Talk:Examples of Bias in Wikipedia/Archive9

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National Enquirer revisited[edit]

Okay, there still isn't a source that says that Wikipedia is "The National Enquirer of the Internet." I took a look on Google and didn't see that quote applied to Wikipedia, reputable source or otherwise. Big-A, are you still going to defend use of that phrase on this article? It doesn't help Conservapedia's reputation to have an uncited claim on this article. Thank you, PostoStudanto 14:00, 18 September 2007 (EDT)

The phrase has to come from somewhere, invented by someone. If Wikipedia editors behave as though they're writing articles for the National Enquirer and the other supermarket tabliods, then yes someone is going to call that site "the National Enquirer of the internet". If we see the similarites, then we're going to call it exactly that. Karajou 14:06, 18 September 2007 (EDT)
Right. I've added another citation for the comparison of Wikipedia to the National Enquirer, as examples can be easily found on the internet. In addition, many editors here feel likewise, so there is no disputing the truth of the statement about some making the comparison.--Aschlafly 14:31, 18 September 2007 (EDT)
But no one ever said that it was "The National Enquirer of the Internet." They're just agreeing on something everyone should already know: Wikipedia is not an authoritative source. By the way, check the sources for your six-times-as-liberal example. Apparently the conservative quotient on Wikipedia is infinite. - PostoStudanto 15:26, 18 September 2007 (EDT)
You don't seem to understand what gossip is, and why it is wrong. The comparison of Wikipedia to the National Enquirer is not based on unreliability, though that is certainly a problem. It's based on their exploitation of gossip. Godspeed.--Aschlafly 22:40, 20 September 2007 (EDT)


"Credible wikis, including Conservapedia, do not permit editing by anonymous IP addresses." I can't think of any other Wikis that don't permit editing by anonymous IP addresses. I suggest this bullet is removed. GofG ||| Talk 22:41, 19 September 2007 (EDT)

CreationWiki and do not allow anonymous IP address editing. Here is another Wiki that does not allow anonymous IP editing: 23:05, 19 September 2007 (EDT)


How, exactly, is this an example of bias on Wikipedia? It's a mistake on the part of the newspapers. Oh, and I figured that, given that Archive9 doesn't actually exist, it would be appropriate to remove the link. Masterbratac 20:44, 20 September 2007 (EDT)

  • Sign your posts. Or they will be removed. Please don't remove objects or links added by Administrators. You make the same mistake as #71, repeating something and blaming others for it being added merely on the strength of opinion, or in that case, the newspapers. (Edit conflict, I see you came back and signed.) --şŷŝôρ-₮KṢρёаќǃ 20:49, 20 September 2007 (EDT)
I'm not sure I follow. How am I making the same mistake as in #71? I'm not taking something from an unreliable source and reporting it as true, I'm just asking a question. Masterbratac 20:52, 20 September 2007 (EDT)
  • Wikipedias built-in biases allowed for the article's creation and remaining up. Then (and yes, it was a big mistake for some reporter to be using WP as a source, something not allowed by most major papers)someone else used it, and repeated it. If Wikipedia didn't have a mobocracy the article wouldn't have stayed in place. --şŷŝôρ-₮KṢρёаќǃ 21:03, 20 September 2007 (EDT)
Then shouldn't the point be that the mistake was left intact, not that a newspaper reprinted it? On a slightly unrelated note, why did your last response break my sig on my original question? Masterbratac 21:08, 20 September 2007 (EDT)
It made the linky all non-linky. Masterbratac 21:25, 20 September 2007 (EDT)
  • I still don't have an answer to my questions: shouldn't the point be that the mistake was left intact, not that a newspaper reprinted it? and How am I making the same mistake as in #71? If they're answered, I will be perfectly happy to move on. Masterbratac 21:31, 20 September 2007 (EDT)
  • Guess that's a no. I'll be moving on now . . . Masterbratac 21:41, 20 September 2007 (EDT)
move on??...move on??....MoveOn is a codeword for subversive infiltration..... Rob Smith 21:57, 20 September 2007 (EDT)
Number 71 is Wikipedia's error that was copied by a newspaper. Why do liberals have so much trouble with accountability??? Godspeed.--Aschlafly 22:40, 20 September 2007 (EDT)

Bias or Error?[edit]

  • Out of the list, at least numbers 55, 56, 58, and 72 are examples of error, not bias.
On a somewhat unrelated note, why is the "See also" section even there? It only contains one link, and the linked article doesn't exist.
Masterbratac 20:03, 23 September 2007 (EDT)
Errors are often the result of bias. Your statement that something is an example "of error, not bias" is a non sequitur. It would be like saying that something is an example of "a crime, not sin."
Each of the points you list can be attributed to Wikipedia's liberal bias, which includes gossip, political correctness and lack of rigor. But thanks for your suggestion about deleting the empty link, which I did. Godspeed.--Aschlafly 20:20, 23 September 2007 (EDT)
I'll agree that errors can be the result of bias. Most of the errors on the list are. I can't see how these four are examples of bias, though.
Also, your comparison of "of error, not bias" and "a crime, not sin" is incorrect. Crime, presumably, is necessarily sin. Error, on the other hand, is not necessarily bias. My statement also wasn't really a non sequitur, but I won't go into that.
Masterbratac 20:30, 23 September 2007 (EDT)
  • You have that much boredom so you are forced to quibble, Masterbratac? "Errors" uncorrected (on purpose because of idealogical bias) for long periods of time, by the senior people at WP, become facts in the minds of many. It is another form of Deceit. --şŷŝôρ-₮KṢρёаќǃ 20:52, 23 September 2007 (EDT)
  • I still don't see how these four are bias. And, yes, I do have that much boredom. Masterbratac 20:56, 23 September 2007 (EDT)
If you deny what a liberal is, and what gossip is, then you're not going to be persuaded that these errors result from the bias. Two of the errors result from the promotion of gossip on Wikipedia; a third error results from [[political correctness], a type of liberal bias; and the fourth error results from denial of accountability, another type of liberal bias. Godspeed.--Aschlafly 22:19, 23 September 2007 (EDT)
Read my comment again. I did not deny what a liberal is, nor did I deny what gossip is. Tell me, which of these errors have which causes? Masterbratac 23:22, 23 September 2007 (EDT)
I wish I had more time to respond now, and I wish I had confidence that further discussion would be productive. I'll try to explain one and see whether you simply adhere to your already-taken position.
The concept of an elementary proof is well-known in mathematics and was widely taught to top mathematics students at least until 25 years ago. Yet Wikipedia refused for months to have an entry about it, and only relented when I pointed out here that MathWorld does have an entry.
Why such resistance? Because many of the recent claims of proofs, such as Wiles' proof of Fermat's Last Theorem, are not elementary proofs and liberals don't want to admit that. Liberals prefer instead to claim that mathematicians today are smarter than the devoutly Christian mathematicians like Bernhard Riemann and Carl Gauss. Not so, and this omission of this entry on Wikipedia was due to liberal bias.
Explained another way, liberals detest accountability, in this case the accountability of the rigorous criteria for an elementary proof. Godspeed.--Aschlafly 23:56, 23 September 2007 (EDT)
. . . I give up. If you're willing to believe something that ridiculous, there's no way I'm going to get a reasonable answer.
I will say this: I believe that mathematicians today are smarter, in that they have access to more advanced techniques. However, in pure mathematical aptitude, I do not believe any modern mathematician can match the likes of Gauss, Riemann, or Euler. Masterbratac 00:05, 24 September 2007 (EDT)
Fine, then give up. But note that you never provided an alternative explanation for the omission of elementary proof on Wikipedia, and the prolonged insistence by liberals there to continue to omit that basic concept. Godspeed.--Aschlafly 00:39, 24 September 2007 (EDT)
I see no reason to provide an alternative to something so ridiculous that nobody could possibly believe it. Do you even read the things you write?
Also, since you made the claim, the burden of proof is on you. I don't have to refute your claims; you have to support them. Masterbratac 09:03, 24 September 2007 (EDT)
I'm disappointed: you abandoned reasoned discourse and resorted to name-calling. Liberals on Wikipedia did resist including an entry for elementary proof. I've explained why. You have not, and seem content to hurl insults that only discredit your own denial.--Aschlafly 17:10, 24 September 2007 (EDT)
The only reason Wikipedia lacked such an article is because nobody bothered to create one. Now, if you had created the article, and it had been subsequently deleted, you would have a reasonable point. But you don't. You blame liberals for an omission you could have easily corrected yourself. Masterbratac 17:17, 24 September 2007 (EDT)
Masterbratac, you're in denial about liberal bias. Just look at the archives for this page and you'll see people opposing an entry on elementary proof. Look at how Wikipedia delayed and delayed long after alerted to the omission before finally relenting and creating an entry on it. Even now Wikipedia's entry is inadequate, and it omits from its Paul Erdos entry his emphasis on elementary proofs.--Aschlafly 09:28, 26 September 2007 (EDT)
If elementary proofs are such a big deal, shouldn't you just link to a reputable source that explicitly says that they are a big deal? - PostoStudanto 14:11, 27 September 2007 (EDT)
Andy, I did check those archives, and I found a post by JoshuaZ that said that he'd simply create the entry: "The lack of an article on elementary proof is disturbing and I am currently writing a draft." No fighting, no delaying. He saw it, he went to work. It's also the earliest reference to "elementary proof" I could find on the talk pages. The MathWorld stuff and the "fight" (which was not about the proof itself, but rather about its importance - something that easily counts as content discussion both here and on WP) apparently came up almost a month after the article had been created: Here is the discussion.
Put simply, I am unable to find the evidence that Wikipedia or anybody here delayed or opposed the creation of the article. Hence, I do not see the "bias" since anybody could have simply created an article - even you. Also, your "alerting" apparently was you simply posting that item on a page that was only made (in)famous in February, which is hardly "alerting" in my eyes. (If I wrote on some little-known LiveJournal about an error here, I shouldn't expect anybody to notice it.) Otherwise, please point out your attempt to create the article on Wikipedia or a talk page post where you mentioned it. --Jenkins 14:34, 27 September 2007 (EDT)
  • Can you explain again what is liberal about the omission of elementary proof?
  • Can you name anybody who would not admit that Wiles proof is not elementary?
  • Does it say anything about the political and religious orientation of Bernhard Riemann that he used his Zeta function in an non-elementary proof of the prime number theorem?
  • Does it say anything about the political and religious orientation of Paul Erdos that he found an elementary proof for the prime number theorem? Order 03:16, 24 September 2007 (EDT)
Order becomes the question box here. No, I don't have to explain it again. See my edits above. Yes, many liberals do resist characterization of Wiles proof as not being elementary. Wikipedia's own entry resists it by omitting it. [1] --Aschlafly 17:10, 24 September 2007 (EDT)
Good on you that you answer at least a few of my questions. I admit that I can be at times a bit inquisitive. I personally do not care too much what Wikipedia says about Wiles' proof, nor that it omits ZFC. Wikipedia is good for looking up a laymans account of many mathematical concepts and their history, but it isn't exactly an authoritative source.
Your statement was that many mathematicians deny the fact that Wiles proof is non-elementary. I am not sure why a mathematician would deny this fact; ZFC is fairly accepted while known to be problematic since equivalent to the well-ordering theorem. And the rest of Wiles' proof, to the extend that I know about it, doesn't strike me that elementary either. I asked you for the name of an mathematician who denies that Wiles proof is non-elementary?
Unanswered, and maybe for a good reason, is what relation exists between Riemann's non-elementary proof and Erdos elementary proof of the prime number theorem, and their political and religious convictions. Order 20:59, 24 September 2007 (EDT)

Wikipedia whitewashes article on man who lost Vietnam war.[edit]

While writing our stub for Robert McNamara I noticed that the Wikipedia article about McNamara glosses over his responsibility for losing the war. See [2]. SkipJohnson 15:07, 24 September 2007 (EDT)

Yet more pro-evolution bias on Wikipedia.[edit]

See [3] and . SkipJohnson 16:10, 24 September 2007 (EDT)

Thanks for both items above (including McNamara). I'll work these into future additions after more thought and research. Feel free to suggest specific language for a concise point about these to add to the content page.--Aschlafly 17:12, 24 September 2007 (EDT)
For the pro-evolution bias I suggest: "Wikipedia's article on Haldane's Dillemma, a serious problem for evolution downplays the difficulty the problem poses for evolution. Wikipedia refuses to add material explaining or citing work by Walter ReMine which shows how Haldane's Dilemma creates a strong speed limit on evolution.[1][2][3] " SkipJohnson 11:17, 25 September 2007 (EDT)

Its unfair to say Wikipedia has a pro-evolution bias. Perhaps more of a pro-scientific method bias? You people are allowed to believe whatever you want, but its simply nuts to insert religious belief into a scientific article. Why can't you get that into your heads? Graham 11:24, 25 September 2007 (EDT)

It's not a pro-scientific method bias but a pro-naturalism bias. The scientific method actually makes no reference to an exclusive focus on the physical world. Psychologists use the scientific method, even when the thoughts, feelings and intentions they study are utterly invisible.
The pretense that science consists only of the study of the physical world is a blatant fallacy. Science encompasses far more than just the physical science. --Ed Poor Talk 08:07, 1 October 2007 (EDT)
Why can't you get into your head that creationism is just as scientific as evolution and that evolution is just as much a religion as creationism? SkipJohnson 11:29, 25 September 2007 (EDT)
Because they've deluded themselves into thinking that this is science. --transResident Transfanform!
Then suppose you tell us: what exactly is science? And where is it written that science ipso facto excludes non-material explanations for events, and rejects them a priori as untenable?--TerryHTalk 12:35, 25 September 2007 (EDT)

How is evolution scientific? It follows the scientific method. If new evidence came to light tomorrow debunking it, then that would be the truth. The fact is that creationism cannot be considered scientific;There is no way to test its validity and is not falsifiable. In this context, creationism is not a matter of science - it is a belief structure based on irrational tendancies. Therefore it doesn't belong in a scientific article discussing evolution, unless perhaps noting that some people regard it to be scientific, despite the fact that it is not.
Creationism belongs and deserves its place in a theological/philosophical article, not in a scientific one. Claiming that it does betrays a most fundamental lack of knoweldge in the scientific method or science in general. Graham 12:43, 25 September 2007 (EDT)
You are perhaps confusing "creationism" with Young Earth Creationism. Evolutionists often write as if they were unaware of the distinction between young earth and old earth beliefs. So I'll spell it out for you.
Young earth creationists limit the maximum age of the Earth to around 10,000 years, based on their faith in the Old Testament. Old Earth creationists generally accept the conclusion of geologists (and mainstream biologists) that the Earth is over 1 billion years old - and thus that fossils provide an accurate historical record of when the various species of life came into being (and sometimes went extinct, like dinosaurs).
Old Earth creationism is just as scientific in all respects as naturalistic evolution. It just doesn't limit causation to the physical plane, any more than archaeologists try to explain the Rosetta Stone by natural processes such as erosion. --Ed Poor Talk 08:14, 1 October 2007 (EDT)
How does evolution follow the scientific method? Where are the experiments showing an evolutionary process in action? New evidence comes to light every year debunking one assumption or another that evolution makes, and yet evolutuion grinds on. You claim that creationism is not falsifiable? Well, whether it is or it isn't (I say that it is, but that's another topic), evolution certainly is not falsifiable. And if you say that it is, then tell me: what one single fact would convince you that evolution is no longer a tenable proposition?
As a man having a medical degree, I can and do claim, with no small justice, that I know far more about the scientific method than you do. (And if you think that that is not correct, then let's have your credentials.) Evolution violates that method on multiple counts, chief among them multiple wholesale violations of Occam's razor. Those violations are far too numerous to list here, but for the sake of those who read this debate later, anyone who cares to look for them can find them.
You still have not given a workable definition of the term science. I infer from your remarks, and those of people like Richard Dawkins and Stephen Jay Gould and Eugenie Carol Scott, that by your definition, "science" is that which seeks to explain the origin of the earth, and of life thereon, and all its forms, static and dynamic, through material processes only, and assumes a priori that nothing immaterial exists. In contrast, I say that "science" uses trial and error to find the most likely explanation, be it material or immaterial, for origins or processes. And if we cannot even agree on a definition of science, then we cannot agree on whether
  1. Wikipedia or any other body is censoring certain findings, or
  2. whether such censorship is appropriate.--TerryHTalk 13:03, 25 September 2007 (EDT)

Oh, Doctor, you should have told me I was talking to the King of England! Get over yourself.

I do not have specific credentials, neither am I particularly aware of the intricacies of the scientific world (I am a Historian, not a scientist) but what I do know beyond any shred of a doubt is creationism is not science, and you cannot possibly tell me that it is. The best any creationist can ever come up with is that 'evolution has flaws'. Well so does democracy, so does every single discovery by the human race. You would do well to find me a flawless 'theory'. Graham 13:14, 25 September 2007 (EDT)

The King of England? What--did Queen Elizabeth II die, and did her death pass unnoticed by the Associated Press or Reuters or even the British Broadcasting Corporation? And even if she had (which I don't concede), what would any member of the Royal House of Windsor have to do with this discussion?
Now let me get this straight: you are not trained as a scientist--your calling is that of an historian instead--and yet you "know" that "creationism is not science." Now as to whether I can tell you that creationism is a science--why, of course I can. (You aren't proposing to place me under arrest for so declaring, are you?) Now whether I can make you understand that creationism is a science, or not, is entirely up to you. Close your mind, or open it, as you wish.
As to "the best we can do"--well, I don't know what creationists you've been talking to or reading. But evolution is worse than flawed--and by evolution I mean the materialistic theory of life origin and development. That theory is a null hypothesis within the meaning of statistics. And others who work with these things every day have already calculated that the probability of life originating out of nothing, and developing as it has with no non-material guidance, is vanishingly small. Accordingly, they reject the null hypothesis and accept the alternative: intervention, by a Non-material Intervenor. And I strongly suspect that you've heard that before; you just don't want to admit it, or face its implications.
And those implications go far beyond whether you or I are right or wrong about the origin of earth and of life hereon. They go directly to whether or not all of us are held accountable for our words and deeds. Accountability, my dear Graham. That's the part you can't face.--TerryHTalk 14:59, 25 September 2007 (EDT)
Since it seems that you need scientific credentials to join the discussion, maybe I can chip in, after all it says scientists in my job title, although it strikes me as weird that we would try to impress others with our degrees, and not with arguments.
That said, TerryH, you do confuse the theory of abiogenisis, with the theory of evolution. Abiogeneisis, life coming into existence from a biotic predecessor, is indeed still largly unsolved. The theory of evolution explains how the genepool of a species changes over time, and how species emerge and disappear, and is fairly well understood.
Second, your reference to the probability of life originating out of nothing, seems to imply that the theory of evolution says that the origin of species is a process guided by a random distribution. The principles of evolution are quite the opposite from a random process, and selection is the reason. It has mathematically been proven that evolution as principle is some quite different from a random walk. Since you are a scientist, look up genetic and evolutionary algorithms.
And if you mean "random" in the meaning "without purpose", sure scientist agree, but "without purpose", doesn't let you do your calculation of improbability.
With respect to abiogenisis, creationism doesn't explain much either. Questions that are unanswered are, where abiogenisis did happen, in a cold or hot environment, on earth, or interstellar, unanswered is which techniques were used to synthesize the first carrier of genetic information, unanswered is what this first carrier of information was, RNA, DNA, proto-RNA, etcetera. All these questions are left unanswered by Creationism, mostly because it is not intended to do so. So, it isn't really a convincing alternative to any of the ideas on abiogenisis that are around. Scientifically speaking. Creationism might give you more comfort. Order 20:01, 25 September 2007 (EDT)
Your distinction between abiogenesis and evolution is a distinction without a difference. Without abiogenesis, evolution is, frankly, a silly idea. If life had its origin through creation by an Intelligent Creator, then evolution is unnecessary.
Has anyone ever demonstrated the "appearance" of a new species? I defy you to name even one such example.
But I do not depend upon that. Distinguishing abiogenesis from evolution is a total sham. It is an admission that the totally materialistic view of nature is fundamentally flawed and untenable.
So you see, I do not merely criticize "evolution," or whatever you currently mean by it. I criticize what Charles Darwin himself meant by "evolution," what Stephen Jay Gould meant, and what Richard Dawkins and Eugenie Carol Scott still mean. I criticize materialism, which states that no causes exist for any events beyond matter. Abiogenesis and evolution (your narrow definition thereof) are both part of evolution (the broader definition), or materialism, if you prefer. The purpose is the same: to declare that there is no God.
I also detect that you are trying to accuse creationism of failing to identify the first cause of life. Well! This is a new angle indeed--for I had the distinct impression that the very concept of "first cause" was untenable, and that no one should ever look for a "first cause." You can't have it both ways.
In sum: redefining the term "evolution" is an example of moving the goalpost. I do not accept that. Everyone knows perfectly well that abiogenesis and "change over time" are part and parcel of the same thing.--TerryHTalk 22:58, 25 September 2007 (EDT)
Abiogenis and evolution are two different things. Evolution takes place all the time, in labs, in people, in hospitals, in the wild. All you need is a self-replicating process, where informations is copied, with a certain chance of error, and a link between the information, and the frequency with which it will be copied. Also known as principle of mutation and selection, but there is more to it. Evolution as principle is quite independent from abiogenisis. Sure, without abiogenisis, there wouldn't be biological evolution, but the principles of evolution would still apply to e.g artificial evolution.
Abiogenisis is about how the first living thing came into being, and that is an event of the past. Evolution is at its core a principle. It can be used to explain why the gene-pool changes, but it is more general than that. And Dawkins, Gould, and Darwin were looking what happens if you apply this principle to biology. Even if the first life was created, the principles of evolution would still apply since life is a self-replicating process.
It is interesting that you say that you shouldn't look for the first cause. If creationism should not look for the first cause of life, and the circumstances under which it developed, then it doesn't try to answer the questions that biology asks. Fair enough, but this is not biology, nor a replacement. Order 00:41, 26 September 2007 (EDT)
I resent your twisting of my words. I did not say that one should not look for a first cause. Your allies have said that, in this project and out of it.
On the contrary, I assert that everything had a first cause. And no one has yet shown how life can emerge from non-life. That's because it is not possible.
There are various model for causality, and I am not sure if everything has to have a first cause. But even if, we might just not know what the first cause is. Also, nobody has proven that life cannot emerge from non-life, it just seems that in the last 50 years nobody has proven that it can. Problem is that the creationist story doesn't explain either how life emerged from non-life. It doesn't tell you what was the nature of the first life, in which environment it thrived, etc. Even the failed attempts of the last 50 years to explain abiogenisis made a better attempt to explain this.
Explain what? The creation account simply says that God brought everything into being, fully formed--and working perfectly. Things didn't go sour until Adam and Eve ate an apple.
The burden of proof rests on the atheists in this case, simply because the atheists need to explain how a thing could have happened against astronomical odds.
First, your reference of "astronomical odds" shows that think that evolution is random process. Evolution is not a random walk. But this is just a technical mistake that is commonly made; mostly due to confusion what "random" means.
Secondly, and more important, the burden of proof lie as much with the creationists. If they want explain biology, they better explain it. Simple saying that He just-did-it, makes it a just-so story. It doesn't answer any of the scientific questions, like why different animals have different kind of eyes, why he made so many different kinds of beetles, etcetera. Just because he liked it that way? That is not useful answer. It doesn't explain neither how, where, and why life emerged as we observe it today. Order 01:07, 27 September 2007 (EDT)
How is evolution not a random walk? If it is not random, then it is guided, and if it is not guided, then it is random. I mention that only to show the weakness in your argument. I do not accept the notion that one species, consisting of individuals that can mutually breed, arises out of another.
In any event, statisticians quote odds all the time--to show that a null hypothesis is untenable, and that one must accept as valid the notion that a given difference is relevant and/or that intervention is taking place.--TerryHTalk 10:01, 27 September 2007 (EDT)
Evolution is not a random walk, because you have selection. You are just confusing the different meaning of the word "random" again. I'll say it again, go check evolutionary and genetic algorithms, and see for yourself that their behavior is proven to be different from a random walk. One difference is e.g. that solution of and genetic algorithm will converge to a local optimum, while a random walk will not. Look up the proofs. Order 10:57, 29 September 2007 (EDT)
Has anyone shown conclusively that your genetic algorithms have any basis in fact? Has anyone watched them in action? Have you the slightest scintilla of tangible evidence to support those algorithms? I predict not.--TerryHTalk 11:48, 29 September 2007 (EDT)
Sorry, Terry, to bring this point up, but you brought it yourself into the discussion that you are a scientist. As scientist you should know basic tools such as Google scholar, or other online libraries. It would take you exactly 3 seconds to find the literature on "Genetic Algorithms". The book "Genetic Algorithms in Search, Optimization and Machine Learning", by David Goldberg is a classic, and the first hit on Google Scholar. Do your research before you make such bold claims.Order 22:24, 29 September 2007 (EDT)


But atheistic evolutionists must assert that life arose from non-life, because if that did not happen, then they cannot explain how life came to be.
In deed atheists have to explain it to complete that part of the the history of life.
The above is a signal admission, by you, that atheism cannot offer a complete history of life without explaining how life arose from non-life without Divine or other intervention. Some atheists have tried to fudge the issue by postulating an earlier generation of beings from another star or galaxy that fired a brace of missiles hither and yon, one of which missiles crashed on earth and gave rise to all life hereon, including us. But that merely shoves the problem back another step--for how did this earlier generation come to be? I now learn that even Francis Crick had to abandon that theory, perhaps after too many people laughed at him for proposing it.--TerryHTalk 10:01, 27 September 2007 (EDT)
Atheisms really isn't about abiogensis. And I always thought that religion wasn't about abiogenesis either. Atheism doesn't explain why we are able to ride a bicycle either, and neither does religion. And the much of mechanics of bicycling is also still a mystery. Many scientists are atheists, but that doesn't mean that atheism is science is atheism. As a note aside, Panspermia isn't quite dead, just earlier versions of it. But the whole panspermia discussion is kind of irrelevant. Not quite sure if the core of your religion is to explain unknown scientific facts, but its certainly not the core of atheism. The core of atheism is that doesn't belief in the existence of a deity. Full stop. If you want to have a deity to explain gaps in scientific knowledge away, you are (1) arguing for the "god of the gaps", and (2) actually not explaining anything scientific. Order 10:57, 29 September 2007 (EDT)
Abiogenesis can only have had to happen in a Godless universe. Therefore, atheism requires abiogenesis in order to be tenable. So what happens? Evolutionists assume abiogenesis a priori. They also assume that all life arose out of one species of virus. That is what the textbooks said or implied when I was in high school and undergraduate college. That is, therefore, what was being taught in high school and college in my day. And that is what is still being taught in high school and college, by every account that I have seen.--TerryHTalk 11:48, 29 September 2007 (EDT)
  • Abiogensis can also happen in a universe with a creator. Theistic evolutionists believes this.
  • Atheism didn't came up to explain abiogensis, atheism arose because the the answers that religion gave to all kind of questions were considered disappointing, inconsistent, irrational, or circular. Of course, if you are literate in science it increases the odds that you are no longer satisfied with the religious explanations.
  • You were taught science is high-school, not atheism. New scientific finding can shows that a textbook is incorrect, because school textbooks do not contain internal infallible truth. And at some point these textbooks should be updated, although it might take some time. Sometimes it also easier to teach something that isn't quite right, like Newtonian mechanics, rather than start with the currently best theory of quantum mechanics. But that said, science textbooks can and should be changed if our knowledge changes, sure. Order 22:24, 29 September 2007 (EDT)
And how long shall I have to wait until I see high-school textbooks drop the Haeckel drawings, for example, though even many of Haeckel's contemporaries laughed at those?
For that matter, the whole reason for such blistering political controversy--not to mention lawsuit after lawsuit--that we see today is the proposal to revise textbooks to remind people that just maybe Charles Darwin didn't have as full an understanding as his followers pretend that he had.
As Ed Poor pointed out above, your problem, which you share with people like Dawkins and Gould and Scott and others, is that you restrict science to the material world. Nothing exists except matter. The trouble is that matter can't explain everything, and you know it.--TerryHTalk 09:59, 1 October 2007 (EDT)
Sure. You also need some mathematics. But anyway, even if matter doesn't explain everything, the religious alternative explains even less. But as I already said before, the honest thing in these situations would be to admit that you simply don't know. Order 20:10, 1 October 2007 (EDT)
You asked before why this issue keeps the people busy, and now you mention textbooks. Let me give my view on it. This whole discussion is not about the science of abiogensis and evolution, but it is part of the culture ware in the US, and in particular about who is calling the shots in US schools. Order 20:10, 1 October 2007 (EDT)


You have just admitted, by the way, that without abiogenesis, biological evolution is a concept with no warrant in reality. Now you want to talk of "artificial" evolution. Well, "artificial" implies an Artificer, does it not?--TerryHTalk 10:09, 26 September 2007 (EDT)
That is why the creationist arguments are flawed. Since even if there is a creator, evolution would still happen. This is how the creator set up life. Whatever the creating cause might be. Arguing in contrast that the principle is impossible is a folly, since on principle it works. This is why theistic evolutionist and also IDers do not reject evolution, but say say that evolution is insufficient to explain everything. And one of the things that is currently unexplained is abiogenesis. Order 19:18, 26 September 2007 (EDT)
Have I got this straight? Even if God exists, He is Unnecessary? Remember that we do not even agree on what the word evolution connotes--because men like you insist on moving the goalpost every time men like us get close.
No, that is not what I said. I said even if he exists, and even if had made the first life, evolution will still happen. Remember, evolution is a principle that applies to certain self-replicating processes, and life is one of those. Life could have been differently, such that a creator would have to manufacture each and any new living being from scratch, but it happens to be the case that life self-replicates. I can't help it. I am not moving the goal post, the problem is that you don't seem to know what evolution entails a principle, and that abiogenisis is a singular event in the past. Order 00:58, 27 September 2007 (EDT)
The aitch-eeh-double-hockey-stick, that's not what you said. In any event, your continued assertion, without proof, that evolution is "a principle," evades the issue of why people tout evolution so loudly, and suppress creation. And to the extent that species change, they change only for the worse, not better. The Second Law of Thermodynamics tells how. The Bible tells why--because sin has come into the world. Therefore, evolution, by the new and watered-down definition you now stand by, is a consequence of sin.
  • It is really almost exactly what I said. I said first "Since even if there is a creator, evolution would still happen", and later "even if he exists, (...) evolution will still happen".
  • Unless you can show me one definition of the word evolution upon which all scientists, or even all proponents of the concept "evolution," agree, your sentence above is operationally meaningless.
Biological evolution is the change in the genepool from one generation to the other due to a stochastic process that involves mutation and selection. All scientists agree on that. And in computer science an mathematics you assume additionally that you have a self-replicated process, and that the genetic influence is linked to the frequency with which it appears in the next generation. And that definition has been fairly stable since the early 70s as well. Order 22:24, 29 September 2007 (EDT)
And how did the process begin? What started it? In fact, you haven't even made a showing about a self-replicating process.--TerryHTalk 13:27, 30 September 2007 (EDT)
For evolution to happen it is irrelevant how it began. As long as it is self-replicating. If humans would manage to bring life to mars, it would certainly evolve on Mars, even if humans are long gone. And if you want proof that life is self-replicating, go visit a farm.Order 07:15, 1 October 2007 (EDT)
Irrelevant? On the contrary, the beginnings of life are far more material (pardon the pun) and far more relevant than you would have us believe.
It took me awhile to understand what you meant by a self-replicating process. But now you have to show two things:
1. That life consists of only one self-replicating process. In life, you have several--indeed, hundreds, each conforming to a different "kind."
It doesn't have to be one, it could be more than one. It happens to be the case that we only observe one type of life on earth, the one based on DNA. And hence the idea arose, that they all might have a common ancestor. But for evolution to happen you can have in principle multiple kinds of life competing. No problem. It just happens that in practice we don't. Order 20:48, 1 October 2007 (EDT)
2. That one "kind" ever gave rise to another, radically different kind. Going back to those lectures I had, and again I have seen no updates worthy of the name: the evolutionistic paradigm that I was taught, stated that a gene is a mutated virus, that mitochondria and chloroplasts were originally independent organisms, and that all species more complex than viruses (with the possible exception of sponges) derived from coelenterates. All protists, plants, and animals--they all came from one kind, the coelenterates. Now that you can't show. And my proof? Evolutionists speak of "missing links"--hypothetical species intermediate in form between two species that are known. Guess what? The missing links are still missing. Of course they are. You can't find a never-was. And none of your mathematical algorithms will find a single piece of tangible evidence to suggest that they ever existed.--TerryHTalk 09:59, 1 October 2007 (EDT)
Sure, the mathematical foundation won't tell you where to look for missing links in biological evolution. So what? You mentioned yourself that probabilistic and stochastic explanations predict averages, and not particulars. But it will tell you that the missing links that creationist are looking for, something like half cow half man, doesn't exist. This kind of missing link is nothing but a creationist strawman. It also tells you that at no stage the successor was radically different. It tell you that you make best progress if the changes are moderate. And some of the missing links that science was looking for they did find. Do you really want to tell me that you faith depends on such a benign event as a person digging up a fossil in Canada that is somewhere in-between land and sea mammal? Order 20:10, 1 October 2007 (EDT)


  • Anyway. If you want proof that evolution a principle that applies also outside of biology , check out work on evolutionary and genetic algorithms. I mentioned this before.
  • The Second Law of Thermodynamics doesn't apply, because life is not a closed system.
  • I've heard that canard before. Better minds than either of us have already disproved it.--TerryHTalk 11:48, 29 September 2007 (EDT)
Saying that you've heard it before doesn't prove that it not true. The second law really applies to closed systems. Or do you want to argue that life is a closed system? Order 22:24, 29 September 2007 (EDT)
That doesn't matter. You cannot divorce life from the rest of the universe. The universe is not merely closed; it is isolated. Abiogenesis would have been impossible under such a system. Life is too ordered, and too well-informed, for that.--TerryHTalk 13:27, 30 September 2007 (EDT)
Glad that you admit that life is connected to the rest of the universe. Life is very orderly indeed, but e.g. the fusion of hydrogen in the sun leads to such a big increase in entropy, that every decrease on earth accomplished by life can easily be offset. You would be right is the life would have taken over the universe, but as far as we know it confined to small pockets, on the scale of the universe.Order 07:30, 1 October 2007 (EDT)
Well then, tell me this: if increased energy alone were sufficient to reduce entropy in another part of the universe, then why couldn't a tornado rip through a junkyard and assemble a Boeing 747? And that's no joke. See Perloff, James, Tornado in a Junkyard: the Relentless Myth of Darwinism, Refuge Books, 1999. ISBN 0966816005.--TerryHTalk 09:59, 1 October 2007 (EDT)
This is the good old creationist argument from improbability. Which, confuses random walks again with evolution. And also claims that science beliefs that life came about in an event similar to your tornado. Which it doesn't. To give your example some credit, is shows indeed that increased energy alone is not sufficient for life to emerge. Otherwise the universe would be run over by life. But the amounts of energy consumed by life to sustain itself is sufficient to disprove the claim that the second law of thermodynamics is violated. And that was the contested point.Order 20:10, 1 October 2007 (EDT)


  • To observe that the laws of evolution also apply outside of biology isn't watering down; it makes it stronger, because its more general. And sin doesn't appear anywhere in the definitions used to define evolution.
  • Of course sin does not appear in any of the (ever-changing) definitions of evolution. Because they who write (and rewrite) the definitions reject the very concept of sin. Or rather, they define sin differently: sin, to them, is anything that stands in their way.--TerryHTalk 11:48, 29 September 2007 (EDT)
No, there were also people, Christians, who do accept notion of sin, who were also writing scientific definitions. Problem is that even they didn't have a use "sin" in their scientific definitions. Order 22:24, 29 September 2007 (EDT)
That's because, having accepted the notion of evolution as Darwin taught it and men like Ernst Haeckel put it forward, they had stood away from their faith. Just because a man calls himself a Christian does not mean that he well and truly is one.--TerryHTalk 13:27, 30 September 2007 (EDT)
What you say is that they aren't Christains. That's cool, but now I am faced with to kinds of Christians, and one kind of them claims that the other is dishonest about their beliefs. You might be right about their dishonesty, but I don't see why I should choose either side.Order 07:19, 1 October 2007 (EDT)
Now I have to admit that "why you should choose" is beyond the scope of this page. But it's a matter of supreme importance to each and every living soul, because the eternal destiny of an unsaved soul is a horror that I wouldn't wish on my worst earthly enemy. Jesus Christ came to earth to pay, in full, the penalty for sin. There's just one catch, though--if you don't believe in God and don't believe in sin, then...!--TerryHTalk 09:59, 1 October 2007 (EDT)
So, essentially you believe not because you've got arguments, but because you are scared by torture, pain, and hellfire? This is a reasonable position if you live in North Korea. Faced with a deity who punishes people for all kinds of reason know and unknown, and who is much smarter than us, I think it is a folly to try to deceive him and pretend to believe. Order 20:10, 1 October 2007 (EDT)


I confidently predict that you will never, never explain abiogenesis. And I repeat: without it, your atheistic system falls to the ground.--TerryHTalk 23:59, 26 September 2007 (EDT)
I can confidently predict that I will never explain abiogensis either. I am a computer scientist. And I can also confidently predict that I will never prove that evolution works as a mathematical principle. That has already been done in the last century. No need to do it all over again. Order 00:58, 27 September 2007 (EDT)
I do not accept that claim.--TerryHTalk 10:01, 27 September 2007 (EDT)
You don't need to accept that claim, you can look up the proof. And it has been proven whether you like it or not. Order 10:57, 29 September 2007 (EDT)
It has not, because as I said above, no one has shown that these "algorithms" work in the wild.--TerryHTalk 11:48, 29 September 2007 (EDT)
Since its all mathematics it applies to all self-replicating processes. If you want to show that it doesn't work in the wild, you have to show that there are active processes preventing it from happening. I haven't seen any argument by you that goes into this direction. You always argument that evolution is a random walk, and that is false. Order 22:24, 29 September 2007 (EDT)
Excuse me, but you have not even shown anything about a self-replicating process. You have not defined that term, and this is the first that I have heard about any of this. And after learning about the fraud that Ernst Haeckel committed with his fudged embryo drawings, I am not going to accept anything at face value from an evolutionist without hard and fast corroboration. You're going to have to lay out your entire case, and perhaps the best place to do that is in an Essay.--TerryHTalk 13:27, 30 September 2007 (EDT)
I amazed that you didn't know about self-replicating processes, and I'm glad that I could provide you with this new insight. And if you want to learn more, I pointed you to a handbook. I am more than happy to write an essay, if you promise me to first read the handbook.Order 07:19, 1 October 2007 (EDT)


But I wonder why atheism should fall over if science cannot explain abiogenesis. It is not a cornerstone of atheism. Atheism isn't about biology, even if Dawkins is a biologist. Order 02:28, 27 September 2007 (EDT)
Merely because, without abiogenesis, atheism cannot answer the question, "If there is no God, then where did we come from?"--TerryHTalk 10:01, 27 September 2007 (EDT)
Atheism isn't about abiogensis, so they probably don't care much. Its up to science to find an explanation if they can. And the explanation that God did it, isn't much of an explanation either. Order 10:57, 29 September 2007 (EDT)
You admit, then, that atheism and materialistic "scientism" are closely allied. Atheism turns to what they call science--but which, again, I call materialistic scientism--to explain that without which atheism would fail. It has been doing that ever since Darwin. Without Darwin, there would have been no Marx--he who called religion "the opiate of the people."--TerryHTalk 11:48, 29 September 2007 (EDT)
  • There is an overlap in people between materialistic science and atheism. Sure, and the the more you know about science, the more likely is you reject religious explanations as insufficient. But hey are still different. As pointed out on this site, there are religious scientists, and I can add that there are atheists that aren't scientists.
  • Marx and Darwin were contemporaries, Marx started writing 20 years before Darwin published his Origins. And that you don't like Marx is your problem; Marx was an atheists, but few atheists are Marx.
  • And also scientism has to live with the fact that much in not explained, and it freely admits that it doesn't know everything. It is just that in scientism expects that humans will eventually figure everything out. I personally am skeptical about that hope. And as said before neither religion nor atheism came about to explain abiogensis. Jesus didn't came to earth to explain mitochondrial DNA. Order 22:24, 29 September 2007 (EDT)
How odd--in the Sixties, scientism confidently expected to find all the answers, that it was just a matter of time. The broader name for this kind of thinking was modernism. Now we have postmodernism, which is the cop-out of all time. Don't cop out on me, Order--that would be unworthy of you.--TerryHTalk 09:59, 1 October 2007 (EDT)
  • At least you admit that scientism confidently expects mankind to solve all the riddles. You have good reason to be skeptical. I'll save you the trouble with hoping: they'll never figure out how anything came about out of nothing, without Intelligent Help. How can the atheists hope to figure out that which could only have come about through the Intervention of Him Whom they deny?--TerryHTalk 13:27, 30 September 2007 (EDT)
Sure, I am skeptical, because there might be problems that are to big for humans to comprehend. That aside, you seem to think that abiogensis means that that somewhere and at sometime something arose from nothing? Science always explains something new by a material process, and none of its attempts to explain abiogenesis said that something came from nothing. This might be limiting, but that are the rules of the game. And how does intelligence solve this anyway? I have seen many intelligent people, but regardless of how intelligent they were, few were able to create matter and molecules from nothing. Maybe you can explain, how intelligence, without the use of tools and existing material, can create something material? Order 07:07, 1 October 2007


My crack at the King of England was implied at your pompous air: As a man having a medical degree, I can and do claim, with no small justice, that I know far more about the scientific method than you do.

Why don't we just get you a crown and get it over with?

Anyway, back to the point. Just because something cannot be readily explained right now (IE, the Big Bang, where did it come from?) doesn't mean there isn't a logical explanation for it. This is similar to the belief that the sun orbits the earth - there was no other logical explanation for it. When evidence emerged that this wasn't so, people were repressed by the forces of superstition (Religion)

The one last thing which science cannot adequately explain and which allows religion its last dying breath is that of the Big Bang. Human beings cannot get our heads around the concept of infinity... Its a natural reaction. You cannot say to me that there isn't a big teapot orbiting Jupiter. Therefore is it wise to say there is in fact a big teapot orbiting Jupiter? Is it wise to make this baseless claim, simply on my perilously unbacked claim that there is, in fact, a teapot orbiting Jupiter? perhaps someday when we advance the notion of space exploration we can then definately prove whether there is a teabag in Jupiter once and for all. But just because we cannot explain there isn't a teabag orbiting Jupiter right now, doesn't mean we should believe that there is a teabag orbiting Jupiter.

P.S- Whats all that rubbish about accountability about? We're just having a discussion. Chill. Graham 15:10, 25 September 2007 (EDT)

First of all, if anyone is being pompous, you are. You continue to bandy the phrase scientific method as if it were inherently superior to religion. And--pardon me, but I thought you knew what you were talking about, until you admitted that you are not even trained as a scientist. I, on the other hand, have been so trained. And in that sense, I know more about the scientific method than you can possibly know.
And second--you bring up the Big Bang as though that were a proved fact, too. Not only is it not proved, but it could not have happened as commonly described. Something did happen, six thousand years or so ago (by clocks and calendars on earth, that is)--but what that something was, did not conform to conventional descriptions of the Big Bang in any way, shape or form. So don't ask me to explain that which did not happen and could not have happened.
Finally, all this is beside the point. I have consistently asked you to provide a definition of the word science that allows you to claim that God either does not and did not exist, or else is Superfluous. You have persisted in, as far as I can tell, assuming the consequent--or rather what you hope is the consequent.
PS: The accountability I speak of is for all your actions, on-line and off-. I am accountable, too. So I recognized that Someone settled that account about two thousand years ago. Of course, part of recognizing anyone for settling your account is realizing that you have an account to settle...--TerryHTalk 16:03, 25 September 2007 (EDT)
TerryH, Where did I say the Big Bang is a proven fact? I'm simply throwing idea's here... I don't know all the answers but maybe if we throw around enough we questions we might get an answer, together. The point of my argument was that just because we do not have a valid explanation for say, the Big Bang, doesn't mean that it isn't entirely possible. Kind of reminds me of a man called Gallileo all those years ago who said some crazy things...

By the way, I've calmed down. I had a cigarette. If you've any more questions just ask, and chill! Graham 16:22, 25 September 2007 (EDT)

You cited the Big Bang as the evidence that disproved creation. That could be true only if the Big Bang were a proved fact. Since it isn't, it can't disprove creation.
Neither does Galileo's experience invalidate creation. The full treatment of the Galileo affair is out-of-scope here. What is in scope is whether evolution, and all the things that evolution depends upon, are proved facts, or mere conjectures.--TerryHTalk 22:49, 25 September 2007 (EDT)

Wrap up[edit]

Terry, this discussion has to many loose end to be meaningful. Also we are just repeating part of the entire evolution/atheism debate all over again. If we want to do that we should go to the appropriate articles.

My summary of where we stand right now is

  • You believe that atheism has to explain everything, otherwise it falters. I disagree, and say that atheism can live alright with gaps in knowledge. Everybody has to live with the fact that there are more things that we don't know than things that we do know. Regardless of faith or the absence thereof.
  • You think that the only alternative explanation of unknowns is "God". You disagree with my response that "God" isn't a good answer to the unsolved scientific questions.

I hope we can agree to disagree on this. Or did I forget something? Order 22:42, 29 September 2007 (EDT)

You did forget a number of things, chief among which is that I am under Divine orders, per Matthew 28:19-20 , to spread the Truth and oppose error and falsehood wheresoever I find it.
About those "algorithms"--a commentator named Jim Manzi mentioned them in an essay published in the current issue of National Review. He states that if those algorithms work at all, then they show that, because evolution is not random after all, one cannot assert a priori that God does not direct it. Fine, except for one crucial element that we never even considered: time. Evolution, as you currently define it, takes far more time than the earth has been around.--TerryHTalk 23:29, 1 October 2007 (EDT)
I was telling you all the time that evolution wasn't random. Glad that you finally got it. And if you would have read the literature on the algorithm, you would have noticed that there a faster optimization algorithms around. This observation isn't exactly news. Evolution itself is the process without a director. But you can, as theistic evolutionists and IDers do, claim that a creator at some places stepped in and accelerated the process. But unless you specify where, when and how this creator did it, you still didn't explain anything, but you seek refuge with your creator in some unspecified unknowns. Which is even more vague than hiding in some known unknowns, like abiogenesis. Order 00:21, 2 October 2007 (EDT)

Terry, hi, new user here. So you do realize that that argument is circular?

  1. Evolution would disprove special creation.
  2. However, evolution disproves special creation, which is true.
  3. Ergo, evolution is false.

It's either circular, or you're making one huge assumption. You're aware of this?-MichaelS 23:35, 1 October 2007 (EDT)

Evolution doesn't disprove anything, because no one has proved evolution. No one seems able even to define it. How do you define it? If someone defines it as change that can happen to a species over time, then evolution says nothing about special origin. But you just implied that evolution implies that all species derive from one, whose origin remains a mystery. Which is it?
Also, I repudiate the charge of circular reasoning. I know about how long the earth has existed, and it's not the billions of years that would be required.--TerryHTalk 23:42, 1 October 2007 (EDT)
Evolution doesn't imply that all came from one? Who claims that? Didn't I say the opposite. It has just been observed to be the case that all life we know is DNA based. This discussion start to become repetitive. Order 00:21, 2 October 2007 (EDT)

I'm sure you do "know" that. How?

Moving on, evolution is, like you said, the change over time between and among species. It disproves special creation (special, meaning, each species individually), but you're quite right in that it doesn't imply abiogenesis... evolution does not speak itself to the origin of that first speck of life. Rather, it assumes it's there. So I've defined it.

Also, I feel that some of the problem might be from the false dichotomy created by creationary debaters, who distinguish between "macro-" and "micro-" evolution, even though one implies the other. And the punctuated equilibrium/gradualism debate, which concerns the rate of instant acceleration (think of it as the second & third derivatives of evolutionary change), has also been misconstrued by the same, in a deceitful attempt to make a mountain out of a molehill. I'd be happy to explain both of these in more detail if it clears up your definition; I feel like many of the "points" creationary debaters think they have are actually either misunderstandings, mischaracterizations, or deliberate deceit created in an attempt to delude the public, and undermine confidence in science.

As a final note, of course evolution is never "proven." No scientific theory is ever "proven," since new evidence will always emerge to require adaptation of theories. All that we can ask is that a scientific theory reflect the present evidence, and contemplate the inclusion of future evidence... a test which evolution passes with flying colors.-MichaelS 23:44, 1 October 2007 (EDT)

The "wrap up" was intended to continue the discussion at an appropriate place. Sorry, that I forgot to mention that you act under divine orders. The rest of you argument is captured by my point that you think that science has to explain everything, otherwise atheism falters. I still think that this nothing more than a strawman. The discussion with you is cumbersome, since keep arguing against positions that you think think I should take, but which I don't. Order 00:21, 2 October 2007 (EDT)

Order, from looking at your other edits (which I admire) I think we're on the same page, and I just want to make sure that the "you" you're debating isn't me, but is in fact TerryH :-). Is that right? Also, hello!-MichaelS 00:25, 2 October 2007 (EDT)

My last remarks was intended to be general in nature, and addressed mainly Terry. I can't see any reason to continue a discussion in which I repeatedly hammered the point that evolution isn't random, to arrive a point where Terry says "Gotcha, you admitted that evolution isn't random". Hence, a second attempt to wrap up. Order 00:49, 2 October 2007 (EDT)

Second attempt to wrap up[edit]

My second summary of where we stand is

  • You believe that science claims to explain everything, which it doesn't. I claim that science knows that that it doesn't explain everything, so i don't see the problem.
  • You believe that atheism has to explain everything, otherwise it falters. I disagree, and say that atheism is about the rejection of religious beliefs, and not about some scientific argument.
  • You think that the only alternative explanation of unknowns is "God". I think that "God" as an answer doesn't address any of the unsolved scientific questions.
  • You believe to be are under divine order. I believe that this argument from authority doesn't make your claims any stronger.

If you want to convince me, you shouldn't point to gaps in my knowledge; they are plenty. I do not even know the complete science of riding a bicycle. Pointing out more unknowns doesn't really undermine my position.

I might be wrong, but I get the impression that you think that your alternative explains everything. Rather than pointing at my lack of knowledge, you should for a start explain why it is possible to bicycle, or to tackle another partly unsolved problem, what causes lightning. But we should do it in the articles on Bicycles and Lightning. Order 00:49, 2 October 2007 (EDT)

All right, Order and MichaelS, here is my summary of this exercise in talking at each other:

MichaelS has just set forth every reason why I am unalterably opposed to evolution. To him (and, I presume, to Order), nothing will suffice except a declaration that change within species implies change from species to species and that God is not necessary to the process in any manner whatsoever. So much for grand attempts at compromise. I invite everyone to read those edits and judge for him/herself.

Yes, I know how long the earth has been around. The Bible states in detail how long certain men lived, and how old they were when they had sons. Add it all up and you get about 6,010 years. I have discussed here the three points of scholarly dispute that might make a difference, perhaps, of a hundred or so years either way. Not millions of years, as evolutionists demand.

Very well, then. This discussion is at an end--and I hope that all attempts from my side at compromise will now come to an end, because they are absolutely futile.--TerryHTalk 10:02, 2 October 2007 (EDT)

This reply confuses me. Your understanding of "compromise" is hilariously warped. You can't "compromise" on scientifically observed facts. You can't say, "I think the value of g is 9.3 m/s^2," and expect me to reply, "fine, let's settle this and agree on 9.5 m/s^2, that's a fair compromise." You can't stipulate away observed facts, and expect the world to change by fiat!! If a "compromise" in this sense is to have any meaning, it would have to be an agreement to make a good faith effort to examine and reply to the evidence in favor of each other's position.
But, you fail even to make this sort of "compromise." Rather than evaluating the arguments put forward, and replying to the arguments in an attempt to better understand them, you espouse your warped definition of "compromise," re-state your position, and then say, "well, I tried." Actually, you didn't. You just ignored countervailing evidence, and walked away when it suited you.
I invite you to make a good-faith effort at understanding and replying to our arguments. They do, after all, go unanswered. As to the age of the earth, I'll start by making a good-faith reply. The first "scholarship" espousing an age of the earth of 6000 years is a pre-modern Latin text from the 1300s. Tragically, the arguments haven't changed much since then, as you prove, Terry. Let's assume that adding up the ages of the people in the Bible would get you a full account of history. You're still dealing with a document that is unreliable for the veracity of the matter which you're asserting. I do not discount the Bible as a spiritual text, but as a scholar of ancient documents, I do discount it as a (1) scientific or (2) historical document. No historical document is reliable enough to base a scientific theory on, without corroborating physical evidence. Trying to shoehorn the Bible into the framework of a historical document is absurd when the initial readers had different understandings of time, society, culture, politics, etc., that make a direct 1:1 correspondence absurd.
Further, the Bible at no time says "this is the entire history of mankind, with no gaps in the account." If it did, your argument would become slightly less absurd. But the Bible at no point evinces an intent to capture all of human history within the four corners of the document, and to assume as much is to assume your conclusion!
So there's another good faith argument on my part. Let's see yours. Please do not use rhetoric and hurt feelings to get you out of your duty to analyze and reply to the arguments asserted.-MichaelS 11:01, 2 October 2007 (EDT)
MichaelS, everything you say above is false.
I have seen no "scientifically observed facts." All I've seen is a bunch of propaganda and not a little bit of fraud masquerading as "scientifically observed fact." Hypothetical "algorithms" do not add up to hard evidence that any species arose out of another, much less the long and involved "special descent tree" that is still printed in biology textbooks to this day. No one has ever observed domestic cats "descending" from lions or tigers, for example.
Don't talk to me about "unreliable" documents. In the Bible we have a Document that has been preserved with the best accuracy of any document in history. And corroborating evidence? How about sedimentary rock found at high altitudes? How about the very finding of Nineveh, capital of Assyria, at a time when the general community of archaeologists denied the very existence of Assyria? And how about this: did you know that Jesus Christ is the Best-attested Figure in all of recorded history?
You accept either all of the Bible, or none of it. No compromise is possible.
The Bible does indeed say, "Every word written Herein is properly instructive in any application." (II_Timothy 3:15-17 )
Good faith? You don't know the meaning of the phrase.
Now then: I'll readily acknowledge--indeed, avow and boldly declare--that I have not been seeking compromise. But others, including many whom I know and respect, have. In remarking about the futility of compromise with those who insult Divine Intelligence and set God's Word at nothing, I was addressing them, not you. And you have just provided additional evidence, the quality of which I could not hope to obtain.
So long, then. This has been very educational, instructive, and demonstrative.--TerryHTalk 12:44, 2 October 2007 (EDT)
Terry, I answered you here.-MichaelS 15:41, 2 October 2007 (EDT)

Terry, I wasn't aware that you were trying to come to a compromise, but an glad that we could in the end agree that evolution isn't a random walk. This is already much more than anybody could hope for, and for the rest we probably have to agree to disagree. Peace be upon you. Order 11:37, 2 October 2007 (EDT)

"No Entry For 'Liberal' "[edit]

Apparently an example of bias on Wiki is that it has no entry for "liberal" (it redirects to "liberalism"). One would note that the non-existent article on "conservative" redirects to "conservatism". It's common practice on Wikipedia to point directly to a philosophy rather than to its practitioners to avoid clutter. The liberal page, if it existed, would merely read as "one who practices the philosophy of liberalism. (See Liberalism)".

Why is this bias?Archibald 19:27, 27 September 2007 (EDT)

  • It would not be a deceit if that is what they did. But they don't, do they? And how can you speak for one million editors and say that is how it would be? Or stay, for that matter. --şŷŝôρ-₮KṢρёаќǃ 19:33, 27 September 2007 (EDT)
I'm also confused. Conservative, communist, fascist, libertarian, feminist, etc... all redirect to their philosophies, so how can it be said that this shows bias on Wikipedia's part? Besides, it looks like Wikipedia has actually changed it now and appears to include various definitions of liberal, including the articles Social Liberalism and Modern American Liberalism. Jelx 15:30, 29 September 2007 (EDT)
The term is "liberal". Wikipedia can try all it wants to redefine it, but Wikipedia is only discrediting itself. And in Wikipedia's silly new terminology, does it admit that liberals support taxpayer-funded abortion and censorship of prayer in the classroom? I doubt it. You can let us know.--Aschlafly 15:40, 29 September 2007 (EDT)
Liberal has a lot of different meanings Aschlafly, depending on the time period and country of origin. Wikipedia isn't creating it's own list of words out of thin air. Go visit Wikipedia, type in liberal, and see the terms for yourself. While you're at it, go to the article Modern American Liberalism, which is on the liberal disam. page, and it lists many of the views of the liberals that you are thinking of. The article is here. Jelx 21:03, 29 September 2007 (EDT)
The Wikipedia entry you reference is a lie. It conceals how liberals support taxpayer-funded abortion and censorship of prayer in school, for example.--Aschlafly 21:08, 29 September 2007 (EDT)
Liberals are not united in their beliefs. The Wikipedia article on liberalism mentions that "liberalism generally opposes government regulation of literature, art, academics, gambling, sex, prostitution, abortion, birth control, terminal illness, alcohol, and cannabis and other controlled substances." How clear can you get? They're not being biased. You may wish that the article included more criticism toward liberals, and no doubt liberals would like the article on "Conservatism" to be more negative, but WIkipedia's internal processes smooth out the edges of personal opinion to keep both articles factual.
I know many liberals and while a portion support "taxpayer-funded abortion" and censorship of prayers, many do not (a small minority of my liberal friends would support prayer censorship of any religion). It is unbiased to report that liberal philosophy "generally supports" something. It would be equally unfair to attempt to attempt to portray conservatives as gun nuts or fascists because most are not. As a libertarian conservative, I would hate to be lumped in with the fringe weirdos within my philosophy.Archibald 23:50, 30 September 2007 (EDT)
At least 95% of liberals support taxpayer-funded abortion and censorship of prayer in public school. You'd be hard-pressed to identify counterexamples. It's a deceit to describe what a liberal is and to leave that out, as Wikipedia does.--Aschlafly 23:58, 30 September 2007 (EDT)
Read the article. Wikipedia doesn't leave it out. Read the whole article. Wikipedia is not hiding the information that the Democratic party in America generally supports state-funded abortion, but to state that "liberals believe such-and-such" or "Republicans believe such-and-such" is labelling and unfair. Again, I know many liberals (even university professors) who do not support abortion.Archibald 00:10, 1 October 2007 (EDT)
I read the article, and Wikipedia leaves out both. And I doubt you know any liberals who don't support censorship of prayer in public school. I'm skeptical that you know liberals who are university professors who oppose legalized abortion. Post their names and let's see if they've stated that position publicly. I doubt it. Godspeed.--Aschlafly 00:22, 1 October 2007 (EDT)

Archibald, you are dodging the point, whether due to misunderstanding or as a conscious debating tactic only you can say. The point is that Wikipedia doesn't have a Liberal article. It thus seemingly denies the very existence of liberals.

Your tangent about the lack of perfect unity among liberals is irrelevant. They still exist, just as for example Creationists still exist, despite an almost perfectly even division into Young Earth & Old Earth factions.

Your other tangent about the historical changes in the meaning of the term liberal is also irrelevant. You surely know that Mr. Schlafly is talking chiefly about contemporary U.S. liberals.

A comprehensive article on Liberals would address the scope and breadth of meaning. It would also assure even liberals like you that you exist! :-) --Ed Poor Talk 08:02, 1 October 2007 (EDT)