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Sanger Fought Disinformation on Intelligent Design “Tooth and Nail” — But Disinformation Won

Photo: Pocket watch, an image Wikipedia links with intelligent design because it’s meant to suggest an association with William Paley and the antiquated “watchmaker analogy”; by Hannes Grobe (Own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

I had a typo in my headline to a post about Larry Sanger and Wikipedia — I misspelled “scientistic.” (It happens.) Sanger co-founded Wikipedia and has been “on it” about distortions regarding intelligent design by the online encyclopedia for a long time. The typo was caught by a colleague of mine … but not before it was also caught by Larry Sanger. On Twitter, he had this interesting recollection:

“Scientistic.” I stand behind this. In the early days, I fought several people tooth and nail on the question whether Wikipedia articles should dismiss intelligent design and other nonstandard scientific theories without a hearing. For several years my approach did prevail.

Alas, standing up against the forces of darkness and disinformation, Sanger was just one guy, even if an important one. Disinformation won out. As Sanger recently told Glenn Greenwald, “No encyclopedia to my knowledge has been as biased as Wikipedia has been. I mean, that’s saying something.”

David Klinghoffer

Senior Fellow and Editor, Evolution News
David Klinghoffer is a Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute and the editor of Evolution News & Science Today, the daily voice of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture, reporting on intelligent design, evolution, and the intersection of science and culture. Klinghoffer is also the author of six books, a former senior editor and literary editor at National Review magazine, and has written for the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Seattle Times, Commentary, and other publications. Born in Santa Monica, California, he graduated from Brown University in 1987 with an A.B. magna cum laude in comparative literature and religious studies. David lives near Seattle, Washington, with his wife and children.



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