Talk:Teach the Controversy/Archive 5

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Got false dichotomy?

There is another solution that allow the pages to remain seperate, and still be merged. Allowing the utility of being able to link to the subtopic (which as we all understand will eventually stand on its own merit), at the same time as making the content readable in its parent topic. How? Templates baby. add {{Teach the Controversy}} in a sub-heading of Discovery Institute - just like is done for VfD and other pages.

  1. nsh 14:35, Apr 23, 2005 (UTC)

Neutral/Other

Comments

  • The briefest read-through of Wikipedia is not a democracy tells you that the claim "Voting is not permitted on wikipedia " is false. Voting is of course permitted: "Various votes are regularly conducted, but their numerical results are usually only one of several means of making a decision." Also, the advice to try for consensus would appear to ignore the history of this page. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 17:31, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
    • Hmm, that's odd! Try reading all the way back to wardwiki? Kim Bruning 20:33, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Mel, your selective quotation is misleading. The main principle that Kim puts forth is supported by the full discussion.
Also, why the cynicism about consensus on this page? We worked out an acceptable intro by consensus. If we had all sought consensus before making massive POV changes, there would have been no need to lock it. Seems like a good Wiki citizen and a good Admin should not ignore the successes of consensus seeking and should not discourage others in that regard.
Why don't we work together to improve the article, instead of bickering about merging? --VorpalBlade 13:48, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)

First, the claim that voting is not permited on Wikipdia is simply false; indeed, it's absurd. There is no such stricture in Wikipedia policy, or even in guidelines. Pure 'yes–no' voting is certainly deprecated, except in certain cases, but not forbidden.

  • We didn't work out an acceptable intro by consensus. As soon as it seemed that we'd done so, up popped another objection from one side or the other. The discussion was marked by inflexbility on both sides. I tried hard to be a mediator, attempting to get both sides to moderate their hard-line positions, and I had absolutely no success. The evidence is above and in the archives. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 09:09, 23 Apr 2005 (UTC)
    • Ok, so how about all the texts (with their sublinks) provided by Fennec, Sam , and myself? Note that while a vote is typically binding, a poll is not, and is at least tolerated, hence the conversion. Hmmm, and maybe you can reason for yourself: What would happen if we allowed encyclopedic content to be decided by vote? Reply on my user talk if you prefer. :) Kim Bruning 10:16, 23 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I'm unfamiliar with this distinction between 'vote' and 'poll', and its attendant definitions. Is this Wikipedia usage? As for the various slogans and links — which one says that votes aren't permitted? One says: "In general, only long-running disputes should be the subject of a poll" (and that applies here), and I can't see any of them stating that Wikipedia policy is not to permit voting. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 11:01, 23 Apr 2005 (UTC)

  • Well, as you might have seen on many policy pages, wikipedia is run by consensus decision making. Contrast action by Vote. Note how straw polls are theoretically ok, but are considered evil, because they are easily confused with votes. Wikipedia policy is usually stated in positive terms: ie. "Page content on wikipedia is decided by consensus", as opposed to "Page content is not decided by vote". Kim Bruning 12:20, 23 Apr 2005 (UTC)
    1. I know what voting is; I questioned your distinction between and implied definitions of 'vote' and 'poll'. The articles to which you link have nothing to say on that.
    2. Does this mean that you accept the points I made about the earlier links, together with the quotation "In general, only long-running disputes should be the subject of a poll"? And what I said about long attempts at gaining consensus and at mediation? This discussion is proceeding in a horribly familiar way: I'm responding to what you're saying, and instead of responding to what I say, you simply pop up with new comments and claims to repeat your original point. Wikipedia:Wikiquette: "Don't ignore questions"; I think that the same can fairly be said for other points, arguments, etc. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 13:08, 23 Apr 2005 (UTC)
      • Hmm, sorry about that, in fact I think we're in violent agreement. We both seem to agree that quick votes(polls) are a good method to quickly discover peoples opinions, and that they should be avoided for final descision making where possible. Kim Bruning 14:43, 23 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia policy

Well this is all fine and dandy boys and girls! What a mess! First of all this particular article spews all over the place into other articles and the foundation of it is not honest or encyclopedic. But allowing for the facts that have now been brought to my attention for the very first time, is this anti-democracy and no-vote idea Jimbo's view, the Wikipedia Foundation policy, or what? I actually concur with the anti-polling idea if it is carried out uniformly (due to the opportunity for sockpuppets to stuff the ballots), but then what is left? I have experienced little gangs wandering around pushing their own agendas (like this article) and until now I have never seen anything that addresses this problem. I have asked Admins and clearly they don't know, so how uniform is this consensus idea and specifically what does consensus mean? Consensus of all those who happen to show up at one particular article? Or everyone who is registered as a User? What? There is also a certain amount of unease with the idea being touted that "voting is evil", etc. Clearly this article is a fraud, badly written and duplicates stuff on Wikipedia. I also believe that it constitutes a vanity project for Johnson in order to push his book. In short the sudden batch of no voting comments have made this issue as clear as mud. SAY ON: PLEASE! MPLX/MH 16:34, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

MPLX: Millions of people think evolution is wrong, and actively argue that case. Even if every single one of those people is wrong or deluded, there is still a controversy. We report what is, not what should be. DJ Clayworth 17:25, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

But...that isn't the controversy that they want taught. The controversy isn't "is evolution or creation true", what Johnson et al. want taught is: all the relevant scientific evidence concerning the theory of evolution, as well as the continuing debates within the scientific community. The controversy that they want taught doesn't exist in evolution. Sure, disputes exist, there are things that aren't clear...but for the most part they aren't about things that high schoolers cover (I can see it now...requiring high schoolers to analyse Hamilton's models of group selection...) It's a lot less notable than is the actual evolution-creation debate. Guettarda 17:55, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

What is this?

If voting is not policy, then why are there voting templates? (VfD templet removed from here - as served no purpose and page was cluttering emptying category)

  • If I may comment, Wikipedia attempts to find consensus before resorting to a vote/quickpoll. Where this fails, there are a few exceptions, ala the deletion pages. Burgundavia 16:53, Apr 21, 2005 (UTC)
But what does "consensus" mean? Just two or three people who show up at an article? So the 3 say "This is rubbish - delete it!" The 1 person who wants to keep it is out of luck. But what of that vast army of registered Users of Wikipedia? Are they not a part of this consensus? Or is it that they didn't know about the issue or didn't care about the issue and let the minority rule anyway? What? I have run into this problem before and I have never seen any real explanation. Since this article represents a classic example of this particular problem it would be a good place and time for those "in the know" to address this issue in order that we all might learn something. MPLX/MH 17:07, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I placed a notice on RfC, in order to overcome that problem (hence all the new faces – at least to this page – pouring in). Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 18:02, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
So what would you suggest? Guessing the views of the thousands who didn't vote? The reasonable view is that those who don't express an opinion don't feel strongly about it. The consunsus is among all those who express an interest, much the same as democracies, where everyone is offered an opportunity to vote and the views of those who express them are listened to.
Seriously, consensus means something different from 'majority view'. Technically it is usually an 'agreed upon view', in the sense that a group of people agree that they will take a particular position. They may not all have agreed with it initially; usually compromises are made. In Wikipedia, because of the large number of people involved and and difficulty of discussion, it usually boils down to the majority view, with perhaps the concession that close vote results will result in the leaving of the status quo. DJ Clayworth 17:11, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
3:1 would be a majority, not a consensus. For consensus, all 4 editors would have to agree. Others that drop in later might disagree, and then they all need to get together to agree again. So consensus on wikipedia is a fluid concept, and might change from day to day depending on who participates in a particular discussion. Because we are slow and deliberative, consensus is usually an attainable goal. Kim Bruning 17:17, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Polling isn't evil in itself. It's that people take the results of a poll as a mandate to do something based on the numbers that turn out -- which it is not. Polls are quick gauges of opinion and that's all they are; votes without comment are nearly worthless. Your vote in that poll is a distillation of everything you think about that topic into one "yea" or "nay", while establishing consensus requires expressing that opinion and expanding the reasoning behind it, addressing the reasoning that others have left, until you come to a mutually agreeable solution. You can't address objections that aren't stated. Voting encourages the interested community to remain divided by avoiding that discourse; you don't interact with the other voters, you merely choose camps. (OK, back off my soapbox now. :-P) Mindspillage (spill yours?) 17:22, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Okay, now apply that to this article which is called "Teach the Controversy" about a book called Darwin on Trial. The problem is that there is no controversy since Darwinism is not the current opposite of Creationism. The only people advancing the controversy are the people pushing the book. The article is vanity because it promotes the author (who had a stub) and he lacks any scientific qualifications to advance his theory. The theory is also advanced by the Discovery Institute which has its own article and all of these articles are really about the same thing. But as for this article if there is no controversy in the first place and the purpose of the article is to push a book and its author (both of which have their own articles on Wikipedia), then how does one get consensus to agree that this is rubbish when obviously the advocates have an agenda for promoting it? MPLX/MH 17:44, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Some facts here: 1) The article is about much more than a book. There have been presentations to school boards, public debates, all sort of things. Read the external links. 2) Philip E. Johnson is certainly a recognised author; he has much more than a stub article now, (No he doesn't: I added stuff from this article after I had revised this article which was then reverted - just as the pictures have been reverted! MPLX/MH 20:26, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)) and if he didn't he certainly deserves one 3) Who are you to limit who is allowed to advance a theory or not? (That's rich, it is the author who defined the controversy as being DARWINISM - certainly not me! MPLX/MH 20:26, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)) The test is in the acceptance of the theory. Plenty of theories have been advanced by people not obviously qualified to do so (So you admit that this man had no qualifications to write that book? MPLX/MH 20:26, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)) 4) As I've said before, millions of people agree with the things said in this article. (No they don't! Millions of people have not even read this article to form any opinion. MPLX/MH 20:26, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)) That makes a controversy. Or do you think you are the only arbiter of what is an allowable dispute? 5) You get consensus by persuading people that your view is right. (The fact is that there is NO controversy over Darwinism in US Public Schools and that is what this issue is all about!MPLX/MH 20:26, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)) By argument, and not by just reapeatedly asserting your position and ignoring any opposition. DJ Clayworth 17:52, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Factual Dispute

What exactly is the nature of the factual dispute here? Is it anything other than MPLX's repeated assertions that 'the article is a fraud'? DJ Clayworth 17:45, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Two claims have been made by the advocates of the merge. The first is that only DI talks about TTC. this has been demonstrated to be false with links to five totally independent organizations promoting the same agenda. the second argument is that DI and johnson are evil incarnate. that is totally irrelevent to the merge. i'm afraid that's all they've got. Ungtss 18:36, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I first heard of this entire argument when I read the WIRED magazine article (which is linked at the bottom of this Wiki article). I was incredulous, until I remembered how silly and insane the human race is, especially when blind faith - be it in religion, science or any other belief - is mixed into the equation. I took the time to read most of this Wiki article over and it seems generally factually accurate, if at times somewhat POV (there's a comment about baby eating, and any use of an exclamation point is automatically suspect). The reason most people would think it is a 'hoax' is that the Intelligent Design crowd does not actually offer a clear scientific alternative to Darwin's theory of evoltion; rather, the point is to get children to ask, "Well, if Darwin wasn't right, what's the real answer?" This is the point at which you offer religious alternatives about creationism. These people aren't stupid; they know the rules and they're playing the game, and they're good at it. The fact this article is here at all is proof that they know what they're doing.
Oh the dreaded they again! In scientific enquiry when one idea does not pan out it does not mean that all future ideas won't pan out. If that was true the first Joe who tried to broadcast would have given up. In fact there is a very famous court case over a failed radio company where the prosecutor reached that conclusion! Well we all know what an idiot he turned out to be because you can listen to the radio anywhere in the world today! Same goes for flight. The attempts to fly were many and a lot of people kept telling a lot of scientific minds to stop messing about and get a real job. So when we come to the universe what do we now find? Universes - plural. Darwin was but a failed tinkerer. However, he did have a mind that asked questions. But what we have here is not an attempt to find answers to scientific questions but more of the same old Scopes Trial mentality. If Darwinism was not at the center of this silly, silly mock controversy that does not exist, and Intelligent Design was the subject matter, that would be one thing. But no, this is a conspiracy of they and them who don't want us to read the Bible that reveals all scientific knowledge that any decent person should know, in a US public school. Without the conspiracy of a controversy there is nothing left and there is no conspiracy and there is no controversy! MPLX/MH 20:43, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Simply put, I do not ascribe to the theory; thus it is "they" to me. Secondly, just because a theory or belief appears to be false or deeply flawed does not mean that plenty of people don't believe it, or are not willing to fight or even die for their cause. Thirdly, I stand by the tonality of my above statement; from the way these people have been acting, they are clearly trying to push an agenda, whether right or wrong, in an intellectually dishonest fashion. Maybe I am wrong; if you would kindly send a link my way that points to a direct argument for an alternative scientific theory to Darwin's evolution given by these people, please correct me.TheRayven 17:02, 21 Apr 2005 (EST)
Quite simply, by simply getting people to ask the question, "What else is there?", their agenda is being furthered. They know that demanding creationism be taught would never fly, but they can attack the current entrenched system by calling on the fact that Darwin's theory is exactly that - a theory - and that all other theories must, therefore, be accepted until one turns into law. It's clear they want to put creationism back in the classroom, and they're going about it in entirely the right fashion.
Put short, there's no factual dispute; it's a real movement. The dispute is over merging and someone is using other Wiki features to continue the debate. TheRayven 14:42, 21 Apr 2005 (EST)


Addition of Images by MPLX

I am against keeping these images, as they are found in other articles and this article is not about Johnson or Darwin on Trial. I find it remarkable that MPLX added them, since he complains that this article is already a promo for Johnson and his book. As noted above, we solve the duplication problem by taking out the duplicative material, not by merging. (And not by adding more duplicative material.) --VorpalBlade 18:41, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

to clarify their tactic at this point, they are trying to make this article look as much like the DI page as possible, to create the false impression that it's a subset of the DI, so everyone will want to merge it there. Ungtss 18:45, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
The cover of the book shows Charles Darwin

The conspiracy theory

There is no they, there is me and a few others and we all hold different opinions as Mel will tell you quite bluntly. He is certainly not my lap dog, nor am I his! He will also tell you that quite bluntly. Stop trying to push this off on to a conspiracy of they. The fact is that Johnson wrote a book - show a picture of Johnson and show a picture of the book because the title of THAT BOOK is what my beef is all about: there is no controversy in US Public Schools over the teaching of Darwinism, because Darwinism as such is not being taught in public schools! MPLX/MH 20:32, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

The point of this movement is, "the controversy is not being taught in public schools, but it needs to be." Thus your argument is irrelevent. yes. it's not being taught in schools. that's why there's a movement called "Teach the controversy." Ungtss 22:21, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
So you want to teach kids Darwinism? As what? History? The world has moved on since the Scopes Trial. MPLX/MH 23:10, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
i'm not here to debate policy with you, friend. i'm well aware we'll never agree on that. my only interest here is the quality of wikipedia articles. Ungtss 04:02, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)

The cover of the book tells all!

This is the book that begat the controversy which really took place years ago in a silly case called the Scopes Trial. It is this SAME issue that is now being dredged up again by Johnson and his Discovery Institute supporters. Why? Now that is the $64 question because I cannot fathom the answer. There is no controversy and the scientific community certainly isn't debating Darwinism as if it had nothing better to discuss or as if time and discoveries had not moved on. The book cover is central to this article because it is about a fantasy where "they" are trying to impose the teaching of Darwinism in schools and shutting out all other possibilities. That is such a load of old cobblers that I don't know for the life of me whether this is a Monty Python script as a follow-up to the dead parrot saga, or just someone pulling a chain. MPLX/MH 20:55, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

The straw man discussion returns

If you think nobody is debating evolution, then you aren't in North America.

Here are some references to non-Discovery Institute organisations talking about this subject,

  • Wired "Since the debate, 'teach the controversy' has become the rallying cry of the national intelligent-design movement, and Ohio has become the leading battleground. [1]
  • Various newspapers "It seems that a few major newspapers (Cleveland Plain Dealer and Columbus Dispatch) in Ohio have chosen to weigh in on some of the "teach the controversy" portions of the science standards." [2]
  • Carlton College [3]

DJ Clayworth 21:07, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Interesting links - they make my point though. The Carlton Colege link talks about getting students to debunk creationism for themselves, the "various newspapers" link is about someone at creations.org trying to rebut newspaper editorials, and the Wired link talks about debates between creationists and scientists. None of this has anything to do with what this article is talking about. Guettarda 22:54, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Guettarda - You hit the nail on the head! I agree. MPLX/MH 23:03, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I think you misrepresent the articles. The Carlton ref. does talk about examining the evidence critically, which is what this is about. The Wired article does talk about this movement, albeit from a very slanted perspective. There have been editorials in support of it- see links in article. --VorpalBlade 10:19, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Since when did I state that evolution is not being discussed in North America? I said that Darwinism was not a point of controversy in US public schools! That is what this article is all about: a controversy that does not exist in US public schools regarding the teaching of Darwinism. That battle was fought in the 1920s at the Scopes Trial ... this is 2005! You are raising the straw man once again because even the title of the article cannot be defended! MPLX/MH 21:24, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
There is a lot of debate about the teaching of evolution in public schools. Do you mean that or do you mean something different? DJ Clayworth 21:34, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
This article is about a man who wrote a book called Darwin on Trial and how that man and his book were promoted by the Discovery Institute to achieve a "wedge" in which the Bible could be taught as scientific fact alongside Darwinism. You chose to address some completely different. MPLX/MH 23:03, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
That is not what this article is about. This article is about a proposed education policy called "Teach the Controversy." Ungtss 23:06, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
The "controversy" within the scientific establishment over evolution is contrived. There is little to no debate on the validity evolution as a theory within the scientific community, only over the details of its mechanisms. In that sense there is no "controversy" to teach. It's the controversy itself that is the real straw man here. [4] [5] FeloniousMonk 22:40, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
That's what they want to teach- the debates about the mechanisms, which is hardly a detail. Can we adequately explain the Cambrian explosion with the fast transition theory or the artifact theory? Give the students the facts and encourage them to think critically about it. --VorpalBlade 10:19, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
i repeat: "this argument is relevent as a criticism of the movement, but not as a justification for the proposed merge." Ungtss 22:42, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Clarifying: I'm not presenting a justification for merging the article here, but merely reiterating that the "controversy" that proponents suggest is taught is contrived to further their social and political agenda which has nothing to do with science other than to supplant it with veiled creationism. FeloniousMonk 22:55, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

How can you have a "movement" to teach the relevant scientific evidence concerning the theory of evolution, as well as the continuing debates within the scientific community? Are they calling for an extra 3-4 years of evolution so high schoolers can understand things like: "The debate over the role of balancing selection in maintaining genetic polymorphism has a long history"..."Balancing selection has been shown to act on several genes in short-term evolutionary contexts, but it is not known whether this force is responsible for maintaining a significant number of long-term polymorphisms"..."It should be noted that this analysis excludes polymorphisms that might have been balancing for some portion of their history but subsequently became neutral and died out; similarly, long-lived balancing polymorphisms that emerged after speciation might also exist"? Guettarda 22:54, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

This is classic straw man. See the Ohio Model Lesson Plan (link in article) for examples of how this would be taught. Why won't anyone look at the facts and discuss base on the concrete implementation by Ohio? I fear the Darwinian fundamentalists among us are afraid of addressing the reality- the theory of evolution has unsolved problems and some in the scientific community want to sweep them under the rug by shouting "Creationists on the loose." "This is for us wise scientists to talk about, don't trouble your sweet little heads about the problems with the fossil record or any of that. Just trust us, and believe." --VorpalBlade 10:19, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I think reference to the Ohio plan supports the fact that the "movement" is just a DI strategy - see the recommended reading list, for example. The definition of "theory" as "a supposition" is the funniest thing I've read in a long time! The fact that of the 55 members of the advisory group and writing committee, only three were scientists, and two of these were creationists is easily discernible in this ridiculous document. I understand that teachers are not actually required to use this thing, thank goodness. Ian Pitchford 14:12, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Yes. The Wired article cited above clearly shows the strong connection between the Discovery Institute and the Ohio B.o.E. debate and policy. Plus the history given on the "Science Excellence for All Ohioans" website [[6]] makes it clear that this organization was formed specifically for the purposes of garnering support for the TTC postion in that debate. So I strongly doubt that SEAO and their TTC position can be considered significantly "independent" of DI.
So, getting back to the subject at hand, the real questions about this article are:
  1. Is TTC a movement significantly indepedent from the Discovery Institute to warrant its own article in the first place?
  2. Can an encyclopedic article about this movement be written in an NPOV manner without significantly duplicating information found in other articles ? (i.e. Discovery Institute, Phillip E. Johnson, Creation-evolution controversy, creation and evolution in public education, Intelligent design, Wedge strategy.) Soundguy99 15:22, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Excellent analysis. I think those are the two core issues. i think the answer to both is yes. regarding the first, a quick google search or scan of this page will demonstrate that there are a number of organizations and now legislation on TTC. While these organizations work with each other and with DI, they are independent of each other, while advocating the same agenda. with regard to your second point, i think it can be done without duplication -- i think that the detail on the policy (and criticisms of the policy) can be consolidated here, so that the other pages need not duplicate each other in the coverage of this material. Ungtss 15:38, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Erm, yes, well, my answer would tend to be "no." (see my "straw poll" vote.) As per my comments above, the Ohio case has been cited by several editors as major proof of TTC being independent of the DI (especially VorpalBlade), yet an examination of the case, including the above references from DJ Clayworth, makes it clear that DI was heavily involved in the Ohio case, negating its validity as "proof" of independence. OTOH, I'm certainly willing to see an NPOV encyclopedic article on the subject, which is hardly likely to happen if the discussions on this page keep shooting off like bottle rockets into yet another debate on the merits of the positions rather than the merits of the article. While I believe that MPLX and I are on the "same side", I'd have to say that his comments have been especially unhelpful towards keeping this debate on track.
Maybe we should limit all writing on the whole creation/evolution/intelligent design/controversy/etc.etc.etc. to non-U.S. editors, and create another page called Violent and Hostile Debate On The Merits of Creation and Evolution and we can all go scream at each other over there without disrupting Wikipedia. (Kidding, I'm kidding. . . . . sort of. . . . . .) Soundguy99 16:41, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
lol:). that's what usenet is for, i'm sure:). as to your first point, however, the ohio case is only one instance cited on this page. colson, renew america, minnesota ... Ungtss 17:02, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Comment on See Also Section

Considering the topic of this article, I am surpirsed that Creationism or some other similar article and Evolution aren't links in the See Also section. I consider Intelligent Design to be somewhat different from creationism, as some IDers preder. Also, I feel that to best help with NPOV for those on both sides of the debate, there should be links to Intelligent Design (which I know is linked, but this is just a list), Creationism, Evolution, and Evolutionary Creationism and/or Progressive Creationism. This gives readers the two extremes of the controversy, Evolution and Creationism, and more neutral viewpoints, Intelligent Design, Evolutionary Creationism, and Progressive Creationism. User: Mred64 April 21, 2005

Good point. Also, the article lacks any namespace categorization. FeloniousMonk 22:42, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I removed a duplicate link for the article Should We “Teach the Controversy”? by Jason Rosenhouse, and kept the more readable of the two pages. Therayven 22:59, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)


Criticisms

The opening paragraph here absolutely needs to be changed.

The phrase "teach the controversy" implies that there is a controversy to teach and that scientists and educators are neglectful or deceitful by not teaching it. This claim of controversy and the implications that flow from it are rejected in their entirety in statements by mainstream scientific organizations. It could be argued in a comparable vein, for example, that the proponents of intelligent design should not eat babies! This advice would doubtless win widespread support from the American public in opinion polls, but would remain as irrelevant to the conduct of affairs in the real world as that to "teach the controversy".
This kind of language does not belong in an encyclopedia. Therayven 23:10, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
You stated that "this kind of language does not belong in an encyclopedia" and then failed to tell us what kind of language "this kind" is. 23:28, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
The part about eating babies is sarcastic. There are better analogies to use, I think. By 'language' I don't mean that I find it offensive; by 'language' I mean it sounds too personal and could be reworded better. Therayven 23:16, 21 Apr 2005 (EST)

Intro, whether to merge

First of all, I don't think this is a particularly significant "movement" but I'm a proponent of broad coverage for Wikipedia, so I support a separate article. I think we ought not to use our POVs to determine what there should or shouldn't be articles on, only criteria such as "Is there actually a movement?", "Does it have a platform that can be discussed and criticised?", "Does it have a membership?" and so on. I don't think it will harm, so long as it doesn't simply repeat the same tired old stuff that tends to be stuffed into all articles on creationism. Talk about the "movement", yes. Describe the "issues" at length, no.

I think recognition should be made, in the first paragraph, that this movement is seen by its detractors as a thinly veiled attempt to push a particular form of religion into schools by pretending it is science. I'm not saying I subscribe to the view, and I certainly don't want to involve myself in the controversy here, but that seems to me to be a view that is widely held, which can be sourced (see [www.pandasthumb.org Panda's Thumb] for many useful links. I wish I could remember to sign my comments!Grace Note 23:23, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I agree wholeheartedly. that's what this article needs to do. Ungtss 04:03, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Yes, I agree, you should sign your comment. We all should. Oh, and I agree with your other comments too, except merging. FeloniousMonk 12:55, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Questions

Where did the content for this article come from? If someone other than Johnson originated it, who was it? If it was Johnson then we should be discussing Johnson - on Johnson's existing Wikipedia article. It was a stub until I stuck some of the content from here over there only to find others sticking it back here. Why did Johnson call his book Darwin on Trial and why is there a separate article for that? How come the Discovery Institute has tacked itself on to this issue and why isn't this topic discussed there?

In short, why does this article - which reads more like a cheap lecture than an encyclopedia article - exist at all? It does not tell you what Johnson wrote, why he wrote it or why he picked such an out-of-date title. Why is this topic not an update to the Scopes Trial article?

This is a movement with no address and an article about a controversy that does not exist. MPLX/MH 23:28, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

By the way, proof that the controversy itself does not exist is in the title of the article: someone wants a controversy to be taught - which is a future event. So how can a future event exist in the present as a movement? Of course it cannot and that is why the movement has no address, no officers and no membership. MPLX/MH 23:38, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

It's a work in progess, but it's a vast improvement over the version from eleven days ago [7] which I described then as a DI press release. FeloniousMonk 13:00, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Answers

The article states that (T)he term "teach the controversy" was coined by Phillip E. Johnson in 2000 in his book 'The Wedge of Truth: Splitting the Foundations of Naturalism' (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0830823956/qid=1113327238/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl14/104-8781116-5960730?v=glance&s=books&n=507846), ... "

I took a look at Johnson's Amazon listings and his rant is always the same: he does not like Charles Darwin as so many of his titles inform the reader. But this present article goes on to state that Johnson said: "What educators in Kansas and elsewhere should be doing is to 'teach the controversy'. The term evolved into a political action strategy and movement with the impetus of members of the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture, of which law professor Phillip E. Johnson is a member.

This is vanity at work by a man who has absolutely NO academic qualifications on the subject that he is always writing about - as his article page also points out.

So Johnson came up with a way to sell books which he is not qualified to write: get everyone talking about them! What a snow job! What a fraud! MPLX/MH 23:51, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

You've said that several times. Repeating it doesn't increase the likelihood of it being true. DJ Clayworth 13:55, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
No, but repeating it on as noisy a page as this increases the likelihood of it being heard. (The "truth" of it is already well documented). Guettarda 22:12, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Closer to the truth

File:Phillip Johnson.jpg
Phillip E. Johnson

Teach the Controversy is a movement created by Phillip E. Johnson who first coined the expression and then promoted it with the help of the Discovery Institute of which he is a member. Johnson has written a number of books about Charles Darwin and the subject of evolution, his only qualification being as an elder of a Protestant denomination.

The Discovery Institute has promoted controversy following the commercial release of books by Phillip E. Johnson with the stated aim of creating a debate in US public schools about Creationism and Evolution. MPLX/MH 00:07, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Its a great way for a man with no qualifications in the subject to sell a lot of stuff on Amazon - check it out. As always with these religious movements its about money. Somewhere, someone has found a new way to make a buck and creating a controversy over vanity publishing smacks of clever thinking in the money making and marketing departments. But it has nothing to do with honesty and education. Just money and there's nothing wrong with that. I just like to know who is peddling stuff and why they are peddling it. As Judge Judy is constantly saying on her TV show: "Don't pee on my leg and tell me that its raining!" It seems to me that Johnson is doing just that. MPLX/MH 00:13, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)


Talking about money, there is interesting controversy surrounding the funding of the Discovery Institute - see below. Ian Pitchford 13:39, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)

From Genesis To Dominion Fat-Cat Theocrat Funds Creationism Crusade by Steve Benen Americans United for Separation of Church and State from: Church & State, July/August 2000

Anti-evolution crusader Phillip Johnson, dedicated his 1997 book, Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds, to "Roberta and Howard, who understood 'the wedge' because they love the Truth."

The mysterious reference is apparently a note of thanks to Howard F. Ahmanson Jr. and his wife Roberta, a wealthy and secretive Orange County, Calif., couple who have generously funded the anti-evolution movement and other right-wing causes that advance their fundamentalist Christian outlook.

Howard Ahmanson, however, is no ordinary fat-cat. The savings and loan heir has maintained a long-time relationship with Christian Reconstructionism, an extreme faction of the Religious Right that seeks to replace American democracy with a harsh fundamentalist theocracy.

Reconstructionists believe conservative Christians should take "dominion" over American society. Under their version of "biblical law," the death penalty would be required for over a dozen categories of offenders, including adulterers, homosexuals, witches, incorrigible children and those who spread "false" religions. They regard the teaching of evolution as part of a "war against Genesis."

Ahmanson served for over two decades on the board of directors of the Chalcedon Foundation, Rousas J. Rushdoony's Reconstructionist think tank that serves as the intellectual center of the movement. Ahmanson has also generously supported the Foundation's work.

As for Ahmanson's interests in opposing evolution, his relationship with leaders such as Johnson raises a series of questions about how the movement to "defeat" evolution is paid for and what the larger agenda might be.

There is little doubt that the Ahmansons have the resources to help finance anti-evolution efforts. The family's wealth grew exponentially during the 1950s and '60s when Howard Ahmanson Sr, made billions in the savings and loan industry. After his death, his estate was divided between his son Howard F. Ahmanson and the Ahmanson Foundation, which had $663 million in assets at the end of 1996. (H.F. Ahmanson & Co., the parent company of Home Savings of America, had over $47 billion in assets in 1997.)

With a vast fortune in hand, the Ahmansons are playing an active role in ensuring the anti-evolution movement's success.

According to Reason magazine, promotional materials from the Seattle-based Discovery Institute acknowledge that the Ahmanson family donated $1.5 million to the Institute's Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture for a research and publicity program to "unseat not just Darwinism but also Darwinism's cultural legacy." In fact, the August 1999 issue of the Discovery Institute's Journal recognizes an Ahmanson outfit for providing the Center's start-up funds.

With such high-powered assistance, the Center has quickly become a leading anti-evolution organization. The center's senior fellows include some of the highest profile advocates of "Intelligent Design" creationism, including David Berlinski, William Dembski and Michael Behe. Johnson himself is listed among the center's two official advisors.

Additionally, Roberta Green Ahmanson provided the funding for Dembski to appear at her alma mater, Calvin College, a conservative Christian school in Michigan, to promote his approach to attacking evolution. Although he claims to be interested only in the scientific "evidence" against evolution, Dembski's appearance was listed as part of the college's "Seminars in Christian Scholarship."

Funding from the Ahmansons is not always obvious. For example, the Fieldstead Institute is an extension of the Ahmanson empire, which frequently provides financial support for creationist causes. Dembski's appearance at Calvin was sponsored by a group called Fieldstead and Company. (Both appear to derive their name from Howard's middle name, Fieldstead.)

Ahmanson has also taken an interest in providing money for other political causes, including support for voucher subsidies for religious schools and opposition to gay rights and pornography. In the January/February 1997 issue of Religion & Liberty, published by the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty, he argued that the Bible opposes minimum wage laws.

Ahmanson's opposition to evolution remains part of his larger agenda of establishing a fundamentalist "Christian nation." In the coming years, as different groups and personalities step into the anti-evolution fray, Ahmanson's role bears watching.


Wow, I guess the logic looks like this: some of the personal beliefs of a man who gives money to an organization that promotes an education policy that in part inspires both houses of Congress to approve it and that in part prompts a state to put it into practice fatally taints that policy. Everybody got that? This is ad hominem conspiracy theory logic to the highest degree. We could believe this conjecture, or we could just look at what Ohio did and judge it on the merits based on the facts. Which is more consistent with Wiki policy? --VorpalBlade 14:18, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
What he said:). Ungtss 14:24, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Yes, of course. It's best if all that Wikipedia readers know of the "movement" is how VorpalBlade and Ungtss would describe it. We shouldn't take into account what members of this movement actually say they believe. Ian Pitchford 14:29, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
And if a communist gave money to the democratic party, would that make the democratic party communist? Ungtss 14:32, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
There are shared beliefs and joint policy aims here. Additionally the movement is largely funded by Ahmanson. I doubt we're talking about no-strings attached "donations" here. Ian Pitchford 14:53, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Libertarians, fascists, and republicans would share "beliefs and policy" in a socialist regime, simply because the system would be too far to the left for all of them. the mere fact that they share certain goals does not mean they share all goals. just like a communist would support a democrat against a republican, because it's closer to his policy goals. but it's non sequitur to say that because an extremist supports a moderate, that the moderate is extremist. strings there might be -- but that's personal research and conspiracy theory i'm afraid. i'd support a link and summary in the criticism section, but not a quote. Ungtss 14:59, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
(To put this clearer, if an extremist supports a purported moderate, it doesn't say anything about the purported moderate. but if a purported moderate supports an extremist, then you know the moderate is not a moderate at all. this case falls into the first category. it doesn't say a thing about DI or johnson, i'm afraid.) Ungtss 15:10, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Next time you are making an argument on behalf of an organisation, your quote "We shouldn't take into account what members of this movement actually say they believe" is going to come back to haunt you. DJ Clayworth 14:33, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
(i think mr. pitchford was being sarcastic in that case). Ungtss 14:37, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Indeed, not my usual approach except to exceedingly tiresome and dishonest debate. We all know that "teach the controversy" advocates don't have the slightest interest in improving science education. Call me an old-fashioned anarchist but I happen to believe that we could end up with some sort of worthwhile democracy if people actually have access to reliable information on how political groups get their funding and what members of that group really advocate, not what they pretend to advocate in order to get what they want. I don't want a Wikipedia that hosts propaganda campaigns and nor should anyone else Ian Pitchford 15:10, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Sorry about that, Ian. I apologise. DJ Clayworth 15:37, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
for all practical purposes, what they "pretend" to advocate is what they advocate, as long as it's the only thing they talk about or propose for legislation. it doesn't matter what you wish for at night or talk about in church. it matters what you propose to congress. Ungtss 15:16, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
You'll discover that people find credibility, consistency and honesty important. Ian Pitchford 15:21, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I have found johnson to embody all three quite admirably. Ungtss 15:32, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Criticism/Phillip Johnson section

I moved a long list of quotes by Johnson out of the "Criticism of Johnson" section and into the "Philosophy" section, since he presumably isn't crticising himself. DJ Clayworth 14:33, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I totally agree that this section needs to be pared down and improved, but we should to try to work with Monk on this to find consensus on how to do it. He is the one who added this section. I think there is way too much quotation on a topic that goes to how to educate and nurture Christian children outside of public schools. I don't think it belongs in the Philosophical Basis section. Let's discuss. --VorpalBlade 14:37, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I agree. we definitely need quotes etc ... but they must be relevent to public education. johnson's a law prof. he knows about the 1st amendment. 1st amendment says the state can't promote or hinder religion, but it also says you can speak freely in public. it is extremely misleading to overlay his goals for society generally with his goals for public schools. we need to limit quotes to the agenda for public education. Ungtss 14:42, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
That's right. Above all we musn't let readers have any inkling of the wider agenda! Ian Pitchford 14:54, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
As long as you give the context for the wider agenda, it'll be fine. but this article is not about the wider agenda -- it's about teach the controversy. Ungtss 15:05, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Tell the truth for goodness sake! Ian Pitchford 15:14, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
i am:). there's nothing wrong with advocating christianity outside the state. the only problem is advocating your religion under color of law. Teach the Controversy is only unconstitutional insofar as it does that. Ungtss 15:31, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
There's nothing wrong with advocating any religion or philosophy of life. However, trying to hijiack the science curriculum in order to spread the beliefs of a small cult is monstrously evil. Ian Pitchford 15:48, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Indeed. The quotes in the Phillip Johnson criticism section relate directly not just to personal agenda, but to his public policy agenda and they speak to his method as well. I argue that they are highly relevant to the reader's understanding of the method of TTC's proponents. FeloniousMonk 17:16, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Monk, can you pare them down to something reasonable? --VorpalBlade 17:27, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Renewed call for dialogue on opening sentence

As we stagnate above with the discussion on whether this article should be kept, can we come to a consensus about whether a new sentence can be written that's not as problematic? No one has made a specific criticism of my suggestion, so I suggest we work from it (since the DI's definition contains at least two problems as yet unresolved). To remind everyone, my idea was as follows:

"Teach the Controversy is a political action movement in the United States that proposes a education policy for US public schools that presents arguments for and against evolution and then encourages students to evaluate the arguments themselves. Its advocates believe that there is sufficient scientific evidence against biological evolution that is systematically ignored and downplayed in current curricula. The movement is designed by its proponents to present an alternative to the paradigmatic hegemony in evolutionary biology without specifically invoking the creation-evolution controversy."

My claim is that the so-called "consensus" intro isn't really a good consensus because it isn't clear about what is opinion and what is fact. This opening sentence (to be followed by the sentence two and three of the opening paragraph) is very clear about what people believe what. We aren't making any claims about "scientific evidence" in the policy itself since that is definitely disputed, but at the same time we are clear that the movement leaders believe that there is scientific evidence that is ignored. I don't think it is overly unfair to anyone, but will be happy to edit according to appropriate arguments against this thought. Please comment. Joshuaschroeder 16:28, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I don't think 'paradigmatic hegemony' is appropriate (though I love the phrase). How about 'alternative to evolutionary theory'? Also I think the Discovery Institute should be mentioned. DJ Clayworth 17:54, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Changed. Joshuaschroeder 21:30, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)


Joshua, I could comment more, but will not be able to do so today. My short answer is this: I think the current intro, which reflects the consensus version, plus a small change to the first sentence that Ian suggested, is pretty good. Procedurally, I think it best reflects the views of the five main participants on this page over the last few days. Since we worked pretty hard to develop consensus, I would prefer to work from that language, rather than start fresh. However, there are aspects of Joshua's intro that I like. What exactly do you think is wrong with the current intro? I think it does a pretty good job of stating what the movement is, without stating the views of the proponents or opponents as if they are "fact." --VorpalBlade 18:09, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
The problem is that it isn't explicit about what the proponents believe as opposed to what is fact. This intro is. What is more, it is clear about its relationship. I am not interested in whether it was a "consensus" edit or not. The problems are too great, in my opinion, to be tractable as a simple modification. Joshuaschroeder 21:30, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Suggestion for new text: Teach the Controversy is a about an imaginary controversy focused upon whether the Bible should be allowed to counterbalance the teaching of Darwinism in US Public Schools. For the sake of historical and academic accuracy it should be noted that Darwinism is only taught in US Public Schools by way of historical reference to Charles Darwin and not as a current scientific theory. MPLX/MH 21:04, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Since there haven't been any substantive criticisms of the new sentence, I'm including it in the article. Thanks for all who have offered their opinion. Joshuaschroeder 16:43, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I object. You should be interested in whether it was a consensus edit because that is Wiki policy. I objected to your proposal and asked a question. The recent focus on this page has been on the merge proposal. Let's discuss your proposal before you make a change. --VorpalBlade 17:07, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
The policy/movement is not primarily about presenting arguments, but about presenting evidence. I don't like the phrase about "invoking the . . . controversy." No need for it. I actually like the "hegemony" phrase in your earlier version.
I moved the discussion here to get more comments. Maybe we will get some now. --VorpalBlade 17:20, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
<<The movement is designed by its proponents to present an alternative to evolutionary biology without specifically invoking the [[creation-evolution controversy>>
The intro is fine with me, with the exception of the last sentence. the last sentence is explicitly factually incorrect. Nowhere does TTC wish to "present an alternative to evolutionary biology." Its express agenda is to discuss evolutionary biology in more critical detail. Ungtss 18:22, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Ungtss, which do you prefer between the current intro and this one? I don't think this is too bad either, but is it worth departing from the current consensus version? I agree with your comment on the last sentence. --VorpalBlade 18:33, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I definitely prefer yours. it is absolutely superior. unfortunately, schroeder is quite insistent when his worldview is on the line, and is unlikely to compromise any more than absolutely necessary, so i was attempting to pick our battles by letting him have a little room to push his pov. Ungtss 23:35, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I submit it is worth departing since the consensus intro contains positions that are related in the intro as facts as opposed to opinion. I agree with Ungtss' evaluation and have changed the proposal back to paradigmatic hegemony. Consensus is only good if the consensus agreed upon is reasonable. In this case, it was not. Joshuaschroeder 20:34, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)

VorpalBlade - since Ungtss wanted the pages linked why did you revert this opening factual statement by calling it "POV"? MPLX/MH 19:00, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
"The Teach the Controversy movement in the United States has been funded by Howard Ahmanson, Jr through his financial support of Phillip E. Johnson, author of Darwin on Trial and the original "wedge theory" behind this movement. Johnson is also a member of the Discovery Institute which is also funded in part by Ahmanson in order to promote the movement."?

More comments on merging

We already have a consensus for merging with the DI article, if we ignore the fact that you voted twice. Let's act on that. Ian Pitchford 17:28, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I did not vote twice and a 6-6 split is pretty much the opposite of consensus. Even 6-5 or 7-5 is nothing close to consensus. That is why votes are discouraged on Wiki. --VorpalBlade 17:32, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)

What do you call listing someone else to get 6:6? Ian Pitchford 17:33, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)

majority is not consensus. consensus is 2/3. you don't have it. Ungtss 17:34, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Even 2/3 is not consensus. --VorpalBlade 17:38, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
True enough:). but on wikipedia, per vfd guidelines, 2/3 is consensus for purposes for purposes of a delete or merge vote. Ungtss 17:40, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
So let's merge Intelligent design, Discovery Institute, Teach the Controversy, and Phillip Johnson into Ahmanson, shall we? Ungtss 18:02, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
In one sense yes! I have just checked the Johnson edits and I noticed that two editors here are going around in a pack to obliterate all other edits on related articles to make sure that they stay unrelated! The two on the Johnson article are DJ Clayworth (5 times) and Ungtss (three times) after I made my edit with DJ Clayworth editing my contribution by obliterating it with these words: "remove stuff which is arguing about evolution and not about Johnson at all. " Clearly this is not a educational agenda but a religious undertaking by zealots who are using Wikipedia for their own purposes which ultimately serve the interests of Howard Ahmanson, Jr. We need to limit these articles and link them to show their related interests, cross-connections and agenda. Based upon this I would now be in favour of turning this article into an expose of the what Howard Ahmanson, Jr is up to. But in any event there needs to be an immediate addition to all of these articles to show their interrelationship! MPLX/MH 18:17, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Showing interrelationship is fine. merging is not. Ungtss 18:22, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
That's rich! I tried to edit the Johnson article and all of a sudden it was obliterated by repeated edits from two contributors to this article with their intention made quite plain as stated above! MPLX/MH 18:31, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I am unaware of any "obliteration." i came to the page and divided it up by topics. you had falsely grouped his statements about public education with his statements about private christian education, and i needed to remedy that. Ungtss 23:37, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)

New opening

Based upon the comments by Ungtss (see above), I have now added this new opening to the article. Let's see how long that remains there!

MPLX/MH 18:31, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Revert!

Well that didn't take long! What Ungtss agreed to VorpalBlade decided to revert (not even edit!) and left this note: (revert MPLX POV edit; see discussion). It is clear that that the truth shall make us all free from the agenda of Howard Ahmanson, Jr and his minions are scared of the truth! MPLX/MH 18:48, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)

This is clearly an insincere interpretation of Ungtss' comments and your edit was a poor/misleading intro on the merits. Your own comments suggest bad faith. --VorpalBlade 19:01, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
My interpretation was quite sincere and your insinuation is in very poor form. Second, a revert shows panic to hide something because you did not edit the statement, merely reverted it which is exactly what has happened to other related articles! So tell me, why is my new opening statement not a statement of fact and of truth? MPLX/MH 19:08, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I did not agree to that. your intro is absolute nonsense. you can draw all the conspiracy theories you want in the criticisms section. it's ludicrous for you to draw them in the intro. the intro describes what the movement is. the current intro does that. yours does not. what happened, man? you were so dispassionate and rational in your initial contacts with VorpalBlade.

<<I am just like you - a Wiki User, so I have no power to do anything - however, having already started and written many articles on Wikipedia I have run into this kind of problem - but not the locking. It comes from people getting into revert wars and turning the Talk into a blog so that everyone is talking and no one is listening. I figured that the easiest way to call a halt to that kind of nonsense (this is not a blog) is to do the "Jack Webb" thing of the old TV series "Dragnet" - call for "just the facts".

So, starting out with the fact that this is an article about a movement, well, then, let's hear about the movement. Others can then attack the movement - after the movement has been defined.

Now as far as the issues driving the movement are concerned, well that is simple. Shove the people who want to debate over to the Creationism or Evolution articles because that is where that debate belongs.

This debate should be about the movement and its organisation. Is it honest? Is it corrupt? Is it unified? Is it fighting within itself?

well, wadya know? it is not honest, it is corrupt, it may be unified by Howard Ahmanson, Jr and he is keeping order with his billions! Now we all know - thanks to Ian! MPLX/MH 03:19, 23 Apr 2005 (UTC)

It is a movement discussion with NOTHING to do with creationism or evolution. ... it is all about Howard Ahmanson, Jr and his horrible agenda! MPLX/MH 03:19, 23 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Once you start making THAT point on the Talk page then the article can be rewritten and all of the bloggers who want to argue for the fun of it, will just go away. After all, how can they argue about the movement if they know nothing about the movement?

Its elementary dear Watson!

Back up my words to pull the plug on the bloggers >>

Ungtss 23:33, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Why do you have to revert to hide the truth?

I wrote that before I learned that there were 3 people going around creating sister sites on Wikipedia and reverting all truthful edits! I note that you have NO answer to the fact that behind Johnson, behind this article, behind the Discovery Institute article is none other than Howard Ahmanson, Jr - see Ian's article reproduced above. I am horrified that such a skunk is loose in America. We could deal with Timothy McVeigh and his bombs but this guy is a wannabe killer who needs exposing - not more duplicated propaganda articles to support his billion dollar habit of pushing polemics through dupes on Wikipedia. I view this clown with the same disdain as Timothy McVeigh and Osama! My heros are Tom Paine and John Lilburne and yes, I do believe in the "Nature's God" of the Declaration of Independence! MPLX/MH 03:11, 23 Apr 2005 (UTC)
i note, with great sadness, that you have proven yourself unable to separate your personal feelings about the subject matter from wikipedia policy on article content, format, npov, and merges. i note further that you are asking me to respond to bizarre conspiracy theories on talk pages ... which would make me one of your dreaded "bloggers" ... rather than focusing on the content and quality of the article. i note next that i have not reverted any edits, except for the plastering of Johnson's face at the top of an article about a proposed policy supported by a number of separate groups. i note finally that i support TTC, did so before i'd ever heard of johnson, and i never heard of this ahmanson character until today. Ungtss 03:19, 23 Apr 2005 (UTC)
If you did not know about Howard Ahmanson, Jr until today (and neither did I), then it is not too late to open your mind. I became suspicious when all arrows pointed to Johnson who lacked any qualifications and yet it was obvious that someone was footing his bill. The arrows pointed to the Discovery Institute and behind all of it is Howard Ahmanson, Jr and his billions! If that is NOT true, then prove it! Ian produced documentation - not a conspiracy theory - the conspiracy belongs to Howard Ahmanson, Jr, Johnson and the DI. I keep asking you to PROVE that it is not true, but the 3 supporters can only revert on this and the other sister sockpuppet sites whcih are doing the bidding of Howard Ahmanson, Jr. I am annoyed at the fact that I have been conned by all of this, but I am very pleased that Ian stepped forward and provided the information that we all needed to know! MPLX/MH 03:29, 23 Apr 2005 (UTC)
i have dealt with nutcases like Ahmanson more times than i care to remember. his opinions, views, and money are irrelevent to my opinions. in my view, a public school system that fails to teach the controversy is both fundamentally inadequate and unconstitutional. ahmanson's views are irrelevent to that policy, and therefore to this article. what saddens me is that so many people make their policy decisions based on irrelevent ad hominem considerations such as the ones you're articulating, rather than the content of the policy. but so it goes. Ungtss 03:40, 23 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I am very sympathetic to the idea of a genuine and open-minded presentation of all of the facts about the origin of life, but Teach the Controversy is merely teaching the agenda of Howard Ahmanson, Jr through Johnson and his books promoted by the DI - funded by Ahmanson. If this was a genuine article with a genuine agenda I would be all for it, but I now suspect that everyone who has fallen in with "Teach the Controversy" has been duped into thinking that it is something honest when in reality it is something as bad and as evil as Timothy McVeigh and Osama! I now believe that once the unknowing supporters get wind of who is behind all of this and why, they will flee the scene immediately! That does NOT mean that there is not an issue to be addressed, because there is. But this is about as representative of that discussion as Osama is representative of millions of Moslems. He doesn't represent them and this article does not represent an intelligent discussion about the origin of life! MPLX/MH 03:50, 23 Apr 2005 (UTC)
<<I am very sympathetic to the idea of a genuine and open-minded presentation of all of the facts about the origin of life, but Teach the Controversy is merely teaching the agenda of Howard Ahmanson, Jr through Johnson and his books promoted by the DI - funded by Ahmanson.>>
No sir, TTC is not teaching the agenda of Ahmanson. TTC is teaching "Teach the controversy." There is nothing Osamaesqure about that policy. And if someday Ahmanson proposes a different policy -- one more GhengisKhanesque -- i will reject it. But the fact that McVeigh votes for the Republicans isn't going to make me vote for the Democrats. Ungtss 04:05, 23 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I guess your mind is closed because you keep repeating the same mantra without addressing the issue. This topic is one of several on Wikipedia, all related, all being manipulated by the same people, all basing their ideas on Johnson's books promoted by the DI with everything paid for by Howard Ahmanson, Jr. The trouble with zealots is that they view everyone else as the enemy and they cannot see that they have become the same type of closed-minded person as the one that they are attacking. Osama and Howard Ahmanson, Jr both have deep pockets to push their ideas. In Texas there is a saying that "money talks and bullshit walks", but the trouble is that when money has taken the place of reason then only the dung is left and to me, it makes no difference if Osama or Howard Ahmanson, Jr dropped it, because dung is dung and it stinks. MPLX/MH 04:40, 23 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I'm not sure how to effectively communicate the fundamental error you are making. Dung stinks no matter who makes it. But not everything Osama makes is dung. Ahmanson has also funded some very worthwhile charities -- food for the hungry international and art exhibits. would you say that food for the hungry projects are dung just because he funded them? dung stinks because it's dung, sir, not because of who shat it. Ungtss 05:16, 23 Apr 2005 (UTC)
POISONED FOOD AND POISONED ART: "Ahmanson has also funded some very worthwhile charities -- food for the hungry international and art exhibits. would you say that food for the hungry projects are dung just because he funded them?" THREE CHEERS FOR OSAMA?: "But not everything Osama makes is dung." YOU SURE LIKE HIM NOW, DEPARTMENT: "and i never heard of this ahmanson character until today. (23 Apr 2005)" MPLX/MH 15:38, 23 Apr 2005 (UTC)
i am unable to follow the above reasoning, and how it justifies your apparent belief that everything ahmanson touches turns to turd. you are making the logical error of bypassing the content of the policy in favor of irrelevent ad hominem concerns about one unfortunate, mentally ill guy with a lot of money. Ungtss 23:25, 23 Apr 2005 (UTC)