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Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 11/29/2004 :  15:53:33  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message
I remember about 2 years ago when first learning about evolution doing searches on it. Much of what I had come up with was creationist garbage. But now, as I search evolution such as Here, there are mostly positive sites for evolution. I took this a step further and searched creationist and came up with mostly negative sites on Creationism.

Has anyone else noticed this trend? Is Creationism finally on the decline?

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov

tomk80
SFN Regular

Netherlands
1278 Posts

Posted - 11/29/2004 :  17:09:47   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit tomk80's Homepage Send tomk80 a Private Message
I really don't know. I've been posting at christianforums for a while now and there just seems no end to them. Especially the ones with no scientific background claiming to be more knowledgable about a subject than the actual scientists. It is depressing really. But I'm only in the debate for half a year now, so I don't know what it was like a few years back.

On the positive side. Some years ago (about 3 to 5 years back) the creationist movement seemed to be gaining momentum in the Netherlands. However, in the last few years I never hear about it anymore here, accept through some of my fundy friends. And some of those have now admitted to me that they think evolution is (good) science, which gives it a lot more credibility.

Tom

`Contrariwise,' continued Tweedledee, `if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic.'
-Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Caroll-
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 11/29/2004 :  17:15:57   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
I really haven't studied it on any sort of a statistcal basis, but I rather think so. Or rather, most people simply don't care. At least that's the way it is around my neck of the woods. We have a pretty good handful of fundalmentalists, but beyond them, it's a topic of small interest. We've yet to get a lot of bitching about school books teaching evolution, at least that I know of.

Of course, the YECs are the most vocal, but they've not yet roused the rabble.


"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25997 Posts

Posted - 11/29/2004 :  19:43:06   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
If your basis of judgement is Internet searches, I present a hypothesis: that Web sites providing good information on evolution are much more likely to provide links to other sources of evolution information, while creationist sites are much more likely to consider themselves "terminal points" on the Web (sites which link to few - if any - other sites; AiG for example).

This would lead to evolutionary sites being heavily cross-linked with each other and outside sources, leading to high rankings by search engines, while creationist sites all seem to consider themselves alone on the Web, thus getting crappy exposure from the likes of Google.

Unfortunately, this tells us nothing about the overall popularity of the two camps.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 11/29/2004 :  20:15:39   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.

If your basis of judgement is Internet searches, I present a hypothesis: that Web sites providing good information on evolution are much more likely to provide links to other sources of evolution information, while creationist sites are much more likely to consider themselves "terminal points" on the Web (sites which link to few - if any - other sites; AiG for example).

This would lead to evolutionary sites being heavily cross-linked with each other and outside sources, leading to high rankings by search engines, while creationist sites all seem to consider themselves alone on the Web, thus getting crappy exposure from the likes of Google.

Unfortunately, this tells us nothing about the overall popularity of the two camps.

Rare indeed, is the Creationist site that will link to another supporting the ToE. They seem to all be huddled in an incestious shelter, denying anything that might scuff their insulation.

TalkOrigins, et al, on the other hand has links to them. Go figger.

I do not think that the internet can be used as any kind on an indicator of anything. There are simply too many whackos, on all sides of any question, to to get any sort of a definitive conclusion.

I love the internet! Such wonderful chaos!

(Evolutionist whacko on line.)

"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 11/29/2004 :  20:29:08   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.

If your basis of judgement is Internet searches, I present a hypothesis: that Web sites providing good information on evolution are much more likely to provide links to other sources of evolution information, while creationist sites are much more likely to consider themselves "terminal points" on the Web (sites which link to few - if any - other sites; AiG for example).

This would lead to evolutionary sites being heavily cross-linked with each other and outside sources, leading to high rankings by search engines, while creationist sites all seem to consider themselves alone on the Web, thus getting crappy exposure from the likes of Google.

Unfortunately, this tells us nothing about the overall popularity of the two camps.



Damn, didn't even think of that. But on the good side, search engines seem to support the concept of peer review, those sites that link to others get higher ratings. A very good side effect of the rating process.

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
Edited by - Ricky on 11/29/2004 20:30:30
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tkster
Skeptic Friend

USA
193 Posts

Posted - 11/29/2004 :  20:33:13   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send tkster a Private Message
No I'm afraid to say that in this case the internet would not be a good measuring stick. Where you have most of this going on is in the actual churches and there is a rise in Creationists among church members. I noticed that recently with several new pastors around here who are YEC big time. To intelligent people, the internet is one of the last sources for information, and thus a new dilemma is proposed. As Reggie on IG pointed out, if we don't start publicly debating these guys, they are going to win this war before it's over with. Someone has to out do them.

take care,
tk
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Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 11/29/2004 :  20:37:03   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message
Just wanted to clear up, I was in no way talking about the validity of either, just the popularity.

Edit:

quote:

To intelligent people, the internet is one of the last sources for information



I still consider it as one of the first sources for information. That is what the internet is for, no? Why is it harder to lie in a book than the internet? I argue that it is not. No matter what media, book, internet, radio, tv, you need a creditable source. Creditable sources exist in each of these, you just need to be able to recognize one when it smacks you in the face.

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
Edited by - Ricky on 11/29/2004 20:39:37
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tkster
Skeptic Friend

USA
193 Posts

Posted - 11/29/2004 :  20:53:28   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send tkster a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Ricky

Just wanted to clear up, I was in no way talking about the validity of either, just the popularity.

Edit:

quote:

To intelligent people, the internet is one of the last sources for information



I still consider it as one of the first sources for information. That is what the internet is for, no? Why is it harder to lie in a book than the internet? I argue that it is not. No matter what media, book, internet, radio, tv, you need a creditable source. Creditable sources exist in each of these, you just need to be able to recognize one when it smacks you in the face.



That statement is from a Journalist's perspective. There is too much hogwosh on the internet. Places like Lexis Nexis or smoking gun are reliable, but anyone who doesn't use skepticism on internet sources has themselves tricked.

I prefer to read science journals, peer reviewed works, or medical journals on substance, NOT internet articles about stuff that's all made up anyway.

take care,
tk
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Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 11/29/2004 :  20:59:59   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message
Wikipedia is an excellent source. So is the Skeptic Report. Also Talk Origins. As well as Panda's Thumb. Do you wish for me to go on? There are a lot of good sources, as well as a lot of bad sources.

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25997 Posts

Posted - 11/29/2004 :  21:03:52   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
tkster wrote:
quote:
I prefer to read science journals, peer reviewed works, or medical journals on substance, NOT internet articles...
The Internet is a useful tool for finding the journals, articles, reviews and reports. In some cases, the works are even online, or - like with PubMed - one can order copies online.
quote:
...about stuff that's all made up anyway.
Huh? Mind explaining that prepositional phrase?

Ricky wrote:
quote:
Damn, didn't even think of that. But on the good side, search engines seem to support the concept of peer review, those sites that link to others get higher ratings. A very good side effect of the rating process.
Yeah, and check out Shermer's latest column, too.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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tkster
Skeptic Friend

USA
193 Posts

Posted - 11/29/2004 :  21:04:00   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send tkster a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Ricky

Wikipedia is an excellent source. So is the Skeptic Report. Also Talk Origins. As well as Panda's Thumb. Do you wish for me to go on? There are a lot of good sources, as well as a lot of bad sources.



You just proposed the dilemma. The average person cannot tell the difference. Which is why Journalists don't care for the internet as a source, because most people read and then say LOOK GEOCITIES SAY THIS, without ever realizing it could be made up.

tk
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Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 11/29/2004 :  21:07:24   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message
quote:

You just proposed the dilemma. The average person cannot tell the difference. Which is why Journalists don't care for the internet as a source, because most people read and then say LOOK GEOCITIES SAY THIS, without ever realizing it could be made up.


http://www.geocities.com/kenthovind/quotes/index.htm

I would really hope journalists of all people know how to recognize a good source... if not, I'm scared.

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
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tkster
Skeptic Friend

USA
193 Posts

Posted - 11/29/2004 :  21:09:11   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send tkster a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Ricky

quote:

You just proposed the dilemma. The average person cannot tell the difference. Which is why Journalists don't care for the internet as a source, because most people read and then say LOOK GEOCITIES SAY THIS, without ever realizing it could be made up.


http://www.geocities.com/kenthovind/quotes/index.htm

I would really hope journalists of all people know how to recognize a good source... if not, I'm scared.


Average Journalist? Yes. Average person? No. So either we need to teach a basic class on how to use the internet, or something's got to change.

tk
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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 11/29/2004 :  21:14:05   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by tkster
You just proposed the dilemma. The average person cannot tell the difference. Which is why Journalists don't care for the internet as a source, because most people read and then say LOOK GEOCITIES SAY THIS, without ever realizing it could be made up.

tk


Well, actually I think most people recognize the difference between a professional site and a personal web page. I don't think they necessarily distinguish between peer-reviewed journals and popular magazines, however. But that is no different than the usual filters through which most people receive their information, like local newspapers for instance.

Still, I think the "average person" will give more weight to an article from Smithsonian online than they would Joe Bob's Creationism home page. Perhaps we have a disagreement on what we consider to be "average."

Verlch, for example, does not seem to see any pattern to the litany of amateur websites he lists as sources on everything from creationism to the illuminati. I prefer to think of Verlch as the exception rather than the rule, but perhaps I'm being overly optimistic.




Edited to add: Personally, I do think the problem is getting worse. Much like the "wealth divide" some speak of in this country, I'm beginning to see evidence of an "education divide" in which the smart get smarter and the dumb get dumber. There is no question in my mind that Creationism is spreading unchecked in the rural south and midwest. That we don't see evidence of it in the "mainstream" is expected. This is phenomena mostly limited to the technologically, culturally and scientifically illiterate members of our society.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
Edited by - H. Humbert on 11/29/2004 21:23:15
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25997 Posts

Posted - 11/29/2004 :  21:22:21   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
You're dead on target, H. It's been my experience that "average" people give just as much credibility to Prevention as they do to Scientific American. And more to either one than they would to The New England Journal of Medicine, but mostly because the "average" person doesn't understand the NEJM.

tkster, you're a journalism student, and working through a journalistic bias. Eventually, journalists in general are going to have to start teaching people how to interpret the value of Web sites, if for no other reason than to tell their readers why their competition is a crappy source of info.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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