Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Another F double minus: Continuing to correct Wikipedia’s article on ID


Yesterday, we saw how Wikipedia is one of the most influential sites on the Internet, how it vaunts itself on its commitment to NPOV, a neutral point of view:

Editing from a neutral point of view (NPOV) means representing fairly, proportionately, and as far as possible without bias, all significant views that have been published by reliable sources. All Wikipedia articles and other encyclopedic content must be written from a neutral point of view. NPOV is a fundamental principle of Wikipedia and of other Wikimedia projects. This policy is nonnegotiable and all editors and articles must follow it.

“Neutral point of view” is one of Wikipedia’s three core content policies. The other two are “Verifiability” and “No original research“. These three core policies jointly determine the type and quality of material that is acceptable in Wikipedia articles. [“Wikipedia:Neutral point of view,” Wikipedia, acc. Dec 30, 2012]

. . . and so it is entirely in order for us to contrast its article on ID with that of the New World Encyclopedia to see how objective, truthful, well warranted and fair-minded the Wikipedia article is.

So, far, it is already quite apparent from even so simple a contrast, that Wiki’s article on ID is tendentious, and — for years — has been in need of severe correction. Accordingly, I intend to proceed with a step by step correction of Wiki’s introduction, in the just linked thread and invite participation in the discussion.

Today’s contribution:

It is vital to correct the misrepresentations of design theory at Wikipedia, for record; both because of the influence of Wikipedia, and because these are the same mischaracterisations that are ever so common.

So, let us continue.

For today, let us move on down just a bit:

The Institute defines it [ID] as the proposition that “certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.”[1][2] It is a contemporary adaptation of the traditional teleological argument for the existence of God, presented by its advocates as “an evidence-based scientific theory about life’s origins” rather than “a religious-based idea”.[3] All the leading proponents of intelligent design are associated with the Discovery Institute [n 1][4] and believe the designer to be the Christian deity.[n 2]

1 –> Wiki correctly cites the basic assertion of design theory, but fails to give the empirically grounded warrant for that claim and then substitutes a loaded and well-poisoning context.

2 –> This is an unfortunately familiar rhetorical tactic in our day, making a red herring side-track attention, leading us away to a convenient strawman soaked in ad hominems and ignited to cloud, confuse, polarise and poison the atmosphere.

3 –> Such is certainly not the vaunted NPOV and should be corrected.

4 –> However, the material issue at stake is, how can it be warranted scientifically to infer from “certain features of the universe and of living things” that they are “best explained” as designed by an intelligent cause, and not the credible product of blind chance and/or mechanical necessity?

[MORE . . . ]

What follows goes on to discuss the warrant for the pattern of scientific reasoning that grounds the design inference on empirical signs, corrects the well poisoning attempt, and sets the context for further discussion.

And since this article is really a notice,  I direct your attention to the just linked thread for onward discussion. END