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RationalWiki:Articles for deletion/Steven Pinker

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Steven Pinker | Result: Keep[edit]

Steven Pinker (edit|talk|history|protect|delete|links|watch|logs) – (View log)


  1. I realize that left-creationists don't like this guy or his message, while I am a fan. I also know it's infallibly defined doctrine here that evolved instincts neither ever affect human behavior nor set limits to the shape of human societies. I didn't come here to start that argument, again. User:Osaka Sun did. Even assuming that his teaching is heretical, though, I, uh.... didn't know that being wrong about stuff disqualified him from being a subject of a RationalWiki article. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 02:21, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
  2. Being wrong about stuff is a keep reason, not a delete reason. Edit the article - David Gerard (talk) 07:09, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
  3. He seems alright. Could use some more padding if there's stuff he's wrong about though. Zero (talk - contributions) 12:08, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
  4. Come on, this guy is one of the most important figures in the modern scientific world. Just because one editor doesn't like his views doesn't detract from this. Cloud Yeller (talk) 13:05, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
  5. Well I wouldn't go that far, but he is a good cautionary tale about forgetting that a mathematical model is no better than its underlying assumptions. Keep.MatsFan (talk) 12:33, 2 August 2014 (UTC)
  6. The article needs work but is keep-worthy. NerdyWizardyou believed that why? 10:02, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
  7. The article should be repurposed to encompass his accomplishments, as well as criticisms of some of his hypotheses. For example, Ben A. Barres, a trans male neuroscientist, has argued against the claims of Pinker (and several other psychologists) that the dearth of women in many scientific fields is at least partially due to innate cognitive gender differences. This is not covered on his Wikipedia page, but I still think it is significant.


  1. "It's time to recognize that this guy is a pop psychologist and wrong about many things. ". Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 02:16, 15 July 2014 (UTC) This was the rationale supplied by User:Osaka Sun.


  1. I think we're a bit stuck here. If we wanted to include a criticisms section, I think it would be outside of RW's ken. Criticizing his views of things like computational theory of mind or linguistics is better left for an academic journal. However, the farther afield he gets from his area of expertise, the more nonsense he produces. (See Better Angels of Our Nature.) This could provide some fodder. On the other hand, if we leave this to the academic journals, we'll be left with a little stubby article not really worth keeping. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 16:05, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
You're saying that the criticism he deserves mostly constitutes legitimate scientific discussion, rather than a conventional crank-takedown? MarmotHead (talk) 16:12, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
Exactly. I don't understand why anyone would think the article should be a "crank takedown." There are a ton of Serious(TM) commentaries on Pinker's work in academic journals. Now, some of his pop stuff is a different story; Better Angels being a prime example. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 16:32, 15 July 2014 (UTC)