Wikipedia:Fringe theories/Noticeboard

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Welcome to the fringe theories noticeboard
This page is for discussing possible fringe theories. Post here to seek advice on whether a particular topic is fringe or mainstream, or whether undue weight is being given to fringe theories.
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John de Ruiter[edit]

Does this article seem excessively positive to anyone else, especially the lead, and especially in not explaining his "College" is not an accredited educational facility, but, as far as I'm aware, an auditorium. Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 6.9% of all FPs—Preceding undated comment added 21:28, 22 August 2019

Agree. de Ruiter is notorious in the Edmonton area for erratic behaviour and potentially leading a cult. I will work to find local sources and revise. Worrypower (talk) 19:52, 25 September 2019 (UTC)

Ayurvastra[edit]

Just came across Ayurvastra. Using clothes coloured this way will "cure a range of diseases like diabetes, skin infections, eczema, hypertension, high blood pressure, asthma, arthritis, psoriasis, rheumatism  and paralysis". As far as I can see it will not protect me from -40 C/F weather. Looks like it could do with some work. CambridgeBayWeather, Uqaqtuq (talk), Sunasuttuq 04:09, 14 September 2019 (UTC)

It appears to be a rejected article with the reject5ion notice removed by a naughty editor. -Roxy, the dog. wooF 04:59, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
<edit conflict> It was declined as an AfC, which the article's creator promptly moved to article space anyway. [1] -Crossroads- (talk) 05:01, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
Didn't notice that. Back at Draft:Ayurvastra again. CambridgeBayWeather, Uqaqtuq (talk), Sunasuttuq 06:55, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
I hope it's not against protocol to mention how funny I found this note. Those clothes would not even protect us in Edmonton, let alone Cambridge Bay! Worrypower (talk) 20:33, 25 September 2019 (UTC)

Personal attacks at Talk:Roza Bal#Need help inserting pictures[edit]

Eg "The two-three primary current editors, Doug Weller and Gråbergs Gråa Sång took over and dominated the Roza Bal page years ago. This is why and when the edit wars, especially against Suzanne Olsson, began. These editors inserted derogatory and prejudicial remarks, mis-information, and negative reviews about the ‘Jesus in India’ theories intending to mislead readers, and conform to fundamentalist Christian beliefs" and more like it. It's all bull- I'm pretty sure no one here thinks I'm a Fundamentalist Christian, but it muddies the waters on the talk page and I don't see why User:Gråbergs Gråa Sång should have to put up with it, especially as it's the sort of nonsense that gets used off-Wiki to attack people. User:Sunami70 has been here only two weeks and has made only 27 edits, and has confined themselves to the talk page since their edits were reverted, so I'm willing to think that their talk pages posts are not malicious even though they are at best gross distortions of the facts.

I don't plan to reply right now if ever, I've got more important things to do than defend myself, but if anyone can do anything to ameliorate the situation it would be appreciated. Thanks. --Doug Weller talk 09:57, 23 September 2019 (UTC)

For my part, I can't agree on the "took over and dominated", that I should have EW:d, inserted mis-information, "intending to mislead readers" or make stuff "conform to fundamentalist Christian beliefs" (actually Olsson at one point thought I was an Ahmadi), AFAICT historians generally agree that Jesus probably was crucified in Jerusalem and died as a result. On the "inserted derogatory and prejudicial remarks ... , and negative reviews" I guess it's an eye of the beholder thing. I did insert this [2][3], happy to have found an unexpectedly brilliant source for a pop-cult bit. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 10:29, 23 September 2019 (UTC)
I issued a warning to the user and will watch. Johnuniq (talk) 10:35, 23 September 2019 (UTC)
I've sockblocked per WP:DUCK. User:SuzanneOlsson and her previous socks are stale and can't be checkusered, see Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Kashmir2. But behaviorally, there's not the slightest doubt in my mind that this is Suzanne Olsson. See my comment on Sunami70's talkpage for details. Bishonen | talk 16:47, 23 September 2019 (UTC).
Seems reasonable. Should it be noted at Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Kashmir2/Archive somehow? Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 18:20, 23 September 2019 (UTC)
Maybe it should, but I ran out of steam when I tried to put the sock tag {{sock|Kashmir2|blocked}} on Sunami70's userpage, and got a warning that there was no such category. And when I saw how complicated the SPI was. Stressful. Oh well... I suppose I could add the "suspected" tag, and create the category myself, and have another go at a SPI report. Bishonen | talk 20:54, 23 September 2019 (UTC).
 Done. Bishonen | talk 21:12, 23 September 2019 (UTC).
It's why you're paid the big bucks, but thank you for the effort. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 07:14, 24 September 2019 (UTC)
New sock on the talk page. Doug Weller talk 13:41, 26 September 2019 (UTC)

Turanism[edit]

These articles may benefit from additional attention. Thanks, —PaleoNeonate – 06:34, 26 September 2019 (UTC)

Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology[edit]

RfC on inclusion of the full list of awardees (virtually all of which are redlinked or unlinked and sourced only to the institute's own website). Guy (help!) 10:31, 26 September 2019 (UTC)

Cow urine[edit]

Someone experienced with MEDRS needs to look at the studies and journals being added touting health benefits of cow urine. - LuckyLouie (talk) 11:48, 26 September 2019 (UTC)

Without it cows would explode.Slatersteven (talk) 11:49, 26 September 2019 (UTC)
If you thought urine was bad... DaßWölf 23:17, 1 October 2019 (UTC)

At least a semi-walled garden with articles relating to the Joseph Smith Papyri[edit]

Eg Pearl of Great Price (Mormonism), Book of Moses Book of Joseph (Latter Day Saints), Book of Abraham and Critical appraisal of the Book of Abraham. The latter is probably the best of them all. The others are all to a very great extent use sources related in some way to the church. I've more oe less given up on the Anachronisms article.[4]. Doug Weller talk 13:40, 26 September 2019 (UTC)

Over the last several months I have almost completely re-written the article Joseph Smith Papyri and Book of Joseph (Latter Day Saints). There is a LOT of clean up that still needs to be done. I would encourage you to look at the Joseph Smith Papyri article from 6 months ago. It is getting better, and hopefully shows that I'm neither writing in the voice of an apologist or a critic. I do plan on continuing on just about all of the articles you mentioned (I lack expertise with the Book of Moses). I would add to your list, just about all articles in
I think if you did a dive into the sources, you would be content that it is not a semi-walled garden for the most part. I propose the following rubric of when and how to use sources, as there truly is a range of source quality. Epachamo (talk) 02:55, 27 September 2019 (UTC)

Joseph Smith Papyri Source Analysis[edit]

Solid Sources that should be used with little reservation[edit]

  • Anything by Robert Ritner. Ritner is one of the most widely respected Egyptologists in the field. He is the cited no less than 15 times in the article. He wrote the definitive translation of the papyri.
  • Anything by Brent Metcalfe. A well respected scholar of LDS studies.
  • Books and Material from the Joseph Smith Papers project. While sponsored by the LDS Church, it is critically acclaimed.
  • S. J. Wolfe books and articles. She is the leading expert on 19th century mummies in America.
  • Most things published by Signature Books, Dialouge, or recognized by the John Whitmer Historical Society.

Solid Sources that can be used with caveats[edit]

  • H. Donl Peterson's books, including "The Story of the Book of Abraham." I think this source might be the one you are referring to that prompted the whole discussion. I adamantly stand by using this source. His scholarship in his books is universally well attested, especially when it comes to the history prior to arriving in Kirtland in 1835. S. J. Wolfe states of his book, "Peterson gives an almost overwhelming amount of evidence tracing Lebolo's whereabouts in Egypt and in Europe...at the present time believed to be the most correct and accurate account of Lebolo's colorful life. ... This is one of the better sources of all the arguments for and against the identification of the tomb from which Lebolo took the mummies." H. Michael Marquardt wrote an essay in Robert Ritner's book where he said of H. Donl Peterson's book, "Peterson's book ... is a good introduction to the topic." He is careful to separate History from interpretations, and is intellectually honest by not cherry picking source material.
  • Most things by Brian Hauglid. Generally well respected with his peer reviewed articles and books such as "A Textual History of the Book of Abraham" provide primary sources never before available. Earlier in his career he did delve deeply into apologetics, which should be avoided.
  • Anything by Dan Vogel. A well respected prolific LDS Historian. He does editorialize from time to time.
  • Primary sources, such as the 1835 Messenger and Advocate, but not in an original research type way.
  • Things published by H. Michael Marquardt, except his blog, in which he editorializes in a non-wikipedia appropriate way.

Sources that should only be used with EXTREME caution[edit]

  • Hugh Nibley writings. He is an apologist, but was part of the history of the Papyri, and therefore a primary source, and defined the most common nomenclature used by all to refer to the Papyri and the Kirtland Egyptian Papers. He also defined the views of the LDS Church for a generation. He should not be used as an expert on Egyptology or history thought.
  • John Gee and Kerry Muhlestein. These so called "Egyptologists" might have the degrees, but are widely criticized for their apologetics. They are also some of the very few who have access to the actual papyri. So for example, Muhlestein wrote a paper where he pieced together the back side of the papyri, and showed where it originated. This particular article is non-controversial, and provided important images and commentary.

Sources that should not be used[edit]

  • Anything from fairmormon.com, or anything . This is an apologetic with non-pear reviewed research and opinions.
  • Things published by Institute for Religious Research. This is an organization dedicated to converting Mormons to maintstream Christianity.
  • Mormon Studies periodical. Dedicated to scholarship and faith. Faith has no part in Wikipedia.
  • Any blog to include MormonThink, Mormanity, Ask Gramps xmission, etc.
  • jefflindsay.com or similar sites. Lindsay is not a historian or scholar.
@Epachamo: thanks for this. I'd also include jefflindsay.com as a source not to be used. I'm trying to get hold of Ritner's book from Inter-library loan but haven't succeeded so far. But I still think that where a source clearly believes in the authenticity of the BOM and related papers we need to be careful. This OUP book[5] to be published soon can be used as a source but as I recall at least one of its authors (good academics both) is one of those. So how do we handle it? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Doug Weller (talkcontribs)
@Doug Weller: Added jefflindsay.com to the sources that should not be used. I 100% agree with that, he is not a historian. I would also agree that we need to be careful with sources that clearly believe in the authenticity of the BOM, but I don't think that this should be an automatic disqualifier. If you look at the Koran article for example, many of the cited scholars are believing muslims, and I'd be willing to bet that was the case for most articles on Holy Books. Richard Bushman comes to mind as a believing Mormon who is highly citeable. He is a recognized expert in early American History, having taught at Harvard, Columbia and the University of Delaware. His biography on Joseph Smith (Rough Stone Rolling) is justifiably cited dozens of times in the Joseph Smith article. I am super excited about the OUP book you mentioned, but also have reservations about using it as a source, I'd like to see how it is received by the broader scholarly community. Epachamo (talk) 12:48, 1 October 2019 (UTC)

DISC assessment[edit]

DISC assessment seems to be based on a number of questionable and irrelevant sources. I suspect that this page has been amped up because one of the companies used as a source is actually a vendor of a software product based on this obsolete theory in psychology. --Salimfadhley (talk)

Sources for an article on the "invisible ships"/"ships not seen" myth?[edit]

Yesterday I started watching the not-so-great tv adaptation of The City & the City, which indirectly called to mind the invisible ships myth. I'm sure you've heard it, as it's much beloved by a wide range of pseudoscience peddlers and New Age self-help gurus. I think the first time I heard it was in What the Bleep Do We Know!?, and it goes something like this: when Columbus/Cook/Magellan sailed close to North/South America/Australia, the natives couldn't see the ships as they approached because it was so foreign to them or otherwise didn't match anything in their experience. It's a myth that comes up all over the place so I figured I'd look into starting an article about it. I've started a draft in userspace (not really worth looking at at this point), but for a myth that's so often referenced, I haven't yet been able to find much by way of good sources about it. I'm familiar with most of the concepts behind it, but I'm looking for sources that make those connections. This seems like something many of you who watch this board may be able to help with, so here I am. Apologies if this is not a good use of this noticeboard. If there's a clearly better place for this, I have no objection to someone moving the thread there. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 15:28, 28 September 2019 (UTC)

This may be related to the some north American natives seeing ships as giant birds or floating forests.Slatersteven (talk) 15:54, 28 September 2019 (UTC)
The myth is discussed briefly on p. 109 of What Science Offers the Humanities by Edward Slingerland. [6] The author reports that undergraduates repeated the myth to him because they had thought that one could see only what the social discourse allows. He criticizes this belief, using it as an example of how postmodern epistemology is flawed, including its understanding of culture (e.g. the "Noble Savage", etc.). -Crossroads- (talk) 19:24, 28 September 2019 (UTC)
This brings to my mind a common explanation from ufology where the more Rod Serling-esque alien encounter reports, such as "men in black" appearing perfectly ordinary but having e.g. animal feet instead of shoes, are claimed to be screen memories of a real event, because the frightful sight of an actual alien abhors remembrance. In real psychology, the concept of a screen memory was, not too surprisingly, introduced by Freud. DaßWölf 22:57, 1 October 2019 (UTC)

Civilization state[edit]

I think that Civilization state could use another pair of eyes. The article's focus could be roughly described as "China as civilization-state" as opposed to an account of the history of the theory itself, and most of the sources appear to either be limited to the analysis of a few authors, or possibly SYNTH-y inferences. Based on a Scholar search, it seems like "civilization state" has some traction as a concept in Chinese academia, but it's not clear that the current uncritical presentation of the theory is warranted (consider Nation state's composition for contrast). Of note, the primary editor of the article was banned for sockpuppeting following several investigations of pro-PRC POV editing. signed, Rosguill talk 21:21, 30 September 2019 (UTC)

To say that that entire article is a bunch of racist, ethnocentric garbage is to be generous. 72.0.129.26 (talk) 15:49, 1 October 2019 (UTC)

Seeds of Destruction (book)[edit]

This needs a look at Seeds of Destruction (book).Slatersteven (talk) 15:36, 1 October 2019 (UTC)

Daniel 7[edit]

This is about [7]. Please chime in. Tgeorgescu (talk) 16:40, 1 October 2019 (UTC)

See also Talk:Adam and Talk:Tower of Babel. ¬¬¬¬
Can someone please give the User:Blue Hoopy Frood notice about discretionary sanctions? jps (talk) 18:48, 2 October 2019 (UTC)
@ජපස: I wouldn't issue him such notice, because I am afraid he will take it as some sort of a personal attack. I have nothing against someone else doing it. He is drafting Wikipedia policy at User:Blue Hoopy Frood/Bible POV, so this made me issue him the ds alert. Tgeorgescu (talk) 22:33, 3 October 2019 (UTC)

Was Gunpowder invented in India, rather than China?[edit]

See Talk:Gunpowder#India - The real inventor of Gunpowder - MrOllie (talk) 17:21, 1 October 2019 (UTC)

Gunpowder was invented in China during the late Tang dynasty (9th century). The earliest use of gunpowder in India may have been as early as the mid-13th century, possibly during the Mongol invasions of India in the 13th and 14th centuries. --Guy Macon (talk) 18:26, 1 October 2019 (UTC)

Email from Eben Alexander (author)[edit]

I have an edit notice that people see when they try to email me that says "ill generally keep all emails sent to me in confidence, however, I reserve the right to publically post, some or all of any email correspondence you send on my talk page or any other other applicable page, or email it to any person. I may do this without informing you, or without seeking your approval." In this case he's requested a favor so it seems sensible to make it public. He thinks the Esquire article is a hatchet job and an unreliable source.

I'm trying to reduce my watch list - I've gotten it under 19,000 (plus talk pages) and that's one that I would have taken off the list the next time it came up. I don't seem to be able to edit my list, I always get an error notice.

Anyway, if anyone thinks there's any merit to this, should it be taken to BLPN? Thanks. --Doug Weller talk 18:56, 1 October 2019 (UTC)

What exactly would he have us do? The article already makes it clear he doesn't like the piece. jps (talk) 13:32, 4 October 2019 (UTC)

Claims for Tamil as the oldest language/mother tongue and oldest living language[edit]

These have been fairly common in the past, but the Tamil government archaeology dept has published a book dating Tamil writing 3 centuries earlier than the conventional 3rd c BCE, so there's a flurry of edits in a variety of articles.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Doug Weller (talkcontribs) 19:01, 1 October 2019 (UTC)

FWIW, this edit request is possibly related; I left it alone since I can't read the source. @Doug Weller: you got some strange characters instead of tildes when you tried to sign, it looks like.Deacon Vorbis (carbon • videos) 19:28, 1 October 2019 (UTC)
I must've hit alt-shift by accident. I fixed it shortly after the above post. Doug Weller talk 19:37, 1 October 2019 (UTC)
You added negation signs to your message. Luckily you have an even number of them! DaßWölf 22:40, 1 October 2019 (UTC)
That may be the same book I'm referring to. In any case it's by the state archaeology department and not an impartial source. Doug Weller talk 19:40, 1 October 2019 (UTC)
See for instance this edit ad Keeladi excavation site where text that said for instance Tamil-Brahmi was changed to Tamil with an edit summary "History should not be thought wrongly to our future kids, Its a very wrong thing that to Wikipedia like knowledge spreading should refine and look into inner details. Tamil is suppressed in India but real history shouldn't Go". Doug Weller talk 18:37, 2 October 2019 (UTC)
This author Devaneya Pavana seems to be the source of these claims of Tamil as the oldest language, dating to 10,000 BCE. Doug Weller talk 20:09, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
Silly business. Languages don't start. They change and split. Digging up ever older writing is a pleasant pursuit, but all natural languages that are still in use were already old before anyone started writing any of them. Jim.henderson (talk) 21:50, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
I thought it was well-established that the Brabant dialect of Flemish was the language spoken in Paradise, the oldest human language and thus the parent of all known tongues. Red Rock Canyon (talk) 21:58, 6 October 2019 (UTC)

Proposal to blacklist Natural News[edit]

There is a proposal to add Natural News to the spam blacklist on the reliable sources noticeboard. If you are interested, please participate at WP:RSN § Natural News. — Newslinger talk 22:38, 3 October 2019 (UTC)

It looks like NN has expanded from quackery to rooting for their favorite team in the ongoing Team Blue vs. Team Red dumpster fire.[8] Not to worry, though. They still have stories like
and
--Guy Macon (talk) 01:24, 5 October 2019 (UTC)
To be fair, we have to also look at the positive side (from your first link): "The U.S. patent office has awarded Mike Adams [the author] patent NO. US 9526751 B2 for the invention of “Cesium Eliminator,” a lifesaving invention that removes up to 95% of radioactive cesium from the human digestive tract. ... He has also stockpiled 10,000 kg of raw material to manufacture Cesium Eliminator in a Texas warehouse, and plans to donate the finished product to help save lives in Texas when the next nuclear event occurs." Johnuniq (talk) 01:59, 5 October 2019 (UTC)

Aquatic ape hypothesis[edit]

A perennial favourite is back, with WP:PROFRINGE attempts to advocate for this BS in the lede. As ever, fringe-savvy eyes welcome on this problematic article. Alexbrn (talk) 22:16, 4 October 2019 (UTC)

I'm just happy it's on others' watchlists. jps (talk) 02:45, 5 October 2019 (UTC)
Not sure how much more I can take. The Association fallacy#Galileo Gambit has been deployed.[9] Alexbrn (talk) 09:29, 5 October 2019 (UTC)
If that user gets tiresome, just take them to WP:AE. They've been site-banned/blocked many times before for similar sorts of histrionic behavior. They need to know better at this point. jps (talk) 15:56, 5 October 2019 (UTC)

User is now blocked indefinitely. jps (talk) 19:03, 6 October 2019 (UTC)

Conspiracy theory?[edit]

See Talk:Spygate (conspiracy theory)#Conspiracy theory? --Guy Macon (talk) 16:56, 6 October 2019 (UTC)

Would you rather it be called "Spygate (blatant lie)"? 2604:6000:FFC0:54:8555:75:4E1C:461 (talk) 02:17, 7 October 2019 (UTC)
This is an encyclopedia. It does not matter what I prefer. If multiple high-quality sources use that exact phrase as if it was an established fact, then "Spygate (blatant lie)" it is. If multiple high-quality sources call it an albino river otter, then "Spygate (albino river otter)" it is.
Collapsing arguments about politics, unrelated to encyclopedia-content.
Would you have the same opinion if an article title was targeting Team Blue instead of Team Red, such as "Trump–Russia dossier (blatant lie)"?
(I am not rooting for Team Red or Team Blue. I hold both teams in equal disdain. If it were up to me, the next US president would be a Green or a Libertarian -- not because I think they would be any better, but just so we can be disappointed by someone new). --Guy Macon (talk) 05:42, 7 October 2019 (UTC)
We should be careful about asserting a false balance between the Trump "Team Red" and the opposing "Team Blue". We're not talking about a sports competition. Trump and other prominent Republicans support fringe theories (such as climate change denial, falsehoods about dangers of abortion, and in some cases creationism), whereas prominent Democrats generally do not promote fringe theories. Trump has stated demonstrable falsehoods on a scale that's unprecedented among U.S. presidents of either party. Those are facts, not opinions. Your disdain for both U.S. political parties is shared by millions (including me), but that does not mean that claims by both sides have equal validity. NightHeron (talk) 10:36, 7 October 2019 (UTC)

─────────────────────────To be clear, there are some conspiracy theories that are more popular on the Team Blue side than the Team Red side (e.g. GMO conspiracy theories), but it is true that there is an imbalance right now in which team supports more conspiracy theories. jps (talk) 11:24, 7 October 2019 (UTC)

The conspiracy theories that Big Pharma is suppressing the TRUTH that vaccines cause autism to sell more vaccines, that the NRC is hiding the fact that nuclear power plants are likely to "melt down", and that scientists are lying to us about gluten are also more popular among Team Blue. (Not that Team Red is any better -- they aren't.) In the 2013 Fairleigh Dickinson poll on conspiracy theories,[10] 37% of Democrats believed that "President Bush’s supporters committed significant voter fraud" compared to 36 percent of Republicans who believed that "President Obama’s supporters committed significant voter fraud" -- about the same. 25% of registered voters believed that President Bush knew about the 9/11 terrorist attacks before they happened, but the percentage was 36% among Democrats. The opinion expressed above by NightHeron ("Democrats generally do not promote fringe theories") is not supported by the facts. Many Wikipedia editors only see conspiracy theories when the other team holds them and are blind to conspiracy theories by their own team. And yes, I have seen Team Red editors who only see Team Blue conspiracy theories. --Guy Macon (talk) 16:31, 7 October 2019 (UTC)
Related:
Republican voters are more likely to believe in Bigfoot and the Illuminati, while Democratic voters are more likely to believe in aliens
"Survey-takers who self-reported as liberal were also more likely to believe in chemtrails. More than 22% of those polled who believe in chemtrails — the theory that the clouds of condensation behind airplanes contain chemical agents meant to control the public — identified as liberal to some degree, while only 17% of people who identified as conservative were chemtrail truthers."
"People tend to adopt conspiracy theories that match with their existing worldview," Joseph Uscinski, a political scientist at the University of Miami, told INSIDER. Conspiracy theories involving Democrats, for instance, are much more popular with Republicans, and vice versa."
--Guy Macon (talk) 16:41, 7 October 2019 (UTC)
This feels like it's just delving into WP:FORUM. What exactly is the question, in terms of encyclopedia-writing? --Aquillion (talk) 16:53, 7 October 2019 (UTC)

Tall el-Hammam[edit]

Can anyone have a look at the Creationist stuff in this article? The University and Steven Collins are Creationist. Doug Weller talk 18:26, 7 October 2019 (UTC)

PragerU[edit]

Someone keeps trying to soften the climate change denialism language at PragerU. Extra eyes needed. Simonm223 (talk) 13:46, 8 October 2019 (UTC)

For this latest attempt, there's discussion at Talk:PragerU#Mark_Oppenheimer_Mother_Jones_article --Ronz (talk) 16:28, 8 October 2019 (UTC)
This discussion is now pivoting to whether the wage gap is real, as the user who has taken up the baton is apparently not interested in opening up the climate change debate and my edit struck two WP:PRIMARY WP:PROFRINGE sources from the article. Simonm223 (talk) 16:33, 8 October 2019 (UTC)

Ivar Lovaas[edit]

Check this guy out. This is what his article looked like before I got there. Lovaas beat autistic children and shocked them with cattle prods in attempt to make them "normal". He reported great success, finding that 47% of autistic children became "indistinguishable from their peers" and their IQs even went up. However, all this is based off one study. The study contained fewer than thirty people, and he didn't even bother to randomize his trials, which allowed him to put all of the kids that were destined to improve in the treatment group and those that were not in the control group. He did basically the same thing to gay people too. He also claimed to have cured the gay children, and he presided over a bunch of gay conversion clinics, some of which are still in use today. Even though his claims were thoroughly debunked, they are cited as facts by his supporters, which even include a former US general surgeon. His methods are still in use today (but adapted to be legal), and form the basis for most early autism interventions.

Lovaas always said that his interest in psychology was inspired by the nazis. It shows. This is going to take some major clean-up.

Note-- The article has been reverted to its previous state by User:Alexbrn. Here is the pre-revert version.

Relavent article[edit]

There are likely more articles affected by this problem. If you find them, feel free to edit my comment and add them to the list.

Related reading[edit]

--Wikiman2718 (talk) 01:31, 10 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Looks to be some really suspicious sourcing forming the backbone of the Lovaas article, an "essay" by Kathleen P. Levinstein and stuff from "The Sun" magazine. Presumably this will get removed if the article is improved. Alexbrn (talk) 20:16, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
If you must continue to oppose everything that I do here, go ahead and challenge it. Maybe you would prefer that we relied more heavily on this source. --Wikiman2718 (talk) 20:24, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
Err what? I didn't check the edit history, just the article - I don't suppose any watchers of this noticeboard want poorly-sourced articles. Just looking now, rather than being some kind of Nazi kook, it seems decent WP:MEDRS sourcing rather supports Lovaas's work, e.g. PMID 21464190. So why is this at WP:FT/N? Alexbrn (talk) 20:32, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
That paper found that his studies were "limited by methodological concerns", which is a polite way of saying "completely invalid". In article citations conclude that his research is so flawed that no conclusion can be drawn. Regardless, the article doesn't even doubt that his methods can alter autistic behavior. It simple gives due weight to the question of whether or not we should. That you have chosen to stand up for this guy is proof that you will oppose me on everything I do.
Now, if you don't mind, I'll be AFK for some real life things. Don't reach any kind of consensus without me. --Wikiman2718 (talk) 21:01, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
Do you think people will take you seriously if you recommend we read something from the Fail? -Roxy, the dog. wooF 20:29, 10 October 2019 (UTC)
More tag teaming by User:Roxy the dog. You two had better give it up, or I will take the pair of you to ANI for harassment. --Wikiman2718 (talk) 20:44, 10 October 2019 (UTC)
It's a good point: Recommending the WP:DAILYMAIL at this noticeboard is an ... interesting approach. Alexbrn (talk) 20:55, 10 October 2019 (UTC)
It certainly would be, it I had recommended we cite it in an article. But seriously-- are you two even pretending you aren't a tag team at this point? --Wikiman2718 (talk) 21:00, 10 October 2019 (UTC)
It's a noticeboard fgs. You know, where people post things for other people to read. Yes? -Roxy, the dog. wooF 22:41, 10 October 2019 (UTC)
I’m just saying. When I see one of you, I can bet I’ll see the other. Alexbrn decides to join the Third Reich, and Roxy the dog is right behind. I can’t imagine why— unless it’s because of their stance on animal rights. —Wikiman2718 (talk) 23:26, 10 October 2019 (UTC)
They're both regular posters on this noticeboard. Maybe there is some sort of conspiracy going on, but this thread isn't evidence of one. - MrOllie (talk) 23:32, 10 October 2019 (UTC)
It’s not their having posted that’s suspicious— it’s their stance. These two would stand up for the fringe research of a wanna-be nazi just because I am pushing against it. If you want to see a great example of editing to hold a grudge, check out the talk page of cupping therapy. —Wikiman2718 (talk) 23:42, 10 October 2019 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Oh dear, it's all gone full WP:GODWIN. I had a quick look at this "nazi" thing and see some problems in our article. It says Lovaas was a "farm worker" in the 1940s, and that he "often said that the nazis had sparked his interest in human behavior". Yet from the source[11] it seems he (aged 13 in 1940) and his whole family were forced to work on a farm by the nazis during the occupation of Norway, and this is the context in which his interest was sparked (the source also says Lovaas thought "he could have turned Adolf Hitler into a nice man had he gotten him to UCLA by age 4 or 5"). Incidentally, it's a problem that sections of the source are copy/pasted verbatim into our article, let alone that this is done out of context in a way which spins the source.

It seems to me the fringe problem here might be in Wikiman2718's stance towards this topic, rather than the topic itself, for which there appears to be plenty of sober RS (e.g.[12] - from which it seems Wikipedia is buying into the popular press "oversimplification" of his work, even going to far as to include copyright pictures from a sensational piece in Life magazine which this obituary mentions was seen as misrepresenting his work). The whole thing savours of WP:RGW. Alexbrn (talk) 04:01, 11 October 2019 (UTC)

There was never any accusation in the article or on this talk page that Lovaas was a nazi. However, it is well-verified that he did say his interest in psychology was inspired by the nazis. That "sober" source you cited is an obituary-- a complete whitewash of his life. --Wikiman2718 (talk) 04:14, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
You wrote: Lovaas always said that his interest in psychology was inspired by the nazis. It shows. [my emphasis]. When it seems in fact his interest inspired by the nazis was how to stop such human behaviour. The article should make this clear. Your calling his obituary a "a complete whitewash of his work" rather shows you have a POV here, and by golly have you pushed it in the article! Alexbrn (talk) 04:22, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
That statement you quoted is from this talk page, not the article. Stop trying to confuse the issue. I have already shown that his research is debunked, both in the article and on the talk page. Your attempt to show otherwise only added to the evidence. And that's not even to mention the inhumanity of the whole thing. Do you think it's a good idea to use electric shocks to change kids behavior? Because that's the POV you're endorsing. The guy also did experiments in gay conversion therapy, but the way. When homosexuality was removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, he objected and proposed that it be returned there. --Wikiman2718 (talk) 04:29, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
Okay, so you admit you were implying he was a nazi on this page: progress. ABA seems a bad idea: a lot of that work is now discredited and of course Wikipedia needs to be plain about that. But that is not the point here. As Wikipedia editors it is not our job to have POVs and parade them in articles. What you have done with this article is turn it into a crude hit piece which fails to capture what decent RS is saying (and there is plenty of decent RS). Alexbrn (talk) 04:40, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
Lol. I specifically stated that he was not a nazi. Just inspired by them. Please stop trying to misrepresent me. The article is reflecting the reliable sources-- not the WP:PROFRINGE nonsense that you would have us add. --Wikiman2718 (talk) 04:43, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
Facepalm Facepalm So what were you referring to when you wrote "the fringe research of a wanna-be nazi"? Alexbrn (talk) 04:45, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
He is a wanna-be nazi in the sense that his research resembles theirs in its brutality. --Wikiman2718 (talk) 04:48, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
Riiiiight. At this point I'm going to disengage and hope other editors can step in (if they can bear to follow the above). Alexbrn (talk) 04:52, 11 October 2019 (UTC)

Rewind[edit]

In view of the sensationalism, source misrepresentation, original research and copyright violation I'm seeing, I have performed a major rewind[13] of this article back to a prior state. I dispute the POV approach Wikiman2718 has taken. More eyes welcome. Alexbrn (talk) 05:10, 11 October 2019 (UTC)

The article now promotes his debunked fringe claims as truths, and makes no mention of his physical abuse of autistic children or his involvement in gay conversion therapy. Nice job, Alexbrn. I'm putting together an ANI report against you tomorrow. This harassment has gone too far. --Wikiman2718 (talk) 05:35, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
P.S. with regards to the free use photos, you have no right to delete them before I have a chance to rectify the error. --Wikiman2718 (talk)
  • This is a link to the ANI report if anyone here would like to participate in the discussion. --Wikiman2718 (talk) 07:09, 11 October 2019 (UTC)

List of unsolved deaths[edit]

More than a few fringe theories being promoted with little in the form of supporting evidence. Someone with some time and patience may want to read through the list. Some of these entries are not unsolved in the same plane of reality where the Earth is round and fluoridated water is not a communist plot. Apparently rumors and unsubstantiated conjecture are enough to get your death on this list.

Courtesy ping Davidgoodheart I know you do a lot of work on this list. -Ad Orientem (talk) 06:14, 9 October 2019 (UTC)

AN/I report of some possible interest[edit]

WP:AN/I#Snak2f: centuries old map disproves modern archaeology?

Probably dealt with shortly but just in case. Mangoe (talk) 23:24, 9 October 2019 (UTC)

Effective Altruism[edit]

Relevant discussion at Wikipedia:Dispute_resolution_noticeboard#Template:Effective_altruism - more eyes needed from outside the EA/LessWrong/transhumanist subcultures - David Gerard (talk) 08:57, 10 October 2019 (UTC)

Just curious why this would be considered a fringe theory? I've seen the name come up here and there and just read the article, and while I'm seeing a criticism section, nothing there makes me think fringe theory. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 03:22, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
The name sounds good, but the subculture of that name is heavily linked to the LessWrong rationalist and transhumanism subcultures, and "EA" the subculture keeps assessing "give all your money to avert Roko's basilisk" as an incredibly valuable charitable endeavour - David Gerard (talk) 07:54, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
I don't want to trigger a long discussion, but I think it's important to point out that David's claims are simply untrue. The subculture of EA is not "heavily linked" to the LessWrong rationalist and transhumanism subcultures. The EA movement came into being when Giving What We Can was created by two Oxford professors, Toby Ord and William MacAskill. Several other individuals (Peter Singer, Nick Bostrom, and others), organizations (GiveWell, The Life You Can Save, and others) and internet forums (LessWrong, Felicifia, and others) were also influential. No effective altruism organization or prominent effective altruist has ever said "give all your money to avert Roko's basilisk" or anything remotely like that. To learn more about what causes effective altruists support, you may want to take a look at the latest version (2018) of the Effective Altruism survey. Pablo Stafforini (talk) 12:43, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
Your claim is trivially false, in a WP:RS no less. The mosquito nets/AI-risk dialectic is extremely well documented. EA is saturated with fringe elements from these subcultures, which is why it's 100% on topic on this noticeboard, and the promotional tendency of the subculture completely fits that mould - witness the EA advocate who just literally claimed in the linked discussion that me not being an EA advocate constituted a conflict of interest. Claims that the weirdy bits don't exist or are unimportant are understandable, but don't match documented reality - David Gerard (talk) 22:41, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
David, your original justification for characterizing effective altruism as a fringe movement was that EA "keeps assessing 'give all your money to avert Roko's basilisk' as an incredibly valuable charitable endeavour." In my comment, I pointed out that this claim is simply untrue: the quoted passage does not remotely describe the views of any EA organization or prominent EA; it is a complete fabrication. By way of reply, you point us to a Vox article by Dylan Matthews that in no way supports that remarkable allegation. The phrase 'Roko's basilisk' doesn't appear at all in the article, and nowhere is the view that one should give all one's money to avert "Roko's basilisk" discussed or referred to, let alone attributed to the EA movement.
As for the person "who just literally claimed in the linked discussion that me not being an EA advocate constituted a conflict of interest": the user in question never accused you of having a conflict of interest, nor did he object to your not being an EA. This is what he said: "Being the original author and an ongoing maintainer (1, 2 3, 4) of the snark-article on this topic in a famously non-NPOV wiki makes you an advocate on this topic, and it seems disingenous to pretend otherwise." Pablo Stafforini (talk) 02:38, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
"It doesn't agree with my personal world view" doesn't make something fringe. The article doesn't discuss Roko's Basilisk at all. An existential risk from AI is something different, and it is certainly not a fringe view. --mfb (talk) 08:59, 13 October 2019 (UTC)

───────────────────────── From looking at some sources I don't think EA can be classed as fringe. However, it does look like our article suffers from some POV issues: from reading it (and especially the lede) one doesn't get the impression - which I got from RS - that this movement is seen as in some senses problematic. Our articles packs the criticism away in a WP:CRITS at the end of the article, a hallmark of POV. To get a flavour of what I'd be expecting to see in a more neutral article, see https://doi.org/10.1111/japp.12176 (which is cited, but not in a way which brings out its argument):

[While EA is] understood as broadly welfarist, consequentialist, and scientific in its outlook, the movement is vulnerable to the claim that it overlooks the importance of justice and rights, is methodologically rigoristic, and fails to isolate the activities likely to have the greatest impact overall. In most cases, I have shown that effective altruists are able respond to these objections, though sometimes this would mean changing their modus operandi in significant ways.

Alexbrn (talk) 12:13, 13 October 2019 (UTC)

Bigfoot[edit]

A new POV warrior adding pro-Bigfoot argumentation to the article. Tried to reason with them here on the Talk page, but...it's not going well. - LuckyLouie (talk) 20:11, 10 October 2019 (UTC)

Out of all that angry craziness, the one bit worth considering is that it *is* a bit synth-y to use an identification guide for bears to reference that bear footprints are being confused for BigFootprints. ApLundell (talk) 21:13, 10 October 2019 (UTC)
I haven’t read the sources, but my guess is that the Nickell cite makes the assertion, and so some well- intentioned editor added the identification guide cite to confirm what Nickell wrote. Should probably be removed as unneeded and SYNTH. - LuckyLouie (talk) 21:21, 10 October 2019 (UTC)

Peter Fenwick (neuropsychologist)[edit]

Article takes the stance that Blackmore's reasoning is wrong, because someone disagrees with it. Should it? Does anybody here know more about this? --Hob Gadling (talk) 06:06, 11 October 2019 (UTC)

Reincarnation[edit]

Could some editors please take a look at the Reincarnation article? I think that much of the last couple sections seems quite credulous, and for instance they also contain semi-approving statements cited to Carl Sagan and Sam Harris which I doubt are a complete or accurate summary of their views. Sunrise (talk) 05:49, 12 October 2019 (UTC)

Reincarnation#Academic research into claims of reincarnation is pretty bad, but Ian Stevenson#Support is even worse.
(I used to believe in reincarnation, but that was in a previous life. This time around I don't...) --~!Guy Macon (talk)
You should have seen what used to be there. Anyone who can clean up the stuff dealing with UVa "perception unit" and Stevenson's successor Jim B. Tucker would be appreciated. jps (talk) 15:52, 12 October 2019 (UTC)

Tim Noakes[edit]

South African doctor noted for early sports/diet work later expounding more controversial views about diet and dipping a toe in vaccination issues. An IP from Johannesburg has been adding content about antivax saying that Noakes "simply raises questions where appropriate and based on the scientific evidence, about the safety and efficacy of certain vaccines".[14] Also some BLP issues. More eyes welcome. Alexbrn (talk) 12:27, 13 October 2019 (UTC)