Talk:Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures

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Constitutionality of copyright extension[edit]

"...but was later found unconstitutional." Need a source on this. Nashville 13:14, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

"...llegal perpetual copyright on Science and Health..." Need a source. Without a source, these references to the copyright issue should be deleted. Nashville 22:14, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

I suggest contacting The Mary Baker Eddy Library for the Betterment of Humanity they have a staff to answer questions like this. WilliamKF 22:45, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

I contacted the MBE Library and spoke with an employee/librarian. He confirmed that the copyright extension was struck down by the courts as unconstitutional. I haven't found a neutral pov source on the web to link to as a source, though.Nashville 21:57, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

I have been able to add a source for this. ZekePittman 20:51, 08 July, 2010 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Zekepittman (talkcontribs) 00:55, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

Copyright extension[edit]

My recollection from the time is that the copyright extension was the work, not of Haldeman and Erlichman, but of another well-known Christian Scientist, Charles H. Percy, U.S. Senator from Illinois, 1967-1985. I remember also that the extension was to be in perpetuity, something never done before or since. clariosophic 19:28, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

Clariosophic, I think you are likely to be correct about Charles Percy. And Percy's antipathy towards many of Nixon's policies is not likely to have netted him Haldeman and Erlichmann's support. The assertion of H&E's involvement as motivators (not just conveyors) still has no citation added after sitting on this page since at least 2007. How long does such an unconfirmed statement typically get to stay part of Wikipedia before it is judged to be without sufficient foundation to remain? Zekepittman —Preceding undated comment added 01:07, 9 July 2010 (UTC).

The King James Bible has crown copyright in perpetuity. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:41, 1 May 2008 (UTC)


The wikipedian who deleted the external link to former Christian Scientists tried to remove that balance from the Christian Science article earlier. Do go be man 08:21, 09 June 2006 (UTC)

The site referred to is not "balance" but a Protestant fundamentalist or biblical literalist site. This is an entry on the Christian Science textbook, not on biblical literalism. The link to former CS who are now biblical literalists, is no more appropriate than the reverse would be: i.e. a link from a Wikipedia entry on biblical literalism to one for former biblical literalists who are now Christian Scientists. To repeat my point made elsewhere, if you think the entry is not balanced you are free to edit it, but please don't add irrelevant links. 20:08, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

The site referred to is maintained by former Christian Scientists who had long experience with the Christian Science textbook. Rather than edit and clutter an article obviously biased towards Christian Science, I felt it more appropriate to simply provide access to an alternate perspective. --Do go be man 20:46, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

As previously noted, the inclusion of the external link to a web site maintained by former Christian Scientists provides a limited balance to an article with a obvious point of view. --Do go be man 12:35, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

In thinking about this, I looked over other denominational web pages. For the ones I scanned, I could find none that included links to articles by former members of those denominations criticizing their former church. Therefore, to be NPOV, I think we should either try to add similar such links to other denominations or remove them from this one, otherwise, we are treating this religion differently than others. WilliamKF 22:00, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Not sure how extensive your search was. I turned up the following criticisms in less than 10 minutes of searching:

These criticisms present far more than a single line link.

--Do go be man 03:25, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

While I ended up conceding to the deletion of the Christian Way link on the Mary Baker Eddy article (in spite of strong precedence on Wikipedia for such links), please leave the link on this page. As noted above, there is strong precedence to include access to information provided by those who have experienced study of Science & Health. --Do go be man 11:22, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

"Do go be man", you see very adament about including this one particular link in as many CS-related articles as possible. Despite that, I hope you are willing to listen to what I have to say: I believe that the particular link discussed is inappropriate in this particular article. I am fairly new to this argument, so let me first introduce myself. My name is Gordon, and I am a Christian Scientist. However, I wish to state right away that I do believe criticisms of the Christian Science movement should be voiced, documented, and links should be included in relevant articles. Without them, this would be a terribly biased encyclopædia. However, I stress that these links should be included in relevant articles, and this article is clearly outside that category.
You seem to be arguing that there is "strong precedence" set on Wikipedia to include such links; however, I believe that you are somewhat distorting the actual precedent that was set. This article is about a textbook. The eight links you provided above are not articles on textbooks. They do, in fact, include critical links similar to the one we are debating, but all of these articles are about belief systems, churches, or controversies surrounding churches, but there were no links given specifically on textbooks.
I'll be very clear about this: you do not see any critical links in the articles on the Bible, the Qur'an, or the Torah. Furthermore, you especially do not see any links to websites of former Christians, Muslims, or Jews in those articles, respectively. There is no precedence for including these links in the articles about textbooks that are associated with religion.
Instead, the critical links, along with arguments, controversies, and substantial amounts of critical content are given their own, separate articles. This is good practice because it keeps the focus of each article very narrow and precise.
I believe that in your intervention from mediator Addhoc, the suggestion he proposed was the creation of a full article, such as Controversy Surrounding Christian Science, to provide an organized and focused way of documenting these criticisms. I believe this a very good idea, and a way of providing good structure to Wikipedia. I feel that the scope of this article, about a textbook, becomes too broad with the inclusion of that link.
Let me know your thoughts on this issue, but I hope you can give some consideration to my arguments and that you do not immediately shun them as part of some agenda. Yes, it is true that I am a Christian Scientist, and I do not deny that. But as stated, I do not believe this link should be removed altogether--it just belongs in a different context, per precedent. --Soapergem 07:38, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

Soapergem, as I mentioned in my response to you on my talk page, I consider the link to be a simple, respectful, and relevant means to provide access to alternative, credible points of view which counter the inherrent bias of the Christian Science family of articles. I am not inclined to suggest the articles be deleted or merged due to their lack of NPOV or distinct contributions as the correction.

I studied Christian Science for more than 30 years before coming to understand the flaws of its teachings. In those 3 decades, I established my credentials within the movement including Christian Science class instruction and study of the Christian Science textbook which is the subject of the article under discussion.

Perhaps you might consider an invitation to contribute to a discussion about this in the Christian Way forums. --Do go be man 22:05, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

It's really a strong presumption (and not a little bit of an insult) to say there's an inherent bias in any article that is related to Christian Science. Again, I think your addition of this link would be less egregious if it pointed to specific alternative views of the publication lf "Science and Health" (as opposed to ideas it may or may not contain) rather than amorphously to your organization's home page.
Like you I am no longer a Christian Scientist and I don't think your Christian Science credentials are any greater (or less) than mine. Pulling out my credentials, however, is not a game I'm willing to play nor is it appropriate here.
I very much appreciate Soapergem's desire, despite whatever inherent bias towards the subject he might tend to have, to make the articles in the Christian Science group more encyclopedic and less didactic. That's certainly my goal. I would hope that it would be yours, rather than gratuitously using Wikipedia to further your own point of view. Sadly, I see little evidence of positive editorial or content contribution. Incidentally, you failed to address most of his salient points.
I have absolutely nothing against Christian Way nor any other point of view. I think they all have valid viewpoints that are best expressed in relevant context, not pasted around like the "Who is John Galt" stickers the Ayn Randists used to stick on everything when I was in high school. This is not a usenet newsgroup, nor should it be.
If you like, we can go to mediation on this. It's really your choice. Digitalican 04:14, 14 October 2006 (UTC)

Digitalican, I meant no insult in my reference to "inherent bias". Please forgive the perceived slight.

A benefit of collaboratively edited content is the inherent diversity of contributions and subsequent editing. If I were to have written the articles on Jesus Christ or the United States, my bias would have guided my contribution. For example, I would likely not choose to write about the Crusades, the Inquisition, or the Indian Wars. I would, however, accept and understand a contributor adding content and credible references to such abuses who knew more about them than me and had interest in documenting them. A common piece of advice to writers is, "write what you know".

Your idea of pointing to specific articles and discussions relevant to these topics is a good one except I'm not sure doing so would fit the Wikipedia policies regarding external links. I of course agree that Wikipedia is not a newsgroup though I find access to additional material outside of Wikipedia to be useful with the understanding such material is beyond the scope of Wikipedia. If the Christian Way (CW) link should be removed, then perhaps all external links which fail to support the approved content should be disallowed regardless of current policies.

Frankly, though I am working on such a page per your suggestion (see Talk:Controversy Surrounding Christian Science), I consider the concept of a special controversies page to be far more outside the scope of Wikipedia than the limited, simple external link allowed by current policies.

Mary Baker Eddy (MBE) said, "... mere opinion is valueless" (S&H 341:11). If CW were just a fringe bunch of Christian Science (CS) outsiders with no direct experience or knowledge of CS, I would also agree that the link should be removed. The core contributors to the web site, however, were (in some cases, are) practising Christian Scientists (CSists) for decades representing credible training and practise of CS, use and study of the CS textbook (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures) and other CS publications (see Christian Science Publishing Society, belief in Scientific Statement of Being, influence by the life of MBE, patients of Christian Science practitioners (some were practitioners and most trained to be such), members of the Church of Christ, Scientist, under the authority of Manual of The Mother Church, guidance by the Christian Science Board of Directors, etc. (seems to me that so many CS pages represent opportunities for merging or at least disambiguation).

As a Christian Scientist, I preferred the watered down World Book Encyclopedia article on Christian Science written by a church leader (former editor of the CS Monitor, John Hughes, as I recall) to the more in depth article in the Encyclopedia Britannica which included the controversial aspects. As the Wikipedia article on Wikipedia compares itself to the Britannica, I came to believe that the Britannica standards prevailed more than those of the World Book. Perhaps I am in error regarding the desired standards of Wikipedia.

In the meantime, if you wish to consider continuing this discussion in an open, appropriate forum, I invite you to visit Wikipedia - Christian Science Family of Articles. --Do go be man 16:42, 14 October 2006 (UTC)

Again, you fail to see the point. Nobody has suggested, for example, removing the link to from the article on Christian Science. It is entirely appropriate there, and should be included. What was objected to was the inclusion of the link where it was not appropriate. has nothing to say about Mary Baker Eddy's life (though a great deal to say about her ideas, but those are, or should be, put forth in the Christian Science article. has nothing to say about the Christian Science Board of Directors and yet you included a link there before I removed it. The point here is that has nothing to say about the publication of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures though, again, it has a great deal to say about the contents of the book which are (or should be) explicated in the article on Christian Science where your link is appropriately included.
I'm honestly having a great deal of difficulty understanding why you can't grasp this nuance. Simply, A link should not be included where it does not address the subject directly at hand. (I also tend to believe that an editor can rise above their own biases and be objective about the editorial process, though clearly I may be wrong in that respect.)
Again, your credentials as a Christian Scientist aren't at issue here. It's about building an encyclopedia. Some former Christian Scientists have chosen to become fundamentalist Christians. I don't have any problems with that. Others or us have chosen different paths toward our apprehension of the Deity. I see that as a personal, rather than political or theological, choice. I don't see Wikipedia as a forum for grinding that particular axe. I do look forward to working with you on an article about controversies surrounding Christian Science and making sure that the various points of view are represented fairly, respectfully and accurately. Digitalican 21:07, 14 October 2006 (UTC)

Digitalican, You seem to make four points in your latest message:

  • I fail to see your point
  • I can't grasp your nuance
  • My credentials aren't at issue
  • Wikipedia is not a forum for grinding an axe

You are right to a degree on the first two points in that I do not agree with your perspective. I completely agree on the last two points.

This discussion is going well beyond the scope for which I understand Wikipedia Talk is intended. I apologized in another talk section for your difficulty in anonymously contributing to the Christian Way forum which may be a more appropriate venue for this ongoing discussion. I assure you that anonymous posters are welcome. --Do go be man 00:18, 15 October 2006 (UTC)

Results of my invitations to join the discussions in the Christian Forums have been very encouraging. Several of the edits today resulted from that positive dialog.

Were this article strictly about the book itself, the case for removing the Christian Way link would be stronger in my mind. The article, however, does provide discussion of Christian Science doctrine, which is entirely appropriate for the movement's textbook.

Of the five current external links, four provide direct access to resources on Christian Science doctrine including the text, a blog by a Christian Science practitioner, and a site providing other Christian Science study resources. --Do go be man 02:08, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

Today's addition of a CS advocacy blog reopens the links section to addition of criticism links again. I'll hold off doing so pending someone else removing the advocacy link or commenting.--Do go be man 18:08, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Number of Revisions[edit]

The text currently states S&H underwent more than 200 revisions. According to other sources, it underwent more than 400 revisions. --Do go be man 02:45, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

I would say name your sources and be clear as to how many were major revisions and how many were minor editorial revisions. To do otherwise is to be misleading. Most books go through hundreds of revision iterations most of which are for typographic errors. Revisions are different from editions. Digitalican 14:44, 16 October 2006 (UTC)


The latter part of this paragraph appears to be promoting a cause of a small minority, in violation of [WP:SOAP] It is expressed in unnecessary detail. I propose to trim it. Bblandford (talk) 21:09, 21 July 2016 (UTC)