User:Philip J. Rayment/Advice to evolutionists
What follows is almost certainly not going to resolve all disputes and result in everybody getting along happily, but hopefully it will go some way towards improving this and similar articles.
Very often I see creationists here on Conservapedia simply changing/deleting/reverting pro-evolution edits, without adequate explanation or justification. But having said that, I intend to point out that at least some of this is brought on by the attitudes and actions of the evolutionary editors.
Although I've seen many examples of this, the one that prompted me to write this was the edits and discussion regarding Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, so my comments will use that as an example.
One of the main contributors to the article wrote on the article's talk page:
I wrote 90% of this article and it now falls under my protectionand
I will not allow creationist material in this article: this one's for science, if you're a YEC, go to a debate page or go vandalize the Dinosaur article
In doing so, he implied that creationism was not science and that YECs are vandals.
Following further changes by creationists, several evolutionists objected, but didn't just dispute the facts. They also denigrated creationists, with comments like "Do they threaten the emotional comfort of your little
medieval sheltered world? You think you're making Jesus proud through ignorance?". (NB: The strikeout was part of the comment when the editor first wrote it.)
One comment that had been inserted was that Neanderthal Man "...had the ability to speak exactly like humans.". Evolutionary editors questioned how this could be determined from fossils.
That's the pertinent history of that article. Now for what the evolutionists did wrong, or perhaps I should say now for what they could have done better.
First, they know full well that a majority of the senior editors are YECs, and that articles that treat the evolutionary view as fact will not be allowed to remain in that state. So they should have qualified things like the time periods that the Neanderthals supposedly lived right from the start. But instead, they wrote the article as though those dates were fact.
Second, they reacted badly to what they saw as unreasonable edits by creationists (and I'm not commenting on whether they were or were not unreasonable). Rather than just discuss the changes calmly, some of the responses (not all, admittedly) denigrated and maligned creationists in general (not just the particular editors involved).
Third, they didn't try actually finding out what the basis for creationist claims were. Instead of asking how fossils could show that Neanderthals could speak exactly like humans, they should have looked at the linked article and found the basis for that claim. It turns out that the basis for it is that evolutionists had earlier claimed that Neanderthals were incapable of human speech (so why don't the evolutionists question how that could be determined from fossils? The criticism seems a bit one-sided to me), but that further study of the relevant bones showed no differences to modern humans, which means that there is no basis for concluding that they couldn't speak like modern humans. The referenced article therefore concluded that they could speak like modern humans.
Now this might be a bit of a stretch; it doesn't actually prove that they could speak like modern humans, but it does seem a reasonable conclusion to draw. So having discovered all this, these evolutionary editors could have proposed a change (or even changed it themselves) to say that "there is no reason to believe that Neanderthals could not speak like modern humans", or something along those lines. I suggest (and would hope) that such a change would be acceptable to both sides, rather than just having endless arguments and reverts.
The example article and discussion is not the worst I've seen. To summarise, very often much of the argument is due to evolutionists continuing to write and act as though they are correct and that creationists are uneducated, unreasonable, and of course wrong. More respect and a willingness to present the evolutionary claims as claims rather than facts would go a long way towards us all getting along better.
On quite a few occasions I find creationists making edits that I (a strong YEC) disagree with, and would possibly side with the evolutionists on particular wording, but because of the denigration, rudeness, and POV-pushing of their responses I find myself arguing with the evolutionists instead of the creationists.