Talk:Teach the Controversy/Archive 1

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Ian Pitchford's edits

You need to find a different page for your attacks. This article is about Teach the Controversy. You have already added your arguments that many call it a ploy. Fine, but that is sufficient. Attacking the credibility of the Discovery Institute doesn't belong here. I am sure you can find a good page for it. Please stay on topic.

You just assume the truth of your conspiracy theory, and then go running on and on about who is saving the world from the evil doers. Totally inappropriate and off topic. --VorpalBlade 03:23, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)

No, I assume the integrity of scientists and educators, state the mainstream opinion, and don't defer to the views of small fringe groups. Ian Pitchford 12:09, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I've re-written the introdution again as it is just propoganda in the current version. Proponents don't argue that the evidence should be taught, they argue that controversy should be taught and imply that there is evidence against evolution that is censored in public schools.Ian Pitchford 09:27, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

___________________


"Reasons for removing bits of an article include:

duplication, irrelevancy"

from Wikipedia:Editing policy

I gave my reasons for deleting and they are consistent with Wiki policy. Shouting "vandalism" and "censorship" doesn't make it so, and is rude and inconsistent with Wiki policy.

What was just deleted belongs on the ID page, or a page about teaching ID in schools, or the Creation and evolution in public education page. This page is not about that. There is already much discussion on these issues on the ID page, and you have already added multiple links to those pages. Perhaps you can add more there or create a new page and link to that.

By the way, some of your edits are very appropriate and I applaud them. The Senate resolution and response is very relevant and definitely belongs here. --VorpalBlade 11:33, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)


_________


I left in all additions made by Ian Pitchford that were relevant to this article. I explained my deletions and made constructive suggestions on where his proposed text properly belongs. Now he has deleted text that was clearly relevant with no explanation and no attempt to be constructive. The stated policy of the Discovery Institute should be deleted? The actual text of the Senate report that Pitchford misrepresented is irrelevant? This is a clear violation of the Wiki edit policies. --VorpalBlade 21:13, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)


___________

Mr. Pitchford's accusation of "fringe opinion" is quite curious. Is a majority of the US Senate a "fringe"? Is a huge majority of the population of Ohio a "fringe"? I note as well that Mr. Pitchford seems to like duplication. Thanks to his edit, the Discovery Institute page has two separate discussions of the wedge document. --VorpalBlade 13:06, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Recent changes

I've noted in the article's intro that the TTC is a political action movement, and added a few notably missing links (pun intended). I've also expanded a bit on Johnson's stated goals, motive, and method, which were largely overlooked in the article or glossed over. --FeloniousMonk 13:29, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

On Aggressive Defense of the Article

VorpalBlade, I see in the article history and here on the talk page that you revert or edit out any and all criticism of TTC, the wedge strategy, or of Phillip E. Johnson as an ad hominem, etc., or otherwise dilute or minimize the legitimate contributions of others that are critical of TTC or run counter to your POV. Please take some time to consider how this looks and will eventually play out. No one owns any of the articles here, even those we create ourselves. So may I gently remind you that all are free to contribute legitimate and appropriate content here, even content that is critical, and that aggressively defending the article against all comers is not a wise or tenable strategy. That said, I'm reverting your reversions this one time only, and any subsequent reversions will be reviewed for appropriateness and justification. --FeloniousMonk 14:30, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Your assertions bear no relation to reality. he neither reverted nor deleted anything. he moved criticism to the criticism section, an act which is entirely appropriate, and softened a strongly pov header. consequently, your reversion of his edits will be reviewed for appropriateness and justification. Ungtss 14:34, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Sorry, but exactly how does laying out the wedge strategy's goals, motive and method qualify as criticism? When you introduce an entity, here the WS, you then should explain what that entity is, sets out to do, etc. His move to the criticism section made no sense, and viewing the page history and the talk page content since the article was created, the pattern of aggressive defense of the article's content that I descibe is justified and factual. --FeloniousMonk 14:47, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I disagree with your revert, Mr. Monk. The section in question is merely ad hominem criticism of johnson, and not relevent to teach the controversy, because teach the controversy makes no reference to the wedge strategy. as such, it was properly placed (not deleted!) in the criticism section, rather than the description of teach the controversy. i will now revert your revert. Ungtss 14:44, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Again, how does laying out one's goals, motive and method qualify as an ad hominem? Calling it such when it is not smacks of POV obstructionism. --FeloniousMonk 14:47, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Does "Teach the Controversy" itself make any reference to the wedge? If so, reference that. If not, then Johnson's other actions in other situations are at best criticism of him and at most entirely irrelevent. Ungtss 14:50, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
You're confused. The wedge is mentioned in the intro. It is central to understanding TTC. It's goals, motives and method are appropriate to the intro, not criticism. The term TTC was coined by wedge proponents. The strategy TTC was first put forth by Johnson and DI. The intro mentions Johnson and the wedge specifically: "The movement originated with members of the Discovery Institute at which law professor Phillip E. Johnson [1] (http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/johnson.html), one of the founders of the intelligent design movement and author of the wedge strategy [2] (http://www.kcfs.org/Fliers_articles/Wedge.html), is a program advisor." Hence, laying out the what the wedge is and it's goals is appropriate. Sadly, I see you've chosen to revert again. That's unfortunate. Sorry, but I'm going to have to insist that since the wedge is central to the TTC and hence the intro, a complete explanation of what the wedge is along with its goals be inclued in the intro, not the criticism section. --FeloniousMonk 15:04, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I did not delete anything. I moved to Critiques to keep the logical order of the artcle, and I even added a section summarizing criticism for the Overview. I resent your characterizations of my edits. I have not deleted relevant text and I have explained my edits based on relevancy, which is fully consistent with Wiki policy. Mr. Pitchford did, on the other hand, delete very relevant text, with no explanation and no attempt to work constructively. If you want to revise the brief summary of criticism in the Overview, please do, but please keep it brief.--VorpalBlade 15:05, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
See Wiki entry on ad hominem. Your suggestion as to his motives is contrary to his own statements. Therefore it is speculation.--VorpalBlade 15:05, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
The wedge strategy is mentioned in the intro. It is central to understanding TTC. It's goals, motives and method are appropriate to the intro, not the criticism section. Again, I will have to insist that a complete explanation of what the wedge is along with its goals be inclued in the intro, not the criticism section. I'm certain we can find a compromise that suits all if we work together. Johnson's motives are implicit in the stated goals of the wedge strategy. But I'm sure I can find a number of direct quotes and cites to link to in the intro if you think that would be an improvement on what I already wrote. --FeloniousMonk 15:09, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Your criticism assumes that all his goals must be advanced by imposing them on school children. His goals for society are very different than his educational policy for public schools. His statements have been clear on this point and I will add that soon.--VorpalBlade 15:10, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I assume nothing of the sort. The wedge's goals are explicit [1]. Since when is public education not part of society? --FeloniousMonk 15:14, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
It is part of society, just not the same thing. As a compromise I suggest adding this to the Overview if you want: "Some suggest that that the goals of the Wedge Strategy drive this educational policy."--VorpalBlade 15:20, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
From the perspective of the wedge strategy's goals, they are effectively one and the same, and for that reason alone I have to insist that the stated goals of wedge strategy must be included in the overview. Understanding the wedge is central to understanding TTC. Knowing the wedge's goals is necessary for understanding the wedge. --FeloniousMonk 15:25, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Perhaps you should begin by understanding the wedge yourself. according tot he document, the societal goals of the wedge are to be met foremost through research (Phase I), to defeat materialism with the FACTS. The document explicitly contemplates that forcing ideas on people without research to support it is mere dogmatism. the goals for the schools, however, as articulated by TTC, is simply to "Teach the Controversy." Two different arenas. Two different battles. Two different articles. Curious how important it is to plaster "The Wedge" everywhere, while completely misrepresenting it ... Ungtss 17:40, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Proposed revised Overview

---

The movement originated with members of the Discovery Institute at which law professor Phillip E. Johnson [2], one of the founders of the intelligent design movement and author of the wedge strategy [3], is a program advisor.
While there are a variety of views within the movement, Johnson and the Discovery Institute do not believe that teaching intelligent design should be required, but that evidence for and against evolution should be presented fairly. The Discovery Institute web site states the following:
"Instead of mandating intelligent design, Discovery Institute recommends that states and school districts focus on teaching students more about evolutionary theory, including telling them about some of the theory's problems that have been discussed in peer-reviewed science journals. In other words, evolution should be taught as a scientific theory that is open to critical scrutiny, not as a sacred dogma that can't be questioned. We believe this is a common-sense approach that will benefit students, teachers, and parents." [4]
The stated goal for the wedge strategy [5] of which the Teach the Controversy political action movement is a linchpin:
  • To defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural and political legacies.
  • To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God.
The movement has been widely criticized by many in the scientific establishment. Much of the criticism points to the connections with the Intelligent Design movement and suggests that "teach the controversy" advocacy is a ploy to inject teaching about Intelligent Design or Creationism in schools.

--- --FeloniousMonk 15:18, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)


It elevates this criticism above all the others. As a compromise I suggest adding this to the Overview if you want: "Some suggest that that the goals of the Wedge Strategy drive this educational policy."--VorpalBlade 15:22, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
So much discussion of the Wedge Strategy is not appropriate. The relevancy of the Wedge Strategy is debatable and reflects POV.--VorpalBlade 15:24, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
To understand Teach the Controversy the reader must understand the wedge strategy. To understand the wedge strategy (as with any strategy) the reader must know its goals. They should be listed. Your compromise does not do that, and is heavily diluted and presents yet another controversy. Have you read the wedge strategy article? --FeloniousMonk 15:31, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Indeed, I see you have. In fact, you are hastily rewriting it.--FeloniousMonk 15:56, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Your statement "to understand Teach the Controversy the reader must understand the wedge strategy" is pure POV. I have a different POV, so does DI, so does Johnson. That's why it is a critique based on alleged motives and belongs in the critique section, where it currently is. A brief summary with cites is all that is appropriate. The reader can follow the cites or go to the Critique section if she/he so desires.--VorpalBlade 16:58, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Oh please. Do the research; I have. Philip Johnson wrote a book entitled, "The Wedge of Truth" in which he delineates the strategy for all to read, including Teaching the Controversy. Specifically, on page 82 Johnson wrote: "...What educators in Kansas and elsewhere should be doing is to "teach the controversy."
Further the backmatter of "The Wedge of Truth" states: THE WEDGE OF TRUTH polls showing that most Americans think that schools should "teach the controversy" by presenting evidence for and against the official orthodoxy. That was how New York Times reporter James Glanz played the ..."
That Teach the Controversy is part and parcel of the wedge strategy is a concrete fact as shown in Johnson's own writings. This must be addressed in the article's overview. I will include that particular quote if you insist.
Also, I'm taking exception to your aggressive defense of the article against legitimate information being added. Left in your overly sympathetic tone and treatment, the article lacks rigor and objectivity. It will not stand on its own as is. If we're not permitted to correct this, others will. --FeloniousMonk 17:54, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

VorpalBlade, please don't remove chunks of text on the pretect that it's repetitive when it clearly isn't. You deleted a statement of the DI's aims, claiming that it repeats what's in the 'criticisms' section; that's clearly not the case: a straightforward statement of it's aims isn't a criticism. if you think that the statement is incorrect, then say so, and explain how. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 16:54, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

It clearly was repetitive. Did you even look at the Critique section? It's right there. Now it is in the Overview and the Criticism section, and I think that is wrong. On the other hand, you deleted my text, which was not duplicative. Please do not make false accusations and please be consistent.--VorpalBlade 17:11, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
It wouldn't have been repetitive were you not repeatedly reverting, moving, or deleting it.--FeloniousMonk 17:55, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)


The Nature of Wikipedia

My experience on this page confirms what many have said of Wikipedia, namely, that it is the encyclopedia of the opinions of the most passionate. A better title for the current article would be "Ad hominem attacks on proponents of Teaching the Controversy." With all the back and forth, the criticism is virtually all about the alleged motives and other activities of the proponents in other contexts, including their personal faith and their exercise of their right to free speech. The page contains no substantive critique of the subject policy, or the actual implementation in Ohio and Minnesota, which suggests that there is none. Critics apparently would rather speculate on other matters, than focus on the merits of the actual policy, which is in place in Ohio. This article is ironically also a metaphor of the teach the controvery debate itself- evolution proponents are trying to hijack any debate on the merits.--VorpalBlade 20:18, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

The most passionate around here, in my experience, are (in no particular order, and with no connection implied between them) the neo-Nazis, White supremacists, and the like, and the creationists and other religious fundamentalists. These are the two groups who are responsible for large numbers of sockpuppets, PoV attacks on articles, and general bad behaviour. If they were allowed to, they'd transform Wikiepdia into a combination of Mein Kampf and Genesis. It takes a lot of editors a lot of time and patience to defend Wikipedia against them. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 20:36, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
If it is indeed a metaphor, then you are playing your role true to form, judging by the spin here and in the article that is slowly and painfully being excised. --FeloniousMonk 20:50, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Excellent-- more ad hominem on Johnson. Just what this page needs. Shall we change the article to "Teach the Controversy and Philip Johnson's religious views"? Does this mean Richard Dawkins wants to convert all American school children to Atheism too, because of his comments on evolution making it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled Atheist? This off topic stuff just makes Wikipedia a joke. Still no helpful additions from Mr. Monk on the substance of the article.
i note that vorpalblade is talking about direct issues of article quality, including irrelevant spoon feeding and ad hominem speculations into motives to the exclusion of the content and merits of the discussion, while mel + monk are comparing creationists to nazis and vaguely complaining of "spin." carry on, gentlemen. carry on. Ungtss 22:14, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
All of which are non sequiturs. Johnson is largely responsible for the teach the controversy agenda and movement as it exists, making Johnson's own words on the topic highly relevent. --FeloniousMonk 22:22, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
His words regarding teach the controversy are relevent to this article, and only those words. the only non-sequitur is thinking that everything having anything to do with ID should say Wedge strategy every three words. Ungtss 22:26, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Thinking that the wedge strategy and teach the controversy have a disconnect is nothing more than wishful thinking on your part (and that of other proponents)- Johnson's own words prove that to be the case -hence your predictable resistance to their inclusion in the article. Hey, like Johnson would say "What (we) should be doing is to "teach the controversy" right? --FeloniousMonk 22:34, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
your false premise is assuming that johnson's wishes for society coincide with his proposed policy in schools. we have both Freedom of speech and the Establishment clause. in society, the wedge strategy, grounded primarily in research and writing, because of freedom of speech. in schools, teach the controversy, because of the Establishment Clause. he makes that clear. your efforts to overlay his speeches to friendly audiences about writings outside public schools with his limited agenda for public schools which are required to be religiously neutral (although they are not at present, as they inhibit the exercise of religion) is profound wishful thinking, i'm afraid. Ungtss 22:40, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

It's probably not worth trying to make this clear, as it was clear enough to begin with, but:

  1. I was responding to a point about the kind of editors who dominate Wikipedia (the most passionate).
  2. I emphatically did not compare creationists with Nazis; indeed, I stated clearly and unequivocally that I was not doing so. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 22:17, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

you've made yourself clear. and i wonder, which articles on creationism are currently "dominated" by creationists? on the contrary, it seems to me that long personal research essays decrying creationism in extremely pov terms survive for months on end, while cited, sourced summaries of creationist beliefs don't survive three minutes. it appears to me the anti-creationists have some passion themselves. further, the fact that one says "i'm not comparing the two" doesn't mean much when you put them in a list. what do white supremacists have to do with this discussion anyway? not much. carry on. Ungtss 22:23, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)


Context and truth of Johnson's statements

What's the basis of the following? What is the citation?

The "teach the controversy" debate is the thin edge of the "wedge" that Philip Johnson hopes will split the wall between church and state and secure fundamentalist beliefs a captive audience in public schools.

That is not what Johnson calls the Wedge. I think it may be false or a gross misrepresentation. Without support, it should come out.--VorpalBlade 22:45, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Deductive logic and fact. It's stated both implicit and explicitly in Johnson's own statements, as quoted in the article. --FeloniousMonk 22:52, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
short answer: mr. monk's personal research pov. Ungtss 22:55, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
What article? I take it that you have no citation to support this assertion. Thanks.--VorpalBlade 23:04, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

VorpalBlade's continuing aggressive defense of the article

VorpalBlade, you and Ungtss have resisted every attempt at adding balance and criticism to your over-sympathetic article on this topic. The edit history is of the article does not protray your actions here favorably. You've had your fun, and you've had multiple chances to collaborate and not be confrontational, but now you are simply wasting the time of a number of people here with repeated tit-for-tat additions and deletions in what has become clearly POV obstructionism. This needs to stop, now. You'll either be working with those who do not share your POV here, or work against them in RFC/RFAR. Continuing to work against all comers here is simply not an option that will be available. --FeloniousMonk 22:50, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

It appears to me that nearly all edits have been between mr. monk and mr. blade, who obviously have strongly opposed opinions. i fail to see how this amounts to vorpalblade "working against all comers." on the contrary, he has consistently articulated policies and reasons why his edits are appropriate. please stick to the topic instead of resorting to threats of rfc, so that the two of you can come to a compromise. thank you. Ungtss 22:54, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
You've performed your share of reverts and counter-edits here today the record shows. Reading the content here, in the article, and in its history's edit summaries, the quality of VorpalBlade's justification is weak, as have been his justifications for his obstructionism.
To wit, the WSJ quote he is repeated insisting is not a specific response, but a general essay so it is misplaced in the criticisms section. It is also is excessively long. This is a conscious choice by VorpalBlade to tie us up and force critics to cede ground. It's one of the oldest tricks on wikipedia, and it seldom works because it is transparent and not well-founded. I reverted for the above reasons, and if he reinserts it, there are other forms of recourse to deal with unreasonable editors.--FeloniousMonk 23:04, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I have made 6 edits today. you have made 43. don't tell me i'm in any way involved in pov obstructionism, thank you. perhaps you'd like to address my above point regarding the bounds of relevence for this article? perhaps we should draw the line somewhere short of "everything johnson has ever said which might imply he wants to brainwash our kids if we misrepresent the forum of the speech?" Ungtss 23:11, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
For edits, as with most things in life, it's the nature of the edits, as much as their quantity, that can serve to indicate the intent of the editor. You did only make six edits to the article, but 1/2+ of your six edits consisted replacing content that I specifically wrote. Edits of a strategic nature, as opposed to edits of a contributory nature, are a hallmark POV obstructionism.
Johnson's words to his constituency speak greater volumes than his words to the "secularists," as his quote shows. That's why they are relevant.--FeloniousMonk 23:27, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
his words to his constituency are not about his policy for public schools -- they are about his hopes for CHRISTIAN schools. the rules are different, and it's misleading to imply that because a person wishes for evangelism in church, he wishes for evangelism in public schools. because of that important distinction, the forum and topic of the speech is essential to understanding it. but beyond that, the speech is totally irrelevent ot the topic at hand, which involves only his policy for public schools. as a side note, i think it's safe to say over half your edits today were "reverts of content mr. blade specifically wrote." Ungtss 23:32, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
You're mistaken on both points:
  1. Reading his quotes, particularly the two made to the Coral Ridge Ministries audience, it's quite clear he's speaking about public education, not just private. The quotes are highly relevant, except for the WSJ quote, which despite VorpalBlade's insistance is not a specific response to the criticisms leveled and hence a non sequitur. It needs to either go or be worked into the article somewhere else, it's still far to long and unfocused. And since VorpalBlade aggressively defends his misplaced quote by reverting any attempt I've made to remove it, I've enlisted another admin in addition to Mel Etitis to take a look at the debate here.
I'm afraid you're mistaken in thinking it's clear. the word "public school" does not appear in the quote. on the contrary, he says, "come to the culture" and "recapture america." he is speaking about the ID movement outside public schools, which is the only place it is permitted, since your philosophy has monopolized public education. i wonder, are there any creationists who have been endowed with adminship who might bring some balance here? Ungtss 13:38, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  1. As for the nature of my edits here today, I've just counted them, and 15 of my edits were substantive contributions to the article, 6 times I was forced to reinsert specific legitimate and necessary content deleted by others, whereas only 3 of my edits were page reversions I performed to rectify wholesale deletions or overly-sympathetic POV content. --FeloniousMonk 03:49, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
And as for my edits, 1 repaired a typo, 1 added substantive material straight from the wedge document, 2 reverted your deletion of it without comment, and 1 added the same information in a proper way once you explained why you were deleting it -- information which stuck. do not accuse me of pov obstructionism unless the facts are on your side, sir. Ungtss 13:38, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Target of quotation

I've just removed the following proviso: "Johnson expanded on his views of the education of Christian children by Christian parents and churches". There's no indication from the quoted material that Johnson was limiting his remarks in this way — indeed, there are indications in the quotation that his subject was wider ("good thinking done in the right way will eventually lead back to the Church"; that doesn't really make sense if he's only talking about Christian contexts in the first place), and that fits better with his position. Is there any reason to suppose that the proviso is accurate? Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 07:26, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Nature of the Debate

I've changed the introduction to make it clear that the exhortation to "teach the controversy" is propaganda. This is the appropriate NPOV for an encyclopedia. If every article is to be written to give the impression, as this article did in its previous state, that the opinion of individuals belonging to a fringe political/religious campaign have the same validity as that of the entire global research community as expressed in the peer-reviewed literature and in clear statements from professional bodies then Wikipedia will be seriosuly undermined as a scholarly endeavour and trustworthy resource. If Mr Blade's standards are to prevail, for example, is the article on the earth to be re-written to explain that its sphericity is challenged by flat-earthers? Ian Pitchford 10:11, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

It is remarkable that you can call something supported by the US Congress, the state of Ohio, and popular opinion "propaganda" and at the same time think your views are NPOV. I already addressed your claims of "fringe." 65% of population is fringe? This is an article on educational policy supporting free debate, not on the merits of evolution. If you think Darwin was dead wrong on the issues he raised, feel free. Gould, Eldredge, Raup, Stanley don't think he was dead wrong. They see issues there.VorpalBlade
there is natural support for teaching the evidence, which is what all good teachers do. It's the unsupported claim of a tiny minority that "teaching the evidence" amounts to the same as "teaching the controversy". For all your complaints about ad hominen you seem incapable of understanding that the implicit claim is of dishonesty on the part of scientists and educators. Ian Pitchford 12:07, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Ian Pitchford's claim that "Congress is not the government"

I am speechless.--VorpalBlade 11:31, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Why? That's pretty elementary political theory. No one part of the political system is the government, except in dictatorships and the like. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 11:47, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

The heading didn't say "the government." It said "government action." US Congress and Ohio Dept. of Education are parts of the government, and what they do is government action. See Congress.--VorpalBlade 11:52, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Oh, and the bill that contains the Conf. Report was signed by the President. --VorpalBlade 12:03, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Dobzhansky quotation

It's rather too long for an article, not to mention the summary. Could it be edited down considerably? Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 11:40, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

This could not be taken, in good faith, to mean that the whole section should be removed. VorpalBlade's doing so, with my comment as an excuse, can only be seen as being made in bad faith, therefore. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 12:16, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I didn't remove it. I moved it the the Critique section. Wiki policy says that an article should begin with a concise statement of the topic. This is argument, and belongs in the Critcism section, and it is too long. My understanding of your comment "It's rather too long for an article, not to mention the summary" was reasonable and not bad faith. I am sorry if I misunderstood, but calling it bad faith is truly unfair.--VorpalBlade 12:22, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Which of our versions best reflects Wiki policy of an intro consisting of a concise statement of the topic? Wikipedia: How to write a great article--VorpalBlade 12:26, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

And making it more concise was what I asked for — not removing it (either completely or to another part of the article). I think that a longer account of the point being made is suitable for later in the article, with a brief reference to it should remain in the article. I don't see the point of shuttling it around the article unchanged. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 12:55, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

My frustration was that Pitchford did nothing to address your concerns. I thought he should edit it down, since it was his language. I thought my solution was closer to Wiki policy, and I thought you agreed. I have now edited it, giving 6 lines to Opponents and 4 to proponents. --VorpalBlade 13:23, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

It took you an hour to get frustrated. I think that that may be a sign that you need to take a break... Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 13:29, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I do exactly what you suggest in the intro, and that's your response?--VorpalBlade 13:45, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Mel, this article is about TTC. what did dobzhansky know about TTC in 1973? perhaps if you'd like to provide a "critic's view of TTC," you'd be willing to provide a quote from a critic about TTC, rather than simply about evolution itself? thoughts? Ungtss 13:46, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  1. I came to the page because it seemed that it was being pushed into a particular PoV; looking at it, that seemed broadly right. I'm not concerned to get involved in editing the article, except in so far as that's necessary to bring it into line with NPoV, or to prevent over-hasty edits and revert wars. VorpalBlade's making a hasty edit on the basis of a comment that I'd made is a case in point; his first edit didn't do what I'd asked about (I asked whether a quotation could be edited down to make it shorter; he moved it, unedited, to another part of the article), and his reason was that he was frustrated by the failure of Ian Pitchford to respond to my comment — yet only an hour had passed since my comment. A good Wikipedia editor shouldn't get frustrated so quickly. I wasn't, and it was my comment.
  2. The question about Dobzhansky is disingenuous. VorpalBlade (and the article) has used Darwin to make a point — what did Darwin know about TTC? The releevance of a quotation doesn't depend upon the person quoted knowing about the specific debate. In fact the Darwin reference is itself disingenuous; Darwin was worried about many problems, and many of those have since been solved (Dobzhansky being one of the architects of those solutions, via his role in producing neo-Darwinism, the synthesis of Darwinian evolution and Mendelian genetics). To have to quote a nineteenth-century scientist's ignorance of future scientific developments in defence of TTC probably says all about it that needs to be said... Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 14:03, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

It was an hour full of reversion by Pitchford with no attempt to edit his own long language, and no discussion here. My primary frustration was with his original edit that was clearly inconsistent with Wiki policy, as I cited. I have consistently followed a pattern of compliance with Wiki policy and have allowed all criticism of TTC. I originally tried to contructively promote the Wiki principle of relevancy, but I see that that is rather hopeless. Your criticism of me alone shows you are not neutral. --VorpalBlade 14:16, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Your reverts, as well as Pitchford's, deleted my response to his critcism completely from the article, and my edits kept Pitchford's. Let's stop pretending about who is neutral.--VorpalBlade 14:21, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)


I give people more than an hour to respond to me, especially when they're engaged in a series of edits. I should do the same to you. Moreover it was precisely because I asked Ian Pitchford to edit what he'd written that we got involved in all this. My neutrality means treating people equally depending on their behaviour. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 14:23, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

<<The question about Dobzhansky is disingenuous. VorpalBlade (and the article) has used Darwin to make a point — what did Darwin know about TTC?>>

he is doing that in an effort to balance out the other irrelevent stuff being thrown in by other editors. if we all delete all the irrelevent material on both sides, this will be a vastly superior article. consider this as analogous to nuclear one-up-man-ship. i'm calling for bilateral disarmament. as a newly anointed admin, don't you support relevence? let's go through this article and cut out all the stuff that doesn't talk about the topic. certainly links to the wedge are appropriate. but full quotes from speeches about totally different topics? cummon, fellas. Ungtss 17:09, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I for one am not buying it. It's not relevant to the topic in any way. It needs to go. The other quotes are relevant because they were made by participants central to the topic on subjects highly relevant to the topic. Dobzhansky has no role here. FeloniousMonk 17:42, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Perhaps VorpalBlade could confirm for himself that he thinks that the reference to Darwin was irrelevant, adn that he only included it to 'balance other irrelevancies'. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 17:44, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Perhaps we grown men should stop sniping, and trim this whole article for relevence. here's my proposal: quotes and cites should only be included if they are directly about "Teach the Controversy." related topics (such as the wedge, the DI, Johnson, etc) should be linked, but not quoted. What do you say? Ungtss 17:47, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
You'd like that. Your idea of relevant and mine are clearly very different things. Before one can determine what is and isn't relevant to a strategy that has a clear subtext and a hidden agenda, whose proponents advocate the employment of constructive ambiguity to obfuscate that agenda, they'd have to first demonstrate that they are not doing those very things. FeloniousMonk 18:03, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
would you please define your idea of "relevent" and stop attacking me in edit summaries, Mr. Monk? Ungtss 18:10, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

a plea for relevance

why has the all-out creation/evolution battle moved here? this article is about TTC. we should limit the text to information relevent to TTC, yes? so let's slow down, and determine what is relevent to TTC. thoughts? Ungtss 13:40, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Again, this is more than a little disingenuous. One of the (if not the only real) targets of TTC is evultionary theory and modern cosmology. (And, in what you'll doubtless fall over yourself to call an ad hominem comment, a glance at your contributions history tells us that if you're involved here it must be to do with creationism, etc.) Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 14:11, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Considering that teach the controversy is a creationist strategy for sneaking creationism in the back door of public education, why the faux naif surprise? Any creationist that earnestly thinks TTC is something other than that is either being disingenuous, has drank their own koolaide to such a degree that their thinking is muddled by self deception, or is profoundly unaware of the true nature of the machinations that they support. --FeloniousMonk 16:48, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
having endured the hyperbole, ad hominem, and profound demonstrations of bias bordering on paranoia, i repeat the as-yet-unanswered policy question. if this article is about TTC, why should it be filled with anything and everything to do with creationism, the DI, the wedge, or ID? Why can we not confine the text of each page to the explicit topic of each page? this is not a call for the elimination of criticism. this is a call for confining the criticism to the topic. monk, since you're so convinced that this is a mass conspiracy to brainwash everybody, why not find somebody published who made your claim, rather than blessing us with your own infallible deductions and personal research? and mel, i know it's convenient to pidgeonhole people, but if you take a look at the bottom of my user page, you'll note that the majority of pages i have created and/or overhauled have nothing to do with creationism. thank you, gentlemen. Ungtss 17:04, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Because TTC is profoundly a creationist/ID strategy. Johsonson's own words, as well as the fact that it springs forth from the Discovery Institute, taken with their public and private writings prove that to be true. There is no doubt on that fact, though both Johnson and DI would like there to be in the public's eyes, and both Johnson's and DI statements on the use of constructive ambiguity prove that to be the case too. Haven't you read any of Johnson's books? Your confusion and question indicate that you haven't. Not to put too fine a point on it, but what do you have to offer here if you haven't? The article when I arrived yesterday was woefully lacking in facts, balance and critical analysis, especially in the realm of the subtext of the TTC agenda and that of it's originators. It was little more than a DI press release. If you're not willing to contribute objectively to the article, do not obstruct those who are. FeloniousMonk 17:57, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I have trimmed the page of a great deal of material i found to be totally unrelated to the topic. the views you express above remain in the intro, and are attributed to those who hold them. Ungtss 18:05, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I've reverted. There's no consensus for what you did, and your edits were overly sympathetic to the TTC cause. Stop holding up progess with these stunts. FeloniousMonk 18:12, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Care to provide some identifiable parameters for "overly sympathetic?" i applied an objective criteria of relevence. your goals are apparently more related to the "spin" of the article than its quality ... Ungtss 18:14, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Regarding Ungtss' wholesale deletions and gutting of criticisms

Wholesale deletions are not a "stab at relevence". There was no consensus for your unilateralism. Ungtss, make your case for deletions on a paragraph by paragraph basis on the Talk page or I'll seek page protection against your obstructionism and deletionsim. FeloniousMonk 18:10, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

there is no consensus for your "unilateralism," "obstructionism," and "revertism," either. i am seeking to trim this article down to the topic. in doing so, i deleted several things you wanted deleted, because they were irrelevent, as you rightly noted. please abide by wikipedia policy, and do not attack me in edit summaries. thank you. Ungtss 18:13, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
The Johnson quotes you have so desparately wanted out are relevent and necessary for the article's accuracy, completeness and balance. Burying their deletion in a wholesale mass deletion is a shady and shabby tactic, as is wrongfully accusing me of attacking you. Stop playing games and us get to work here. FeloniousMonk 18:24, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
you're proving by assertion, not reason. you dropped out of the discussion above in which i demonstrated that he was speaking on a topic other than policy for public schools in making those remarks, making them irrelevent to thise topic, and misleading, because they lead to the false conclusion that he wants public schools to be a forum for his advocacy of his ideas outside the school. you wrote a personal note to me in the edit summary, in which you accused me to "unilateralism," rather than assuming good faith. edit summaries should focus on the substance of the change, and not personal (and critical) remarks to me. thank you. Ungtss 18:29, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

The Wall Street Journal Quotes

The WSJ quote's of Johnson's are not specific responses to the issues raised in the criticism subsection, but are general in nature. That, and the fact that they take up nearly 1/4 of the page means that they need to be editted for relevancy and length. Since your so eager to get started, why don't you take a swack at it Ungtss... so us that you can write for the enemy. FeloniousMonk 18:17, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

i did delete them. you reverted. also irrelevent is the dobzhansky quote, the darwin quote, and the wedge document, none of which speak to the topic. Ungtss 18:19, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I agree with Ungtss that the article has serious relevance issues. However, I think with this kind of issue, with strong feelings all around, the only way to achieve consensus and peace is to let everything in (within some reason), and let the other side reply. So I agree with Monk's revert, absence consensus on what should come out.
I will also edit the Johnson quote somewhat, which I added, in the interest of consensus. I continue to feel strongly that it is more on topic than Monk's quote, but, of course, I know he disagrees.
I worked hard to edit the opening paragraph in a way that everyone could agree, so I think we should leave it as is. Of course, I welcome revisions of the (brief) Opponent section as you see fit. Let's just please keep it brief. --VorpalBlade 20:00, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Sounds like a plan. i do hope our partners in the project adopt your broad-minded outlook of "let it all in," rather than the tactics of "my stuff in, your stuff out." on the off-chance that they're unwilling to adopt your approach, what would you suggest as an objective criterion for relevence? Ungtss 20:04, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I've deleted what looks like an urban myth about the Chinese paleontologist and his views on the status of "Darwin" in China and the US. This only ever appears on creationist websites and isn't relevant anyway, even if it's not fake. It is, of course, another propaganda strategy on the part of creationists to imply that "Darwinism", "Darwinian evolution" and "evolution" are interchangeable terms. Ian Pitchford 09:24, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
May i suggest that this edit war will never end until we clearly and concisely define our criteria for "relevence" and rigorously apply them? Ungtss 12:53, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

So what are your citeria for relevance? Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 13:24, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

here's a first stab at it: "quotes and cites should only be included if they are directly about "Teach the Controversy." related topics (such as the DI, dobzhansky, darwin, johnson, the wedge, etc) should be linked, but not quoted." the johnson quotes and speeches, darwin, and dobzhansky fail that criterion. as does the wedge. but this is NOT an effort to eliminate reference to the wedge. mr. monk's link between TTC and the wedge can DEFINITELY be included, if he can find some published person who makes the link -- that would MEET the criterion. but if he can't find someone who does so, then it's personal research, and shouldn't be included regardless of its merit. What do you think? Ungtss 13:30, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Pitchford's April 14 deletions

I replaced much of Pitchford's wholesale deletions of text with which he disgrees. The only way we will find consensus on this article is to present both sides of this issue. My intro was a good faith effort to do so. Pitchford deleted the Proponent's defense entirely. Included in this was reference and citation to Ohio's Model Lesson Plan, which is in place in Ohio and which gives readers something concrete by which to understand and judge the TTC policy. Some readers may care about real life enactments of this policy more than allegations regarding the motives of its proponents. We should give readers the opportunity to explore the facts. I have revised it slightly to show relevance more clearly and have added cites to discussions of current literature on some of the controversies to which Darwin made reference.

If anyone thinks specific topics in the Model Lesson Plan are not appropriate, please add that and say why. But don't delete reference to the very text that helps frame this issue.

The reference to Darwin is to counter your arguments that appear throughout this article that it is all a Creationist plot and these are Creationist fictions. Darwin was not a Creationist. I then show, with citation, that these same issues are still debated today. It is entirely relevant.

The Chinese paleontologist quote is attributed to Johnson. It is not presented as fact. It you want to add to the article by contesting it, feel free. Johnson used it to frame the argument and it should stay in.

I think the disagreement over "Government Action" may be a trans-atlantic issue. In the US, what follows the heading is clearly "government action." Since this is referring to US government actors, we should use US terminology. Political intervention would refer to actions by advocacy groups or the political debates leading up to the legislation. A bill passed by Congress and signed by the President is government action.

I also made some NPOV edits to the intro.--VorpalBlade 12:24, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I've replaced this with the appropriate NPOV presentation. There's no problem with the views of a minority fundamentalist/conservative pressure group being explained in an encycopedia, but that presentation itself shouldn't be part of the group's propaganda. The implicit assertions about how evolution is presented in schools are not accepted by educators or scientists. Educators teach the evidence, they don't need political intervention to force them to teach ideas that have not won acceptance in the scientific community and which don't appear in the peer-reviewed literature. Quotations from 1859 giving the impression that silly points about the Cambrian explosion that have been discussed time and time again are part of the current debate don't belong here. The Johnson quotation as a whole is clearly irrelevant, and the specific urban myth particularly so. It's part of the campaign to imply that there is no freedom of speech on these issues, and that the situation is so bad that there is less freedom in the US than there is in China. As you say " bill passed by Congress and signed by the President is government action", but the advice was not part of the legislation and does not require anything of educators relevant to this issue.

As noted, the only way we will find consensus on this article is to present both sides of this issue. Deletions should be avoided without consensus. Pitchford deleted the Proponent's defense entirely. Included in this was reference and citation to Ohio's Model Lesson Plan, which is in place in Ohio and which gives readers something concrete by which to understand and judge the TTC policy.

For the sake of compromise, I will take out the Chinese paleontologist quote and add a description of the article and relevance later.--VorpalBlade 13:46, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

VorpalBlade has removed significant portions of submitted material, including relevant references to analyses produced by the Naional Center for Science Education. VorpalBlade has also twice removed reference to the scholarly work on this creationist movement produced by distinguished developmental biologist Paul Gross and philosopher Barbara Forrest Creationism's Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design, published by Oxford University Press in 2004. VorpalBlade has no interest in consensus and the methods employed in censoring this article probably provide some indication of what is in store for the American public school system if this fringe group have their way.Ian Pitchford 19:07, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Large-scale edits & reverts

I think that it's beginning to look like time to ask for page protection on this, but let's try once more to avoid that.

There seem to be three main protagonists:

  1. VorpalBlade insists on adding material, such as a reference to Darwin, that Ungtss and Ian Pitchford both maintain is irrelevant, and also holds that the fact that he has worked hard on the summary means that it shouldn't be changed.
  2. Ungtss doesn't do much editing, but spends time on the Talk page sniping at Ian Pitchford and me, and pretending to want neutrality while arguing solely on one side of the issue.
  3. Ian Pitchford is adding large amounts of material on the basis that the article had been slowly changed to a non-PoV position, doing little more than present TTC's beliefs and aims. He (alone among the three, so far as I can tell) doesn't pretend to be neutral; he claims to be making the article neutral.

I suggest that the article is left alone until the issues have been sorted out here. Ungtss has said that criteria for relevance should be agreed upon, and that would seem to be a reasonable start.

There are, for example, references to what was said in the 19th century, supposedly backing up what we should say about evolution and palæontology now, references to an unsourced, unverified Chinese person making general and unargued claims about the attitude to Darwin in the U.S., and a reference to Dobzhansky from The American Biology Teacher talking about the nature of modern biology.

It's difficult to see how the first is relevant. Biology has moved on considerably since the time of Darwin, modern evolutionary theory is very different from Darwin's. His own comment ("The case at present must remain inexplicable; and may be truly urged as a valid argument against the views here entertained") is simply quoted without explanation as to what he was talking about, or how such problems are now seen.

The second is relevant, if somewhat on the fringes (the opinion of one unnamed Chinese palæontologist), but suffers from being unsourced and unverified. (It also looks rather odd from European countries, given that Darwin is more attacked and questioned in the U.S. than just about anywhere else in the world.)

The last is surely the easiest; in an article about a group concerned with the modern teaching of biology in the U.S., a citation from a journal devoted to teaching biology in the U.S. is clearly relevant, as is more generally a quotation about modern biology. It was much too long; it's probably now about right.

With regard to quotations, those from Phillip E. Johnson are rather long; I haven't checked the copyright status, but as they stand they certainly go beyond the normal guidelines for fair use.

Could agreements or disagreements with these points be stated here before edits are made to the article? Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 13:51, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

<<Ungtss doesn't do much editing, but spends time on the Talk page sniping at Ian Pitchford and me, and pretending to want neutrality while arguing solely on one side of the issue.>>

I can't fathom how you think that statement has any relation to reality. i suggested criteria for relevence as requested, and to which you haven't responded. you say i only argue one side of the issue, but then use my statements against vorpalblade. your talkpage banter has been composed almost entirely of personal digs against me. grow up and let's talk relevence. you are giving us your opinion of what is relevent, but you are not identifying your criteria for relevence. what are your criteria? Ungtss 13:58, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
In fact I did respond; I asked you what criteria you proposed. You haven't offered any yet. Demanding them from others is easy, isn't it?
I've also explained my reasons for saying that three different parts of the article are either relevant or irrelevant. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 14:23, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Mel. read the talkpage. my proposed criterion is right under your question. i copied and pasted it from my proposal yesterday. shall i copy and paste it for you again? and you've made vague statements of opinion, but not articulated a criterion. Ungtss 14:32, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Replying to Etitis, the presumption should be the state of the article before Pitchford's and Etitis' large deletions of text. Your deletions today are grossly inconsistent with your position yesterday. I moved text and explained based on Wiki policy, and you falsely accused me of "removing" text. You and Pitchford seem quite comfortable deleting whole chunks today.--VorpalBlade 14:07, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Do you have any suggestions for a relevence criterion, or do you not consider such a thing to be useful? Ungtss 14:10, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I've deleted nothing; I reverted a large edit of yours, and asked if such large-scale edits could be left until discussion had taken place; you again seem unable to show the required patience. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 14:23, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

(after two edit conflicts) OK, the page is protected. Perhaps people could put their energy into reaching agreement now. To start with, althouth both Ungtss and VorplaBlade have reacted to my comment above, neither of them has actually replied to any of it. There are four points, three concerning the relevance of certain aspects of the article, the fourth concerning the length of some quotations. I've now seen Ungtss's suggestion regarding relevance; it's not exactly a criterion, though; it merely uses the locution "if they are directly about", which raises the question: what is it for something to be directly about something else? In other words, 'being relevant to' and 'being about' something are synonymous; we need something better. I think that it's more useful to give reasons for thinking something relevant, which is what I've done.

So, any starters? Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 15:18, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Mel. my answer to your question was right here. do you ever read what i write? secondly, your points are not criteria. they are opinions, which people are bound to disagree with. if we find a criterion we can agree on, the dispute will be settled. Ungtss 15:13, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  1. My apologies for missing your reply.
  2. As I say above, though, your criterion is in fact merely a way of repeating 'is relevant to'.
  3. I didn't say that I'd offered a criterion; I offered reasons for assigning relevance or irrelevance to three parts of the article, and asked for responses. Yes, in a way they're opinions, just as your attempt to give an account of relevance was an opinion, and yes, people can (not 'are bound to') disagree with them, just as they can (and I do) disagree with yours. The point, however, isn't to say 'I disagree', but to say why. That's the only way that a dialogue can get going, and some resolution reached.
  4. So, as you say (falsely, but never mind) that people are bound to disagree with what I say, I take it that you do; why? Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 15:37, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
excellent. thank you for working with me, sir.
<<As I say above, though, your criterion is in fact merely a way of repeating 'is relevant to'.>>
have you read my revised criterion below? i think "direct reference" would solve the issue.
<<I didn't say that I'd offered a criterion; I offered reasons for assigning relevance or irrelevance to three parts of the article, and asked for responses.>>
the trouble with opinions is that they incorporate your subjective considerations, rather than solely objective ones. other people have different subjective considerations, so your assertion of yours does not aid in dispute resolution. however, if we identify objective considerations that are backed with policy and reason, then our subjective considerations can be given a proper FRAMEWORK that will allow for an effective article. surely a cited article that makes mr. monk's link between TTC and the wedge would be superior to a personal research inference on his part. if we apply that objective criterion, then our aesthetic concerns can be structured effectively. you follow? thank you again for dialoguing with me. Ungtss 15:52, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Thuis is just evasion and time-wasting, I'm afraid. Vaguely waving a hand at my unspecified subjective considerations won't do. Why will you not respond to what I've said? If you think that I'm wrong, if you think that you can identify the 'subjective considerations' that lead me to go wrong, it should be a straightforward matter to explain. As for the wedge, why pick on the one issue that I didn't mention? Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 17:41, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

page protected

I have protected this page owing to the ongoing conflict which appears to be largely but not exclusively between users Ian Pitchford and VorpalBlade. The version protected is not one I necessarily endorse. You will have to work out your differences here. A good start would be listing each controversial piece of text and discussing them item by item. Actually, there is no other way. Once you have arrived at a concensus, the page can be unprotected and updated accordingly. Thanks, -- Viajero 15:13, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Relevance

valid critique, mel. my criterion was overly vague. let me try again.

Quotes should be included only if they make direct and explicit reference to TTC. Ideas which are related but do not make direct reference to TTC should be linked, but not quoted. Ungtss 15:28, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • But this is much too limiting; it's not a way of determining relevance. For example, if the subject of an article, N.N., were best known for claiming that all Christians are white, wouldn't it be relevant to quote a reference to black Christians, even though it made no direct and explicit reference to N.N.? And if an organisation said that Darwin was a Muslim, wouldn't it be relevant to refer to documents citing his being Christian, even though they made no reference to that organisation? Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 15:51, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
okay. good point. how about this:
Quotes should only be included if they specifically reference TTC or speak specifically to the issue of whether it is appropriate to teach the alleged ID/evolution controversy in public schools. Ungtss 15:57, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

And what does 'speak specifically to' mean? Look, we all know what 'relevant' means, we're all native speakers; the question concerns whether certain material is relevant or not. I've given explanations of my thoughts on three cases; why not say what you think of each of those? Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 17:37, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

From what I have seen from the edits on this page, there is tremendous subjectivity in 1) defining the topic, 2) deciding what is relevant, 3) deciding what is relevant in defending an attack. I am not confident that we will find consensus on general principles for any of these issues, except the "everything is ok that is plausibly related." The best course is to allow anything in that is arguably related to the topic, reasonable criticism of the topic or a defense to the criticism, and share the discussion space fairly. This will allow each reader to decide relevancy, and find the information they deem helpful.
I think the current intro is grossly biased and is functionally an attack on the topic. I worked hard to come up with an intro that was balanced. This was deleted by Pitchford and Etitis with, in my opinion, no attempt at balance. If there is no consensus now that the current intro is not a neutral, concise summary, I am not hopeful of finding any consensus on revisions.--VorpalBlade 17:20, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I agree with your assessment of the intro, and i fear your predictions will prove correct if we fail to provide some objective criteria for the article. as has been proven time and again, the articulated rules of npov are consistently ignored on articles about creationism and ID, due to systemic bias. the current intro to creation science is a perfect example. no pretense is made to npov, and any attempts to return it to npov are reverted amidst violent approbations. i would hope that if we lay out our principles in advance, we can lay some groundwork for bypassing subjective considerations, and actually writing an article that conforms with wikipedia policy. what do you think? Ungtss 17:27, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Moaning and making vague claims about subjectivity is really not going to get the page protection lifted and the article improved. Ungtss is talking more sense, but the fact that neither of you has responded to nay of my points isn't promising. There I've listed three controversial aspects of the article, and explained my views on their relevance to the article. As relevance seems to be the key issue for Ungtss, at least, I can't understand why no-one has responded to them. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 17:37, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I agree with your assessment, Mel. My above posts make it clear that i think all that should go, and that stuff about public education should stay. having said that, however, there are other things that i believe need to go, like the detailed analysis of the wedge document and johnson's speeches on topics other than public education, both of which refer to the DI's goals for things OUTSIDE public education, so that putting them in this context leads to the misleading conclusion that they want indoctrination in schools. Ungtss 17:47, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I don't fully understand; I argued that one was irrelevant, one was relevant, and one was probably relevant, but unsubstantiated and minor. When you say "all that should go" I take it that in fact you're disagreeing with at least a third of what I say. And the length of the quotations from Phillip E. Johnson? Do you mean that there shouldn't be any? Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 18:27, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
(Reply to Mr. Etitis) I addressed many of the issues before you even raised them, when I made the edits (see section Pitchford's April 14 deletions above). You ignore this. I deleted the Chinese pal. quote, which you ignore. I would be open to further changes, but, as I said, your edit to the current intro with no constructive changes, shows your true colors. I believe the intro is blatantly biased and you sidestep the issue, on the grounds that you decide the topics of the debate. --VorpalBlade 17:58, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I sympathize with your frustration. nevertheless, if we want to resolve this, we need to stop focusing on each other's "colors," and start focusing on developing some rules that we can all follow. what do you say? Ungtss 18:02, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia's own policies and guidelines here are sufficient to create a factual and NPOV article. Creating a parallel policy for this article is unnecessary and contentious. I'd have thought that your experience with your ill conceived previous experiment at creating parallel policy would have taught you that it's not appropriate. FeloniousMonk 18:12, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

you appear to prefer no policy at all. it helps to muddy the waters of npov and relevence -- that way people can't put their finger on exactly how you are breaking the rules. there is nothing parallel about this policy, or that one. merely efforts at dispute resolution, bound to be stifled by those wishing to violate the rules. can you articulate what is is wrong with my criterion for relevence? can you articulate a better one? Or is the best one of all, "What i want no matter what." Yeah. that's cute. seems to work around here for you, tho, so keep at it. Ungtss 18:31, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
If you believe you have a legitimate case against me for violating the policies, then by all means make it at RFC or RFA. Absent that, myself and others see your bluster and calumny for what it is- more disruptive and distracting behavior stalling us from getting to the task at hand. FeloniousMonk 19:07, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

But FM is right; Wikipedia has clear plicies and guidelines, and distracting attention from the concrete issues by wandering off into vague areas of 'policy for this article doesn't help. let's draw a line under all the above, and start again. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 18:51, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

wikipedia's policy is "relevence." what does relevence mean? that's an issue specific to each article. that's an issue i'm trying to resolve. there's nothing wrong with trying to identify the bounds of relevence for a particular article. period. draw a line through everything you think i'm stupid enough to swallow. start again. Ungtss 18:58, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
The problem for the rest of is you've proved your idea of relevance here to be highly correlated to your POV.
Everyone may be entitled to their own POV, but they are not entitled to their own idea of relevance. Wikiwarriors are defined by their lack of objectivity on topics central to their ideology. Relevance being a subjective matter makes it double tough for them to distinguish relevance objectively. FeloniousMonk 19:15, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
before you jumped in with more insinuations and personal insults, mel and i were discussing a proper objective criterion for relevence, and i was modifying it in accord with his suggestions as best i could. perhaps you'd like to contribute instead of merely lashing out in fear? Ungtss 19:27, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I'm not going to play tit-for-tat with you, but hypocrisy demands a response. May I suggest that what you've wrongly accuse me of you are actually doing yourself... Or pehaps I'm mistaken and your words to me quoted below are not "insinuations and personal insults"?
"you appear to prefer no policy at all. it helps to muddy the waters of npov and relevence -- that way people can't put their finger on exactly how you are breaking the rules."
"Or is the best one of all, "What i want no matter what." Yeah. that's cute. seems to work around here for you, tho, so keep at it."
Read the threads. my comments always come after yours. you started out calling my attempt to resolve this conflict "contentious." i responded by noting that you appear prefer no policy at all. i don't start diss-fests, monk. but i don't back down from them either. Ungtss 19:49, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Um, no. I'm not buying it. Anyway, even if I were making insinuations and personal insults, which I'm not, that would in no way excuse your own, which are a matter of record now, and to which I'll add your most recent:
"Thanks for your optimism and demonstration of good-faith willingness to contribute and cooperate without personally attacking. you're truly a paragon of virtue."
I'm done with this conversation and your disruptive tactics. FeloniousMonk 19:56, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
<<Wikiwarriors are defined by their lack of objectivity on topics central to their ideology. Relevance being a subjective matter makes it double tough for them to distinguish relevance objectively.>>
this is wikiwarrior, signing off. Ungtss 20:04, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Taking my words out of context is disingenuous and a shabby tactic. I wrote that as a reminder to all why objectivity must trump personal POVs if one is to remain truly objective and avoid being labeled a wikiwarrior. Where did I say that you were a wikiwarrior? You need to stop being disruptive here, and I need to stop responding to troll bait. FeloniousMonk 20:20, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
once again, i only put that up there in response to your taking my comment out of context. you expressed despair for the fate of the article due to my involvement. i sarcastically thanked you for your constructive attitude. i thought you were done wasting our mutual time, and were ready to work on the article, anyway. Ungtss 20:25, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
QED. FeloniousMonk 20:39, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
yep. Ungtss 20:58, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Issues to be dealt with before the page is unprotected

Please add genuine issues, not vague matters of subjectivity, or criteria, or whatever. My four were, copied from above:

There are, for example, references to what was said in the 19th century, supposedly backing up what we should say about evolution and palæontology now, references to an unsourced, unverified Chinese person making general and unargued claims about the attitude to Darwin in the U.S., and a reference to Dobzhansky from The American Biology Teacher talking about the nature of modern biology.
It's difficult to see how the first is relevant. Biology has moved on considerably since the time of Darwin, modern evolutionary theory is very different from Darwin's. His own comment ("The case at present must remain inexplicable; and may be truly urged as a valid argument against the views here entertained") is simply quoted without explanation as to what he was talking about, or how such problems are now seen.
The second is relevant, if somewhat on the fringes (the opinion of one unnamed Chinese palæontologist), but suffers from being unsourced and unverified. (It also looks rather odd from European countries, given that Darwin is more attacked and questioned in the U.S. than just about anywhere else in the world.)
The last is surely the easiest; in an article about a group concerned with the modern teaching of biology in the U.S., a citation from a journal devoted to teaching biology in the U.S. is clearly relevant, as is more generally a quotation about modern biology. It was much too long; it's probably now about right.
With regard to quotations, those from Phillip E. Johnson are rather long; I haven't checked the copyright status, but as they stand they certainly go beyond the normal guidelines for fair use.
The speeches by johnson are irrelevent, because they are on topics outside the scope of teaching the controversy in american public schools. providing such out-of-context detail creates the misperception that johnson wants the same thing for schools as he wants for his public outreach.
the extended quote from the wedge is irrelevent, because the wedge relates primarily to topics outside the teaching of the controversy in american public schools. providing such out-of-context detail creates a personal research link between the wedge and TTC (with the implication that "this is just the beginning!") without actually attributing that link to anyone.

Could we deal with these, then go on to any other problems that people have? That way we might actually get back to editing Wikipedia instead of just Talk pages. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 18:51, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I did comment on them above. You left the most egregious of your unilateral deletions (made without consensus) off the list (the intro). This should be discussed first. There is no level playing field here. --VorpalBlade 19:00, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I agree. now (mel) would you care to address the issue of johnson's speeches and the wedge, as i asked above? Ungtss 19:02, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)


Oh good grief — what a pair. Look, humour me. If you've responded to these (other than by saying 'I agree, they should all go', or moaning about how it's not fair, and everyone's against you, and Terry's dad doesn't make him answer questions like this), then it should be a simple matter to cut and paste your responses and place them here. Then we can go on to other matters. If you're right, and you've done it before, well, you waste a few seconds doing it again. Isn't it worth it in order to get back to the article? Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 19:09, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

VorpalBlade has removed significant portions of submitted material, including relevant references to analyses produced by the Naional Center for Science Education. VorpalBlade has also twice removed reference to the scholarly work on this creationist movement produced by distinguished developmental biologist Paul Gross and philosopher Barbara Forrest Creationism's Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design, published by Oxford University Press in 2004. VorpalBlade has no interest in consensus and the methods employed in censoring this article probably provide some indication of what is in store for the American public school system if this fringe group have their way.Ian Pitchford 19:11, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I've looked into this, and this appears to be correct. Looking at his contribution history, it seems to me that he is engaging in ideological ax-grinding in any creationism/science articles he edits. Considering this and actions of Ungtss here, I for one am not optimistic on the likelihood of this article being unlocked anytime soon. FeloniousMonk 19:26, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for your optimism and demonstration of good-faith willingness to contribute and cooperate without personally attacking. you're truly a paragon of virtue. Ungtss 19:36, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
That is nothing more than trolling. You may want to reconsider your tactics here. FeloniousMonk 19:58, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
singling me out as the "pov obstructionist" pariah that is preventing resolution without evidence to support your claim is trolling as well. i'm trying to identify objective criteria for relevence. you're attempting to prevent that. clean it up, monk. Ungtss 20:02, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
The page history puts the lie to that claim; it clearly shows that's exactly what you've been doing. Stop digging your hole deeper. FeloniousMonk 20:05, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
the talkpage history shows me making a good faith effort to identify an objective criterion for relevence, and shows you trying to prevent that with personal attacks. Ungtss 20:08, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Wrong on both counts. Beyond that, I'm not responding to trollbait anymore. Again, if you have any actual legitimate case against me, please make it in the appropriate venue and stop wasting our time here. FeloniousMonk 20:38, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
i have no beef with you, nor any use for wikipedia politics. but thusfar i have refused to allow personal attacks stand unreturned (although i think i may change that policy soon). in any event, stop insulting me and begin focusing on the article and the problem will be solved. Ungtss 21:00, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)