User talk:CScience

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Science articles at the level of 9-year-olds?

Admins or other experts:

I see from User_talk:Tims#Writing_plan that science articles are supposed to be on a 9-year-old level, and that this page is pointed to by the CP manual of style, making it apparently a matter of serious policy. While avoiding words like "clades" in an encyclopedia for schoolchildren is something I can support, I have problems with this in general. I think pitching articles at high-school students is a better idea, and that is generally what I have been doing. That is, I assume that CP, in the sciences at least, is meant to be an adjunct reference for (home-schooled or otherwise) K-12 students. I fully support this, but a lot of the material is closer to 12 than to K.

I note also that the mathematics category [[Category:Mathematics]] has a lot of stuff that I consider inappropriately high level for an adjunct-for-students reference. Things like Paracompact_space and Tychonoff_theorem are advanced undergraduate or graduate subjects. I've mostly been trying to pitch things to the high-school level, as in my article Fundamental_Theorem_of_Calculus.

Normally I would just go ahead and do what I think is right, according to my field of expertise, but there seems to be a genuine policy issue here. CScience 22:21, 26 May 2007 (EDT)

I've just removed that requirement from the Manual of Style, for reasons to do with how it came to be there in the first place. This is not to say that you shouldn't write articles for that level as far as possible, but it's not something that has been decided as a blanket rule. Philip J. Rayment 10:28, 27 May 2007 (EDT)
We don't have a comprehensive policy on Science, nor are we entirely in agreement on the "reading level" for the various articles.
There are aspects of math and engineering which have prerequisites. For example, it's hard to understand integral calculus if you don't know trigonometry. We also don't expect (or even want) 9-year-olds to wrestle with the moral implications of homosexuality, etc.
But I personally object to articles which are written in such a way that only a reader with a graduate school vocabulary can understand them. Jargon-laden prose can usually be clarified (without dumbing it down). A layman's treatment of the subject is what I aim at.
My objection is to stuff which looks like it makes sense, but is written in a format that the layman cannot penetrate. Like a journal article written by specialists for specialists. How can we understand global warming when we don't understand forcings, albedo, GCMs, the "greenhouse effect", and so on?
I forget which world-famous scientists said it (Einstein?), but if you can't explain it to a child you probably don't really understand it yourself. I would add, if you can't explain it clearly to child, it might not even be true! --Ed Poor 07:18, 28 May 2007 (EDT)
While I don't fully agree with your last paragraph, I certainly want to avoid the pitfalls ("jargon-laden prose") that you speak about. My goal is to figure out a way to make whatever I write about able to be followed, to some extent, by ambitious high-school students. But it may require that they poke around in the various pages. My current goal is to do this for Maxwell's Equations. Making this accessible to high-school students is an extremely ambitious project, but it will be well worth it if I can succeed. Meanwhile, I have to explain divergence and curl. CScience 12:03, 8 June 2007 (EDT)
Aha! I see Conservapedia:Article_level. I like it. CScience 21:56, 8 June 2007 (EDT)

Merge categories "element" and "elements"?

Admins or other experts:

Please see Category_talk:Element. Would someone please take action on this? It strikes me as a no-brainer, and I can only conclude that the people discussing it and the people with the knowledge/authority to act on it are, in the language of mathematics, disjoint sets.  :-) Having both categories is a major headache for people (like me) trying to add lots of elements. CScience 22:21, 26 May 2007 (EDT)

I've responded there. Philip J. Rayment 10:05, 28 May 2007 (EDT)

Userboxes

I read on your user page that you do not plan on making userboxes because you do not know how to create them. Conservapedia has created a page, titled Conservapedia:Userboxes, that will walk you through making your own box. At the bottom of the page, it also has a box that contains categories. If you click on one of the categories it should take you to a page of userboxes that are already made. Next to the boxes you should see some wording in brackets. If you copy the wording, brackets and everything inside the brackets, the box should appear on your userpage. Good Luck! :P --BethanySTalk 14:50, 7 June 2007 (EDT)

Creation Science stuff

I saw your comments on your user page, and was going to offer to work with you on Creation Science material if you liked, but I must admit that the areas that you mention are probably not my strong points, so that might not work out anyway. Having said that, though, I'm not sure what angle you were thinking of writing about, given that most creationists agree with non-creationists on geocentricism and heliocentricism. If you have other areas of creation science that you'd like to tackle, talk to me about it. Philip J. Rayment (sysop and YEC) 07:25, 9 June 2007 (EDT)

Oops, I didn't realise that you would be writing from a creationist perspective when I wrote that. Anyway, the offer does still stand. Philip J. Rayment 19:09, 10 June 2007 (EDT)
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