Wikimedia Ethics/Moulton, JWSchmidt's investigation

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Note: this page began at User:JWSchmidt/Moulton as a personal study project. Now that it is in the main namespace, it exists as a workshop where everyone can help study what Moulton did at Wikipedia and how Moulton was treated at Wikipedia.

Methods used on this page. This page has the focus of collecting the results of research about the Wikipedia biographical article Rosalind Picard, but investigations into the ethics of editors of that page and the treatment of those editors by Wikipedia administrators and the editing of related Wikipedia pages are also relevant and welcome. To get started, feel free to create a page section that holds your views or use the general discussion section of this page. Do not delete the work of others from this page. Do not make edits that substantially alter or disrupt the work of other editors. If you feel that there is an error or problem of any kind on this page, please discuss it, either in your own page section, on the talk page or on the user talk pages of other editors.

The ultimate goal is to create a short and clear investigative report that adheres to the Neutral Point of View.


This section is for research by JWSchmidt[edit]

Here is my proximal starting point: "Perhaps Jimbo could just suggest that Wikipedians establish a better practice of Fair Play than has thus far been afforded to outcasts such as myself."

The first thing that comes to mind is that Wikipedia could have a page for "block review". Wikipedia has many pages for review of actions such as page deletions (Wikipedia:Deletion review), so why not a similar organized system for the review of blocks? Currently there is Wikipedia:Appealing a block and Wikipedia:Guide to appealing blocks.

Study question. Should editors of biographical pages be required to reveal their real world identity?

I want to write a very short account of how Moulton got into the mess he is in. First I need to make sure I have the facts clear.

John orders his thoughts[edit]

How I came to know Moulton. I have been busy in the real world and only became aware of User:Moulton on or about 4 August 2008, even though he came to Wikiversity on 9 July 2008. Since then I have been gradually learning about Moulton's editing history at Wikipedia. When I first saw Ethical Management of the English Language Wikipedia I linked it to an existing Wikiversity topic, Topic:Wikipedia studies. At that time I did not have any knowledge of Moulton's editing history at Wikipedia. As someone who has been learning about that editing history during the past few weeks, I hope to be able to help construct a short narrative of events. This exercise is important because Wikipedia has a problem with biographies of living persons and Moulton's editing history at Wikipedia is an interesting case study related to that larger problem. By understanding what happened to Moulton we might be able to improve Wikipedia. The basic problem is that anyone can start a biographical Wikipedia article and write it in a biased way that does not follow the Wikipedia rules that are designed to lead to the creation of fair and balanced biographies of notable people. The additional problem is that some of Wikipedia's biased biographies are created and owned by editors who are pushing a particular agenda. Moulton crossed paths with some dedicated editors who behaved as if they owned a set of biographical articles and could use those articles as part of a protracted edit war that is roughly centered on the Creation-evolution controversy.

Study questions:

1) Has the Wikipedia:WikiProject intelligent design attracted a group of editors who damage Wikipedia by trying too zealously to defend Wikipedia against creationists and other editors who question evolution by natural selection?

2) Is Moulton an example of a Wikipedia editor who was unfairly treated by editors associated with the Wikipedia:WikiProject intelligent design?

3) Is there something we can do to prevent this kind of problem in the future?

Timeline of events[edit]

2005. Wikipedia:WikiProject intelligent design was started 13 July 2005 by User:Dbergan.

2006. The Rosalind Picard article was made (8 March 2006) by copying her online Faculty Profile and adding a section called, "Intelligent Design Support". It is clear that the purpose of User:Tempb was to create an article that labels Dr. Picard as a supporter of Intelligent design and as "anti-evolution". Page section title was changed from "Anti-Evolution Petition Signatory" to "Darwin dissenter" by Filll.

24 March. Some corrections to the blatant POV of the originator of the article were made from IP 136.167.158.77 (Boston College). Someone from IP 209.6.126.244 also tried to make similar clarifications. Someone from IP 65.96.63.33 reverted to the POV formulation (8 April). May 10: first talk page comment is about the reverts of the article (section heading, "anti-evolution").

August 2007. Before 21 August 2007, User:Moulton was a typical Wikipedia editor, having made several dozen edits to various articles over the course of a year and a half. When Moulton followed a link from Affective computing to Rosalind Picard he found a biographical Wikipedia article that was in a particularly bad state. The Wikipedia article about Rosalind Picard is in some ways a "typical" Wikipedia biographical article. The subject of the article, Dr. Picard, is a professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Wikipedia has many other biographical articles about university professors, many of which are autobiographical, having been started by the subject. The Rosalind Picard article is unusual in that it was started by an editor who had an ax to grind.

Is there an "anti-Intelligent Design Cabal"?[edit]

Study questions:
1) was there an organized effort to create biographical articles for signers of the petition that was released under the title, "A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism"?
2) was there an organized effort to prevent those articles from being made more balanced and accurate?
3) is there a coordinated group of rude and abusive anti-Intelligent design editors who prevent the creation of more balanced articles related to intelligent design and creationism?
4) Is this a good summary: "a group of editors was so caught up in their crusade against ID-on-Wikipedia that they couldn't recognize valid criticism, and moreover, that many of those editors resorted to despicable tactics in order to get their way"?

terminology. "IDiots" used to refer to creationists in edit summary by User:General Nolledge, creator of Granville Sewell (8 October 2006 ), an early "single purpose" biographical article linked to from A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism....example of creating a biography just to make connections to the person's stance on ID.

single purpose biographies. Just how many "single purpose" biographies like Rosalind Picard were created? By who? For what purpose?

A recent list of problematical biographies from Moulton lists:

Blocking Moulton at WikiPedia[edit]

block log

repeated personal attacks[edit]

24 August 2007 JoshuaZ (Talk | contribs) blocked "Moulton (Talk | contribs)" (account creation blocked) with an expiry time of 24 hours ‎ (repeated personal attacks) at Talk:A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism/Archive 2 <-- this really has to be read in its entirety to understand the dispute between Moulton and Hrafn.

Pages I (JoshuaZ) have made: 1. TalkOrigins Archive (Conflict of interest?)

User:Hrafn states that he believes anyone who says, "We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged" is "anti-science". Why is it anti-science? "they knew that they were expressing an opinion in contradiction to the scientific consensus". (see)

User:SheffieldSteel raises the issue of "personal attacks". (13:52, 23 August 2007 (UTC))

Hrafn retiring

Is the truth a "Disruptive POV"?[edit]

11 September 2007 KillerChihuahua (Talk | contribs) blocked "Moulton (Talk | contribs)" (account creation blocked) with an expiry time of indefinite ‎ (Disruptive POV OR warrior with no interest in writing an encyclopedia. See Rfc.)

blocked for "abuse of editing privileges" - Why did KillerChihuahua not post the real reason for the block? Why was User:Yamla so willing to support this bad block?

User:MastCell's participation



KillerChihuahua blocked with the reason given as "Disruptive POV OR warrior with no interest in writing an encyclopedia. See Rfc." Then, 10 minutes later, MastCell made this edit which used a standard Wikipedia template for extended blocks (Template:uw-block3) "indefinitely blocked from editing in accordance with Wikipedia's blocking policy for repeated abuse of editing privileges." The text "abuse of editing privileges" linked to Wikipedia:Vandalism. So, there was no notification given on Moulton's user page of the reason for an indefinite block. Why did MastCell get involved? Why did MastCell post the wrong reason for the block? Why did KillerChihuahua never make sure that the reason for the block was posted to Moulton's user talk page?



KillerChihuahua - preparation for the block

Moulton's talk; see User:Baegis

Requests for comment[edit]

Wikipedia:Requests for comment/User conduct (4 September 2007 , by Filll] "Personal attacks, Disruptive editing, conflict of interest, failure to understand NPOV"

Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Intelligent Design

Requests for arbitration[edit]

Statement by Moulton

FeloniousMonk/Arbcom evidence (note: see how this page was deleted (red link) after being placed in an Arbitration Committee case by FeloniousMonk)

Conflict of interest[edit]

Study question: Does Moulton have a conflict of interest? (as claimed here?) "incompatibility between the aim of Wikipedia, which is to produce a neutral, reliably sourced encyclopedia, and the aims of an individual editor" (source: Wikipedia:Conflict of interest). Documentation of the claim that Mouton's aims as a Wikipedia editor are in any way contrary to or incompatible with producing a neutral, reliably sourced encyclopedia:
1) Evaluate User talk:Moulton#One change
2) Evaluate [1]
3)Alternative hypothesis: Moulton's actions were correct and explicitly protected by Wikipedia policy, "In a few cases, outside interests coincide with Wikipedia’s interests. An important example is that unsupported defamatory material appearing in articles may be removed at once. Anyone may do this, and should do this, and this guideline applies widely to any unsourced or poorly sourced, potentially libelous postings. In this case it is unproblematic to defend the interest of the person or institution involved."

Note on Semantics: "Conflict of interest" is used in three senses. All of which have, at times, been Wikipedia's "official" definition as stated at w:WP:COI. The first sense is that there exists a potential for an actual COI behavior. E.g. he is writing about his employer. If the information is known, this is the most objective of the senses to use. The second, quoted above, is that the potential has risen to the level of a goal. Distinguishing between conscious and unconscious goal would yield four senses. He may consciously wish to say something nice about his company, but unconsciously resent it. Asserting statements about another's goals seems not the best way to discuss the issue. The third is that a COI is in fact the COI behavior itself and short of that behavior a COI is said to not exist. Absent knowledge about a contributor's identity, this last is functionally equivalent to saying someone is POV pushing against NPOV policy and perhaps should have their real life identity investigated, e.g is the IP address from that company. Any clear discussion of whether someone has a COI must be clear about what sense is being used.

How do we clean things up?[edit]

  • Ottava Rima: expand the biased biographies into balanced articles
study question: what if the only published information is biased and misleading, leaving Wikipedia editors with no way to produce a balanced Wikipedia article?
In the specific case of the Rosalind Picard article, might it be possible to find a journalist who would investigate, document and publish in a reliable source an account of the events (exactly what Rosalind "signed", when she signed it, what she was thinking when she signed it)? Wikipedia could then cite this article.

Participate at Talk:Rosalind Picard[edit]

There had been long discussion about how to describe Picard's views in the context with her agreement with the statement: "We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged". Picard's Wikipedia biography article has a section called "Religion and science".

study question: What is the best way for Wikipedia to include in her biography the fact that Picard has made public statements about natural selection?

Participate at Rosalind Picard[edit]

In this edit by User:Guettarda, a description of some content from the "A scientist who embraces God" article (cited in the Picard article) was replaced by "She is dismissive of scientific reductionism". Scientific reductionism is not mentioned in the article called "A scientist who embraces God". At w:Talk:Rosalind Picard#Limits of science you can see the "reasoning" by which Guettarda tried to justify the use of "She is dismissive of scientific reductionism" even thought Picard never actually dismissed scientific reductionism. So "She is dismissive of scientific reductionism" is Guettarda's imagined interpretation of Picard's thinking. It looks like an orchestrated move to depict Picard as anti-science. My request before I found the thread at w:Talk:Rosalind Picard#Limits of science.

This edit by User:dave souza again failed to create an accurate and coherent summary of what Picard said. User:dave souza states on his user page that he has an "unhealthy fascination with the great intelligent design con", an interesting bit of self-reflection. User:Ottava Rima then fixed the problem by actually giving an unbiased account of what Picard said.

Moulton responds here[edit]

Explanation by Abd. Moulton provided extensive personal testimony here. However, his personal account was altered without permission or consent. Moulton has specifically objected to revison [2], and, from that diff, one can read the full previous version as it had been restored by Moulton previously. For convenience, here is a permanent link to the section. I am blanking this section, because, as it stands, it contains altered testimony, which is not acceptable, yet, obviously, some considered it offensive. Testimony considered offensive may be deleted in toto, hidden by various devices, or partly struck with a note so that the original can be distinguished from what replaces it, but altering it violates basic principles, and I'm shocked that this was allowed to stand. I have not reviewed the testimony itself, and it is unnecessary. --Abd 22:30, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

Other editors comment here[edit]

You're starting the story in the middle. Moulton has also gone through this same behavior pattern at Slashdot ([3]) and at Worldcrossing ([4]) and has numerous complaints about this kind of behavior on his own site ([5]). Salmon of Doubt 20:42, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Please tell the story of what happened at Slashdot and in the Soap Opera Forum at World Crossing. —Moulton 22:09, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the reminder. Does this help us to improve Wikipedia? --JWSchmidt 21:54, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
I do think it is useful to point out that among Moulton's behavior patterns that are consistent over time include being both obsessive and persistent which can be frustrating to work with. Add his being "part aspie" and you have a recipe for people perceiving him as a trouble-maker. Also note that Moulton has a w:WP:COI on his good friend Rosalind Picard and the subject of their project - Affective Computing, so his point of view can not be trusted to be neutral with regard to the article he was trying to get changed when he was initially banned. IDcab sees a constant stream of people coming to articles they protect from creationists trying to push their point of view and it was perhaps inevitable that they would mistake Moulton for one of these. Unfortunately, they seem incapable of changing their minds based on new information. All in all, it made for a typical newbie-biting scenario at Wikipedia. Which could have been resolved, if the IDcab did not behave as it does. And the IDcab problem could be fixed if Arbcom would act as it should. But they have not so far been willing to halt abuse by long standing contributors who mostly help the encyclopedia, so the problems fester. WAS 4.250 19:16, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
WAS, you state "Unfortunately, they seem incapable of changing their minds based on new information." How many times has Moulton/Picard been asked to publish a clear statement that they do not believe in Intelligent Design as professed by the Discovery Institute and find Evolution to be the most likely explanation for current life? How many times have they been totally unwilling to answer with a clear and unambiguous statement? You say there is "new information." What is it? Salmon of Doubt 23:46, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
to "Salmon of Doubt". I do not understand how your desire for such a statement relates to Wikipedia or this page. "We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged." You might not like it, but many rational people are skeptical about the ability of natural selection to account for everything. If this bothers you so much, to the extent that you imagine it is your place to demand that Picard publish something to satisfy you, then you have a clear (and I would say irrational) bias and should not edit Wikipedia articles related to this subject. I think I understand why you hide your identity. --JWSchmidt 03:50, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
I have no problem with their "nuanced" statement supporting intelligent design. There is consensus in the scientific community that you are wrong - there is additional consensus in the polemical community that using "Darwinian theory" means you're not actually "skeptical" but rather "polemical." I have no bias, in that I don't especially care about Evolution on Wikipedia, but WAS 4250 says there was new evidence that supporters of accuracy in science-related pages could trust Moulton not to push ID. I'm wondering what that new evidence was. Salmon of Doubt 10:57, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
What is your evidence and reasoning to support the notion (long published by IDCab in the pages of Wikipedia) that the first 103 signatories of the 2-sentence, 32-statement which IDCab has elected to label and refer to as "A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism" (from the headline of an anti-PBS ad in which the statement first appeared in print) are either pro-ID or anti-evolution? Is that notion WP:OR? Is it a misconception and a logical fallacy?Moulton 12:41, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

(<---)Salmon of Doubt, you seem to under the impression that Moulton has made a pro-ID statement somewhere. As near as I can tell you are wrong on that. As near as I can tell, it is a case of you and IDcab folks not understanding that there are non-Darwinian non-ID processes that are a part of evolution. You guys see the ID people conflate Darwinian-ism and Evolution so you think everyone does. Scientists investigating evolution distinguish Darwin's ideas and post-Darwin ideas. They do not want their ideas credited to Darwin. They want that credit for themselves. So they restrict the meaning of "Darwinism" to ideas Darwin actually had. I have read many statements Moulton has provided that indicate some of the signers were merely saying that other newer evolution ideas like evolutionary drift needed to get more attention. WAS 4.250 14:43, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

I was once asked to comment on Intelligent Design. I did so here and here. —Moulton 20:44, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
Links? Salmon of Doubt 14:59, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
PS - I am well aware that "Darwinism" is a slur advanced by push groups in an attempt to denigrate the scientific fact of Evolutions as a religious belief. Salmon of Doubt 15:00, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
Links to what? To "many statements Moulton has provided"? I don't have them handy. Perhaps Moulton does. Ask him. WAS 4.250 16:13, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
Here is one, for example. There are many more on that page. —Moulton 20:44, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

Is there an IDcab? Without doubt, there is. I have run into them several times. Each time, highly unpleasant bullying was experienced. For another BLP problem that Durova took to arbcom got pulled into a bit; see w:Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Agapetos angel which was about the trashing of the BLP w:Jonathan Sarfati. Agapetos angel was "outted" as Jonathan Sarfati's wife. I limited my involvement to the BLP talk page, article page and engaging Agapetos angel on her talk page. In the end, the system in this case worked to the extent that the article's problems were cleared up. And did not work to the extent that IDcab was not prevented from future bullying. WAS 4.250 20:38, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

WAS, back in December of 2005, User:RoyBoy evidently worked with FeloniousMonk, Guettarda, KillerChihuahua, Jim62sch, and others to design new Barnstars and award them to each other. Your name appears among the samples. What can you tell us about that clique then? —Moulton 20:55, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
Same group. The group does more good than harm, which is why they've gotten away with what they have. In particular they have created a wonderful series of articles on various aspects of creationism, intelligent design, and evolution. I have, at arm's length, participated to some degree at times in some of these articles, so I know their good and bad aspects. The barnstars are a community building effort to encourage further helpful volunteer work. I have tried to encourage better behavior by the group. Participating in that barnstar is one example of my efforts to stop their seeing the world as "us versus them". By the way, I just now told Durova of my above edit mentioning a case she was in and invited her to participate. She, like me, has a long history of trying to help Wikipedia be more ethical. WAS 4.250 21:09, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
Are you aware that there is some long-running conflict betweeen Durova and Dzonatas? —Moulton 21:18, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
Not half as much as between her and Greg. But there does not have to be drama if people will just add content and not engage each other in childishness. I have high hopes. They are all capable of behaving themselves. So I don't think it appropriate to assume the worst. WAS 4.250 21:49, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
I would like to see parties who have unresolved issues employ Action Research to resolve them. If Action Research fails, then I would like to see the parties enter into alternative dispute resolution processes. —Moulton 22:58, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
Heard the saying "Let sleeping dogs lie."? Sometimes it is better to just move on. Not everything is fixable. Lots of real life issues are just big messes that can not be fixed, but instead just need to be tidied occasionally. WAS 4.250 23:19, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
See the next two sub-threads for clues to Durova's current priorities. —Moulton 14:08, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

Cerberus Rising[edit]

Every once in a while one of the slumbering heads of Cerberus wakes up and emits a growl. This week on Durova's Blog, we can observe an instance of an aroused pooch. The topic is about accuracy and "political correctness" in an article on a political event in the annals of human history, and how it's portrayed in art, literature, history, and in Wikipedia. Here is my comment, submitted to Durova's Blog...

Moulton's Comment on Durova's Blog

High school students can be introduced to the Scientific Method, but they typically only learn that research protocol in the context of scientific subjects, like Physics, Chemistry, or Biology.

But the Scientific Method applies to any hypothesis, including hypotheses about human cultures and human events (both historical and current).

When it comes to current human cultures and current human events (the sociology of online cultures and communities, politics, and the study of human socio-cultural dynamics), the Scientific Method tends to vanish like the Cheshire Cat, leaving Alice and the Red Queen to play out their hoary dramahz with yet a new cast of characters.

When the Scientific Method is mindlessly cast aside, the Literary Method (and the Bardic Arts) step in to fill the vacuum.

Moulton 14:08, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

Durova declines the invitation to participate at Wikiversity[edit]

On Durova's talk page she says:

Thank you for the invitation. Existing commitments are taking up too much time to branch out in that area. If I may give a slight correction to that summary, I wasn't the one who took that case to ArbCom. I had done some dispute resolution prior to arbitration and given out a barnstar to the editors at a related article. Since my attempt at mediation was cited at RFAR, I got pulled into the case a little bit (although I wasn't a named party). Best regards, DurovaCharge! 21:03, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

WAS 4.250 21:53, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

Durova further writes...
Well, let's just say I don't have the best working relationship with some of the contributors there. I wish you well, but can barely keep up with the tugging at my sleeves that I already get. Best, DurovaCharge! 22:02, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
I believe her troubled relationships arise from the practice of contribituting content but then declining to respond to fair questions about it.
Moulton 22:58, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
Durova is a very complicated person. Your comment does not do justice to the complexities involved. WAS 4.250 23:15, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
Durova is more than welcome to respond, in a scholarly dialectical process, until we converge to our best collective estimate of the ground truth. —Moulton 23:54, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
It seems far more likley that Durvoa already spent months stopping Dzonatas from relentlessly damaging the Joan of Arc article to include totally unsourced information to support his own purported personal genological relationship with the historical figure, and has no desire to deal with such an offensive presence again. This is much the reason that I do not intend to edit this project much, if it all, except to retain the historical facts about your perminant banishment from Wikipedia (and numerous other online communities). I've watched others spend months stopping you from relentlessly damaging a whole series of articles and talk pages to include totally unsourced information to support your own esoteric and depreciated views of "ethics," which oddly coincides with removing sourced information about embarassing petitions your good friend signed and has not repudiated. If wikiversity wishes to become Moultonversity, more power to you all. Eventually the foundation will wise up and pull the plug. Here's wishing that day comes sooner! Salmon of Doubt 14:36, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
Salmon, please tell the story of what happened at Slashdot and in the Soap Opera Forum at World Crossing (use Google Cache if the WorldCrossing server is still down). —Moulton 16:21, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

Questions and Answers with Salmon of Doubt[edit]

Salmon: maybe some day you will reveal your identity and why you support Wikipedians who think it is right for Wikipedia to publish false information in the name of "Our anti-Intelligent Design crusade is holy and right, so we can harm other people to further our glorious ends". Nobody can face "perminant banishment from Wikipedia" because they were correcting errors in BLPs....an action that is explicitly protected by Wikipedia policy. I for one welcome close examination of this matter by the wider Wikimedia community and Foundation officials...it is the violators of policy, those who push their mistaken original research and biased POV on Wikipedia who will ultimately face the consequences of wider community involvement in this matter. You might think that just because a successful team of Wikipedia POV pushers has had success so far that they are beyond reach. I think that is wrong. It just takes time for the community to notice the swaggering bullies that try to subvert Wikipedia for their own purposes...it just takes time to clean out these little pockets of abusive editing. I've participated in such cleaning jobs before, so I know how it is done and that it takes time. The more noise you make the more people will look and see the truth. Please keep making as much noise as you can, this is the only way to correct the past abuses and prevent more in the future. --JWSchmidt 16:20, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

I will not reveal my identitiy here, as at least on participant here (not you) has a history of real-world harassment. I can, however, state categorically that you would not place me in what Moulton phrases (offensively) as the "IDCab." I do not support Wikipedians who think it is right for Wikipedia to publish false information, full stop. You continue to state your opinion that there is a successful team of Wikipedia POV pushers who is disrupting various biographies. I disagree. What would be helpful is if you could post evidence of them doing this OUTSIDE of one isolated case which is neigh-impossible to deal with due to the continued disruptive influence of Moulton. If the Picard biography is worse than it should be because Moulton dosen't know how to ethically and effectively get results, that's on Moulton. If there really is a successful team of POV pushers that are beyond reach, they'll be mucking around with more than 3 biographies. SHOW ME THE MONEY. Salmon of Doubt 16:31, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
Salmon, you write, above:
I will not reveal my identitiy here, as at least on participant here (not you) has a history of real-world harassment. I can, however, state categorically that you would not place me in what Moulton phrases (offensively) as the "IDCab." I do not support Wikipedians who think it is right for Wikipedia to publish false information, full stop.
Since you do not support the publication of false information, please prove your statement, above, that "at least on [sic] participant here (not you) has a history of real-world harassment" is not a false statement.
Moulton 21:24, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
I want a pony. Salmon of Doubt 21:31, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
Title: Salmon Doubting
Artist: Moulton
Composer: Barsoom Tork Associates
Midi: Yankee Doodle
Salmon Doubting came to town
Looking for his pony
Posted nonsense on his case
And asked, "Is this baloney?"
Salmon Doubting keep it up
Salmon Doubting writhing
Posted nonsense on his page
Now SBJ is sighing
Moulton 11:52, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
Most of my research is documented on this page; see particularly this section which links to other biographical articles. My reading of the edit history at Wikipedia indicates that there was a group of Wikipedia editors all of whom made the false assumption that any scientist listed as a signatory to the "dissent from Darwin" petition is "anti-science" and "pro-Intelligent Design". This editing team at Wikipedia decided that biography pages about the signatories are "fair game" for their crusade of labeling the signatories as "anti-science". This effort continues to this day, even though it has become more difficult for them to get away with the game, now that responsible editors are watching. There are other pages such as the Wikipedia list of signatories to the "dissent from Darwin" petition that also have expressed the false assumption, and I have also started helping to clean up those non-biography pages. So far, I have mostly paid attention to the Picard page, but what I have seen (and have not yet had time to look into closely) is that the Picard article is not an isolated case, it is part of a larger pattern of POV pushing. I agree that more work needs to be done to reveal this wide pattern of editing by which a small team of editors has systematically biased Wikipedia...and they also worked to prevent concerned scientists from correcting Wikipedia's bias. --JWSchmidt 17:21, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
I looked through that page. While you certainly show that people made a lot of biographies, you fail to show that they pushed POV as opposed to made a lot of biographies. Just creating a lot of biographies is not POV pushing. Berlinski is best known for his ID work. Your smoking gun edit hardly changes the article at all. If one ignores everything about Moulton on your page, it is quite short. Please show me evidence of a "larger pattern of POV pushing" by showing a lot of isolated POV pushes. Calling someone a fellow of the discovery institute is not pushing a POV, it's noting something notable about them. Salmon of Doubt 17:29, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
Since what I was trying to point to is at the bottom of a rather long page section, here are the three other biographical pages I have started to look at:
I think these (above examples) indicate a pattern of POV-push editing (beyond just the Picard article) by members of a group of editors who were working on the mistaken assumption that any signatory to the "dissent petition" should be labeled by Wikipedia as "anti-science" and "pro-Intelligent design". This group of editors was not interested in the mission of Wikipedia (to create balanced biographies), they were only interested in pushing their POV, a point of view which was based on a mistaken bit of original research they had performed. Worse, this group of editors was so sure that their original research was correct, they could not listen when other editors tried to explain and correct the error they had made. Rather than welcome such correction, as required explicitly by Wikipedia policy, this group of editors has systematically tried to maintain ownership of Wikipedia pages and drive away good faith editors who have tried to repair Wikipedia. I am still working to fully document what went wrong at Wikipedia. Frankly, it is a slow process because I am physically sickened when I read the Wikipedia edit history of the abusive editing that was performed by the team of anti-ID POV pushers. --JWSchmidt 19:08, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
None of your three examples demonstrates POV pushing. I don't see a lack of NPOV in the first, except for the uncited OR that you three are consistantly pushing about how the petition isn't a petition and it had no header and whatever. But of course, that example is impossible to see as a POV push or not a POV push, because Moulton showed up and made it impossible to get any signal through the noise. What I do know is that Odd Nature (Isn't he one of the eeeeeeeeevvvvvvvvvviiiiiiiiiiiiiilllllll ones) made this edit. How can he be pushing a POV if he's letting JAMES TOUR, WHO SIGNED THE POSITION, clarify himself? UNPOSSIBLE!
Your second example reads that "the day after the NYTimes published and article about a guy someone changed his biography." I'm shocked, SHOCKED!
The only thing notable about Guillermo Gonzalez is that he was a push factor by the Discovery Institute. He would fail the professor test for notability if it weren't for the fact that he tried to use the ID movement to get tenure after developing less grant money over 7 years than most phD candidates do in one.
On the other hand, you put "anti-science" in quotes. Who are you quoting? That would be an eggregious POV push. Perhaps you should find some evidence of, you know, actual POV pushing before calling POV pushing out. Salmon of Doubt 20:18, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
Here is one of the difs (already cited above) from Wikipedia showing an example of the type of "reasoning" some editors have applied to justify falsely labeling Picard's views. In this dif, "Hrafn" clearly says that he views Picard's agreement with the two sentence statement ("We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.") as "anti-science". This is all part of Hrafn's justification for not allowing the Picard article to be corrected and for trying to ignore Moulton. Of course, even the POV pushers know that they have to be careful in their attempts to put the "anti-science" label on professional scientists such as Picard, so they have generally satisfied themselves with trying to place terms such as "anti-evolution" and "darwin dissenter" and "intelligent design support" on her bio as many times as possible. Here is an example of their continuing POV-pushing that I corrected only last week: in this edit by User:Guettarda, a description of some content from the "A scientist who embraces God" article (cited in the Picard article) was replaced by "She is dismissive of scientific reductionism". Scientific reductionism is not mentioned in the article called "A scientist who embraces God". At w:Talk:Rosalind Picard#Limits of science you can see the "reasoning" by which Guettarda tried to justify the use of "She is dismissive of scientific reductionism" even thought Picard never actually dismissed scientific reductionism. So, the phrase, "She is dismissive of scientific reductionism" is Guettarda's imagined interpretation of Picard's thinking. In the context of the editing history of the page, Guettarda's contorted "reasoning" can be seen as just another attempt to depict Picard as anti-science. Anyhow, I am in the process of unpacking all the evidence at Ethical Management of the English Language Wikipedia/Moulton, JWSchmidt's investigation/Final report. What we need is scholarly research and careful reasoning about the evidence. If you look at the evidence (in the way shown by your selective reading of the evidence, above) and reach different conclusions than I do, then we have to further explore the matter. I'm still working towards that goal. I feel that doubling the size of the "James Tour" article in order to make the single point that he was a signatory to the petition is part of the pattern of POV pushing, pushing the idea that any signatory to the petition needs to be labeled rather than needs to have a balanced bio on Wikipedia. In the case of Berlinski, you make fun of the fact that FeloniousMonk noticed the Berlinski bio, but you ignored the POV-pushing in this edit. The "Guillermo Gonzalez" bio shows an attempt to explicitly label someone "CSC", putting the POV-pushing and bias right in the title of the article. This stuff has been going on for a long time, it really has to end. --JWSchmidt 23:38, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

<--- You appear to be confusing making bad edits or getting angry at Moulton to be POV pushing. You'll want to find an edit where someone pushed POV, not where someone mistakenly characterized someone's beliefs in a non-offensive way, or one where someone got mad at Moulton on a talk page or using the wrong disambiguation for a name, or where someone's beliefs and affiliations are explained. POV pushing is when there is a dispute about something and one side is presented as fact. What you'll want to do is find a dispute about something, and then show when one side is presented as fact. Salmon of Doubt 00:19, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

Have you looked at the edit history of Rosalind Picard and Talk:Rosalind Picard? --JWSchmidt 01:34, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
Yup. I see a lot of disruption from Moulton. I see some people overzealously adding descriptions of a petition the lady signed. I see a lot of whitewashing of the fact the lady signed a petition. Somehow, I don't see anyone taking an issue that has two sides and presenting one as fact. Is there a dispute, evidenced in reliable sources that is being misrepresented? Perhaps you've confused POV pushing with OR pushing. Salmon of Doubt 02:28, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
In this case, the virulence of the POV is based on OR and the OR was inspired by their long-standing POV. It is a self-reinforcing position and they were unable to imagine that they had made an error. --JWSchmidt 03:18, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
Yes. WAS 4.250 10:10, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
Who is "they," exactly? I have to assume "they" includes Odd Nature, right? See above. This whole campaign against the offensively labeled "ID Cabal" is nothing more than handwavey anger. The money has not been shown - all the allegations are that there is a pattern of misbehavior, but when asked for examples, we find that people make biographies, get rattled by a prolific online troll and respond to stories in one of the largest national newspapers. Of course, because the myth of the "ID Cabal" is convient to national political push groups, it persists. JWSchmidt - let's ask you the question that Moulton and Picard and the rest of the "oh so aggrieved parties" won't answer: Do you believe evolution is the most likley explanation for the diversity of life we see on our planet today? Salmon of Doubt 12:49, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
Evolution accounts for the diversity of species (which is what Darwin was addressing in The Origin of the Species. Darwin was as mystified as anyone on the origin of life. Today we know that all life on the planet is DNA-based with a common DNA code. There is no other form of life (naturally occurring self-reproducing organism) that we know of. In the laboratory, scientists, researchers, and nano-technologists are working to create artificial life — self-reproducing automata that are not based on DNA-driven self-replication processes. Among the better known varieties of such self-reproducing automata are computer viruses — a development anticipated by none other than John von Neumann himself. In the years after he saw his concept of the Stored-Program Computer become a reality, he also wrote a seminal monograph on the Theory of Self-Reproducing Automata. If there ever does emerge a diversity of life — living systems not based on DNA — I imagine they will be intentionally designed by robotic engineers and computer scientists. Let us also hope they are intelligently designed, as well. —Moulton 05:57, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
"nothing more than handwavey anger" <-- the problem is that you apparently also believe the false assumption (described above) that was adopted by other Wikipedia editors. If so, then you are part of the problem that needs to be corrected. "evolution is the most likley explanation for the diversity of life" <-- I think the evidence is very strong to support the idea that life on Earth has changed dramatically over billions of years. "Evolution" is the term biologists use to refer to that change. If I had to guess, I'd say you are using the term "evolution" to refer to a particular mechanism of evolution such as natural selection. My guess is that natural selection is the most important mechanism for evolutionary change when one existing species changes into another species. And yes, it seems likely that mutation and natural selection of successful variants is an important source of the diversity of species seen today and in the fossil record, but it is not clear if other processes such as genetic drift are more important. I do not know of any evidence to support the idea that living organisms have been "intelligently designed". I don't understand what my views on evolution have to do with this research project. "Moulton and Picard won't answer" <-- have you asked them? --JWSchmidt 03:15, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

An aside on trolling[edit]

get rattled by a prolific online troll

What is your evidence and reasoning to support the theory that any of us are "rattled" by your appearance or participation here? —Moulton 13:25, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

Moulton, the prolific online troll to which I refer is you. Since we're discussing what the offensively titled "ID Cabal" did, and since I've had no interactions with the offensively titled "ID Cabal," I obviously wasn't referring to myself. You have been banned for trolling from Slashdot, Wikipedia and WorldCrossing. You were run out of two seperate usenet newsgroups on a rail. If you don't think "Prolific online troll," is an acurate description of your online persona, what do you think is? Salmon of Doubt 13:34, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
Moulton, the prolific online troll to which I refer is you.
May I quote you on that and attribute it to the Wikimedia editor who published it? Can you also provide me with your definition of troll? And would you be kind enough to tell us the story of what happened on Slashdot and in the Soap Opera Forum [use Google cache if the server is still down] at World Crossing? —Moulton 16:34, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
No, no, no and no. Salmon of Doubt 16:37, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
I was under the impression that you had committed to "presenting a balanced, objective, accurate, and informative account of all relevant scholarly evidence, facts, analysis, and ideas within all scholarly topics of study in the interest of full disclosure and honesty." Was I laboring under a misconception? Do you not intend to keep your sincere voluntary commitment to the precepts of Scholarly Ethics? —Moulton 16:49, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
I want a pony. Salmon of Doubt 17:33, 5 September 2008 (UTC)


Title: Salmon Doubting
Artist: Moulton
Composer: Barsoom Tork Associates
Midi: Yankee Doodle
Salmon Doubting came to town
Looking for his pony
Posted nonsense on his case
And asked, "Is this baloney?"
Salmon Doubting keep it up
Salmon Doubting writhing
Posted nonsense on his page
Now SBJ is sighing
Moulton 11:52, 5 September 2008 (UTC)


Title: Pony Baloney
Artist: The Foo
Composer: Larry Williams and Barsoom Tork Associates
Midi: Boney Maronie

I know a Doubter riding Pony Baloney
He's got a noodle like a stick of macaroni
Ought to see him revert with his FooBots on
He's not very smart, he rides on and on
But I stalk him, and he stalks me
We all are annoyed as we can be
Makin' a ruckus all over Wikiversity

He told SBJ and Old WAS, too,
Just exactly what he planned to do
He wants to get blocked on a night real soon
And rock Wikiversity like a mad buffoon
So I stalk him and he stalks me
We all are annoyed as we can be
Makin' a ruckus all over Wikiversity

He's my Pony Baloney, he's a real nightmare
Will I ever wash that Salmon right outta my hair?
Everybody groans when our posts fly by
It's a sight to see SB Johny sigh
Everyone's annoyed, listenin' to me
Make music all over Wikiversity

That why I stalk him and he stalks me
We're all annoyed as we can be
Making music all over Wikiversity

CopyClef 2008 Larry Williams and Barsoom Tork Associates. All songs abused.
Barsoom Tork 14:10, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

Related resources[edit]