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Livre ouvert.svg This is a reference page. It contains pure source material rather than an article. As such, please refrain from editing what is preserved here, except to make corrections. We have more of these out back.

EvoWiki is now a project of the RMF.

Article originally here.

Got an issue to discuss with other EvoWiki contributors? Add it here! If you're starting a new discussion then click here, and always sign discussions: --~~~~.

Bugs in the software should be posted on [[EvoWiki:Bug reports]].


Ongoing discussions[edit]

Anonymous Posters[edit]

Is there anything that can be done about spamming from anonymous posters? Would it be an imposition on the "openness" of EvoWiki to require people to sign up before contributing? I know I contributed before signing up, but after wading through a spam attack such as this morning (which may be ongoing as I write this), I'm rapidly becoming in favor of requiring sign-up. --[[User:Suttkus|Suttkus]] 14:24, 5 May 2006 (BST)

Please, please, PLEASE ban anonymous posters! --[[User:Suttkus|Suttkus]] 01:51, 18 May 2006 (BST)

Fully a third of my contributions in May have been spam reversions. It's seriously cutting into the time I would use to make improvements. --[[User:Suttkus|Suttkus]] 15:28, 23 May 2006 (BST)

I give up. I've just reverted 35 separate acts of vandalism and spam in a single sitting. Others have reverted many acts this evening as well. I expect we've had nearly a hundred separate acts of vandalism in the past 24 hours, but I cannot be bothered to count.

I've tried to bring the problem up here, but everytime I do, someone spams the page and someone reverts it and then nobody pays attention to the text.

Enough is enough. Lock out anonymous posters, PLEASE!

But do or don't, I'm not taking anymore time on them. Someone else can revert them. I've done my part. --[[User:Suttkus|Suttkus]] 08:21, 24 May 2006 (BST)

  • sigh* I second the motion that we require posters to sign up before they can post.--[[User:Apokryltaros|Mr A.]] 06:20, 18 May 2006 (BST)

Ban them. Ban them ALL! [[User:|]] 20:44, 30 June 2006 (BST)

There have been 10 spams today and it is just morning right now. Why dont we force loggin in before editing ? I just checked, the creation wiki has NO SPams in the last 500 changes. They force logging in before editing.

Indeed... That's the one good thing about that christofascist wiki. I think we're in the middle of a particularly nasty spam season, in fact.--[[User:Apokryltaros|Mr A.]] 06:37, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Recent Additions[edit]

Most sections after "Policy: Civility" (inclusive) have been updated in the past few months, but few seem to be generating real discussion. I expect it's hard to follow this page, or even note changes have happened, what with most "updates" being spam or spam reversions. I'm putting this section in to direct people to the places where changes have actually occured. --[[User:Suttkus|Suttkus]] 14:03, 18 May 2006 (BST)

Creationist claim index[edit]

Has anyone noticed that creationwiki have the index to creationist claims on thier website with reactions to them, i think we should refute thier reactions in the index section.

That would be useful, but the problem is that refuting nonsense takes more time than writing it. It would be a race of refutation against refutation - a sort of internet discussion spread over two different sites, and we would have that handicap I just mentioned. I think we should concentrate on refuting the more stable sources - books and slow websites but not wikis.
I actually started to do what you suggest by the discussion section in [[Fallacy]], but they quickly went on to distort what I said there - the new version of the page I referred to just contains new bullshit. I don't have the time to react to their nonsense every few days.
What do the others think? --[[User:Thomas Kettenring|tk]] [[User_talk:Thomas_Kettenring|(t)]] 07:35, 27 July 2006 (BST)

It's a good idea, but, I think we need to focus on responding to the current list of claims. Besides, most "reactions" there are just a regurgitated mash of programmed ignorance. --[[User:Apokryltaros|Mr A.]] 16:17, 27 July 2006 (BST)
This was the original plan, and there's nothing to stop you doing so. [[User:Steinsky|Joe D]] [[User_talk:Steinsky|(t)]] 22:15, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
I definitely think you guys should write a rebuttal to CreationWiki's "response" to Mark Isaak's Index to Creationist Claims. [[User:USfan101|M.P.]] 17:50, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
I prefer to just read what their response is to us, and then adjust our responses accordingly. Generally, that means just clarifying something that is easily misunderstood, but occasionally they can show one of our responses to be wrong or something. I aim to make our responses clear and accurate so that the typical reader can see through the 'rebuttals' on CreationWiki.--[[User:Doddy|Doddy]] 00:01, 14 August 2007 (BST)
Doddy, your way works too and probably takes a lot less time than responding to their whole "rebuttal." [[User:USfan101|M.P.]] 00:20, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
I think evowiki should create rebuttals to CreationWiki's "responses" to TalkOrigins. I am more than willing to do it, as I am rather new to this site. Additionally, I feel it is important to address comments like those of the CreationWiki so as to expose their logical fallacies. [[User:|]] 22:47, 24 September 2007 (BST)
I don't think it is worth it. Generally, they just use another fallacious claim to attempt to validate the one in question, or just reassert the claim in another way that makes it seem more appealing, but is still just as wrong. But, if you feel that CreationWiki does something substantial that needs addressing when they 'rebut' our rebuttals, just edit the discussion page for the claim they are rebutting and give a description. Then we can work out if rewriting our rebuttals or even creating a new claim page in response would be more appropriate.--[[User:Doddy|Doddy]] 07:30, 25 September 2007 (BST)
The issue is that most of their rebuttals are to TalkOrigins, not EvoWiki. Therefore, if we have an article that uses a TalkOrigins arguments, I think we should rebut their rebuttal of the TalkOrigins argument we are using. [[User:|]] 22:57, 4 October 2007 (BST)

lack of knowledge[edit]

It seems as if the articles on evo wiki lack scientific content but have loads of pages that dbunk cretionist claims, (e.g Natural selction , as opposed to what is creationism? )I think that more attention should be given to the the quality of information on such articles!!! its really annoyin to keep seein a 'click here for the wikipedia page'! Im gonna try and bulk up such pages. People should help me!! --[[User:Spiderboy06|Spiderboy06]] 18:39, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

Evolution is "just" a theory[edit]

This is the most common complaint that I have heard lodged against evolution by creationists. Do you have material addressing this here? And if so, where?--[[User:Filll|Filll]] 21:21, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

[[Evolution_is_only_a_theory]] --[[User:RonZ|RonZ]] 00:07, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

Encyclopedia of Fossil Data[edit]

I suggest we start collecting data about all known authentic fossils (including their images). A lot of the material may be available on the internet in a scattered manner. Even non-experts in biology, can help in collecting and organizing this data which can then be checked by experts. Please let me know how to upload images. I can see from the above posts that there was some problem with uploading images. Has it been fixed now? Any suggestions on this? --[[User:Amit|Amit]] 18:05, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

This site can't be well known if I can login as Charlesdarwin. I found it only because I was deliberately googling for "evolution Wiki". Clearly it needs more publicity, but another problem is that it is limited to discussing the "controversy," not organizing the evidence for evolution. The above idea from Amit is similar in scope, but all the fossil data in the world will not make a good case for evolution. The emphasis on fossil data should be the descent of man from RNA world (or whatever) onward, but that needs to be supplemented with the various threads of evidence from genetics to dating methods to the philosophy of science, etc.

We need a pictorial grid of the interlinking threads. There also should be parallel panels for creationist counterarguments, and anyone who posts on both sides should be booted off until they decide which way to go. After being ganged up on by Christians and closet Christians claiming to be atheists, who smugly asserted that the mass of literature (written by Christians) said Hitler was an atheist, I realized Wikipedia is a poor format for debating complex issues. [[User:Charlesdarwin|Charlesdarwin]] 01:09, 16 September 2007 (BST)

I don't know what you mean by "panels" or "posts for both sides". Also, Wikis are not discussion forums, they are for spreading information (or disinformation, as in the case of [[CreationWiki]]). "Wikipedia is a poor format for debating complex issues" is like "A hammer is a poor tool for cutting down trees". --[[User:Thomas Kettenring|tk]] 09:03, 20 September 2007 (BST)

Requesting images with copyright[edit]

Do we have some standard procedure for requesting images which are copyrighted? I am currently colleting images of transitional fossils. I would like to request images on this page http://www.carnegiemnh.org/news/02-mar-apr/eomaia/eomaiascansoria.html --[[User:Amit|Amit]] 17:45, 17 January 2007 (UTC)


Hello Sir:

My name is JamesL, I am the Webmaster for Seti UNIVERSE. I noticed that “EvoWiki” does not provide a forum for its visitors to ask questions or to maybe for them to use their experience help someone solve a problem.

I propose that you add a Menu Hyperlink (or a regular hyperlink, named FORUM) on “EvoWiki.” The hyperlink or Include Statement would link to the Seti UNIVERSE forum.

Presently the Seti UNIVERSE forum has over 1600 members, by adding the Seti UNIVERSE forum to EvoWiki you have the potential of familiarizing the members of Seti UNIVERSE with “EvoWiki.”

If you except and implement this proposal, I will introduce “EvoWiki” to the members of the Seti UNIVERSE Forum and I will also be most happy to create any other forum that you feel will enhance “the Seti UNIVERSE Forums.”

  • I will also make the position of Moderator of the “Seti@ Home Forum” available to anyone on your staff so that they could monitor and participate in that forum. (and other forums if they so desire, even maybe create new forum(s) )

This proposal is a win, win situation and I feel that if you except this proposal both websites will benefit!

Here is the link to the Seti UNIVERSE Forum so that you can look it over. http://www.setiuniverse.com/WowFORUM/index.php

I know that your participation in these forums will greatly enhance the Seti UNIVERSE Forums and inject repeat visitors for both of our websites. Contact me soon and let me know your thoughts.


P.S. You must be a member to view the majority of the forums. Also, we should exchange links even if you decide not to go with the “Forum Proposal?”

talk pages for articles like these are whare you can disscuss things I dont think we dont need a forum for that.--[[User:Fang 23|Fang 23]] 01:49, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
This site is for writing articles, not general discussions. Disucssions here should only be for planning the articles, developing the project and resolving editorial issues. This site is not intended as a discussion forum, nor does it make sense to have an EvoWiki forum when there are already several fora established for the purpose of discussing biology and the evolution/creationism issue. Indeed, EvoWiki was initially created as an offspring of the [[Talk.Origins]] usenet group. [[User:Steinsky|Joe]] [[User_talk:Steinsky|(t)]] 17:19, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Bandwidth etc[edit]

How much bandwidth do we have for this server? I would like to add images to most of the anatomy and genetics encyclopaedia articles. I was thinking of using a different picture for each bone, and one for each amino acid and nucleotide. Will this be too much?--[[User:Doddy|Doddy]] 07:46, 24 April 2007 (BST)

Nope, that should be fine, especially if they're in PNG or SVG format. I have no idea exactly how much space we have, but it's a lot. [[User:Steinsky|Joe]] [[User_talk:Steinsky|(t)]] 15:44, 26 April 2007 (BST)


This article about Arthur Keith on Wikipedia is in pretty bad condition: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Keith [[User:Johan Karlsson|Johan Karlsson]] 18:30, 5 May 2007 (BST) Yes this is true but it appears that we dont have an article about [[Arthur Keith]]--[[User:Fang 23|Fang 23]] 01:46, 6 May 2007 (BST)User:Fang 23|Fang 23]]</nowiki> 01:45, 6 May 2007 (BST)


Does EvoWiki have any banner(s) (for linking)? [[User:Johan Karlsson|Johan Karlsson]] 18:20, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Not that I know of. Does any wiki, like wikipedia?--[[User:Doddy|Doddy]] 23:23, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
Maybe it is possible to make one from the logo in the corner (in a more wider format)?[[User:Johan Karlsson|Johan Karlsson]] 12:00, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
But is's ok to use the logo to link to EvoWiki from another web page? [[User:Johan Karlsson|Johan Karlsson]] 17:57, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

I think so, although I'd have to ask Joe to be sure.--[[User:Doddy|Doddy]] 02:11, 6 November 2007 (UTC)


There are a lot of pages that don't have ANY categories. This makes them hard to find. --[[User:D.H.Seraphic|D.H.Seraphic]] 20:30, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Annoying bug in the software[edit]

Everytime i save a page it gives me an annoying database error even thought it saves the page anyway. What are we going to do about it? [[User:Elassint|Elassint]] 22:59, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

Yes, the redirects when saving are broken. I'll ask [[User:Steinsky|Joe]] about it, but I imagine that the MediaWiki software needs to be updated. I'd rather image uploading was fixed first though...--[[User:Doddy|Doddy]] 23:52, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

Search also seems to be broken:

Database error
  A database query syntax error has occurred. This may indicate a bug 
  in the software. The last attempted database query was:
   (SQL query hidden)
  from within function "". MySQL returned error "1016: Can't open file: 
  'searchindex.MYI' (errno: 145) (localhost)".

If anything other than an article name is entered. --[[User:AKJohnson|AKJohnson]] 18:13, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

I guess we need to fix the MediaWiki software again. For the time being, though, I find that plugging "evowiki + (topic or title)" works just as well.--[[User:Apokryltaros|Mr A.]] 20:14, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

This website isn’t allowing me to upload pictures either.--[[User:Fang 23|Fang 23]] 00:41, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

Oh, that's just the mysql searchindex table getting messed up -- that's always been an issue with mediawiki, has no long-term consequences and takes about 30 seconds to fix. Indeed, the repair has just finished.

I know I know I know about uploads -- I tried a couple of times to fix that, but it's complicated (when I fix one thing, I break another!). I have time tommorow and will upgrade the software, which will hopefully be the hastle free way to fix it. [[User:Steinsky|Joe]] [[User_talk:Steinsky|(t)]] 00:33, 11 January 2008 (UTC)


Just a suggestion, I've noticed there is a spam filter, maybe someone who has access to it should add a certain URL recently used by [[User:H?A?G?G?E?R]] (or whatever his name was) to vandalise. It's a shock site, and I'm not sure if it's used much to vandalise but it's worth it, seeing how disturbing the content is. Just a suggestion. [[User:Ryan Taylor|Ryan Taylor]] 03:05, 23 April 2008 (BST)


Why does it say "Could not create directory "public/archive/0/02"." whenever I try to upload a file? --[[User:Elassint|<font color="Blue"> Elassint</font>]] [[User_talk:Elassint |<font color=#FF00FF>Hi! ^_^</font>]] 03:57, 19 May 2008 (BST)

Now it says "Could not rename file "/tmp/php0awIiR" to "public/e/ee/Pic2756-detail.jpg"". [[User talk:Elassint|Elassint]], 07 5 2008

re: The recent flood of vandalism from "EEEEE"[edit]

The Recent Changes page records a fairly hefty series of edits, in which each one of the affected pages had about 180,000 characters' worth of stuff added to them, committed by a vandal going by the nom du troll "EEEEE". The timestamps on these edits indicate that EEEEE committed them at a rate of about two per minute. This suggests a possible way to cut down on the need for human correction of vandalism: Namely, have the wiki software keep track of how long it's been since the last time User X performed an edit, and silently discard any edits from a User X that's doing them too damned quickly. Why "silently"? Because (a) if we are discarding their spam on sight, it doesn't hurt us to let them continue to make more discarded-on-sight edits, and (b) the more time and effort a spammer wastes on edits that don't make it into the wiki proper, the less time and effort that spammer has to expend on doing any real damage/annoyance.
This begs the question, how fast is too fast? If [[http://web.syr.edu/~rcranger/blackburn.htm this webpage]] can be believed, the fastest typist on Earth was Barbara Blackburn, who died in April 2008 and whose top recorded speed was 212 words per minute. Assuming that each word consists of 6 letters plus 1 non-letter keystroke (see also: punctuation, spaces, etc), that works out to about (212 * 7 =) 1,484 keystrokes per minute, or 24-plus-change keystrokes per second. 24 keystrokes/second strikes me as a reasonable upper bound for "too fast"; since genuine EvoWiki contributors are not trying to set speed records, I would like to suggest that EvoWiki consider an apparent typing speed of more than 12 keystrokes/second to be prima facie evidence of spamming/vandalism.
It might seem that this proposal would not catch the first instance of mega-spam in a series, because how does the EvoWiki software know how long that first post took to write? If the EvoWiki software keeps track of timestamps for all operations, this concern is invalid; all the software need do is to compare the timestamp for when User X invoked the "edit page" function to the timestamp for when User X submitted that edit to the Wiki software. That gives us the total length of time User X spent editing the page, and from there, it's trivial to determine whether or not User X broke the 12 keystrokes/second speed limit when he made that edit. However, even if the EvoWiki software does not keep track of when its users invoke the 'edit page' function, it still keeps track of when users submit their finished edits. This means it can still catch every mega-spam after the first. Given the fact that EEEEE commited more than fifty mega-spams within a 30-minute period, I submit that catching all the after-the-first-instance mega-spams is a worthwhile accomplishment.
Another possible objection: Some genuine EvoWiki contributors may compose and polish their edits outside of the wiki. Such people presumably cut-and-paste from whatever their word processing software is, to EvoWiki; according to a strict keystrokes/second measure, these people cannot be distinguished from mega-spammers. This is a valid concern. I think it's a good reason to not automatically kill the first instance of a mega-spam series. Allowing genuine contributors to do their work outside the wiki software is worth the price of allowing the first mega-spam of a series to go un-nuked, IMAO.
Thoughts, people? [[User:Cubist|Cubist]] 09:15, 27 June 2008 (BST)

That sounds good to me. Although, it could still permit less "extreme" forms of spam, such as adding random links. Another, more extreme, possibility would be to require an administrator to permit a new account to be formed, a solution I've seen on another wiki. I don't know if that would work for this wiki, though. [[User:Nik|Nik]] 15:16, 27 June 2008 (BST)
You're absolutely right; there's a lot of different kinds of spam that my proposal won't even touch. It just occured to me that mega-spamming consumes a disproportionately large amount of Wiki resources -- I mean, 180K apiece for each of 50+ mega-spams in a row!? -- so it might be worthwhile to do something which deals with mega-spams alone. Especially because there's nothing to prevent a vandal from cutting & pasting, oh, the entire text of WAR AND PEACE... [[User:Cubist|Cubist]] 21:40, 27 June 2008 (BST)
Yeah, that's a good point. [[User:Nik|Nik]] 22:59, 27 June 2008 (BST)
Personally, I'd prefer that we require administrator intervention to create new accounts: if someone really wants to contribute to EvoWiki, they will jump through whatever necessary legal hoops put before them. Otherwise, we will continue to have these exact same trolls coming back to plague us for their moronic amusement.--[[User:Apokryltaros|Mr A.]] 19:10, 28 June 2008 (BST)
I think I've seen some kind of "Action throttle" thing, maybe we need to install that. And checkuser would not be a bad idea either. --[[User talk:Elassint|Elassint]], 06 28 2008
Or maybe we should require new users to verify an email address before editing. It'll reduce the amount of troll-spam by making it harder for trolls to "edit", but it also has a small chance of annoying some actual users. --[[User talk:Elassint|Elassint]], 07 1 2008
Email verification would be nice, yes.--[[User:Apokryltaros|Mr A.]] 22:51, 1 July 2008 (BST)
Agreed. A serious user wouldn't be bothered by the e-mail verification requirement. [[User:Nik|Nik]] 02:45, 2 July 2008 (BST)

re: The recent flood of blanked pages courtesy of "B1anker"[edit]

It being a bit of an annoyance to have to clean up after some Creationist schmuck who has nothing better to do than erase a whole series of pages, I have a proposal for dealing with serial blankers. As ever, I have no idea how easy or difficult it will be to actually *implement* my ideas; hopefully I can at least get the right people thinking about real solutions... Anyway. My idea: Whenever User X blanks a page, set a flag so that the Wiki software pays closer attention to User X's behavior. If User X's next move is to blank another page, the software goes into auto-revert mode -- it silently restores both blanked pages, and it continues to auto-revert all edits User X makes until User X does something that isn't a page-blanking. The basic idea here is, I'm tryna address the specific problem of Serial Blanking. The main reason to not go with a simple "revert all blanking, automatically, on contact" rule is that there are legitimate reasons for blanking pages, including simple human error. But an honest blanker isn't going to just blank pages; they'll also do other things, quite possibly including restore the page they just blanked (presuming it was an honest error on their part). Serial blankers, contrariwise, just blank pages. So let the first blanking go, and only swap over to auto-revert mode on the second blanking in a row. Another possibility: Let the software auto-revert all blanking, end of discussion -- but give Trusted Users (TM) a special "Nuke this page" button they can use as/when they see fit. Comments, folx? [[User:Cubist|Cubist]] 01:55, 4 July 2008 (BST)

Either option is attractive, but, is there Wiki-software that can do it, and more importantly, do we have anyone here capable of installing it? As far as I can tell, the main reason that all these vandalisms keep occurring is because we don't have anyone capable of or apparently motivated to installing anti-vandalism software/programming.--[[User:Apokryltaros|Mr A.]] 02:28, 4 July 2008 (BST)

"God hates fags.com" vandalism by the user "Fred"[edit]

I have reason to believe that the new vandal today "Fred" is the pastor of the fundamentalist Westboro Baptist Church Fred Phelps or some one who is affiliated to that church/and or Fred Phelps himself because

  • 1).The vandal’s user name Fred is also the first name of the Fred Phelps the pastor of the fundamentalist Westboro Baptist Church
  • 2).The website godhatesfags.com that the troll Fred was spamming is the same site that Fred Phelps owns.
  • 3).The vandal decided to vandalize EvoWiki today on the 4th of July (this also provides evidence that this vandal is either affiliated to Fred Phelps or is Fred Phelps himself because the Westboro Baptist Church is Anti-American as well as homophobic, Christian fundamentalist (and likely creationist as well because most Christian fundamentalists subscribe to some form of creationism).
  • 4). Members of the Westboro Baptist Church and Fred Phelps have engaged in serious crimes before such as physically assaulting gays so I doubt they would be afraid to vandalize a wiki.

What should we do about this vandal after we block him/her? Knowing this vandal is probably Fred Phelps or one of his followers we might want to report them some where else out side of this wiki? (like this users isp if we knew what it was but we unfortunately don’t know what his/her ip address is.). Wikipedia article on Fred Phelps (extra information that might be useful)--[[User:Fang 23|Fang 23]] 01:43, 5 July 2008 (BST)

I doubt that highly, the real Westboro Baptist Church would not care about us, it's just another troll. [[User talk:Elassint|Elassint]], 07 5 2008

RationalWiki has the same Problem user and a string of sockpuppets. [[User:Proxima Centauri|Proxima Centauri]]


  1. I have disabled anonymous posting as an experiment. Please monitor this and give me feedback. The reason I have not disabled anonymous posting before is that there is little convincing data to show that it has any significant effect on spam, but that it can have a significant effect on preventing new users getting involved. If you can convince me it helps stop spam, it can stay in place.
  2. Other anti-spam measures: these have to be mediawiki specific and you have to show me exactly where to source them. I'm afraid I don't really have time to follow up vague ideas that are theoretical and without any implementation.

Also, while it's not really for me to go telling people how to organise the place, since I've been so bad at organising it myself, there is a page at [[EvoWiki:Vandalism]] for reporting individual vandals and spammers -- there's no need to clutter this page with reports of everyday petty crime! [[User:Steinsky|Joe]] [[User_talk:Steinsky|(t)]] 22:24, 14 July 2008 (BST)


On the front page -- I notice it has never ever been updated. You're welcome to copy over anything you like the look of from http://www.cotch.net and we might like to go around asking other bloggers and writers whether they would be happy to allow us to mirror certain articles here. Indeed, there are so many creative commons licensed articles out there that we could perhaps start posting a new essay each day? [[User:Steinsky|Joe]] [[User_talk:Steinsky|(t)]] 22:24, 14 July 2008 (BST)