On Jun 30, 2005, at 3:47 PM, Haukur Þorgeirsson wrote:
the truth of a proposition, however obvious, as this is,
is not the purpose of Wikipedia, nor the purpose of categories.
Categories are an aid to the reader to in finding information.
I don't understand the dichotomy you seem
to be trying to uphold. Wikipedia provides
information but not truth? What is truth?
"What is truth?" Indeed, and we have an article on it, but that
article could not be said to offer a definitive and exhaustive answer.
Here's the start of our article on the Eiffel
"The Eiffel Tower ... is a metallic tower built
on the Champ de Mars in Paris ... and is nowadays
the most famous landmark and symbol of Paris."
This is information. And truth.
Yes, the sun rises in the east.
When we say "Homeopathy is a pseudoscience."
we are also providing information by writing
down a true statement. If I may paraphrase
a couple of sentences from a certain sci-fi
Homeopathy is also alternative medicine and is, by report, the school
of medicine used by the Royal family of the United Kingdom.
"The first duty of every Wikipedian is to the truth,
scientific truth, historical truth and personal truth.
It is the guiding principle of Wikipedia."
This quotation may exist somewhere, but a Google search results in
'Your search - Wikipedia "historical truth and personal truth" - did
not match any documents'
Who says that and in what context?
When reasonable people interpret available data
in different ways we try to describe each position
Right, but we ought not declare one viewpoint or another "the truth."
At least not within Wikipedia.
Then there are some unreasonable positions. Those
are usually dealt with in separate articles and
otherwise ignored. Here's an excerpt from the
start of the [[Apollo program]] article:
"Project Apollo ... was devoted to the goal of landing a man on the
and returning him safely to Earth within the decade of the 1960s. This
goal was achieved with the Apollo 11 mission in 1969."
There are many people who disagree with this but
since their position is unreasonable it is not dealt
with in the main article but relegated to a separate
article. Now, *that* article will try to fairly present
the views of those who believe that the Apollo program
was a hoax. However, by choosing to privilege the
reasonable view in the main article Wikipedia has
*already* chosen a position, whatever category the
hoax article is put into.
Same with 9/11. There is no way we could feature the view that it was
all cooked up by plotters in the Bush administration or that the
building did not collapse but was demolished by planted explosives.
Or let's take [[Earth]]. Here's an excerpt from the lead:
"The planet formed around 4.57 billion (4.57×109) years ago and
thereafter acquired its single natural satellite, the Moon."
There are many people who disagree with this. We try to
describe their positions fairly in separate articles,
e.g. [[Creationism]]. The article on creationism may
try to be scrupulously fair to the creationists but the
bottom line is that Wikipedia has *already* acknowledged
the scientific facts as superior to the creationist
theories (at least the "Young Earth" variety) by
including them in main articles like [[Earth]].
Including [[Creationism]] in [[Category:Pseudoscience]]
is just icing on a cake that has already been baked.
WikiEN-l mailing list