This discussion has been closed, please do not modify it. The outcome was: "Discussion proceeded to absurdity ad nauseam, and little or nothing productive resulted; the article clearly uses the term 'evolution' with respect to the theory of evolution, as is relevant to this RationalWiki; indeed there are different uses for the term 'evolution' including non-biological, and this article includes a nice section about etymology and usage of the term 'evolution' and another nice section about non-biological evolution; nobody (evolutionist, creationist, scientist, or lay person) is likely to be confused about the topic of this article, and (although it is not clear it was needed) the article now has a hatnote 'This page is about biological evolution. If you are interested in other uses of the word, please consult a dictionary'; and there is good correspondence between the title of the article 'evolution', the most common use of the term to refer to 'descent with modification' or 'change in heritable traits in a biological population', or 'modern synthesis', and the actual subject of the article; a diatribe is not a discussion; and importantly incivility and fervor are not welcome — please be polite. Then again, perhaps reality is overrated. Oh yes, and the answer: Yes, honesty does matter here! And so does assuming good faith, and hearing what others have to say..."
Does honesty matter here? DonaldKronos (talk) 07:05, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Outside of the narrow scope of biological evolution through descent with modification, "evolution" does not refer to change in a biological population's inherited traits from generation to generation.
It is simply not honest to give a definition of biological evolution and pass it off as a definition of evolution without specifying the narrow context in which it fits such a definition.
I've tried yet another small modification to remedy this seemingly perpetual dishonesty here. If it is not good enough, someone please find a better way, rather than once again reverting the definition to a blatantly dishonest one. Unless of course, honesty is not important here. Or does honesty PERHAPS NOT matter here? — Unsigned, by: DonaldKronos / talk / contribs 08:19, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
- RationalWiki is not an encyclopaedia, nor is it a dictionary; there is no intention of defining or explaining anything in ways outside our mission:
- Our purpose here at RationalWiki includes:
- Analyzing and refuting pseudoscience and the anti-science movement.
- Documenting the full range of crank ideas.
- Explorations of authoritarianism and fundamentalism.
- Analysis and criticism of how these subjects are handled in the media.
- We, and I would hope our readers, are well aware of the non-biological meaning(s) of the word "evolution" but we feel no need to give explanation of them. Sorry. Scream!! (talk) 09:52, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
- Thank you, Scream!!. My my, insuations about "perpetual dishonesty" and "blatant dishonesty" - no need for that, honestly. There are obviously non-biological meanings of the word "evolution", honest to goodness. Now the question of how the view of evolution (yes, I mean with respect to biology and with implications in all sorts of other subjects and society in general) is changing is honestly interesting. How about epigenetics and other non-Mendelian inheritance? Or other articles about other types of evolution? This article is honestly about descent with modification. 😄 PonoPono (talk) 20:37, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
- Insinuations? No, I'm coming right out and saying it. Both here are in Wikipedia, there is a blatant aversion to allowing evolution to be seen for what it is. The concept of evolution far predates the concept of biological evolution, and while biological evolution is an example of one kind of evolution, it is by no means all that evolution is. Okay, so I can not get the truth to be represented here. Don't expect me to pretend that it's not perpetual blatant dishonesty when the truth is consistently hidden. I'll simply take this as an answer to my question. I asked if honesty matters here. Obviously, to some people here who insist on hiding the truth, it does not. DonaldKronos (talk) 05:10, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
- No-one here is denying that the term 'evolution' covers more than "descent with modification" as PonoPono states. However the main thrust of our article is to explain that aspect of evolution which is disputed by, among others, nutty religious persons. Any other part of the meaning is outwith the scope of RationalWiki. Now fafuxsake leave it, please. Scream!! (talk) 12:02, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
- Scream!! -- The opening statement Evolution refers to change in a biological population's inherited traits from generation to generation. denies that any evolution is non-biological, and denies that anything other than descent with modification Not all Not all "descent with modification" is biological.
- Not all evolution is biological evolution and not all evolution is descent with modification. Yes, people who revert the page back to dishonestly claiming that Evolution refers to change in a biological population's inherited traits from generation to generation. are in fact denying that the term 'evolution' covers more than "descent with modification".
- If you wish to "explain that aspect of evolution which is disputed by, among others, nutty religious persons", then keep in mind that many such people deny that ANY KIND OF EVOLUTION happens, ever. Those who do admit some evolution, often restrict it to biological microevolution, claiming that no other kind of evolution has been observed. Well tell me... can you see this conversation evolving? I can... and so can they. The question then is will they RECOGNIZE THAT as evolution, or be reassured by lies such as Evolution refers to change in a biological population's inherited traits from generation to generation., that such evolution is in fact NOT EVOLUTION AT ALL, because it's not biological, and inherited across distinct generations?
- DonaldKronos (talk) 21:21, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
- Look, you don't want to be that guy randomly capitalizing whole words. As emphasis, a lot of it even doesn't align with you'd actually emphasize words in the real world.
- Now, for something besides a tone argument: We are not seriously concerned with the technicalities of incorporating non-biological evolution. It's just not that big a deal. Ikanreed (talk) 21:24, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
- Adding on the argument, there's no need to assume bad faith by accusing us of hypocrisy and dishonesty while mulling over extremely minor wording. Frankly, that's being pedantic. LEFTYGREENMARIO 21:31, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
- If there is no dishonesty intended, they why constantly revert it back to a lie? Non-biological evolution is a form of evolution, just as the much more narrow and specialized field of biological evolution is. Stating otherwise is telling a lie. I'm not claiming to know anyone's motives. I'm simply stating facts, and how I choose to emphasize key points within such facts is a matter of style preference. This is the talk page, after all, and not the article itself.
- The fact remains that this conversation continues to evolve while the evolution page continues to deny that such evolution is in fact evolution at all, because it does not fit the definition given, and that definition is not qualified as applicable only within a specific context.
- Is the idea behind the evolution page, to re-enforce the notion that there's no such thing as evolution? If not, then it should not be denying its very own evolution as the observable evolution that it is.
- DonaldKronos (talk) 21:44, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Because, buddy, pal, language serves more than just the master of accuracy. Being technically correct can fall to the wayside against being punchy and to the point. It's okay to summarize the sky as blue, and not have to point out that you're talking about the non-cloudy daytime sky on planet earth, and that the blue you mean is actually a light blue. It'd be bad to never acknowledge those things, but when summarizing things, being overtly technical isn't always the best idea. Ikanreed (talk) 21:50, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
- This isn't a "lie" per se. Using the "sky is blue" comparison, you can argue that it isn't even blue; it's simply light scattering at the atmosphere at precisely this wavelength which isn't blue, but technically light sky aqua purple cornflower blue so calling it blue would be a lie. Even then, it's not even blue since our eyes see this particular wavelength reflecting and entering our eyes and eventually our brain processes it as "light sky aqua purple cornflower blue". My point is, calling it a "lie" and being anal about word choice is pedantry. LEFTYGREENMARIO 21:58, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
- Need I point out that the existence of the sky is not in dispute? There are many people who deny that the process of evolution even happens. Imagine if some purely nocturnal person who worked nights and slept through the daylight hours was denying that the sky exists, and you told them to go outside and look up, so they did... and then they looked up a definition of what a "sky" is, and found it defined as a "blue expanse in the upper atmosphere" or some other such inaccurate and potentially deceptive "summary".
- This is what we are doing, by having evolution defined as being biological evolution, because those who deny evolution happens at all go out of their way to never see biological evolution, but they see all around them the process of change accumulating, or "rolling out", and this process is in fact evolution, but the easiest examples of it to see are generally not biological.
- Is that the goal here? To further fool people who are already fooled? To give confirmation bias to those who seek to destroy our education system? To re-enforce lies which are perpetuated against science and understanding? I certainly hope not.
- DonaldKronos (talk) 04:38, 28 February 2015 (UTC) page
- As has been spelled out for you numerous times, this is neither an encyclopedia nor a dictionary. This wiki page is obviously on the topic of biological evolution which is frequently referred to simply as "evolution"; that the word "evolution" (hell, it's the name of a car made by Mitsubishi too, should we mention that?) has other meanings is irrelevant, this article isn't about those meanings as they have little if anything to do with our goals here. That you think the lack of discussion of these other meanings is a result of some kind of anti-science plot is, frankly, insane. Have you read the article or any others on this Wiki about science? Marlow (talk) 06:37, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
- And many forms of non-biological evolution are also frequently referred to simply as "evolution", which they are. That does not mean that evolution defined as any one of them is an accurate definition of evolution, nor does it change the fact that defining evolution as if it were strictly biological evolution regardless of context, is misleading. If misleading is acceptable here, then so be it. Perhaps in time that too will evolve... or go through what ever you call the process of accumulating change when it's not in the context of biology. DonaldKronos (talk) 09:07, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
- My, my still going on with allegations of "dishonesty", "lies", "hypocrisy", and being "misleading" -- such incivility and with such fervor. Let's see: the Oxford English Dictionary defines "incivility" as "rude or unsociable speech or behaviour" and "an impolite or offensive comment". And the Oxford English Dictionary defines "fervor" as "intense and passionate feeling" and "intense heat (archaic)". Whatever words we choose -- rudeness, discourtesy, impoliteness, bad manners, disrespect, boorishness, ungraciousness, insolence, impertinence, or impudence; delivered with intensity, passion, or heat -- it's time to develop some civility and self control. And oh yes, this is not a dictionary, but important as that point is, there is an even bigger point. My point: please be polite.
- Oh yes and without being distracted by incivility and fervor, there really is not much substance in the "discussion". Yes, there are various uses of the term "evolution", including non-biological and even a car made by Mitsubishi, and this article is quite clear about its usage, so there is nothing unclear or deceitful. Somehow it appears that you believe a small matter is big, and that you are championing some great cause of right versus wrong. Good sir, you are clearly mistaken, and you are trying the patience of intelligent and well-intentioned people.
- Let's see: the Oxford English Dictionary defines "discussion" as "the action or process of talking about something, typically in order to reach a decision or to exchange ideas", "a conversation or debate about a certain topic", and "a detailed treatment of a particular topic in speech or writing", to be distinguished from a "diatribe", which is "a forceful and bitter verbal attack against someone or something". In addition to being a polite discourse, a discussion should generally be proportional to the content, except perhaps for the sake of entertainment. The content: there are different uses for the term "evolution"; this article clearly is using the term "evolution" with respect to a particular topic relevant to this Wiki; it even includes a nice little section about etymology and usage of the term; nobody (evolutionist, creationist, scientist, or lay person) is likely to be confused about the topic; and there is good correspondence between the title of the article "evolution", the most common use of the term to refer to "descent with modification" or "change in heritable traits in a biological population", or "modern synthesis", and the actual subject of the article (no this article is not about the term or other uses). Ideally, this should be the end of the discussion. PonoPono (talk) 16:26, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Don't ignore the fact that biological is merely being used as an adjective in the term biological evolution, which simply means evolution of a biological nature or evolution of something biological. Biological evolution and non-biological evolution are not separate concepts sharing similar labels, but rather two parts of the same concept, namely evolution, which has been falsely defined here as if it covers only one of the two.
I'm not saying the editors are attempting to be dishonest. I'm saying the misleading definition is dishonest.
DonaldKronos (talk) 18:43, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
- I'm also not simply complaining. I have tried to suggest various possible minimally obtrusive ways of correcting the issue.
- Foe example, changing "Evolution", to "Evolution, within the context of biology,".
- Even that is not as encompassing as "Evolution, in the context of biological populations over generations," but I'm not suggesting we attempt to make it such a definition perfect, within an imperfect language. Merely that we try to make it no longer blatantly deceptive.
- DonaldKronos (talk) 19:13, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
- This has come solidly into the realm of "oh, please, give it a rest, will you?" If you think that the article is "blatantly deceptive" then you haven't been paying attention. CamelCasePragmatist (talk) 19:18, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
- I'm not trying to imply that the entire article is deceptive. Far from it. I'm pointing out that the definition at the top is deceptive, and why. Remember, many people will not read the article beyond that definition, because they are only looking to reinforce their confirmation bias. A more encompassing definition would encourage reading more of the article.
- To clarify why I say it is deceptive to pass off a definition of biological evolution as a definition of evolution, Imagine if a definition of non-biological evolution had been passed off as a definition of evolution instead.
- Consider the following example: Evolution refers to the accumulation of change or rolling out of change in non-biological items, non-biological entities, non-biological substances, or non-biological collections.
- Would you consider that an honest definition of evolution? I would not. It is an honest definition of non-biological evolution but not an honest definition of evolution because it arbitrarily excludes biological evolution.
- Likewise, a definition of evolution which arbitrarily excludes all evolution other than that of biological populations, is not an honest definition of evolution, nor even an honest definition of the most common type of evolution but rather an honest definition of an important type of biological evolution, which is deceptive when passed off as a definition of evolution without so much as specifying the narrow context in which the term is used in such a way.
- I present as an observable example, the evolution of this conversation, which is by no means a biological population's inherited traits.
- DonaldKronos (talk) 19:38, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
- "I'm not trying to imply that the entire article is deceptive".
- Oh yeah?
- "Does honesty matter here?"
- "Is that the goal here? To further fool people who are already fooled? To give confirmation bias to those who seek to destroy our education system? To re-enforce lies which are perpetuated against science and understanding? I certainly hope not."
- "Both here are in Wikipedia, there is a blatant aversion to allowing evolution to be seen for what it is."
- "As has been spelled out for you numerous times, this is neither an encyclopedia nor a dictionary. This wiki page is obviously on the topic of biological evolution which is frequently referred to simply as "evolution"; that the word "evolution" (hell, it's the name of a car made by Mitsubishi too, should we mention that?) has other meanings is irrelevant, this article isn't about those meanings as they have little if anything to do with our goals here. That you think the lack of discussion of these other meanings is a result of some kind of anti-science plot is, frankly, insane. Have you read the article or any others on this Wiki about science?"
- I can parrot points too and bold them to make them seem extra important! Don't you realize that you're assuming bad faith from us, which we view as a toxic attitude? Will you please cut it?
- "Imagine if some purely nocturnal person who worked nights and slept through the daylight hours was denying that the sky exists, and you told them to go outside and look up, so they did... and then they looked up a definition of what a "sky" is, and found it defined as a "blue expanse in the upper atmosphere" or some other such inaccurate and potentially deceptive "summary"."
- You're not understanding our analogies to skies and Mistubishi cars.
- LEFTYGREENMARIO 07:39, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
- I think I missed that analogy [[User:LeftyGreenMario|], but those too evolve. DonaldKronos (talk) 05:22, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
- This is not the only place Donald's tendentious editing has raised the collective ire of a wiki. RationalWiki has a strong institutional tendency towards focusing on an editor's behavior on this wiki alone. Maybe it is in the community standards somewhere, I don't know. Still, once in a while, someone gets shut down on Wikipedia and brings their hobby here, hoping for easier going. There is now an active proposal on Wikipedia ANI to ban DonaldKronos from the topic of evolution, for a whole laundry list of wiki-sins. His reception on Wiktionary has been lukewarm, at best.
- If any moderator or sysop sees my comment as out of line, feel free to collapse or delete it. CamelCasePragmatist (talk) 20:04, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
- My general attitude is that there is enough drama happening without importing any. Regardless, his change is going to get no traction here. That's pretty much the end of it. Out of a half dozen editors, no one has gone "you know, maybe..." about it. It's just not gonna happen. Ikanreed (talk) 20:23, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
- Whatever DonladKronos does in Wikipedia has no bearing on what he does here, so don't bring it up unless he has very questionable actions here that is parallel to over there. Nevertheless, he hasn't have brought anything productive nor has he even addressed our points which we repeated several times. I wouldn't be surprised if any Sysop has blocked him for assuming bad faith, making repeated pedantic arguments, and several others. LEFTYGREENMARIO 00:12, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
- Parallel and very questionable... well, yes, that is kind of the point, isn't it? Go looking, and you will see him trying to sell the exact same bullshit here as he did there, with the same "I can't hear you" kind of style. CamelCasePragmatist (talk) 00:32, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
- True, bad karma doesn't migrate from WP to RW, but I don't think that it's beyond the pale to point out the similarity after an editor has been given a fair hearing when trying to pull the same stunt in the same BS way on both fora. If it had been used in the beginning of this discussion, I could see a good reason to chastise those trying to poison the well, but I agree with CamelCasePragmatist that the cases seem strikingly parallel in hindsight. So, the WP behaviour is not a reason to dismiss our über-pedant a priori, but it is an indication that, at the end of the day, the pedantry displayed here is not a single aberrant case, and that dismissing it is not just RW being an unfair mobocracy. ScepticWombat (talk) 09:47, 4 March 2015 (UTC)