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TalkOrigins Archive

The TalkOrigins Archive is a website that presents mainstream science perspectives on the antievolution claims of young-earth, old-earth, and "intelligent design" creationists. With sections on evolution, creationism, and hominid evolution, the web site provides broad coverage of evolutionary biology and the socio-political antievolution movement.


Origins and history

The TalkOrigins Archive began in 1994 when Brett J. Vickers collected several separately posted FAQs from the newsgroup and made them conveniently available from a single anonymous FTP site. In 1995, Vickers created the TalkOrigins Archive web site. Vickers, then a computer science graduate student at the University of California at Irvine, produced a distinctive, spare "look" for the web site. Certain creationist web sites have utilized elements of the style Vickers established. Vickers established an easily browsed site, coded a feedback system, and handled all the updates to the Archive from 1995 to 2001.

In 2001, Vickers transferred the TalkOrigins Archive to Wesley R. Elsberry, since Vickers's work demanded much of his attention, leaving little time to maintain the web site. Elsberry organized a group of volunteers to handle the maintenance of the Archive, now including Troy Britain, Reed Cartwright, Mike Dunford, Kenneth Fair, David Iain Greig, Mike Hopkins, David Horn, Kathleen Hunt, Mark Isaak, Adam Marczyk, Larry A. Moran, Ross Myers, Steven Pirie-Shepherd, Douglas Theobald, Brett Vickers, and John Wilkins.

In 2004, Kenneth Fair incorporated the TalkOrigins Foundation as a Texas 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. [1] The Foundation's purposes include funding and maintaining the TalkOrigins Archive and holding copyrights to Archive articles, thereby simplifying the process of reprinting and updating those articles. The copyright issue has posed a particular problem since the FAQs started off as a small collection with little thought given to copyright but have since mushroomed. In 2005, the Foundation was granted tax-exempt status by the IRS.[2]


The FAQs and FRAs (Frequently Rebutted Assertions) on the TalkOrigins Archive cover a wide range of topics associated with evolutionary biology and creationism. These include Mark Isaak's Index to Creationist Claims [1], a list of creationist positions on various issues, rebuttals, and links to primary source material. The TalkDesign sister site [2] fulfills a similar role with the Intelligent Design movement. Also hosted is Jim Foley's Fossil Hominids sub-site [3] which studies the evidence for human evolution and has an extensive list of links to websites on both evolutionary biology and creationism. Lastly, the Quote Mine Project [4], examines the use of Quote mining - taking quotes out of context - by creationists.

The archive maintains a feedback system [5] involving reader comments and posts a compilation of these, along with responses, each month. The "Awards" page [6] lists the notice given to the Archive by scientific societies, journals, magazines, and also lists college courses that make use of materials from the Archive.

Awards has gained many awards and achieved substantial recognition.[3]

  • In August 2002 Scientific American recognized for its "detailed discussions (some of which may be too sophisticated for casual readers) and bibliographies relating to virtually any objection to evolution that creationists might raise."[4]
  • The webpages of the National Academy of Science, Smithsonian Institute[5], The Leakey Foundation[6], the National Center for Science Education[7] and other organizations recommend
  • Biomednet gave the Archive four stars.[specify]

The Archive is also referenced in college-level textbooks[8] and has had material from the archive incorporated into over 20 college or university courses.[9]

See also


  1. ^ The TalkOrigins Foundation. Retrieved on 2007-05-08.
  2. ^ IRS Letter announcing 501(c)(3) status (March 8, 2005). Retrieved on 2007-05-08.
  3. ^ The Talk.Origins Archive. Awards, Honors, and Favorable Notices. Retrieved on 2007-05-08.
  4. ^ John Rennie (June 17, 2002). Other Resources for Defending Evolution. Scientific American. Retrieved on 2007-05-08.
  5. ^ Smithsonian Institute (Winter/Spring 1999-2000). "Teacher Resources: Human Evolution Websites". AnthroNotes 21 (2). Retrieved on 2007-05-08.
  6. ^ The Leakey Foundation - Recommended Links. Retrieved on 2007-05-08.
  7. ^ NCSE. Critiques of Creationism-Links. Retrieved on 2007-05-08. “The main site for arguments refuting the "science" of creation science.”
  8. ^ The Talk.Origins Archive. Science Textbooks that Use the Archive. Retrieved on 2007-05-08.
  9. ^ The Talk.Origins Archive. University and College Courses that Use the Archive. Retrieved on 2007-05-08.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "TalkOrigins_Archive". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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