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Wikipedians diminish another high achiever sympathetic to ID

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From David Klinghoffer at Evolution News & Views:

We reported here the other day that distinguished German paleontologist Günter Bechly was erased by Wikipedia. The editors, claiming it had nothing to do with his having come out for intelligent design, explained that they decided he wasn’t “notable” enough.

Now along comes another ID proponent, Walter Bradley of Baylor University. Dr. Bradley is of interest to us as a Fellow with the Center for Science & Culture and as co-author of a pioneering book that helped to set the course of the future ID movement, The Mystery of Life’s Origin: Reassessing Current Theories (1984). But apart from that, he also has an extremely impressive history of research, publishing, teaching, and related decorations and other recognitions of his work. You can read a brief and appropriate biography on his CSC page.

Much of that was captured by his Wiki entry – until, if I’m reading this correctly, April 5, 2017. That day, an editor identified as Luis150902 proposed Bradley for deletion. More.

They settled on nearly two paragraphs of sneering.

Klinghoffer adds, “So it goes with Wikipedia, which your kids are probably consulting right now for their latest school assignment.”

Oh? Why are your kids consulting Wikipedia? Do they need to know what the world looks like to a freak show of the mediocre misfits Klinghoffer provides notes from?

Yes, there is sometimes useful information in Wikipedia. But one can say that of the supermarket tabloids as well. It’s a question of how likely that is, relative to stuff we can’t evaluate or should avoid, averaged against the value of one’s time sorting it out.

The basic idea behind Wikipedia is wrong for a number of reasons. One is that the model assumes that the people most likely to have the needed perspective are the ones who care most. Anyone familiar with the behaviour of trolls knows that trolls care more than anyone and usually have the least to offer the public.

“Wikipedia is my library” is the new diagnostic for laziness.

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.)

32 Replies to “Wikipedians diminish another high achiever sympathetic to ID

  1. 1
    Axel says:

    Haters gonna hate – imbeciles gonna stay that way, if they possibly can. It’s not OCD, it’s CD… ‘compulsive disorder’, plain and simple. “If you don’t play the way I want, I’m gonna take my bat and ball and go home.”

  2. 2
    rvb8 says:

    Axel,

    as I said to News several times, Wikipedia is ‘crowd sourced’, and not held hostage by government or private companies, or the Church.

    In many ways this makes it one of the most legitimate sources of information on the net. You see, it’s not beholding to polaticians, businessmen, or any church.

    Sounds pretty independent to me. However Huff Po, this site, Evolution News, AIG, and various religious sites all have an agenda: Power, Capitalism, or God.

    Wikipedia escues all of these power bases. Quite radical really, as ‘Jimbo Wales’, intended.

    As such it annoys the heck out of, ‘Power!’ Be that ‘power’ sourced in Congress, Wall Street, or The Southern Baptist Convention. It also has a tendency to get up the noses of conspiracy theorists, and very fringe science ideas.

  3. 3
    ET says:

    Larry Moran isn’t in Wikipedia.

  4. 4
    rvb8 says:

    ET @3,

    William A. Dembski, and Intelligent Design are.:)

  5. 5
    rvb8 says:

    Also ET,

    over @whyevolutionistrue, Jerry Coyne has heart warming photos of his visit to Cambridge, and his mentor Dick Lewontin.

    They, like Dembski, and ID, also have quite long wiki posts.:)

  6. 6
    Dionisio says:

    ET @3:

    That’s probably related to the fact that the distinguished biochemistry professor answered incorrectly a dishonest ‘yes/no’ biology question someone here in this website asked him a couple of years ago. That’s unfair, because the guy tricked the distinguished professor with a hidden subliminal message embedded within the text of the dishonest biology question. They shouldn’t allow that kind of dishonest biology questions here in this website. The thread moderators should be more alert and screen out any suspicious comments that include potentially dishonest biology questions like the ones that were addressed to the distinguished biochemistry professor, who then decided to stop having discussions with folks that ask dishonest biology questions. Now you know the rest of the story. That’s all.
    🙂

  7. 7
    News says:

    ET at 3: The fact that Larry Moran isn’t in Wikipedia is not a commendation of it as a source. He has been quite active in recent evolution discussions. He was in Forbes in 2015 on that topic, just for example.

    If one wants to know what is happening, Wikipedia is not the place to look. But if a kid wants to sloven through homework in a failing school system, it’s ideal.

  8. 8
    EugeneS says:

    rvb

    “Sounds pretty independent to me.”

    Independent of what?

    This is the most naive and most harmful delusion of today.

    Liberalism is the strongest and the most subtle form of tyranny. Social engineering: “all you need is pepsi”. No pepsi – no freedom.

    The true freedom is freedom from sin.

  9. 9
    ET says:

    Wikipedia admits it is not a credible source:

    Wikipedia is not considered a credible source. Wikipedia is increasingly used by people in the academic community, from freshman students to professors, as an easily accessible tertiary source for information about anything and everything. However, citation of Wikipedia in research papers may be considered unacceptable, because Wikipedia is not considered a reliable source.

  10. 10
    rvb8 says:

    ET,

    I agree, if my students say their info comes from wikipedia I don’t accept the work.

    It is however,and will remain, a wonderful internet resource.

  11. 11
    ET says:

    rvb8:

    It is however,and will remain, a wonderful internet resource.

    If by “wonderful” you mean “factually incorrect”, then yeah.

  12. 12
    D.K. says:

    I am not a scientist, just a layman but have put considerable thought and research into evolution. Evolution makes sense to me mostly because there are many independent lines of evidence through multiple disciplines that are complementary and consistant. However. I looked at the wikipedia page and totally agree with you guys. You got hosed. In my humble opinion they are biased against you. There are aspects of evolution that have had to be updated/accounted for as new evidence and correct objections are made. There should have been a prominent list of these listed with accompanying explanations.

  13. 13
    D.K. says:

    Oh, and this is for rvb8. You may think you are just getting up the noses of the ‘fringe’ types but when you treat them unfairly you make them sympathetic and legitimize their claims. There is no need to treat evolution like some secular sacred cow. It can withstand criticism. In fact criticism properly handled makes the theory stronger. You thus get up my nose too.

  14. 14
    MatSpirit says:

    Axel “Haters gonna hate – imbeciles gonna stay that way, if they possibly can. It’s not OCD, it’s ID… ”

    Fixed that for you. Sorry Axel, but empty insults are so easy to turn around…

  15. 15
    Axel says:

    Well, if we always read what was in front of us, you might have a point, Matt, but mostly we read what we anticipate in terms of such minutiae as acronyms, etc.

    Still, there’s an earthy, primitive gutsiness about you atheists : a never-say-die spirit, as your very u/n might imply. Game as a pebble. Never mind, you’re all as daft as a brush, and refuse to look at the absolutely binding evidence for ID all around us, which even an infant can recognise.

    Still, I’ll always be rooting for you, the way you come out swinging, bloodied, but unbowed.

  16. 16
    ET says:

    MatSpirit:

    Sorry Axel, but empty insults are so easy to turn around

    ID makes testable claims whereas the opposition does not. And that means you can try to insult ID but it ain’t working because reality is with us.

  17. 17
    Axel says:

    @rvb8, your #2.

    Oh no, no, no. You are very wrong. It is constantly monitored by agents or even operatives of the CIA, and ‘off message’ truths in articles, deemed political or geopolitical, and potentially damaging to the aims of the Deep State, amended (where necessary, deleted), to fall in line with their wall-to-wall domestic propaganda peddled via the MSM.

    One example is a quote of Keir Hardie, the principal founder of the British Labour Party. Some time ago, I came across a remark by Hardie, to the effect that all he had ever tried to do in politics was to put into effect Jesus’ teachings in the Gospel. Hardie was a Methodist lay-preacher. It’s a fairly well-known quote.

    Now, I can find no reference now to that quote at any of the links on the first Google page ; nor was I able to a good while back.

    Similarly, an American poet, whose Nordic-type name eludes me at present, wrote movingly to encourage Americans to rise above their more narrow self-interest, and vote for the commonweal, for the Socialist ticket.

    I’m not sure his poetry was even mentioned. So, somehow I managed to get his entry duly amended, yet, when I returned to what I had hoped was the amended original article I had read, any reference to his poems was again missing.

    If I can remember the poet’s name, I’ll check again, and report back.

  18. 18
    D.K. says:

    Axel,
    I understand that evolution does not claim responsibility for the beginning of life. But it is none the less a logical extension about which intelligent design has an answer. As far as my understanding of life and its process of coming into being and the transition to a multicellular configuration there is a basic ignorance for which at present i can find no scientifically reproducible remedy. Evolution has had other ignorances and incomplete/misunderstandings too. Punctuated equilibrium had to be thought up because it was finally realized that the criticism was too loud to ignore. Intelligent design seems to have all the answers. Is there any aspect of life history about which you claim ignorance or at least an incomplete understanding?

  19. 19
    D.K. says:

    Any takers besides axel?

  20. 20
    D.K. says:

    Must I insult y’all to get a response?

  21. 21
    D.K. says:

    Yo mama reads Dawkins

  22. 22
    ET says:

    DK:

    Is there any aspect of life history about which you claim ignorance or at least an incomplete understanding?

    Yes.

  23. 23

    Must I insult y’all to get a response?

    Since your question doesn’t really seem like a serious question, perhaps the lack of response merely suggests that no one takes it seriously.

    /shrugs

  24. 24
    Mung says:

    Does D.K. stand for Donkey Kong?

  25. 25
    D.K. says:

    My point is that evolutionary theory seems to follow the classic path to knowledge that so many other great theories have followed. From the theory of star formation, extinction events, plate tectonics, theory of light, all have suffered gaping holes in basic explanatory power but through repeated application of the scientific method a better understanding of the universe around us eventually came about. True understanding can come from other ways but Intelligent design would seem to contravene the classic path to knowledge by claiming all the answers ‘in the beginning’.

  26. 26

    DK, no one is going to give a pass to evolutionary materialists for avoiding documented physical evidence that is now more than half a century old. Why should they?

    Gaping holes? There is a significant difference between Wegener not having enough evidence and materialists viciously attacking all evidence to the contrary and anyone who speaks of it.

    Claiming all answers in the beginning? What a ridiculous straw man.

  27. 27
    ET says:

    DK- there isn’t a scientific theory of evolution.

  28. 28
    D.K. says:

    Yet the straw man goes unanswered.
    Thank you upright. If i read you correctly you would claim that evolution is not on the classic path to knowledge and is perhaps not a scientific theory at all because of avoidance of half century old evidence. I am not trying to be a smart ass. I am interested in your claims. This would not be the first time evolutionary theory has ignored criticism. Could you point me to this evidence and also tell me what an evolutionary materialist is. It sounds like a way to label people in order to dismiss.

  29. 29
    D.K. says:

    ET
    I view evolution as an actual scientific theory for several reasons. Among them are:
    1. the theory makes testable, falsifiable predictions.
    2. The theories explanatory power is deep and broad.
    3. Plus, while it may not be technically scientific, as i look at the world around me i can see the interconnectedness of the theory with all other relevant scientific fields.

    I am struggling to see how others looking at the exact same world come to different conclusions. This is why I chose to visit your website.

  30. 30
    ET says:

    DK:

    I view evolution as an actual scientific theory for several reasons. Among them are:
    1. the theory makes testable, falsifiable predictions.

    Name them. I bet not one has to do with the proposed mechanisms

    2. The theories explanatory power is deep and broad.

    What does it explain? Please be specific

  31. 31

    DK at 28

    Yet another straw man goes unanswered

    If you are talking to people who claim to have all the answers, then I’d find better conversation partners. If you are expecting people to confirm for you that they don’t have all the answers, then they should probably do the same.

    I am not trying to be a smart ass.

    I understand. Thank you. Nor am I.

    However, suggesting that ID people think they have all the answers for life’s history is just a bit insulting, and will draw fire. Design proponents and critics have access to the same evidence. The distinction is that ID critics are in power and generally refuse to address any evidence that is contrary to them maintaining that power.

    If I read you correctly you would claim that evolution is not on the classic path to knowledge and is perhaps not a scientific theory at all because of avoidance of half century old evidence.

    Nothing I said should give you that impression. We are all capable of separating continuous theories from individual people. You should also probably know that ID is not anti-evolution, that is a diversionary tactic of ID critics.

    I am interested in your claims. This would not be the first time evolutionary theory has ignored criticism. Could you point me to this evidence

    There is plenty, but I am just one person here, so it depends on what your interests are. For instance, if you have an interest in the history of protein families over the course of evolutionary time, then GPuccio is in the midst of a fantastically informative thread dealing with that subject — Here. There are plenty of other topics as well.

    As for myself, I tend to focus on the symbolic requirements of genetic information and the physical conditions necessary to organize the first heterogeneous cell. You can get a background on that type of material here: Biosemiosis: Bibliography. I am more than happy to converse with you on those issues.

    also tell me what an evolutionary materialist is

    My mistake. I first wrote “evolutionary biologist”, then changed it to “materialist”, leaving a word behind by mistake.

  32. 32

    Both those links are broken for some reason.

    Here they are again:

    GPuccio’s thread

    Biosemiosis Bibliography

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