics and Newtonian physics can actually be. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 15:20, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
Agreed, totally. My question is whether we can address the creationist appeal to the 2nd law in such a way that it can be understood by the general reader, and be accurate, and not leave obvious loopholes for the clever creationist. I don't think that saying "the 2nd law applies only to closed (or isolated) systems" is the way to go. TomS TDotO (talk) 15:45, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
It's a convenient shorthand, because it directly refutes the specific formulation creationists use. But in my opinion, the section as it currently is does a good job of explaining the terms used, and why the objection is wrong. Keep in mind however, that this is the opinion of a self-admitted physics geek. I'm much more familiar with thermodynamics than the average reader would be. If there's something in there that you or anyone else here feels may not be obvious to the typical reader, I'll happily write up a new draft and we can all tweak it until it's good to go. Not to pat myself on the back too much, but I've been told numerous times that I'm very good at explaining these sorts of things, so hopefully what I come up with would be easier to parse. (Honestly, the way the section is written is not the way I would have written it for the most part. I just think that it still works just fine.) MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 16:38, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
Actually, I will tweak one thing in the section. Let me know what you all think. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 16:40, 10 September 2016 (UTC)