Wednesday, May 21, 2008

What Is the Rate of Progress?

On Monday, I published an article here on the Media Ethics blog entitled, What Is the Name of This Problem?

I also copied it, verbatim, to a discussion thread on Wikipedia Review.

Today, I noticed on my watchlist that there had been some new activity on the article on A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism.

Yesterday, it seems, a Wikipedian named WAS 4.250, boldly undertook to correct a long-festering inaccuracy in that article. And he also posted a comment about it on the article's talk page. Having moved the ball closer to the goal line of accuracy, excellence, and ethics, the defending editors pushed back with all their might, so there was modest net gain in yardage at the end of two days. The article still does not acknowledge that the name, "A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism" was originally just the headline on the Anti-PBS ad of 2001.

I suppose I might have used the same 32-word petition in an ad headlined "100 Scientists Urge Rigorous Adherence to the Protocols of the Scientific Method When Examining Evidence in Support of Scientific Theories" followed by a couple of paragraphs of advertising copy explaining what that means. And I suppose I could have later launched a promotional web site, RigorInScience.Org, soliciting even more signatures. I wonder if those 100 scientists would have smiled in approval or frowned in disapproval of the way I had interpreted and promoted their previously untitled statement.

When I wrote the blog article on Monday, the key references were #19 and #20, buried deep in the article. Now the key references are #1 and #2. That's as it should be, since they are the references one must examine to sort {fact} from fiction PR spin.

So good for you, WAS 4.250. You're a mensch in my book. We've come a long way in a mere 10 months. We're halfway to the goal now. Zeno would be kvelling in his grave.

And thanks to Wikipedian PelleSmith, too, for pointing out that whatever goes for the main article goes for the WP:COATRACKS out there in that ever-hazardous BLP space.

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