Talk:Transitional fossil/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3 Archive 4

Dealing with problematic users

Note that given the recent flurry on these pages, I have a suggestion. SHUN HIM/HER! A more detailed response here.

WLU 14:40, 22 October 2007 (UTC) I wish to provide an alert. Someone has been messing with the article's content. It currently reads as follows:

Section:

---Relation to the theory of evolution

Seeker head (talk) 19:00, 20 May 2009 (UTC)seeker_head

Update: vandalization has been corrected.

Seeker head (talk) 19:02, 20 May 2009 (UTC)seeker_head

comment (moved from article page)

"I fully agree with your comments on the lack of direct illustration of evolutionary transitions in my book. If I knew of any, fossil or living, I would certainly have included them. You suggest that an artist should be used to visualise such transformations, but where would he get the information from? I could not, honestly, provide it… Gradualism is a concept I believe in, not just because of Darwin's authority, but because my understanding of genetics seems to demand it. Yet Gould and the American Museum people are hard to contradict when they say there are no transitional fossils… It is easy enough to make up stories of how one form gave rise to another, and to find reasons why the stages should be favoured by natural selection. But such stories are not part of science, for there is no way of putting them to the test." -Dr. Colin Patterson, a senior paleontologist at the British Museum of Natural History and author of "Evolution" —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cjrousey (talkcontribs) 20:32, 28 January 2009

See http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/patterson.html HrafnTalkStalk(P) 04:49, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

Dogma

The section called "Misconceptions" is unnecessarily dogmatic and seems more concerned with vilifying creationists than clearing up common misconceptions about the missing link concept. Creationist* is mentioned 4 times.

Take for example the line 'Prothero has called that claim the "favourite lie" of creationists...' How is the vitriolic opinion of an evolutionist about creationists relevant to misconceptions? Further dogma can be found in "However, progress in research and new discoveries continue to fill in such gaps, and in modern thinking evolution is pictured as a bush of lines of development, not the simplistic ladder of progress that was common before Darwin published his theory and still influences popular opinion." Says who???

I think this section deserves the weasel-words seal of disapproval. AngusCA (talk) 01:59, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

Creationists are the main group promoting "Misconceptions" about transitional fossils, so that they are frequently mentioned is hardly surprising. That there are "no transitional fossils" is an almost ubiquitous claim in the Creationist community (the sole exception, as far as I know, is Kurt Wise -- who just happens to be the creationist best-qualified to offer an opinion on the topic). HrafnTalkStalk(P) 04:23, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
Then you wouldn't have a problem with a minority of well-read creationists swelling the section with terms like "lie", "evolutionists always" this, and "evolutionists attempt" that? I don't know if it fits WP's definition of neutrality, but the sum of all POVs would be neutral. AngusCA (talk) 02:47, 21 March 2009 (UTC)
It's not really the fact the I have a problem with that as that Wikipedia itself has a problem with it: WP:NPOVFAQ#Giving "equal validity". The only Creationist I know of who would have any credibility on this point would be Wise (both in terms of qualifications and intellectual honesty), but I rather doubt that you'd like what he has to say. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 04:34, 21 March 2009 (UTC)
What makes you think that you know what I don't like? Do you know that in the same way that you know an ad hominem quote is neutral? The only dislike I've telegraphed is for a jaded elite that think they can express bias, dogma and cheap shots in a medium that's supposed to be neutral. If Wise is willing to take such a group to task, and he's as honest as you say he is, then I don't care what he says.
WP:NPOVFAQ#Giving "equal validity" does not appear to give license to a party to take cheap shots, whether they are a jaded elite or not. AngusCA (talk) 00:36, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
I agree with the above user that this section, or at least the first two paragraphs, should be removed. This article falls into the category evolutionary biology and a section that deals with proving creationists wrong, simply doesn't belong in it. It is much more appropriate, albeit rewritten, in the article about the creation-evolution controversy 81.204.124.148 (talk) 01:59, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
Given that the quote/viewpoint is explicitly represented as Prothero's it would appear to meet WP:ASF. I would suspect that his low opinion of the 'no transitional fossils' argument (and view that it is a pervasive argument among creationists) would be fairly pervasive in the scientific community, so it's mention here would not violate WP:DUE. If you think my 'doubts' are unwarranted, you're welcome to read Wise's opinion on transitional fossils for yourself. Last I looked it was prominently linked to at the Center for Origins Research website. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 03:08, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

Comments about Creationism

While this certainly deserves a mention within the article, the current writeup seems highly unprofessional. Without a citation, the author of these statements could merely be using "straw man" arguments. Regardless, this article is not about the debate between evolutionary scientists or creationists. Perhaps the issue(s) could be raised without actually singling out creationists. Ccchhhrrriiisss (talk) 21:56, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

I think it is ok, first because most of the misconceptions do come from creationists, so they are rightly singled out. And second the Creationism page is broad enough to cover all forms of creationism, not just Christian, so in that way it is not singling anyone out but in the broadest sense those who have religious beliefs that they believe are contradicted by the existence of transitional fossils. Actually, now that I look at it Creation–evolution controversy#Transitional_fossils actually has a somewhat better write up, but it points back here, would it be too circular for that page to point back here and this section to point back there? Nowimnthing (talk) 13:39, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
No-one except creationists misconstrue and lie about the fossil record. If we're pointing to errors, misunderstandings and lies about transitional fossils, we must point to creationists. We could say "people that don't understand the fossil record criticize the apparent lack of transitional fossils" but that's like intelligent design activists not pointing out that the "designer" is God. Everyone knows it's God. Here, everyone knows (and we can cite) the people lying about the fossil record are creationists. Certainly if we can cite another group willing to ie about the fossil record, we could do that too. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 16:27, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
Actually, I have had professors who disagreed with some of the fossil evidence...and they were not creationists at all. To claim that "no one except creationists misconstrue and lie about the fossil record" reveals your bias against that particular segment. As a man of science, I think that it is unwise to point the finger at one segment of the population with such a ridiculous remark. You may THINK that you must point the finger at them, but you are simply incorrect. Ccchhhrrriiisss (talk) 04:18, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

WLU, your fallacy is that this is true of ALL creationists. You have not proven this to be the case. Therefore, this article needs to signify that this is true of "some" creationists -- unless you can provide ample proof that this is a characteristic of "all," "most" or "many." Ccchhhrrriiisss (talk) 21:18, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

Actually I don't as the current wording is accurate; Prothero states that it is a favourite lie, which is a quote and attributed to a reliable source. And the statement is "It is commonly claimed by creationists", with three sources Prothero, Talk Origins Archive and an actual creationist. So I think that's ample proof, a reasonable wording and I'm pretty much done here. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 14:09, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
Actually, the wording is as inaccurate as generalizing that evolutionists are atheists or believe a same set of peculiar ideas. There is as much diversity of opinion amongst creationists as there is amongst evolutionists in regard to scientific peculiarities. There is an implication when you generalize creationists into a single category of beliefs. Therefore, clarification is needed as to avoid turning this encyclopedia entry into a generalization of creationism. The article is not about creationalists or how widespread their beliefs might be. This article is about transitional fossils. It is unwise to generalize when it is only a segment of the creationists who might believe as much. This is, after all, spelled out in the Wiki guidelines too. Ccchhhrrriiisss (talk) 11:16, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
The section cites reliable sources to back up its statements. If you think that denying the existence of abundant transitional fossils is not a majority view among creationists, feel free to improve the article by including such a statement - backed, of course, by reliable sources. I won't hold my breath.--Dr Marcus Hill (talk) 12:35, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
It is unprofessional to make accusations about creationists and say that they are "common" amongst all creationists. This leads the reader to believe that the statement is ture of every creationist. This is simply incorrect and quite misleading. In addition, we must remember that this article is not a rebuttal against creationism, but an article about transitional fossils. With so much discussion directed at creationism, you would think that this article is either an attack on the concept of creationism specifically, or an article on the debate between these views. Either way, we must be very careful about generalizing an entire segment simply because we assume this is what the majority of that group believes. Ccchhhrrriiisss (talk) 04:14, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
As the section currently stands, the claim is that these are misconceptions commonly put out by creationists. This is undeniably accurate (as can be seen from the sources cited). Stating that these are things commonly said by creationists does not imply that most creationists consider them to be true.--Dr Marcus Hill (talk) 13:33, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Comments about Creationism 2

The article includes two references to the same "Donald Prothero." Who is this guy...and why does his all-encompassing statement about the "favourite lie of creationists" even worthy of inclusion in this article? It seems that "Donald Prothero" doesn't merit enough fame to have an article in the Wikipedia. Besides, it seems like that would be better saved for an article on creationism rather than in an article on transitional fossils. Ccchhhrrriiisss (talk) 21:23, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

The reliability comes from New Scientist rather than Don Prothero. Please check the publisher of the reference and review WP:RS and WP:V. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 13:55, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

Missing link found

It seems to me that the additions under the heading "Missing link found" are inappropriate, especially with that heading, and even moreso without citations. But I will refrain from deleting them altogether, waiting for someone to convice me otherwise. It could give the impression to the casual reader that this fossil marks a significant transition between human and pre-human, but isn't it about 40 million years too early for that? TomS TDotO (talk) 16:51, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

Not only is it unsourced, but it appears to completely misrepresent what the fossil is in fact linking (lemurs to other primates, not other primates to humans). I have deleted it. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 17:29, 19 May 2009 (UTC)
It is sourced: On May 19, 2009, research led by Jørn Hurum of the Natural History Museum in Oslo, Norway unveils a 47-million-year-old fossil name Ida (Details linked from this site) that they say could revolutionize the understanding of human evolution at a ceremony at the American Museum of Natural History. He said the fossil creature was "the closest thing we can get to a direct ancestor" and described the discovery as "a dream come true" Filosofen (talk) 17:49, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

The link was showing as 404 not found, so I deleted it. The link has since worked, and seems to be a rather film heavy and uniformative official site. Science Daily has good coverage, it's Darwinius masillae and the type specimen has been called "Ida" – the Ida fossil and Ida (fossil) articles look like something to merge into Darwinius masillae. Worth hunting out the PLoS paper. Oh, and it's not The missing link, it's "yet another missing link, creating two new missing links". . dave souza, talk 18:07, 19 May 2009 (UTC) tweaked 18:16, 19 May 2009 (UTC) Links to the PLoS One paper here . . dave souza, talk 18:12, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

Useful commentary from John Wilkins, "There is no missing link : Evolving Thoughts". , as well as "A Discovery That Will Change Everything (!!!) ... Or Not : Laelaps".  and PZ: "Darwinius masillae : Pharyngula".  . . A more historically accurate perspective. . dave souza, talk 20:57, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

References

I've removed the following from the external links section; they should be embedded as inline citations rather than attached as links. The AIG article should be reviewed to see if it's worth citing as a "creationists believe"; naturally it's worthless for use as an actual reference. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 13:53, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

pov hell

need i say more? this whole article is dripping with pov and weasel words. i thought this was supposed to be an encyclopedia. are you people blind? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kellenwright (talkcontribs) 02:47, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

Actually you could say more. An actual example of what you consider POV would be very helpful. Aunt Entropy (talk) 17:11, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Removal of text

I have removed the "Common misrepresentations by creationists" for quite a few logical reasons.

-These "claims" are not false or misrepresentations, they are hypotheses that attempt to explain some of the possible fallacies that may lie within evolution. In order for something to be false, it must be proven ENTIRELY untrue, which has not happened here. The attack on claim number two comes close, however, these features are not partially functional...the are completely nonfunctional. -This section cannot be written in an objective manner without turning it into a section of debate -This is a blatant attack on Creationism, thus compromising the objectivity of the article -Creationists are not the only group who make these claims -Wikipedia is not a debate site. It presents the FACTS. Neither these claims nor the rebuttals against them are facts. Shicoco (talk) 03:05, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Well referenced section has been restored. Please gain consensus here before removing again. Vsmith (talk) 03:30, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

I have removed this again. First off, it violates WP:SOAP as well as as other policies. Secondly, a well referenced section does not mean a) it is objective b) it is true c) it is worthy of putting in d) it doesn't break the rules of Wikipedia. Shicoco (talk) 03:46, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Well referenced section has once again been restored and warning issued for it's second removal. If you feel it qualifies as WP:SOAP or violates wikipedia policies then I suggest a WP:RfC, instead of your attempt at just blanking a well referenced section. — raeky (talk | edits) 04:02, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Rfc: Common misrepresentations by Creationists section may be against WP policies

I would like comments on this section. It might not be neutral, and it contains logical fallacies (it says these "claims" are false, but they haven't been proven to be so, they are just debated to be so). I also don't think this section is very relevant to the article. Also, Creationists are not the only group of people who make these "claims", thus it attacks Creationists unjustifiably. Please comment objectively as I am. I would not wish to see this kind of section that attacks evolutionists on a creationist page. Shicoco (talk) 04:38, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

However, it's anti-evolutionists that make these claims, not just Creationists. Also, these claims are NOT FALSE! They are hypotheses as to ways evolution could be wrong. This turns this section into a debate! Shicoco (talk) 04:55, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Here's how I see it, non evolutionists claim a negative side, such as X is not possible because of Y, or there is a lack of Z. Evolutionists theorize how X could be possible, or theorize a good reason for a lack of Z. I think if this section is to be kept, it should be amended, to show some attacks against transitional fossils, and possible solutions made by evolutionists. The only other way to make it neutral is to show false claims by evolutionists, with commentaries by non-evolutionists, and that would turn this article into a reference for debate. Shicoco (talk) 05:03, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Isn't creationists and non evolutionists just two words for the same? Petter Bøckman (talk) 05:12, 17 August 2009 (UTC)
Plus I object to the term "evolutionist" it's a way for creationists to brand scientists/people under a false idea that evolution is a religion and that there are followers, evolutionists. You're ignoring the most important wikipedia rule: WP:FRINGE. Creationism is WP:FRINGE. Therefore views/ideas that do not support evolution are WP:FRINGE, therefore we at wikipedia give very little weight to them and all our articles are slanted towards the fact of evolution. No matter your personal beliefs in a supernatural explination of origin or not, supernatural explinations are WP:FRINGE and NOT science. So it is to be expected that scientific articles treat it as such. — raeky (talk | edits) 05:22, 17 August 2009 (UTC)
I think you hold a false paranoia about what people think of the term evolutionist lol. However, if you can come up with a suitable term for an "evolutionist" that doesn't offend you, I will oblige. But know that I regard evolution as a science.
And there are many athiests who are non-evolutionists. And here is a quote from WP:FRINGE "On the other hand, subjects such as creationism or creation science, which involve a direct conflict between scientific discoveries and religious doctrine, should be evaluated on both a scientific and a theological basis." Shicoco (talk) 05:32, 17 August 2009 (UTC)
Not really a "false paranoia", see: Evolutionism#Modern_usage. And your quote of WP:FRINGE means it needs to meet criteria for scientific articles, i.e. strong peer reviewed reliable sources. — raeky (talk | edits) 05:42, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Please ignore previous comments by Raeky, as they're off topic. Now, I would like legitimate comments. My vote is to remove the section, however, amendments are cool too. The word creationist should be removed from the title of the section, as there are athiests who use these claims against evolution. The word misrepresentation should also be removed, but that would devalue the section, so... PROPOSED SOLUTION - Rename section as something like "Anti-evolution arguments regarding transitional fossils". In the section, list the claims, and after, list proposed solutions to claims. For example: "There is a lack of transitional fossils." hypothesis: "A very small percentage of animals become fossilized." Any thoughts? Shicoco (talk) 06:03, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

My thoughts are that,frankly, you have no idea what you're talking about. Raeky's comments are quite on topic. There is NO reason to remove the section, nor reason to remove the word creationist, nor any atheists who bother to argue against evolution. Also - answering the claim that there is a lack of transitional fossils with anything other than the fact that there is no such lack and that the creationists are lying when they say there is would be a misrepresentation of the facts.Farsight001 (talk) 06:13, 17 August 2009 (UTC)
I want to limit this to discussion of the section. First off, if you have any idea that I'm some pro creationist guy who is out to get the theory evolution, please get rid of that thought. Now there is a lack of transitional fossils, but how big you think the lack is is up to you. Secondly, as creationists aren't the only ones who use these arguments, titling this with creationists is attacking creationists, something Wikipedia is not about. I wouldn't like such an attack on evolutionists either. What I want is complete neutrality. IN THE LEAST the title should be changed to "Common misrepresentations" Shicoco (talk) 06:24, 17 August 2009 (UTC)
prove it — raeky (talk | edits) 06:26, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

(edit conflict)::I fully agree with Farsight001. Can I also point out that we are not voting, we are having a discussion hoping to arrive at a consensus - see WP:PRACTICAL on polls. Also, the warning on Raeky's page that he may be blocked is a misuse of the template. There is no way I or any of my Admin colleagues are going to block Raeky for his comments above. Dougweller (talk) 06:32, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Great, discussion. Well, what about presenting this section as common anti-evolution arguments regarding transitional fossils, and possible solutions to the arguments? Really, at the moment, it's just a big attack. The quality of the article is not that of an encyclopedia nature, in my opinion. It should be more neutral. And I didn't read the template, I have the automated tool to do it. Anyways, thoughts on neutrality? Please try to be neutral yourselves. Wikipedia is not about discrediting Creationists, even if they do say stupid things. Shicoco (talk) 07:12, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Neutrality is given weight, for you to remove the word creationist from the title you need to sources that indicate that a substantial number of non-creationists have arguments against transitional fossils. Same with anything, neutrality is defined by due-weight. It's NOT a NPOV to remove creationists if in fact the overwhelming majority of people who have arguments against transitional fossils are in fact creationists. I don't think you understand wikipedia policy enough. You're being blinded by your beliefs here, and can't accept that in the scientific community they're considered fringe. Like I said, you're the one proposing these changes/edits, the burden of proof is on you. — raeky (talk | edits) 07:20, 17 August 2009 (UTC)
Good points, however, this isn't a scientific community here, this is a neutral community. At least it is in the articles. I'm not being led by my beliefs, I'm an English major, and frankly the quality of most wikipedia articles, including this one and this section, are not up to encyclopedia level. That's what I aim to improve. And besides all that matter, the section still is defamatory towards people. I don't care if it attacks as much as I care about it defaming people or insulting them. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Shicoco (talkcontribs) 07:33, 17 August 2009 (UTC)
Nobel as your ideas are on a "neutral community" you're misguided. Neutrality in wikipedia terms has a key component of undue weight and we also have funny concepts like verifiability and reliable sources. No matter what even a consensus of the editors here THINKS it doesn't get added to the article until it's verifiable and documented with reliable sources. Because the overwhelming critics of evolution and concepts like transitional fossils is creationists we given proper due weight to their arguments here. Just because a small percent of those may not actually self-identify as a creationist doesn't mean that they deserve weight in the article. And on the same note, just because some portion of the population believes God or the Flying Spaghetti Monster created life doesn't mean we give their arguments weight unless they're verifiable, documented in reliable sources and a majority view. Since there is no debate on the fact of evolution in the scientific community means that articles dealing with evolution and science doesn't give weight to any of the "evidence" against it. This is common wikipedia practice. You're opinion is not going to change this. — raeky (talk | edits) 07:42, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

As for me containing this argument, I'm not. Therefore I'm shunning you. Please do not contact me on my talk page anymore. You're arguments are not new and not productive to this article. Keep in mind I will continue to revert/remove your edits and warn you if they go against consensus. Thank you for your time. — raeky (talk | edits) 07:59, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

You still don't understand that this isn't about my opinions. But oh well. Perhaps this will just stay a bad article.

I could also argue you to prove that it's mostly creationists that use these claims. " ...but are also explained as a tactic actively employed by creationists seeking to distort or discredit evolutionary theory and have been called the "favourite lie" of creationists." What does creationists' anti-evolution tactics have to do with this article? Favourite lie of creationists? This is saying that Creationists are liars. For one, just disproving the claim is enough for this section, and secondly, this is attacking a group of people. This section is about misrepresentations right? Not about tactics or lying.

Claim 2 says "No fossils are found with partially functional features", but the argument uses vestigial organs to counter. Vestigial organs are not partially functional, they're completely useless, or very close to. They do hint that at some point in history they were partially useful, but this argument is probably begging the question "Where are the animals with the partial lungs and partial gills?" Certainly during the course of evolution, while the lung was developing, at some point the species could use both the features of the lungs and the gills. It's asking for fossils that show this. If there is proof of this, it needs to be put here pronto. Claim 3: "Henry M. Morris and other creationists have incorrectly claimed" Is it really important that we name someone specifically? According to the quote other creationists have also incorrectly claimed this too. "...claimed that evolution predicts a continuous gradation in the fossil record, and have misrepresented the expected partial record as having "systematic gaps".[5] Due to the specialized and rare circumstances required for a biological structure to fossilize, only a very small percentage of all life-forms that ever have existed can be expected to be represented in discoveries and each represents only a snapshot of the process of evolution." This is incorrect, and a logical fallacy of irrelevant conclusion. This does not disprove the argument; assume for a second Creationism were true; there can still be missing fossils. This also assumes that evolution is a fact. Claim 4 might just be irrelevant altogether. Shicoco (talk) 08:16, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

First, in response to a comment above - that you claim not to be a creationist is really meaningless. Creationists lie about such things regularly, thinking it will get them more authority or respect. I don't know if you are doing this, but if so, I'm obviously not being duped. If you aren't, you should have experience with creationists who do this and thus be understanding of my skepticism. (and frankly, you are indicating in pretty much everything you say that you are a creationist) Now to your points:
Vestigial organs DO retain some function. If you had just even checked the wiki article on them, you would see this. Also, a vestigial organ is not a partial organ. You are simply expressing a fundamental misunderstanding of how it works. As for the rest of your post - it just doesn't make any sense whatsoever. What are you even trying to say?Farsight001 (talk) 11:34, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Creationist misrepresentation section

Ok, I'm starting a new section because a previous user made this a Evolutionist vs Creationist argument. This is an objective discussion on possible problems with this section of the article. The "who" of the section is not important. I want to look into the neutrality of this section. Here are some points:

Claim 1: " ...but are also explained as a tactic actively employed by creationists seeking to distort or discredit evolutionary theory and have been called the "favourite lie" of creationists." What does creationists' anti-evolution tactics have to do with this article? Favourite lie of creationists? This is calling a group of people liars. For one, just disproving the claim is enough for this section, and secondly, this is attacking a group of people. This section is about misrepresentations right? Not about tactics or lying. If they are liars is it Wikipedia's place to announce it? Claim 2 says "No fossils are found with partially functional features", but the argument uses vestigial organs to counter. Vestigial organs are not partially functional, they're completely useless, or very close to. They do hint that at some point in history they were partially useful, but this argument is probably begging the question "Where are the animals with the partial lungs and partial gills?" Certainly during the course of evolution, while the lung was developing, at some point the species could use both the features of the lungs and the gills. It's asking for fossils that show this. If there is proof of this, it needs to be put here pronto. Claim 3: "Henry M. Morris and other creationists have incorrectly claimed" Is it really important that we name someone specifically? According to the quote other creationists have also incorrectly claimed this too. "...claimed that evolution predicts a continuous gradation in the fossil record, and have misrepresented the expected partial record as having "systematic gaps".[5] Due to the specialized and rare circumstances required for a biological structure to fossilize, only a very small percentage of all life-forms that ever have existed can be expected to be represented in discoveries and each represents only a snapshot of the process of evolution." This is incorrect, and a logical fallacy of irrelevant conclusion. This does not disprove the argument; assume for a second Creationism were true; there can still be missing fossils. This also assumes that evolution is a fact. Claim 4 might just be irrelevant altogether.

I would appreciate your thoughts. To me, a group is being attacked. Doesn't matter who's being attacked, just the fact that they are...that is if you think they are being attacked. Your thoughts, please. Shicoco (talk) 08:27, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

From WP:NPV "Try not to quote directly from participants engaged in a heated dispute; instead, summarize and present the arguments in an impartial tone." Take a look at the page...some of it MAY apply here. What does everyone else think? Shicoco (talk) 08:41, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Creationist claims about transitional fossils

Since we proposed punctuated equilibria to explain trends, it is infuriating to be quoted again and again by creationists -- whether through design or stupidity, I do not know -- as admitting that the fossil record includes no transitional forms. The punctuations occur at the level of species; directional trends (on the staircase model) are rife at the higher level of transitions within major groups.

— Evolution as Fact and Theory Science and Creationism, Stephen Jay Gould
No fossils are found with partially functional features

There is also evidence that a complex feature can adapt to wholly different functions through exaptation (such as the wings of birds).

Henry M. Morris

HrafnTalkStalk(P) 09:38, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Hrafn's argument looks fine to me. Guettarda (talk) 19:42, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

To me too. I'd only vote for changing the section if Shicoco (or someone else) have reputable references for his claims.Petter Bøckman (talk) 21:31, 17 August 2009 (UTC)
I must say I don't see a big problem with the section. It is well sourced. It reads as being a little harsh towards the creation science crowd, but WP:UNDUE requires psuedo science, and there is no room for doubt that the scientific community treats creation science as psuedo science, to be clearly labled as such or ignored, and given the amount of attention this topic has received it is impossible to ignore. It is hard to point out that something is considerd psuedo science without sounding critical. Frankly, I am more concerned by the "Comparison to 'intermediate' forms" section which has a number of unsourced assertions. Rusty Cashman (talk) 18:58, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
Actually a little careful rewording, especially of the first sentence might be in order. I would suggest changing "Proponents of creationism frequently make false claims about the existence or implications of transitional fossils. Common false claims include:" to "Proponents of creationism have frequently made claims about the existence or implications of transitional fossils that the scientific community considers to be false and misleading. Some of these claims include:" I think that would be a little more encyclopedic and would make it clear who considers the claims to be fasle. Rusty Cashman (talk) 19:09, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
I'd have no problem with that. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 19:22, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
Ditto, good suggestion. Petter Bøckman (talk) 21:35, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
I am inclined to agree with Rusty. However I would like to see an explicit reliable source that describes "proponents of creationism making frequent claims about transitional fossils". Axl ¤ [Talk] 17:00, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
The Stephen Jay Gould quote above is one such source. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 18:31, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
See also [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16]. . dave souza, talk 19:02, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment The article seems to about 'Controversy about transitional fossils' rather than 'Transitional fossils'. If it is just about transitional fossils as a scientific subject then it should just state the current scientific view on the subject. No reference to creationists or any other non-scientific group should be made. Martin Hogbin (talk) 22:38, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
  • I agree with Martin Hogbin. Ditch the creationism section altogether. In particular, articles on biology should never refer to creationism. --TS 12:17, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
    • I agree. Put in a see also to Creationism or whatever article is appropriate, make sure that article mentions the controversy. Dougweller (talk) 12:23, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
      • I disagree with you, Gentlemen. Transitional fossils seem to be a hot topic in creationism, and as such I think the section has it's place here. Petter Bøckman (talk) 14:57, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
        • A "hot topic in creationism"? The mind boggles. Anyway, I'm with Martin and Doug. I did think it was a mistake to delete the section at first, but the article is primarily a science topic and isn't improved by false and disproven claims by creationists. Some reference to the "interest" of creationists is certainly merited, but a relatively long-winded description of their "ideas" should really be saved for articles specifically on creationist topics. We need to be careful that science articles are not needlessly afflicted by expansive sections on pseudoscience that distract from mainstream content. --PLUMBAGO 21:26, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
          • It boggles the mind indeed! I have nothing against shortening it up, but before significant changes are done the section Keep, amend, mention or delete "Misconceptions" section-section should be considered. Petter Bøckman (talk) 07:07, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

Missing link found

An early instance of the phrase appears in "Soapy" Samuel Wilberforce's 1860 review of On the Origin of Species, p. 247 "in the vast museum of departed animal life which the strata of the earth imbed for our examination, whilst they contain far too complete a representation of the past to be set aside as a mere imperfect record, yet afford no one instance of any such change as having ever been in progress, or give us anywhere the missing links of the assumed chain...." . . . dave souza, talk 22:11, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

Creationism section

In my view this otherwise quite well written piece on a scientific subject is marred by a section discussing some long-refuted canards that have no scientific credibility at all. Would it not be better to merge this section into an article on creationist arguments? The treatment in the article at present lends massively undue weight to notions that rightly command little or no respect in scientific discourse. Tasty monster (TS on one of those new fangled telephone thingies) 00:56, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

We've been over it a few times, and the consensus seems to be that the section belong here.Petter Bøckman (talk) 07:59, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
Creationist arguments about transitional fossils are covered in other articles, and they play no significant part in the scientific debate. Perhaps it would be appropriate to summarise here and direct to the more comprehensive articles. Tasty monster (TS on one of those new fangled telephone thingies) 05:02, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
While the creationist arguments may not be considered scientifically valid, legitimate scientists have gone out of their way to address those arguments in reliable sources and are still doing so in such recent sources as Jerry Coyne's Why Evolution is True, Richard Dawkins' Greatest Show on Earth, Ken Miller's Only a Theory etc. as well as in the works of Stephen Jay Gould and other sources cited by this article. As long as the arguments have been discussed in multiple reliable scientific sources it is perfectly reasonable for this article to summerize those discussions and their conclusions as it does. Sometimes scientific topics have implications beyond science, and given how prominently this particular scientific topic has figured into the evolution-creation controversy I don't see any reason not to discuss the role it has played in that controversy as long as the discussion cites reliable soureces. Rusty Cashman (talk) 09:28, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

Okay, I think the fact that biologists have spent a lot of energy rebutting creationist arguments on this subject weighs in its favor. Tasty monster (TS on one of those new fangled telephone thingies) 11:08, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

'Common arguments by creationists'

That is a highly discriminatory title, isn't it? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 65.92.46.83 (talk) 04:27, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Why? They're common. They're arguments. And they're from creationists.Farsight001 (talk) 04:33, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Npov

I have changed the subtitle to the npov 'Creationism' but the article still implies science/Bible hybrid theories like Progressive Creationism don`t exist... andycjp (talk) 04:39, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

Section title restored, it was about "arguments" and sourced as such. The section does not state "all creationists". Vsmith (talk) 04:45, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
I'd also point out that "science/Bible hybrid" creationist views quite frequently argue against transitional fossils (particularly Ape->Human transitions) -- Casey Luskin over at the Discovery Institute seems to spend quite a bit of time on the subject. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 05:06, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

Keep, amend, mention or delete "Misconceptions" section

Okay folks, let's stop the edit warring and reverting genuine attempts to improve the section, and discuss this amicably. Simply looking at the discussions above, most of which focusses on this section, it's clear that its wording is disputed and it is becoming a distraction from the discussing the main thrust of the article. There are (at least) 4 options:

  • Keep - the section is acceptable, balanced, appropriate to the article and meets Wiki guidelines e.g. for NPOV, citations, etc.
  • Amend - the section is appropriate to the article, but needs significant work to bring it up to Wiki standards
  • Mention - the section gives too much prominence within the article to a minority debate. It only merits a brief neutral mention plus any suitable references or links
  • Delete - the section is inappropriate here, adds little to the main topic and risks being an unwelcome distraction from it

Remember this is not about whether you agree with the theory of evolution or not; it's about whether you think the section portrays the alternative view(s) in a balanced and neutral way. --Bermicourt (talk) 17:37, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

  • Keep: these creationist misconceptions are noteworthy, egregious & longstanding, as demonstrated by the citations, and as this quote further demonstrates: HrafnTalkStalk(P) 19:23, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Since we proposed punctuated equilibria to explain trends, it is infuriating to be quoted again and again by creationists -- whether through design or stupidity, I do not know -- as admitting that the fossil record includes no transitional forms. The punctuations occur at the level of species; directional trends (on the staircase model) are rife at the higher level of transitions within major groups.

— Stephen Jay Gould in The Panda's Thumb (1980, p189)
  • Keep this misconception is a major talking point and I think the section adequately describes it and its shortcomings. General enough for a layman or student to get what they need. Maybe add some see also links to the various controversy pages. Nowimnthing (talk) 21:38, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Keep I think that this section definitely needs to stay as the existence of transitional fossils is widely accepted by the scientific community. I would rather have the section worded in a more conclusive fashion, however with each issue having a referenced claim and a referenced refutation. As it is written it is not strong enough. Desoto10 (talk) 22:25, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Keep, that is unless the opposing side can show reputable sources saying otherwise. Petter Bøckman (talk) 20:03, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Amend I agree with Desoto10 (should that not be an amend too?). POV words like "claim" need to be replaced with NPOV words like "state". POV supposition like "also explained as a tactic actively employed by creationists seeking to distort or discredit evolutionary theory" needs to be deleted. The section beginning "Although transitional fossils demonstrate..." is surely part of the main article and should not be relegated to what currently reads more than an opponent-bashing section, rather than a neutral summary of a minority opinion. This is not about which side of the argument we're on - it's about responsible, credible and neutral articles. Let the reader make up his own mind. --Bermicourt (talk) 14:35, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
You refer to POV – don't forget WP:GEVAL is relevant to avoiding giving undue weight to fringe views. . . dave souza, talk 15:39, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Keep - these claims are frequently trumpeted by lying creationists, ergo they are frequently repeated in news and popular sources and encountered by the general public. They are also blatantly false and downright mendacious. It is inappropriate to refer to it as a debate within science, so I have retitled the section "popular misrepresentations by creationists". This should remain a separate section with appropriate prominence to address these claims. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 16:32, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
Since the article has to give due weight to the majority scientific view, "popular" seems rather inappropriate. The usual term is "common". . . dave souza, talk 18:09, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
Noted, changed, thanks! WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 21:34, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Keep with the amendments alredy made as detailed above. Unfortunately, many readers will need to have exactly these misconceptions corrected, as they are so commonly parroted by creationists on many fora.--Dr Marcus Hill (talk) 13:26, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Keep -- although typically I don't like mention of creationism on science articles, this one is helpful to the readers. Aunt Entropy (talk) 17:14, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Keep and Amend - This article is about Transitional Fossils and not about the ongoing debate between science and creationism. Perhaps this can be mentioned here...and linked to a different page. As is, some writers are injecting their POV quite well, while others are creating "lump sum" straw man arguments that lump all creationists together as participants in this argument. There are many, many creationists who do not hold to the statements that have been included in the misconception section. Identifiers need to be included to make a distinction that this is held by a group of loud creationists, and not creationists in general. Regardless of the source "evidence," there are divisions within creationism just like there are divisions within physicists in regard to certain matters. I agree with Aunt Entropy that a mention of this might be helpful to the article, but as long as it is clear that the controversy isn't indicative of all people who hold a creationist perspective. Ccchhhrrriiisss (talk) 12:14, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Delete or Amend - If you are going to keep this section I would suggest that you also include some of the reasonable objections by Intelligent Design, namely the Precambrian Explosion and the fact that there really is no evidence of a transitional fossil (or at least the reasons that ID says that many of them are not true "links"). This entire article smacks as an attack at Intelligent Design and just because you link comments by certain scientists who say it is ridiculous doesn't make it true. I can link plenty of comments by respected scientists who would disagree with a lot of this. The bottom line is that you can't prove this theory (KEY WORD HERE) completely and in fact it seems like most of the recent discoveries make Darwinism more foolish. If you are going to attack Intelligent Design then it should be represented fairly.pkl728 (talk) 13:34, 9 September 2011 (CST)
  • Keep The section accurately reflects claims made by prominent creationists and responses to them by prominent members of the scientific community. Such claims and responses on this topic are noteworthy enough to justify at least a brief discussion in this article. It is true that the section does not attempt to treat crationist/ID claims equally with the responses to those claims, but this is required by WP:UNDUE, which requires that articles on scientific article be weighted in favor of the consensus of the scientific community when there is one. Since scientific consensus on this (or any other) topic is established through publications in peer reviewed scientific journals, it is pretty clear what that consensus is on this particular issue. Rusty Cashman (talk) 19:43, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

Missing Link = Transitional Fossil

I am a bit lost as to why these two terms are being/ have been equated. Surely "missing link" would refer to a transitional fossil that is thought to exist, but an example of which has not been found and which would fit in between two known fossils - i.e., missing. On the other hand, "transitional fossils" would mean any one, found or unfound. You could then say something like "In the series of transitional fossils representing hominid evolution, there are a few missing links". --Rui ''Gabriel'' Correia (talk) 15:55, 13 April 2010 (UTC)

Yes, I completely agree with this. A transitional fossil is surely not a missing link unless it is actually missing. There are examples of transitional fossils which have been found so they are definitely not missing. I would suggest that the first sentence be reworded to: "Transitional fossils (the absence of one of these is popularly called a missing link)" - any thoughts? --AJ00200 (talk) 13:20, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

"Common creationist arguments" needs cleanup

The vestigal structures listed are not vestigal. This idea was disproven decades ago. Whales use their "legs" for reproduction. The human appendix is part of the immune system. Look up the actual function of the coccyx.

I have no opposition to evolution, but I am not going to use fallacious arguments to try to back up my views. It just makes evolutionists look foolish.

The whole section reeks of weasel words and bias, starting with the title. Change the title to "Criticism" and use words such as intelligent design instead of repeating creationist/ism 8 times. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 173.102.180.215 (talk) 20:27, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

A vestigial organ or other body part is not useless or purposeless. Vestigial simply means that the purpose has changed or lessened in importance. With proper comprehension of the term vestigial, the section makes perfect sense.Farsight001 (talk) 21:26, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
Also, changing the wording from "creationist" to "intelligent design" does not improve the section. Most of the criticism comes from groups preferring a literal interpretation of the Genesis, and who thus would not fall into the category of "intelligent design". Petter Bøckman (talk) 07:53, 11 March 2011 (UTC)

Transitional vs ancestral

I am a wikipedia newbie, so I thought I would jump-in here first rather than edit the article only to have it rolled back. I believe that the Transitional vs ancestral section of the article could be re-written as follows:

... There are a few exceptions to this. Some groups of planktonic, marine micro-organisms such as foraminifera, diatoms, and radiolaria have fossil records complete enough to show transitions from one species (or genus) to another. But in general, transitional fossils are ... [note: replace the bold text here with appropriate links]

I would also like to contribute material on one such transtional sequence, namely the Globigerinoides sacculifer to Orbulina universa transition in Neogene foraminifera. I'm not sure which article I would place this in, though. Richardjb25 (talk) 17:11, 28 March 2011 (UTC) richardjb25

Go ahead, and if you have, please ad source for the statements. If you are unfamiliar with how the source system work, I can ad it for you if you post the title here. Petter Bøckman (talk) 17:21, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Thought

Concerning the "Common Creationist Arguments" section, I will remove most of it, as it butchers and does not accurately represent Creationist theories. There is an article dedicated to this subject, to which I will include a link. If anyone is interested in what Creationists have to say about transitional fossils, then they can go to the respective article, and end all of this needless bickering. I also ask that you leave it alone for at least one day (preferably a week), and see how many people complain. I by the end of a week, there are enough people dissatisfied with the way this solution works, then I will let it go and let you return to your bickering. Thank you,Hawkrawkr (talk) 17:45, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

I don't think this works very well. To just have "Proponents of creationism have frequently made claims about the existence or implications of transitional fossils that paleontologists consider to be false,[11][12] and in some cases deliberately misleading." with no explanation is confusing. It is also a misuse of "see also". You should have at least a summary of the topic in the article where the "see also" is and have the "see also" refer to further information, not take the place of the section. Also as often as there has been a consensus reached on this topic on this page I think it was very bad form to make a change of this magnitude without reaching a consensus on the talk page first.Rusty Cashman (talk) 18:20, 18 April 2011 (UTC)


Hawkrawkr:

  1. Please cite sources demonstrating that this article "butchers and does not accurately represent Creationist theories."
  2. Given Stephen Jay Gould's famous quote on the subject, it is clear that creationist misrepresentations of transitional fossils are a prominent part of this topic.
  3. There is not a "respective article" to which "they can go". This is the only article covering this material, and would seem the most logical place for it besides.

HrafnTalkStalk(P) 18:31, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

Hawkrawkr:
As should be very evident from the sources quoted, the Creationist standpoints discussed are neither butchered nor inaccurate. Thay may not be your personal standpoints, but that does not stop a very vocal group from having just these standpoints. Moreover, a discussion of these standpoints against the actual facts do belong here. Petter Bøckman (talk) 18:47, 18 April 2011 (UTC)


Cladistics and "intermediate" sections

The section on transitional fossils under in cladistic understanding is not good. The text is unclear and it lacks sources. Basically, there won't be any transitional critters if there are no group that a new group can evolve from. If dinosaurs contain birds (cladistic view) Archaeopteryx (or crow or chicken) becomes just another dinosaur, and not transitional between anything. Old aunty Archy will only be transitional if birds evolved from dinosaurs (evolutionary taxonomy view). Any group that has another group evolving from it is by definition paraphyletic. Essentially, there are no transitional fossils in phylogenetic taxonomy, I suggest we leave it at that.

The section on transitional versus intermediate forms is also not very clear. Are there any sources for the use of the two? The explanation given in the List of transitional fossils is quite a lot simpler, though it too lacks sources for the use of the two words. Petter Bøckman (talk) 08:25, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

If you think you've got the understanding & the sources necessary, then be WP:BOLD. :) HrafnTalkStalk(P) 08:47, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
It's not very complicated really, but I lack proper sources. Petter Bøckman (talk) 09:21, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

External Link Deletion

Can someone please explain to me, a wiki-newbie, why my contribution to the external link section of this article was deleted. I admit that the article in question was not a primary source but a sort of "popular science" rendering of the research. Should I have linked to the actual research article, instead?

Given that this is an article on transitional fossils, I would like to think that a paper documenting an actual fossil transition from one genus to another would be useful. In my opinion, the research in question is important. This transitional series (for which there is both bio-stratigraphic and 'evo-developmental' evidence) could serve as an agreed upon example of evolution to which the more moderate creationists could/should subscribe to. This might move the discussion beyond the (erroneous) micro/macro-evolution distinction. Richardjb25 (talk) 22:02, 7 July 2011 (UTC) richardjb25

The reason I deleted it was that first and foremost the website is a creationist website, secondly it didn't seem to be a very notable website that significantly would increase the understanding of the subject beyond what is already covered in the article. It also didn't seem to be very indepth. I think it probably fails #1 and #2 on WP:ELNO. Please review WP:EL for our guidelines on external links. And for other peoples reference the website was: http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/creation/orbulina.html — raekyt 23:49, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
Well, to be fair, having looked at it a little, I don't think that this is a creationist website at all. This isn't obvious because the website consists of a tree-like structure of nested lists of topics and you have to trace down to some of the leaf articles to get to any meat. However, it is still not clear to me that it adds a lot as an external link for this particular article, but it was interesting to look at, and it might be an appropriate external link for some of the evolution-creation controversy articles. Rusty Cashman (talk) 17:05, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Actually this page from the same website would be more on point for this article and might be an appropriate external link for it. There is certainly nothing creationist about it:) Rusty Cashman (talk) 17:25, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Evidence:
1. (http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/creation/index.html) bible quote at the top.
2. "Scientific Creationism" "They say that evolution is 'in crisis'" "How did science manage to screw up so badly over evolution?" "Could scientists really just cling to it out of pride, or atheism?"
3. (http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/creation/what_i_believe.html) "I believe that Creation - that is, nature - is not deceptive. Anything which Creation clearly and unambiguously shows, must be Truth. Whenever Revealed Truth is in conflict with Creation itself, humans must somehow have mistranslated, or misinterpreted."
It's clear this is a BIASED CREATIONIST website. Nothing on there can be assumed to be unbiased or properly quoted. The author has no biology background and therefore is not an expert on evolutionary theory so there is no expert authority on the website either. — raekyt 17:42, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

Sigh, the point about expert authority is fair and for that reason I would not cite this website as a reliable source, but the standards for external links are not and should not be the same as for cited sources. If a cite is interesting, and the information on it seems reasonably sound I think it is reasonable candidate for an external link. As for the rest of your points I don't think they show what you seem to think they show. Starting with your point 3. That is the direct opposite of the sentiment I would expect to find on a creationist website. What it says is that nature doesn't lie, and if what you see in nature is in conflict with what you believe is divinely revealed truth, then you have mistranslated or misinterpreted the divine revelation. That is the antithesis of what a creationist would say, which is that if what you see in nature appears to conflict with divinely revealed truth then you have misinterpreted nature. Not only is the belief stated not consistent with creationism, it is essentially the position of every religion that does NOT reject modern science. Now as to your point 2. Those are questions that he has identified that he wants to address. Before you go making claims about what they show about his point of view shouldn't you look at his answers? His answer to the atheism question says: "People with "Philosophy of Science" degrees hold that science and religion are separate, and do not overlap. Scientists (as scientists) are not supposed to have opinions about religion. Science is the study of nature, i.e. Creation, and that's that. There is a difference between being a-theistic (denying God) and non-theistic (not mentioning God). Plumbers (as plumbers) don't mention God either. Scientists (and plumbers) may do so in their private lives, but it's not part of their job." Does that sound creationist? How about his answer to the evolutions in crises question, which says: "It's considered an interesting field, maybe even exciting. We continue to find prehuman fossils. New Precambrian fossil beds have been found. New transitional forms between dinosaurs and birds have been found. CAT scan technology has allowed us to look at the interiors of fossils." Does that sound creationist? The idea behind this website is not unlike that of objections to evolution. If you want to say that it should not be used as an external link because the person who created the link is not a biologist, I don't agree but I won't fight you too hard on the point. However, I won't let you get away with calling wet dry, or black white, or label a very well organized and written anti-creationist website as a creationist site, just because you haven't looked closely enough to see what it is actually saying. Rusty Cashman (talk) 06:21, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

Ok after careful review I have added this page: *A Smooth Fossil Transition: single celled Radiolarian to the external link section. It is a very nice illustration of a transitional sequence at the speciation level, and it expands on a point touched on in the article, which is that the fossil record of some marine plankton is complete enough to establish with confidence in some cases that one species is actually ancestral to another. The site cites its own sources, which are quite reliable, so there shouldn't be an issue of authority. It is not that different from the page that was originally selected by Richardjb25, which I am now convinced would have been a perfectly acceptable external link for this article, but I think it is an even more appropriate choice. Rusty Cashman (talk) 19:50, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
I don't think consensus has been even remotely approached here for the addition of this site to the external links. So I once again, removed it. The website is clearly non-authoritative and christian biased, I can't see how this is the most reliable resource that would benefit a reader looking for additional information about this subject. — raekyt 04:16, 14 July 2011 (UTC)
I rather favour Rusty's view here, the author is only "creationist" in its broadest sense as including theistic evolution, and is no more creationist than the reputable Kenneth R. Miller. See the What I Believe page, which is fully compatible with Darwin's quotation in OtOOS about following the book of God's works, and reading the book of God's words in that context. So, creationism isn't an issue. The Radiolarian page gives a good and simple explanation for non-experts, supporting standard views of evolution and transitional fossils. The question of the author's expertise is a good one, but we don't require journalists to be experts in the topic. More to the point is that this is self-published, so questionable to that extent. . . dave souza, talk 04:33, 14 July 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Dave that this is not creationist (not in the modern sense of denying evolution or other aspects of modern biology, geology, or cosmology). This can be seen here The Belief Spectrum: Who Believes What? where he discusses a spectrum of creationist beliefs that starts with flat earthers and geocentrists, before moving through YECs, old earth creationists, ID, and theistic evolution. Creationists hate having their ideas compared to flat earthism or geocentrism, even if the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod was advocating geocentrism until the 1920s. As for the self published issue, it is no more or less self published than Transitional species in insect evolution, which has been a perfectly good external link for this article for a while now. I wouldn't use it for a reliable source on a science article but it makes a reasonably interesting and informative external link. I strongly feel that the standards for RS and external links should not be the same. Sources should be authoritative, where as entries in external links and further reading should not be misleading or provide obviously false information, but the primary criteria for them should be that they are interesting and informative. If we strictly require that they not be self published and as authoritative as cited sources we loose useful sites like strangeScience, which has a number of pages (starting with its timeline) that make good external links for various articles. Rusty Cashman (talk) 09:15, 14 July 2011 (UTC)
If ya'll feel its necessary to link to that page, and meets the requirements of WP:EL go for it. The bible quote and wording of the front page of the site though makes me wonder about the site though, enough that I wouldn't link to it. Surely if it's NECESSARY to link to this information there is a more authoritative source? Think of it this way, is this the BEST source out there for this information? — raekyt 06:45, 15 July 2011 (UTC)

I have looked and I can't find an alternative external link for this particularly informative instance of Radiolarian speciation. I found abstracts of this scientific paper and this one that discuss the same speciation event but the bodies of the articles and any illuminating diagrams like the one in the external link candidate are available with a subscription only. Jerry Coyne discusses it in his book Why Evolution is True and he does have a nice diagram similar to the one in the proposed external link, but without permission to reproduce it in our article it doesn't help us. What looking at these sources does do is further convince me that the information in the proposed external link is completely correct, so unless someone raises another objection soon I am going to restore it. Rusty Cashman (talk) 06:14, 16 July 2011 (UTC)

The reason I originally contributed the external link to the foraminifera page on the Don Lindsay site (that started this whole thread) was that the original scientific article (Stable isotopic evidence for the sympatric divergence of Globigerinoides trilobus and Orbulina universa) was not available free and clear on the net. If it had been, I would have cited it in the section on ancestor/descendants.

I am not sure that the importance of this foraminifera series (and the radiolarian series) has been grasped. These foraminifera represent an empirically verifiable morphological transition over a continous sequence of strata. Evo-developmental data shows that these morpholgical changes represent real genetic changes and not just environmental variability. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Richardjb25 (talkcontribs) 18:47, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

Relation to evolutionary theory

Both these sentences are OR as far as I'm concerned:

"According to modern evolutionary synthesis, all populations of organisms are in transition. Therefore, a "transitional form" is a human construct, a selected form that vividly represents a particular evolutionary stage recognized in hindsight".

In the first place it is no part of the evolutionary synthesis that all organisms are in transition, and I bet you will not be able to find a statement from any of the main participants in the ev syn to support it. In transition to what, incidentally? Although some such as Dobzhansky defined evolution as a change in the frequency of alleles in a population, this definition was always strongly resisted by others, such as Mayr.

If by 'in transition' you mean speciation, then it is almost universally agreed that the rate of origin of new species varies in different groups (groups = higher taxonomic levels than species). It was Simpson who put this most forcibly. It is in the explanation of this observation that such as Gould differed from such as Mayr.

Because the rate of speciation differs so much (as observed in the fossil record) it is not right to say the whole phenomenon is a human construct, except in the sense that all taxonomy is a construct. The question as to whether species are an objective reality has been endlessly discussed. The majority view is 'yes', and that is why the 'biological species concept' is still seen as important. Like all natural systems, there can be debate about the details. The existence of change and evolution does not negate the reality of most species as ecological and population groups which can be identified with a large (and sometimes universal) consensus.

All that being the case, it is wrong (and OR) to suggest that transition from one taxonomic group to another is going on all the time, and the choice of a fossil as transitional is somehow at the whim of the observer ('human construct'). That is the reverse of the truth. The example of Archaeopteryx is apt, because almost no-one has disagreed with its transitional status, and it is only in recent years that any others have been included as dinosaur-bird transitions.

The context of this discussion is (as stated) the counter-attack by anti-Darwinians that no transitional species existed between higher groups. Today, the only issue is why they are so comparatively rare. The answer is widely agreed. It is because the transitions happen relatively fast, and in relatively small populations. This means that fossils of transitional species are comparatively rare. This is compared to the vast, slowly changing (or effectively static) populations which form the bulk of the biota at any one time.

Tailpiece: I especially like the "recognised in hindsight" bit. I've yet to meet a fossil any other way! Macdonald-ross (talk) 06:13, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

I think you are right Macdonald-ross. I suppose the somewhat strange first sentence is an attempt at explaining transitional fossils in a cladistic context. In phylogenetic nomenclature there won't be any transitional fossils, in as much as one group is always a subgroup of a larger group. I think the sentence should be understood in that light (and amended accordingly). Petter Bøckman (talk) 10:21, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
I have taken a stab at making it a little more clear. However, I have retained one of the main points, which is that transitional fossils serve to remind us that taxonomy IS an arbitrary human construct (if you don't believe it is just consult the voluminous literature debating whether a particular fossil belongs to the genus Homo or Australopithecus). This was one of Darwin's main points in The Origin of Species. That doesn't mean that taxonomic divisions are not real, just that they are inevitably somewhat arbitrary, and the hindsight point is valid. I doubt very much that if naturalists had lived at the time of Archaeopteryx they would have realized it was in any sense transitional. Rather they would have thought it was just one of a number of feathered theropod dinosaurs that had taken to flying. It would only be after the "transitional" forms had died out that it would become apparent that birds and dinosaurs were different things. Same with the humans and the southern apes. Rusty Cashman (talk) 16:25, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
It's better, but we are not there quite yet. In the current edit, an intermediate fossil share characteristics of the two clades. This can't be right. If we stick to the well charted reptile -> bird (or dinosaur -> bird) transition, what clades are we talking about? Birds is one clade, but cladisticaly both reptiles and dinosaurs as understood in this case are not clades, but grades. An intermediate (i.e. Archaeopteryx), will (if we stick to cladistic terms) combine primitive traits as found it the more basal groups with derived features from the daughter clade (e.g. teeth and long tail from various reptiles/dinosaurs, combined with feathers). The whole concept of a transitional fossil hangs on an evolutionary taxonomic understanding of the world, where "one group are ancestral to another". If we move too far away from this understanding, the idea of something being transitional loose all meaning, except as a purely ecological description (e.g. being halfway between being a land animal and a water animal). Petter Bøckman (talk) 20:21, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
No, you miss 2 points. The 2nd point is that (as the body of the article explains) transitional fossils are not necessarily ancestral to organisms on either side of the split, or at least there is almost never anyway to know if they are. They are merely fossils that are related to and share key characteristics with the last common ancestor of both branches. Archaeopteryx is a classic example. It has been argued that it is on the bird side of the split, on the theropod side of the split or represents another split from the theropod dinosaurs that occured before or after the split that led to birds. The odds are long that we will never have enough fossils of its close relatives to be sure which idea is right. As to the first point you missed obviously all dinosaurs are not a sister clade to birds, nor are all theropods in a sister clade to birds. Neither of those groups is a clade at all if you exclude birds. The sister clade to birds may be Deinonychosauria. Whether or not that is true there existed some theropod species (call it theropod X) that was the last common ancestor of all birds that also had other descendants that were NOT birds, and it is those non-avian descendants of theropod X that are the sister clade to birds. Rusty Cashman (talk) 09:12, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
I did not miss the first point you mention. I know perfectly well that any fossil (with the exception like planctonic species mentioned in the article) will to some extent be off the actual ancestral track. That is not what I'm arguing here. The point I wanted to make is in the wording. A transitional fossil as the term is commonly used is not transitional between two clades, but rather between a grade and the excluded daughter clade. There's a rather comprehensive list of transitional fossils that illustrate this point well. It is more a matter of semantics: For something to be transitional, it must be in transition from one state to another. In other words, it must evolve from something and into something else.
Let's for the sake of the argument say Archaeopteryx branches off very close to the Deinonychus/Vulturus node. If so, it would be a fairly typical small deinonychosaurian. It's traits would be typical for the Denonychosauria (teeth, claws, feathered tail and wing). Only when you treat Dinosauria or Theropoda as a group excluding birds, do Archaeopteryx show a "mixture of traits". All the traits that separate birds from Denonychosaurians (beak, clawless hands, pygostyle, fusiform torax etc) evolved after Aunty Archy split off. The only trait that can be demonstrated for Aves and not for at least a sample of Deinonychosaurians is flight. Then again, I don't need to open the can of worms on whether Aunty Archy actually flew, and whether other small Deinonychosaurians may have flown too, do I? If you want to look at another example, then why is Australopithecus transitional between apes and humans? Or why is Ichthyostega transitinal between fish and tetrapods? Or Ambulocetus transitional between artiodactylans and whales? Only by treating apes, fish and artiodactylans as some sort of unit (evolutionary grades) can these critters bet transitional between one group and another. Petter Bøckman (talk) 10:16, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

Ok, I understand your point better now, and "mixture of characteristics" was probably not ideal terminology. I have reworded the lead a little. I agree that the concept of "transitional" fossils is rooted in evolutionary taxonomy. With cladistics the concept would be more along the line of "organism similar to the common ancestor of" rather than "organism transistional between", but I think we are stuck with the older term and it is just necessary to, carefully and clearly, explain how the older concept fits in to the newer way of thinking. Rusty Cashman (talk) 18:11, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

Re 'arbitrary': I think the last sentence of the intro was far too strong as it stood. Classification is indeed a human construct, but, because of the gaps between species (often) and between higher groups, it is not necessarily arbitrary. It depends upon argument and consensus, like so much else. Macdonald-ross (talk) 18:38, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
Well I would argue that, as the discussion above indicates any line you draw between theropod dinosaur and bird is going to be arbitrary and the more fossils are found the more arbitrary the distinction looks. Same with the fish tetrapod divide. However, I wont't insist on the word as I think the lead makes the point anyway.
Well, yes and no. Any critter in these lines will resemble their parents and offspring more then anything else; so any line, when you go down to the scale of generations, will be arbitrary. On the other hand, these shifts represent major ecological transitions (water -> land and land -> air), and and it can be argued that these transitions are far from arbitrary. Arbitrariity will thus be a matter of scale. The two mentioned here are at class-level, i.e. fairly coarse scale.
How arbitrary the line will be is also a matter of how fast the transition took place. Did flight evolve fast, over a few (hundred or thousand) generations, or did it evolve gradually over a prolonged glider-phase? Going from water to land took the better part of the Devonian, but the shift from finrayes to toes (i.e from fins to feet) may have involved a single mutation and thus be a real, non-arbitrary divide, though one only recongniceable in hindsight. Petter Bøckman (talk) 06:28, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
Even if something like toes was a single mutation you have the question of whether or not it happened only once in one lineage or did it happen multiple times in parallel lineages (only one of which survived). That probably isn't too likely in the case of the fish/tetrapod fin vs finger split, but is all too likely in the case of the feathered terapods.
You mean several theropod lineages may have evolved flying independently, but only one of those lineages survived? If you classify those other flying critters as birds, you get a polyphyletic Aves. Since even die-hard traditionalists don't want polypyly, the other fliers would have been some sort of "Paraaves" rather than Aves proper. Their evolution would have no bearing on the evolution of "our" line of birds, other than as possible competitors. We are looking for the transition between Reptilia and Aves proper, not between Reptilia and a hypothetical Paraaves. Petter Bøckman (talk) 10:14, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

My point is the very definitions of Aves and Paraves, and Deinonychosauria might be arbitrary (and are in fact under debate). There are already some who are suggesting that Archaeopteryx belongs in Deinonychosauria along with Xiaotingia rather than in Aves. On the other hand with some of the older Dromaeosaridae looking more bird like than the later ones, and with some like microraptor almost certainly having some kind of flight, it has already been suggested that the Dromaeosaridae actually descended from birds that became secondarily flightless and thus are actually Aves or at least Avialae. After all if microrapter had been discovered in the 19th century instead of Archaeopteryx I think there is little doubt that it would have been hailed as the transitional fossil representing the first bird just as readily as Archaeopteryx was and for perfectly good reasons. Aves is an arbitrary division, and I put the odds at 50/50 that in the next couple of decades it gets expanded to include a number of what are now considered to be non-avian dinosaurs. This sort of thing has happened before much closer to home. Until the 1970s there were separate families of Pongidae and Hominidae, until it became clear from molecular analysis that separate clades for the great apes and Humans made no sense and violated the rules of cladistics, and all got rolled in to Hominidae. One of course wonders why the larger faimily (Pongidae) was rolled into the smaller family (Hominidae) rather than vice versa, but I guess it is good to be the ones drawing the lines. This is why I originally chose the word "arbitrary" to describe taxonomic divisions! Rusty Cashman (talk) 19:01, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

You are of course quite right, and I do agree. Exactly what goes on at the basis of Aves is anyone's guess. The underlying problem is that both Linnaean and cladistic systems are ways of applying names to organisms, and thus arbitrary in their own right. From the organisms point of view, there's no such thing as a "transitional" animal or plant. We just need an elegant way of expressing it. Petter Bøckman (talk) 08:07, 29 August 2011 (UTC)

Article does not conform to Wikipedia specifications.

This entire article is presenting anti-Intelligent design content without actually considering the theory. Evolution is a theory and Intelligent Design is a theory. Evolution is not PROVEN to be true and Intelligent design is not PROVEN to be false therefore many of these truth claims made in this article are false.

ob·jec·tive/əbˈjektiv/ Noun: A thing aimed at or sought; a goal. Adjective: (of a person or their judgment) Not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts.

In order for this page to be objective you need to consider both sides. This page clearly has a bias and all attempts to bring objectivity the the page are quickly removed by other users because of their personal beliefs, not because of the scientific evidence. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pkl728 (talkcontribs) 21:40, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

The article is about science, not religion. ID is a religious belief. DuncanHill (talk) 22:08, 9 September 2011 (UTC)
If you are going to add objections from Intelligent Design and then incorrectly refute them then I believe those arguments should be made by someone who believes Intelligent Design, not someone who thinks its ridiculous and improperly represents the theory. Pkl728 (talk) 15:02, 10 September 2011 (UTC)

Why are my arguments that refute the fact that these Vestigial organs are useless being removed? If you want to have a section which shows the arguments that Intelligent Design brings up then I would hope we would treat them fairly Pkl728 (talk) 15:05, 10 September 2011 (UTC)

Because they are irrelevant to the article. DuncanHill (talk) 15:13, 10 September 2011 (UTC)
It's probably pointless stating this, but even the theory of gravity isn't proven to be true, because that's the nature of a theory, you can only prove it to be false. I won't go into the ID question itself. Dougweller (talk) 17:29, 10 September 2011 (UTC)
How is it irrelevant to the article? You have a "Creationism Arguments" section yet you don't let anyone provide accurate information. You provide the argument yourself in an inappropriate format and then you dispute it. This section is clearly trying to point out that we have "useless" organs which would be proof that they were a result of Darwinian Evolution however recent research suggests that these do have functions in which case I would dispute that they are "useless" and thus the argument is not being properly represented on this page. Also, the title of this section is "Creationist Arguments" not "Creationist Arguments w/ Evolutionist Response." I think much of this section needs to be rewritten in a less biased format. Doug what does that have to do with the fact that these organs truly do have a purpose? I never asked you to go into the ID question, I'm solely talking about this "argument" that you are not properly representing on this page.Pkl728 (talk) 21:49, 10 September 2011 (UTC)
If e.g. human appendices do still have some function this says nothing in favour of I.D. or against evolution - which is why no-one understands your repeated additions. What you are proposing more widely is that the article abandons a neutral point of view. Intelligent Design is not a scientific theory, it is a religious belief. This article touches on ID in passing solely because of the frequent lies told by I.D. proponents. To turn more of the article over to I.D. would be for Wikipedia to abandon any claim to be a serious encyclopaedia, and turn it into a proselytising religious tract. DuncanHill (talk) 22:03, 10 September 2011 (UTC)
I find it interesting how you refuse to let little things like facts to be included. I would think you would like to see the actual arguments unless you don't think your theory can hold up to scrutiny?Pkl728 (talk) 22:30, 10 September 2011 (UTC)
Vestigiality has nothing to do with whether they are functional or not. A characteristic which is homologous in one species to that of another, still functional but has lost its original function (e.g. finger bones in whales) is still a vestigial character. Either way, Wikipedia operates on scientific consensus. Your 'facts' also come from scientific research, from papers which never make the same conclusions as you do.
ID introduces an unfalsifiable hypothesis into the equation and is thus both redundant and unnecessary. It is philosophical rather than scientific and shouldn't be dishonestly presented as such. You also seem to be confusing ID with regular creationism when both contradict each other quite extensively, ID is basically evolution with the addition of an undefined and undefinable 'designer' while young earth creationism refutes both evolution and ID.
Please see Wikipedia:Fringe theories for the relevant policies. Specifically: editors should be careful not to present the pseudoscientific fringe views alongside the scientific or academic consensus as though they are opposing but still equal views. -- Obsidin Soul 22:42, 10 September 2011 (UTC)
Guys, guys I am not the one who added this section to the page. I am merely asking that if you going to include this section that you let it be presented in a logical and coherent manner. Do you honestly think its fair to frame these arguments this way? I am not the one presenting pseudoscientific, fringe views. This section was added before me and I'm merely saying that these arguments can be better represented.Pkl728 (talk) 00:06, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
I think you might have a fundamental misunderstanding of the Wikipedia WP:NPOV policy. NPOV does not mean that all views are presented fairly and equally, nor does it mean that WP abstains from judgement about what is and isn't factually correct. On the contrary, Wikipedia articles are built around what reliable sources have to say on the subject. Due to this policy, WP will always present ID as religion and evolution as fact. Secondly, as has been pointed out to you, the material you are trying to add is not relevant to the page. Whether or not the appendix has current use says nothing about evolution or ID.. I would recommend that you don't attempt to add the information back to the article. Noformation Talk 00:45, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
Does someone mind explaining to me how adding creationist arguments to a section labeled Creationist Arguments is not relevant to the section? I'm not adding anywhere else. If this continues I will file for arbitration. Pkl728 (talk) 12:53, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
Interesting how a brand new user just starts off making WP:TE and talking about arbitration. You're welcome to do whatever you want but consensus is pretty clear that this content is off-topic for this section. If your not a sock of a banned user, unlikely, then I suggest you quickly learn the policies here, if you are, then well you know what the next steps are for you. — raekyt 13:04, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
You are miss-understanding the meaning of vestigial I think? Although structures usually called "vestigial" are largely or entirely functionless, a vestigial structure may retain lesser functions or develop minor new ones.TeapotgeorgeTalk 13:06, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
You are correct I am a new user and I apologize about not understanding all of the rules fully. There are so many :) I'm going to attempt an overall re-write of this section. I would welcome critical feedback once I've finished! I'll try to include all current arguments as well. Pkl728 (talk) 13:22, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
I would suggest you post it here first to gain consensus as you seem to be the only editor questioning this section. regardsTeapotgeorgeTalk 13:53, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
I also suggest you post your proposed edits here, and not make them directly to the article. — raekyt 15:28, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
I will consider it. My intention is for the science to be discussed. Darwinism has achieved this church-like status and heaven forbid you disagree with it. Pkl728 (talk) 22:18, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
"Church like status" is an ironic and incorrect metaphor as evolution is a theory that ties together the facts of reality while creationism is literally a religious belief. Evolution is science - a science backed by more evidence than gravity - and ID is religion. I'll just let you know now that if your motivation here is to paint ID/creationism as anything but religion, you're wasting your time. WP is an encyclopedia, and as such it deals with knowledge, not beliefs (except in the context of phrasing beliefs as beliefs), so until you have direct scientific evidence that god exists (and the definition of god), and that this god creature created the universe and life, and until said evidence is printed in a respected scientific journal, WP will not present such nonsense as anything but religion. Since you're new, you should read up on WP:FRINGE and WP:NPOV to get an idea of why this is. Noformation Talk 22:47, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
I believe it to be an apt metaphor. Look at the response you just gave me. Just because I would like to question things before I believe them to be true to satiate my world view, you criticize me. I haven't even posted anything yet for you to critique! I've already said that the only thing I am doing is adding proper arguments to the "Creationism Arguments" section. I've clearly stated my motive so I kindly ask that you stop attributing others to me.
Evolution is a theory not a fact -
Theory - a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural and subject to experimentation, in contrast to well-established propositions that are regarded as reporting matters of actual fact.
Do you know why it is still a theory? Because it is not proven to be factually true yet. You can argue that you think the evidence is pointing that way, but obviously not enough is to stop it from being a theory. So you'll excuse me if I don't stop questioning and seeking answers until it has been explicitly proven true. I would suggest you take the same attitude. I find it hypocritical to be called dogmatic when I get that kind of response. No theory is above scientific scrutiny and you can be assured that my arguments won't just be "God did it!" Pkl728 (talk) 13:37, 12 September 2011 (UTC)
Please see Evolution as theory and fact RegardsTeapotgeorgeTalk 14:03, 12 September 2011 (UTC)
Well hell! Wikipedia has a section that says its a fact... That changes everything! So basically as I mentioned, a model that you believe best fits the available evidence and thus not proven to be true otherwise it would be a postulate, no? Pkl728 (talk) 14:31, 12 September 2011 (UTC)
I suggest you go and edit Conservapedia where your beliefs will be welcomed. I'm done here.TeapotgeorgeTalk 14:38, 12 September 2011 (UTC)
(sighs) Here we go, the usual arguments. Please see our article on Theory. The laymen (your) definition of theory is different from the scientific definition of Theory. What you are describing is actually a Hypothesis in scientific terms. True, a Theory will always be only an approximation, but it is the closest to Fact in science that you can get, as Science, unlike Religion, will not ever declare something as absolute truth. There will always be room for more discoveries. And despite common misconceptions, a Theory will always stay a Theory in Science, it does not 'graduate' into Fact or Truth or Law once enough evidence has been established. The Theory of Relativity, for example, is still called a theory, despite hundreds of experiments in which you can plainly see its truth (though again, it is imperfect).
And yeah, do be careful with who you are insulting with 'church-like status'. You are implying that dogmatic beliefs are bad, yet ID and creationism themselves are the result of dogma unwilling to accept observable facts. The reason why ID is not considered scientific has nothing to do with atheism or antagonism by science towards religion. It's simply because that hypothesis is untestable. If someone comes along and gives a repeatable objective experiment that proves ID or God without a doubt, then why not? Science is a methodology, not a religion, and can perfectly adapt to new discoveries as evidenced by the fact that our sciences today bear little resemblance to the sciences of the 18th century. It is not static as opposed to Religious dogma. But seeing as there is none yet on the existence of the said designer, ID remains firmly, a philosophical belief. A 'world view' as you admitted, not a testable science.
Either way, Wikipedia reports objective scientific facts and separates them from philosophy. We educate with the most objective methodology for acquiring knowledge rather than proselytize and side with any of the various beliefs of the world religions. There are plenty of other sites you can go to that do support your view to the exclusion of everything else like CreationWiki or Conservapedia, but Wikipedia will never treat pseudoscience as equal to science itself. The earlier you accept that, the better. We do not discuss turtles and elephants, for example, as the foundation of the world as if it were a scientifically verifiable fact in the article on Earth (though we do discuss it in World Turtle, though never with the implication that it is factual).
The only reason why this article even has those sections about creationism arguments is because of the popular media's depiction of transitional fossils as 'missing links'. Certain religions see this as an attack on their faith, a notable enough thing to document, even when science has no such agenda. Science merely reports observations. And when you blame science for getting results counter to your beliefs, you are actually blaming the natural world on which their observations come from in the first place. Does the Earth have an agenda for being an oblate-spheroid rather than having four corners like the Bible says it should? Is the peppered moth a heretic for having higher survival rates for dark colored mutation in urban environments? Are we damning the souls of domestic dogs by artificially selecting them to diverge from their 'original' created form of the gray wolf?
And for what it's worth, the Roman Catholic Church accepts evolution as a natural fact. Plenty of priests are also scientists. Gregor Mendel, for example, paved the way for the field of modern genetics, the results of which are one of the most important proofs of evolution. Part of the reason why Darwin's theory was so hard to accept back then, was because people did not even know of the existence of the DNA nor of the true mechanics of heredity. An excellent example of how independent fields have all converged to point to the reality of evolution.
Anyway enough rising to the bait, I know I have little chance of changing your beliefs. All I ask is that you examine your own motivations for editing the article and reflect on that for a bit. Maybe you'll realize why it can not ever be allowed on Wikipedia. Persistence will really only get you blocked for tendentious editing, that is not a warning simply a statement of fact. We have given you links to Wikipedia's policies numerous times already, have you read any of them?-- Obsidin Soul 14:46, 12 September 2011 (UTC)
Once again, I'm editing a section that you guys have added that I don't believe properly represents arguments from the Creationist perspective. Stop attributing motivations to me. Your entire rant is really unnecessary. Are you asking me to not learn and challenge ideas for myself? With that line of thinking we'd still be stuck on a flat earth. As I mentioned, I will be using proper quotations and scientific evidence and if that is unwelcome then I would question whether or not Wikipedia is really reporting objective facts. Pkl728 (talk) 14:57, 12 September 2011 (UTC)
How can we 'attribute' motivations to you when you've made it perfectly clear what your motivations are in your earlier incorrect attempts at an RFC? And we've told you again and again that something can still be vestigial even if it does retain some function or another. Your addition of the possible functions of the appendix and plica semilunaris is nonsensical in the current context.
Can you clarify what you want to add or change then? Because if it is again about somehow making creationism sound like it was a valid theory on equal footing with evolution, as you've made it seem like in this discussion, then the answer is the same, that is against the policies.-- Obsidin Soul 15:33, 12 September 2011 (UTC)
I said that I was rewriting the whole section and that I would even post it here for you to take a look at first. As I am not finished I can not post anything for you yet. I'm not interested in being one of those tools that is just going to up and change everything as I believe I can frame these arguments properly. Pkl728 (talk) 16:01, 12 September 2011 (UTC)
I'd suggest doing it in chunks and posting proposed subsections. I want to AGF here, but the evidence of your writing here so far would suggest that you'll waste a lot of effort if you do it all in one fell swoop rather than piecewise, learning from the consensus you get for each chunk before drafting the next one. I genuinely hope I'm wrong, but my guess is that what you're writing won't be accepted without contention. Dr Marcus Hill (talk) 09:06, 16 September 2011 (UTC)