User talk:HassourZain

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Hello HassourZain! Welcome to Wikipedia! Thank you for your contributions. If you decide that you need help, check out Getting Help below, ask me on my talk page, or place {{helpme}} on your talk page and ask your question there. If you're already loving Wikipedia and plan on becoming a Wikipedian you might consider being "adopted" by a more experienced editor, just paste {{Adoptme}} into your userpage. Please remember to sign your name on talk pages by clicking Button sig2.png or using four tildes (~~~~); this will automatically produce your name and the date. You might also consider joining a WikiProject so as to collaborate with others in creating and improving articles of your interest. Click here for a directory of all the WikiProjects. Finally, please do your best to always fill in the edit summary field. Below are some useful links to facilitate your involvement. Happy editing! ----Lysytalk 21:08, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
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The intelligent design page has seen people like Raspor over and over. Many of them are sent this way by Discovery Institute fellows who post "calls to action" against Wikipedia (and specific editors, including FeloniousMonk, JoshuaZ and myself). Some people come with a strong POV, argue for a while, but listen to what is said by other editors. Some of them stick around and become productive editors. Many of these complaints have improved the article by insisting that all sorts of statements be sourced. It can be tiring, but at least it helps improve the article. Others come along just to argue. While Raspor isn't the worst of them, he seems to have no interest in listening to what people say. S/he will ask a question, and when it is explained, repeat it. S/he started off asking questions that were asked - and answered - in the past. I pointed to the archives (the ID page has remarkably well-organised archives), but s/he just repeated the question.

Raspor is a classic troll. And to quote Larry, "show [people like that] the door". S/he isn't trying to improve the article - insisting that people at the ID page justify the "plethora of intermediate whale fossils" and rubbish like that. I have answered lots of Raspor's questions, only to have him/her ignore my answer and re-ask the same question lower down the page.

The only hope I can see for Raspor is a topic ban, if not a general community ban. Maybe s/he can be a productive editor on topics unrelated to creation and evolution, but I have no hope for anything better on these pages. Guettarda 21:55, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

ok hassour[edit]

you have shown some resepct to a newbie. trust me most of the darwinists are very egotistical and unkind.

your names seems arabic.

anyhow. i really do think creationism is a subset of ID. i think the editors here hatred of the DI has clouded their thinking. they seem to hate anyone who is not in lockstep with them. they have taunted me since day one.

i think the ID article is biased. i am also a supporter of some minority cause which i dont want to go into in this public arena. the tactics they use here a typical of a powerful entity who oppresses a weaker one. the charges are incredibly trumped up.

i am not an ID supporter. just a truth supporter. the article is slanted. it presupposed that the DI is evil. i dont see that. yes they want what they want but that is legal in the US.

i just think IDers should get a fair shake and their side should be heard.

raspor 21:59, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Hi Raspor- I agree with you, everyone's argument should be addressed on its merits, and that's what I'm interested in. I know that there can be some bias against ideas like intelligent design, but a lot of the time it's because editors that claim to want to speak for an underrepresented have a vested interest or do not have the article's integrity first in mind. That aside, I would be willing to help you learn some more. --HassourZain 01:26, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
thanks hassour. look i am not a christian. i am barely a theist. but a bobjob is a bobjob. the IDers side of the story shold be heard. when people dont hear the other side they know something is up. even jeffry dahmer should have his side of the story heard raspor 01:40, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree with your idea entirely, every mainstream idea should have a chance to be heard. Like I said on your talk page, the best way to make sure that happens is to civilly engage other editors, I'm sure they'll appreciate it. Being civil to others makes sure that they're civil to you- as long as you avoid inflammatory language and stuff that irritates people, you'll find that by and large, the "bobjob" editors that you talked about above are more willing to listen than you think. A lot of the time, it's not what's being said, but how it's said to others that sets the emotional tone of people's reactions. --HassourZain 01:45, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
This is absolutely correct. I have no idea what he means by "bobjob" but I assume he wants to use it in a defamatory sense. I am not averse to theistic ideas. I taught Sunday School for many years. I am even not averse to some ID ideas although not as DI has framed them. I am even considering a book on finding God in Science, or something similar. I do like your professor's analysis of salvation. Science of course has no salvation in it, and depending how it is used, it could offer salvation or damnation. It is just a tool an instrument, and as you say, a process. It is much different than a religion. Science is no more a religion than a garden hoe is a religion, or cleaning toilets, or criminal investigation or legal argument.--Filll 20:41, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
"I am even not averse to some ID ideas although not as DI has framed them."" what are those??? raspor 20:56, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
Please do not make disruptive, confrontative comments on my talk page. --HassourZain 21:04, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

On 4 January 2007 you indicated at Wikipedia_talk:Requests_for_comment/Raspor#Educating_raspor you did not think Raspor a troll. Has your opinion changed? Sdsds 05:49, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
This could run and run, but Raspor was quick to show indignation when asked to stop trolling. The definition of troll requires motive, so assuming good faith one must assume Raspor to be an innocent newcomer whose incorrigible disruptive editing inadvertently had all the effects of the most perfect troll. .... dave souza, talk 08:55, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
After seeing the way his situation played out, I am divided on the question of whether or not he was a troll, and I am slightly (slightly) inclined to believe that he did come here with intent to disrupt discussion. As dave souza said above, his actions, intentional or no, did have the exact effects that a troll might desire, and he demonstrated willful ignorance and unwillingess to make an effort to rein in his confrontation. My basic desire to assume good faith is still very strong, but I feel kind of taken advantage of, being that there is the possibility that that's exactly what he was doing, and I may have inadvertantly enabled him in doing so. --HassourZain 18:07, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
No need to worry about your part in this, other than the point that it was rather a waste of your time. However it can also be seen as a useful learning exercise, which is the way that I'm taking it. As for "enabling him", in my opinion your open helpfulness thoroughly deprived him of any chance to portray himself as the victim of a cruel mob in what he kept cryptically calling a "bobjob". FM's comment about victim bully seems to have played out pretty accurately, and your patience exposed the bully for what he was. .. dave souza, talk 20:39, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Hey, you're reasonable.[edit]

Maybe you could talk to Neiondeion (talk · contribs)? He created an article here CNBC anchors who have never held even a moderately high position in the financial field and is going around inserting a link to it in articles like David Faber (CNBC). I would revert him again, but I don't want to get close to 3RR over this. Thanks! -- Merope 21:03, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

I'd be happy to, Merope. I'll review his history and see if I can talk to him. The article sounds like a bit of a joke, I have to admit, but I'll have a look. Thank you for bringing it to me. :) --HassourZain 21:29, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
Someone else stepped in unrequested, and the article has been speedied. I'll continue to monitor the user's edits, though. I just thought I'd ask you because you've been so gorram patient with the whole Raspor thing. -- Merope 21:32, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
No sweat. I'll see if I can't explain why we can't put things like that in biographical articles (as he appears to have done to Dylan Ratigan and David Faber). --HassourZain 21:33, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Undue weight[edit]

(This is a reponse to your comments at user talk:Raspor)

I think your above assessment (at least in the most important, third part) ...

Third part? The third bullet was about Raspor finding inconsistencies in the use of the word "theory". Is that what you are referring to? Or was it to my fourth bullet, about NPOV?

...does not take into account the concept of undue weight. I have seen it expounded on many times but still see errors made as far as considering it goes. Intelligent design is rejected, as you say, as pseudoscience, by essentially all of the academic community.

I didn't say "essentially all", if that's what you were suggesting. I consider "essentially all" to be an exaggeration. My actual words were "majority" (which could be 50.00001%, although I'm not suggesting that's the case) and "widely-held". I've argued this sort of point about creationary scientists before. The latter are a small minority, but in this case "small" still equates to thousands (at least), so although it is small in percentage terms, it is still a large enough number to warrant the term "significant minority". I don't know what the figure is for ID scientists, but considering that the number would have to be greater (i.e. all creationary scientists clearly believe in intelligent design, plus there are non-creationists who also do), then "significant minority" would have to be a minimum description of their numbers.

This being the case, the policy of undue weight, by necessity, requires the article to address each of the given opinions on the origin of life with due weight. Because of the issues of both undue weight policy and larger consensus as a whole, in order to be fair to the readers the individual articles on ideas that do not have mainstream academic support (for example, dianetics, "hollow earth", or extraterrestrials, all of which may be supposed but with the exception of "hollow earth", are difficult to prove or disprove) must be addressed as such- and this is without even straying into the territory of whether Intelligent Design is science or philosophy. As such, I think that many of the points that you have raised above are somewhat naive in many of the assumptions that they make.

Please read WP:Undue weight again. What it actually appears to be saying is that minority views on a subject should not be given too much weight in an article about that subject. So, for example, ID should not be given too much weight in the article about evolution. I don't believe that it is saying that articles about ID should not give too much weight to ID (although such articles should, of course, still be written from a Neutral Point of View). The evolution article should be primarily about evolution, not ID. And the ID article should be primarily about ID, not about the opposition to it or the alleged problems with it. ID can be mentioned briefly in the evolution article, and opposition to ID can be mentioned briefly in the ID article. It is Wikipedia's role to explain topics, not to argue cases, and if a large part of the ID article was talking about opposition to it and problems with it, then it is arguing a case rather than explaining a topic.

Considering you compared the treatment of ID with some other topics, let's do some actual comparisons, shall we? I've just had a quick look at Dianetics, Hollow Earth, and Extraterrestrial life, and although I haven't read every word of those articles, I think my comments following are pretty accurate. (In the following, references to "criticism" are to anything negative said about the topic, including factual reporting of scientists disagreeing with the idea.)

  • The Dianetics article has a four-paragraph introduction (360 words), and there is no hint that it is pseudoscience or the like until the fourth paragraph (i.e. after 300 words). Neither does it read prior to that as though it is true. It simply explains what Dianetics is supposed to be. There is also a section titled "Scientific evaluations" that criticises the idea, and there is a little more criticism in another section.
  • The Hollow Earth article has a single-paragraph introduction, and a comment about it being considered pseudoscience is at the end of this one 86-word paragraph. There is no other criticism in the article, except for a brief criticism of a subsidiary idea, gravity on the inside surface of a hollow sphere.
  • The Extraterrestrial life article has no criticisms of the idea at all, that I could see. It does acknowledge that Earth is the only place known to have life, and that extraterrestrial life's existence is hypothetical and without evidence, but it also starts of by saying, "Extraterrestrial life is life that exists and originates outside the planet Earth...". Now if a creation or ID article started off like that, there would be howls of protest and shouts of "POV!".
  • The Intelligent Design article has a three-paragraph, 209-word introduction, and criticism of it comprises the second and third of those three paragraph, i.e. after 77 words of introduction, it has 132 words of criticism. Not only that, but it seems that almost every paragraph in the rest of the article either includes some criticism or is followed by a separate paragraph of criticism.

In summary, comparing the ID article to the other three articles you mentioned shows that the ID article has "undue weight" given to criticisms of it.

Philip J. Rayment 05:05, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Sounds like a good argument for improving the balance in these other articles. Firstly, for an estimate of the number of "creationary scientists", there's a petition circulated by the DI expressing "A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism" in such vague terms that all creationists, and indeed many others, could sign up – and already it's attracted around 600 signatures. Which is a miniscule percentage of the scientific community, where the opinion of the overwhelming majority appears to be better represented by Project Steve. Secondly, for these other ideas to get equal attention to ID, all their proponents have to do is to contend that their belief discredits the whole basis of science and spend millions of dollars promoting both the idea and the teaching in public schools that the idea is a viable alternative to science. Quite simple, really. . . dave souza, talk 14:28, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
You could edit the other articles, but I'd suggest that you should first show that there is actually anything wrong with them. Apart from the extraterrestrial one, they emphatically do not read as though they are describing something that is real, nor that Wikipedia is saying that they are true. I don't believe that any of those things are true, yet I have no problem with the way those articles, with the possible exception of the ET one, are written. I really believe that any idea that the Dianetics and Hollow Earth articles, and the ID one if it had a similar minimal level of criticism, could be seen as endorsing the ideas, exists only in the minds of the anti-ID zealots.
The DI petition is not of "creationists", despite what the Project Steve article says. And while it is may be vaguely worded, one would also have to resist peer-group pressure to sign it, unlike the Project Steve list where if there was any peer pressure, it would be to sign it. So whilst everyone acknowledges that supporters of creation and ID are a small minority, I don't believe that the two lists can be used to give any idea of the actual percentage. My comments on the number of creationary scientists has nothing to do with that list, by the way.
And your comments about what proponents of these other ideas should do, with the inference that this is what creationists and ID people do, is laughable. Creationists and ID proponents have repeated over and over and over that they are not out to discredit the basis of science or promoting an alternative to science, pointing out that (a) modern science was largely started by scientists who did so because of their beliefs, and (b) many of the proponents of creation and ID are themselves scientists. For anticreationists and anti-IDers to keep repeating this nonsense is pathetic.
Also off the mark was the inference about the money spent by creationists and ID proponents. Compared to Hollow Earth proponents, you are probably correct. Compared to Dianetics proponents, I'm not so sure. Compared to ET proponents, you've got to be kidding, with the millions, including millions of taxpayer dollars, spent looking for extraterrestrial life. And compared to money spent on evolution (which I know you weren't comparing it to), it is a drop in the bucket. Of course evolution also has a near-monopoly on the education system of western countries too, which its proponents fight tooth and nail to keep. Hardly a fair comparison.
Philip J. Rayment 16:28, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

So you don't think that the intelligent design movement’s goal is to replace science as currently practiced with “theistic and Christian science.”? Sounds like you should read the Wedge Document “Five Year Strategic Plan Summary”, or for that matter turn to Dembski's statement that ID is a “ground clearing operation” to allow Christianity to receive serious consideration, and “Christ is never an addendum to a scientific theory but always a completion.” Don't you accept, as Behe claims, that the plausibility of the argument for ID depends upon the extent to which one believes in the existence of God? I do agree that people of faith have contributed much to science, and rather like this quotation: "let no man out of a weak conceit of sobriety, or an ill-applied moderation, think or maintain, that a man can search too far or be too well studied in the book of God's word, or in the book of God's works; divinity or philosophy; but rather let men endeavour an endless progress or proficience in both." – Francis Bacon. .... dave souza, talk 19:55, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

If you put it in terms of replacing "science as currently practiced" with "theistic and Christian science", I would probably not have a disagreement, but if you put it in terms of "replacing science" with an "alternative to science", that sounds like replacing science with non-science, not replacing one type of science with another type of science. It is the idea that ID wants to replace science with something that isn't science that I object to, at least when it's put as though it is undisputed or self-evident. Philip J. Rayment 04:17, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
For the record, I agree with dave souza entirely. Problems at Dianetics or Hollow earth should not be given as justification for providing anything other than a representative view at the page in question. As an aside, it is worth mentioning that Dianetics (and all scientology-related articles, in the past) have been targeted by people who had come to the project to advance an agenda, so I am not entirely sure if the article in its perfect state is an ideal layout for other articles about widely-disagreed with ideas. --HassourZain 21:05, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
HassourZain, it was you who indicated that the treatment of ID should be aligned with the treatment of the Dianetics, Hollow Earth, and Extraterrestrials. Now that I've shown that ID is treated much more harshly, it seems that you are saying that how they are treated is not a valid comparison!
And yes, I can accept that Dianetics would have been "targeted" by people with a pro-Scientology agenda (just as ID is "targeted" by those with and anti-ID agenda), but this makes for another interesting comparison. Despite your comments about it perhaps not being in "its perfect state", it was still the one of the three examples you used that included the most criticism of the idea—in other words, the one that the anti- people had gotten the most criticism into. And yet, there still wasn't as much criticism of the idea as the ID article has!
And despite you mentioning extraterrestrials as an example of how "ideas that do not have mainstream academic support ( ... which may be supposed but ... are difficult to prove or disprove) must be addressed as such", the fact remains that extraterrestrial life is accepted by most scientists despite them being unable to prove or disprove it, and accordingly, the article has essentially no criticism of the idea. To put it another way, the amount of criticism of an idea that is included in an article seems to be inversely proportional to the amount of acceptance that the idea has among scientists, not on any objective basis of how provable or scientific the idea is. That's violating NPOV.
Philip J. Rayment 01:42, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
I think that one possible explanation for the mild treatment of the subjects you listed above is because they are not objects of any particular contention in the political world, very much unlike intelligent design. As far as the back-and-forth about whether ID is a scientific idea, there is far more disagreement. As always, the article should portray dispute (particularly on divisive topic such as these) without reenacting the dispute. I still stand by what I have said in the past- the controversy surrounding Intelligent Design is a special case and ought to be treated as such.
Specifically, I wanted to stress the primary point of this response: ideas such as hollow earth theory that have little standing among anyone and therefore very little dispute surrounding them, with most in the scientific/academic world not even bothering to voice an opinion, making those few opinions that ARE spoken heard is not as important as when a very serious issue that is put forward that causes a fairly sizable outcry in the same. So, in that sense, the article on intelligent design (in line with the documented and verifiable statements from those best versed in the topic) has its popular rejection by those who have done so, documented in its article. --HassourZain 15:09, 17 January 2007 (UTC)


Hi Hassour, I don't think an RFCU is really needed, because it wasn't clear whether we were dealing with sockpuppetry or meatpuppetry, and in any event it's been resolved now. Cheers, SlimVirgin (talk) 17:04, 29 January 2007 (UTC)