Talk:Objections to evolution/Archive 2

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Eric Hovind

It is quite relevant why his father Kent is not available to preach, since it illustrates the point being raised in this section quite vividly.--Filll 15:27, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

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Evolution Working Against Itself

It can also be said that in the process of evolving, evolution may create a good amount of the components needed for major organs, however they would not be the final product, and would thus be useless, and weeded out in the next generation. After all, evolution is simply a process, and cannot see potential. Just a thought, thanks! Dmitri Demidov 23:06, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

Of course this happens all the time. Consider vestigial organs and features, and atavisms.--Filll 23:12, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
That is a misinterpretation of what I meant, apologies for the poor wording. I'm not talking about genetic mutations that causes organs to become non-functioning. If, during the supposed transition between species, a small amount of information is gained, natural selection would remove the information, as it would not yet serve any purpose. Dmitri Demidov 23:17, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
Not sure what you mean but thanks for your comment anyway.--Filll 23:48, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
Actually, a movement a small bit towards an organ usually is useful... by a small bit. Adam Cuerden talk 00:04, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
Please do not take this as being condescending, but I would not think that the flesh for a leg without the bones (or bones without the flesh) is useful in any manor. Likewise, a lung that intakes air, but does not oxidize (I think that's the proper word) red blood cells is useless. (Obviously, I am using some slight exaggeration, but the principles remain) Dmitri Demidov 04:45, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
The correct word is "oxygenate." Flesh developed in vertebrates (subphylum Vertebrata) before bones:

Characteristics of the subphylum are a muscular system that mostly consists of paired masses, as well as a central nervous system which is partly located inside the backbone (if one is present).

Usually, the defining characteristic of a vertebrate is considered the backbone or spinal cord, a brain case, and an internal skeleton, but the latter do not hold true for lampreys, and the former is arguably present in some other chordates.

Vertebrate

Evolution of the lung: Lung#Origins (proto-lungs had utility before they could directly oxygenate blood, additionally a circulatory system would be useful with gills before lungs developed) Hrafn42 05:37, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
Evolution does not have any purpose to be working against. Suspect you may be confusing it with one of the alternatives. SheffieldSteel 13:20, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
You might want to look at Evolution of complexity.--Filll 14:19, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

Evolution violates the second law of thermodynamics

This section seems to overlook the situation for which this argument was intended. In the stages that are supposed to have preceded life, such as the arrangement of protons, neutrons, electrons, etc. to form new elements, and the transition between inorganic matter, and living "primordial goo", vast decreases in entropy (disorder) would be required. Dmitri Demidov 23:22, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

To start with, this is not evolution, but abiogenesis or something similar. However, most creationists etc do not know what the argument actually is that they are using, since they parrot it without having the slightest understanding of thermodynamics, science, entropy or evolution. So the 2nd law is invoked in all sorts of ludicrous situations by a large group of assorted creationists.--Filll 23:47, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
(Non-sarcastically) I feel compelled to apologize for commenting on this topic with a flawed understanding of the principles about which I am speaking. Dmitri Demidov 04:41, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
Dmitri: It is you who are ignoring a number of facts: like the fact that "the arrangement of protons, neutrons, electrons, etc. to form new elements" has been explained by astro- and nuclear physics, working well within the bounds of the laws of thermodynamics, the fact that "the transition between inorganic matter, and living 'primordial goo'" has large potential external energy sources (most notably the Sun and volcanic vents) that would easily overcome any potential thermodynamic problems. The 2LoT argument against evolution only works if (1) you don't understand thermodynamics (and so accept some popularised approximation to it) and (2) don't look too carefully at the energy flows. Hrafn42 15:31, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
Dmitri, unfortunately you've picked up a common confusion between thermodynamic entropy and the (mis)use of the term in information theory: the second law is a strong statistical probability in thermodynamics, but has no equivalent in information terms. The description of entropy as "disorder" is a 19th century analogy referring to sub-microscopic movement of molecules, and while that old idea was widely used in developing statistical thermodynamics, studies have found that it confuses students and leads to misunderstandings. Not least amongst creationists who equate dna with "information" from their favourite deity. For further info see Entropy (energy dispersal).. dave souza, talk 18:24, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

Evolution leads to immorality and social ills

Hi all,

I have changed "often claimed" in the first paragraph to "sometimes claimed".

R. Albert Mohler, Jr., President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, wrote August 8, 2005 in National Public Radio's forum, "Taking Issue", that "Debates over education, abortion, environmentalism, homosexuality and a host of other issues are really debates about the origin — and thus the meaning — of human life.... Evolutionary theory stands at the base of moral relativism and the rejection of traditional morality".[75][76] Creationist Ken Ham likens evolution to a horde of termites, weakening society's foundation. In Why Won't They Listen?, Ham suggests that "evolutionary termites" are responsible for pornography, homosexual behavior and lawlessness. He also writes, "I'm not saying that evolution is the cause of abortion or school violence. What I'm saying is that the more a culture abandons God's word as the absolute authority, and the more a culture accepts an evolutionary philosophy, then the way people think, and their attitudes, will also change."[77] Former Texas Republican Representative Tom DeLay claimed that the Columbine school shootings were caused by the teaching of evolution. DeLay is quoted as stating that "Our school systems teach the children that they are nothing but glorified apes who are evolutionized [sic] out of some primordial soup."[78] Hydraulic engineer Henry M. Morris claims that evolution was part of a pagan religion that emerged after the Tower of Babel, was part of Plato's and Aristotle's philosophies, and was responsible for everything from war to pornography to the breakup of the nuclear family.

I believe that this list justifies "often." Hrafn42 12:53, 16 June 2007 (UTC)
There are four proponents mentioned in that paragraph, there are 301 million people living in the United States. If we accept 44% of the population believes in Young Earth Creationism, you have shown 0.000003% of the United States hold that opinion how does that justify "often"? Cedars 00:59, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

I have also commented out the Barna Group survey because it did not seem to mention evolution explicitly and extending it to the subject seemed a bit of a stretch.

This subject has been extensively discussed in the Talk:Objections to evolution#divorce statistics section above. The consensus was that the Barna Group survey is relevant. Hrafn42 12:53, 16 June 2007 (UTC)
The problem with the statistics are that they take conclusions from one report and then stretch them to apply to a situation the survey never intended to cover. Not only does that probably constitute original research but I would argue the stretch isn't that reasonable to begin with. Cedars 00:59, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

I am still unsure about the inclusion of Shermer's piece because I feel it is largely an opinion piece and therefore not appropriate for defending the science of evolution. Gregory Paul's analysis is also of concern because it works by reviewing crime and theistic beliefs at a society-level when an individual-level would probably be far more appropriate. In short, an analysis where people were the data points not countries would probably be far better at keeping all other variables equal because different countries have different cultures (religion aside).

Cedars 06:33, 16 June 2007 (UTC)

The fact that Shermer's article is an "opinion piece" is clearly indicated in the article by the introductory phrase "Michael Shermer argued in..." The article is clearly pertinent, and published in a reliable source. Why is an argument in defence of evolution "not appropriate for defending the science of evolution"?
My problem is it is not a scientific argument, it is an opinion piece. You could say "Michael Shermer argued in an opinion piece that..." to make it clear to the audience. Cedars 00:59, 17 June 2007 (UTC)
On the Gregory Paul analysis, the Creationists' argument often goes Evolution->Atheism->Immorality, so statistical comparisons of levels of theistic belief and levels of criminal behaviour are clearly relevant. Hrafn42 13:10, 16 June 2007 (UTC)
My problem is the that the analysis does not compare those who believe in God and their criminal behaviour in the same society but instead society-wide belief in God and criminal behaviour. The problem is societies have different cultures and histories. If you have a society that has recently experienced thirty years of civil war and roaming gangs you might find that criminal behaviour is greater there (regardless of what percent of them believe in God). Cedars 00:59, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

I introduced the material you are objecting to. I do not understand how on earth anyone could NOT see the relevance of these three articles to the subject. Creationists claim that evolution causes divorce. But in fact, the data seem to indicate the opposite, or at least do not show that belief in evolution causes divorce. Creationists claim societies that believe more in evolution have more crime and other social ills. In fact, the data do not support this claim. In fact, the opposite appears to be true. So these references and this evidence not only does NOT support any of the claims made by creationists about the negative effects of evolution on society, but refute them completely. If one looks at the history of creationism, there is a long record of these kind of lunatic claims being made, but they all appear to be false. They are just repeated mindlessly for generation after generation, and therefore are just accepted because they have been repeated so often. However, it is important that as an encyclopedia, Wikipedia refutes these kind of nonsense claims.--Filll 14:32, 16 June 2007 (UTC)

I have removed the offending word altogether for now, the sentence now reads "claimed" with no qualifier. What source do we have for "often"? It sounds like someones opinion; whose? KillerChihuahua?!? 14:49, 16 June 2007 (UTC)
As I stated above, the word "often" is supported by the numerous senior figures in the Religious Right who are cited in the paragraph as having made this type of claim. It is possible that a more nuanced phrasing than "often" may be preferable, but I would object most strongly to any word like "sometimes" that gives the false appearance that this type of claim is uncommon. Hrafn42 15:25, 16 June 2007 (UTC)

If you look at the history of creationism, the claims that evolution causes a number of social ills goes back at least to Price, about 100 years ago, and probably well before that. I think that the word "often" is quite appropriate. I could compile a huge list of creationists that make this claim, that would include almost every creationist and creation scientist of note for the last 100+ years. However, this is a lot of effort and I am fine with the present wording. I would rather put my energies somewhere else at the moment.--Filll 15:34, 16 June 2007 (UTC)

I agree with Filll that, although exhaustive canvassing would almost certainly be supportive of the original wording of "often claimed," such further effort would be inefficient. I would therefore ask what wording the current claims in this paragraph would support. It definitely supports an unqualified wording of "It is claimed," and I would suggest it also supports "widely claimed," as the cited claims come from (1)a theologian, (2)two professional creationists, (3)a politician, and (4)a historian. Hrafn42 17:19, 16 June 2007 (UTC)
"Often" and "widely" have inherent difficulties, so far as I can tell. Often claimed by whom? How much is "often"? I don't mean to quibble, but I am concerned this sentence might be misleading with a qualifier without clearly defined parameters and considerable care taken in the phrasing. Hrafn42's list of supporters is five people. It might be the case that it is often claimed by creationists - I seriously doubt it is claimed often by scientists. I don't know that there are any reliable demographics on this at all. And Filll's "been around for at least 100 years" gives a time scale, not a frequency. Filll's "lostso creationists" has weight, but "often" would then require "often claimed by creationists" which leaves our solitary historian and politician and scientist in the dust, unless they are also noted creationists. Do you see my difficulty with this? Unless there is more compelling reasoning than the shortlist, I would prefer we leave the sentence without the "often", "widely" or "sometimes" or any other qualifier at all. Apologies if my paraphrasing Hrafn42's and Filll's comments is read as too casual - I was going for succinctness. KillerChihuahua?!? 18:31, 16 June 2007 (UTC)

Here's a list of several more examples of such claims: http://www.jimloy.com/pseudo/immoral.htm. Also a poster graphically making this claim: http://atheism.about.com/od/religiousright/ig/Christian-Propaganda-Posters/Evolution-Darwinism-Schools.htm. I am not unequivocally stating that we should not accept a bare "claimed," only that we should first look at what the easily-collectable evidence will support. Hrafn42 11:47, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

Thanks much!
  1. Who is Jim Loy, and was this published anywhere besides his personal site? An unpublished essay is hardly a notable source.
  2. A poster is an illustration, and that one is copyrighted. The accompanying text is indeed about creationists arguing that teaching evolution leads to "bestiality", and is written by Austin Cline, who is a prolific online atheist author. I'm not sure about his notability - I have not found anything about him, but lots by him. It looks like the article could be used as a source. KillerChihuahua?!? 15:45, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
  1. I'm not sure who he is. It is not an "essay" as such, but rather a list of quotations.
  2. I misread the poster-description. I had thought that it was in fact a poster used by Creationists, rather than merely one altered by the page's author.
What I am trying to do (and apparently failing at so far) is to see if there is any way to substantiate some qualifier of "claimed" that gives some indication of the ubiquity (for want of a better word) of the Creationist use of this claim. Hrafn42 16:38, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

As far as I can tell, "often claimed by creationists" is accurate and complete. Hrafn42 and KillerChihuahua are concerned this neglects the politician, scientist, and historian currently quoted. Thing is, the quoted politican is Tom DeLay, firmly in the Religious Right. The Scientist is Henry M. Morris, founder of several Christian think tanks. That leaves the results of a few statistical studies, which sometimes find correlations; but correlations do not imply cause, and they certainly do not imply belief. The quotes at jimloy.com all have creationist sources. All the arguments that evolution causes imorality *do* come from creationists. Thing is, who didn't know that already? Creationists bash evolution, and no evolutionist is going to admit to enjoying a good ethnic cleansing. Why not go with "Crime, teen pregnancies, homosexuality, abortion, pronography, communism, tatoos, body pierceing and child abuse have all been blamed on an increasing belief in evolution." Leave the redundant issue of who champions such claims for the later quotes, and dodge the un-wiki-ness of the phrase "It is often claimed that...". Dodge the silly percieved-or-truly-social-ills issue at the same time. Endomorphic 00:28, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

My opinion is that the whole section needs to be looked at carefully. I especially have problems with the last paragraph because, as I discussed above, there appear to be problems with Paul's survey and the Barna group's conclusions are being stretched. From this talk page's history you can see that I am not the only one to have had concerns over this section. Given this fact, my question is, why not work on changing the article instead of defending it? Cedars 02:24, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Actually, I'm concerned with sourcing, and Hrafn42 is working hard to research this. "often claimed" does seem accurate to me... which is Original reasearch. We can hardly use that. KillerChihuahua?!? 17:40, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
Me not paying enough attention to this article, you don't seem to be using the obvious source[1][2][3] which might suggest "common claim", though as far as I can see TOA doesn't actually say whether claims it addresses are common or not. Actually, it looks pretty good without any adjective. Now to patch up the misleading comments about Chas D... dave souza, talk 06:29, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

the hoyle thing seems almost to already be in the

Life is too unlikely to arise by chance section. It should be easy to add another sentence or two if we wish.Wikiskimmer 06:53, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

but the way i usually hear the boeing thing being used by creationists or just ignorant people is like this:
saying that dumb molecules can randomly come together to produce life is like saying that a bunch of dumb boeing parts can randomly come together to make an airplane.
and what i think needs to be pointed out about that analogy is that at the molecular level, molecules behave much more dynamically and creatively and interactively and non randomly than rusted old boeing parts at the macro level. Learn some chemistry and physics of dissapative systems. To me this is much more interesting than all this philosophising about which is more parsimonious, natural selection or god. After all, when talking about abiogenesis, we aren't necessarily talking about natural selection, we are talking mostly about chemistry.
so does this section spell out that nontheistic abiogenesis is a big hurdle for most people (and it spills into a disbelief of evolution), and that at present we have no theory of abiogenesis, and that nontheistic abiogenesis would not be such a big hurdle if more people knew how creative molecules are under energy flow, as opposed to inert boeing parts? In general i think the issue is not so much a matter of carefull arguments against the plausibility of evolution, but that these arguments resonate with the public so well because the public has no gut sense of what we've learned in the past 50 years about how much emergent order we can get from simple chemical, physical and mathematical systems.
is this in a wiki somehwere? should it be in this one?Wikiskimmer 09:58, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
Actually, it's the other way around. As you know, the jet airplane is significantly less complex than the simplest single celled organism. The analogy works in favor of intelligent design. The "simple" cellular flagellum is not even fully understood by modern science. There are numerous molecular feedback mechanisms during its construction which are simply unknown. The complexity is not just in the working motor, but in the genetic coding of its construction process. Yet you would believe that this complex system arose via an unintelligent chemical route. As an engineer, I know that to be not just improbable, but quite impossible. Of course DNA itself is the bigger problem since the proteins it relies on for its replication are also dependent on the DNA for their synthesis: a classic chicken and egg paradox.
Science has never observed complex information-based systems arise from unintelligent processes. That is a fact. Life is not an example since its origin was not observed, and is the matter in question. I thought science was all about observing the facts and basing theories on those facts. Darwinian evolution is a faith-based belief system, not science. Owen Ward 03:24, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

There is nothing here about objections to not enough time for macroevolution to occur.

Is there another wiki that discusses this? Seems to me that lack of imagining millions of generations of small changes, and extinctions separating populations, is behind most gut objections to evolution.Wikiskimmer 06:58, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

This is closely related to the "Life is too unlikely to arise by chance" argument, as the probability of a complex series of evolutionary steps happening is related to the amount of time in which it has to happen. Additionally, any calculation as to the amount of time it would take would suffer from many of the problems identified with the probability calculations (imponderable input variables, too-narrow/ex-post definition of 'success', etc). Same sort of garbage-in/garbage-out abuse of mathematics. Hrafn42 10:01, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
I'm not talking about abiogenesis, that's completely different and we have even less info about that. I'm talking about microevolution and macroevolution of organisms. Many people accept that offspring differ slightly from parents. They accept that populations go up and down, maybe even some extinction. But many people do not accept that there are 100s of millions of years for these two processes to produce macroevolution. This is a major hindrance to people accepting the seemingly rediculous proposition that amoebas can turn into worms can turn into fish can turn into humans.Wikiskimmer 12:38, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
If you want to look at other wikis, feel free to cull through some of them listed on my talk page at [4].--Filll 12:35, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
okWikiskimmer 12:38, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
The "Life is too unlikely to arise by chance" section covers evolution as well as abiogenesis -- the "complexity" of life as well as its mere existence, although it does tend to concentrate on the latter. Certainly the "Evolutionary argument against naturalism" bit of it is about evolution not abiogenesis, though further examples and scientific counter-arguments from the post-abiogenesis end of things for the section would be beneficial. Hrafn42 12:58, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

Red State Rabble raises an interesting point relating to this form of the objection under the title 'The Tangled Web of Creationism':

Creationist arguments sometimes create a real problem for those who craft them. Take for example, the argument advanced by young earth creationists that there hasn't been enough time since God created the world 6,000 years ago for the process of evolution to create the diversity of life we see around us today.



All of that life, they say, must have been a product of creation by God, or as those creationists who are familiar with court rulings would say, some intelligent designer.

But then a problem crops up. A problem moreover that the sort of mind that embraces creationism never seems to anticipate. How did all that diversity, all those animals fit on Noah's Ark? How were they fed? What was done with their waste? How did Noah's family manage it all?

Well, they have an answer for that too.

Noah didn't have two of every species we know today. He had two of every "kind" of land animal. "For instance," as some young earth creationists would have it, "two members of the dog kind walked off the Ark. Then, as the number of dogs increased, eventually the population split up and different groups formed."

"As the gene pool was split up, different combinations of genes—inherited from the original dogs—would end up in different groups. Thus, different species would form, such as dingoes, wolves, and so on."

So there was enough time for evolution to operate, after all. And even to operate in a Darwinian manner, but it's still scientists who have it all wrong: "Evolutionists have often insisted that such a process happens slowly, and therefore, the Bible can’t be right when it says that the land animals came off the Ark only about 4,300 years ago."

If citations to YECs actually making these directly-contradictory claims can be found, it might be worth including this in its own 'not-enough-time' subsection of the 'too-unlikely' section. Hrafn42 04:13, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

Bias in language

I completely agree with below post. The whole thing is written in a "debunking the criticisms" tone. It should be redone to highlight each criticism clearly, and then below each state how scientists try to or successfully counter the criticisms. Right now it completely reeks of bias. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.103.40.30 (talk) 21:49, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

This entire article is written in a creationism vs evolution language. I don't see why the word creationist is used every two seconds in the article. Creationists aren't the only ones against the pseudo-science that is evolution; or does the word of the rest of us scientists not count. For the record you don't have to be a christian to not believe in evolution. How about we replace the words creationists with scientists; since they are the ones who are debunking evolution; while at the same time not living under the illusion of a 6000 year old world

Cite WP:RS of significant numbers of people, other than Creationists, (let alone a significant number of scientists) who disagree with the well-founded science that is The Theory of Evolution. Otherwise read WP:SOAP. Hrafn42 14:13, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Where are all the wikipedia POV nazis when you need them. This article is clearly biased in favor of the theory in question, evolution. "intelligent design advocate" rather than "creationist" would be a more neutral, unbiased term to use. There are numerous modern scientists (not creationists) in many fields who are intelligent design advocates. They view ID as the only scientific theory of life's origin that is consistent with the observed evidence. This article needs more unbiased research and less ideology. Its POV should be switched to neutral.
Some of the quoted examples of natural processes that decrease entropy are absurd and beg the question, since the origin of life is what's being debated. We already know life itself produces less entropy, yet the known universe has always moved in the opposite direction, with the exception of life itself and human-intelligence guided processes. Owen Ward 03:24, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
No there aren't there are actually very few scientists credulous enough to give more than a few seconds credence to the notion of intelligent design. I seriously suggest that you stop wasting your own and everyone else's time, and try and educate yourself about the subject you hate so much, before holding forth about what is and isn't science... you'll look less stupid that way. ornis (t) 03:30, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, your ignorance/bigotry is showing. You should research some of the molecular biologists out there doing the cutting-edge cellular research who are also ID advocates. When they come face to face with the awesome complexity of the cellular machine, still far from well understood, ID is the only rational theory consistent with the observed facts. Darwin had the excuse of ignorance about cellular complexity. Today that is no longer possible except by denial or willful ignorance. Owen Ward 03:51, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
It is about a scientific theory. And according to WP:NPOV and WP:UNDUE, we present it accordingly. The determination of the US Federal Courts and the science community is that intelligent design is creationism. Pro-creationism and religious tracts are not unbiased, as much as you might like them to be. You clearly do not understand what science is or evolution, since evolution has NOTHING to do with the origin of life. And what about formation of salt crystals out of solution? Why not talk to someone who is an expert in thermodynamics instead of quoting religious tracts? If I want to get a medical opinion, I do not talk to a golf caddy, I talk to a doctor. --Filll 03:37, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
Since when do the courts decide what is science? They have enough trouble understanding the Internets. ID is a modern scientific theory advocated by legitimate scientists doing advanced work at many research institutions. It is not the same as creationism. A legitimate encyclopedic article should reflect both sides of a topic rather than just pretending it is being objective or unbiased. This article is more like an opinion piece. Ignorance of ID is no excuse.
Actually, in the US, the courts do decide what is science and what is not. What about the Daubert Standard, according to the US Supreme Court, fulfilling their role under the constitution. Are you against the US constitution? Also Judge Overton who ruled in 1982 on McLean v. Arkansas also had his own determination as to what was science. And guess what? No real scientist that I know would disagree with the Overton rules or the Daubert rules. A tiny number of religious eccentrics want to define religion as science and force their opinions on the rest of science and the rest of society. And ID is NOT, absolutely NOT in any reasonable definition a scientific theory. Well over 99% of all degreed professional biologists agree. Neither does the AAAS or the National Academy of Sciences or 38 Nobel Prize winners who signed the Nobel Laureate Initiative. And none of the people who participated in Project Steve or A Scientific Support for Darwinism agree either. So....try to learn something before you add more material here.--Filll 04:13, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
You are also mistaken that modern evolution theory does not attempt to explain life's origin. Do some research on the theory of how the flagellum arose or how self-replicating enzymes slowly became DNA. Those are attempts to explain the origin of the single celled organism (life) via natural selection (evolution). And I'm not quoting religious tracts, these are my own thoughts. Your bigotry is showing.Owen Ward 03:58, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
It is clear they are your own thoughts, but they bear a striking resemblance to a religious tract or two. Interesting...And you are wrong. Just plain wrong. but you are welcome to your ignorance. Just do not attempt to force it on others. Thanks.--Filll 04:16, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
Likewise. Funny how evolutionists are unable to see how much of what they believe is more doctrinal than rational. Believing that frogs can turn into princes given enough time still sounds like a fairy tale to me. Owen Ward 04:31, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
Ah, the argument from ignorance. Typical. ornis (t) 04:33, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
Ah yes, the classic hand-waving argument. How did it happen? Billions of years! We can't show you the exact steps of course. It's self-evident! But it's science! Owen Ward 05:00, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
I believe I will take my information from (1) Nobel Prize winning scientists (2) experts in the field (3) my own scientific judgement from years of experience, rather than listen to a biblical fundamentalist, biblical literalist, evangelical, fundamentalist Christian or engineer. But thanks awfully for the kind efforts.--Filll 05:07, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
Intelligent design is a political canard cooked up to side step constitutional separation of church and state. Cutting edge research? LMFAO... were is it? Oh that's right, there is none, because real scientists, with a little brains and imagination, don't need to invoke magic-man every time they come across something that can't immediately be explained. In fact, not invoking magic-man or any other supernatural explanation is one of the fundamental principles of the scientific method. ornis (t) 04:14, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
(ri) In any case, did you actually have some purpose here other than to vent your spleen? ornis (t) 04:21, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
Please do not feed the troll
Try a google search or two, or would you rather remain willfully ignorant? I thought so. Owen Ward 04:31, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
I do not get my information from google searches of blogs and religious tract sites. But thanks anyway.--Filll 04:37, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
Please do not feed the troll
Yeah, that's what I meant.
Answer the question. Do you have some purpose here other than trolling? ornis (t) 04:34, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
I came here to object to the article's lack of NPOV. The author(s) failed to research modern ID theory and contrast it to Evolution in a factual, unbiased manner. It's much easier to knock down the "creationist" straw-man.

The article has been developed through consensus. It is in complete accord with the articles on creationism and intelligent design here. And this article is about the objections to evolution. Period. You want to talk about intelligent design? Go to a talk page that deals with it. Or better yet, a wiki that focuses on the POV intelligent design view. This encyclopedia is NPOV and abides by WP:WEIGHT--Filll 04:57, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

Then why does it say "objections to evolutions"? ID is an objection to evolution. Therefore it has the right to be in the article. And if it's in the article, it should be presented accurately. And generally all of the articles are biased towards evolution, it's not like this is the only one. If this is going to state objections to evolution, it should put some focus on the intelligent design view and do it accurately. 26 September 2007 —Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.35.82.133 (talk) 01:14, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

Intelligent design is a type of creationism. It has its own article. It is not suitable for this article.--Filll 01:31, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

If it is a type of creationism, and this is a creationism vs evolution article, than it should be included if it has contoversies against/to evolutionist thought. IronCrow 01:51, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
I find this article to be kind of biased, and i'm not taking a view of "creationism" or "evolution." In the criticisms, it shouldn't say a sentence or two about what "creationists" think and then a flood of sentences about what evolutionists think. For instance: "Creationists commonly argue against evolution on the grounds that 'evolution is a religion; it is not a science'. The purpose of this criticism is to undermine the "higher ground" biologists claim in debating creationists, and to reframe the debate from being between science (evolution) and religion (creationism) to being between two equally religious beliefs — or, in some cases, even to argue that evolution is religious, while some form of creationism (typically intelligent design) is not." How do you know that is the "purpose" of a "creationist?" What is it, some new world order or something? I for once am sick of the Evolution vs. Creationism argument anyways, as there are more pressing matters to place scientists in (diseases, famine, AIDS issues, etc.). But, that's only my opinion, and this is an encyclopedia, a NPOV encyclopedia. Whether something is right or something is wrong is opinion. I don't care what you believe, Creationism or Evolution, but this is an Encyclopedia, the ideas expressed in the article fail to show research into "creationist" views. Guess Colbert was right, "Any user can change any entry, and if enough users agree with them, it becomes true." By the way, I wouldn't say 99% of biologists are evolutionists. Not even. As Wikipedia states: Be respectful to others and their points of view. That goes to both evolutionists and creationists. This is a talk page about THE TOPIC IN DISCUSSION. The article doesn't give a crap what you believe, and therefore, you're beliefs should not moderate what you put in the article. IronCrow 01:51, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Evolution leads to atheism

I've added a {{globalize}} template to this section. To the majority of the world (i.e. outside of the States) the reply to this charge would be "So what?". The belief in creationism could equally be critized as leading to a belief in a supernatural deity (although cause and effect are probably the other way around) and a suspension of rationality, which is far more harmful to society.131.251.0.55 13:35, 19 August 2007 (UTC)


Well anon, I frankly do not think your "global" complaint has much weight. It is like complaining that an article about the National Institutes of Health mainly is about the US or an article about The Times is mainly about the UK. By far, the vast majority of creationist activity in the Western English Speaking World is in the US, and everyone knows it. We draw creationists from the UK and Australia and NZ and Canada because they can make far more money in the US than they can at home because of its atmosphere. Some of our best known creationists in the US come from the rest of the world, like Ham, like Price, like Comfort and so on.
The rest of your complaint here is unrelated to the tag you placed on the article, and shows me that you have not thought your objections about very carefully. Maybe you need a different tag, which might be more appropriate to your real objection? In any case, it is an objection raised by those opposed to evolution (which is what the article is about, after all), and it is one that is easily refuted (which is done in this article). It does not matter what your personal belief in the matter is, because that is not the subject of this article.
This article is certainly not intended to judge whether belief in God is or is not harmful to society at large. If you think it is, then perhaps you might want to go someplace else to edit like talk origins or some other site or forum to debate your views. Wikipedia is not the place for it.--Filll 13:46, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
(EC) You're forgetting the billion and a half or so muslims in the world, who aren't so blasé about atheism. If anything, this is probably the most significant objection in the islamic world, not to mention both the the muslim and the christian parts of africa. I'd venture to say this is the most international objection. ornis (t) 13:49, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
I have no sources in the moment, but I see this as a major creationist argument here in Brazil, too. wildie · wilđ di¢e · wilł die 11:03, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

<undent> A bit off topic, but the Devil's Chaplain might amuse.... dave souza, talk 08:38, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

15 Qnswers

Just for info, sciam's 2002 15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense might be of use... dave souza, talk 08:38, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

Objection that scientific research is unable to provide 'sufficient' (meaning an unreasonable level of) detail

This issue came up in a blog entry on a recent lecture by William Dembski:

Since Dembski had earlier said (in response to a question about what would make him abandon intelligent design) that an explanation of the evolution of the bacterial flagellum would be a good step towards disproving ID, he was rather put on the spot by this explanation. His responses was first to try to play for time (write this up and get it published) and then to resort to the old creationist argument - details, I need details. In essence saying that, until he is supplied with every step in the evolutionary history, including every mutation, he’s holding on to the assertion that this is irreducibly complex. Weak!

— [5](emphasis in the original)

I remember this also being used by Michael Behe as a last ditch defence of his position in Dover. Is it a sufficiently prominent 'objection' to be worth mentioning? It would presumably be a sub-section of 'Objections to evolution's evidence'. Hrafn42TalkStalk 05:35, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

What ever happened to the footprints..?

I'm not trying in the slightest to get into a debate here but I was wondering what ever happened to the talk of the man-by-dino footprints? IE, this I don't know how it's viewed in light of today or whatnot but I didn't see it mentioned in this article. --209.247.5.131 08:22, 22 September 2007 (UTC)

It was shown to be the result of erosion. The talk.origins website has a complete writeup of it, and how Baugh still maintains that the tracks are of men and dinosaurs, despite all of the evidence to the contrary. --Knight of BAAWA 02:20, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

Symbiosis

Creationists have long claimed that obligate symbioses are evidence against evolution, arguing that since neither organism can survive without the other, they must have come into existence at exactly the same time.[1]

This simplistic point of view ignores the extreme variety of symbiotic relationships as well the mutability of species over time. Obligate mutualisms could easily evolve from facultative relationships in which neither species is fully committed. These arguments persist despite many examples of facultative symbioses and multiple theoretical and computational models describing how such a relationship would evolve.[2][3][4][5]

This was added to the symbiosis article. It strikes me that it would much more appropriate here.  –  ornis 08:44, 5 October 2007 (UTC)


  1. ^ Isaac, Susan (1992), Fungal-plant interactions, London: Chapman & Hall, ISBN 0-412-36470-0 
  2. ^ Roughgarden, J. (1975), "Evolution of Marine Symbiosis--A Simple Cost-Benefit Model", Ecology, 56 (5): 1201–1208, doi:10.1046/j.1420-9101.2000.00157.x, retrieved 2007-09-25  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  3. ^ Powell, Jerry (1992), "Interrelationships of yuccas and yucca moths", Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 7: 10–15 
  4. ^ Weiblen, G.D. (2002), "How to be a fig wasp", Annual Review of Entomology, 47 (1): 299–330, doi:10.1146/annurev.ento.47.091201.145213 
  5. ^ Boucher, Douglas H (1988), The Biology of Mutualism: Ecology and Evolution, New York: Oxford University Press, ISBN 0195053923 

Another objection

Found this on Pharyngula:

Cuvier famously (and incorrectly) argued that he could derive the whole of the form of an animal from a single part, and that this unity of form meant that species were necessarily fixed. An organism was like a complex, multi-part equation that used only a single variable: you plugged a parameter like 'ocelot' into the Great Formula, and all the parts and pieces emerged without fail; plug in a different parameter, say 'elephant', and all the attributes of an elephant would be expressed. By looking at one element, such as the foot, you could determine whether you were looking at an elephant or an ocelot, and thereby derive the rest of the animal.

I don't know if anybody considers this to be a sufficiently important or interesting objection to be worth documenting in the article. HrafnTalkStalk 04:14, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

this article has really gone down the drain... It has gone from being an article about the objections to evolution to an article about the objections to evolution and how stupid and pointless they are.

The Last Section doesn't add up mathmaticly

The last portion about the diffrent %s doesn't add up in the general public part. The total of the general public section is 93% not 100%. Seems off or made up or something. I'm going to tag it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Colin012 (talkcontribs) 03:08, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

It is correct: 7% of the general public hold "no opinion". [6] HrafnTalkStalk 04:13, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

POV & unreliable sources

needs to be flagged for both, as its very point of view towards evolution. also the sources are mostly from a usenet group, if your going to refute the claims against evolution it should be from a verifiable source, with a reputation from accuracy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Lukeyboymcr (talkcontribs) 18:53, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Lukeyboymcr:

HrafnTalkStalk 02:48, 21 November 2007 (UTC)


fair enough, it's still POV though, in a review of the site that the site uses itself as praise "which is a pro-science web site that is mostly an answer to creationist arguments. It leans heavily toward evolution", if it is not a majority of sources it certainly is the most frequently used source. in the review of this article it clearly states that the POV needs to be removed.i'm putting the warnings on because i strongly believe it to be pov, poorly referenced and unbalanced. i wouldnt want a student or anyone seeking information on this topic to take away the impression that all the arguments on this page are justified User:lukeyboymcr

See NPOV: Pseudoscience, NPOV: Undue weight, NPOV: Making necessary assumptions and NPOV: Giving "equal validity". If you have references supporting your opinion, please check that they comply with these policy requirements and come from reliable sources suitable for a science subject, then you're welcome to raise them here. ... dave souza, talk 18:38, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

Gravity doesn't belong here

I deleted some text stating that gravity is not a falsifiable theory because it is so well accepted and its claims are foundational and broad. First, this is a non-sequiter in that being well-accepted has nothing to do with being falsifiable; second, gravity is very well-tested experimentally, and in fact many theories of gravity, for example Newton's theory, have indeed been falsified by experiment. Third, it is off topic. Geoffrey.landis (talk) 03:34, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

I am sorry but you are confused. That was the original wording and it never said that gravity was not falsifiable. I think you misread it. You seem to be mistaken. --Filll (talk) 03:37, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, I can think of very little to say here except to state that you are incorrect. The sentence you keep reverting into the article is wrong, it is uncited, it is a nonsequiter, and it is off topic. Geoffrey.landis (talk) 20:22, 14 December 2007 (UTC
I agree with Filll (talk) the original wording did not say that gravity was a non falsifiable theory. The next sentence, of which gravity is a part, has moved on and uses it to very helpfully indicate the acceptability of the theory or evolution. Tmol42 (talk) 21:24, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
The two sentences are connected by the phrase "this is because." I think it's fair to say that the part that follows "this is because" logically discusses the same topic as the part that comes before "this is because". Geoffrey.landis (talk) 23:34, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

<undent>I am astounded that there seems to be such a deep misunderstanding of the English of this sentence. It does NOT say that gravity is not falsifiable. Do you see where I am coming from? Are you getting the message here?

No. The topic of the paragraph is falsifiability. The sentence discussing gravity ends "it is often difficult to imagine any evidence that could disprove it." If you can't imagine any evidence that could disprove something, that is the definition of "unfalsifiable." Geoffrey.landis (talk) 23:34, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

If you think that this phrase used implies that gravity is not falsifiable, please try to examine the text carefully and see if you can comprehend what the text really is stating. If you still cannot, I invite you to compile a list of reasons that you think the original text claimed that gravity is not falsifiable. Perhaps you can even write a short essay or exposition on this subject for our perusal here. This is amazing to me.--Filll (talk) 21:44, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Sentence 1: "This is in large part because evolution is so widely accepted, and its claims so foundational and broad, that it is often difficult to imagine any evidence that could disprove it."
Sentence 2: "This is in large part because, like theories such as gravitation, evolution [[Evolution as theory and fact‎]
I cannot say I think either version should be in the article. But I agree that gravitation is a non-sequiter. Ra2007 (talk) 21:50, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
I agree that gravitation is a non-sequiter. Good. Let's delete it from the article and keep it deleted.)Geoffrey.landis (talk) 23:32, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

Ok, have it your way. I am sorry you do not seem to show much reason in these matters, but I guess that is how it goes.--Filll (talk) 22:09, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Well, we can reason this out. See the discussion below. Ra2007 (talk) 22:11, 14 December 2007 (UTC)


I will believe it when I see it. Thanks.--Filll (talk) 22:57, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

I think people should read Evolution as theory and fact‎ -- such comparisons between evolution and gravity are fairly frequently made, clearly establishing its relevance. HrafnTalkStalk 02:13, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

I have no objection to the use of gravity as an example of a theory and a fact. I am objecting to the statement, in the section about non-falsifiability, that the gravity is an example of a theory that "is so widely accepted, and its claims so foundational and broad, that it is often difficult to imagine any evidence that could disprove it." Geoffrey.landis (talk) 02:51, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
It really boils down to the scientific method. Any scientific theory requires the criteria of falsifiability, despite how inane it may seem to dispute it. Wisdom89 (talk) 07:10, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Removed from article

I just deleted the following from the article:

Many creationists, however, have claimed that evolution is unfalsifiable. This is in large part because, like theories such as [[gravitation]], evolution is so widely accepted, and its claims so foundational and broad, that it is often difficult to imagine any evidence that could disprove it.{{cn|date=December 2007}}

Because it is uncited, and seeks to explain the rationale (or lack thereof) of creationists, and does so using weasel words. Ra2007 (talk) 22:03, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

And I just reinstated it, as it is fairly easily citable (I've provided one to Henry M. Morris, there are probably other around the place). Please do not delete uncontroversial material without allowing a period (between {{cn}} and deletion) for other editors to provide a citation for it -- that is after all what the {{cn}}-tag is there for! HrafnTalkStalk 03:31, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
Just for the record, the {{cn}} was only one of the reasons given above for the removal. Ra2007 (talk) 19:57, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

RfC: gravity can't be disproved by evidence?

 The section on "unfalsifiability" contains the statement  "like theories such as gravitation, it is so widely accepted, and its claims so foundational and broad, that it is often difficult to imagine any evidence that could disprove it."  The initial words "like theories such as gravitation" were deleted.  Several editors demurred and reverted the deletion. Geoffrey.landis (talk)
You are correct. Is there anything else you need us to confirm? Or perhaps you had some discussion in mind? Ben 16:25, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
I have attempted to remove the text I believe is incorrect, but the removal is reverted immediately. Hefn has stated "Either gain a consensus behind a change on the article talkpage or bugger off" and, in a later post, stated "Do not simply try to delete it, or you will keep on getting reverted." OK, I am trying to gain consensus. Geoffrey.landis (talk) 17:16, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
I made the first comment after Geoffrey left repeated fallacious accusations on my talkpage. The second quote is taken out of context, I said "If you think that the analogy has been mis-framed in this context, then suggest a more accurate framing. Do not simply try to delete it, or you will keep on getting reverted." Geoffrey gives every appearance of doing his level best to anger regular editors here, so should not be surprised if he is addressed less than fondly. HrafnTalkStalk 17:34, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
Hrafn, the text is wrong. The best way to give it a "more accurate framing" is to delete it. As for the statement that I quoted your text out of context, in the post above I linked the full text in context at the place you had moved it to. Geoffrey.landis (talk) 17:52, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
"the text is wrong" -- bare assertion, absolutely worthless for convincing anybody of anything. Now stop throwing around fatwahs and develop a convincing argument. And no, "in the post above" you did not link to the text in full. Such games have a tendency to erode WP:AGF rather quickly. HrafnTalkStalk 18:13, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
Is there any way to get this discussion back on topic, instead of trading insults here in the discussion page and on my talk page? I'm getting weary, and I don't see anything here that's any kind of movement toward consensus or resolution. Geoffrey.landis (talk) 18:41, 16 December 2007 (UTC)


<undent>Obviously, this is not what the text says or intends to say. I have stated this a good half dozen times. I might think about rewording this, but I think User:Silence's original wording is pretty reasonable.

One of the attacks on creationism is that it is religion. So creationists retort and say science is religion, or evolution is religion.

Another of the attacks on creationism is that it is a matter of faith. So creationists reply in kind and state that science and/or evolution is a matter of faith.

Another of the attacks on creationism is that it is not falsifiable. So creationists fire back that evolution is not falsifiable.

This is an old old story. This is just a schoolyard tactic: "I know you are, but what am I ?" and so on and so forth.

A more careful list of the reasons creationists say evolution is not falsifiable might include:

  1. lack of success:
    • they feel that it is unfair that scientists do not stop talking about it since their pastor told them that evolution is bad
    • they are dismayed at how widely accepted evolution is in some quarters, in spite of their best arguments that the bible is against evolution and that all good Christians are supposed to hate evolution
    • they are discouraged when they say that evolution is the same as atheism and not everyone agrees
    • They feel everyone else is being unnecessarily argumentative; why can't everyone else just do like us fundamentalists and hate everyone who does not think like us? After all, we know that the commandment "love they neighbor as thyself" does not appear in the bible at all but is just filthy propaganda by dirty Jews and liberals
  1. inability to imagine a way to test evolution (possibly since they do not understand what evolution is)
  2. lack of understanding of what falsifiability is

In the case of both points 2 and 3, a comparison with gravity is reasonable, although maybe should be worded in a different way. Evolution is as falsifiable as gravity is, whether creationists can imagine ways to test it or not.--Filll (talk) 18:37, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

I have no objection to comparing the theory of evolution to the theory of gravity. I object to the statement about theories of gravity "that it is often difficult to imagine any evidence that could disprove it." I object to it for a number of reasons:
(1) it's weasel-worded. What does it mean "it is often difficult to imagine"? Difficult for who to imagine? It's not difficult for me to imagine ways to test gravity. What is the referent for the word "it"?
(2) it's uncited. Who says that gravity can't be tested?
(3) it's wrong. It is simply untrue that it's difficult to imagine any evidence that could disprove theories of gravity. It's not only untrue, in fact, theories of gravity have been proven untrue-- Newton's theory has been experimentally disproven in favor of Einstein's, for example.
(4) it's a non-sequiter. The conclusion of the sentence "it is often difficult to imagine any evidence that could disprove it" does not follow from the premise "its claims (are) so foundational and broad that".
(5) it's off topic. We could "improve" the article by writing a few paragraphs explaining that gravity is a testable theory, it has been tested, and it is continuing to be tested... but does that belong on a page about objections to evolution?
If the text had stated, as you phrase it, "Evolution is as falsifiable as gravity is, whether creationists can imagine ways to test it or not" I'd have no objection. But that's not what it says.Geoffrey.landis (talk) 19:12, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
Gravity is falsifiable. The sentence should not be re-inserted without modification. Deleting an incorrect sentence is perfectly valid. Ra2007 (talk) 20:14, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

As people may have noticed, several hours ago I attempted to refine the statement to avoid the impression that we are claiming that evolution/gravitation are/should be unfalsifiable. It now states:

This is in large part because, like theories such as gravitation, evolution is so widely confirmed, and so foundational, that the likelihood of any evidence disproving it wholesale (as opposed to merely refining it) have become increasingly improbable to the point of virtual impossibility.

Do people still find this version objectionable and that "the text is wrong"? HrafnTalkStalk 02:39, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

I thought it was fairly clear before, but this should make it even more clear.--Filll (talk) 02:52, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
Unfortunately, although you have blurred over some of the objectionable material, it remains wrong. Further, this phrasing has lost any connection with falsifiability (the topic of the section), and thus doesn't make any sense at all. The section now apparently claims that creationists argue that evolution cannot be falsified because it is so widely confirmed. This is certainly not a creationist argument! Geoffrey.landis (talk) 03:50, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
Another cryptic fatwah from Ayatollah Geoffrey. Unless you can explain what's wrong about it, or make constructive suggestions as to its improvement, you have little hope of getting any consensus support. And as to it having "lost any connection with falsifiability", the revised version, like the original, talks of "disproving" the theories in question -- so very little change there. If my version has lost touch with the original Creationist argument, then suggest improvements. Or alternatively, continue to thunder from on high "it be wrong, delete this foul phrase", and see how much consensus that brings you. HrafnTalkStalk 07:41, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
You know, I actually have a job, and I don't have the time to write a detailed linguistic analysis of every incorrect sentence on Wikipedia. What's wrong about this new phrasing is that it seems to be simply an attempt to insert the word "gravitation" into the section despite the fact that it is irrelevant to the specific topic. Other than that, it is incorrect, it purports to be explaining what the argument used by creationists is, but in fact does no such thing, and finally it completely misunderstands falsifiability-- Popper would be rolling in his grave to hear that a theory becomes unfalsifiabile when it's widely confirmed! A theory can't be confirmed unless it's falsifiable!
As for your request that I should "suggest improvements", I did. I rewrote original the sentence removing the incorrect part. You reverted it. However, I did make one change. The sentence as you wrote it starts out with the words "this is because", and it is ambiguous as to which part of the previous sentence the word "this" refers to. I revised that to make the reference clear. In fact, I'm not actually sure what the word does refer to, and may have gotten it wrong, so please revise it as needed to clarify what you mean. (The change I made doesn't make the sentence correct-- at this point I am just trying to make it clear what you are saying.) Geoffrey.landis (talk) 14:25, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
  • The most recent revision by Filll has improved the section somewhat, in that it is now much clear what the claims are that are being discussed. Unfortunately, it still keeps the problematical phrases, listing the theory of gravitation as an example of a theory that's unfalsifiable. The sentence is now attributed to "others." I am continuing to refrain from simply deleting the incorrect information while waiting to see whether any sort of consensus arrives from the request for comments; however I did add a "weasel-words" tag to the statement that "others" made this claim (who are these others who say this?), a request for citation to the fact that these unnamed people claim that gravitation is an example of an unfalsifiable theory, and a request for citation to the fact that these unnamed people claim that evolution is unfalsifiable because it is widely-confirmed. Geoffrey.landis (talk) 22:31, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
Beg your pardon? You say it is "improved somewhat"? But it no longer makes any sense... Would someone mind telling me what on earth the sentences in question are supposed to mean? Until the latest attempts to twist it to suit someone's POV, I thought it was a pretty straightforward point: lots of good evidence for evolution = wide acceptance (like gravity), and what appears therefore to be unquestioning acceptance leads creationists to cry "unfalsifiable!" It was making no claim about the falsifiability or otherwise of gravity, merely that gravity is a good example of a widely accepted theory. And it is surely not the creationists who "claim evolution is unfalsifiable in large part because [it] is so widely confirmed and so foundational..." I am lost in a sea of meaningless words! Snalwibma (talk) 23:57, 18 December 2007 (UTC)


I almost feel this is WP:DE against consensus. Do I have to dig up 20 references and cite them for this fairly simple passage? This just is amazing...--Filll (talk) 00:14, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

20 references are not needed; three would suffice. One reference is needed to cite the statement "Others claim" and make it specific: who are these "others", specifically? (look up Weasel words and see what is needed to avoid them.) Another reference is needed to clarify who it is who says that gravity is another example of a theory that's unfalsifiable for the reasons stated (is this the same "others"? Or somebody different?); and the last reference is needed because, frankly, I don't believe that creationists ever argue that evolution is "widely confirmed", and I'd like to see a reference showing this really is an accurate phrasing of an argument used by creationists. Geoffrey.landis (talk) 02:10, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Geoffrey - it was you who introduced the notion that it is creationists who make this claim (in this edit). The original version of the sentence made no such claim, just as it made no claim that gravitation is unfalsifiable. I have reinstated it to something like what it said before you started on it: Evolution appears to be unfalsifiable because, like theories such as gravitation, it is so widely confirmed, and so foundational, that the likelihood of any evidence disproving it wholesale (as opposed to merely refining it) has become increasingly improbable and difficult to the point of virtual impossibility. It is a mere statement of fact, not an attribution of opinions to anyone, creationist or otherwise. The only problem I can see with this wording is that it borders on WP:OR. Snalwibma (talk) 08:53, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
You seem to be crediting me with changes that I didn't make. The edit to which you refer is one that modified the original two sentences "Many creationists have claimed .... This is in large part because" to read "Many creationists have claimed .... They claim this is true in large part because". This was done to clarify an ambiguous "this" so as to try to make it clear who is stating what, in order that we can at least all be discussing the same thing; it was intended to make it clear what was being asserted here, not to change the meaning. As far as I can tell, the referent for the word "this" was "Many creationists have claimed." Was I misinterpreting the word? Is the referent for "this" actually something else? I asked the people who wrote the sentence to "please revise it as needed to clarify what you mean."
You have now rewritten the sentence to remove all attribution, and are now simply stating as a fact that "Evolution appears to be unfalsifiable because, like theories such as gravitation, it is..." This is the statement that I originally disagreed with, and still do. This statement is at best POV, and at worst is factually incorrect. Your edit to remove attribution does not make it clearer nor does it make it more correct..
I'm puzzled as to how you can at one point write that the problem with the wording "is that it borders on WP:OR" and then at another point say that a tag asking for a citation is "disruptive editing". That's precisely why Wikipedia requires citations. If it's not original research, it needs a citation; if it is original research, it should be deleted. Geoffrey.landis (talk) 15:58, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Many creationists have claimed that evolution is unfalsifiable, but this is bunk. The REAL situation is that evolution, like gravity, is so clearly factual that it's hard to imagine that it will suddenly be discovered to be false (just like gravity won't suddenly be discovered to be nonexistent). In other words: the creationists have misrepresented the scientific certainty about the fact of evolution in order to present a bogus claim that it's unfalsifiable. The original wording did NOT claim that the widespread empirical support for evolution was itself actually accepted by creationists as part of the creationist argument: YOU made that link, Geoffrey. Your edit was erroneous. I hope that clears things up.
The original analogy with gravity (NOT made by creationists) is widely used by sources such as TalkOrigins (and is "factually correct", in the sense that it's an entirely appropriate analogy). There is already one link to Evolution as theory and fact further up the page, under "Evolution is just a theory, not a fact": that page uses the analogy with gravity (and provides citations: it isn't "original research"). --Robert Stevens (talk) 17:03, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Geoffrey - far from "crediting [you] with changes that [you] didn't make", what I said above is precisely accurate. It was you that changed the wording so that it appeared the creationists were making a claim about the acceptance of evolutionary theory. You changed it from (fact) this is because to (claim by creationists) they say this is because. No wonder you are getting confused. But Robert Stevens has it exactly right. My suggestion that it might be OR was because my version (and the original version) said it was because of the wide acceptance (etc.) that creationists were making their claims. Perhaps the answer is in fact to do it more as Robert S has, and to make a clearer break between the creationist dogma and the truth, creating two separate statements: (1) creationists claim evolution is unfalsifiable. (2) This is not in fact true, because... Snalwibma (talk) 17:33, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
I agree, it would make it clearer by creating two separate statements. Take a look at the revised wording and let me know.
I disagree that I was the one who "changed the wording so that it appeared the creationists were making a claim". The word this in the original text apparently referred to the statement "creationists claim." I rephrased it to make it clear exactly what the statement said without changing the grammatical meaning. Obviously the clarification was desperately needed, since apparently it was not clear at all what the word "this" referred to. Geoffrey.landis (talk) 19:24, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Part of the difficulty here is that this is one of the many many places where Wikipedia has a gap. I, and a few other editors, have been working off and on for almost a year, to create a daughter article on Falsifiability of evolution. This article will have dozens of references cited, and lay out all the arguments, including analogies with gravity (the history goes back to at least Darwin). It is not finished yet, because I have other things to do, and this is a difficult area to research (*). However, when it is done, we can rewrite this section of this article slightly and link it to a more complete discussion.--Filll (talk) 17:29, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

OK, I went and read the Wikipedia article Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines to attempt to understand what is correct and what is incorrect editing. I see that one of the behaviors that is listed as acceptable is "Removing personal attacks and incivility." It seems to me that the last dozen posts have consisted of a rapidly escalating series of incivility and attacks; I'm going to delete the whole stack and try to revert to a clean slate, back to the part marked (*) in the post above, which (quite without intention) started the cascade. At 02:38, 20 December 2007 (UTC), Filll had written: "I do not mean to insult you, and if I have, I apologize."
My response to this is: Thank you, I accept your apology. If anything in my posts here or elsewhere appeared to be a personal attack of any kind on you, I likewise apologize for it and wish to assure you it was unintended. Geoffrey.landis (talk) 22:03, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

If this issue hasn't been resolved this is my take on the matter (as such it is only an opinion), I think the sentence that says that gravitational appears to be unfalsifiable due to it being so widely confirmed and foundational should be removed, it doesn't have any sources and could be original research. Also in my opinion the sentence adds very little to the article the reader just needs to know if it is or isn't unfalsifiable not why it appears to (or not to) be unfalsifiable. In summary just remove this statement "Evolution is not in fact unfalsifiable, but it may appear to be so because it is so widely confirmed, and so foundational, that the likelihood of any evidence disproving it wholesale (as opposed to merely refining it) has become increasingly improbable and difficult to the point of virtual impossibility - as is the case with theories such as gravitation." and insert in a more direct statement such as "Industrial melanism is mentioned by at least scientist as a test the evolution" (probably needs to be more neutral though). --Sin Harvest (talk) 10:18, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

Proposed Compromise Wording for "Evolution is unfalsifiable"

I just posted a reworded version of the subsection that is, I hope, text that satisfies everybody here. I moved the reference to gravitation out of the paragraph that summarizes the creationist arguments (since so far nobody has proposed a citation suggesting that creationists actually mention gravity) and put it into a separate paragraph of its own, where I linked it to the article "Evolution as theory and fact" which has a more detailed comparison of gravity and evolution. I sincerely hope that this wording actually captures that argument that Hrafn is trying to make, since I am getting very tired of the unresolved arguments here. Take a look and revise as needed. (I think the remaining text still needs some fine tuning, but as long as the part about gravity has been moved down to a separate section, I'm not interested in it.) Geoffrey.landis (talk) 18:42, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

But your rewording places too much stress on gravity - and furthermore links gravity to theory of relativity instead of gravitation, and is repetitious, with a whole chunk repeated almost verbatim. The point is simple: (1) Creationists say evolution is unfalsifiable. (2) This is rubbish: it only appears to be unfalsifiable because it is so widely accepted (like gravity). (3) In fact it is just as falsifiable as gravity. Let's keep the text simple, to match the simplicity of the point, and not send readers spinning round and round with speculation about alleged claims and counter-claims, and going off on a massive tangent about "gravity" which actually links to something different. That is why I have reverted your change. Snalwibma (talk) 20:44, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
A thought - could you (Geoffrey) say here what you think the point of the passage is? My interpretation of its purpose is as above. What is yours? Let's work it out here. Snalwibma (talk) 20:47, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
The first paragraph of this section is a statement of exactly what the "objection to evolution" proposed by the creationists is. The second paragraph is (or begins) the responses. That seems a logical flow. Is that a problem?
The current best theory of gravity is Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. I link to the GR because the theory of gravity is the General Theory of Relativity. They are the same.
You write "the section has too much about gravity," but I tried to delete the irrelevant material about gravity and I kept getting reverted when I do so. If it's impossible to delete the material about gravitation, I would like the material to be both accurate and also have it clear why it's here. Either delete it entirely, or else leave it long enough to be understandable.
And finally, damn, we've been arguing this for a week without any resolution. Could you please, please, leave it be? I've worked to try to write a version of the text that meets the requirements of all the people arguing here, and it is not easy, and it's a lot harder if you keep reverting to different text. Unless critiquing theories of gravity is terribly important to you, could you let it be for a while, at least until we can see whether the other people involved in the discussion here agree that this is a reasonable summary of the argument? Geoffrey.landis (talk) 21:20, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

You appear to be either confused or engaging in WP:DE. Thanks.--Filll (talk) 22:55, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Um, Geoffrey, your latest edit makes no sense. The first paragraph has returned to the entirely erroneous statement that creationists claim evolution is unfalsifiable because it is so widely confirmed: repeating the earlier confusion between the creationist claim and the factual statement which they have distorted/misunderstood. The second paragraph isn't much better, because it talks of "critics" of an argument that nobody has made, and explains a "criticism" that nobody of note has made either (not on the article you've linked to, at any rate).
It also misses the point of the comparison between gravity and evolution: that denial of evolution isn't like denial of any particular theory of gravity, it's equivalent to the denial of gravity (i.e. denial that things fall when dropped). Denial of theories of gravity (without denial of the fact of gravity) would be equivalent to denial of (for instance) the "multiregional hypothesis" of human evolution, or claiming that birds evolved not from theropod dinosaurs but from some other archosaur, or arguing about the relative importance of genetic drift: these are theories within evolution, theories about the details of HOW evolution has happened (just as GR and various other gravitational theories are about HOW gravity happens). --Robert Stevens (talk) 23:31, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

When is a recantation not a recantation?

[7] hmmm...--Filll (talk) 23:24, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Thanks, I just fixed it. I came accros the recantation after I changed the "recant" to clarify. Your diff excludes some intermediate edits. Using "recant" in quotes seemed loaded, but I was wrong. Thanks again. Do you think we need to re-add the "quotes" or not? Ra2007 (talk) 23:27, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

There are multiple reasons that creationists say evolution is not falsifiable

Evolution is falsifiable. So is gravity. Creationists say evolution is not falsifiable for several different reasons:

  • they claim speciation happened a long time ago, so it is not observable
  • they claim that the theory keeps getting altered to incorporate the observations it does not agree with
  • they claim that science will never reject it
  • they claim evolution is like a tautology; accepted as true because it is accepted as true

And several other reasons. We can rewrite this to address all these. We can reference Morris for example and some other sources. We can hit on one or two reasons (which I tried to do but quickly became lost in a maze of nonsense from POV warriors). But this is just getting ridiculous, frankly, and approaching WP:DE.--Filll (talk) 21:08, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

GL appears to be dead set on edit warring and being disruptive.--Filll (talk) 21:27, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Filll, I think I have a version of the test that addresses all the concerns of the people arguing here. Can you tell me if there is a problem with the version I just wrote? And, if so, could you clearly and succinctly tell me what the problem is? From your point of view I am apparently disruptive, but I have to say that from my point of view a lot of people keep attempting to insert material that is either wrong, ambiguously written, or uncited (or all of the above). Geoffrey.landis (talk) 21:32, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Put your suggestions here. Do not keep editing the main page. Let people look at the versions and discuss them here. I already gave my suggested version many edits ago. I will not play some sort of ridiculous tit for tat revert game however. This has to be done through consensus, not edit warring.--Filll (talk) 21:39, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Without looking at the actual edits, I am not sure this is required. It might be worth pointing out that below the "save page" button a message appears: "If you don't want your writing to be edited mercilessly or redistributed for profit by others, do not submit it." Ra2007 (talk) 21:43, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

What is the point of that comment? Just to pour gasoline on the fire? I have noticed before that you seem to enjoy chaos on these pages. Hmmm... Just try to cool it, ok?--Filll (talk) 22:58, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

In reply to GL's comment that he thinks his version "addresses all the concerns". It clearly doesn't. I have already said, above, what I think the point of the passage is, and what the simple message is. It keeps getting muddied and confused by edits which introduce tangents about relativity etc. Gravity is a good analogy as another widely accepted and falsifiable theory, which is why it merits a brief mention; but it is not the subject of the article, which is why it does not merit two lines of text with numerous wikilinks to Einstein. GL - what do you think is the key point that this passage is (or should be) making? Let's say it very simply here, and then try to write it elegantly and clearly for the article. Snalwibma (talk) 23:15, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Well, I'd hoped that this would be a version that incorporated Hrafn's text and explained why "gravitation" was listed in the section and what the theory of gravity has to do with the topic "Evolution is unfalsifiable", but apparently I failed. I find this rather discouraging. (On the other hand, the part of the article that suggested gravitation was an example of an unfalsifiable theory no longer is in the article, so maybe I should just declare victory and leave). Geoffrey.landis (talk) 01:27, 20 December 2007 (UTC)


GL, this is a long drawn out process. And there are elements here on the talk page that want to disrupt the editing and maintenance of this article. If they could, they would have the article deleted. They cannot do that, so they harass instead.

The way to fix things is to state your suggestions here on the talk page. Changing things back and forth on the main page will not work; it will just annoy people. I have made my points clear about why I think creationists think evolution is not falsifiable. Some of those I have cites for. Others I probably can get cites for. We might be able to find a RS even for use of gravity as an analogy with evolution, even for falsifiability. I believe that even if we cannot, it should be in the article, but made clear that we are not implying that either evolution or gravity cannot be tested, which of course are ridiculous untrue statements. The best way to get what you want is to roll up your sleeves and find references and cites for what you want to write. And present it here on the talk page for people to look at.--Filll (talk) 01:38, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

When I state real concerns

Interestingly, when I have repeatedly stated real discussion of whether evolution is falsifiable or not, and the true nature of the claims of creationists, these are ignored in favor of POV warring. So that tells me something. Are you people not interested in writing an encyclopedia? Because that is what we are here for. Not for your petty fights.--Filll (talk) 23:34, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

The following appears to be original research and/or speculation. Can we get a reference to it, and make it less weasely?
"Evolution is in fact falsifiable, but it may appear{{or}} to be unfalsifiable because it is so widely confirmed, and so foundational, that the likelihood of any evidence disproving it wholesale (as opposed to merely refining it) has become increasingly improbable and difficult to the point of virtual impossibility - as is the case with theories such as gravitation.{{cn}}"
Comments? Ra2007 (talk) 23:54, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
After you.--Filll (talk) 00:02, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
Well "may appear" sounds weasely and speculative. "in fact" seems too emphatic and unnecessary. And, laws of gravitation are clearly falsifiable, and it is easy for me to imagine how gravitation might be falsified. A secondary reliable source making assertions regarding "may appear" and that evolution is comparible to gravitation when it comes to the ability of creationists to imaging them being falsified. Testing gravity is simple (drop something). If it fails to fall, gravitation may have just been falsified. Extraordinaryclaims require reliable sources (and often even ordinary claims should have reliable sources). Ra2007 (talk) 00:31, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
Imagining things is best left to drug addicts and faith-based learning. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 21:27, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
Exactly, see the text from the article, quoted above. Ra2007 (talk) 21:45, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

Majority of Abrahamic Faiths

I could of course bury you in references for this. Between 80-90% of Christians in the US, the biggest hotbed of creationism in the western world, belong to faiths which official accept evolution as the way that species came about. The other 10-20% of US Christians belong to churches which do not accept evolution because it interferes with their claims of biblical literalism, but in anonymous surveys of the members of these anti-evolution sects, about 50% of the members do not personally subscribe to biblical literalism (see level of support for evolution). For example, the Roman Catholic Church has no problem with evolution and has stated so for decades, and the acceptance has become stronger with time (see Evolution and the Roman Catholic Church). The vast majority of the Jewish community has no problem with evolution; see Jewish views on evolution). Even a good fraction of the Islamic community has no problem with evolution, with some even stating that the principles that Darwin discovered having been really only a rediscovery of previous Islamic scientists. There is a creationist movement that has arisen lately, in Turkey mainly, lead by Harun Yahya, but it is not clear what fraction of Muslims subscribe to this. There are certainly liberal movements within Islam which have no dispute with evolution (see Islamic creationism). Surveys of people in the western world for their support of evolution show that the US is an outlier in its large fraction of the population that rejects evolution, but the US is only about 10% of the population of the world that belongs to an Abrahamic faith. And even then, only about 40 or 50% of the US population question human evolution (see [8] and level of support for evolution). So although exact figures are a bit difficult to come by, particularly since most of the Islamic world is poorly educated and might not even be exposed to evolution in any great detail, it does not appear that the statement that "most of the Abrahamic faiths have no problem with evolution" is incorrect. This is especially true since the statement is about the faiths, not the individual members of those faiths.--Filll (talk) 23:54, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Don't bury me...just put one or two of your best in the article. I'll take a look after you add them. Ra2007 (talk) 00:04, 20 December 2007 (UTC)


You are invited to do it yourself. Maybe you will learn something in the process.--Filll (talk) 00:06, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

I have to ask YOUR permission to make a unilateral change? So who the heck are you? I notice you made plenty of unilateral changes, which you didn't ask my permission for, and in fact went against my advice and opinion. However, I notice you have contributed essentially zero to building an encyclopedia, but appear to be here only for disruption. So I posted the material that you requested above, 2 days ago. That is about 48 hours. I invited you to write the footnote you requested. You didn't do it. So I wrote it for you, using the same material I posted above.
Now you panic and revert it. And say I am not allowed to do it? To add a footnote you requested, with the material that has sat here on the talk page for 2 days for your inspection? What the heck? I am supposed to discuss it? What does that mean? I gave you 2 days to look it over. You declined to do so. I gave you the chance. And now you are upset? I think that is highly irregular, and does not demonstrate good faith or evidence of anyone actually wanting to write an encyclopedia. --Filll (talk) 00:09, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
It (your edit) looks like original research to me. To correctly characterize the edit, it was a massive change, not just "a footnote". The research looks okay, just looks like original research/ synthesis. Maybe it should be published elsewhere first, and then that work cited here.. I thought wikipedia operated on the WP:BRD cycle. I apologize if my reverting of your WP:BOLD edit was against the rules. Since the big guns have come in, do we need to shine a little light on this article via Rfc? It does seem strange that you are against the "seek consensus before massive changes" process. I want to write an encyclopedia, I just don't want to conduct original research and have it published at wikipedia. Ra2007 (talk) 00:29, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
Also, I sought comment as to whether or not it is original research. While not binding, you might find the response interesting. Ra2007 (talk) 00:50, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

I am here to write an encyclopedia. What are you here for?--Filll (talk) 01:00, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

I answered the question here. Just a friendly link in case you missed it. Read toward the end. Ra2007 (talk) 01:04, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

(ec) We should not be using other Wikipedia articles as references. Neither should be we be correlating population numbers, church statements and other data to support our own conclusions. I told myself {{sofixit}} and I did. While the assertion may have been correct, the referencing was original research. This is a topic that is widely written about and it took me all of five minutes to find reasonable references to get the point across without crossing into original research. There are a plethora of other references that make similar points. Vassyana (talk) 01:06, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

Well done, Vassyana, well done. Ra2007 (talk) 01:09, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

So why did you not do it, if you are here to write an encyclopedia? I might note, we are allowed to perform simple arithmetic without it being WP:OR, and the link to the Wikipedia article could easily have been replaced with one of the links on that article itself. It was also far more quantitative and contained more information than what is contained at present. However, if one recalls, I disputed the need to even do this since it should be obvious and we do not need to supply cites for things that are obvious, as I am sure you know.--01:19, 22 December 2007 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Filll (talkcontribs)

Tying together population numbers, statements by religious leaders, websites and other Wikipedia articles into a patchwork supporting a single fact is most certainly original synthesis and far more than "simple arithmetic". I agree it is a blatantly true assertion, but it is not obvious to all educated persons. Many otherwise perfectly intelligent secular humanists believe that "superstition" of the creationist sort pervades religious thought, for example. Regardless, it's an easy fact to reference, like nearly all "obvious" facts. But, it is important that our article text conforms to the sources, not the other way around. Vassyana (talk) 01:30, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
We will have to agree to disagree about whether it is "obvious" or not, given repeated proclamations by the Pope on the subject, for example. By the way, it was written by User:Silence, who I think has a fairly good handle on the rules and what is obvious and what is not. And my understanding of WP:OR is clearly different.--Filll (talk) 01:45, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
Your understanding is in the minority.[9],[10], and [11]. Though you are clearly an experienced editor, you might want to go take a refresher at: WP:NOR. And why are you submitting content for Silence (talk · contribs)?Ra2007 (talk) 21:07, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
The advice you've obtained seems to be superseded by the current version, Ra2007, why are you stirring it up about an old version? The earlier research appears to be in line with the conclusions drawn by reliable sources – got some problem with that? ... dave souza, talk 22:30, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
He was replying to a conversion about OR and the material that occurred after I replaced the disputed material with sourced statements. Rather than "stirring it up", he was replying to comments made after the "fix". What's the problem with that? Vassyana (talk) 01:17, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for finding good simple sources presenting references for the conclusions, while you apparently found it easy, not all of us have ready access to books on the subject and your assistance is much appreciated. A point's been raised about improving the article, it's been improved. In my understanding of WP:TALK that's what this page is for. .. dave souza, talk 10:12, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks Dave. Not sure if you were jumping down my throat. Anyway, I don't get back here to respond often, and I assume you now see my comments were appropriate. Ra2007 (talk) 22:28, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Evolution is unfalsifiable

The section starts with a blatant lie ("Falsifiability was proposed by philosopher of science Karl Popper as a way to distinguish between science and pseudoscience") and goes on distorting the facts. It implicitly attributes to Popper a criterion philosophy, a philosophy trying to find criteria for goodness of something or good reasons for something. Popper himself actually rejected this view and falsifiability does not have the purpose which the section implicitly presupposes. Popper not only was not a philosopher of science, he harshly criticized the whole idea of such a philosophy, as you can for example read in his essay "On the non-existence of scientific method". Passages such as "In response to this criticism of evolution, numerous examples of potential ways to falsify evolution have been proposed. J.B.S. Haldane, when asked what hypothetical evidence could disprove evolution, replied "fossil rabbits in the Precambrian era"[39] (more recently, Richard Dawkins has made a similar observation)." display the incompetence of the writer: It was actually Popper himself who mentioned and discussed such arguments years before any of the cited sources. Popper has written more than a book about evolution, a fact which the section manages surprisingly well to not even mention once. It also fails to say why Popper opposed evolution in its naturalistic interpretation in the first place, and it fruther fails to say that he never changed his mind about that, and it also fails to say that Popper was from the very beginning a stark opponent of naturalism, scientific method, evidence-based science, support for theories, probability of theories and anything else put forward to give good reasons for or to justify belief in scientific theories. Or, to put it in Popper's own words: "The purpose of demarcation has been misunderstood completely." --rtc (talk) 15:02, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Ok very good. So who invented the notion of falsifiability then, if it was not Popper? And what examples of falsifiability did Popper present before Haldane? And do you have WP:RS for these points we can look at?--Filll (talk) 15:17, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Popper did invent falsifiability, but not for the purpose it it claimed to have here. Popper presented the example of a car in the Precambrian era, but noted that it would contradict only common descent, not the theory of evolution by natural selection (which Popper never opposed, contrary to what the article suggests). I do not understand what makes a source reliable. All this is clearly written in Popper's works themselves, but people obviously never read them. Did you? If you want to know a source for any specific point, feel free to ask. I can recommend with minor reservations The Philosophy of Karl Popper by Herbert Keuth (not to be confused with the book edited by P.A.Schilpp that has the same title), which gives a comprehensive overview over Popper's views, including evolution, especially section 15.3 "World 3 and emergent evolution" You can find the toc of the book at [12] --rtc (talk) 15:39, 23 December 2007 (UTC)


So what you are saying, which might be true, is that all philosophers and writers who write about falsisifiability are wrong, and have not understood what Popper wrote. I see. Isnt philosophy wonderful?--Filll (talk) 16:41, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

That's correct. It's not just me who says that, it's Popper's own words. --rtc (talk) 16:46, 23 December 2007 (UTC)


So have you rewritten the German Wikipedia article on Falsifiability so it is "correct" as far as you are concerned?--Filll (talk) 16:47, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

It reflects the truth a little bit better, though I would neither claim that I didn't accidentally put POV into it here and there, nor that it couldn't be improved further. --rtc (talk) 16:54, 23 December 2007 (UTC)


Our falsifiability article talks about the cars in the Cambrian.--Filll (talk) 17:01, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
I know, I added it there. PS: I just saw Talk:Evolution/falsifiabilitydraft2. This has of course many problems of the current version. It starts with the false "A falsifiable theory is a theory that can be shown to be incorrect." Falsifiability denies that any theory can be shown to be incorrect, and if you replace it by what it means, namely "A falsifiable theory is a theory that can be critized in a logically valid way." then it is wrong. A Falsifiable theory is a theory which can be criticzed by observational statements, and it is only one kind of valid criticism. In fact, W.W. Bartley, a prominent Popperian, held that no theory at all is uncriticizable. It goes on with "This is because religious statements such as those about miracles and supernatural beings are expected to be accepted on faith, and are assumed to be true. Therefore, by definition, these sorts of beliefs cannot be tested or shown to be incorrect." This gets the whole point wrong. Anything, even scientific theories, has to be "accepted on faith, and are assumed to be true"; Popper himself admits this several times. The whole trick that Popper offers is that this is not a problem, because the modus tollens provides a logically valid escape. All valid criticism of a theory starts with the assumption that this theory is true. Problems only ever occur is people start to try to justify their beliefs in theories or their rejection of theories. --rtc (talk) 17:06, 23 December 2007 (UTC)


About the car: Ok that is good. That article that is cited with the car information is from 1982. What was the first year in which he made that statement? Do you know? Which article? What do you think about the Falsifiability article on Wikipedia? Is it reasonably accurate?--Filll (talk) 17:31, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

I am not aware of an earlier source; but I wouldn't be surprised if there were one. But also note that this is surely not an original idea of Popper. This test of common descent is so obvious that hardly anyone seriously thinking about it can miss it, and I suppose that Popper took it from somewhere else. The falsifiability article is above average, but still contains a lot of passages that sound uninformed or suggestive. For example, the section on naive falsification suggests does not say, but leaves more or less the impresssion, that Popper actually held this view. --rtc (talk) 18:03, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
The draft article you saw is in the sandbox, where versions of the draft have sat for about a year. If you have more information or corrections, or citations, I would be glad to incorporate them.--Filll (talk) 17:36, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
First of all, the sandbox article fails to explain why Popper is skeptical of naturalistic interpretations of evolution to a certain degree in the first place. His reasons for this are completely outside of the creation-evolution debate; they have to do with historicism, and he described them originally in his book The poverty of historicism. Without a reference to the respective places in this work, Popper's views on evolution can only be misunderstood. Popper thinks that a naturalistic interpretation (note that the dichotomy often made between naturalism on the one hand and religious beliefs and superstition on the other is a false one) of evolution is at danger of incorporating historicist elements, because it does not sufficiently take into account the non-naturalistic aspects of evolution, which concern the preferences of the animals and the resulting behaviour. Sure, in the course of examining the issue, he even cites creationists positively, but none of this may in any way be seen as Popper advocating creationism or even moving into the creationist direction. It might look that way, but it isn't. The sandbox article does not say that, but it certainly suggests it to a certain degree. Popper's view on evolution can be summed up as follows: "Yes, the complexity of living beings has fingerprints of will and of ends, but these are not the will and ends of some god or mysterious being, but banally the plans and wills of the living beings themselves, as they try to achieve goals and face natural selection while doing so" --rtc (talk) 18:03, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
I care less about Popper's personal positions, although I will try to get those correct. I am more concerned about how others have used what they perceived as Popper's positions.--Filll (talk) 18:23, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
You could read D.L. Hull: The Use and Abuse of Sir Karl Popper. Biology and Philosophy 14:4 (October 1999), 481–504, which I can recommend also with certain reservations (for example, it claims that "Popper introduced his principle of falsifiability to distinguish between science and pseudoscience. In order for a formulation to count as pseudoscience, it has to pretend to be scientific"). --rtc (talk) 18:31, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

"Blatant lie" Wow, strong words. Got sources that support your claims, because it smacks of personal opinion and original research. I hope you're not going to be disrupting these articles again. FeloniousMonk (talk) 20:56, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Please do not disrupt this discussion if you have nothing to contribute to it. For you, original research and personal opinion is any claim that contradicts mainstream opinions. So if I say that Popper wrote X and Popper wrote and stressed X several times, but the mainstream sources always want to read Y, then obviously you accuse me that I am doing original research if I point that out because I don't have a reliable, peer-reviewed paper that repeats what I say. Sure. There is no problem about that. We have to ignore this policy to a certain degree if it is abused by people such as you to promote misattribution of views. --rtc (talk) 21:35, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
In all fairness we have to acknowledge that throughout history many silly claims have advocated as the truth. Today the mainstream position is that to prevent all kinds of charlatans from misleading us the scientific method is a good way of removing outlandish believes from serious debates. The result is that when presented with inadequately sourced material we should accept that such a postion cannot be presented as established fact. Having said that, I do agree that this is not equal to being wrong. It merely shows that we have no independent argument to determine its veracity and therefor we err on the side of caution by disallowing anything that is insufficiently sourced. Nomen NescioGnothi seauton 10:31, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

The phrase ... was never used by Darwin

The article says: "the phrase "survival of the fittest" is a tautology, in that fitness is defined as ability to survive and reproduce. However, this phrase was never used by Darwin"

In http://www.gutenberg.org there are two different editions of "On the Origin of species". In one edition the phrase "survival of the fittest" is part of a headline for chapter IV. So either the article is incorrect or one of the editions was not written by Darwin. DanielDemaret (talk) 00:23, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

Wasn't this phrase coined by Huxley? --rtc (talk) 00:31, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
As far as I know, yes. Why do you ask? DanielDemaret (talk) 00:37, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
I vaguely remind something like Darwin adding this in a later edition according to a suggestion by Huxley. I might be completely wrong, though, so better check it carefully. --rtc (talk) 00:41, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
You are probably correct, since they were close. So can we then conclude that Darwin did use the phrase? Not coined it, but used it. The article should then be changed to reflect this. DanielDemaret (talk) 00:50, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
I don't believe that something can be probably correct, but only that it can be either true or false, so I went on to refute it, which was not that hard. Survival_of_the_fittest#History_of_the_phrase tells the story; it was not Huxley, but Wallace who suggested it. --rtc (talk) 01:26, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
Yes, but that is irrelevant. The point is that Darwin also used the phrase in his book, but this article claims that he did not. DanielDemaret (talk) 12:59, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
I am merely claiming that Darwin wrote http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext99/otoos610.txt wherein the phrase "survival of the fittest" appears. And that the current article states that he did not write it. DanielDemaret (talk) 13:11, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
Ah, I see that the signature "Filll" has corrected this error in the article now. Great! DanielDemaret (talk) 13:16, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

The title of the article

As far as I can tell 99% of the article is about Creationist Objections to evolution, followed by systematic rebuttal of each argument. I think that the article should either be restructured to make this clear at start, or the title changed to fit the content a bit more precisely. The original objections by Lamarck has long term value since it has to do with the development of evolution, whereas the objections by creationists are , as far as I can tell , ephemeral (i e not likely to last for long) and parochial (seems to me to be mainly a local US phenomena. I have never heard of those arguments taking root in Europe, not even within the Catholic church. ) DanielDemaret (talk) 00:50, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

This seems confused to me. You claim the contents of this article are not objections to evolution? If they are not objections to evolution, what are they? It has had this title with no problem for almost a year. Also, I will note that Lamarck did not have objections to evolution, since Lamarckian theory was essentially an early theory of evolution. Even Darwin was somewhat partial to the Lamarckian mechanism. These complaints actually are common in the Islamic world, and throughout Europe and the world; everywhere where creationism flowers (although not all places have the same mix of complaints of course). Just go to a Harun Yahya publication or website and you will see lots of those. Your comment about the Roman Catholic Church is a bit strange since the Catholic Church has had little complaint with evolution for decades. However, there are individual anti-evolution unofficial Catholic organizations (e.g., The Kolbe Center for the Study of Creation, Faith Movement, Daylight Origins Society [13]) and they have the same sorts of complaints and objections. So please try to learn a bit first. Thanks.--Filll (talk) 04:35, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
No, I never claimed what you wrote. I have no idea how anyone could read that into my text. DanielDemaret (talk) 12:53, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
I was just commenting on the overall structure of the article, that is all. DanielDemaret (talk) 13:26, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
Surely the title should at least read Objections to evolution theory instead of Objections to evolution. (Are there people who want to stop nature evolve??) Regards, Guido den Broeder (talk) 15:25, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
Lamarck predates Darwin, so one can hardly call his work "the original objections" to Darwin's theory of evolution. Nor can you call his ideas objecting to the idea of evolution, since he certainly accepted-- in fact, popularized-- the fact that species changed over time. Geoffrey.landis (talk) 18:58, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

Widespread?

Many of the arguments against evolution have become widespread, including objections to evolution's evidence, methodology, plausibility, morality, and scientific acceptance.

As far as I know, this is only the case in some parts of the USA, and the objections are mostly religious. Guido den Broeder (talk) 11:11, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

Correct, they are certainly not "widespread" among the scientific community. Nomen NescioGnothi seauton 11:40, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
Correct, the arguments are only widespread in some parts the USA. DanielDemaret (talk) 13:02, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
I've changed the text. Guido den Broeder (talk) 13:26, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
I could not have re-written it better myself :p. DanielDemaret (talk) 13:38, 24 December 2007 (UTC)


Ah, have you never heard of Harun Yahya? Truth in Science? Creation Ministries International? --Filll (talk) 13:47, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

Agreed -- Creationist movements exist in countries such as Turkey, Australia, Britain, and a number of other European countries, although only in Turkey is the movcement as influential as it is in the US. HrafnTalkStalk 15:26, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
Harassment of faculty members and sending material to schools do not make widespread support. To make such a claim, you would need evidence. Guido den Broeder (talk) 15:32, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
Also widespread in Africa - Kenyan bishops calling for the removal of displays of homonid fossils, etc. Guettarda (talk) 16:03, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
Do you have a source, and how does this constitute 'widespread'? Guido den Broeder (talk) 16:08, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

You know very well we have many many sources. Just look at our articles on these across wikipedia. Do we have to put 100 references in this article because you have decided you are the Ayatollah of Wikipedia? I think not. We are not required to add references to things that are obvious. And I think the movement is at least widespread geographically, if nothing else. However, it is still fairly significant even in terms of numbers, although quantifying it is a bit difficult because there are no good surveys of Muslims etc. Just deciding to try to act in a difficult manner for no other reason except to try to irritate other editors is not good and you know there might be consequences. I ask you to reconsider this course of action. --Filll (talk) 18:51, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

This is interesting. "Our articles"? Am I correct to assume that you are a member of this movement, and that your goal is to spread 'the word' all over Wikipedia? Guido den Broeder (talk) 18:55, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

I am afraid your English appears to be so poor that you do not understand. So you are claiming you are not an editor of Wikipedia?--Filll (talk) 18:57, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

I take that as a 'yes'. Guido den Broeder (talk) 18:58, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

Your English reading comprehension is hampering your ability to function here. I did not say "yes". I am here to write an encyclopedia. What are you here for?--Filll (talk) 19:08, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

Your attempts at diversions are futile and too late, we know you now. Guido den Broeder (talk) 19:14, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
"We know you know"? Too funny. "Our", in English, is also used a universal possessive, that is to say, something belonging to the whole of man, or in this case, the whole of Wikipedia. If you wish to get into a semantic debate, so be it, but brush up on your English before you are drawn and quartered. (<-- note the preceding is known as a figure of speech, so save us the trouble of responding to nattering nonsense when you go running off to AN/I with yet another silly complaint.) &#0149;Jim62sch&#0149; 20:36, 24 December 2007 (UTC) This user is on my ignore list since 20071229. Guido den Broeder (talk) 18:30, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Poll

  • Many of the arguments against evolution have become widespread, including objections to evolution's evidence, methodology, plausibility, morality, and scientific acceptance.
    • ..
  • Arguments against evolution theory, including objections to its evidence, methodology, plausibility, morality, and scientific acceptability, have found some local support in the United States, resulting in the revival of discussions on school material.

Feel free to add alternatives. Guido den Broeder (talk) 18:39, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

If nothing else, the English of your suggested version is poor.--Filll (talk) 18:53, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
It's also quite inaccurate. Besides, Polls are Evil. &#0149;Jim62sch&#0149; 20:43, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

The section on "Evolution is unfalsifiable" is a tad long

This section seems correct, but I feel it could be even better if it were shorter. Most is written just as well in the article "survival of the fittest". DanielDemaret (talk) 13:21, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

Agreed, it's quite long. &#0149;Jim62sch&#0149; 20:45, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

Falsifiability

This article states as fact the opinion that evolution is falsifiable. This violates Wikipedia:Neutral point of view, because it is disputed as fact. My edit which changed it to a statement of opinion was reverted without cause, so I reverted it again, and would ask that it be discussed here. Please do not revert edits without discussing them on the talk page, so that we can build consensus. GusChiggins21 (talk) 05:30, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

Does it not have WP:RS? You cannot unilaterally change sourced material, contrary to the sources. Do you even know what falsifiable means? It means that it is testable. Evolution is testable. Several examples of tests are even given in this article, with cited sources. So that is the end of it.--Filll (talk) 05:58, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

You guys are completely out of line. Removing {{fact}} tags? Claiming evolution is falsifiable, stated as fact, without any citation? I'm requesting outside comment, and I suggest you guys quit removing challenges to material. See Wikipedia:Verifiability.

Ooh, the big tough guy in high dudgeon is going for outside help. Sadly, he fails to see that his edits are factually incorrect, and that his placement of fact tags are vioaltions of WP:POINT.
Another thing, Gus, when one wants to make substantial changed to an article, edits that fundamentally change the verey tenor of the argument, that person is the one who should be coming to the talk page to try to build consensus first, not those who have already reached consensus and are reverting items that are out of accord with that consensus. This really is not a difficult concept to grasp, and yet certain editors consistently fail to grasp it. Eu! &#0149;Jim62sch&#0149; 13:29, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
Please stop being sarcastic, and assume good faith. The standard is Wikipedia:Verifiability, not truth. How can a fact challenge even be factually incorrect? GusChiggins21 (talk) 20:16, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
Reading Material For Gus:
http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA211.html
Dawkins, Richard (1995). River Out of Eden. Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-06990-8.
Dawkins, Richard (1986). The Blind Watchmaker. W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.. ISBN 0-393-31570-3.
Ridley, M (2003). Evolution, Third Edition. Blackwell Publishing Limited. ISBN 978-1405103459.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falsifiable#_ref-15
Admittedly this material states the bleeding obvious: that evolution is falsifiable, why it is falsifiable, and why religious or supernatural beliefs are not and why they are not. To me these statements re faslifiability would be intuitive, but I suppose not. &#0149;Jim62sch&#0149; 13:56, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
Intuitivity has no merit here. If you have references supporting falsifiability, refer to them, instead of proclaiming fact, and the issue is solved. Guido den Broeder (talk) 12:13, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

NPOV

Please explain why you thought my edits violated NPOV. GusChiggins21 (talk) 05:41, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

You cannot by fiat and fatwa with no sources removed sourced material from WP to push some narrow religious agenda. WP is WP:NOT a religious recruiting tract. I would be glad to give you some wikis where you might be welcome to pursue that agenda, however, such as Conservapedia.--Filll (talk) 06:06, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
I have not, at any point, pushed any religious agenda. You wrongly assume that, because I disagree with the biased tone of articles, and challenge unsourced statements, I must support creationism, and therefore wrongly assume all of my edits are in bad faith. That is not true, I support evolution, and when you jump on anyone who may disagree with you, you only give more weight to the fundies who claim they're being persecuted. And whatever side you think I belong to is irrelevant; I am writing for the enemy [[14]].20:24, 25 December 2007 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by GusChiggins21 (talkcontribs)

<undent>As I said repeatedly, you cannot unilaterally remove sourced material and not expect to be challenged on it.--Filll (talk) 20:31, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

Christians and evolution

I'm not going to make corrections directly in the text of the article. (I'm being followed by a few contributors who tend to delete my changes en masse without giving specific objections. So we better deal with everything in advance.)

We need to clarify in the intro the positions of "most Christians". First of all, are we talking about Americans, or British, the whole English speaking world, or what? All I know about are Americans who have written books; and about poll results from Pew and Gallup. Let's talk about these for a moment.

The three main Christian positions on evolution are:

Actually, only the first two are positions. The third is more of an attitude or commentary on the degree of compatibility between creationism and evolution.

What needs to be distinguished, however, is which aspects of evolution are being considered. Some writers see evolution as an integrated package of ideas; others see evolution as consisting (broadly) of the following parts:

  1. After life came into being, various forms gradually appeared over hundreds of millions of years as shown by fossils.
  2. Forms of life that do not adapt to the environment die out (natural selection)
  3. Natural forces, such as mutation, cause new forms of life to come into being

YECs, of course, deny all three of these. OECs, however, accept #1 and #2 while denying only #3. Sometimes this distinction between OEC and YEC gets lost in certain discussions (polemics?) which lump "all scientists" vs. "all creationists", but it's a crucial distinction. American Creationists are divided evenly between OEC and YEC. I think the polls are 45% OEC, 40% YEC, and 15% accept evolution but are not Creationists (or believe evolution is consistent with Creation) or are undecided. Let's check the wording of the poll questions before acting on the article together, okay?

The scientific view consists of 3 (or more?) major ideas. Various schools of thought within Creationism reject all, accept some, or accept all of these ideas. I'd like the article to clarify who rejects or accepts each idea. Fair enough? --Uncle Ed (talk) 15:39, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

This is a good idea, except I think the situation is more complicated than you imply, and we really have lousy data, to put it kindly. I would love it if you can bring us better sources than we have. I am constantly searching for good sources in this area and statistics. So bring them to me and I will work them in as appropriate.--Filll (talk) 22:52, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

Theistic evolution may, or may not be a "religious" viewpoint. It resorts to explanations outside of those that can be observed, which, according to the opinion of many scientists, would make it outside the reach of the scientific method, and thus a religious viewpoint. I think it is a religious viewpoint, although I don't agree that it's outside of the reach of the scientific method. If evolution seems to have occurred, according to the fossil record, and we have no satisfactory explanation by observed natural phenomena, then it makes more sense to explain by a supernatural phenomena, than resort to an unsatisfactory natural phenomena. GusChiggins21 (talk) 10:29, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

Numbers citation

The (now lengthier) citation to Numbers for "Since then, nearly all criticisms of evolution have come from religious, rather than scientific, sources." is an attempt to summarise the contents of a 624 page book in which Numbers documents this issue in exhaustive detail. I can provide further chapter and verse if needed (but this will make the footnote cumbersomme, probably to the point of being a mini-article). Alternately you can look at some of the articles where I've already taken detailed references from this book (per WP:NPOVFAQ#Making necessary assumptions): George McCready Price, Harry Rimmer, Geoscience Research Institute, Creation Research Society‎. HrafnTalkStalk 16:46, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

If you have read the book, and you say the author devotes the book to showing that "nearly all criticisms of evolution have come from religious, rather than scientific, sources" - then I believe you. Perhaps we can say that in his book he says that nearly all criticisms come from religious rather than scientific sources.
Rather than saying asserting X, we say that "N says X". So, I'd like to word it something like this:
  • Ronald Numbers, in his book The Creationists, says X.
This is good because it keeps Wikipedia out of the dispute between supporters of evolution and creationism about whether there are any scientific grounds to criticize naturally-caused evolution. --Uncle Ed (talk) 22:34, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
If I were to frame this as "Numbers says..." it would necessarily turn into a mini-article, as Numbers has a large volume to say. To take a chapter that I've recently been reading, but have yet to work into the article on the subject, he says that in setting up the Creation Science Research Center (the precursor to the Institute for Creation Research), Henry M. Morris assured a colleague that "All of these men have doctorates and are strong creationists, premillennialists, etc.", that he had doubts about employing Duane Gish until Gish "experienced a conversion" to more orthodox YEC viewpoint, and that "[d]espite its name, the institute for many years conducted little research outside the confines of its modest library." You can either accept my summarisation of Numbers, with a "Numbers traces..." or "Numbers documents..." or I can give the mountain of what he actually says. Additionally, Numbers is sufficiently widely-respected, authoritative and non-partisan a historian that it is unnecessary to frame everything in his own voice, particularly given that much of what he says is framed in statements of the creationists themselves. HrafnTalkStalk 02:57, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Times

The article contains a larger number of currents, recents etc. These need to be replaced with time indicators that do not depend on the actual time at the moment of reading. I've tagged two occurrences as examples but there are a lot more. Guido den Broeder (talk) 22:35, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

It looks like a violation of WP:POINT.--Filll (talk) 23:09, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
Not at all. GusChiggins21 (talk) 10:32, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

Good example of an edit by someone who is not reading the article

What am I missing here? [15]--Filll (talk) 01:42, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

In Turkey, even in universities, evolution is forbidden. This is spreading like wildfire throughout the Muslim world. It is fairly prominent in Canada, Australia, the UK, and parts of Europe as well, although nothing like it is in the US. There are related sets of beliefs in Hinduism and Judaism. As I said over and over, I prefer to keep this vague until we eventually develop an article describing its existence and prevalence worldwide in excruciating detail. Until then, this sort of off the cuff, unreferenced, unsourced throw-away comment is just irritating and just another of the "improvements" to the article in the last few weeks that just serve to destroy it. I probably at some point in the future will just revert it back several months and be done with this nonsense.--Filll (talk) 01:56, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Intro is confusing

First it says most objections are religious. This is fine, because the topic of the articles is Objections to evolution. We should be talking about objections here.

Then it uses "However" to introduce a couple of sentences about non-objections. That throws me off, because this would be a great place to mention the tiny (but significant) minority of scientists posing scientific objections.

  • Robert Crowther of the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture told Baptist Press ... [that] Intelligent Design has become such a controversial issue in academia because of the scientific threat it poses. The Scopes Trial should have settled the issue, he said, but discoveries since then have altered the discussion.
  • "What has changed is the science. We know things now and there are new discoveries being made all the time that are leading a number of scientists to not just question Darwinian evolution but to actively pursue research into Intelligent Design," Crowther said. "The thing that is driving this really is the science. We wouldn't be having the debate if there wasn't something going on in science that was causing a lot of questions to rise from most of the scientists." [16] —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ed Poor (talkcontribs) 17:53, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Which precisely illustrates neither the Discovery Institute nor Baptist Press is a reliable source. The only thing that has changed is that the creationists have a better PR engine than ever before.Kww (talk) 18:02, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Even Baylor has distanced itself from this pseudoscience. In terms of numbers over 99.9% of all scientists in relevant fields reject that nonsense in the US, and even more outside the US. It is not science, it is all motivated by religion, as uncovered by the New York Times in their investigations. There is no science here, only horsesh*t.--Filll (talk) 18:11, 30 December 2007 (UTC)