Is Wikipedia Fair to the Biologic Institute?

Of course not. No one is saying that.

That is not fair. He was wrong.

To be clear, however, that is not happening here, nor is is that in the wikipedia article.

It is true. Identifying with ID will call down a lot of abuse on anyone in science. The real question is why?

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Ann, I hope this doesn’t come off the wrong way. But do you think holocaust deniers should be allowed in history departments and young earthers in geology departments?

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Nooooo. Not kind @T.j_Runyon. ID is not the same thing as holocaust deniers. ID is not even the same thing as young earth creationism. I hope you apologize for that.

I’m not saying they are. My point was going to be that’s how a lot of people see them. The intellectual equivalent of astrologers, holocaust deniers, etc. I’ve heard this first hand. I hope you apologize to me for jumping to conclusions. I was going to give my account of why I think they get mistreated sometimes @swamidass

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@T.j_Runyon I know what you meant, but that is not a helpful statement.

Most ID advocates will be totally opposed to holocaust-denial (and is that not a good thing?). They would say that (1) holocaust-deniers should not be in history departments, (2) find examples where they are in history departments, (3) point out that ID is far less objectionable than holocaust denial, and (4) be angry that ID is not allowed in biology departments. And finally, (5) they would be injured and angry that ID was compared to holocaust-denial.

How exactly do you imagine this is supposed to go?

5 posts were split to a new topic: ID Goes International?

I once asked a collections manager why don’t ID proponents get hired in biology departments and why have some been pushed out at certain institutions. His/her response: having ID proponents being a part of our institution would give our institution negative attention. Which could result in loss of funding etc. we don’t hire them for the same reasons history departments don’t hire holocaust deniers. And there isn’t just enough good science coming from them. Nothing to get excited about.


Yes, I believe you that this was told to you. Just think about the charged context of this thread…is it helping?

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That’s reality, except for the good science part.


The scientific community remains skeptical and commentators note that no publications containing results which support intelligent design have yet appeared.[4] 2[24][25] Reason magazine 1 compared the research efforts at the Biologic Institute to those of “Big Tobacco”[[26]
( the 2006 New Scientist editorial noted that this sort of research is similar to the agenda-driven research of the tobacco and oil industries.[19] University of Minnesota biologyprofessor PZ Myers likens the Biologic Institute’ s research program to cargo cults 1, with “Intelligent Design creationists pretend[ing] that they’re doing science.”[27] Intelligent design supporters and other creationists disagree.[20] 1[28] 1

From the Wiki on Biologic. Note the selective quotes on opinions of our research efforts, and the following statement saying merely that we disagree.

If you look for particular code words they may not be there, but the tone and choice of quotes, reveal a striking bias. If you don’t see it, then I am wasting my time.

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Before I deal with that, I carefully read a large amount of material you linked too, and carefully responded. It would be helpful to start with my summary of that. Did I misread it?

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They give the key parts of that story in a fair way–it has been improved. But I have pointed out elsewhere other elements of skewed reporting. Why do I have to defend myself here?

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You are not being asked to defend yourself. You were upset at that wiki article, and we are just trying to figure out why. That’s all. You quoted that section saying it misrepresented everything, but I’m not sure I see how. Yes other articles did, but not that wiki article. Yes it is not going to tell your side of the story fully.

I think we agree with you, as we have stated several times…

If that was your main point, we all already agree. Maybe call it a win.

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Really? Maybe you.

WIth respect, I don’t think anyone is denying that ID proponents sometimes get misrepresented, or that they sometimes get treated with contempt as a result (or for other reasons). That’s pretty trivially true. What I was interested in when I first asked my question was (insidious) examples of the “errors and bias” that you said that wikipedia article specifically was full of.

So far you’ve given the example of a quote from Daniel Brooks that was apparently in error in saying that HGT was involved in your microbial experiment. While that should of course be corrected, I was hoping for something more juicy. Do you have some more alarming examples from that wikipedia article?

Juicy? Wikipedia is usually subtle enough to administer their poison undetected. As this prolonged justification shows. The juicy part is the Brooks story, which of course I cannot demonstrate.

I would have to explain our account of the Wistar II meeting in order to demonstrate why Brooks is not telling it straight, throughout his whole account. Plus he doesn’t seem to understand the biology. But to explain every thing will just lead to a he said/she said debacle, my word against his, and you adjudicating.

Back when it happened, I asked that the tapes be released, in order to demonstrate his false account. It never happened, probably for legal reasons. But for the record, everyone was informed of the confidentiality agreement before hand, it was in order that some of the invited scientists would be willing to attend without being tainted, there was no deception on our part, the story about thinking it was to be a Gordon conference, if true, is ludicrous, and here I go again.

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That probably would have been helpful. It is too bad it was not done.

I would not even attempt to adjudicate that mess except to say that I have known you to be honest with me.

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I would ask what can ID do change that very negative perception about them

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Does it not take two to tango? Did we ask what blacks could do to change the negative perception about them in America? “Polluter pays.”

You mentioned that the Brooks error about HGT in Ann’s paper was trivial. Yet over at BioLogos, over a period of at least a few months, great stress was placed on a single nomenclature slip in Signature in the Cell as evidence of his scientific incompetence. If one of those inatsnaces is trivial, then so is the other. If one matters, so does the other.

Declaration of interest - I read SITC 18 months after following the concerted BioLogos campaign against it (as a loyal BioLogos contributor), and reviewed the book in the light of the record of the critique. The negative perception of his book could have been improved markedly by (a) reading the book more carefully before reviewing some other book or, in the case of Francisco Ayala (of happy memory), the index, © not introducing his replies by poisoning the well (d) not casting doubt on his genuine credentials on the subject from a position of having none yourself… what the heck, you can read my review yourself.


Sorry, I missed your post about the missed publications (ironic, huh?), and I think it was Joshua that brought up the greenscreen thing, but I’m still not seeing your point about Wistar II. Regardless of how other people represented it, the wikipedia article seems to do a fair job of balancing the version of events, and only repeated a small technical error in Brooks’ description of your results.

Regarding the publications, I thought it would be pretty clear that the article would be referring to publications in the “normal” scientific literature. You might be happy with BIO-complexity as a journal with rigerous peer-review etc, but surely you understand the skepticism of others. You must understand the poor optics of a small group of scientists on the fringe of a particular field starting their own niche journal to publish in. Do you expect everyone to say “Oh, well look, they’ve started publishing in a journal, now they really are doing real science!”?
Since the article also adds the caveat of “containing results which support intelligent design”, this is not just a statement that no publications have emerged, it’s specifically a claim that no compelling publications have emerged.

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Then can you correct my misunderstandings? For exmaple, Sternberg says he lost his office and was told to return his keys, portraying this as a punishment that hampered his research in the museum. The article I linked claims that Sternberg was relocated to a different but essentially identical office, and that this relocation was planned long before Meyer’s article was published. He also apparently didn’t lose his access to museum collections - he had to hand back his key, but so did everyone else, as part of a planned security upgrade. I’m more inclined to believe the latter version of events, it sounds much more plausible, but maybe you can set me straight?

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Not a necessary or appropriate comment. You do not own the rights to a stylized “A”. You’re making me wonder whether your sunglasses were photoshopped in… : )