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#1 Adam Nagy

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 06:04 PM

This link came up in another thread:

http://news.cnet.com..._3-5997332.html

I personally use Wiki a lot. I use it for generic data, and often, I enjoy using it as an antagonistic witness.

Many people (though this is decreasing as the web gets more sophisticated) like to say how you can't trust anything on the internet. However, since when is the information in books any more credible?

Are sources the key to finding truth or is approach and mindset more relevant?

I would like this thread to be a place to discuss the reliability of sources and also how to approach sources whether they are considered trustworthy or not.

#2 jason777

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 06:22 PM

I can prove they are biased and unreliable.

Just do a Wiki. search for A. aferensis and see if they say admit it's aligned with gorillas or not.I'll bet you anything they completely ignore the data and claim it's an intermediate between Chimps and Humans.

#3 Ron

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 06:37 PM

Careful guys, some people have a deep abiding faith in their Wiki! :)

#4 Arch

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 07:45 PM

Hi Adam,

Considering I was the individual who linked that article I feel compelled to respond :lol:

I am a big supporter of open source projects and I am constantly impressed by what a group of 'nobodies' manage to achieve. Being deeply involved in multimedia I am amazed at the quality of work produced by those behind 'Blender', an open source 3D program.

Youtube - Big Buck Bunny

The advantage these software programs and websites like Wikipedia have over conventional methods is the speed with which they can be updated and will often leave published encyclopedias or software manufacturers behind.

The obvious downside we'll all acknowledge is that pretty much anyone can make those changes, regardless of how ill educated they may be.

One thing to note about the ill educated, ignorant and down right stupid, is that they tend to be lazy too. Although they have the ability to change these articles it is unlikely they bother. Occasionally you will get someone who is both stupid and not lazy, but fortunately they are in short supply and will be outnumbered by those that are both smart and not lazy, or at least one hopes :P

I think my original response when I was questioned about my wiki source still stands. Accept the information presented until such time as someone can provide alternative sources that disprove the wiki page.

To Jason,

I looked up the article you requested. When you said "I'll bet you anything", how serious were you? Coz I could really do with a personal copy of Autodesk Maya :)

They compared the fossils to chimpanzee, gorilla and modern human specimens, and casts of extinct hominid fossils, with particular attention to jaws and dental arcades, and found that their fossils were somewhere between humans and apes, possibly closer to apes, though with essentially human bodies.


Regards,

Arch.

#5 jason777

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 09:01 PM

Hi Arch,


To Jason,

I looked up the article you requested. When you said "I'll bet you anything", how serious were you? Coz I could really do with a personal copy of Autodesk Maya


QUOTE(Wikipedia)
They compared the fossils to chimpanzee, gorilla and modern human specimens, and casts of extinct hominid fossils, with particular attention to jaws and dental arcades, and found that their fossils were somewhere between humans and apes, possibly closer to apes, though with essentially human bodies.


Regards,

Arch.


I told you so.Wiki says they fall somewhere between human and apes.

The humero-femeral index is aligned with apes,the ramus element in the jaw is aligned with gorillas.

Posted Image

http://www.jpost.com.....cid=117615280... - 77k -

The curvature of the fingers is aligned with orangutans and gorillas.The shoulder blade is aligned with gorillas.

Posted Image

A. aferensis and gorilla are the top row.

Fred Spoor used CT scans and found that the semicircular canals in the inner ear are aligned with apes,which means it can't be considered an obligate bi-ped.

That was also repeated and the same concluson was reached by other researchers.

High-resolution computed tomography, known as CT or Cat Scan, was used to scan the inner ear labyrinth of 53 humans, a few dozen apes consisting of pygmy chimps, chimps, gorillas, orangutans, and other species. They also scanned fossil humans (early Homo and H. erectus), Australopithecus and Paranthropus. Reporting in Nature, Wood and his coworkers made height and width measurements of the arc of each semicircular canal from the CT scans. From these measurements, they calculated the radius of the arc's curvature. Among the living specimens, they correlated the arc size of the three semicircular canals with the body mass. Taking body mass into account, modern humans have larger anterior and posterior canals and a smaller lateral canal than the great apes. According to Wood, Homo erectus is the earliest fossil hominid to demonstrate the modern human morphology of the inner ear. The dimensions of Australopithecus and Paranthropus inner ears resemble those of living great apes. Wood says,

"Modern human locomotor behaviour [walking] makes particular demands on the vestibular apparatus for it involves the maintenance of an upright body posture by balancing on very small areas of support."
In other words, humans have the correct inner ear configuration for obligatory upright walking, while apes, australopithecines, and Paranthropus do not.

Finally, Wood concludes his report by saying,

"This study demonstrates that the morphology of the bony labyrinth has the potential to provide information about both the locomotor behaviour and the phylogenetic relationships of early hominids." [Wood, 1994]



Where is there evidence that it had essentially a human body?Do you not agree that is completely fabricated by their worldview?



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#6 Arch

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 09:27 PM

Okay Jason, I haven't read your last post through, but that's because I got stuck on the first point:

"I told you so.Wiki says they fall somewhere between human and apes."


Your original question was:

"I'll bet you anything they completely ignore the data and claim it's an intermediate between Chimps and Humans."


Chimps and apes are two different things. You said wiki would say they were between humans and chimps, which they didn't do. Was this just a typo?

Regards,

Arch.

#7 Arch

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 09:29 PM

Careful guys, some people have a deep abiding faith in their Wiki!  :)

View Post


I know Ron, it must be hard to understand why people would respect an ever updating, ever improving source of information when your main source of inspiration hasn't been updated for 2000 years. By the way, when is Bible 2.0 due?

Regards,

Arch.

#8 CTD

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 09:33 PM

1869 - T.H. Huxley founds Nature Magazine, which becomes one of the two most important journals for scientific papers in the world. (The other journal is Science.)


http://www.juntosoci...eline/1800.html

An organization founded with an antiscientific agenda? Not the kind of outfit one would prefer to have conducting a study of this type. The whole issue of the study is supposed to be credibility, after all.

#9 jason777

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 09:58 PM

Heres a complaint from the Discovery Institute about wiki.

'Design' Proponents Accuse Wikipedia of Bias, Hypocrisy

Discovery Institute, an organization that promotes the field of intelligent design (ID), has posted a series of comments on its website accusing Wikipedia moderators of being unfairly biased against their view.

The author of the criticisms, Casey Luskin, a California attorney and co-founder of the Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness (IDEA) Center, expressed his frustration with the sources cited from Wikipedia’s database as well as the group in charge of the online encyclopedia project for pushing their own agenda against ID theory.

“So what’s the purpose of the ‘encyclopedia’ page?” questioned Luskin in an earlier posting. “Is it intended to inform people about what intelligent design actually says or simply to publicize to the world what some critics want it to be, and what they think is wrong with it? It appears the primary aim is the latter.”

One of the disputes that is currently going on involves a ban of one of the pro-ID contributors from the web database. Wikipedia moderators will not allow the user’s contributions, because they claims that the ID proponent offer disruptive POV (point of view) statements and has made subjective submissions about what ID is.

Specifically, moderators did not accept the submission that intelligent design is a “theory.” Instead, they said, it should be treated only as a belief that the world was created by some sort of designer, and that the hypothesis does not stand up to scientific models that would allow it to be called a “theory.”

“You obviously have no understanding of what a scientific theory is,” read a moderator response on the Wikipedia site. “Please read Wikipedia's article on this subject, ‘Theory.’ Something can be a scientific theory and also a fact. Please do not make any more such contentious edits on subjects you have an incomplete understanding of.”

Luskin is now accusing the people behind the internet encyclopedia of hypocrisy, however, and noted that they are not “the blameless, objective scholars they claim to be.”

“Promoting a ‘point of view’?” continued the IDEA Center co-founder. “Their hypocrisy is incredible! The editor is clearly banning people because they disagree with his ‘point of view.’ It seems clear that only certain ‘points of view’ are acceptable on Wikipedia when it comes to intelligent design.”

In his most recent post, Luskin looks specifically at a misrepresentation put out on Wikipedia that skews what the “real data” looks like.

According to Wikipedia, in a 2005 Harris poll, ten percent of adults in the United States view human beings as "so complex that they required a powerful force or intelligent being to help create them." The site then mentions that the Discovery Institute has more favorable polls, but that they are unreliable because they have expressed interest in the outcome of the results.

"This post looks at merely two sentences out of the long Wikipedia entry on intelligent design,” expressed Luskin, “and finds inaccuracy, misrepresentation, bias, and hypocrisy.”

The first problem he cited is that the poll had two responses that both favored ID thought, but only one was used for the 10 percent result. The “actual results” would show that around 74 percent of Americans believe there is a creator.

Secondly, Luskin noted that the poll the site used was misrepresented in that it had actually been used to show favor for teaching ID in schools, which reveals inconsistency in its usage. The contributor also only provided partial information from the poll, which had several other statistics in favor of ID.

As a final note, Luskin directed attention to a reference in the article to Paul Kurtz, a leading atheist activist and co-founder for the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry.

“The Wikipedia authors are so biased against intelligent design, they’re willing to cite a heavily biased source in order to allege a bias on the part of ID-proponents,” concluded the California lawyer. “Chances are, they didn’t even notice the logical hypocrisy in what they did.”

According to its own definition on the site, Wikipedia does mention that critics see the web-based encyclopedia as being possibly unreliable and inaccurate. It also mentions that, for the most part, it is roughly as accurate as other encyclopedias.


http://www.christian.....e_Wikipedia_o... - 61k -

#10 jason777

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 10:04 PM

Chimps and apes are two different things. You said wiki would say they were between humans and chimps, which they didn't do. Was this just a typo?


I did say chimp,but my prediction was'nt far off because they still said it's an intermediate between apes and humans.

Why does'nt wiki. provide any of the research i posted,that has'nt found any intermediate features in it's anatomy?



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#11 Arch

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 11:07 PM

Chimps and apes are two different things. You said wiki would say they were between humans and chimps, which they didn't do. Was this just a typo?


I did say chimp,but my prediction was'nt far off because they still said it's an intermediate between apes and humans.

View Post


Jason, in your original post you named 3 monkey-like creatures. Humans, gorillas and chimps. You then said that wiki would claim they were an intermediate stage between humans and chimps.

In which case you were miles off in your predictions, because wiki says apes, which covers a wide variety of monkey-like animals.

The point of this forum is to ask if sources are reliable or not. Do you think Wikipedia siting "apes" as the intermediate is inaccurate?

Why does'nt wiki. provide any of the research i posted,that has'nt found any intermediate features in it's anatomy?

View Post


You cannot possibly expect a single website to have every single opinion included. If it did, finding information would become next to impossible, as you would need to wade through all sorts of rubbish to find what you need.
I use wiki as a launching pad for further study. Perhaps one of the references or external links contains the information you provided? Have you checked? If not, there is always Google.

Regards,

Arch.

#12 jason777

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 02:09 AM

They used the word "intermediate" did'nt they?And it was referring to intermediate between humans and apes.

In which case,they could'nt possibily be more innacurate.

#13 Ron

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 02:27 AM

I know Ron, it must be hard to understand why people would respect an ever updating, ever improving source of information when your main source of inspiration hasn't been updated for 2000 years. By the way, when is Bible 2.0 due?

Regards,

Arch.

View Post


Oh, ouch… Nice zing Archie! :o (Except NOT ;) )

Unfortunately for the atheist the Bible hasn’t needed an upgrade in all that time (no matter how hard the disingenuous try). You see, when its done correctly the first time, only the haters feel the need to try and bring it down.

The main reason (just one of the many) wiki has credibility issues came from your own mouth (i.e. you fingers)

The obvious downside we'll all acknowledge is that pretty much anyone can make those changes, regardless of how ill educated they may be.

View Post


And this does happen (more often than you want to admit), so you can have all the faith you need in wiki Arch. I’ll remain faithful to the real source.

#14 Arch

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 03:26 AM

They used the word "intermediate" did'nt they?And it was referring to intermediate between humans and apes.

In which case,they could'nt possibily be more innacurate.

View Post


Oh, so now that your original point has been shown to be wrong, you'll change it to an opinion and claim it is correct. Why is it so difficult to just admit that on this account you were incorrect. You will lose a lot less face that way.

Regards,

Arch.

#15 Arch

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 03:32 AM

Oh, ouch… Nice zing Archie!  :o  (Except NOT  ;) )

Unfortunately for the atheist the Bible hasn’t needed an upgrade in all that time (no matter how hard the disingenuous try). You see, when its done correctly the first time, only the haters feel the need to try and bring it down.

The main reason (just one of the many) wiki has credibility issues came from your own mouth (i.e. you fingers)
And this does happen (more often than you want to admit), so you can have all the faith you need in wiki Arch.  I’ll remain faithful to the real source.

View Post


Sorry Ron, that was a little below the belt. But it seems you got a bit of a laugh out of it, so hopefully no hard done :)

I completely agree Ron, there is a very real chance wiki could be tampered with and I'm sure it does happen. However, the stats still say it is incredibly accurate. Even the best encylopedias cannot claim perfection, I don't see why wiki should need to be perfect to be able to be considered reliable source.

Regards,

Arch.

#16 Arch

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 03:43 AM

Heres a complaint from the Discovery Institute about wiki.

'Design' Proponents Accuse Wikipedia of Bias, Hypocrisy

Discovery Institute, an organization that promotes the field of intelligent design (ID), has posted a series of comments on its website accusing Wikipedia moderators of being unfairly biased against their view.

The author of the criticisms, Casey Luskin, a California attorney and co-founder of the Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness (IDEA) Center, expressed his frustration with the sources cited from Wikipedia’s database as well as the group in charge of the online encyclopedia project for pushing their own agenda against ID theory.

“So what’s the purpose of the ‘encyclopedia’ page?” questioned Luskin in an earlier posting. “Is it intended to inform people about what intelligent design actually says or simply to publicize to the world what some critics want it to be, and what they think is wrong with it? It appears the primary aim is the latter.”

One of the disputes that is currently going on involves a ban of one of the pro-ID contributors from the web database. Wikipedia moderators will not allow the user’s contributions, because they claims that the ID proponent offer disruptive POV (point of view) statements and has made subjective submissions about what ID is.

Specifically, moderators did not accept the submission that intelligent design is a “theory.” Instead, they said, it should be treated only as a belief that the world was created by some sort of designer, and that the hypothesis does not stand up to scientific models that would allow it to be called a “theory.”

“You obviously have no understanding of what a scientific theory is,” read a moderator response on the Wikipedia site. “Please read Wikipedia's article on this subject, ‘Theory.’ Something can be a scientific theory and also a fact. Please do not make any more such contentious edits on subjects you have an incomplete understanding of.”

Luskin is now accusing the people behind the internet encyclopedia of hypocrisy, however, and noted that they are not “the blameless, objective scholars they claim to be.”

“Promoting a ‘point of view’?” continued the IDEA Center co-founder. “Their hypocrisy is incredible! The editor is clearly banning people because they disagree with his ‘point of view.’ It seems clear that only certain ‘points of view’ are acceptable on Wikipedia when it comes to intelligent design.”

In his most recent post, Luskin looks specifically at a misrepresentation put out on Wikipedia that skews what the “real data” looks like.

According to Wikipedia, in a 2005 Harris poll, ten percent of adults in the United States view human beings as "so complex that they required a powerful force or intelligent being to help create them." The site then mentions that the Discovery Institute has more favorable polls, but that they are unreliable because they have expressed interest in the outcome of the results.

"This post looks at merely two sentences out of the long Wikipedia entry on intelligent design,” expressed Luskin, “and finds inaccuracy, misrepresentation, bias, and hypocrisy.”

The first problem he cited is that the poll had two responses that both favored ID thought, but only one was used for the 10 percent result. The “actual results” would show that around 74 percent of Americans believe there is a creator.

Secondly, Luskin noted that the poll the site used was misrepresented in that it had actually been used to show favor for teaching ID in schools, which reveals inconsistency in its usage. The contributor also only provided partial information from the poll, which had several other statistics in favor of ID.

As a final note, Luskin directed attention to a reference in the article to Paul Kurtz, a leading atheist activist and co-founder for the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry.

“The Wikipedia authors are so biased against intelligent design, they’re willing to cite a heavily biased source in order to allege a bias on the part of ID-proponents,” concluded the California lawyer. “Chances are, they didn’t even notice the logical hypocrisy in what they did.”

According to its own definition on the site, Wikipedia does mention that critics see the web-based encyclopedia as being possibly unreliable and inaccurate. It also mentions that, for the most part, it is roughly as accurate as other encyclopedias.
http://www.christian.....e_Wikipedia_o... - 61k -

View Post


This is one of the areas where wikipedia (and I imagine any other encyclopedia) may have issues. There is a lot of differing opinions on ID and trying to accomodate all of them is difficult.

I would like to think the people at wikipedia have tried to be as accomodating as possible and include as many different perspectives as possible. Obviously this is not just limited to Luskin's point of view. By the sounds of it he was trying to say that a theory isn't factual and I'm not surprised that the rest of his article may have been rejected if it included statements like this.

That said, finding one section where an individual has issues with does not make the entire website inaccurate. As the link in the OP stated, even the best Britannica cannot claim 100% accuracy. I think it unfair to expect the same from Wikipedia.

Regards,

Arch.

#17 jason777

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 04:31 AM

Oh, so now that your original point has been shown to be wrong, you'll change it to an opinion and claim it is correct. Why is it so difficult to just admit that on this account you were incorrect. You will lose a lot less face that way.

Regards,

Arch.

View Post


Perhaps you missed my previous post.Intentionaly i suspect.

I did say chimp,but my prediction was'nt far off because they still said it's an intermediate between apes and humans.


If you would admit they intentionaly misrepent science articles to fit their dogmatic world view it would go a long ways for you.

Anybody can read what i said and then compare it to the wiki. quote.



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#18 Arch

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 04:40 AM

Perhaps you missed my previous post.Intentionaly i suspect.

I did say chimp,but my prediction was'nt far off because they still said it's an intermediate between apes and humans.


If you would admit they intentionaly misrepent science articles to fit their dogmatic world view it would go a long ways for you.

Anybody can read what i said and then compare it to the wiki. quote.
Thanks.

View Post


Ape includes chimp and gorilla. You said wiki would say chimp. Wiki left it open to further study. And you claim this is somehow dishonest. I'm sorry Jason but I have to call you on this. The only dishonesty here is your own.

My apologies for being so cut-throat Jason, but it upsets me that you are trying to ruin someone else reputation by being dishonest yourself. I hope you can understand this and not take things personally.

Regards,

Arch.

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 05:59 AM

This link came up in another thread:

http://news.cnet.com..._3-5997332.html

I personally use Wiki a lot. I use it for generic data, and often, I enjoy using it as an antagonistic witness.

Many people (though this is decreasing as the web gets more sophisticated) like to say how you can't trust anything on the internet. However, since when is the information in books any more credible?


View Post


I say this with my tounge, at least partial, placed in cheek, but do you mean any book?

I'm sure you can see where I'm going here Adam. ;)

#20 jason777

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 06:01 AM

I don't take other peoples dishonesty personaly.in fact,I already predicted it,did'nt I?

In what contexct are they referring to apes,if it's in terms of human evolution?

Lucy (also given a second (Amharic) name: dinqineš, or “Dinkenesh,” meaning “You are beautiful” or "you are wonderful"[3]) is the common name of AL 288-1, the 40% complete skeleton of an Australopithecus afarensis specimen discovered in 1974 at Hadar in the Awash Valley of Ethiopia's Afar Depression. Lucy is estimated to have lived 3.2 million years ago[1]. The discovery of this hominin was significant as the skeleton shows evidence of small skull capacity akin to that of apes and of bipedal upright walk akin to that of humans, providing further evidence that bipedalism preceded increase in brain size in human evolution.[4][5]


http://en.wikipedia....stralopithecus) - 66k -

Sure,they did'nt use the word chimp,but what are they saying if it's an ape transitional to humans?




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