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Wikipedia Hatchet Jobs on ID Leaders

A small group of Wikipedia admins with a grudge against ID have been running amok with no oversight performing and/or allowing hatchet jobs on ID and its leaders. It’s long past time to expose what they’ve been doing. Wikipedia is far too popular and reliable source of information, especially for school children, to let this travesty of justice continue. Please keep comments on topic. The Wiki horror stories are great!

Update: I have three people who have biographies on Wiki who’ve written to me privately with similar tales as those in the comments. I expect several more as word gets around. FeloniusMonk’s name is coming up more often than JoshuaZ’s. I’ll collect all the complaints for a couple days then see how each wants to proceed.

Ringleaders: FeloniusMonk and JoshuaZ

Rubberstamps: Guettarda and KillerChihuahua

JoshuaZ has been the most egregious. He deletes anything on the talk pages he doesn’t like and has even gone as far as deleting my attempt at dispute resolution on the Biographies of Living Persons Notification Board. Fortunately, through persistence on my part and the aid of a dynamic IP address so I could avoid Joshua’s IP block, I was finally noticed by an oversight member named Crockspot on the BLP dispute resolution board who has no grudge against ID. Joshua’s extreme prejudice seems to stem at least in part from his claim that he was banned from Uncommon Descent for “correcting” Bill Dembski.

Almost certainly not. It should probably be removed, and someone should probably send Demsbki an email asking him for permission to use it (I’m already banned from his blog for correcting him on something, so I probably shouldn’t be the one to do that.). JoshuaZ 03:51, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

I couldn’t confirm the banning as there have been no comments by anyone named JoshuaZ here.

At any rate, while we have the attention of a neutral point of view editor it’s a great time to get the hatchet job on Bill Dembski cleaned up and also go around fisking the biographies of other ID leaders and Intelligent Design related articles. Look for things that are poorly sourced or not sourced at all, things that are not written from a neutral point of view, and things that are just plain wrong. Moreover, the content is supposed to encyclopedic. If it looks like a witch hunt being updated in real time it’s not enclyclopedic. If you find something that needs to be changed and can’t get it resolved on the talk page take a complaint to the BLP page and follow the instructions there. I’m being blocked at every turn and have gotten burned out trying to reason with these biased admins so volunteers from our community are needed. Consider this a call to arms.

Another hatchet job is on Phillip Johnson. Notice there is a criticism section but no praise section. Wiki’s NPOV (neutral point of view) policy demands there be equal time given to the other side of the story. Check this out. I could hardly believe my eyes:

The most serious specific allegation leveled by a number of critics is that Johnson, like most proponents of intelligent design, is often intellectually dishonest in his arguments advancing intelligent design and attacking the scientific community.

If you have a blog, please add an article about Wiki’s bias against ID and refer to the URL for this article so it gets spread around far and wide. This is going to take a concerted effort but if enough people from our community get involved we can fix it. If Denyse O’Leary and some of you managed to get us relisted at Google by making a big fuss I can’t help but believe the same thing can work with Wikipedia. The truth will out. Thanks in advance.

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29 Responses to Wikipedia Hatchet Jobs on ID Leaders

  1. OE discussion on this topic:

    http://www.overwhelmingevidenc.....esign_bias

    I’ll repeat one thing from there:

    A while ago I simply attempted to modify the page on the vermiform appendix, listing the known functionality, and that was deleted in favor of this current statement:

    “One explanation has been that the appendix is a remnant of an earlier function, with no current purpose.”

    Oh, gee…that statement is so much more informative compared to this:

    As shown above, for years the appendix was credited with very little physiological function. We now know, however, that the appendix serves an important role in the fetus and in young adults. Endocrine cells appear in the appendix of the human fetus at around the 11th week of development. These endocrine cells of the fetal appendix have been shown to produce various biogenic amines and peptide hormones, compounds that assist with various biological control (homeostatic) mechanisms. There had been little prior evidence of this or any other role of the appendix in animal research, because the appendix does not exist in domestic mammals.

    Among adult humans, the appendix is now thought to be involved primarily in immune functions. Lymphoid tissue begins to accumulate in the appendix shortly after birth and reaches a peak between the second and third decades of life, decreasing rapidly thereafter and practically disappearing after the age of 60. During the early years of development, however, the appendix has been shown to function as a lymphoid organ, assisting with the maturation of B lymphocytes (one variety of white blood cell) and in the production of the class of antibodies known as immunoglobulin A (IgA) antibodies. Researchers have also shown that the appendix is involved in the production of molecules that help to direct the movement of lymphocytes to various other locations in the body.

    In this context, the function of the appendix appears to be to expose white blood cells to the wide variety of antigens, or foreign substances, present in the gastrointestinal tract. Thus, the appendix probably helps to suppress potentially destructive humoral (blood- and lymph-borne) antibody responses while promoting local immunity. The appendix–like the tiny structures called Peyer’s patches in other areas of the gastrointestinal tract–takes up antigens from the contents of the intestines and reacts to these contents. This local immune system plays a vital role in the physiological immune response and in the control of food, drug, microbial or viral antigens. The connection between these local immune reactions and inflammatory bowel diseases, as well as autoimmune reactions in which the individual’s own tissues are attacked by the immune system, is currently under investigation.

    In the past, the appendix was often routinely removed and discarded during other abdominal surgeries to prevent any possibility of a later attack of appendicitis; the appendix is now spared in case it is needed later for reconstructive surgery if the urinary bladder is removed. In such surgery, a section of the intestine is formed into a replacement bladder, and the appendix is used to re-create a ’sphincter muscle’ so that the patient remains continent (able to retain urine). In addition, the appendix has been successfully fashioned into a makeshift replacement for a diseased ureter, allowing urine to flow from the kidneys to the bladder. As a result, the appendix, once regarded as a nonfunctional tissue, is now regarded as an important ‘back-up’ that can be used in a variety of reconstructive surgical techniques. It is no longer routinely removed and discarded if it is healthy.

    That information was considered “vandalism”.

    New: I can’t remember which mod it was but when I checked back in October it was a Wikipedia mod. Though to be fair it was a quick copy and paste job as a test to see how quickly they’d revert back to the Darwinist-friendly version (I think it was like 3-5 hours). If I was serious about updating that page I’d need to paraphrase the sources and cite them…but what’s the point if a mod will quickly zap it? So that might have been part of the reason for the mod’s action but I kind of doubt it since he could have simply edited and paraphrased it himself if that was the primary concern.

  2. I had the same thing happened when I tried to correct a small point about “Who created the designer?” on the ID entry. My point (with referenced quote from Behe about whether or not the identity of the Designer(s) is within ID as a scientific question) was quickly, and repeatedly, removed…by FeloniousMonk.

  3. FeloniusMonk has gone as far as to tell me that I am not an expert on my own beliefs. I have tried to change my own bio numerous times so that my own views are accurately presented. But what FM does is make sure that my views are presented with a hint of doubt, so that a wink-wink-nod-nod is implied. So, for example, if I change my bio to state I do not believe that ID should be taught in public schools, FM changes it to “Beckwith SAYS that ID should not be taught in public schools, though he is fellow of the pro-ID DI, blah, blah, blah.” What FM is doing is dishonest. For he has a worldview that requires I believe a certain way. If I don’t fit the worldview, I am probably not telling the truth, but I do say it. So, that’s why he says “Beckwith SAYS” rather than “Beckwith believes….”

    FM is a fundamentalist who has no place in his cognitive infrastructure to accommodate anything that violates his dogmas. Hence, he must constantly amend, change, redact, and engage in rhetorical tricks in order to protect his dogmas.

  4. Libel consists of the publication of defamatory matter by written or printed words.

    In November of 2006 the California Supreme Court ruled that web sites cannot be sued for libel that was written by other parties.[8]
    But, those parties can be sued if they knew or reasonably should have known that their printing or editing was false or misleading especially if done on a consistent basis. Please see wikipedia “defamation.”

  5. [...] Wikipedia is a popular source of information, with articles written by voluntary authors all over the world, motivated only by their desire to share their knowledge with the rest of us. That’s the ideal, at least. But as DaveScot shows in his post, “Wikipedia Hatchet Jobs on ID Leaders”, a small group of intellectual thugs are vandalizing Wikipedia, squashing any attempt to correct articles with an anti-ID bias. For example, the article on Francis Beckwith (who has argued for the constitutionality of teaching intelligent design) contains false claims about his views, implying that he’s lying about them. Any attempts to correct it, even from Beckwith himself, have been deleted. [...]

  6. Correction:
    That is, if the information is damaging to someone’s reputation it is actionable, not just anything that is false or misleading.

  7. What would it take to open/start an IDWiki?

    To me that would be the way to go.

  8. Joseph,

    I’m already on that:

    http://www.researchid.org

    (or just click on my name above or below)

  9. Thanks JC-

    This is a good thing. People who read both should see the obvious discrepencies and in the end Wikipedia should suffer because of their misrepresenations and one-sided distortions.

  10. The court may say, “web sites cannot be sued for libel that was written by other parties,” however, if these parties have specific “administration privelages”, one may be able to argue that they are therefore authorized agents of the website hosts “wikipedia”, therefore allowing wikipedia to be held responsible for their agents’ actions.

  11. Granville Sewell (whom I have referenced here at UD on several occasions) recently wrote the following to me:

    Gil,

    Re: Wikipedia, I noticed the ID article, which of course is also very biased, has a phrase “a misrepresentation or misunderstanding of the thermodynamic principle of entropy” and referenced my American Spectator article. When I removed “misrepresentation or misunderstanding” from the text, complaining that it didn’t even give a reference to justify this opinion, someone put the words back in, and added a reference to a TalkOrigins article (that basically says, the second law only applies to heat).

    Granville

  12. Gildodgen,
    Did TalkOrigins say “heat” or” energy?” Either way I was unaware that TalkOrigins had achieved top tier journal status recently.

  13. As an editorial comment:

    What the Wiki hatchet jobs tell me is that our opposition is getting desperate. If ID ideas and arguments were as lame as they claim, they wouldn’t feel the need to resort to these kinds of tactics. I’ve quoted this before, but I think it’s worth re-quoting in situations like this. From the close of Phillip Johnson’s Darwin on Trial:

    Darwinian evolution with its blind watchmaker thesis makes me think of a great battleship on the ocean of reality. Its sides are heavily armored with philosophical barriers to criticism, and its decks are stacked with big rhetorical guns ready to intimidate any would-be attackers. In appearance, it is as impregnable as the Soviet Union seemed to be only a few years ago. But the ship has sprung a metaphysical leak, and the more perceptive of the ship’s officers have begun to sense that all the ship’s firepower cannot save it if the leak is not plugged. There will be heroic efforts to save the ship, of course, and some plausible rescuers will invite the officers to take refuge in electronic lifeboats equipped with high-tech gear like autocatalytic sets and computer models of self-organizing systems. The spectacle will be fascinating, and the battle will go on for a long time. But in the end reality will win.”

  14. [...] Uncommon Descent complains of the entry/revision battles at Wikipedia A small group of Wikipedia admins with a grudge against ID have been running amok with no oversight performing and/or allowing hatchet jobs on ID and its leaders. It’s long past time to expose what they’ve been doing. Wikipedia is far too popular and reliable source of information, especially for school children, to let this travesty of justice continue. Please keep comments on topic. The Wiki horror stories are great! [...]

  15. All,

    A few pointers for any beginners who want to go to Wikipedia and contribute. Save yourself some time, and do some preparation. I promise you, if you do not prepare, you will fail.

    * Know Wikipedia – Learn the pillars and guidelines of Wikipedia. Follow them to the letter. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H.....guidelines

    * Know your stuff – Learn all of the strengths and weaknesses of both sides of the issue at hand. I mean literally everything. If you don’t, you will be chewed up and spit out.

    * Know your sources – Learn all of the scientific literature and mainstream media sources that deal with the issue at hand (these are ‘primary sources’). Also, any relevant website or blog content (‘secondary sources’). Have directly related citations ready to post before you make an edit or or bring up an issue on the talk page.

    * Know how to write – Learn how to contribute quality content by strictly following the guidelines.

    * Know how to call people out – Learn how to hold others accountable to the guidelines, and do it civilly, graciously, and with tact.

    I cannot stress enough how important it is to follow the rules. Then, if you are a victim of bias, you can have a fair hearing through dispute resolution.

    Anyone who has contributed to the ID related pages will back me up on this.

  16. This is a good thing.

    Thank you, Joseph.

    All,

    We are slowly becoming more relevant and are creeping up in the search engine ranks, but we need help. To have a more relevant online presence, we would ask anyone who is willing to graciously help us:

    * ”Links” – Links to ResearchID.org are incredibly helpful. Blog links are awesome, especially the “blogroll” type of links that are site-ubiquitous.
    * ”Content” – Become a member of our community and contribute. We are seeking content in the form of general scientific and philosophical knowledge, and especially content that develops the concepts of ID. Original research is always welcomed at ResearchID.org.

    Best,

    Joey

  17. I’ve stopped using Wikipedia as an information source because of it’s terrible bias. After seeing how it mangles it’s representation of ID and Creationism I find I just can’t trust it, even on unrelated subjects.

  18. ID and Peer Review summaries
    http://www.iscid.org/ubb/ultim.....6;t=000677

    Following are two overview summaries for Wikipedia (with Wiki formatting & links). Please affirm/critique/comment.
    ————————————
    Overview ID & Conventional science
    Intelligent design practitioners model empirical data of abiotic and biotic systems to distinguish evidence for intelligent causation from [[Forces|natural forces]], ranging from the formation of the [[Universe]] to [[Biology|biological systems]] and [[human beings]].

    {{cite book|author=Guillermo Gonzalez|title=The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos is Designed for Discovery|year=2004|id=ISBN 0895260654}} {{cite book|author=Michael Behe|title=Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution|year=2006|publisher=Free Press|id=ISBN 0743290313}}

    By contrast, orthodox [[science|physical]] and [[biology|biological]] sciences, rely exclusively on [[natural science|natural]] explanations for [[abiogenesis]] and [[macroevolution]] through processes such as [[Urey-Miller_experiment|lightning]], [[mutation]], and [[natural selection]], starting after the [[Big bang]].

    [http://www.aaas.org/news/releases/2002/1106id2.shtml AAAS Board Resolution on Intelligent Design Theory]
    ————————-
    Peer Review
    The Discovery Institute maintains an annotated list of articles it submits are peer-reviewed and support the concept of Intelligent Design.

    [http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/index.php?command=view&id=2640&program=CSC%20-%20Scientific%20Research%20and%20Scholarship%20-%20Science Peer-Reviewed & Peer-Edited Scientific Publications Supporting the Theory of Intelligent Design (Annotated)]

    William Dembski assembled a list of “Ten peer reviewed ID articles.”

    [http://www.designinference.com/documents/2005.09.Expert_Report_Dembski.pdf Expert Witness Report: William A. Dembski, The Scientific Status of Intelligent Design, Appendix 3: Ten Peer-Reviewed ID Articles (with Annotations)]

    Mainstream scientists criticize these articles as not being peer reviewed, not being in major scientific journals, or not supporting or referring to ID.

    —————————

    Then please weigh into the discussion and help with editing at:

    Intelligent Design: Wikipedia
    [URL=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Intelligent_design Talk:Intelligent Design[/URL]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T.....al_science

    I am working to correct the duplicitous inaccurate overview introduction: “Intelligent design is presented as an alternative to natural explanations for evolution.” This falsely implies both that ID is against microevolution and objects to natural explanations for it. ID practitioners widely accept that there are natural causes such as mutation that result in microevolution. They also recognize environmental pressures such as droughts that change finch beaks – AND THEN CHANGE THEM BACK AGAIN when the rains return. ID also works with empirical evidence, hypotheses, forming and testing models, and so works with the scientific method. Thus explicitly distinguishing the issue of macroevolution not evolution. I have proposed these two sentences and reworked them for several months to address objections. Please show where this is wrong or show cause for why this improvement should not replace the current inaccurate statement.

  19. FeloniousMonk has even gone so far as to argue against submission of the article “Intelligent design” to “Featured Article” candidacy (suggested as a possibility by someone who actually thought that the article is of “very fine quality” and that the arguments against ID are “overwhelming”) — see the article’s “Talk” page for 2/26/06. This would expose the article to greater scrutiny by the Wikipedia community, and, presumably, result in at least some attenuation its violation of Wikipedia’s “neutral point of view” (NPOV) policy… (But I doubt much.)

    Notwhithstanding its aspirations to “NPOV”, Wikipedia seems to be generally an oligarchy on controversial issues.

    But the ID articles reflect especially badly on Wikipedia.

    P.S. He’s apparently a monk of the Church of Darwin, but I wonder what felony FeloniousMonk committed.

  20. Kudos Joey, I’m honored to be a part of ResearchID.org as a contributor. Often I wish I had a stronger comprehensive grasp on all the relative data in order to contribute more to the ID cause. Just when I thought ID’s affect on NDE was stalling along comes Trevors and Abels 2006 paper on self-order vs. self-organization. IDists now have nothing to fear. For instance, what response could a Darwinian school board member give when asked if their paper is science, and isn’t that what students should be taught. If this only proves that all we know about the DNA process, that an unidentified, immaterial intelligent agency exist, so be it. Why multiply it into something it is not. We only know that certain math-measured properties lay behind Descartes’ “viel of perception” but not what the substance is. This is sort of like Dawkins in River Out of Eden when he writes about how genes don’t care about suffering because they don’t care about anything, i.e., it just is.

  21. Dave,
    I warned about this kind of behaviour (internet warfare) – though it was regarding the open source dirctory DMOZ:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....9#comments

  22. This make for interesting reading on the F Monk.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W.....oniousMonk

  23. THe bottom of this blog entry also talks of FM and his problems:

    http://spinstop.com/buzz/2006-.....:17:53+304

    From the blog:

    FeloniousMonk is the one who has taken charge of the Wikipedia pages on evolution controversies. He and his buddies have agreed to help each other out when blocking anyone from putting neutral information on those pages. I expect this from narrow-minded evolutionists, but I am really surprised at the extent to which he attempts to use Wikipedia to personally retaliate on me. posted by Roger Schlafly at 23:17:53

  24. [...] For yet another round of deficiencies at Wikipedia see here. [...]

  25. A comment from the link in comment #22:

    FeloniousMonk does not understand NPOV*. He doesn’t recognize the distinction between facts and values. He boasts on his userpage of “opposing irrationality, including organized religion.” (Yes — I know the text is borrowed from User:Eloquence.) That opposition manifests itself in his edits. That is to say: FeloniousMonk is an anti-religous POV warrior.

    * Neutral Point of View: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WP:NPOV

  26. I’m no expert on David Berlinski’s work, but his Wikipedia biography seems to be the worst hatchet job of all. It describes him as a “notable creationist” and has a whole section on creationism, based on an out of context quote where Berlinski uses a line from Genesis.

  27. Hm…. here in Germany, we have the same problems…. if you are able to speak German, you will love the pdf, you can find on this blog:

    http://evolution-schoepfung.bl.....html#links

    This is the pdf:
    http://members.aon.at/evolution/HeiligWiki

    A short summery: there were two guys who tried to correct the wikipedia-article about “IC”.
    They proved, that the version standing there, was abslutely wrong and they named their references.
    The issue wasn’t about wether IC is an argument against evolution or not, it was just about a right IC-example: a first, “primitive” eye is an IC-structure, not the eye as a whole. But a wikipedia–author had claimed this without giving references.
    Well, these two guys just wanted referneces for this claim…
    Hm…. Wikipedia decided to ban them…. an unbelievable case (even more unbelievable as my bad English… ;-) )

  28. [...] More On Why Wikipedia Cannot Be Trusted See here and here at the (terrific) Uncommon Descent blog. [...]

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