Wikipedia Case Study

Evolutionary creationism
This is a Wikipedia article about the belief that evolution is compatible with creationism. It was first created as a stub on 2003/09/27 and has been edited by roughly thirty people so far.

Here are some frequent contributors to the page:
A contributor to a wiki on evolutionary biology who has Google bombing links suggesting an anti-Bush and anti-Christian viewpoint.

A computer programmer who also maintains a Catholic website.

A person who seems to be interested in the possibilities for group intelligence, of which Wikipedia is an example.

A youth worker for an Anglican church, who also has a Ph.D. in archaeology and geochemistry.

The main source of debate in editing this topic has been the distinction between evolutionary creationism and theistic evolution. Currently the consensus is to redirect the theistic evolution links to the evolutionary creationism page. Apparently they are not different enough to warrant separate articles for each.

The way discussion seems to work is that someone brings up a suggested change, and then people respond to it or ignore it. When they respond to it, they may either discourage the action or add their own suggestions. If a suggestion is ignored, its originator is free to carry it out. Most disagreements build up until one side accepts defeat and stops posting.

In general, many changes are carried out by a few people who are regular Wikipedia users and also have an interest in the subject. These people often act as editors who maintain the quality of the article. But both small changes and new additions are made by people passing by.

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