I'm from Missouri

This site is named for the famous statement of US Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver from Missouri : "I`m from Missouri -- you'll have to show me." This site is dedicated to skepticism of official dogma in all subjects. Just-so stories are not accepted here. This is a site where controversial subjects such as evolution theory and the Holocaust may be freely debated.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

My biggest motivation for creating my own blogs was to avoid the arbitrary censorship practiced by other blogs and various other Internet forums. Censorship will be avoided in my blogs -- there will be no deletion of comments, no closing of comment threads, no holding up of comments for moderation, and no commenter registration hassles. Comments containing nothing but insults and/or ad hominem attacks are discouraged. My non-response to a particular comment should not be interpreted as agreement, approval, or inability to answer.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Casey Luskin slams Wickedpedia in magazine article

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The clowns who run Wickedpedia. Picture is courtesy of the Wikitruth website. "NPOV" stands for "Neutral Point of View," the name of one of the Wickedpedia content policies and a policy that Wickedpedia frequently ignores.

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Discovery Institute attorney Casey Luskin slammed Wickedpedia in an article in Salvo magazine:

There’s one last tale to be told regarding the Kitzmiller lawsuit and the banning of ID. Wikipedia has developed a reputation for being a biased and inaccurate source, especially when it comes to controversial issues such as ID. After the ACLU banned Of Pandas and People from Dover science classrooms, one Wikipedia user dared to take seriously Wikipedia’s encouragement to be “bold when updating articles”: He added the Pandas textbook to a page listing banned books.

Anticipating the intellectual lure of banned ideas, Wikipedia’s editors then removed the Pandas textbook from the banned-books page and locked the page from further edits, alleging it had been “vandalized.” Pointing out that ID has been banned is called a Wiki-crime, and banned pro-ID textbooks apparently must be banned from pages listing banned books.

Actually, not one but several people tried to add Of Pandas and People to the Wikipedia list of banned books. I was one of them and I was the most persistent. The parts of the discussion page where this proposed addition was debated are here, here, and here. This is a good example of the "lawyering to death" that was described by radio talk show host Bill Greene --

If you come in with an alternative point of view, a cabal of politically correct, brown-shirted fascists immediately descends upon you and reverts your entry. . .they say that your entry just gives undue weight to a point of view, a fringe theory, pseudoscience, blah blah blah blah blah . . . . They have set up these rules . . . and they lawyer you to death with the rules. They hound you out. You either change over to their point of view, or you just leave. Or they ban you . . . Don't think it doesn't happen, because it does happen all the time.

The arbitrariness and capriciousness of the Wikipedians are incredible. One of the Wikipedians on the discussion page sounds like this:

Original research is not allowed here . . . you must have a reliable non-partisan source . . . original research is not allowed here . . . you must have a reliable non-partisan source . . . . click . . . click . . this is a recording.

Also, a blog had a debate over whether Pandas should be added Wickedpedia's banned books list and I participated in that debate. These debates make Alice's efforts to reason with the other characters in Alice in Wonderland look like child's play in comparison.

Eventually the Wickedpedians completely rewrote the whole banned books article in order to avoid adding Pandas to the list. I also made futile attempts to edit the Wickedpedia articles on the Discovery Institute and Cheri Yecke's biography. I now have no desire to try to add to or help Wickedpedia in any way whatsoever. Though Wickedpedia has a lot of good articles on non-controversial subjects, I would be much happier if Wickedpedia did not exist. For at least one school district, Wickedpedia does not exist -- Wickedpedia is blocked on all of that school district's computers. I hope that more school districts follow suit.

Here is an example of an exchange I had with the Wickedpedians on the discussion page for the banned books article:

The Wikipedia list of banned books features books from the American Library Association's "100 Most Frequently Challenged Books," not the 100 most frequently "banned" books. The ALA website says, "Each year, the American Library Association (ALA) is asked why the week is called 'Banned Books Week' instead of 'Challenged Books Week,' since the majority of the books featured during the week are not banned, but 'merely' challenged." [5] (emphasis added). Also, the ALA website clearly indicates that the designation "banned book" includes books that have been banned from school curricula but not banned from school libraries or other libraries -- e.g., the ALA website says, "Challenges . . . are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library." (emphasis added) An oral statement suggesting that students read Pandas was an official part of the curriculum in the Dover Area school district. In Kitzmiller v. Dover[6], a federal judge banned this oral statement. The judge's written opinion refers to this oral statement as a "curriculum change" 48 times. Also, "Curriculum Committee" appears 24 times in the opinion and "curriculum controversy" appears 9 times. There is no question that the judge banned the book from the curriculum -- even the mere mention of the book was banned from the curriculum. In contrast, most of the books that the ALA featured during Banned Books Week were not even banned but were only challenged, as was noted above. So ALA-listed books that were only challenged are accepted for the Wikipedia list of banned books while Pandas -- a truly banned book -- is excluded.

Also, Wikipedia's list contains the following entry: "Rage" from The Bachman Books by Richard Bachman, pseudonym for Stephen King self-imposed ban after the Columbine Shooting." That is hardly a "banned book" for purposes of this list.

Also, the list is only supposed to include books that have actually been banned or challenged and not books that have the potential to be banned or challenged. Comparing Pandas to books that have the potential to be banned or challenged is specious. If any school district is dumb enough to use a bible as a text in a science class and the bible gets banned as a result, then the bible should be listed as a banned book. Those are the rules.

The Wikipedia list of banned books has lots of books that look like they shouldn't be there -- but that does not change the fact that they were challenged or banned. For example, I saw the Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary in the list, and I found that the ALA does list this as a challenged book.

Also, the ALA said that its records showed that the Pandas book was challenged in 1993 [7], qualifying the book for the ALA list (though not the top 100) even without considering the Kitzmiller decision.

My last Pandas entry (which was censored) to the Wikipedia list contained the disclaimer "some claim that this is not really a "'banned book,'" followed by a link to a debate on the issue. That is an NPOV (neutral point of view) statement. It is not -- as has been falsely claimed -- an OR (original research) statement because it does not contain my personal views or a link to my personal views, except for my personal view that a significant controversy exists. Those who are not satisfied with the link I gave are free to add other links, including links to their own personal views (because I gave only one link, I felt obligated to give a link to an open debate on the issue). Larry Fafarman 10:39, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

Nice piece of original research, which we do not allow here. Do you have some relibale non-partisan sources that state that the book is banned? -- Kim van der Linde at venus 18:45, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

An entry that is accompanied by a disclaimer stating that the entry is disputed or controversial should not count as "original research." Only entries that are presented as absolute truth and undisputed should count as original research. The No Original Research article says: "The prohibition against original research limits the possibility of an editor presenting his or her own point of view in an article." It is of course desirable to avoid cluttering up Wikipedia articles with long discussions and debates of controversial issues, but this can be avoided by links to external websites -- these links take up very little space in Wikipedia. The No Original Research article says that the three content-governing policies of Wikipedia -- NPOV(neutral point of view), Verifiability, and No Original Research -- are complementary and should not be viewed in isolation from one another. The above statement views the latter two policies in isolation at the expense of the NPOV policy. Furthermore, it is unreasonable to require verification that a book is banned because the Wikipedia list includes ALA-listed books which have only been challenged. Larry Fafarman 12:26, 2 October 2006 (UTC)


Larry, your whole reasoning still is original research, how you want to twist it. Come up with that reliable non-partisan source that conforms that the book is banned and we talk further. And yes, maybe we have to delete many entries that are just challenged books, I would be in favour of that-- Kim van der Linde at venus 12:30, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

Here is a fair and sensible proposal I made that was rejected:

There is a very simple solution to the controversies here. Anyone who thinks that a book on the list does not belong there can simply add the comment "this entry is disputed," or something like that, and add a very brief statement why and/or add a link or links to external websites containing personal views or debates about the issue. Since the websites are external, there is no suggestion that Wikipedia endorses the viewpoints that are presented in them. Other readers can add their own links. Using external links avoids cluttering up Wikipedia with long discussions and debates on controversial issues. I assert that any personal views that are clearly identified as such and that do not take up a significant amount of Wikipedia space do not violate the No Original Research and Verifiability policies of Wikipedia.

Of course, entries that clearly do not belong should not be added in any case. For example, if the Wikipedia list were just a copy of a list of the American Library Association, an extraneous entry should not be added with the note that the ALA should have included the book in the list. But that is clearly not the situation here.

That is the Neutral Point of View (NPOV) way of doing it.

As for my call for edit-war tag team members, the Wickedpedians engage in tag team edit warring themselves.

===================================================

"I'm always kicking their butts -- that's why they don't like me."

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
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Labels:

18 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Larry, IIRC from the last time the question was raised, you had not read "Pandas". Is that still the case?

Perhaps you have banned "Pandas"?

Saturday, January 26, 2008 4:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> Wikipedia’s encouragement to be “bold when updating articles” <

Did not encourage deliberate mistepresentation.

> He added the Pandas textbook to a page listing banned books. <

But it isn't banned. We have covered this before many times but you seem too dense to understand.

> Wikipedia’s editors then removed the Pandas textbook from the banned-books page <

Since it wasn't a banned book.

> and locked the page from further edits <

To prevent additional vandalism.

Saturday, January 26, 2008 7:20:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>> He added the Pandas textbook to a page listing banned books. <

But it isn't banned. We have covered this before many times but you seem too dense to understand. <<<<<<

And you are too dense to understand that the issue here is not whether or not it was banned -- the issue here is that there was a major controversy over whether it should be listed on the Wikipedia "banned books" page and Wikipedia refused to note the existence of that controversy and link to external websites where that controversy was discussed or debated.

Next you are going to tell me that the unknown Wickedpedians who opposed the listing are more "notable" than those who favored it, e.g., William Dembski and the Discovery Institute.

Your original research is not allowed here. Find a reliable non-partisan source that says that the book was not banned, and then we can talk.

Saturday, January 26, 2008 7:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> And you are too dense to understand that the issue here is not whether or not it was banned <

You again show all the intellect of a bivalve mollusc. The issue as to whether or not a book belongs on a list of banned books is whether or not it has been banned. The Pandas book has not been banned unless, like you usually do, you redefine the word "banned".

> the issue here is that there was a major controversy over whether it should be listed on the Wikipedia "banned books" page <

There was no major controversy. There was only a jackass braying about it.

> and Wikipedia refused to note the existence of that controversy <

Nor do they give much notice to the flat earth people.

> and link to external websites where that controversy was discussed or debated. <

You mean crappy and non-notable ones?

> Next you are going to tell me that the unknown Wickedpedians who opposed the listing are more "notable" than those who favored it, e.g., William Dembski and the Discovery Institute.<

They are certainly more rational.

Sunday, January 27, 2008 3:06:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Dunghill, the mere fact that you think that one side is completely wrong does not mean that there is no significant dispute. What an idiot.

Radio talk show host Bill Greene said,

You know, the funny thing is that it's the liberals who go on and on and on about "free speech" and the "marketplace of ideas" and the "free exchange of ideas" and "truth" -- but if you come in there with anything that challenges their ideas, they censor you and they censor you quick.

>>>>> They are certainly more rational. <<<<<

I agree -- William Dembski and the Discovery Institute are certainly more rational.

A lot of people don't realize that Wickedpedian censorship is a bigger cause of Wikipedia's bias and inaccuracy than open-editing, because this censorship prevents presenting different views and being self-correcting on the facts.

As I have said many times, the big mistake that the Wikipedians made was to assume that Wikipedia should look like a printed encyclopedia. That's why they put in all those restrictive rules -- NPOV (neutral point of view), verifiability, no original research, etc.. An online encyclopedia, unlike a printed encyclopedia, can instantly link to external sources and so can fairly present large numbers of different views without cluttering up the articles with long discussions or debates.

"I'm always kicking their butts -- that's why they don't like me."
-- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

Sunday, January 27, 2008 8:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> Dunghill, the mere fact that you think that one side is completely wrong does not mean that there is no significant dispute. <

There is definitely a dispute, just as there is still a dispute over whether the Earth is flat. Just because you believe that it is doesn't mean that this dispute should be mentioned in astronomical treatises. What an idiot.

> Radio talk show host Bill Greene said... <

This has nothing to do with free speech, Cretin. You can say whatever you want on your blog. You just can't contaminate the Wikipedia articles with your mindless bullshit, and they have no obligation to link to blogs that are non-natable and crappy.

> they censor you quick. <

Of course you can't show a single case of where you were arbitrarily censored.

> Wickedpedian censorship <

You mean intelligent editing?

> being self-correcting on the facts. <

You mean allowing edit wars and other such mindless crap?

> As I have said many times, the big mistake that the Wikipedians made was to assume that Wikipedia should look like a printed encyclopedia. <

It looks like they didn't make a mistake. They are cited all over while your non-notable and crappy blog remains in obscurity largely due to your own pathetic braying.

> instantly link to external sources <

They do, but they don't link to your sandbox.

I'm always kicking Larry's butt -- that's why he doesn't like me. -ViW

Sunday, January 27, 2008 8:59:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

ViU driveled,
>>>>>> There is definitely a dispute, just as there is still a dispute over whether the Earth is flat. Just because you believe that it is doesn't mean that this dispute should be mentioned in astronomical treatises. <<<<<<

Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not an "astronomical treatise," dunghill. It would be entirely appropriate for a Wikipedia article about the earth to say that some people believe that the earth is flat and link to the Flat Earth Society or whatever.

I don't want to start another long argument over listing the book, but I just want to point out that it is impossible to have a simon-pure list of books known to have actually been banned. For example, the American Library Association's list of the 100 most frequently "banned" books was a major source of books for Wikipedia's old banned books list. The ALA list has books that have been merely "challenged" as well as books that have actually been banned and the list does not indicate which books have actually been banned, and the ALA says that most books in the list have not actually been banned. So if ALA-listed books are not included in the Wikipedia list without outside evidence that those books were actually banned, then the Wikipedia list is inevitably going to be missing a lot of books that were actually banned.

I sensibly proposed changing the name of the article to "banned and challenged books" and having notations identifying books known to have been actually banned and books known to have been only challenged.

>>>>>> Radio talk show host Bill Greene said... <

This has nothing to do with free speech, Cretin. <<<<<<<

Bill Greene didn't just mention "free speech" (which is usually interpreted as referring to the 1st Amendment right) but also mentioned "the marketplace of ideas" and the "free exchange of ideas," you stupid dunghill.

>>>>>> You just can't contaminate the Wikipedia articles with your mindless bullshit, and they have no obligation to link to blogs that are non-natable and crappy. <<<<<<

You stupid nincompoop, the only link I added was to a blog article that opposed listing the book. Anyone who thinks that the book should not be listed can add a comment to that blog article. The article is still open for comments, so why don't you leave a comment there?

>>>>>> You mean allowing edit wars and other such mindless crap? <<<<<<

The sole reason for the edit war was that the Wickedpedians rejected my sensible proposal of adding the book along with a note that the listing was disputed and links to external websites where the dispute was discussed or debated.

>>>>>> It looks like they didn't make a mistake. They are cited all over <<<<<<

They are also banned all over. One school district even blocks Wikipedia on all of the school district's computers. See if you can find a school district that blocks my blog.

>>>>>> instantly link to external sources <

They do, but they don't link to your sandbox. <<<<<<

As I said above, dunghill, the only link I added was to a blog article that opposed listing the book.

>>>>>I'm always kicking Larry's butt -- that's why he doesn't like me.
-ViW <<<<<<

Aha -- you signed your post "ViW"! So you admit to sock-puppetry (more properly called Charlie McCarthyism) and knowlingly falsely accusing me of banning ViW.

Anyway, as I said, your original research is not allowed here. Find a reliable non-partisan source that says that the book was not banned, and then we can talk some more.

ViU/ViW is a glutton for punishment -- he keeps coming back for more. Like the old White Owl Cigar ads used to say, he just knows that I'm going to get him.

Sunday, January 27, 2008 3:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Larry Fafarman said...

>>>"I'm always kicking their butts -- that's why they don't like me."

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger<<<

The governor's office just called. They want me to stop impersonating the governor.

Sunday, January 27, 2008 9:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> It would be entirely appropriate for a Wikipedia article about the earth to say that some people believe that the earth is flat and link to the Flat Earth Society or whatever. <

Perhaps under "Idiocy" but not under "Astronomy".

Besides they don't link to blogs that are non-notable and crappy.

> I don't want to start another long argument over listing the book <

Since you have lost all previous arguments.

> but I just want to point out that it is impossible to have a simon-pure list of books known to have actually been banned. <

Well we could start out by limiting it to books that have actually been banned.

> For example, the American Library Association's list of the 100 most frequently "banned" books was ... <

Defective

> The ALA list has books that have been merely "challenged" as well as books that have actually been banned <

That is kind of dumb.

> I sensibly proposed changing the name of the article to "banned and challenged books" <

What's sensible about that? You could just as well of called it "Banned Books and Melons" and included the cantelope.

> but also mentioned "the marketplace of ideas" and the "free exchange of ideas," you stupid dunghill. <

But this has nothing to do with the free exchange of ideas you pathetic jackass.

> Anyone who thinks that the book should not be listed <

Can make their own list on their own blog.

> The article is still open for comments, so why don't you leave a comment there? <

Why? The sane people have won this one. Sorry you were left out in the cold, as usual.

> The sole reason for the edit war was that the Wickedpedians rejected my sensible proposal <

It wasn't sensible.

> See if you can find a school district that blocks my blog. <

See if you can find a school district that even knows about your non-notable, crappy blog.

>>>>>I'm always kicking Larry's butt -- that's why he doesn't like me.
-ViW <<<<<<

> Aha -- you signed your post "ViW"! <

No. I didn't sign my post any more than you have signed as Arnold Schwartzeneger. I quoted ViW, who you have banned arbitrarily.

> ViU/ViW is a glutton for punishment -- he keeps coming back for more. <

And they both keep winning. That is why you banned ViW. Perhaps you should ban everybody except Jim Sherwood. They all beat you every time too.

Monday, January 28, 2008 12:07:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

As the saying goes, don't feed the trolls. I could find nothing in ViU/ViW's last comment that is worth answering.

Monday, January 28, 2008 1:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

< I could find nothing in ViU/ViW's last comment that is worth answering. >

May we conclude, then, that if something is "worth answering", you will answer it?

How about the question at the top of this thread?

Monday, January 28, 2008 2:52:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

The questions were --
>>>>>>Larry, IIRC from the last time the question was raised, you had not read "Pandas". Is that still the case?

Perhaps you have banned "Pandas"? <<<<<<

I don't see how those questions are relevant to the topic of the article.

Monday, January 28, 2008 3:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

> I could find nothing in ViU/ViW's last comment that is worth answering. <

Translation: Larry's non-response to a this comment should be interpreted as agreement, approval, or inability to answer.

Monday, January 28, 2008 9:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

> banned pro-ID textbooks <

Do any exist? Your interpretation is that if someone goes to a bookstore and buys ten books, the rest that he hasn't bought are "banned". Sorry. It doesn't work that way.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008 8:52:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>> banned pro-ID textbooks <

Do any exist? Your interpretation is that if someone goes to a bookstore and buys ten books, the rest that he hasn't bought are "banned". <<<<<<

No, that is not my interpretation or Casey Luskin's interpretation -- that is your interpretation. And your interpretation is stupid and irrelevant.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008 9:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Hector said...

> that is your interpretation. <

It appears that it isn't his interpretation. Can't you do better than just claim black is white?

You seem to be going brain dead. Try to come up with something new.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 3:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Rob said...

Casey Luskin said: "After the ACLU banned 'Of Pandas and People' from Dover science classrooms..."

That comes as news to me. I didn't realise the ACLU had banned anything. I'd been under the impression that a court simply ruled ill-disguised creationist books (yes - even cdesign proponentist ones) had no place in public school science classes.

Thursday, February 07, 2008 2:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://wikibias.wordpress.com examples of wiki bias, especially in being led by dominat Arab Islamic radical lobby.

Sunday, April 18, 2010 8:21:00 PM  

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