The author is no doubt correct in his narration of the internal political struggle, and the role of the “no canvassing” rule in turning the tide away from the dissenters. However, the author’s own words make clear that, though the reaction to the canvassing contributed to the final result, the canvassing postdated the original motivation for removing the article: (emphasis added):
“The heated debate between experienced Wikipedians and proponents of “intelligent design” ended up backfiring on the latter and actually helped to finalize the deletion of the Bechly article.”
The phrase “helped to finalize” implies that there was already a motion on the table, so to speak, to delete the Bechly article. And where did that motion come from? From the “creationists” you’re talking about? No, it came from the existing cabal which wanted to dump the Bechly article the moment they heard he endorsed ID.
I suspect you have no experience as a Wikipedia editor. Since I do, I can tell you the dynamics in play here:
1-- The local cabal overseeing the Bechly article, incensed by Bechly’s “defection” to ID, sought to remove the article about him;
2-- A group of editors (supposedly all “creationists”, though there is no proof of that, since Wikipedia cabalists routinely assume that anyone who opposes any of their high-handed actions must be a creationist) thought this an action motivated by political or culture-war bias rather than principle, and opposed it;
3-- Seeing that they were locally outnumbered (as is always the case in the articles connected with origins), and therefore would lose the vote, the protesters figured the only way they could stop the biased action was to recruit other Wikipedia editors;
4-- So they summoned other editors to come and vote with them, thus breaking the “no canvassing” rule;
5-- This technical foul was then used to discredit their opposition, and had double the usual force, because not only were they breaking a rule, they were “creationists,” so it could be painted as religiously motivated political interference in the processes of Wikipedia;
6-- This gave the cabal a clear path to do what they intended to do anyway, and had enough local votes to do anyway, which was to trash the Bechly article.
That, in plain language, is what happened. And when looked at in this blunt form, it’s clear that the “creationists violated the no canvassing rule” part is a distraction. The motivation to dump the article preceded anything the “creationists” did. Even the author you’ve cited clearly implies that.
The author’s concluding statement, which you did not draw any attention to, is (emphasis added):
“If Bechly’s article was originally introduced due to his scientific work, it was deleted due to his having become a poster child for the creationist movement.”
Notice, not “due to creationist violation of the no canvassing rule”, but “due to his having become a poster child for the creationist movement.” That is, it’s the author’s view that those who wanted Bechly’s page dropped were motivated by their discovery that Bechly had embraced ID.
And the poster over at Panda’s Thumb said the same thing.
You can keep denying the obvious, as you please. I cannot provide you with a proof of motivation of Euclidean certainty, if that’s what you’re demanding. But the sequence and timing of actions, and the lame justifications, provide more than sufficient evidence to convict Wikipedia in the court of common sense. When even someone from Panda’s Thumb agrees with a columnist from Discovery, the jig is up. But if you’re determined to believe that Wikipedia editors are totally objective and fair intellectual angels who have never shown any bias in their origins articles, go ahead and believe what you want to believe. I’m done.