Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Quickening Pace of Progress

The rate of progress in bringing the Wikipedia article on A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism up to standards (in terms of accuracy, excellence, and ethics in online media) appears to be picking up the pace. An anonymous editor identified only by an IP address has introduced a crucial improvement in the opening sentence:

A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism (or Dissent From Darwinism) is the name given to a petition notable for its use in promoting intelligent design. It is a list of signatories attesting to a statement, produced by the Discovery Institute, expressing skepticism about the ability of natural selection to account for the complexity of life, and encouraging careful examination of the evidence for "Darwinism". This list was first published in advertisements under an added introduction which stated that its signatories dispute the assertion that Darwin’s theory of evolution fully explains the complexity of living things, and dispute that "all known scientific evidence supports [Darwinian] evolution".[1][2]

The most important part is the insertion of "the name given to". This important edit now helps the reader appreciate that the name given to the petition by the DI is not the name on the petition (it actually had no printed title on it at all). The article still doesn't reveal that the name initially appeared as the headline in the advertisement cited in Ref #1.

I hope our intrepid IP editor also attends to the "See also" section where the List of signatories to "A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism" takes the reader to another article that begins:

These are some of the individuals who have signed the Discovery Institute's pro-intelligent design/anti-evolution statement, A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism.

So once again, we need to revise that to correct the inaccurate characterization of this list as living persons whom Wikipedia has inexplicably identified as proponents of ID or opponents of evolution.

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