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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.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Casey Luskin slams Wickedpedia again

Note: I just about finished writing this article when I discovered that I covered this material before [1] [2] [3] (the Casey Luskin quote below was borrowed from a magazine article he wrote), but I decided to post this article anyway.

In a recent article on Evolution News & Views, Casey Luskin said,

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, a number of Wikipedia users tried to add "Of Pandas and People" to the list of banned books and I was one of them. The debate over whether to add the book is here, here and here. This debate has good examples of what radio talk show host Bill Greene called the "lawyering to death" by Wickedpedian control-freak administrators. According to the Wickedpedia rules, a statement that "bears shit in the woods" represents "original research" unless verified by a "reliable non-partisan source," and without such verification the statement may not be added to a Wikipedia article even if a note is added that the statement has not been verified. I am not exaggerating.

The hypocritical Darwinist scumbags want to have it both ways: They brag that they succeeded in getting "Of Pandas and People" banned but they don't want the book to be included in a list of banned books because that would imply that the Darwinists believe in the censorship of ideas, and heavens, we can't have that, can we?

You can't tell me, you lousy trolls, that Wikipedia does not have a bad reputation, considering that so many teachers and schools have banned Wikipedia as a primary source for student research and when at least one school district went so far as to block Wikipedia from all of the district's computers. Previously I thought that blocking Wikipedia altogether on school computers was a bad idea because Wikipedia is often a good source of information on non-controversial subjects and a good source of references, but sometimes even Wikipedia's reference lists are biased (for example, Wikipedia censored a link to the Discovery Institute's rebuttal of a Wikipedia article that criticizes a DI report on Judge Jones' wholesale cribbing from an ACLU brief), so why take the risk? Wickedpedia's arbitrary censorship has also turned off a lot of would-be contributors -- what people in their right minds would want to volunteer time and effort to help build an encyclopedia that practices arbitrary censorship?

Once a reputation is lost, it can be impossible to regain it. Wikipedia could promise today to stop the arbitrary censorship, but how many people would hear such a promise and how many people would believe it? Wikipedia could try to show its good faith by providing many examples of not arbitrarily censoring contributions, but it would be like trying to prove a mathematical proposition by showing examples -- we can never run out of examples.
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17 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe the reason it was removed from the list of banned books was that it isn't a banned book. Indeed, the book is actually available from the school libraries in Dover. The decision in the court case simply made it impossible to use the book as teaching material for a science class.

Monday, October 06, 2008 8:48:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>> Maybe the reason it was removed from the list of banned books was that it isn't a banned book. <<<<<<

No, the reason it was removed was so hypocritical Darwinist jerks like yourself could pretend that they are not really in favor of banning books.

>>>>>>> Indeed, the book is actually available from the school libraries in Dover. The decision in the court case simply made it impossible to use the book as teaching material for a science class. <<<<<<<

You are playing word games. There are different kinds of bans -- e.g., books are banned from curricula (which is what happened in Dover), banned from public libraries, etc.. The American Library Association considers books banned from curricula to be "banned books," period. Anyway, one of the issues here is that there is a big controversy over whether the book should be in Wikipedia's list of banned books, and the book should have been listed for that reason alone, along with a note that the listing is disputed and links to Wikipedia discussion pages and/or off-site websites where the dispute is discussed or debated. Anyone who sees the book listed in that fashion would know that some people think that the book does not belong there, so there would be no harm done. Listing the book in that fashion would be neutral and fair ("NPOV" -- "neutral point of view" -- in Wikispeak). However, not listing the book at all causes a lot of harm -- a lot of the article's readers remain ignorant of the dispute and people who think that the book should be listed are offended. Also, the note "the contents of this article are disputed" could be added to the top of the article, as is done with many other Wikipedia articles. You don't have a leg to stand on.

Monday, October 06, 2008 9:40:00 PM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

"there would be no harm done"

You are very cavalier about the effects of propagating untruths. But if that became widespread, soon everyone would be as ignorant as you are.

Monday, October 06, 2008 11:13:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>> "there would be no harm done"

You are very cavalier about the effects of propagating untruths. <<<<<<<

I'm very cavalier? You are very cavalier about keeping people ignorant of the fact that a lot of people want the book to be listed and ignorant of the good reasons why the book should be listed.

If the book were listed in the manner I described (with a disclaimer statement and links), there would be no harm because everyone would see that the listing is disputed and could link to discussions or debates about the dispute.

You lose again.

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

Monday, October 06, 2008 11:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> You are very cavalier about keeping people ignorant of the fact that a lot of people want the book to be listed and ignorant of the good reasons why the book should be listed. <

There are no good reasons. A list of banned books should be limited to banned books.

You lose again (as always). We are always kicking your butt.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008 3:45:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>> There are no good reasons. <<<<<<

And you are very cavalier about the fact that a helluva lot of people think that there are very good reasons.

And since there are all these good reasons for listing the book and no good reasons for not listing the book, the book should be listed with no disclaimer and no links to discussions and debates about whether the book should be listed.

So there. Two can play this game, dunghill.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008 4:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> And you are very cavalier about the fact that a helluva lot of people think that there are very good reasons. <

A helluva lot of people think that the Moon landings were done in a Hollywood studio (including you at one time) and that they have been abducted by aliens (I haven't heard you claim this, remarkably).

> And since there are all these good reasons for listing the book <

Which you have not stated.

> and no good reasons for not listing the book <

Besides the fact that it is not a banned book.

> So there. Two can play this game, dunghill. <

Sherry D is right about your childishness, dunghill. The above quote gives an example. I am not playing a game. I have given reasons why it should not be on the list. You have only claimed that good reasons exist that it should. You are keeping these "good reasons" to yourself.

Put up or shut up, asshole.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008 8:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ViU 1, Larry 0. Nothing new here.

The creationists want to list their crap as "banned" in order to get publicity for it. Nobody is falling for that, or your misinformation as to why this readily available book is not on the list of banned books.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008 8:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Larry, as was pointed out in the Talk page for 'Banned Books' in Wikipedia, over two years ago, when the question was put directly to the ALA, they stated, quite clearly, they did NOT consider that book to be a banned book. Why are you repeating the same disproven argument?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008 9:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Hector said...

> Why are you repeating the same disproven argument? <

Because the twit doesn't have any real arguments.

The idea was to try to include a book that wasn't banned to stir up a false controversy. Next the idea was to demand links to some irrelevant arguments. When this didn't work, the dullard tried to start a mass vandalism campaign on Wikipedia. Like all things he does, it also failed.

Nice try, Larry.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008 11:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are playing word games. There are different kinds of bans -- e.g., books are banned from curricula (which is what happened in Dover)

Incorrect. It was made impossible for that book to be used as teaching material due to the fact it is an ID 'textbook', and ID was found to be creationism in disguise, and therefore religious in nature. It was NOT directly banned in any way, shape or form, but, instead, the ruling meant that it is unsuitable as teaching material in a science class in the same way that the Bible and the Qu'ran is unsuitable for that purpose.

banned from public libraries, etc.. The American Library Association considers books banned from curricula to be "banned books," period.

As stated above, the ALA considers this book to NOT be a 'banned book'. Period.

Anyway, one of the issues here is that there is a big controversy over whether the book should be in Wikipedia's list of banned books,

Yes, there is a 'controversy' that is much the same as the 'controversy' surrounding evolution - a manufactured one that exists so that those who think it should be listed can claim they want to 'teach the controversy'. Unfortunately for them (which seems to include you, by the way), anyone with a brain can see through this strategy in about ten seconds flat.

and the book should have been listed for that reason alone, along with a note that the listing is disputed and links to Wikipedia discussion pages and/or off-site websites where the dispute is discussed or debated. Anyone who sees the book listed in that fashion would know that some people think that the book does not belong there, so there would be no harm done. Listing the book in that fashion would be neutral and fair ("NPOV" -- "neutral point of view" -- in Wikispeak).

No, because those who claim it should be listed have presented no real, solid reason as to why it should be listed, except for the suggestion that the way the ALA defines a 'banned book', this is one, and that argument was thoroughly refuted. Including it, purely because some people assert it should be included, would show a heavy bias towards those people.

However, not listing the book at all causes a lot of harm -- a lot of the article's readers remain ignorant of the dispute and people who think that the book should be listed are offended.

Well, sorry, but if telling the truth offends someone, quite frankly, tough shit.

Also, the note "the contents of this article are disputed" could be added to the top of the article, as is done with many other Wikipedia articles. You don't have a leg to stand on.

Well, sorry, but I have the 'leg to stand on' that this is supposed to be a list of banned books. This particular one is freely available to anyone who wants to find it and read it, up to and including the pupils of public schools in the Dover school district. Therefore it is not banned. Period.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008 11:35:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Anonymous barfed,
>>>>>> Larry, as was pointed out in the Talk page for 'Banned Books' in Wikipedia, over two years ago, when the question was put directly to the ALA, they stated, quite clearly, they did NOT consider that book to be a banned book. Why are you repeating the same disproven argument? <<<<<<

You stupid dunghill, if you had read the debates on the Wickedpedia talk page and the Questionable Authority blog, you would know the answers to that question. Here is a summary of the answers:

(1) The Wikipedia banned books list is not an American Library Association list.

(2) "Of Pandas and People" exceeds the criteria for being listed on the ALA "banned books" list. The ALA says that any book that is banned from a curriculum -- or even just challenged in a curriculum -- qualifies for listing on the ALA list of "banned books."

(3) It wasn't "they stated," jerko -- just a single ALA staffer made an off-the-cuff remark that the ALA does not consider Pandas to be a banned book. She refused to answer questions or discuss the matter further. And the ALA's opinion is only one of many.

(4) The ALA staffer said that Pandas was "challenged" in 1993 and the ALA list of "banned books" includes books that were only challenged but not banned. So Pandas qualified for the ALA banned books list even before the Dover decision.

(5) The Wickedpedian control freaks rewrote the whole banned books article just to avoid listing Pandas. This rewrite included not automatically including books from the ALA banned books list, after touting the ALA as a big authority on designating "banned books."

I can make the exact same kind of argument that you trolls are making -- that there are lots of good reasons for listing Pandas in the Wikipedia banned books list and no good reasons for not listing it, and that the book should therefore be listed without a disclaimer and without links to discussions or debates about the dispute.

As I said, you lousy hypocritical Darwinists want it both ways -- you are in favor of bans on Pandas while pretending that you are not in favor of bans on books.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008 1:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And Larry, yet again, shows a certain unfamiliarity with the facts.

(1) The Wikipedia banned books list is not an American Library Association list.

It was never claimed to be.

(2) "Of Pandas and People" exceeds the criteria for being listed on the ALA "banned books" list. The ALA says that any book that is banned from a curriculum -- or even just challenged in a curriculum -- qualifies for listing on the ALA list of "banned books."

Of Pandas and People was never mentioned in the curriculum - even as a 'challenged' book.

(3) It wasn't "they stated," jerko -- just a single ALA staffer made an off-the-cuff remark that the ALA does not consider Pandas to be a banned book. She refused to answer questions or discuss the matter further. And the ALA's opinion is only one of many.

This 'single ALA staffer' was, in fact, the Deputy Director of the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom, speaking as a representative of the ALA, in response to a direct question on this matter, and was familiar with the Dover case. The idea that 'the ALA's opinion is only one of many' is true, but not only were you the first one to bring that ALA into this comment thread, but some unnamed person wishing the book to be listed was the first one to bring the ALA into the discussion on Wikipedia.

(4) The ALA staffer said that Pandas was "challenged" in 1993 and the ALA list of "banned books" includes books that were only challenged but not banned. So Pandas qualified for the ALA banned books list even before the Dover decision.

This 'staffer' said that someone asked the book be removed on the grounds of inaccuracy - but even on this occasion, the book was not removed. Even using ALA's definition of 'banned' that you seem to think supports your argument makes this a 'challenged' book, but not a 'banned' book.

A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials. Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others.

Taken from http://www.ala.org/ala/aboutala/offices/oif/bannedbooksweek/backgroundb/background.cfm

(5) The Wickedpedian control freaks rewrote the whole banned books article just to avoid listing Pandas. This rewrite included not automatically including books from the ALA banned books list, after touting the ALA as a big authority on designating "banned books."

Sorry, the first person to 'tout' the ALA as a 'big authority' was some unnamed person using the argument you just did above, in order to argue that Of Pandas and People should be included. And the reason they 'rewrote' the article was that it did, indeed, include quite a few books that weren't banned - so they rewrote it to not include books that weren't banned in a list of banned books. I fail to see your point - it seems eminently sensible to do that to me.

I can make the exact same kind of argument that you trolls are making -- that there are lots of good reasons for listing Pandas in the Wikipedia banned books list

It actually being banned not being one of these 'good reasons'.

and no good reasons for not listing it,

Except that it's never been banned, even using your own authority's definition of 'banned'.

and that the book should therefore be listed without a disclaimer and without links to discussions or debates about the dispute.

Why list a book that's never been banned in a list of banned books?

As I said, you lousy hypocritical Darwinists want it both ways -- you are in favor of bans on Pandas while pretending that you are not in favor of bans on books.

No, we 'Darwinists' are in favor of using science books to teach science, instead of pseudoscience books. If somebody wants to read a book of pseudoscince, they should feel free. They should, however, be aware that, if they used anything in the pseudoscience book in order to try to do real science, they'll simply make a mockery of themselves.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008 4:42:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>> And Larry, yet again, shows a certain unfamiliarity with the facts. <<<<<<

And the fact that you are unfamiliar with, you worthless sack of #$#@, is that you are wasting my time with your stupid drivel. The big issue here is not who is right or who is wrong, but that there was a big controversy over whether the book should be listed, so the book should have been listed with a disclaimer and links to discussions and debates about the dispute.

I am not going to dignify your crap anymore by answering it, dunghill, and I am conceding nothing.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008 4:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> And the fact that you are unfamiliar with, you worthless sack of #$#@, is that you are wasting my time with your stupid drivel. <

Comments containing nothing but insults and/or ad hominem attacks are discouraged.

> I am not going to dignify your crap anymore by answering it, dunghill, and I am conceding nothing. <

Larry has no answer. No wonder he doesn't like us. We are always kicking his ass.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008 7:59:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

ViU is too dense to understand that because my main point here is that the book should be listed for the sole reason that there is a big controversy, there is no point in my continuing to debate here about whether the book should be listed. In fact, I would look very foolish if I continued to debate that issue.

Furthermore, I have better things to do with my time than debating trolls -- for example, Anonymous ignored my point that the ALA's list of banned books includes books that have only been challenged but never banned.

Under the Social Darwinism that you Darwinist trolls love so much, you would be euthanized to protect you and others from the consequences of your stupidity.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008 8:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ViU is too dense to understand that because my main point here is that the book should be listed for the sole reason that there is a big controversy,

And Larry misses the point that listing a book as 'banned' without it being banned violates common sense, logic, and the meaning of the word 'banned', and that he's using the same flawed argument as the IDists/creationists call to 'teach the controversy' - it is a manufactured 'controversy' purely for the purposes of trying to get something included that shouldn't be.

there is no point in my continuing to debate here about whether the book should be listed. In fact, I would look very foolish if I continued to debate that issue.

For once, you're right. However, if you wanted to avoid looking foolish at all, you never should have started.

Furthermore, I have better things to do with my time than debating trolls -- for example, Anonymous ignored my point that the ALA's list of banned books includes books that have only been challenged but never banned.

Well, I can respond now - WHAT list of banned books? I can't find one. I CAN find a list of 'challenged books' and another list of 'banned and/or challenged books', which other people quite often refer to as a 'banned books list', but I have NOT seen a list of 'banned books', as defined by the ALA itself. I have already provided a definition from your own authority, the ALA, defining banning in a way that does NOT include Of Pandas and People, along with the fact that the Deputy Director of the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom stated, quite categorically, that it was NOT a 'banned book'. In contrast, you have stated that 'challenged' books appear on a list that, as far as I can see, doesn't exist.

Under the Social Darwinism that you Darwinist trolls love so much, you would be euthanized to protect you and others from the consequences of your stupidity.

Sorry, you have said yourself, in another comment thread, that Social Darwinism is not based on biological Drawinism, so please stop trying to make a point that contradicts something that you, yourself, have said - it only makes you look even more foolish. In addition, it is only you that have demonstrated your abject stupidity by trying to define 'banned' in a way that means 'not banned'.

Oh, and, by the way, trying to claim that you are 'not conceding anything' is obviously a complete canard, Larry.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008 6:14:00 AM  

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