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When you disappear from Wikipedia is when you matter, apparently

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From David Klinghoffer at Evolution News & Views:

Günter Bechly is a distinguished paleontologist, specializing in fossil dragonflies, exquisitely preserved in amber for tens of millions of years. After revealing his support for the theory of intelligent design, he was pushed out as a curator at the State Museum of Natural History in Stuttgart, Germany. He subsequently joined Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture as a Senior Fellow. Now we learn that our colleague has suffered another act of censorship: he has been erased from Wikipedia, ostensibly for not being “notable” enough.

Funny, no one had ever heard much about Gunter Bechly before then.

At Evolution News, we have documented a range of instances of censorship and intimidation. Rarely, though, do the censors reveal themselves as clearly as in the case of Wikipedia versus Bechly.

They don’t do so by name. Wikipedia editors typically employ pseudonyms. But a discussion page records the deliberations of editors and others on the decision to delete Dr. Bechly’s Wiki entry. It makes for a fascinating and revealing read.

So a pseudonymous editor recommended getting rid of Dr. Bechly’s page, and another, after making a show of weighing the case and soliciting opinions from others, agreed to it. In an eerie replay of his experience with the museum, which deleted his webpages, Bechly is now erased.

Prior to disappearing, his Wikipedia entry dispassionately recounted his education, employment, and accomplishments, including an impressive scientific publications list and a variety of species and taxa named for him. It devoted a short paragraph to his “Support for Intelligent Design.” The case for erasing him seems to have been carried by three individuals. If I’m interpreting the discussion’s welter of nerdy abbreviations and other lingo correctly, a person called “Trekker” nominated Bechly for deletion. This editor claims no bias against “creationism.” More.

Klinghoffer also provides a sample of people who are supposed to be notable compared to Bechly, according to Wikipedia. Judge for yourself.

It’s enlightening to see how misinformed one would be if one relied on Wikipedia. It’s not all that bad but how do you know when it is or isn’t? And this sort of thing is only a hint of the future if the big social media companies succeed in controlling the internet – for the most virtuous of reasons, of course.

Some of us really don’t understand, given the history, why anyone pays attention to Wikipedia at all unless they want to know how contemporary edit trolls think. I (O’Leary for News) only use it for free photos.

See also: When you disappear from Wikipedia is when you matter, apparently. Klinghoffer also provides a sample of people who, according to Wikipedia, are supposed to be notable compared to paleontologist Bechly (show showed sympathy for ID). Judge for yourself.

Whackapedia whacks a civil liberties group

Is social media killing Wikipedia?

Wikipedia founder wades into fake war on fake news

Larry Sanger, Co-founder of Wikipedia, Agrees That it Does not Follow its Own Neutrality Policy

How Wikipedia can turn fiction into fact (Sourced enough times, the fiction becomes “troo”)

Wikipedia: The world of heavily edited unfacts

Wikipedia as astroturf

Wikipedia’s declining stats

Wikipedia hacked by elite sources now (The main problem is that the people who use Wikipedia do not care whether it is false or true. “Wikipedia is my library” is the new diagnostic for irresponsible laziness.)

and

Mathematician complains Wikipedia is promoting “pseudo-science” of multiverse (Then there were the minor revelations that core articles “don’t earn even Wikipedia’s own middle-ranking quality scores” and that some “editors” are paid by outside sources.)

11 Replies to “When you disappear from Wikipedia is when you matter, apparently

  1. 1
    J-Mac says:

    “When you disappear from Wikipedia is when you matter, apparently

    It’s called censorship… I know something about it…
    “Censorship-the suppression or prohibition of any parts of books, films, news, etc. that are considered obscene, politically unacceptable, or a threat to security.”

    I’d bet that in this case the reason would be the threat to the security of materialism…But how could someone like Gunter Bechly be a threat to the security of materialism?
    If you don’t know, follow the money…
    Darwinism based materialism is a business like any other that is concerned about money first and needs to make sure that the money-flow-situation doesn’t change…

  2. 2
    Dionisio says:

    Herr Günter Bechly,

    What they did to you at the museum and more recently in Wikipedia are clear signs of their deep insecurity. Forgive them, for they don’t know what they’ve done. They don’t have even a clue.

    It doesn’t matter if your name is removed from Wikipedia or any other worldly record. What matters is to know that our names are written in the Book of Life, by grace alone, through saving faith in Christ, our Lord and Savior. The rest is totally irrelevant.

    In my case I did not come to God because I liked science, but started to seriously like science -specially biology- because of what Christ has done in me. I delighted in the Lord and He gave me the desires of my heart.

    Next time I’ll walk through the picturesque old town of this city I’m in and see the numerous stands showing a wide variety of amber, I’ll think of the very interesting work you’ve done on fossilized dragonflies and other insects.

    Generally any harsh criticism coming from the folks you’ve heard it from, could be considered a high compliment. Rejoice!

    I would be very concerned if I ever get a single word of support from those folks. That will keep me sleepless. Fortunately that doesn’t happen, unless a miracle occurs.

    Had more citizens acted like you, regardless of the personal consequences, perhaps the Nazi party would not have succeeded in the 1930s and 1940s.

    The name of Sophie Scholl comes to mind. A brave German young lady at the university in Munich, who did not fear the same Gestapo that “hypnotized” many strong ‘macho’ men who feared the grave personal consequences of resisting the evil doctrines.

    Keep up the work you’ve done. Danken!

    As you well know, in biology we ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
    The most fascinating discoveries are still ahead.
    We shall see many soon, and many more soon after.

  3. 3
    Dionisio says:

    @2:

    “It doesn’t matter if your name is removed from Wikipedia or any other worldly record. What matters is to know that our names are written in the Book of Life, by grace alone, through saving faith in Christ, our Lord and Savior. The rest is totally irrelevant.”

    Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life. [Philippians 4:3 (ESV)]

    He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. [Revelation 3:5 (NKJV)]

    And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. [Revelation 20:15 (NKJV)]

    companion. The Greek word (syzygos) may be a proper name.

    with Clement. The name occurs only here in the New Testament.

    book of life. The names of all God’s elect are inscribed in this book (Rev. 3:5; 20:15).

    [Reformation Study Bible provided by Ligonier Ministries]

    [emphasis added]

  4. 4
    Bob O'H says:

    Funny, no one had ever heard much about Gunter Bechly before then.

    Indeed. Onscurity is a pretty good indication someone’s not notable enough to have a wikipedia page about them.

  5. 5
    Dionisio says:

    @3 addendum

    “It doesn’t matter if your name is removed from Wikipedia or any other worldly record. What matters is to know that our names are written in the Book of Life, by grace alone, through saving faith in Christ, our Lord and Savior. The rest is totally irrelevant.”

    Book of Life:

    The heavenly roster of those destined to new life.

    The Greek may also be rendered “written in the slain Lamb’s Book of Life from the foundation of the world” (cf. 17:8). The book is the heavenly roster of those destined to new life through the purchase of Christ’s blood (3:5; 5:9). In the midst of persecution and the immense power of the beast, the saints may find security in God’s guarantee of their heavenly citizenship (17:8; 20:12, 15; 21:27). A similar guarantee is found in ch. 7.

    [Reformation Study Bible provided by Ligonier Ministries]

    But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life. [Revelation 21:27 (ESV)]

    I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. [Revelation 22:19 (ESV)]

    This warning against adding or subtracting puts the Book of Revelation on the same level as Old Testament words of God (Deut. 4:2; 12:32). The Word of God is to be protected from corruption, and distinguished from mere human words.

    [Reformation Study Bible provided by Ligonier Ministries]

  6. 6
    rvb8 says:

    David Klinghoffer talks of muzzling, erasure, and censorship, at a site that allows zero feedback or comment on all their articles.

    Perhaps rocks, glasshouses, kettles, and pots are the right sayings for Mr Klinghoffer’s nerve.

    I’dnever heard of this scientist, not that that means much. But if he is an ID figure of note I’m sure he can use the pulpit that is the Discovery Institute?

    With the immenent collapse of Evolutionary science, and the innevitable rise of ID, that stage should be more than enough to get his ideas heard.

  7. 7
    critical rationalist says:

    If your designer is nothing more than an abstract authoritative source of knowledge with no defined limitations, don’t be surprised if it is dismissed, by science or dismissed as supposedly being science.

    Theories have greater content the more they prevent possible states of affairs. To quote Popper, “the more they prohibit, the more they say”

    However, ID’s designer is abstract and has not defined limitations, as to what it knew, when it knew it, etc. It can be distilled down to “That’s just what a designer must have wanted”. It’s a bad explanation.

  8. 8
    critical rationalist says:

    But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life. [Revelation 21:27 (ESV)]

    That’s a rather unfair criteria. How does one know what is true or false? Why should someone be pushed for not knowing what is true?

    How do you know denying two people who love each other to be married, even if they are the same gender, doesn’t qualify as something detestable?

    How have you infallibly identified a infallible source of moral values and duties? How have you infallibly interpreted it? In the absence of such a means, you are left with conjecture and criticism, which always comes first. How fair is it to exclude someone from said book given this remaining alternative?

    IOW, if one thinks knowledge comes from authoritative sources, as opposed to variation an criticism, they will now criticize their ideas. And they won’t correct errors those ideas contain. In fact, they will try to prevent criticism and change.

    Why would God punish people who are confused about how knowledge grows?

  9. 9
    Latemarch says:

    Romans 1:17-23 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.

    Denying the obvious much?

  10. 10
    Dionisio says:

    Latemarch @9:

    Excellent quote. Thanks.

  11. 11
    Dionisio says:

    @9 follow-up:

    1:17 righteousness of God. This is a key phrase in Romans (3:21; 5:19; 10:3), regularly explained in the letter as “righteousness . . . through (or of) faith” (3:22; cf. 9:30; 10:6). God’s righteousness is shown in the righteousness of Christ that is imputed to, or considered by God to belong to, the one who believes. This imputation of righteousness to sinners who believe is fully consistent with the personal righteousness of God. As a just and righteous judge (2:5–16), God through the death of His Son justifies, or declares righteous, those sinners who come to true faith in Christ (3:21–26; 5:10). Luther’s reading of this verse had a decisive impact on his understanding of justification.

    from faith for faith. Paul emphasizes that at every point of its influence the gospel depends on faith, not works.

    as it is written. Hab. 2:4 provides the biblical basis for and summary of what follows, indicating that the way of life by faith was already known in the Old Testament.

    shall live. Life in contrast with spiritual death, and life in the sense of continuing in fellowship with God. From first to last, godly living means trusting in God and depending on His grace.

    1:18 wrath. The divine Judge’s righteous retribution and personal revulsion evoked by moral evil.

    is revealed. God’s judgment is not limited to the future; His antagonism to sin is already shown in the world. Its effects are visible even now.

    ungodliness and unrighteousness. The order may be significant—since moral decay follows theological rebellion. Or Paul may be using the two words together to express one idea, wicked ungodliness.

    suppress the truth. It is not that the truth is sought but cannot be found, but rather that, confronted with the truth (which is “clearly perceived,” v. 20), fallen humanity seeks to hinder and obstruct its influence, and is therefore “without excuse” (v. 20). The “excuse” in view is an appeal to ignorance.

    1:19 what can be known about God. Paul stresses the reality and universality of divine revelation, which is perpetual (“since the creation,” v. 20) and perspicuous (“clearly perceived,” v. 20). Divine invisibility, eternity, and power are all expressed in and through the created order (see “General Revelation” at Ps. 19:1). The invisible God is revealed through the visible medium of creation. This revelation is manifest; it is not obscured but clearly seen. See theological note “Mankind’s Guilty Knowledge of God.”

    1:21 knew God. Here Paul stresses that humanity not only has the opportunity to know God through general revelation, but that the revelation yields real knowledge. Humanity’s sin is the individual refusal to acknowledge what is already known to be true. While knowing God, people refuse to honor Him as God or give thanks to Him. The consequence of rejecting God was that their minds and hearts grew dark. A refusal to honor God leads all intellectual pursuits to frustration.

    1:22, 23 Claiming to be wise, they became fools . . . exchanged the glory of the immortal God. Intellectual arrogance before God displays a reversed sense of values; the worship of God is exchanged for devotion to man-made and man-reflecting idols. The indelible instinct to worship is perverted by being centered on the wrong object (v. 25).

    [Reformation Study Bible provided by Ligonier Ministries]

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