A large part of the difficulty in evaluating these lists is the problem of deciding who is and is not a "scientist." There has been a long-standing tradition of including people with all kinds of degrees on these lists and calling them "scientists". For example, lists of "scientists" have included people with philosophy degrees, history degrees, english degrees, as well as dentists, optometrists, engineers, mathematicians, theologians or people with degrees from diploma mills or bible colleges, as well as people who are deceased. This can pad a list considerably, making it very difficult to know how much value to ascribe to such a list.
A rough evaluation of the professional qualifications of a list of purported scientists can be made by enumerating those on a given list with at least a PhD in a natural science (even better if they are from a major accredited institution). This excludes some who do science but are trained in other fields, and includes some nonscientists as well. It also unfairly excludes some with other degrees.
An approximate metric for the "worth" of a given list can be determined by counting the number of individuals that have some level of professional qualification in a relevant field. For example, it is not useful to survey doctors when trying to forecast the weather, and not useful to get medical diagnoses from meteorologists or from pre-med students. In the case of probing the creationism-evolution controversy, those who are most relevant are those with doctoral-level training and expertise in biological evolution,
|Active Dates||Name||Organization||Claimed||Prof. cred.||Rel. No. (est.)|
|1966||"Is Biological Evolution a Principle of Nature that has been well established by Science?"||Hermann J. Muller||177||177 biologists||177|
|1971||"21 Scientists Who Believe in Creation"||Inst. for Creation Research||21||~7 scientists||~0-3|
|1971-pres..||List of Creation Scientists||Inst. for Creation Research||80||20 phys+26 bio sci PhD||20|
|1977||"A Statement Affirming Evolution as a Principle of Science"||American Humanist Assoc.||183||146 sci, 6 clergy||137|
|1986||"Amicus Curiae Brief of 72 Nobel Laureates"||Caplin & Drysdale||72||72 scientists||?|
|2001-pres.||"A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism"||Discovery Institute||>700||~175 biol sci||?|
|2003-pres.||"Project Steve"||NCSE||818||~545 biologists||?|
|2004-pres.||"Clergy Letter Project"||Michael Zimmerman||10758||10758 clergy||?|
|2005||"A Scientific Support for Darwinism"||R. Joe Brandon||7733||4066 PhD sci.||?|
|2005||"Nobel Laureates Initiative"."||Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity||38||33 scientists||?|
|2006-pres.||"Physicians and Surgeons who Dissent from Darwinism"||PSSI||252||M.D., D.O., D.D.S., D.M.D., D.V.M., or equiv.||?|
|1979-pres.||"Scientists alive today* who accept the biblical account of creation"||Creation Ministries Int.||210||128||48|
|1995||21 great scientists who believed the Bible||Anne Lamont||21||<21||0-1|
|1999||In Six Days : Why Fifty Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation||John F. Ashton||50||?||?|
|1999-pres.||"Creationists holding DOCTORATES IN SCIENCE"||Christian Answers||94||~73 sci; also MDs, clergy, eng||~24|
|2001-pres.||"Some modern scientists who have accepted the biblical account of creation"||Answers in Genesis||194||113 sci.||32|
- Scientists are defined, for the purposes of this table only, to be those with a doctoral degree (i.e., PhD or DSc, not an MD etc.) in the natural sciences (physics, chemistry, biology, earth sciences, astronomy). This excludes engineers and mathematicians and psychologists, who often do not engage in scientific work, although some can be scientists and are doing the work of scientists (although not usually in areas relevant to evolution and dating the earth or the universe).
- Relevant individuals, for the purposes of this table only, are defined to be those with a doctoral degree (i.e., PhD or DSc, not an MD, etc.) in biology or geology. This excludes some who do work that is relevant to dating the earth and the universe such as physicists and astronomers, but focuses on those whose work will more often involve principles of biological evolution.
- Bales, James D., Forty-Two Years on the Firing Line, Lambert, Shreveport, LA, p.71-72, no date.
- The Day the Scientists Voted, Bert Thompson, Apologetics Press: Sensible Science, 2001, originally published in Reason & Revelation, 2(3):9-11, March 1982.
- "21 Scientists Who Believe in Creation, 2nd edition", Henry Madison Morris, Creation-Life Publishers, 1971.
- "Scientific" Creationism Examined, Paul Tobin, The Rejection of Pascal's Wager: A Skeptic's Guide to Christianity
- An Engineer Looks at the Creationist Movement, John W. Patterson, Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science 89(2):55-58, 1982.
- This list is likely to have been a continuation of the original published list,"21 Scientists Who Believe in Creation, 2nd edition", by Henry Madison Morris, Creation-Life Publishers, 1971
- List of Creation Scientists , a list of biological and physical scientists that support creationism on the Institute for Creation Research website.
- As of 7.28.07
- At least two of these are dead.
- The American Humanist Association: A Statement Affirming Evolution as a Principle of Science, Humanist, January/February, 1977.
- Biology Book Battles, Katherine Ching, News and Comment, Origins, 4(1):46-49 (1977).
- Approximately 146 are natural scientists, 6 are clergy, 21 are in the humanities and social sciences, 10 belong to ethics organizations, etc. Of the natural scientists, 126 are biologists, another 6 are probably biologists, 5 are paleontologists or geologists, 6 are from fields related to biology like biochemistry, and 3 are from the physical sciences.
- AMICUS CURIAE BRIEF OF 72 NOBEL LAUREATES, 17 STATE ACADEMIES OF SCIENCE, AND 7 OTHER SCIENTIFIC ORGANIZATIONS, IN SUPPORT OF APPELLEES, ROBERT A. KLAYMAN, WALTER B. SLOCOMBE, JEFFREY S. LEHMAN, BETH SHAPIRO KAUFMAN, Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered, One Thomas Circle, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20005, (202) 862-5000, Attorneys for Amici Curiae
- Caplin & Drysdale official website
- About 25% of the signatories are biologists, according to the article Few Biologists But Many Evangelicals Sign Anti-Evolution Petition, Kenneth Chang, The New York Times, February 21 2006 (paid subscription required, text available at Skeptical News)
- About 2/3 of the Steves are professional biologists, according to Project Steve: FAQs, National Center for Science Education website, February 16, 2003, last updated December 28, 2005
- Results of The Four Day Petition: 7733 Scientists Agree on: A Scientific Support For Darwinism And For Public Schools Not To Teach Intelligent Design As Science, official website
- This statement reads, in part, "...intelligent design is fundamentally unscientific; it cannot be tested as scientific theory because its central conclusion is based on belief in the intervention of a supernatural agent." (Nobel Laureates Initiative, The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity, September 9, 2005.
- These lists are not presented as petitions, but as lists of people that are claimed to be "creationists", according to some definition.
- CMI's predecessor, Creation Research Foundation, started publishing lists of creation scientists associated with their magazine, Creation ex nihilo. When the CMI website was established ca. 1997, they also included lists of creation scientists on their website.
- Creation scientists and other specialists of interest, a list of scientists who support creationism on Creation Ministries International's website. It should be noted that Creation Ministries International was the international arm of Answers in Genesis but is now an independent organization.
- This list includes the disclaimer "* or recently deceased". CMI also lists 11 anti-creationist scientists, similar to AiG.
- 21 great scientists who believed the Bible, Ann Lamont, Creation Science Foundation, 1995. ISBN 0949906212
- Only one of these people were alive at the time when the evidence for biological evolution was firmly established, and he was an engineer, not a specialist in evolution and did not publish in this area.
- In Six Days : Why Fifty Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation, John F. Ashton, Master Books, January 1, 2001, ISBN 0890513414
- The list began about September 3, 1999, with a list that included both creationists and prominent pro-evolution scientists: 
- Creationists holding DOCTORATES IN SCIENCE, Who's who in Creation/Evolution (list of 94)
- List first appeared on the internet on April 30, 2001, and AiG website first appeared on the internet on or about December 2, 1998.
- Creation scientists and other biographies of interest: Some modern scientists who have accepted the biblical account of creation, a list of scientists that support creationism on the Answers in Genesis website.
- AiG also lists 56 "creationist" scientists before Darwin, and 33 just after Darwin, of which 3 might be in relevant fields, and one is marked as an "old earth compromiser." AiG also lists 14 creationists in the "early modern period," (of which 4 might be relevant) and includes a disclaimer at bottom of the "modern" creationist scientists stating, "As far as we know, the scientists of the past listed here believed in a literal Genesis unless otherwise stated. The ones who did not are nevertheless included in the list below because of their general belief in the creator God of the Bible and opposition to evolution. But because the idea that the earth is ‘millions of years’ old has been disastrous in the long run, no present day ‘long-agers’ are included intentionally, because we submit that they should know better." In addition, AiG includes a list of 11 anti-creationist scientists in an "enemies" list, including Richard Dawkins, Eugenie Scott, Carl Sagan, Isaac Asimov, Julian Huxley, J. B. S. Haldane, Stephen Jay Gould, and Daniel Dennett.
- Of this number, at least four are dead.
Reasons to attempt this
- complaints about temporal order in article
- complaints about length of article
- attempt to organize all material in some easy format
- attempt to communicate problems with definitions of "what is a scientist"
--Filll 19:44, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
- I'm not sure how this is organized. Things seem to be mixed together.
- It's about time for you to move to the WP:CITET method. To get to GA status on most articles these days, you'll have to have a better citation methodology.
- Not really germane to the article itself, but you should post to a user page, use the talk section to actually discuss your proposed article. Otherwise, I have to type down here :)
- I've always dislike the Physicians and Surgeons who Dissent from Darwinism. DDS, DMD and DVM's aren't physicians or surgeons! But that's not your problem.
- I changed the template for references. Reflist is the preferred method these days. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 16:19, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
- Great to get your response! Sorry about this mess. I am just pondering how to organize this material in Level of support for evolution better, which I think is sort of a mess (and has become worse, in my opinion, as more people edit it).
- My general plan is to highlight support for evolution, among scientists and educational and religious/creationist groups, is to consider THREE main ways of demonstrating support:
- petitions (and lists; petitions I take to be lists that the signatories have willingly been placed on, whereas lists are compiled by someone else)
- resolutions: statements by religious, education and scientific organizations on the matter
- To make it easier to understand, I wanted to sort them by date, and include both pro and anti evolution material in the same table. The anti-evolution petitions and lists are colored light pink (reddish, for "red states"), and the pro-evolution entries are clear or light blue.
- The reason I did not use the CITEIT methods (of which there seem to be a lot) is that they do not appear to be flexible enough for me to make the references in the format that I prefer. I will continue to study the matter, however. I might be able to do it, but usually it looks too restrictive to me. I obviously do not worry a lot about GA however.
- The reason this is on a subpage of a talk page rather than a user page is that when I first started making sandbox pages, when I put them on user pages, I would get nasty messages from admins telling me that I was violating all kinds of rules and I would get my page deleted (which happened a few times). Now I notice that Wikidudeman is hosting his homeopathy draft on a user page, so maybe this rule has been relaxed?
- The reason I make sure to highlight the DVMs and DDSs and DMD and DOs etc in the lists of Physicians and Surgeons is to make it clear how far the DI is willing to bend the rules to pad their lists as much as possible.
- Sorry about the reflist thing. Just force of habit I guess.
- I am curious to know about what I should do. Should I replace part of the level of support for evolution article with this table? Should I make this aeparate article? Should I add the polls and resolutions to make a total of 3 tables here? Should they go in a separate article or in the level of support for evolution? Should I delete material already in the level of support for evolution article to make room for this, or just add it in? Isnt it long enough already?--Filll 16:30, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
- Here's my thoughts on the matter:
- The organization of the table isn't immediately clear - I thought it was all about real or fake scientists who supported creationism, I didn't realize it was supported and opposed until I read your note above.
- I'd say that everything in the last two columns requires a citation to avoid being called WP:OR.
- The intro to the table has wording and statements in it that cry out for citations if you ask me. I agree with them (with different wording perhaps), but they look like WP:OR as is. Even a citation for the sentence Scientists are defined to be those with a doctoral degree in the natural sciences. would be very helpful and do a lot to clarify the table. Without it, it looks like you decided who was a scientist and who wasn't. I think it'd be very easy to find citations for them, but right now it looks like a gap.
- If the text above the actual table is not to be included, I'd have to see the intro that would preface it on the page before offering an opinion. I don't think it stands on its own without a prose description of what it is.
- Were it to be added to the page, I think three separate tables might be better, with a description of which is which.
- Honestly, I think this entire table would need its own citation source to not be OR. Otherwise, if asked who is making the decision to include or exclude an individual or group as scientists, it looks like it's Filll. Definitely of merit for an anticreationism webpage, but perhaps not wikipedia yet. If you could get Richard Dawkins to post it on his blog, then it'd be great for the page. WLU 19:28, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
Interesting. So you also had a problem with understanding the organization. It is about "real" and "fake" scientists in part, but it is also about how many have expressed support for evolution and how many have expressed objections to evolution. It might need a good title and An explanatory paragraph in front of it. I do not want to step into OR territory. As I tried to explain, I just wanted to count (1) how many had PhDs in the natural sciences and were alive and (2) how many PhDs in geology and biology and include those as separate columns. As I state in some of the text, these are not hard and fast rules by any means. They are just some semi-easy way to try to understand these lists a bit. I am not making any decisions aside from that. Certainly, to do more than that is to try to decide exactly who is a scientist; many doctors are scientists, many engineers are scientists, many who appear to have degrees in biology or geology are not scientists. So these rules are not perfect, but they are just a cut. My text here is meant to be the rules I followed in sorting people into groups, not formal or agreed-upon definitions by any formal body. Also, many with masters degrees or even no degrees are also scientists.--Filll 19:42, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
- I think the designation of 'real' and 'fake' treads heavily on the territory of WP:OR, though perhaps it's just my understanding of the policy and I might need a re-read of said policy and the page. I was under the impression that anything that's not a basic calculation (like percentages, proportions, addition or subtraction) was a no-no. Even the basic decisions you are making, you might get the hairy eyeball over. And if it's not agreed-upon definitions by a formal body, that may also be WP:OR. A good thing might be to get the opinion of a couple admins, they should have a finer understanding of the policy than I, or post a comment at the OR talk page to solicit input. Very probably you could get away with limited use or criticism of some of the individual polls or petitions, but to put them together in a table seems like synthesizing information. WLU 19:54, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps, but all I am doing is counting people with certain kinds of degrees. Which is given in most lists (or easily obtainable from the name for most on the list). And we can certainly find cites for people who note that doctors or engineers are not scientists, and astronomers or meteorologists do not know anything about evolution. Those cites are a dime a dozen, if you look, I think. So that should be no problem. Is just plain counting OR? Even if I define what I am counting and provide links to why I am making these counts?--Filll 21:56, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
- With cites from other sources, most of the problems go away. I think by providing the definition you may be considered engaging in OR, but with links for why you are defining them as you are, you might be OK. I'm at the limit of my knowledge here, I'd say ask an experienced admin for their opinion, or even better go to Talk:OR. With more sources, I bet a version of it could go on its own page, as is I think it's iffy. Probably a better title or page name by the way, would be something like 'Support for evolution among scientists." I also think that some of the polls might be better dealt with as prose, i.e. the 21 scientists book - most were dead before Darwin, should be easy to source the criticism. I think a point-by-point rebuttal of many of them could be do-able, again with sources. WLU 13:17, 3 August 2007 (UTC)