The imminent cancellation of Emily Willoughby: a fight to remove her from Wikipedia

August 21, 2022 • 12:30 pm

In a post from Wednesday called “The ignorant and misguided demonization of a behavior geneticist,” I described the mob of people going after Emily Willoughby, a behavioral geneticist and paleoartist (someone who depicts ancient and extinct species). Note that the link to her name is likely to disappear very soon, since it’s an endangered Wikipedia entry that is the subject of this post.

Here’s what you see when you go to her page.

Emily is currently not only drawing, but is a postdoctoral researcher in personality, individual differences, and behavior genetics at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities.

It all started with the bonkers email, below falsely accusing Willoughby of being tied to eugenics, racism and classism (she doesn’t work or approve of those issues). Not only that, but the tweet is doubly slimy in saying that she “believes, or is at least indifferent to, the myth that intelligence has a racial component.” Notice the two alternatives offered, both of which are false (she isn’t tied to that work, and she repudiates racial extrapolations from within-population genetic data). “At least is indfferent to” is about a weaselly as you can get.

Nevertheless, whoever this clown Prehistorica is, he or she set off a tirade of ignorant claims about Willoughby, some of which I highlighted and rebutted in this post. Ignorance, hatred, and innuendo can bring get your cause to go a long way on Twitter!

And below is one of the results: injuries to Emily’s career, based on false accusations. Here, one of her collaborators disassociates himself for her, and for no good reason save that she has been “accused”.  How much less empathic can you get? And of course Naish will not discuss his misguided decision. You’d think he’d check the facts before writing something like this:

But of course nasty words on Twitter or social media are not enough. You have to get the person cancelled—erased. And that’s what people are trying to do to Emily’s Wikipedia page.  A reader (afraid of his/her own demonization), sent me this information about the effort to get Willoughby’s page erased.

I’d like to bring your attention to what’s been happening over the past couple of days to the paleoartist and behavioral geneticist Emily Willoughby. Emily is the co-author and illustrator of the anti-creationism book that you covered here:

The main Twitter thread attacking her is this one:

And Emily posted this thread in response:

The assumption underlying most of these attacks is that all research about the genetic basis of human intelligence is inherently supportive of racism or eugenics. None of Emily’s published research involves race or eugenics directly. Even Eric Turkheimer, a behavioral geneticist who’s known for opposing any research in this field that relates to race, thinks that these attacks are unreasonable.

The reader sent me a subsequent email:

The mention of this [Wikipedia erasure] was buried in the comments to your post about Emily, so I’d like to make sure you’ve noticed that the Wikipedia article about her is about to be deleted. There are currently ten people arguing to delete the article and only one arguing to preserve it, so it’ll be deleted in a few days if nothing unexpected happens.

Most of the people arguing for deletion haven’t directly mentioned the attacks against Emily on Twitter, but it’s obvious that that’s the reason this is happening. There was a previous attempt to delete the article last year which was unsuccessful, and Emily has no less coverage in sources now than she did a year ago, but the thing that’s changed in the past year is that the people who edit Wikipedia’s paleontology related articles aren’t willing to defend her anymore. There’s also been no attempt to delete the Wikipedia articles about paleoartists who are much more obscure than Emily, such as Julio Lacerda or Davide Bonadonna.

I think this is another example of how Wikipedia is increasingly influenced by ideology nowadays, as you recently posted about here.

If you go to the Wikipedia “discussion page” that supposedly gives the reasons she doesn’t belong on the site, none of it is about her work on behavior genetics of intelligence. No, it’s about the claim that her artwork isn’t sufficiently good to merit her a page. Yet on the first attempt to cancel her, this wasn’t sufficient.

What is clear is that mob sentiment is now trying to get her page erased because a few yahoos falsely accused of her engaging in racist work on IQ. Nobody cares about the facts; an accusation is sufficient.

The people trying to hurt her career are reprehensible; humans lacking a crumb of empathy and wallowing in their own ignorance about the person they’re trying to cancel. And if Wikipedia erases her article, it will be shameful.

If there are readers willing to argue her cause on Wikipedia, I’d urge you to jump into the fray.


61 thoughts on “The imminent cancellation of Emily Willoughby: a fight to remove her from Wikipedia

  1. My heat is for this “person.”
    Darren Naish
    “… has been accused …” Therefore automatically cancelled..

    Mao and Stalin stand back in awe that their favorite ploy is alive and well, on the world stage.

    1. I’m quite surprised that Naish has put his professional shotgun in his mouth, since he was previously a well respected figure within palaeontology circles. I think he’s just finished (or in post production) for another series of programmes on the Beeb, so he might have a (weak) defence of being up to the gunnels in work at the moment and not needing another pile of work on his plate.
      Certainly I’d be treating his work with a much longer bargepole (someone else’s) in future. That’s one of the downsides of having a memorable name and handle.

  2. I’ve gone silent on social media to avoid more smears like those flung at Emily. I’m also a postdoc who has published on the Big 5 and intelligence. The Woke love coming for me because I have publicly supported Pinker many times and in multiple ways. But I have also purposely penned essays that signal some virtue in the Woke’s general direction: I’ve condemned stealing DNA from migrants because it enriches the CODIS (FBI) database with DNA from Hispanics. That essay got published on a popular and woke genomics blog. I’ve removed my essays for Quillette and Areo from my CV for now. Why? Why should I let the Woke destroy my job opportunities? Emily would be better off getting off Twitter for now unless her internal ties to James Lee, Pinker, and others are strong enough to land her an assistant faculty position despite those who will forever troll through her tweets.

    If you see this, Emily, stay strong, whatever you choose to do.

    1. I don’t think that “saying strong” means being so afraid of the woke that you have to redact your c.v. If you do that, they’ve won. (I’m not criticizing your decision, just saying that people have to choose how to react, and if you let the other side dictate your actions, they’ve changed your behavior.)

      1. Jerry: I appreciate that. I agree they have changed my behavior. But unlike Emily, who is at least supported enough that you are advocating for her in a widely read venue, I did not and do not have such support. I’m alone. Why should I lose job opportunities to signal I’m centrist? I do not want to lose 15 years of training to be cast out of science. I’m not trying to get famous on the anti-woke card.

        The woke mob wrote Harvard multiple times trying to get me fired, saying I’m a “race scientist” and cause rape. Women demanded I be fired, and male faculty members spread I didn’t even work here. Absurd in many ways, not the least of which because I’m a woman and a childhood rape survivor. But I have supported Pinker, Haidt, Dawkins, JBP, and many more.

        Earlier on in my career, I was happy to write for Quillette, Areo, and other venues. But handing the Woke reasons to give a job I’m qualified for to someone else, because I use my CV to signal centrist bona fides, doesn’t strike me as wise, when launching.

        Should I only work for those who aren’t Woke? Maybe I could do what other post-docs who are mobbed do: go write for Quillette or Bari Weiss. If so, then keeping my prominent heterodox writings on my CV is fine. But if my goal is to pull myself out of poverty and make discoveries in human genetics, it isn’t rational.

        It’s like asking individuals to give up their cars in, say, Arizona, where cars are needed, on the argument that it is better for the environment. If one person gives up their car but nobody else does, that doesn’t make an effective dent on climate change, though. It would take a coordinated effort of many people in Arizona deciding to do so. So, that person giving up their car to virtue signal about climate change really only makes their own life harder. Me having Quillette on my CV doesn’t help the anti-woke cause much. Removing it, however, gives me a better shot of staying a scientist.

        After I have a stable position where activists aren’t literally trying to get me fired (writing deans, provosts, and department chairs!), I will write about all of this. Now is not the time to fall on swords.

        Again, in Emily’s case, she appears to have enough social support to survive Twitter mobbings, as evidence by Jerry and others defending her. She also works in behavioral science, which is a different field than the ones I’m in. Human genetics is scarily Woke.

    2. Hi Roz.
      It may help to know that you, Dr. Willoughby and others have support – it’s very clear in the responses to Professor Coyne’s blog.

      This kind of stuff is all over the place – here in New Zealand too. I am not referring only to the matter of the seven professors and indigenous knowledge. Wrecking someone’s career and reputation are par for the course.

      A forum such as Professor Coyne’s is particularly valuable for spreading the message of support and possibly setting up a movement to combat this horrible stuff turn out to be complete nobodies who have achieve very little in their careers.

      It’s a form of bullying and here in New Zealand I am doing my best to expose and combat it. I can only afford to engage in this fight because I am retired. Otherwise, it would ruin me!

      David Lillis

      1. Something went wrong with my last entry. A few words got deleted accidentally but I hope that the message of support and the message of defiance in the face of bullying are clear.

        The relevant paragraph should have read:

        “A forum such as Professor Coyne’s is particularly valuable for spreading the message of support and possibly setting up a movement to combat this horrible stuff. Often, we see that the aggressors turn out to be complete nobodies who have achieved very little in their careers.”

        David Lillis

  3. I used to support Wikipedia with modest donations when it was as good as other encyclopaedias. I’ve noticed more and more deletions and distortions creeping in based on political attitudes.

    I won’t be supporting Wikipedia any more.

    1. I’ve noticed that too and not always in overtly political topics. For example any meat based diet is far more likely to be accused of being pseudoscientific or fadish then any plant based diet.

    2. Perhaps a more constructive engagement might be to resist these encroachments. I find Wikipedia to be exceedingly valuable (for example, to look up bird species, which are frequently linked to on this web site); the woke asshattery is, as would be expected mostly (I hope) confined to politically-charged issues.

      Furthermore, there are other components to the Wiki project; Wikiquote, which is excellent (see Dr. Coyne’s page, for example!); Wikisource, which is like Project Gutenberg, etc.

      1. But HOW do you resist these encroachments? I agree that Wikipedia is a good resource, but there are only two ways to stop this lunacy. Either write to the editor of Wikipedia, whoever he/she is (I doubt there’s even a place to write), or stop supporting it financially until it becomes truly viewpoint-neutral.

        Do you have another suggestion?

        1. I certainly have no suggestions as to how we might protect intellectual honesty and viewpoint neutrality on Wikipedia but perhaps anyone who hasn’t purchased Emily’s book God’s Word or Human Reason, or anything else she has written, could do so as a sign of support. I would offer the same suggestion for Rushdie. It’s not much but I don’t know what else I could do.

        2. Possibilities might include posting to Emily’s talk page (in this specific instance), and to other places where this situation comes up (I edit Wikipedia a lot, but almost exclusively for grammar and spelling, as there probably isn’t any topic on which I’m an expert).

          Overtly political edits can be reverted; information can be corrected, edited, or deleted. Sourced scientific information would be invaluable.

          If there’s sufficient activity on a page (as I’m sure there will be on Emily’s talk page), you can be sure that an editor (not a general term, but one of the people with authority to control discussion) will be following it; if one’s posts are irenic and substantiated, I would think that one’s edits would be allowed to stand (I’m not sure of that, but I think so). They might also semi-protect a page, in which case only verified users can edit it.

          Others may have better ideas.

        3. FYI, there is no such thing as “the editor of Wikipedia”. There are various editors, nominally equal in theory, though in practice some are more equal than others.

          I don’t think this deletion action was malicious in nature. It was a very marginal article, up for deletion before. I believe this is more along the lines of the controversy focusing a spotlight on something that probably shouldn’t be there anyway (according to Wikipedia’s policies on notability).

          This post may just add more heat to the political controversy. Wikipedia has problems, many problems – but not all of those problems are of its own making.

        4. stop supporting it financially until it becomes truly viewpoint-neutral.

          Someone with deep enough pockets and a viewpoint will effectively buy it out. “She who pays the piper, calls the tune.”

    3. Me also. I’m going to hold off on my annual, modest $20 donation for awhile, maybe for good.

  4. It’s interesting how often people still want to interpret Orwell as only applying to the other side.

  5. I’ve added the following “keep” vote: Keep. Wikipedia supposedly has a neutral point of view. This is the very last site on the internet where we should be allowing Twitter-style lynch mobs. As the *only* reason she is being considered for deletion is political, it must be resisted. Of course, the “notability” squib is mere misdirection; as pointed out above, this is a witch hunt, pure and simple.

    My very small contribution to the resistance.

    1. If I understand the Wikipedia system (which I probably don’t, and it seems so Byzantine that I’ve no interest in learning to navigate it), the vote is currently running at 2 “keep” to 11 “delete” (with several “comments”). Which doesn’t look good. But I don’t know the Wikipedia system, so I don’t know how many rounds of voting there should be, and what degree of “unanimity” there should be.

      I’m not going to try to square the circular logic that an article about a person proposed for deletion (and failed) for “unremarkableness” a year and a bit ago, should now [i]again[/i] be put up for deletion after a bout of publicity that, if anything, makes the article’s subject more “remarkable”, though not necessarily for their ostensible field of work.

      How remarkable is she in her field? Well, I only follow a couple of palaeoartists, but from what I can discern from the “back chatter” which comes into their feeds, the community is in the order of several dozen full-timers, and a considerably larger number of part-timers – often people still pursuing palaeontological careers as a day-job. (Naish is a buyer/ commissioner in this market, getting illustrations for his books and/ or museum guides.) I don’t recall having encountered her work before, but that doesn’t say much about her “significance” in this fairly niche market. Obviously, the attempted cancellation adds to her significance outside the field of palaeontological art.

      While I think about it, I’d better snarf a copy of the article before it gets deleted – so I’ve got material to re-create the article. [Download-as-PDF link] And then comes the edit-war … about which Wikipedia has experience and policies (which I’ve never been interested to read).

  6. What is particularly interesting in this whole hideous mess is how FAST the entire thing spread and ramped up.

    Our society is apparently “so racist” yet even a hint of this unprovable and un-defendable-against crime destroys the lives of the “guilty”. So very witchcrafty. So moral panic.

    How does one even prove racism? Or defend against the smear when accused? After pedophile and (possibly) terrorist to be defamed as a racist is about the worst thing that can happen to a person’s reputation.
    A crime with almost no real proof or defense – that’s so insane.

    1. How does one even prove racism? Or defend against the smear when accused?

      At the risk of defaming Oliver Cromwell (who may have plagiarised someone else’s tweet), “Kill them all, let God sort them out!”

      1. The Catholic Crusade against Cathars in the Languedoc led to a massacre of all residents in Beziers starting on July 21, 1209. Catholics were asked to come out of the city and Cathars were asked to surrender. Neither occurred. The next day the slaughter of all citizens took place. When Amalric , the leader, was asked how to tell Catholics from Cathars, it is reported that he said, “Kill them all! God will know his own.”

  7. I don’t think you have all the facts. Emily Willoughby’s partner (the guy who made the dinosaurs in nazi uniforms) was banned on Wikipedia for supporting racist pseudoscience (you can easily find his account). It turns out Willoughby’s partner is an associate of Emil Kirkegaard a noted white supremacist. Emily Willoughby’s partner has openly defended Emil Kirkegaard.

    Willoughby was an organizer for the International Society for Intelligence Research 2022 conference held in July. Emil Kirkegaard was banned from speaking at this conference so Willoughby paid a private hotel room not far from the 2022 conference so Kirkegaard could give his talk in private. You have not mentioned Willoughby’s association with Kirkegaard. It is a driving force to why this twitter mob are opposing her work. Willoughby has still not denounced Kirkegaard a white supremacist, so it is sinking her career.

    JAC: Joe is lying here; see Emily’s comment below. He’s been banned from this website for hatred-induced lying.

      1. Re. “Willoughby paid a private hotel room not far from the 2022 conference so Kirkegaard could give his talk in private.” If true and accurately represented (an important caveat), this would be more than guilt by association. It’s one thing to accept that someone with Kirkegaard’s repugnant views has a right to express himself, it is quite another to pay for his conference venue.

        And as far as Willoughby’s partner being a close associate of Kirkegaard: Well, no, Kirkegaard’s guilt should not be transfered onto Willoughby, i.e. there should be no ascertainment of guilt by association. Still, if your friends and/or partners hold the extremist views of a Kirkegaard, does this not raise a red flag, or cause one to lend an inquisitive ear?

    1. The problem with this sort of guilt-by-association is you first need to demonstrate that Emil Kirkegaard is someone that no-one should associate with. Can you do that? Is he really a “white supremacist” in any meaningful sense (that is, someone who wants a whites-only ethno-state)?

    2. This is completely untrue, and yet another example of a stupid lie about me that has been passed around uncritically. I WAS on the board that made the decision to redact Emil’s talk from the conference. I had no part in any sort of “private hotel room”.

      1. Thank you for addressing this. It is unbelievable that the truth was twisted in such a way against you.

        Your detractors appear to be vicious, irresponsible imbeciles. Hopefully saner voices will be heard and you can weather this storm.

  8. Your Friendly Neighborhood Cybrarian here to remind everyone that the Encyclopædia Britannica and the World Book Encyclopedia still exist and that your public and academic libraries most likely subscribe to both, which then can be accessed online as well as in print. And you can always call your local or school librarian if you need help with research. (Greg, if you need someone to assist you in writing your book contra Wikipedia, send me an email 😉)

  9. I wonder what good mr Naish will say when the woke mob comes knocking at his door? There can be no winners in the ideological purity contest, especially as he is the “wrong” gender, sex, skin color, ethnicity, and part of a traditionally boys-club scientific discipline. And to think, I used to admire him…

  10. I’ll also add that if you wish to support her financially then try her website, under the Art tab, then Shop, where you can purchase a nice raptor tea/coffee mug, prints, posters, original art work…I don’t know how much it will
    help her financially, if that’s even a worry for her right now, but again, I don’t know what a nobody like me can do. I feel generally powerless in today’s hyper-partisan all or nothing political and ideological climate.

  11. Another note: Of course, one should be careful not to jump to conclusions. But it is quite striking that the deletion discussion was stopped for 15 months and now is eagerly resumed after Emily Willoughby’s article in Nature appeared.
    It is also striking that the Wikipedia author, who started the deletion discussion again two days ago, claims in a comment without any proof that the accusations against Willoughby are all true, if one deals with them.
    Of course, this could all be coincidence. But for me it looks too much like a planned action. Emily Willoughby shall be “punished” by deleting her presence from Wikipedia.

  12. Hmm, tricky, I support Emily Willoughby and her research, but having said that, whether she is “notable” enough to merit a wikipedia page is dubious. Most postdocs are not; most academic faculty are not. Under “academic notability” she likely does not qualify. As for “artistic notability” I make no comment (I don’t know enough about art and paleoart).

    But, having just said the above, I also don’t approve of witch hunts for people who don’t align with woke ideas, and there’s also plenty of other people who have wikipedia pages when they don’t really meet the criteria, but whose pages are not deleted.

    1. Yes, this is difficult. The Wikipedia page is weak and shows no outside references. Oddly, it makes no mention whatsoever of her research into intelligence, which of course is the reason for the witch hunt. The proposal to delete the page dates to May, before the witch hunt (I think), though most of the comments are current. Maybe it should be reclassified as art, but I likewise am in no position to judge that. I am inclined to agree that there are plenty of other weak Wikipedia pages, and they are generally left alone. I am of at least 2 minds as to how or whether to vote,

    2. I get what you mean, but it’s ironic eh? She is notable enough for the woke anti-racists on twitter to take note of her and cancel her as an illustrator and as a researcher. But she is obscure enough in both art and science that the same cancellers can then migrate over to wikipedia and argue for deleting her page there. In between those two positions there is some insight into how trivial her transgressions must be.

      1. Excellent! I used the key part of your post as part of another comment I made on the deletion discussion page. I hope you don’t mind; if you do, I’ll delete it.

  13. It is often the case that a Wikipedia biography lacks sufficient citations for Wikipedia’s notability standards. There are many, many, biographies on Wikipedia that should not exist because the subject is not notable enough. Such an article may sit there for quite a while, largely unnoticed, until someone comes along to nominate it for deletion.

    It is probably true that social media attention on Willoughby is what caused someone to nominate the article for deletion. But it is a whole separate question of whether she meets the notability standards for biographies on Wikipedia.

    And it may well be true that, sans the social media storm, nobody would have bothered to nominate the article for deletion. But that doesn’t mean the article deserves to be there, according to Wikipedia notability policies.

    Sending people to a deletion nomination discussion is likely to have the opposite effect you intended. Wikipedians have a name for it — canvassing — and they hate it. Wikipedians are trying to decide, as impartially as possible, whether an article meets Wikipedia’s notability policies. That process is disrupted by external canvassing, which forces Wikipedians to deal with random folks entering the fray who often have no understanding of Wikipedia policies.

  14. I’ve donated $20 a year to Wikipedia for several years. I will no longer donate.

    It’s tempting to sign up for Twitter just to rebut these jerks.

    1. Asking in what is a hopefully irenic manner:

      Is there a parallel between ceasing to donate to Wikipedia (which does a lot of good) because of a few ill-advised actions by a few crazies, and woke cancellation of people/buildings/birds (my favorite example is renaming the McCown’s Longspur) because even though they may have done much good (see Jefferson, Thomas), the pecksniffs managed to find something wrong, no matter how small, and used it as a pretext for cancellation?

      One obvious difference I see is that what we are doing is at least in the here and now; woke cancellation is very frequently for things done (or imagined to have been done) one or two hundred years ago or even more; by doing so, I consider them to be illegitimately judging other cultures and ages by the ephemeral standards of our own–exactly what they accuse, say, the British empire of having done during its colonization of other countries!

      By the way, I ask this question as much of myself as of anyone else, as I have stopped donating to the Cornell birds site, and will start up again when they switch the bird name in question back to its original.

    2. I wouldn’t bother Eric. I used to rebut jerks like this on Twitter and I quickly realised it was completely pointless, a total waste of time. I gained nothing save a glut of catecholamines, an increase in blood pressure and a desire to punch myself in the head.

      I discovered that these people always fall into one of two camps. The first is full of people who are simply not interested in listening. They have already made up their mind and will never change it. They know their unfortunate target is a Nazi, a racist or whatever, in exactly the same way you know 1+1 = 2. To top it off, you will be labelled with the same slurs, unless you agree completely with the mob.

      The second lot are just too stupid to enter into debate. They lack the ability to apply logic or consider evidence, and you soon realise you’ll never get anywhere because they don’t understand your argument. The sort of person who sees an ambulance parked outside their mother’s house and can’t grasp that it doesn’t necessarily mean she is ill.

      It’s maddening and futile. Save yourself the pain. Please!

  15. Accusation is now equivalent to conviction, and the offenses include association with accused associates, and failure to denounce. Our host can also be accused of such offenses. Am I imagining things, or is the picture on his Wikipedia page becoming just
    a little fainter—like photographs of Trotsky and others, which disappeared entirely from reference works in a galaxy far away?

  16. I oppose the way Willoughby is being treated on Twitter, and admire her artwork, but think a decent argument can be made she currently doesn’t meet Wikipedia’s notability guidelines ( The Twitter controversy may have led to Willoughby’s article being scrutinized more closely, but a year it ago it barely survived a deletion discussion with “no consensus”. Wikipedia has no editor-in-chief, and articles are not written by experts who can authoritatively declare that so-and-so is notable and important, but by masses of volunteers (some of whom may have a disproportionate sense of a subject’s notability because they are devoted fans or avid foes). Wikipedia articles must summarize existing coverage in reliable sources. If a person’s work or biography isn’t already significantly covered by multiple, reliable sources that are independent of the subject, then at most it’s too soon for a Wikipedia article, no matter the talent or potential of the subject. Wikipedia has many articles it probably shouldn’t: hundreds get nominated for deletion every week. The current deletion discussion (as did the previous one) is assessing whether sufficient reliable coverage exists.

    Merely having a PhD, or having one’s work published in a prestigious journal, isn’t an automatic pass to an encyclopedia article: there needs to adequate secondary sources that characterize and demonstrate significance of the work. Too many biographies of academics (and artists) on Wikipedia resemble little more than CVs or official websites that essentially advertise or promote rather than demonstrate significance. Merely saying “this person exists, and their work appeared in this book and this book and this journal and this journal”, pointing only to the individual books or journals as evidence, is implying a level of notability that has not been adequately demonstrated. I personally think the notability guidelines are too lenient, especially for academics (see

    If anyone here is to participate in the discussion process, please become familiar with policy (see and bring evidence. Merely saying “she seems very notable to me and this is a woke mob witch hunt!” is not an effective argument.

  17. ” There’s also been no attempt to delete the Wikipedia articles about paleoartists who are much more obscure than Emily, such as Julio Lacerda or Davide Bonadonna.”
    This is not true. Julio Lacerda is scheduled for deletion and Davide Bonadonna is marked as not being up to standard which appears to be a prerequisite before deletion schedule. The discussion on deletion appears to be more about her notability than her work on genetics and IQ.
    ” No, it’s about the claim that her artwork isn’t sufficiently good to merit her a page. Yet on the first attempt to cancel her, this wasn’t sufficient.” No it is not, it is about whether she is notable enough to have a page.

    1. The Lacerda article was just nominated for deletion two hours ago, several hours after Coyne made this post. I guess his post led to someone realizing that they weren’t being consistent by nominating only Emily’s article for deletion, and none of the articles about more obscure people.

  18. You can see where that might end. History and the sciences will be unrecognisable once the woke mob has finished its job. For instance, Isaac Newton was a shareholder in the South Sea Company that traded in African slaves.

  19. I just added a comment to the Wiki – Keep of course.
    The replies are all hiding behind a facade of ‘process’ and that the pile on has nothing to do with ideology.
    Transparent claptrap.
    Now that I have seem ‘behind wiki’ – I am disillusioned. Their mantra that ‘over time, articles become more comprehensive and balanced’ no longer gels. I see some analogies here with evolution (help me out!) where they think the whole thing is moving towards a goal of better and better, while ignoring that it is NOT a natural process and is prone to manipulation. Like now.
    Wiki has fallen.
    Maybe she is better off NOT on Wiki.
    (I am a bit incoherent – I can sense someting rotten in the Keep/Delete edit page, the head of a rotting fish, but can’t nail it).
    Time for a Gin&Tonic, triple lime…

    1. I think there are two main problems.

      1: Although all the arguments are based on the notability policy, it’s obvious that nobody would be trying to delete the article if not for the attacks against Emily on Twitter. This is clearest from the way the user “Fanboyphilosopher” has voted. When the article was previously nominated for deletion last year, he voted to preserve it, while linking to this 2019 survey, which found Emily to be the second most influential person among modern paleoartists. But this time, he’s argued to delete the article. What changed about Emily in the past year to cause this change of opinion? (That’s a rhetorical question.)

      BTW, I’m not trying to single out Fanboyphilosopher here, and he’s harmed Emily much less than lots of other people have. (He isn’t openly calling her a white supremacist, at least.) So please don’t harass him over his about-face. I only mentioned him because he’s the best demonstration of how the voting is clearly being influenced by the social media attacks.

      2: “Delete the article and recreate it later” usually, in practice, means “delete the article and never recreate it”, because nobody ever wants to be the person who recreates an article about a controversial topic or individual. The best-known example of this principle, which Coyne posted about last month, was the “Ashkenazi Jewish intelligence” Wikipedia article. In that case, it was widely understood that this was a notable subject that deserved its own Wikipedia article, and the article was deleted under the pretense that it would be replaced with a better article about the same topic. But now, two years after the article was deleted, it’s clear no one has any actual intention to replace that article.

      As for your comment that “Maybe she is better off NOT on Wiki”, you might be right. If the article isn’t deleted, over the next few years there will likely be a lot of attempts to add poorly-sourced negative material to it, and deleting the article means at least she won’t have to put up with with all of that.

  20. Some commenters have suggested that Naish might not hold the views expressed in his tweet, instead, he’s joining the mob to to prevent any heat coming his way. I’m sorry, but that is at least as bad as holding those views sincerely, and I find it difficult to accept that a seasoned scientist could be so uncritical as to accept these accusations as reasonable.

    His behaviour is reprehensible. Other people in the field will look to senior members of their community for the best examples of honesty, integrity and wisdom. This guy has let them all down; his behaviour is a perfect example of how NOT to behave as a community leader.

    It’s clear that punching down and abusing privilege are behaviours that Naish would vilify. Yet, these are EXACTLY the behaviours he’s demonstrating here. He’s throwing a junior academic under the bus based on mere accusations, which are false anyway, and which he must know to be false. Furthermore, he’s doing it publicly, with the twin goals of demonstrating his virtue while avoiding any hassle himself. Not a shred of integrity.

    The worst of it is that he clearly has no regard for his target, her career and her well being, and it’s all thrown downhill from his position of privilege and reputation. It’s all so very cowardly and self-serving, an appalling example to set.

    1. Hi Weatherjeff.
      Well said – and I agree with your comments in every respect. Naish has done wrong to Dr. Willoughby and let’s hope that he gets to realize it and tenders an apology.
      David Lillis

  21. Well, the discussion on the delete page is heating up. Many, I think, veteran editors are not happy about the call to defend Emily Willoughby’s article. They accuse the newcomers of Meatpuppetry.

    It seems to me that these editors are hiding behind regulations and formalisms. The letter of the law triumphs over the spirit of the law.

  22. Dr. Coyne:

    You’ve turned into quite an (anti-)celebrity on the discussion page concerning this potential deletion! Unwanted notoriety, I’m sure…

  23. I definitely don’t want to get involved there, but this comment is hilarious: “Even if she had borderline notability for either of those activities (which I don’t think she has), the fringe nature of both her work on intelligence and creationism would call for a higher standard of in-depth sourcing of that material, clearly evaluating it as fringe, to satisfy Wikipedia’s requirement for a neutral point of view.”

    It takes 10 seconds to read the Amazon description for this ANTI-creationism book, and yet…

    1. Hi Emily:

      Yes, I noticed some problems with reading comprehension there. And, I’ve just received a cease and desist order from one of the editors. Oh well, you probably know better than I do how pointless it is to argue with creationists and by extension with the woke. Remember, these are people who will argue with you if you opine that half of all people are below median intelligence.

      Keep on keeping on. Even if they delete your article, it can be recreated, if you catch my drift…

    2. Hey Emily,
      I just wanted to say that there are many, many people on your side. Those trying to attack or discredit you are ignorant and vindictive idiots. Yet, those who support you are kind, intelligent and scientifically minded.

      It’s easier said than done, but please try to dismiss these bulliesand their ideas. Realise that the vast majority of decent people are on your side. The comment you quoted says it all. It makes no sense, although it does reveal that the author has a brain made of cold custard (like Liz Truss).

      These people claim they’re kind and empathetic, but you know as well as I do that they don’t give a toss. Ignore them and believe in yourself. This will blow over, and you will move onwards and upwards.

      Good Luck Emily!

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