Talk:Theory of evolution/Archive 15

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Blocked?

You call Wikipedia biased, and yet block any article that has a chance to be tampered with. You're almost as bad as New York Time, but would never insult you enough to put you at the same level. Why do we point out that Isaac Newton and Aristotle never thought of evolution? They also didn't think of several things, but that doesn't disprove anything. It is yet another embarrassing point that demeans our credibility.--Jaden13 17:45, 13 October 2007 (EDT)

I have to agree, Jaden13, I do find it almost sickening that this article refers to completely unrelated scholars in a hope to demean the theory of evolution. There is no documented fact that Aristotle didn't believe in evolution, so why is that implied to successfully in this article.--Metatron 19:49, 29 December 2007 (EST)

Darwin an atheist?

Interestingly, Darwin says in that extract that he considered himself a theist at the time he wrote Origin of Species. Indeed, he explicitly cites God as creator in Origin. And even in the quote provided, well after the publication of Origin, Darwin did not profess atheism, but only agnosticism. How then can we say that Darwin's theory of evolution (as articulated in Origin) was intended to provide a godless / antisupernaturalist theory of natural history, when he was a theist at the time he devised it? Ungtss 18:51, 12 September 2007 (EDT)
Ungtss, I suggest you read the Charles Darwin article again. Here are two portions: "Scholars refer to the private notebook in which Darwin stated he was a materialist as the "M" notebook of 1838.[9] Ernst Mayr wrote that "It is apparent that Darwin lost his faith in the years 1836-39, much of it clearly prior to the reading of Malthus. In order not to hurt the feelings of his friends and of his wife, Darwin often used deistic language in his publications, but much in his Notebooks indicates that by this time he had become a 'materialist' (more or less = atheist)". [10]" Also, "In 1831 he graduated from Christ's College at Cambridge with a BA degree in the classics and theology. On December 27 of the same year he departed on the HMS Beagle for a five year voyage of exploration. The Beagle returned to English shores on October 2 1836. In 1837, Darwin drew his now famous depiction of common ancestry in the form of a branching tree [1]." Therefore two things can be said based on the material cited. It is unclear if Darwin was a theist or atheist at the time he believed in common descent. Second, it appears as if Darwin lied to people regarding his atheism. I think you are being naive here and taking Darwin at his word in that extract (rather than being skeptical) since it appears as if Darwin lied about his atheism to people. Conservative 19:57, 12 September 2007 (EDT)
1) If you will concede that it is unclear whether he was a theist or an atheist at the time he wrote Origin, then we need go no further, because the issue is resolved. How can we say that evolution was an inherently "naturalistic/godless" natural history if we're not sure whether Darwin was an atheist at the time he articulated it?
2) Even if Darwin did intend evolution as a defense of materialism, why are we justified in calling evolution itself inherently naturalistic, when far more evolutionists are theists than are atheists? Surely evolution is far more than Darwin's opinion when he wrote it. It's been about 150 years! Why not say "The Theory of Evolution is the idea that all life on earth is related, and that all diversity in life is wholly the result of genetic variation and natural selection. It can either be naturalistic (denying that God guided the process), or theistic (asserting that God guided the process)." Ungtss 20:38, 12 September 2007 (EDT)
Ungtss, we know Darwin started lost his faith sometimes between 1836-39. The Darwin branching tree diagram came in 1837. I think it would be foolhardy to go by Darwin's public pronouncements since he lied publically about his apparent atheism. But the point is irrelevant anyways. We have a methodological naturalism and/or atheism theory of evolution article and a theistic evolution article. They are two different concepts. And I can't see creating a third article, stating well Darwin might have been an atheist or theist so here is a we don't know what Darwin was article. I think we need to stay current and now there are "methodological naturalism"/atheism proponents (that is how it is taught at most universities/colleges/high schools) and theistic evolution proponents of the evolutionary concept. Anyways, given my past interactions with you, I don't believe I am going to attempt to have further dialogue with you on this point.Conservative 21:02, 12 September 2007 (EDT)
But Darwin could have believed that God created evolution. So far as I know Darwin offers no explanation for the origin of the mechanism itself. Since we all agree that microevolution happens, we know that God must have created that, so someone who believed that God created that could also believe God created evolution operating on a somewhat larger scale. Pandeism 12:27, 14 September 2007 (EDT)
You're still evading the points at issue.
1) Although the talk-page says this article is to be edited only by the Student Panel, it is only being edited by you;
2) This article does not describe evolution -- it skips right to rebutting it. And that's not what encyclopedia articles should do;
3) This article does not even effectively rebut evolution, because it gets caught up in superficial non-sequiturs and ad hominems that only damage our credibility;
4) I'm not proposing a new article. I'm proposing that this article describe the theory of evolution as it is, neither inherently theistic nor inherently atheistic, that this article only describe the theory itself, something this article does not do.
5) Dialogue is something we've never had, because you never address my points. I'd like to begin dialoguing with you, if you're interested. Ungtss 22:14, 12 September 2007 (EDT)
Ungtss, I took the panel's decision, "will not be changed in any major way" to mean that they liked my 100% anti-evolutionary article I largely created and did not want the direction of the article to be changed in any major way. Namely, they did not want ANY pro-evolutionary propaganda in the article. So I added a few sections and expanded some sections. I would add that the article's web traffic increased while I made the improvements. I would also add that while I am very pleased with the panel in general (they did like my article), I was a little disappointed that when people were communicating with them they were not getting responses although I can understand the panel deciding not to respond to much that was directed at them. However, people have busy lives so I can merely say I was a little disappointed. Secondly, how can you "describe evolution" when macroevolution does not take place? Next, the panel must have liked my adequacy of defining what the theory is because they said it has been improved significantly on that point and never posted subsequently. Next, you waste everyone's time by making unsubstantiated charges about the article (non-sequiturs and ad hominems). Lastly, the article never states the theory of evolution is atheistic but merely says it uses methodological naturalism. And given that the article was not at all theistic evolution orientated when the panel made their decision and given that Andy wanted the article to say that the theory of evolution was purely a materialist theory but compromised with methodological naturalism and citing that since World War II a majority of the most prominent and vocal defenders of the naturalistic evolutionary position have been atheists (sentence changed to methodological naturalism), I don't think your agenda here has much of a chance. I also believe that giving a conservative view in regards to methodological naturalism is helpful (article links to methodological naturalism). Conservative 23:12, 12 September 2007 (EDT)
In that case, you should not call the Article 'Theory of Evolution', but something more fitting. Perhaps 'Arguments Against Darwinian Evolution'. Then you can create a page that explains what Darwinian Evolution is. PsychoDolly 10:57, 20 December 2007 (EST)


Pro-evolution article? You do realize that you are trading in realivist teritory son. Keep an eye out-you may start denying objective reality any day now.

Describing evolution 101:

  • not all living things are the same.
  • living things resemble their parents
  • not all the young of every birth survive
  • there are differences between creatures that affect their odds of survival and reproduction
  • Those with differences that increase their odds of survial and reproduction will proliferate, while those with the opposite will go extinct

It is a little more complicated for speciazation and ecology, but those premises are the bases.

-Sam

Sam, could you please sign your posts by using four tildes (~~~~) or by clicking on the signature button above the editing box? Thanks. And I hope you don't mind that I formatted your post into a bulleted list.
The reason I reject that as an adequate description of evolution is because every single one of those points is also consistent with creation.
Philip J. Rayment 21:19, 28 November 2007 (EST)
As a proponent of evolution, I'm not entirely sure what Sam was intending to prove with his terse statements. It's a relatively flimsy argument if you ask me. The only thing I can conclude is that said inidividual is quite unfamiliar with the science, or scientific theory. I don't mean to offend anyone with my statements, afterall I could be wrong. Maybe he's a famous Ph.D in the area, but I doubt it. Wisdom89 23:31, 28 November 2007 (EST)
Hello Conservative,
"...I don't think your agenda here has much of a chance."
I'm not sure that you understand Ungtss' agenda. Here are a couple of quotes which might illustrate it better:
"You don't have to misrepresent evolution to debunk it. Fully explain it and it debunks itself."
"You have to describe evolution before you debunk it."
And, from a discussion elsewhere:
"Evolution is so ridiculous on its own terms..."
My agenda, for reference, is clearly explained by the following quote:
"[Y]ou assume that I am an evolutionist. This is not the case... I want readers to walk away from the article with an improved understanding of the theory of evolution, and I want the criticisms of the theory to be better presented, and at a more opportune time, than is currently the case."
In summary, Ungtss' and my agenda is to provide a better explanation of the theory of evolution in a purportedly encyclopaedic article, and to see criticism presented in a more structured fashion. You seem to have misinterpreted our desire to improve the article as a desire to include "pro-evolutionary propaganda". This is not the case, and I would be pleased if I could disabuse you of this misconception. :)
"[H]ow can you "describe evolution" when macroevolution does not take place?"
The same way you would describe Latter-Day Saint theology (assuming one is not LDS), or the plot of Hamlet. The clarity of the article is compromised by every descriptive statement being followed by criticism, instead of criticism being provided once the user actually understands the "theology" in question. If I were writing an encyclopaedia article about "Friends," I'd wait until after I had delivered the main premises of the show to explain contradictions or holes in the plot. (E.g. how on earth do they afford those apartments?)—Jordan 13:46, 13 September 2007 (EDT)
Well said, Jordan. I only wish there was a wiki around that embodied your philosophy. FYI, there's been an ongoing debate over what approach will be taken with respect to articles like this. There was a recent arbitration on the atheism page in which the conflict revolved around virtually identical problems. Mr. Shafly (who owns this wiki) has yet to make a determination on the arbitrator's recommendations in that case. When he does, we'll all know what direction he wants his wiki to take -- whether he wants articles to take an "us vs. them hit 'em with everything you got 'cause they're evil" approach, or a "describe accurately and let the facts speak for themselves because the facts support conservative beliefs in the end" approach. Ungtss 23:14, 13 September 2007 (EDT)
Ungtss, you want us to present various views and make no indications on what is true or false and to supposedly take a neutral position. I don't see the point of a encyclopedia that has an article on the earth and spends a lot of time on the flat earth view and the round earth position and takes the same approach in the rest of the article in regards to whether there are really astronauts (giving the pros and con positions) and then spends a lot of time on conspiracy government view versus whether the government is not largely conspiratorial. Such a methodology is taking a postmodern approach and is not fitting for a real encyclopedia. There is such a thing as objective truth and postmodernism is a liberal ideology and not befitting Conservapedia (we are not Neutralpedia! )Conservative 23:45, 13 September 2007 (EDT)
It's also not meant to me Retardopedia. The student panel said "However, we agree that the article lacks an adequate, concise explanation of the Theory of Evolution" yet there is no description of what modern evolutionary is, and repeatedly confuses the scientific fact of evolution with neo-darwinian theory that explains it. It's hardly postmodern to include a description of the most influential intellectual movement in the history of biology even if you think it isn't true (are there articles on Britanica or wikipedia on Lamarkism? saltationism? Orthogenesis? - all theories of evolution that have been superceeded but are important parts of the intelectual geneology of evolutonary thinking...). It would certianly be better than a long quote mine interspersed with extrapolations and missconceptions that noone is allowled to fix...--Igor nz 00:35, 14 September 2007 (EDT)
conservative, i addressed your allegations against me on my user page because this is not the appropriate forum for that. Your analogy to an article about the earth fails because it is a false analogy. If the article were about flat earthism then i would hope we'd describe the pov before bunking it. Same here. The panel acknowledged the absence of a meaningful, concise, accurate definition of the toe. I proposed one. You ignored it. Nothing new. Ungtss 11:24, 14 September 2007 (EDT)

Criticizing evolutionary theory on the basis of it having been misused to justify Communism, Nazism, etc., is largely irrelevant and perhaps dishonest. The fact that a theory has been misused for some dubious purpose is not in itself grounds for criticism of said theory. If I might be permitted to strike a little too close to home, Christian theology has used to justify slavery and racism of various kinds, something that I'm sure would not sit too well with a lot of Christians.Alloco1 17:19, 27 September 2007 (EDT)

Nothing in the theory of evolution explicitly forbids placing a racist or totalitarian construction on it. Indeed, the very thrust of evolutionary theory is that superior species--or races--shall inevitably triumph over their inferior rivals. I can hear the Wagnerian strains even now as I write this--not to mention Horstwesselleid.--TerryHTalk 22:48, 27 September 2007 (EDT)
Obviously nothing will convince you; your mind is already made up, but here goes: Note again what I said about how Christian theology has been misused to justify slavery and racism.Alloco1 23:36, 27 September 2007 (EDT)
Who was the key figure in fighting racism in the United States? An evolutionist or was it the Reverend Martin Luther King? Second, here is what the African American author Thomas Sowell wrote: "The anti-slavery movement was spearheaded by people who would today be called "the religious right" and its organization was created by conservative businessmen."[1] I challenge you to show me that the evolutionary community were the key players in ending slavery and not the "religious right". By the way, you might wish to do a study on the gentleman William Wilberforce. Conservative 17:28, 28 September 2007 (EDT)
I thought about the speeches I heard from MLK and it seems to me as if he could be a evolutionist and so I checked into it and found he was an evolutionist. [2] However, I stand by the Sowell comment. Conservative 19:05, 29 September 2007 (EDT)
You have still missed the point Conservative, Wilberforce and other abolitionists where inspired by their religious thinking but equally the Southern Baptist Convention saw a justification for slavery in the Bible. As Alloco1 has said criticising a scientific theory for the way some people have extended it beyond it's actual purpose (to explain elements of the natural world) into societal or even moral/ethical theories is kind of irrelevant. Christianity can still be true even if some racists used it to justify slavery and evolutionary theory can still be right even if evil people used to justify their evil deeds. It's also a bit rich to imagine that the 'evolutionary community' could have done much to end slavery, the emancipation proclamation was made 4 years after Darwin published the origin and the abolitionist movements (in the UK in particular) go back much longer than that. --Igor nz 22:24, 1 October 2007 (EDT)

Actually the civil rights community was heavily made up by communists and secularists. They were of two minds A) make the US look bad for its racism or B) continue the fight against injustice where ever it springs up. King only used the churchs and religious language because they worked. However SNEC was definately secular and MLK's inner circle included commies. Oh and ironically enough Stalin and Hitler didn't believe in Darwinian evolution. Hitler believed the German's were descended from giants and Stalin was a Lammarkian. Social Darwinism is what you are attacking. I fail to see how it is any different then the divine right of Kings when it comes to opprssing the poor. Except the fact that it has been shown to be false. The only Western country that didn't give in to the Eugenics movement was Britain, due interestingly enough to a Libertarian member of the house of commons. Also note gravity was used to design more efficient ways of shooting artillary and killing people. -Sam








First paragraph

The CBS report in the opening paragraph is by now three years old. Yes, at the bottom of the page it says the date is July 14, 2007, but, when you click on the link it says quite clearly that the report was printed on Nov. 22, 2004. Below this it clearly says: (This poll was conducted November 18-21, 2004.) Could someone with access to editing this page replace it with a recent poll? The most recent poll on evolution I could find is one conducted by the Gallup Organization on May 14, 2007 which you can see here. (I know there is no category in the poll on God-guided evolution, but this is the best I could find at the moment.) JK899 16:34, 4 December 2007 (EST)

I've changed the date in the footnote of the article. Philip J. Rayment 08:12, 5 December 2007 (EST)
You'll find that religious tolerance is generally not a website that is viewed as being forthright in their presentation of information. It may be better to find the information from Gallup directly since religious tolerance has a tendency to leave things out. Learn together 15:53, 5 December 2007 (EST)

Error in judgement

Yes, many great scientists didnt discover evolution, most likely because it was no where near their area of expertese!!! Your arguement is like saying that Babe Ruth never won the NBA!!!--Athiest101 16:01, 5 December 2007 (EST)

Scientific Community Consensus

There seems to be a few errors of judgment in here. For example it says how bloodletting was once thought to be able to help sick people. However it is because of science that it is known to be unhealthy now. Lead was once thought to be harmless but now it is well known to be harmful, unless you do not trust the medical community enough to believe them when they say something is poisonous? Anyway, the point that I am trying to make is that while scientific consensus may not always be right, it is not always wrong. Of course I'm not really sure what this section has to do with evolution to begin with And with the animals that the bible was right on? What about where the bible states that serpents eat dust? Just because scientists were wrong doesn't make everything they say wrong, the same should go for the bible as well. The fact is science makes an effort to find out if they are wrong and will revise things accordingly. -Rainedaye 22:38, 7 December 2007 (EST)

The point of it is to show that the Bible is always right, whereas science is not. Of course science is right a lot of the time, but it would be silly to use science to argue that the Bible is wrong when science itself is sometimes wrong. The Bible is not wrong about snakes eating dust, as is explained here. Philip J. Rayment 05:06, 8 December 2007 (EST)
Which version of the Bible do you read?RyanMiller 15:21, 8 December 2007 (EST)
Usually, but not exclusively, the NIV. Philip J. Rayment 02:54, 9 December 2007 (EST)
Philip, not to stir up controversy, but exactly what is the point of any article or person attempting to show/say that the Bible is always correct? That's a lot of hubris there if you ask me. Yes, science has been wrong, but that's the definition of science and scientific theory - it needs to be falsifiable and testable with the ability to generate new hypotheses. Things obviously change as we learn. Anyway, perhaps you could clarify your comment for me.... Wisdom89 20:09, 8 December 2007 (EST)
I didn't put that bit in the article, so in one sense I can't say why it's there, and neither can I say that I would have included it. But I guess the point is that so many people believe that science has proved the Bible wrong that it's good to point out that science is not infallible, whereas nobody yet has proved the Bible wrong, despite many attempts to do so. So why use a fallible source to pass judgement on another source which has demonstrated its reliability? Which one is more believable?
By the way, to the readers from another website which doesn't deserve the publicity by being named, note that I did not say that "science is useless". But then you can't expect anything approaching accuracy and fairness from that site. Philip J. Rayment 02:54, 9 December 2007 (EST)
Rainedaye, I believe you showed a lack of due diligence in regards to your snakes/eat/dust comment. You really should be more careful in regards to your presumptiousness in regards to the Bible and its alleged lack of scientific accuracy. If you had gone to footnote 191 and done your due diligence you would see that snakes do eat dust (see: http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/1298/ ). Conservative 18:36, 15 December 2007 (EST)

It seems like this entire section of the article was made to attack the theory of evolution. It seems to me like many scientists have accepted some form of evolution as the answer. Not ID Pastafarian2 22:27, 8 January 2008 (EST)

Glaring Errors

This article is a travesty to the conservative American cause. It is replete with glaring omissions, lies, quotes mines, etc. Among them:

- An incomplete definition of evolution

- Almost a complete absence of the mechanisms of evolution

- The assumption that a theory’s validity should be subject to the popular view of the scientifically ignorant public

And these three observations are all applicable to the first few paragraphs. I could go on and on about the many errors but I'll just highlight one example in paragraph four. Mark Ridley is quoted as asserting "In any case, no real evolutionist, whether gradualist or punctuationist, uses the fossil record as evidence in favour of the theory of evolution as opposed to special creation." The reference given for this quote is: Mark Ridley, 'Who doubts evolution?', New Scientist, vol. 90, 25 June 1981, p. 831.

Funny enough, when I checked the reference I found the entire quote in context, all you had to do was read what Ridley said on the pages immediately prior and following: "Someone is getting it wrong, and it isn't Darwin; it is the creationists and the media. In any case, no real evolutionist, whether gradualist or punctuationist, uses the fossil record as evidence in favor of evolution as opposed to special creation. The does not mean that the theory of evolution is unproven. So what is the evidence that species have evolved? There have traditionally been three kinds of evidence, and it is these, not the "fossil evidence", that the critics should be thinking about. The three arguments are from the observed evolution of species, from biogeography, and from the hierarchical structure of taxonomy. These three are the clearest arguments for the mutability of species. Other defences of the theory of evolution could be made, not the least of which is the absence of a coherent alternative. Darwin's theory is also uniquely able to account for both the presence of design, and the absence of design (vestigial organs), in nature." Mark Ridley, 'Who doubts evolution?', New Scientist, vol. 90, 25 June 1981, p. 830 - 832.

Needless to say, you are, at a minimum, misrepresenting what Ridley is claiming. Checking the archives I noticed that this error was pointed out months ago and has gone uncorrected, so it seems this is more than just a case of simple misrepresentation. This is the type of reasoning I'd expect from a lunatic fringe blog, not an encyclopedia.--Jimmy 12:46, 16 December 2007 (EST)

You may or may not see a reply to your contestion anytime soon. The overwhelming majority of this article was written by one editor, but he's often busy with one project or another. If you don't hear back and you'd like to follow this up, I can direct you to his talk page here. Feebasfactor 13:04, 16 December 2007 (EST)


There's things about the article that I'd like to see changed too, so I won't comment on most of Jimmy's points, but as far as the quote from Mark Ridley is concerned, he hasn't explained how it is out of context. "Out of context" means that some of the context that changes the meaning of the quote has been omitted. How does anything that Ridley said in your extended quote of him change the fact that he said that the fossil record is not used as evidence in support of evolution? Philip J. Rayment 15:06, 16 December 2007 (EST)
How does Conservative take Ridley's comments out of context? For many reasons that should be obvious.
1. Conservative quotes Ridley as saying, "The fossil record does not support the theory of evolution and is counter evidence to the evolutionary position", and then quotes Ridley saying the fossil record doesn't favor evolution. Yet what Conservative quoted said nothing about counter evidence to evolution, Ridley is silent on that part of Conservative's assertion.
2. Conservative said the article would provide further discussion about his two points, yet this does not happen. All he provides is three partial quotes and a link to more quote mines.
3. Ridley's comment when taken in its entirety is not supporting the point Conservative is trying to make. Ridley starts by saying the creationists, amongst others, are getting it wrong and there are many other arguments that can be used for evolution.
4. Ridley is stressing several points about the fossil record. Creationists are wrong, evolutionists aren't using the fossil record to favor evolution over creation, evolution is not unproven, yet none of these points seem to be credible in the eyes of Conservative.
To sum up, Conservative is only addressing one of the points Ridley is trying to make and then he is misrepresenting what Ridley is trying to say. Ridley is saying evolutionists aren't using the fossil record to prove their theory. Yet Conservative thinks otherwise and he is asserting that because the fossil record does not support evolution, this somehow means this is evidence against evolution, even though Ridley says otherwise.--Jimmy 16:03, 16 December 2007 (EST)
1. You are incorrect to claim that the article quotes Ridley saying "The fossil record does not support the theory of evolution and is counter evidence to the evolutionary position". That is not part of the Ridley quote. The article says that the fossil record (a) does not support evolution and (b) is counter to the evolutionary position. It is true that the Ridley quote only supports one of these two points, but that does not mean that Ridley is being quoted out of context, and the article does not claim that the Ridly quote supports both of those points.
2. I haven't checked the rest of the article to see if you are correct on this point, but this has nothing to do with whether or not the Ridley quote is out of context.
3. Ridley's quote taken in its entirety is not supporting all the claims in the article, but it is not intended to. The fact that it only supports one claim does not mean that it is taken out of context.
4. Yes, Ridley says makes several other points, but they don't change the meaning of the point that he is being quoted on.
In summary, you have failed to demonstrate your original contention that the quote was taken out of context.
Philip J. Rayment 20:31, 16 December 2007 (EST)
I see the error I made in point 1. I should have said Conservative claims "The fossil record..." But my point still stands, Ridley starts by saying creationists are getting it wrong and then says evolutionists do not say fossil evidence supports evolution. Yet Conservative is saying evolutionists are doing just that. If he had quoted Ridley correctly, there is no way he would have used this quote mine in the first place.--Jimmy 23:15, 16 December 2007 (EST)
I thought this issue was clear from the italicized full quote you provided above - after giving it a thorough once over I have to concur with Jimmy. The quotation is being used disingenuously. Wisdom89 00:00, 17 December 2007 (EST)
No, the issue is not clear at all, and Jimmy's complaint was that it was "out of context", not that it was "disingenuous". He has not demonstrated that it was out of context.
"...Ridley starts by saying creationists are getting it wrong...: Creationists are getting "what" wrong? Presumably something that he's already referred to before the section that you've quoted. And presumably not what he then goes on to talk about. In other words, that does not show that the quote is taken out of context.
"[Ridley]...says evolutionists do not say fossil evidence supports evolution": True, he is saying essentially that, although I'd point out that the context indicates that he is talking about evolutionary scientists, not the average man in the street who believes evolution to be true. As an aside, this is why this point is pertinent, because the average man in the street will point to the fossil record as the main evidence for evolution.
"...Conservative is saying evolutionists are doing just that.": No, he doesn't say that evolutionary scientists are using the fossil record as evidence of evolution. There is an implication that the fossil record supposedly supports the idea of evolution, but this implication does not specify that evolutionary scientists use it as evidence, and can just as easily be read as referring to the average man in the street who believes that the fossil record supports evolution.
"If he had quoted Ridley correctly...": He DID quote Ridley correctly. Your accusation was not that he quoted Ridley incorrectly, but out of context, yet you have still failed to show how the meaning of the article's quote is changed by the fuller quote.
Philip J. Rayment 01:00, 17 December 2007 (EST)
Tell ya what Phil, why not try to convince Conservative to use this quote from Ridley? "Someone is getting it wrong, and it isn't Darwin; it is the creationists and the media. In any case, no real evolutionist, whether gradualist or punctuationist, uses the fossil record as evidence in favor of evolution as opposed to special creation. The does not mean that the theory of evolution is unproven." There is no question in my mind that he won't because creationists tend to be in the habit of using quote mines and selective quotations to get their point across. That's why Stephen J. Gould[1] made the following comment; "Since we proposed punctuated equilibria to explain trends, it is infuriating to be quoted again and again by creationists—whether through design or stupidity, I do not know—as admitting that the fossil record includes no transitional forms. Transitional forms are generally lacking at the species level, but they are abundant between larger groups." --Jimmy 20:27, 17 December 2007 (EST)
"Tell ya what Phil, why not try to convince Conservative to use this quote from Ridley?": So you're giving up your claim that Ridley was quoted out of context? Tell ya what, Jim, how about admitting your mistake if you want to be taken seriously?
What would be the purpose in providing the fuller quote? The first problem is that it is out of context. That is, the word "it" in "Someone is getting it wrong" looks like it is referring to something that he's being talking about earlier (as I have already pointed out). So without that context, the quote is somewhat pointless. The second problem is that it appears to be just expressing an opinion that is in line with his views. To put it another way, if an evolutionist says "I believe that the evidence supports evolution", that's hardly noteworthy, because that's what you'd expect him to say. If, on the other hand, an evolutionist says "I believe that the evidence does not support evolution", then that is noteworthy and worth quoting, because it's not what you'd expect him to say. My point is that there needs to be a good reason for quoting someone, and you haven't given a good reason for the fuller quote from Ridley, and I don't see a good reason.
"..creationists tend to be in the habit of using quote mines and selective quotations to get their point across.: And anti-creationists tend to be in the habit of throwing out sweeping accusations like this without the evidence to back it up. I've personally checked quite a few claims of supposed quoting out of context by creationists, and most turn out to be incorrect, trivial, or otherwise unsubstantiated. You have provided such an example yourself, by claiming that Ridley was quoted out of context, and that claim was incorrect. So why should I take any notice of your unsubstantiated sweeping claim?
As far as Gould's comment is concerned, see here. Gould's comment can be explained in two ways: (A) that creationists are guilty as charged, or (B) that he didn't like the accusations from fellow evolutionists that he was providing ammunition to the creationists, so was trying to pass the blame on to creationists. Note that he didn't substantiate his charge against creationists; he merely asserted it, and as far as I know nobody has shown how creationists quoting Gould are doing so out of context. So I opt for (B). See also point 5 here.
Philip J. Rayment 21:09, 17 December 2007 (EST)
Providing the the full quote from Ridley would be taking him "out of context"? You've got to be kidding! Just imagine the fun people could have by simply using fancy editing to prove their point. This evolution article is full of it, open your eyes! If you can't see how Ridley's comment is being misused, it would be pure folly for me to try and convince you that Gould is being mis-quoted by creationists. I looked at your references, just another example of creationists mis-quoting and quote mining. Take a look at the Talk Origins Quote Mine project, it is interesting[3]. Continuing this conversation will get us nowhere, I've made my point and the readers of our comments will make up their own minds.--Jimmy 21:52, 17 December 2007 (EST)
This is little more that argument by assertion and argument by outrage—neither of which are valid forms of argument. I can't see how Ridley's quote is being misused because you have totally failed to explain how the meaning of it is changed by its context. You haven't even tried to do that! So don't go accusing me of being close-minded when you have not even tried to substantiate your claim with an appropriate explanation.
"I looked at your references, just another example of creationists mis-quoting and quote mining.": On the contrary, your reply was yet another sweeping claim with no evidence to back it up. Yes, people can make up their own minds, but I'd suggest that they will see that you have done nothing to back up that sweeping claim and dismiss your comments as pointless.
I have looked at the Talk.Origins quote mining project before. It's one of the sources I had in mind when I wrote above that I've checked out such claims and found them wanting. See, for example, this article on CreationWiki, that, from memory, I wrote.
Philip J. Rayment 22:47, 17 December 2007 (EST)

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