- 1 Barleybannocks
- 1.1 Request concerning Barleybannocks
- 1.2 Discussion concerning Barleybannocks
- 1.2.1 Statement by Barleybannocks
- 1.2.2 Statement by Barney the barney barney
- 1.2.3 Statement by iantresman
- 1.2.4 Statement by Askahrc
- 1.2.5 Statement by Wnt
- 1.2.6 Statement by Lou Sander
- 1.2.7 Comment by Littleolive oil
- 1.2.8 Statement by Mangoe
- 1.2.9 Statement by The Devil's Advocate
- 1.2.10 Statement by Tom Butler
- 1.2.11 Statement by Enric Naval
- 1.2.12 Statement by vzaak
- 1.2.13 Statement of Liz
- 1.2.14 Statement of admin JzG
- 1.2.15 Statement of Alfonzo Green
- 1.2.16 Statement by jps
- 1.2.17 Statement by 74
- 1.2.18 Statement by User:EatsShootsAndLeaves
- 1.3 Result concerning Barleybannocks
- 2 Alfonzo Green
- 2.1 Request concerning Alfonzo Green
- 2.2 Discussion concerning Alfonzo Green
- 2.2.1 Statement by Alfonzo Green
- 2.2.2 Statement by User:Roxy the dog
- 2.2.3 Statement by The Devil's Advocate
- 2.2.4 Comment by Uninvolved A Quest for Knowledge
- 2.2.5 Statement by Johnuniq
- 2.2.6 Statement by Barney the barney barney (talk) 11:39, 24 December 2013 (UTC)
- 2.2.7 Statement by iantresman
- 2.2.8 Statement by Tom Butler
- 2.2.9 Statement by Mangoe
- 2.3 Result concerning Alfonzo Green
|Barleybannocks is banned from the article Rupert Sheldrake and its talk page. TheRedPenOfDoom will take a voluntary six-month hiatus from the article and its talk page. TheRedPenOfDoom and Barney the barney barney are warned (again). 17:18, 20 December 2013 (UTC)|
|The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.|
This request may be declined without further action if insufficient or unclear information is provided in the "Request" section below.
Request concerning Barleybannocks
The article  ) appears to be at the basis of their WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT editing on the talk page which makes it impossible to make any progress on the article and helps create Walls of Text that drive other more moderate editors away. Request that the user be banned from editing any pseudoscience articles or topics, broadly construed. (although the ban may only be needed for Rupert Sheldrake broadly construed as they are an SPA who have not touched any other articles.) -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 21:54, 16 December 2013 (UTC)has come under attack by a number of SPA and pseudoscience pushing accounts after Sheldrake recently made public comments about the article no longer presenting his ideas in the unquestioned fashion that he preferred. One of those SPAs is Barleybannocks. The user's refusal to come to terms with the fact that Sheldrake's work is widely considered pseudoscience (see
Regarding the outburst of colorful language- it comes in response to Barleybannocks, to quote the findings on this page " a WP:SPA focused on promoting one particular point of view with respect to Rupert Sheldrake, and do so by filling up the article talk page with an inordinate amount of verbiage. This is in violation of the rule to "keep discussions focused: Discussions naturally should finalize by agreement, not by exhaustion", a part of the guideline Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines, and is a case of "failure or refusal to 'get the point'", a type of disruptive editing described at WP:HEAR, part of the guideline Wikipedia:Disruptive editing." who had been arguing that:  is somehow evidence that there is a significant scientific following of Sheldrake, despite the fact that it had been pointed out to him what the contents actually said  he replies with not only the standard IDIDNOTHEARTHAT  but also with false accusations that I had removed sources from the article (my most recent edits had been 2 days before moving a picture to the infobox and using a different more accurate modifier , and 4 days prior to that to remove the names of non notable individuals) but also a personal attack claiming to know my motivations.
Now that his disruptive presence is no longer going to be building walls of text I think that my positive contributions to the talk page should be taken into consideration.
I believe that I have started the only two actions on the talk page that have been able to actually develop a consensus among the editors -  and  -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 02:56, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
Discussion concerning Barleybannocks
Statements must be made in separate sections. They may not exceed 500 words and 20 diffs, except by permission of a reviewing administrator.
Statement by Barleybannocks
One final attempt
I, and a number of others below (diffs available on request), and even after judgement was passed, have expressed some perplexity over the EXACT nature of the alleged offence here. I have previously requested some specific clarification but none has been forthcoming. It surely isn't the offence TRPoD originally charged me with since that has, to the best of my knowledge, not been discussed at all be the adjudicators following the initial appraisal wher it was felt the diffs provided by TRPoD showed nothing much of interest. Following that, the adjudicators focused (if focused is the right word) on a variety of fairly nebulous issues without coming right out and saying anything very much, while the critical comments from users below are a mixed bag of completely made up nonsense (EnricNaval's comment comes to mind) or else strange unsupported allegations about my supposed love for Sheldrake. I would therefore be grateful for a specific statement, with examples, of what the issue is here. I did raise this with Guy the first rime he warned me but he refused to explain further. Can anyone do better now? I should also point out how difficult it is to defend oneself against charges when those doing the charging don't seem to know, or won't tell, what the charges actually are. Thus, I am innocent of the charge TRPoD raised, and nothing else specific has been forthcoming as far as I, or a number of others, can see. Now might be a good time to let the cat out of the bag. Thanks
Re EatsShootsandLeaves's rather amusing comment below about how to proceed, here's my suggestion: instead of the current banning of one side (the side who seems to actually know what they're talking about) which, it appears to me, has resulted in no real improvement in any of the articles where action through this forum has been required (I had a brief look and all the articles look crap) you split the two warring sides and give them a certain time (say, a month) to come up with an article of their own devising. Then all the experienced wikistrators can select the best article and you can begin again from there with the proviso that the losers don't destroy the winning version. If none of the articles are any good then you can advise all sides to leave since they obviously can't write articles worth a toss. Who knows, you might even get the odd good articleTM out of it. But hey, what use are good articles when there are wars to be had, punitive rules to be enforced ridiculously, and the great feeling one gets exercising big fish/small pond powers. Just a thought from someone with no understanding of WP philosophism.Barleybannocks (talk) 12:41, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
And then there's Vzaak. What should we make of Vzaak? The new proud owner of a WP article. Took delivery in July 2013 and knew right away how to fix things. Knew so right, right away, in fact, that his first edit summary  makes reference to the arcane WP:UNDUE. Quick learner this Vzaak. Must have read all round policy and guidelines for a long time to come up with that first edit summary. I guess you do this when you're an SPA with only one article and one thing to advocate. Disruption though, where's the disruption? Well there are of course the numerous neutral editors that have been bullied away by Vzaak and the others. Dodgy SPAs Like David in DC, and Lou Sander, and Olive, and Liz. But that's not disruption, that's just avoiding the disruption these editors might have cause on Vzaak's article. Much easier to build a non-disruptable consensus when they're all gone. Good work I say. Barleybannocks (talk) 12:12, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
Re TRPoD, there's this also - where someone struck through one of the offending words and TRPoD put it right back. I guess I (that is, me, that is, BarleyBannocks) was so annoying with all my sources and stuff, that TRPoD really really needed to tell Tom Butler (that is, Tom Butler, that is, not me) to "get fucking real". That is, I was so very very bad, that TRPoD just had to treat Tom Butler in this way, and then do it again for emphasis. My fault.
@User:MastCell I note below that mastcell said I don't have any insight into why my behaviour was wrong. He's right, I don't. Largely because nobody here will explain it. With my lack of understanding in mind, then, I will set out a few thoughts about talk pages and then the senior representatives of Wikipedia below can explain why I am mistaken. I thought talk pages were for talking/discussing the content of the article, which is ALL that I have used them for. Others, however, use them for different reasons. TRPoD, for example, uses them to berate people in an abusive manner. Here,, here  and here  Or to engage in BLP-violating abuse of the subject of the article. Here, for example  This has all been reported to administrators but no action was taken. Once again, then, I would be grateful for an explanation of how TRPoD's editing is conducive to a constructive dialogue about the content of the article and why my editing is so very very wrong that I need to be banned for an indefinite period? If all that's required to be a good editor is that I speak to people in a foul manner and fill up talk pages with abuse about the subject of the article then I will set aside my natural politeness and comply. Thanks. Barleybannocks (talk) 22:18, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
I tried to strike through my previous comment but couldn't so I'll leave it there as is. Below there seemed to be some confusion about the action here. Reading through it I see a lot of general commentary, some saying the action itself is raised wrongly, but very little in the way of specifics and certainly no clarification for me, a newish user, on what any of it means in a real sense - that is, in practice, as opposed to simply pointing at some words in policy which clearly don't mean what they ordinarily do. The issue, then, is that TRPoD was fairly clear about the reasons for this action: it is that I felt sources did not support the general categorisation of the subject matter of an article (eg, a man, his scientific theories and his philosophical views) as psuedoscience to the extent that Astrology is so regarded, and that by refusing to edit the article in line with that editors' source-contradicted opinion I was breaching some policy or other. I would be grateful for some specific statement about the EXACT nature of my offence here; some evidence of it being committed; and some explanation of Wikipedia's attitude to well-sourced reliable and relevant information being excluded from a BLP. Thanks Barleybannocks (talk) 16:43, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
I don’t intend to offer any defence because I don’t think a defence is necessary. Instead I would like to ask the adjudicators here a few specific questions, and I would be very grateful for some specific answers.
1. Is Wikipedia primarily supposed to reflect: a) what reliable sources say; or b) can multiple reliable sources be overridden by a few editors’ opinions?
2. If the answer to the above question is (b), then should this not be made much clearer in policy etc, because as things stand they give the impression that Wikipedia should primarily be a reflection of what reliable sources say? (I would not, for example, have argued as I had had I known this was the case and had it been made clearer in policy/guidelines etc.)
3. If the answer to the first question is (a), then why is it inappropriate to say that “Sheldrake’s work has received a small degree of support from academics” in light of the following sources which are a sample of sources supporting/showing both the fact of, and the content of, some of Sheldrake’s academic support?
Sources stating there has been support for Sheldrake within academia:
David F. Haight,  Professor of Philosophy at Plymouth State University writing in The Scandal of Reason, published by the University Press of America says, “that Sheldrake's morphogenetic fields have been taken seriously by more physicists than biologists is to be expected.” 
Adam Lucas,  writing in 21.C says that “of all the scientific journals, New Scientist has undoubtedly been the most supportive of Sheldrake, having published a number of sympathetic articles on formative causation over the years." And this: "when he has not been ignored, however, Sheldrake's peers have expressed everything from outraged condemnation to the highest praise."
But are these sources true? Yes, as it happens, here are some scientists and academics who have supported Sheldrake’s work:
Rudolph E. Tanzi, Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology at Harvard University, Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital – Huffington Post 
All four of the above wrote a letter, published in the Huffington Post supporting the scientific content of Sheldrake’s TEDx talk (which included a discussion of morphic resonance) and about which they say "there was not a hint of bad science in it". Hameroff also said that Sheldrake’s work could be accounted for by his own theory of consciousness developed in association with Roger Penrose
Further scientific/academic support for Sheldrake.
Hans-Peter Durr Physicist, who wrote about Sheldrake’s work in connection with quantum Physics
Paul Davies Physics professor at Arizona State University as well as the Director of BEYOND: Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science
John Gribbin Atrophysicist, and a visiting fellow in astronomy at the University of Sussex
A final point
One other WP:DEADHORSE I have been flogging is that Sheldrake is a biologist and this well known (and extraordinarily well-sourced) fact should not be removed from the first sentence of the lede as it constantly is,  contra BLP and clear Wikipedia precedence. If needed I can provide 100 reliable sources for this from every conceivable type of source/individual/institution. Here are four from the New York Times alone which, I believe, are not included in the more than 25 currently cited on talk.    
All in all, then, I feel I have been arguing for the inclusion of a few well sourced points, and the amount of discussion on the talk page generated is purely a function of the total disregard for sources of some of the editors there. I await your responses to the questions above.
Please note this is not a point about content per se, but about Wikipedia policy as regards content using this as an example.
Statement by Barney the barney barney
I agree with TheRedPenOfDoom (talk · contribs). We have been extremely patient with this SPA, who continues to insist on some kind of exception from the WP:REDFLAG issues with this article that result in WP:FRINGE according to any WP:COMMONSENSE approach. Every flaming discussion meanwhile descends into a discussion in which Barleybannocks (talk · contribs) repeatedly raises the same old tired long-refuted criticisms, e.g. he makes a claim that "morphic resonance" is scientifically supported. He is asked to provide citations to peer reviewed journals. He can't. He is told that without these citations there is no scientific support for Sheldrake. In another thread, he makes a claim that "morphic resonance" is scientifically supported. There are a group of consensus builders on this article, which I believe include Vzaak (talk · contribs), Jzg (talk · contribs), TheRedPenOfDoom (talk · contribs), Roxy the dog (talk · contribs), QTxVi4bEMRbrNqOorWBV (talk · contribs) and Bobrayner (talk · contribs). Barleybannocks (talk · contribs) is out of this group. Barney the barney barney (talk) 22:20, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
Statement by iantresman
Barleybannocks does not disagree with Arb/PS and has stated many times, that he accepts that some scientists consider Sheldrake's work to be pseudoscience, and is happy to describe it as such. He (and other editors) merely disagrees with how to quantify it. TRPoD and other editors are confusing disagreement with dissent.
Barleybannocks is not alone in his position, and there are several other editors who support the same view. But most editors have stopped discussing the article because of the difficulty in making progress, AE threats (see also "Persistent Bullying of Rupert Sheldrake Editors", and offensive editing behavior
I should mention that I have not edited the article for nearly 2 years, and of the edits I made before then, I haved include a quote consistent with Arb/PS (that Maddox considered Shelrake's work to be pseudoscience), and all my edits are still in the article (ie. I have a 100% editing record). I also feel I have also been intimidated by other editors including adminstrators that I robustly rebutted despite there being not one diff in support of the allegation. --Iantresman (talk) 01:55, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
@Mangoe. Removed by an administrator as a discussion about content. Please limit statements to pertinent submissions of evidence about editor conduct. 16:14, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
@Mangoe Unfortunately I am not allowed to discuss content further, which I addressed in my now-deleted post. Looks like you can have your cake and eat it. --Iantresman (talk) 17:00, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
@74 At your request, I have removed Tumbleman from the list of "consensus" editors above, although I actually disagree, but he is not here to speak for himself. I felt his discussions were reasoned and constructive, and his infinite ban was out of proportion to his actual socking. --Iantresman (talk) 21:28, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
@Callanecc As noted by 40% of the editors, ie., myself, talk, Littleolive oil, Tom Butler, Liz, Alfonzo Green and 74, it is not that one-sided. Please give me some extra time to find some diffs demonstrating WP:DISRUPTSIGNS by other editors (we have day jobs!) --Iantresman (talk) 09:23, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
@Sandstein. I had requested that Barney the barney barney should either provided diffs, or strikethough his allegations against me, which you endorsed per WP:ASPERSIONS. It may be just an oversight, and of no consequence to anyone else, but it is an important per WP:WIAPA. --Iantresman (talk) 09:32, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
@MastCell, I would be grateful if you would answer my query above. Callanecc stated that "like Sandstein, at first thought the supplied diffs were quite benign", so clearly you have all found some relevant information; would you all please provide the diffs, it is only fair to Barleybannocks, and makes this process more transparent and accountable. --Iantresman (talk) 09:54, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
@Callanecc, (1) now that you have taken action against Barleybannocks, and echoing my comment to MastCell, I would still to see the diffs which contributed towards the decision. (2) I will have the diffs that Arbitrators have requested regarding other editors, this evening. --Iantresman (talk) 12:24, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
Diffs suggesting signs of disruption
I offer some diffs and discussion which suggest consistency with WP:DISRUPTSIGNS. As it is a little wordy, I've stuck it in a collapse box, but wanted to provide as much useful explanation as possible. Hopefully it is without prejudice, a concept I hope that everyone is familiar. Note: apparently some are having problems viewing the diffs and returning to this page. I suggest holding down the Shift key when you click the diff, in order to open it in another Tab/Window (middle mouse button on a mac). --Iantresman (talk) 09:41, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
@vzaak. Quite correct and undisputed. And when "sources" have been provided which claimed that Sheldrake is pseudoscience, when in fact they do not, for example, they question his science, and editors infer it should mean pseudoscience (per WP:SYNTH), there is no similar outburst from editors that criticise, or even an acknowledgement that this is a valid issue. --Iantresman (talk) 09:49, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
@Callanecc & Sandstein & MastCell You all requested seeing evidence concerning other editors "with diffs and explanations". I did just that, and it appears to have been overlooked. I have no problem if the evidence is not compelling, is insufficient, considered plain wrong, or whatever, but the least someone could do is acknowledge it. --Iantresman (talk) 13:13, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
@Sandstein Thank you for your comment. The first two section almost exclusively mention another editor by name nine times, and every diff includes a date. Would you like me to extract the dates and highlight the names? Are times, time-zone specific? How should I present "diffs and explanations"? --Iantresman (talk) 13:29, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
@Admins. I would like admins to reconsider the duration of the sanctions compared to each editor. BB is an new editor, the diffs supplied were found to be "benign", and no other diffs were supplied supporting evidence of wrong doing. The pointer to "this post" also included not one diff in support of the allegations. An indefinite ban seems excessive and disproportionate. --Iantresman (talk) 14:31, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
@Admin. I have to agree with Barleybannocks, he deserves to know what diffs support the sanctions against him. The pointer to "this post" includes not one diff in support of the allegations. This has been echoed by Lou Sander, Littleolive oil, Tom Butler, and Liz --Iantresman (talk) 16:44, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
Statement by Askahrc
I'm sorry, but is the standard for disruption simply having a different opinion? No actual misconduct was demonstrated, and as far as I can tell the only accusation is that Barleybannocks does not agree with tRPoD's opinions. For crying out loud, there wasn't even a clear policy that was supposedly violated, but rather Barleybannocks is up for blocking because tRPoD doesn't think he believes Sheldrake is pseudoscience, despite the fact he's done nothing abusive with that opinion.
Guess what, editors are allowed to think whatever they want, and if you disagree with it, too bad! Make your argument and see what the evidence, policies and community lead to, but you don't have the right to declare what opinions are permissible. If they're abusive with their bias, that's one thing, but trying to ban someone because you feel they don't have the right to their opinion is unacceptable and unwarranted. The fact that tRPoD went on to proclaim that anyone who doesn't agree with him/her that Sheldrake is a pseudoscientist should be blocked is a shockingly repugnant statement. (let's dispense with hiding behind some extra-contextual comment of iantresman)
What was all that people said in my ArbReq about there not being any intimidation or bullying on the Sheldrake page? tRPoD, you've done a lot of productive work over the years and were the first person to welcome me to WP; it's incredibly disheartening to see how this dysfunctional page has brought out the worst in people I generally admire. The Cap'n (talk) 06:57, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
Statement by Wnt
In a brief period of editing from 3-15 December I tried to get rid of Rupert_Sheldrake#Notes, which seems to showcase negative arguments contrary to BLP recommended style, and to introduce a brief summary of one of his essays, which was reverted six minutes later. In the end I abandoned it as hopeless; I suspected the issue might end up here but I never expected TRPOD and Barney3 to be the ones to do that!
I am a strong proponent of "letting the subject have his say" in any biographical article by detailing the content of his writings, no matter whether that is taken by observers to be favorable or unfavorable to how he is perceived. I do not believe that WP:FRINGE prohibits us from describing what Sheldrake said. To the contrary, I see that as the primary purpose of this article! And I think that when you look closely, while some ideas he has about morphogenesis are pseudoscience in that I know of many well documented alternate explanations, his comments about other topics, such as the relation of dark energy and perpetual creation of energy, or the nature of consciousness, for which there is little if any scientific truth known, do not really stand apart from "scientific" explanations. By contrast, TRPOD has declared that an article about Sheldrake could be reorganized into
which does not suggest to me that he is willing to give the man a fair hearing for each of his ideas.
Now I cannot speak to how the article may have been biased before, but the problem right now is that a few avowed skeptics are preventing the topic of the article from being presented (and also vowing to oppose any attempt to split off articles about the concepts Sheldrake advocates). I agree that we don't have creationism in an article about evolution, but we don't write an article about a creationist by saying "he's wrong, all wrong" a hundred times. Wnt (talk) 15:59, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
Statement by Lou Sander
Where to begin? BarleyBannocks is said to be posting too much on the talk page, maybe disrupting discussion. As I see it, he is carrying all the water for those who want to see this BLP more fairly descriptive of the man it is about. The others have been driven away by persistent bad behavior, e.g.,  by the group that claims to be aiming for consensus. In carrying all that water, Barleybannocks is necessarily doing a lot of posting.
Rarely editing the article, Barleybannocks mostly makes polite and reasoned arguments on the talk page. Most of his posts are discussions with others about sources. Again and again he provides the sources that others demand, and again and again the others disregard them, or misread them, or in some other way diminish them. They demand that sources commenting positively about Sheldrake be from peer-reviewed journals, yet their claims of "pseudoscience" rest on lesser things, such as the comments in books by portfolio managers, cultural advisors to corporations, and non-scientist science writers.
Comment by Littleolive oil
Disclaimer: I have no position on Sheldrake one way or the other. I have a strong position on BLPs, and on railroading and removing editors one is in dispute with.
TRPOD has made at least as many comments to the talk of the Sheldrake article as has Barleybannocks or multiple other editors in that discussion. Unless AE is making a decision as to what is the accurate content, and I hope this isn't the case since that would be outside the remit of AE, then no parties on either side can be considered in this forum to be either wrong or right in their concerns about this article. Singling out any editor because they have expressed and hold an opinion that the other side considers to be wrong means AE is taking a position, is supporting one position over another and is non neutral. I agree that disputes about content should be taken to an RfC. Contentious articles require patience and the ability to understand that there is never one side to anything . Assuming so is simplistic thinking. Rather than attempting to rubber stamp WP articles with a pseudoscience or even fringe label, I'd suggest editors take the slower, more careful and more thoughtful approach-deal with every contentious edit with patience, entertaining every editor's input. If there's long term contention get outside input. This board should be for clear and obvious misbehaviur supported by accurate diffs supporting the decision. And as idealistic as it sounds, truth.(Littleolive oil (talk) 16:40, 17 December 2013 (UTC))
What I am pointing to is a system that cannot in many instances work fairly. And anyone on Wikipedia who thinks a lack of fairness, bias and bigotry is fine and doesn't hurt the encyclopedia in a long run needs to rethink how that lack of fairness would hurt them.
Ultimately what I am describing are the elements of a squabble in which all the players have added something. Un tangling which of those somethings/additions constitutes some violation of the arbitration is difficult if not impossible.
Ludwigs2 before he left suggested a system where mediator or "sheriff" comes into a contentious article to police behaviour. While that idea did not become an active guideline, it has merit in cases like this one - the appointment of someone willing to mediate on the page, and with the backing of the AE admin. If the sherif sees problems which the combatants won't solve peacefully, back they come to AE and with an uninvolved editor who has been collecting diffs of problem users. One advantage of this is that all editors are scrutinized on the article.(Littleolive oil (talk) 18:57, 18 December 2013 (UTC))
Statement by Mangoe
I have to count myself involved in this though I have done very little to edit the article. At least part of the reason is because I do not have the time to deal with the torrent of words on the talk page.
Sheldrake is, rather obviously, someone who did some important work at one point but then went off on a radical new ideas kick (and some of them, most particularly the animal intuition thesis, are not at all new) in which he set himself up as a sort of Martin Luther against the Scientific Establishment. As I've had cause to say several times in these discussions, nobody seems to care all that much about anything except his scientific heresies. So if there are balance problems in that wise, all contenders are on the same (and presumably wrong) side. TO fix that, they would all have to be locked out of the article. But the real problem seems to be that there is a core group of a few editors, including Barleybannocks, who want the article to leave open the question of whether Shedrake's ideas have merit, if not actually support them. They are abetted by the usual cast of editors who try to blunt Wikipedia's negative coverage of pseudoscientific and fringe material. Naturally, WP:FT/N people (myself included) show up, generally in opposition.
What I see in BB's editing is an obvious bias, as shown in edits like this: "As it stands the article makes it appear as if Sheldrake's ideas have been subjected to scientific scrutiny and rejected. Almost nothing could be further from the truth. His ideas have, though, been ignored, and most of the criticism is not the result of any science being done but is largely opinion, often a priori, and on occasion from people who have later confessed to not even having read his work." The implication I am apparently supposed to draw is that Science hasn't passed a negative verdict on Sheldrake's theories, and that therefore we cannot consign these theories to the junk heap of bad science. This thesis pervades all of BB's discussion, with the subtext that it's really an open question as to whether science will eventually ratify his notions. Therefore every response that can be given the slightest positive spin is played up, and negative assessments (frequently by the same people) are minimized if not blatantly misrepresented.
BB's supporters are trying to cast this as a tone of discourse issue because it is certainly true that the main anti-fringe antagonists have not possessed the relentless civility of Sheldrake's supporters. But we're not here to reward nice people with control of the article, and I recall that some of the most persistent fringe pushers (see for example User:Paul Bedson) were generally quite polite. The root problem is that BB, along with others, is trying to portray Sheldrake as someone whose theories are plausible, rather than someone who is pushing ideas which are plainly pseudoscientific. Mangoe (talk) 17:49, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
Statement by The Devil's Advocate
The Red Pen of Doom's statement above that essentially anyone who disagrees with him should be banned from the article is just one in a series of inappropriate comments he has made regarding this issue. In addition to this comment noted by Wnt where he responded to Barley's suggestions for re-organizing the article with some derogatory "suggestions" of his own, there is also his comment mocking Sheldrake by implying "morphic resonance" was something he came up with while high on drugs. Indeed, his initial remarks make clear his intent was to disparage Sheldrake and his ideas with such an implication.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 17:54, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
Statement by Tom Butler
It is telling that, when I proposed the editors "Delete or separate theory from biography" in the article, Bareny3, one of TRPOD's solders, fired back with "Not happening..." My objective was to find a way to explain to the reader that Sheldrake's hypotheses are generally not well accepted by mainstream science while treating his BLP in a respectable way. Virtually all of the other articles in Wikipedia about a man and his/her work separate the subject from the person in multiple articles. Why is Sheldrake being treated differently?
Virtually every effort by conservative editors to balance the article by saying "This is who the man is" from "This is what mainstream scientists think of the theory" have been blocked by pretty much three editors with TRPOD out front. The impression is that this is not about a quality article but about bashing the person. "Wikipedia wants to bash the person!" is the way the public is seeing it now.
I second Lou Sander's statement that "BarleyBannocks is carrying all the water for those who want to see this BLP more fairly descriptive of the man it is about." That fact, I think, is why there has been an effort to eliminate opposing editors like him. The tactic is clearly "Do not compromise, eliminate the editors with an opposing viewpoint and stonewall until everyone gives up."
@the administrators -- I have a longtime love-hate view of Wikipedia that began when I was bullied and slandered over the Electronic voice phenomenon article. It tookk you guys years to finally block the ringleader in that battle, ScienceApologist. Of course, I fought back off wiki. Every time an editor is "purged" as TRPOD is trying to do here with BarleyBannocks, and as has been successfully done with other moderate editors involved in this article, there is at leas some pushback in the off-wiki community. That is accumulating, as witness the new book by editor Creig Weiler about the Sheldrake, TED/Wikipedia scandle.
As it is going now, the Sheldrake article is producing way too much push-back from the off-wiki community. That can be remediated with a little effort to moderate the article but that is going to take your help. Banning moderate editors, driving off editors by wearing them down and intimidation, refusing to allow a more moderate description that has been shown to have good support in fact, only fuels the push-back and further harms Wikipedia.
Sheldrake's latest ideas have clearly been rejected by most scientists. And by "most" I mean "almost every single scientist".
From my observations, Barleybannocks seems to be grasping at straws to claim that there is more support for Sheldrake's ideas than there really is. Midgley's review is one of the very few positive reviews of Sheldrake's work, and Barleybannocks seems to be milking this source to give the (misleading) impression that there is support for Sheldrake.
This topic is under discretionary sanctions. Relentless advocacy and SPA-ness is supposed to be a cause for a topic ban in such topics. This behaviour is sufficient to get a topic ban. Or at least for getting a warning that will get them topic banned if they keep up the advocacy. You shouldn't wait until after good editors get burned and abandon the article. Discretionary sanctions are supposed to cut this behaviour at the root, so please use them. --Enric Naval (talk) 20:21, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
Statement by vzaak
Given the sustained push by Barleybannocks to the Sheldrake article and talk page, I had expected an eventual AE (as suggested by JzG), though I did not expect it this soon. We could argue about whether there is enough WP:ROPE here, but cost of ROPE is expensive, as it ties up everyone's time.
Barleybannocks is the next SPA to show up following the extensive off-site canvassing from pro-paranormal sites (including from the subject of the article). The pattern is common: very long arguments in talk, user appears to lack a basic understanding of how science works, user doesn't get the point, user continues making tendentious edits anyway, repeat. Take for example my last conversation with Barleybannocks, from which I show the tail-end only (!) of it:  (note therein Barleybannocks accuses me of being disingenuous). In that long conversation I had been spectacularly unsuccessful in conveying to Barleybannocks the importance of not misrepresenting the scientific support for "morphic resonance" (for which there is none). Barleybannocks ignored the whole conversation and warred again to put in his change, along with the absurd edit comment "this is now well established...". Contrary to the picture painted by others above, Barleybannocks has in fact edited the article extensively, and played a significant role in the lead-up to the 1RR being imposed.
Were this simply a matter of opinion among editors, we wouldn't be in AE. No, this is part of a continued push, initiated from off-wiki, to drop the pseudoscience designation in the Sheldrake article. That is, this is a push to violate WP policies. Barleybannocks explicitly states that he/she will continue pushing the point -- continue flooding the talk page and taking up the time of editors -- rather than accepting the clear consensus and moving on to some other point. This doesn't fit into the "ban dissent" metaphor that others have suggested.
Off-wiki canvassing aims to slant the article in a way that is contrary to WP policies. Wikipedia suffers when editors need to spend more time on one article being targeted from off-site. The canvassing is expected to increase with upcoming events. Whether an explicit aim or not, the effect is to exhaust the non-canvassed editors. AE should step in to prevent an article being manipulated from off-site in this way. vzaak 19:58, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
Second statement by vzaak
Please consider the following before ruling on this AE. First let us examine one of the diffs Iantresman has proffered against TRPoD, "You are either incompetent or trolling". Here is the context:
Indeed each one of Iantresman's diffs has a proper context. Another case Iantresman references is Alfonzo Green's quote-mining of Richard Wiseman which culminated in the hugely disruptive (and then ignored) NPOVN thread. Alfonzo tried to use Wiseman's quote "there may well be something going on" to suggest that Wiseman -- another nemesis of Sheldrake -- was admitting that dogs might be telepathic! Nothing could be further from the truth: when Wiseman said "there may well be something going on", he was pointing to possible defects in Sheldrake's experiments. This resulted in a well-deserved rebuke by Barney, "Looks like a pretty clear case of WP:COMPETENCE issues leading to WP:POV pushing". Alfonzo Green's POV-pushing was disruptive, not Barney's calling out of the POV-pushing.
And finally to address TRPoD's quote "nothing but a pseudoscientific huckster" and others. This is in fact a widely held view in the scientific community, and TRPoD is simply reflecting this view. Professor Jerry Coyne of the University of Chicago wrote an article titled "Pseudoscientist Rupert Sheldrake Is Not Being Persecuted, And Is Not Like Galileo" in which he said that the "BBC World Service itself is being played a fool by Sheldrake" by lending a credulous ear to the conspiracy theories that Sheldrake was promoting.
TRPoD and Barney should nowise be penalized for calling out blatant misrepresentations and stating plainly what many in the scientific community believe to be the case. vzaak 05:04, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
The evidence is talk page comments where the editor is expressing a point of view. I didn't see any diffs of actual edits to the article in question. As long as it is not offensive or hostile, editors should not be penalized for their opinions, however contrary they might be to other editors. Liz Read! Talk! 22:35, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
Statement of admin JzG
You know me, I can't resist trying to fix stuff, and I am (obviously) inclined to the scientific rationalist viewpoint. However, I am also a strong advocate of WP:BLP and have suffered real-world harassment as a result of defending contentious BLPs against agenda accounts, and defending Wikipedia against angry BLP subjects. I am an OTRS volunteer, I am absolutely on top of the impact of Wikipedia on real people's real lives.
I support a topic ban at this stage. Nothing else is likely to work.
I have tried to explain to Barleybannocks (BB) how to work productively with others, how to achieve changes, the types of sources required and so on, but all I get back is a broken record. I could cite half a dozen WP:CAPITALS references, but in the end BB is a single purpose account who is here to Right Great Wrongs rather than collaborate to document the world as reliable independent sources portray it. I have several times invited BB to propose an existing para, a proposed new compromise para, and the reliable independent sources that support the change and to achieve consensus for the change, the response has been insistence that compromise is equal to accepting BB's demands in their entirety. It's all starting to feel a bit BTDT.
Our best content is written by those who can "write for the enemy" and work with people whose views are diametrically opposed. BB is the exact opposite: obdurate, perceives their own biases as neutrality, refuses to accept that any other POV is valid. As a massive time-sink that is actively preventing progress on a contentious BLP, it is time to draw a line under this one. If BB wants to help make Wikipedia great, for FSM's sake please do it somewhere else. Guy (Help!) 00:31, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
Statement of Alfonzo Green
BB has been no more of a broken record than TRPoD, vzaak and Barney3. All three have repeatedly violated NPOV by engaging in a dispute rather than merely reporting it. Specifically all three contend that Sheldrake's work is "generally considered pseudoscience" and that all editors working on the Sheldrake bio must operate under this condition. Yet we have only a handful of sources that make this claim. It's a fringe opinion with little support in the scientific community, of which Sheldrake is obviously a member. The vast majority of sources refer to Sheldrake as a scientist while noting that his work falls outside the mainstream of scientific theory. His most notable concept, morphic resonance, has been mostly ignored by his peers. This fact in no way implies that his peers regard it as pseudoscience. The only thing we know for sure is that his hypothesis has no bearing on the standard biochemical approach to development from the egg. So long as TRPoD, vzaak and Barney3 can revert edits that seek to restore neutrality to the Sheldrake bio, the dead horse will continue to be beaten. This problem will not go away until all editors refrain from participating in the dispute and agree to merely report it. Since none of these editors has shown any willingness to treat Sheldrake in a neutral manner, I suggest that all three be banned from editing the article.
Here's TRPoD's contention: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Talk:Rupert_Sheldrake&diff=586402432&oldid=586396688
Here's vzaak's contention: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Talk:Rupert_Sheldrake&diff=585597445&oldid=585595772
Here Barney3 chimes in to support vzaak's pseudoscience charge (though using the term pre-scientific): https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Talk:Rupert_Sheldrake&diff=585635345&oldid=585628894
And Barney3 further reveals his bias by claiming that Sheldrake can't be referred to as a scientist though this is how the vast majority of secondary sources refer to him: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Talk:Rupert_Sheldrake&diff=585820490&oldid=585820381
Statement by jps
I really don't like these processes, so let me exxplain what's happening. Barleybannocks(BB) is a new editor who was likely attracted to the Sheldrake article's flame by the modicum of publicity this article has received from Sheldrake supporters on external sites and, to a lesser extent, the mainstream media (New Republic and sfgate have included commentary surrounding Deepak Chopra's anger that skeptics edit this particular article). BB got involved in this contentious article and has been acculturated to one of the most toxic editing environments you can find on this websites. Consequently, much of his problematic behavior seems to stem from this. The environment, ideally, should be changed, but this will not happen as long as agendas are allowed to take center stage on the talkpage and in the history of the article itself. BB typically shows two behaviors that I have found tiresome: 1) focusing on favored sources while ignoring disfavored sources, and 2) demanding that others with whom he disagrees produce talkpage content to satisfy his beliefs as to how discussion or editorializing should proceed. However, I do think the editor serves a valuable purpose in giving a perspective that is likely to closely mirror that of the subject of the article. Banning him will likely result in either Alfonzo or Lou stepping in to try to fill his shoes, and in a few days or weeks we'll be back. What is needed is a referee who is WP:COMPETENT in the material to end archive talkpage discussions that are pointless and encourage the (admittedly few) threads that actually lead toward collaborative editing in line with policies and avoiding promtionalism or obsessive-rejoinderism. Until or unless you guys find someone capable and willing to take on this task (an actual EDITOR in the publishing sense, not in the Wikipedia sense), this infection will simply continue to fester. jps (talk) 16:39, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
Statement by User:EatsShootsAndLeaves
Following this dicussion (including this sidebar), I am simply convinced about three things about Barleybannocks: 1) they are woefully misunderstanding the Wikipedia philosophy, beginning with the 5 pillars in toto; 2) they tremendously misunderstand policy, process, and community norms as a whole; and 3) they have ZERO desire to learn them - insisting that their interpretation of things and their rules are paramount, and that it's WE who must bend. He's simply using the issue of Sheldrake as an example (although he's bizarrely and ironically passionate about the subject). We have seen this progression from editors like this before: in no time, they're simply going to martyr themselves (and their personal attack this morning might just be the beginning of that). How then does the community respond to those unwilling to learn from the community? Mentoring? Blocks? Further topic bans? 12:10, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
Result concerning Barleybannocks
This section is to be edited only by uninvolved administrators. Comments by others will be moved to the section above.I fail to see how any of the diffs cited in the request are actionable misconduct. Discretionary sanctions are authorized as a response to violations of Wikipedia's conduct rules. Merely expressing the opinion (even a mistaken opinion) that something isn't pseudoscience doesn't violate any conduct rule that I am aware of, and no such rule is cited in the request. Whether Rupert Sheldrake's work should be described as pseudoscience in the article about him is a content dispute that can't be decided in this forum, and whether it is pseudoscience for the purpose of applying discretionary sanctions (as does seem likely from a glance at the article) does not need to be decided here because, as I said, there is no sanctionable misconduct. In the present form, the request borders on the frivolous, and TheRedPenOfDoom should be warned not to make such requests again, as they can create a chilling effect that stifles discussion.
If there is a case for action here, it is not well presented in the request. Some types of talk page conduct, such as writing walls of text and failing to engage with others, can be seen as misconduct, but we'd need evidence in the form of dated recent diffs of such misconduct.06:05, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
Barleybannocks and others have now supplied evidence of talk page misconduct by TheRedPenOfDoom. That includes needlessly coarse and intimidating language, which suppresses collegial discussion (e.g., "And I dont fucking like is (sic) you making assumptions about what I fucking like"), and violations of WP:BLP with respect to the article subject ("a psuedoscientific (sic) huckster). On that basis, I believe a ban from the topic of Rupert Sheldrake is appropriate for TheRedPenOfDoom also. 22:34, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
It should be noted that TRPoD has not, as far as I can tell, been explicitly warned about this (unlike Barleybannocks who was warned and material efforts were made to help him avoid topic banning). I have now warned TRPoD based on a particularly egregious example. I think this is premature, but probably not by much as TRPoD has been around long enough to know better. The talk page needs more light and less heat, and TRPoD is not currently part of that, let's see if a warning has any effect. Guy (Help!) 10:47, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
|Alfonzo Green is indefinitely topic-banned from Rupert Sheldrake, broadly construed. |
|The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.|
Request concerning Alfonzo Green
It is fair to characterise Alfonzo Green as a single-purpose account with a focus on Rupert Sheldrake, and little or no interest in any other topic.
There have been long periods of inactivity by this account, but the focus is, and always has been, Rupert Sheldrake.
The Sheldrake article is contentious. Sheldrake was originally a mainstream biologist but following his development of a conjecture he calls "morphic resonance", categorised as pseudoscience by numerous reliable independent sources, he has ceased publishing in that field and now writes speculative books supporting his conjecture and castigating the world of science for refusing to accept it, disputing, inter alia, conservation of energy (good luck with that).
This is not about the content that Alfonzo Green advocates ,though this is clearly not compliant with policy and consensus regarding fringe and pseudoscientific topics. It is about his insistence on, and refusal to be dissuaded from, rehashing closed debates. There is no obvious merit in an editor who has clearly been watching the article and debates, as Alfonzo Green unquestionably has, rehashing a debate that is so very unlikely to result in a consensus to change the article. The problem all along has been obdurate refusal by both sides, but mainly the pro-Sheldrake side, to compromise in any way. We recently topic-bannedfor exactly this, Alfonzo Green is doing the same, and appears to have decided to become active again primarily in order to pick up the baton from Barleybannocks.
This is a contentious article with some outside world focus. The character of debate, being characterise by obdurate refusal to accept that Sheldrake's ideas are generally regarded by the scientific community as nonsense, with a side order of trying to elevate the status of credentials over the ideas (a form of the appeal to authority fallacy) materially impeded progress towards compromise when barleybannocks did it, and continues to impede it now. There is no point arguing the rightness of a conjecture that lacks robust evidence and is contradicted by conservation of energy, to continue to do so is plainly obstructive and indicative of an inclination to keep asking until ou get the answer you want.
Discussion concerning Alfonzo Green
Statements must be made in separate sections. They may not exceed 500 words and 20 diffs, except by permission of a reviewing administrator.
Statement by Alfonzo Green
JzG claims that on Dec 23 I inserted disputed text against which there was consensus. His claim is not only false but irrelevant. Examining the talk page discussion over the last month, it's clear that no consensus has been reached. The number of editors arguing each side of the debate is roughly equal. But this is immaterial for the simple reason that the disputed text, according to Wikipedia policy, must be included. We must describe Sheldrake as a scientist or biologist because that's how the overwhelming majority of reliable secondary sources describe him. Since JzG has been following the talk page discussions, he certainly should know this. The following statement was posted less than a month ago:
Keep in mind this is a sampling, by no means an exhaustive list. Many more have since been added to the talk page. In my edit, I cited the New York Times article and added three more from the "paper of record" just to be perfectly clear that this is the consensus mainstream view of Sheldrake.
But contrast, only a tiny number of sources describe him otherwise. Two sources,  and  describe him as a parapsychologist, but both articles deal exclusively with his research into telepathy, so it's understandable they would label him this way. Neither source bothers to mention that he has undertaken this research to provide further evidence for his biological hypothesis of a mechanism of development from the egg. The only source that unequivocally denies Sheldrake's status as a scientist is an article by Jerry Coyne, , which labels Sheldrake a "pseudoscientist." Against dozens of sources that call him a scientist of one type or another, we have precisely one source that denies this status. Editors who remove his designation as a biologist are thus in violation of WP:Fringe. That Sheldrake's views are fringe does not alter the fact that the denial of his scientific status is also a fringe view.
JzG is bringing a complaint against me for attempting to enforce the principle that Wikipedia articles reflect sourced material. He repeats this error with his statement that on Dec 12 I inserted disputed text related to academic support for Sheldrake's work. Again, I quote a statement from the talk page that JzG has presumably already seen:
JzG claims these statements merely support Sheldrake's right to express his views rather than the content of his work. Not only is this false but it reveals a failure to understand the nature of science. Roszak, for instance, isn't claiming that morphic resonance is wrong but that proposing radical theories, right or wrong, is essential to the progress of science. The anti-Sheldrake editors seem to think that a scientist who departs from conventional wisdom is no longer a real scientist. I can't imagine a more ignorant, anti-science attitude.
Ironically, JzG accuses me on my talk page of promoting an anti-science agenda. He also says I'm "asserting that unverifiable conjectures are anything else," as if the fact that Sheldrake is a scientist and enjoys a degree of academic support is unverified conjecture. When I stated that our opinions are beside the point and that only the sources matter, he said, "You have it the wrong way round, but you already know that." I assume he means here that the sources back up his view, not mine, and that I'm deliberately lying. I don't think JzG is lying. I think he's profoundly confused. He's so convinced that Sheldrake is a pseudoscientist, he can't accept that the bulk of secondary sources don't back up this view. His idea of consensus is a group of editors who share his personal bias and willingness to flaunt Wikipedia policy so as to "Right Great Wrongs," an error he then projects onto me.
It's odd that he leaves out my contributions to the genetic determinism article, in which I made no effort to invoke Sheldrake. My interest in Sheldrake follows from my interest in biology. I've had to devote in astounding amount of time and effort to his biography page because it's been dominated for several months now by editors who wish to bias his article as much as possible. For my dedication to restoring accuracy to this article, I'm now to be banned from it like so many before me. As long as administration punishes those who seek neutrality and retains those who blatantly violate it, this problem will not go away.
Bottom line: JzG is making false claims in order to silence an editor for introducing relevant, sourced material. That he's an administrator only makes his disgraceful conduct that much more scandalous. Alfonzo Green (talk) 18:22, 24 December 2013 (UTC)
@Tznkai How am I supposed to know I'm accused of edit warring when JzG never utters that phrase in his complaint? The only thing he specifies is that I'm "rehashing a debate that is so very unlikely to result in a consensus to change the article." Whose fault is it that consensus can't be reached when one side is appealing to secondary sources while the other side brazenly ignores them? However, now that you've brought up the charge of edit warring, I'm more than happy to respond. It takes two to tango, and the edit I introduced was reverted by a committed anti-Sheldrake editor called Roxy the dog: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Rupert_Sheldrake&diff=prev&oldid=587164732. Note that he claims to be reverting a "POV edit." My edit was based on secondary sources. Roxy's reversion was in defiance of the source material and therefore in defiance of the principle that Wikipedia is based on what reliable sources say rather than the opinions of editors. So, whose edit is POV? If anyone is edit warring, it's Roxy, not me.
I agree that the issue is not whether Sheldrake should be called a biologist or not, but this point is irrelevant. The issue is whether editors base edits on reliable sources, and it just happens that this edit concerns Sheldrake's status as a biologist.
You say "this is not a project where being right excuses you from having to do it right." In what way am I not doing this right? Before making the edit, I explained it on the talk page and responded to some of the comments. To understand why I didn't respond to all the comments, please have a look at the talk page discussion and the irrational commentary the anti-Sheldrake editors offered in response to my edit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Rupert_Sheldrake#Reality_and_Wikipediality
Roxy's first comment was "Please don't do that." In other words, please don't bring the opening sentence in line with Wikipedia policy. Roxy's next comment was "Your sources are useless. Please self revert unless you can demonstrate he is a biologist per my comments above." Keep in mind we're talking about four sources from the New York Times. The comments he refers to are the following: "If he is a scientist, show us his scientific work. The publications, the criticism (meant in its classic sense) the collaborations, the citations, the discussions, the follow-up work, the other scientists in the field, the awards, the acclaim of peers etc. etc. I point you to the huge gaping and above all - empty - vacuum." --Roxy the dog (resonate) 09:06, 10 December 2013 (UTC) Even a cursory examination of the article demonstrates the falsehood of this claim, for instance his collaboration with neuroscientist Steven Rose to test morphic resonance in successive batches of day-old chicks. But that's not the point. The point is that Roxy wants to argue over the content of the article instead of simply reporting what the sources say. That's why I opened the subsequent talk discussion with my own opinion on Sheldrake's work and followed this up by noting that my particular opinion doesn't matter any more than the opinions of any other editors. It's not about our opinions. It's about restoring the neutrality that was abolished in July.
This isn't about me or even Sheldrake. This is about Wikipedia. We have a clear-cut example of abuse of Wikipedia policies encouraged by an administrator who tries to silence an editor protesting said abuse. If Wikipedia can't get this right, why should the general public believe Wikipedia can get anything right? Those of you sitting in judgment here need to take a deep breath and really think this over, perhaps leaving it until the 26th, by which time you'll have had a chance to digest all this material. Please, for the good of Wikipedia. Alfonzo Green (talk) 22:32, 24 December 2013 (UTC)
@Mangoe Thanks for reminding me about the Wolpert-Sheldrake wager in the genetic determinism article. Though it's obviously relevant, in the judgment of other editors it wasn't notable enough to warrant mentioning. (The discussion took place elsewhere). In the spirit of compromise, I made no effort to restore the edit. If there's a thematic pattern to my edits, it's that I oppose deterministic philosophy (though I've never placed my belief above the facts according to reliable sources).
Statement by User:Roxy the dog
What were the four NYT sources Alfonzo "bigs up" so much? They are still there. In the first sentence of the lede. The first is in the fashion pages, the second from a piece on the arts, the third written by the "Hatched, Matched and Despatched" intern, (actually an obit of John Maddox) and the fourth is taken from the description of a 1994 TV show. The journalists concerned probably couldn't recognise a scientist if they tripped over one at CERN. --Roxy the dog (resonate) 22:46, 24 December 2013 (UTC)
Statement by The Devil's Advocate
I think it would be deeply misguided to gradually ban from the article anyone who thinks Sheldrake should be treated with greater respect and thus let his bio be controlled by people who express open disdain for the man and his ideas. Guy's flouting of his admin status here is not exactly appropriate behavior.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 03:52, 24 December 2013 (UTC)
As to the question of edit-warring, I would note that Alfonzo may not have made a second revert on the article had Barney3 not violated 1RR with this revert, which came twenty-four hours and three minutes after this revert.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 23:51, 24 December 2013 (UTC)
Comment by Uninvolved A Quest for Knowledge
I just wanted to mention that the pseudoscience ArbCom case is extremely old. It was opened 12 October 2006 and seems to cover an overly broad spectrum of articles. (There are lots of pseudoscientific theories. Are they all covered under these sanctions? Apparently so. But since most adherents of pseudoscience dispute that their theories are pseudoscience, how does AE determine which topics are actually covered under the pseudoscience sanctions without making a content decision? Content decisions are clearly beyond ArbCom's (and by extension, AE) remit.) There was a recent clarification request where the Arbitration Committee distanced itself from its own ruling due to the age of the case. Perhaps it's time to end these sanctions? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 06:27, 24 December 2013 (UTC)
Statement by Johnuniq
I have taken a break from watching the article and its talk page, but I would like to make one observation, prompted by The Devil's Advocate's statement. It is obvious that a group of editors have been trying to puff up the topic and minimize mentions of the fact that "pseudoscience" is a kind description of several of the ideas mentioned, but it is also true that those on the other side have sometimes been too vigorous in their approach. However, TDA's concern is misplaced because if the SPAs were removed, experienced editors would start repairing the article with proper balance. It is the unlimited enthusiasm of the SPAs, and their over-the-top proposals, that leads to others being unwilling to consider anything of a positive nature. Johnuniq (talk) 06:54, 24 December 2013 (UTC)
Statement by Barney the barney barney (talk) 11:39, 24 December 2013 (UTC)
I agree with everything that Jzg (talk · contribs) says, because it is fair and accurate and he is an experienced admin. It is worth looking at all the contributions of Alfonzo Green (talk · contribs) under WP:ARB/PS and WP:FRINGE.
I do sense that Jzg (talk · contribs) is somewhat frustrated by the whole process - my sense is that this is a result of the previous general unwillingness to take action by the authorities, despite the existence of WP:ARB/PS. This is entirely understandable, and it would be unfair for the authorities to hold this frustration against him when they are at least partially responsible for creating the environment that generates the frustration in the first place. If this is handled appropriately I'm sure Jzg's annoyance will only be transient. Barney the barney barney (talk) 11:39, 24 December 2013 (UTC)
Statement by iantresman
@Tznkai. The onus is on an editor to demonstrate "edit warring" with diffs, not for an editor to prove that they didn't (which is not possible). As I showed in my comments above, Alfonzo Green has not been editing against consensus, but has been removing changes that have also not met consensus. --Iantresman (talk) 19:20, 24 December 2013 (UTC)
@Editors. Which part of "Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Pseudoscience" are we seeking remedy? Alfonzo Green did not violate every sentence. It is not a problem to "debate", nor to repeat discussions if other editors are also repeating the same. Or are we judging the content issues that Guy mentioned, or should they be struck? --Iantresman (talk) 19:42, 24 December 2013 (UTC)
@Tznkai. I agree this is not about "established consensus". But Alfonzo Green did not war with himself. He did not go against consensus. That was the allegation. It was not substantiated with diffs. --Iantresman (talk) 00:40, 25 December 2013 (UTC)
Statement by Tom Butler
Wikipedia is founded on the assumption that editors are able to establish consensus to develop a proper article. In fact, this basic assumption is repeatedly shown to be wrong because blocks of editors are able to dominate specific articles. The real failure here is that there are no honest brokers trying to help maintain balance.
In my view, Alfonzo Green is treating the subject properly. But, as there are fewer and fewer editors who have been trying to treat the subject with respect, the remaining few have found it necessary to be even more assertive.
Perhaps the greatest sin here is that administrators expect people to give up moral principles and quietly go away. That has not happened.
In this case, an administrator has continuously exhibited a point of view which implicitly supports a group of editors more interested in proving Sheldrake is just a pseudoscience nuisance than explaining who he is. Terms such as those used above by Guy: "long-settled issues," "widely discussed with consensus" and "rehashing closed debates" exhibit a myopic view of what is really occurring. None of those characterizations are true, but they signal to the skeptical editors that they are right and anything done in dispute is wrong.
Guy is assuming bad faith editing. Alfonzo Green's actions are symptomatic of a lone editor trying to protect the good name of a still living scientist. It is fact that Sheldrake is still one, even though at 70, he has turned more to philosophy just as Einstein and Edison did in their later years.
I think the solution is to either just delete the article to protect Wikipedia or split it so that there is the biography and his theories in separate articles where they belong. I for one would go away if the biography part is fair. (By the way, this proposal has repeatedly been shot down by editors who clearly want the article as is so that they can discredit the man. That is pretty much how the future history of this little flap is going to be written.) Tom Butler (talk) 19:30, 24 December 2013 (UTC)
Statement by Mangoe
While it is true that there are old edits by AG on other subjects, the fact is that his contributions show that he has edited no article other than Sheldrake's since he resumed editing in October after a two and a half year hiatus. I also find that nearly all his other article edits are related to Sheldrake: one series is on a wager Sheldrake made with one Lewis Wolpert; others inserted mention of that wager in scientific wager and in genetic determinism; the creode edit also inserted material about Sheldrake. The only edits that do not explicitly mention Sheldrake are the handful on Mae-Wan Ho and Ilya Prigogine, minor changes to a pair of biologist/geneticists, and a longer series on Michael Shermer, a prominent skeptic; and this edit in particular is strongly consonant with the line of argument taken with the Sheldrake article. I'm not sure exactly how Ho fits into this, but Prigogine is also connected through the same themes, as seen in this edit. All of the latter edits are at least four years old, and AG's very first edit was to Sheldrake's article. So yes, his editing pattern surely is that of an SPA. Mangoe (talk) 00:45, 25 December 2013 (UTC)
Result concerning Alfonzo Green
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Discussion has trailed off. I see unanimous agreement between Georgewilliamherbert, NuclearWarfare, Tznkai, MastCell and Sandstein that, after due warnings and previous attempts by administrators to get Alfonzo to stop disruptive editing behavior (see block log), Alfonzo has persisted in engaging in disruptive edit-warring behavior. In Alfonzo's statement here, I don't see any indication that the tendentious edit-warring behavior will stop; in fact all I see is a justification for it. I also see in this edit by Alfonzo that he is invoking WP:Ignore all rules as justification for breaking the rules against edit-warring at this article. Based on this I am closing this AE request with an indefinite topic ban of Alfonzo Green from Rupert Sheldrake, broadly construed. Alfonzo may appeal this topic ban through the normal AE topic ban appeal processes and timeframes.