Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Enforcement/Archive143

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Barleybannocks[edit]

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).  Sandstein  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.
Requests may not exceed 500 words and 20 diffs (not counting required information), except by permission of a reviewing administrator.

Request concerning Barleybannocks[edit]

User who is submitting this request for enforcement 
-- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 21:54, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
User against whom enforcement is requested 
Barleybannocks (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log)
Sanction or remedy to be enforced
Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Pseudoscience#Pseudoscience_2
Diffs of edits that violate this sanction or remedy, and an explanation how these edits violate it 
  1. 00:26, 15 December 2013 "I am opposing your statement of generally considered pseudoscience because it is based on a minority of sources which say pseudoscience, and ignores the majority of sources which say science" - denial of Rupert Sheldrake's works as being generally considered pseudoscience.
  2. D06:29, 16 December 2013 The user was questioned about whether or not they were really positing that Sheldrakes works were not generally considered pseudoscience, and reminded that AE applied]
  3. 12:18, 16 December 2013 "It's not my position, it's what the sources say."
Diffs of notifications or of prior warnings against the conduct objected to (if required) 
  1. Warned on 00:49, 18 November 2013 by Bbb23 (talk · contribs)
  2. D06:29, 16 December 2013 The user was questioned about whether or not they were really positing that Sheldrakes works were not generally considered pseudoscience, and reminded that AE applied]
Additional comments by editor filing complaint 

The article Rupert Sheldrake (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) 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 [1] ) 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)

Per iantresman, all the others that hold that Sheldrake's work is not generally considered pseudoscience should also be banned from the article. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 02:01, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
@SirFozzie: and @Richwales: does the utter lack of support that there is anything wrong with the article in these recent notice board discussions [[2]] (which was archived before yet another futile trip to the BLPN Wikipedia:BLPN#Talk:Rupert_Sheldrake) impact whether there should be a specific RfC about the article?-- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 12:07, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
@Sandstein: and @The Devil's Advocate: - I am not suggesting they be banned "because they do not agree with me". I am suggesting that they be banned for the TE of filling up pages and pages of archives trying to suggest that an article that is under the PSEUDOSCIENCE arbcom sanctions is not "generally considered pseudoscience". -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 17:34, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
FWIW, The comment was originally made partly in jest in response to iantresman's apparent suggestion that because multiple people making the same inane push there was somehow mitigating circumstances to allow TE pushing by Barleybannocks to go unquestioned.-- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 21:18, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

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: [3] 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 [4] he replies with not only the standard IDIDNOTHEARTHAT [5] 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 - [6] and [7] -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 02:56, 20 December 2013 (UTC)

Given that the only positive contributions I can show for my participation in the article for three months and untold number of pixels is the movement of 2 sentences and the calling out of a particularly egregious misrepresentation of sources [8] I am fully willing to recognize that my light to smoke ratio is abysmal. I will take a voluntary 6 month hiatus from the article and its talk page and focus my efforts on other areas of the encyclopedia. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 11:59, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
Notification of the user against whom enforcement is requested 


Discussion concerning Barleybannocks[edit]

Statements must be made in separate sections. They may not exceed 500 words and 20 diffs, except by permission of a reviewing administrator.
Administrators may remove or shorten noncompliant statements. Disruptive contributions may result in blocks.

Statement by Barleybannocks[edit]

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.[10] 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 Sandstein's comment below about Barney and TRPoD only just getting the warnings. Are these the ones they only just got, TRPoD [11] and Barney [12] more than a month ago.

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 [13] 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.[14][15][16] 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.[17] 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,[18], here [19] and here [20] Or to engage in BLP-violating abuse of the subject of the article. Here, for example [21] 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, [22] 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.” [23]

Bryan Appleyard, writing in the Sunday Times (a source already used in the article) says “Morphic resonance is widely derided and narrowly supported”.[24]

Adam Lucas, [25] 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:

Nobel Laureate in Physics Brian David Josephson writing in Nature.[26]

Marc Bekoff, Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder writing in Psychology Today.[27]

Menas Kafatos, the Fletcher Jones Endowed Professor of Computational Physics and the Director of the Center of Excellence at Chapman University – Huffington Post [28]

Stuart Hameroff Professor of Anesthesiology and Psychology, Director, Center for Consciousness Studies, The University of Arizona – Huffington Post [29]

Rudolph E. Tanzi,[30] 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 [31]

Neil Theise,[32] Professor, Pathology and Medicine, (Division of Digestive Diseases) Beth Israel Medical Center - Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York – Huffington Post [33]

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.

David Bohm FRS, who collaborated with Sheldrake on connection between his implicate order and Sheldrake’s morphic resonance with a dialogue published in the peer-reviewed journal ReVision

Hans-Peter Durr Physicist, who wrote about Sheldrake’s work in connection with quantum Physics

Theodore Roszak Professor Emeritus of history at California State University, East Bay writing in New Scientist [34]

Mary Midgley writing in the Guardian [35]

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, [36] 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. [37] [38] [39] [40]

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.

Thank you.

Statement by Barney the barney barney[edit]

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)

Paragraph removed by an administrator for containing unsupported accusations of misconduct. The editor has been warned.  Sandstein  22:31, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
Further point This edit, starting with a clearly loaded question, followed by a lecture to a "senior editor" (Barley bannock (talk · contribs)'s words not mine), clearly show that Barleybannocks (talk · contribs) still doesn't get the points we have repeatedly made to him. Barney the barney barney (talk) 12:43, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

Statement by iantresman[edit]

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.[41][42][43] 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[44][45][46][47][48] (see also "Persistent Bullying of Rupert Sheldrake Editors", and offensive editing behavior[49][50][51][52][53]

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[54] including adminstrators[55] that I robustly rebutted despite there being not one diff in support of the allegation. --Iantresman (talk) 01:55, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

@Arbitrators. In my nearly 10 years on Wikipedia, why is it that no-one requests allegations to be substantiated with diffs?
  • My recent WP:AN case[56] was supported with no diffs, and none were forthcoming on request.
  • My Community Ban[57] was support by no diffs, a fact noted in the discussion by me and at least two other editors.
  • My recent Discretion Sanction[58] include no diffs of any edits by me.
For someone with my alleged notoriety, editors should be spoilt for choice of diffs demonstrating misconduct and improper edits. That there are none, and worse, not asked for, is grossly unfair, can be solved trivially, and would circumvent the need to wade through dozens of unsubstantiated and potentially unreliable comments. If any of you were the targets of allegation of misconduct, you'd rightly request and expect them. --Iantresman (talk) 12:08, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
@SirFozzie The only possible issue with an RfC is (1) how it is phrased, and (2) where it is announced. I would imagine that there would be a different outcome depending on whether it was announced only at WP:FTN, or only at WP:PARA. If an RfC were made, I would suggest that it is announced in neither of these locations, and restricted to only WP:NPOVN, and perhaps WP:RSN. --Iantresman (talk) 14:46, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
@vzaak: As someone actively taking part in the talk page discussion, you will have seen the WP:AE notification (permalink) on the same page. The editors I notified were those I mentioned specifically in my post. If it's any consolation, no-one notified me either. I am also not " topic-banned from other areas of pseudoscience", and would be grateful if you would strike this from your comment. --Iantresman (talk) 20:57, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
@MastCell:-
  1. So that Barleybannocks and other editors can also assess them too, could you provide some of the diffs you found describing (a) Barleybannocks' "strong personal viewpoint", (b) Non-neutral edits/discussion.
  2. Although half the editors commenting thought otherwise, could you comment on why you thought opposing editors' strong personal viewpoint, and their edits, are not equally problematic? --Iantresman (talk) 22:21, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
  • @vzaak: The Journal of Consciousness Studies did not "abandoned peer-review for its issue on Sheldrake"[59] but chose to use "open peer review" as trialled by Nature.[60] Despite a similar suggestion by TRPoD[61] in a thread(parmalink) you were part of, this is misleading, biased, and discrediting, violating WP:NPOV --Iantresman (talk) 00:36, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
  • @Editors may wish to review WP:DISRUPTSIGNS in order to provide diffs demonstrating disruptive editing, not to be confused with intensive discussion. --Iantresman (talk) 10:37, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
  • @Arbitrators. I am uneasy that some Arbitrators are making blanket claims of "Barleybannocks's disruption" without providing any examples or diffs. I am pleased that some have requested diffs concerning other editors. I hope that the case will stay open long enough for editors to see what they can find. --Iantresman (talk) 10:50, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

@Mangoe. Removed by an administrator as a discussion about content. Please limit statements to pertinent submissions of evidence about editor conduct.  Sandstein  16:14, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

@Sandstein How can you allow an editor to make a comment involving content, but remove[62] the reply that contradicts it? I specifically noted that it was consistent with WP:DISRUPTSIGNS, and provided the sources to backup my statement. --Iantresman (talk) 16:54, 18 December 2013 (UTC) Dealt with elsewhere. --Iantresman (talk) 18:12, 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)

Summary with diffs

1. Re: sokal affair (permalink). See also, the current text in the article "In scientific and popular culture"(p) where the criticism is on Sokal's paper, not Sheldrake's work.

The "sokal affair" section begins well. After Barleybannocks makes an edit in the article[63] minutes later, he provides the first explanation on the talk page (explaining the inadvertent association fallacy)[64] and later why it is wrong in a BLP (see "Balance" and the comment on Guilt by Associate). The discussion begins to go wrong when:

  1. Guy accuses Barleybannocks that he "refuses to even countenance compromise by suggesting an alternative quote .. one more black mark against you"[65], contradicted by BB in the previous comment, that he had made tweaks[66][67] that were changed by Barney.[68]. Guys comment is incivil and uncalled for.
  2. It gets worse. Next Guy accused BB that he does "not to understand what compromise means", and "inserted different wording," and of taking ownership.[69]. You can't have it both ways, ask an editor to provide alternative wording, and then complaint when they do. This is unreasonable and incivil.
  3. It gets worse. Later, Guy accused BB that "Your 'compromise' is obdurate refusal to compromise. You are now on notice."[70] To describe a good faith attempt to compromise an "obdurate refusal" not to, is misleading and unfair. Then to put an editor on notice while involved with the same article[71] based on misleading reasons, must be an abuse of Administrator privilige.

Later editor Andreas suggests an edit[72] which BB is quite happy with, and explains why.[73]

It appears to me that BB is making good faith attempts to improve this part of the article, and doing so with appropriate discussion and reasoning. I haven't even mentioned the changes that Barney was making behing the scenes[74][75][76] with no attempt to engage in the talk page discussion, and with the apparent blessing of Guy who had been made aware of Barney's edits by BB, twice.[77][78]


2. Re: Sheldrake 2. Callanecc pointed us towards this discussion,[79] and I'd like to limit my comments to the first post initiated by Guy.

  1. The entire post by Guy is consistent with WP:ASPERSIONS, containing several allegation, and not one single supporting diff. The effort required to fact check the contents is oneous and disrupting to anyone wish to carry on editing. It violates WP:WIAPA "Accusations about personal behavior that lack evidence [that] often takes the form of diffs and links presented on wiki."
  2. Guy suggests that "The problem with barley's edits is that he asserts that his bias is neutrality .. Barley is here to support Sheldrake,". How do we know (a) BB is here to support Sheldrake, (b) the support will result in bias, rather than fairness (c) that other editors opinions will also not result in inappropriate bias?
  3. Some of logic in the post is quite fallacious. "You know that SPAs usually have a deep commitment to a POV" .. "the fact that he's a WP:SPA", from which we are lead to conclude that ALL SPA, and hence BB have a (biased) POV? This is fallacious and misleading.
  4. "I'm an OTRS volunteer, so I am comfortable that when I judge the biographical element to be compliant with WP:BLP I am right. Barley doesn't seem to accept that," So can BB claim to be right if he's a Red Cross volunteer and read lots of biographies? We don't know what editing experience he has.

I was also on the receiving end of Guy's Admin stick[80], with the same pattern of a lot of unsubstantiated allegations. My firm rebuttal, with diffs!, is a substantial disruption to my usual editing, and my polite request for some diffs was not forthcoming.

I had a similar incident from Barney, see "User_talk:Iantresman#Barney_objections Barney objections"(P)


3. Re: "Supporters & Fans". The continued description by some editors of others as Sheldrake/fringe/pseudoscience supporters/fans, is never substantiated (ie. it is presumed), and has only one use: to try and discredit editors by suggesting a conflict of interest, or by association. It has no constructive editorial value to make such comments, and is a personal attack "regardless of whether said affiliations are mainstream" (even if they are true!) per WP:WIAPA, and hence consistent with WP:DISRUPTSIGNS.

  1. See examples in my comments to "@Carcharoth & Roger Davies" here[81]
  2. See more examples by Barney.[82]

Likewise, questioning another editor's competence is equally insulting, and a personal attack (address the comment, not the editor). Imagine your Admin decisions caused editors to questions your competency!:-

  1. "Looks like a pretty clear case of WP:COMPETENCE issues leading to WP:POV pushing. This is fairly typical of Sheldrake's fans"[83]
  2. "Clear competency issues here."[84]
  3. "You are either incompetent or trolling"[85]
  4. "this demonstrates a lack of basic WP:COMPETENCE"[86]
  5. "This is clearly either stupidity or incompetence"[87]
  6. "If you aren't competent enough to see where a scientist is judging content for the lack of its scientific basis, then you should probably not be in this conversation"[88]
  7. "If you think facts can't be falsified, you are not competent enough to be editorializing here."[89]
  8. ""Are you incapable of rational thought? You cannot be that stupid" "[90]

--Iantresman (talk) 01:52, 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)

@Callanecc Thank you for your comment, drawing a line under the issue at this point seems reasonable. --Iantresman (talk) 14:12, 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[edit]

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[edit]

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.[91] 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

  • poppycock
  • nonsense
  • utter nonsense

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)

  • Vzaak: When a BLP subject complains about an article, you should be cautious before dismissing his concerns. I am not part of any off-wiki push, and I have found and failed to fix notable problems. Our article should note the abundant criticism of several of his ideas, but Sheldrake should not be singled out as a "former" biochemist or defined solely as a "pseudoscientist", and his continuing publication record should be acknowledged.[92] Nor is it Wikipedia's role to blindly dismiss and avoid coverage of all things paranormal and extraordinary. Like it or not, it is out there, and once you've seen it, you may need to consider a lot of things seriously that you used to hold beneath ridicule. Wnt (talk) 00:14, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

Statement by Lou Sander[edit]

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., [93] 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.

To me, Barleybannocks seems to be working diligently toward consensus, in an environment where many others seem to be working against it. Lou Sander (talk) 16:28, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

@MastCell: I second the concerns of Iantresman and others that Barleybannock has not been shown through diffs to have strong personal viewpoints about Sheldrake, and that others who DO have strong personal opinions have not been called on it. IMHO, the frequent rude expression of those opinions has been an important factor in driving neutral editors away from this article. Lou Sander (talk) 23:00, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
@Tznkai - From the sidelines, re your question to Olive: IMHO, a shepherd with a billy stick could do a lot to fix the numerous situations where Editor A says "Provide a suggested wording (or a RS, or whatever)", and Editor B says "I did, but you're not acknowledging it", and Editor A says "you #$%@, don't you GET IT???" Lou Sander (talk) 05:32, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
@ Sandstein  - As a newbie to AE forums, I think I have finally figured out that they are basically 100% about behavior and 0% about article content. That is not necessarily obvious to everyone. From what he has posted here, I'm guessing that it is not obvious to Barleybannocks. IMHO it would help things greatly if this could be made clearer (IF I have it right, of course). There is plenty of bad behavior in the Sheldrake world, typically initiated by disagreements over article content. It's easy for those who comment to focus on the wrong part of the equation. Lou Sander (talk) 17:21, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
@Tznkai - There are some who claim to be consensus builders: [94]. Here is a diff showing provocative behavior toward Barleybannocks by one of them: [95]. The consensus-builder calls the BLP subject "nothing but a pseudoscientific huckster". They call editors not in their own consensus-seeking group "fans", in spite of these folks' frequent assertions that they are not. This might be seen by Barleybannocks and others as a challenge by a bully. It might get responses in kind, if not for their forbearance. Lou Sander (talk) 21:48, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
Here is more discussion between some supposed anti-science and anti-Wikipedia "fans" and a consensus-builder. ("Every piece of nonsensical crap" is maybe not 100% in that vein.) Barleybannocks is involved, and IMHO not very tendentious: [96]. And here is an addition to that dialogue by another "fan": [97]. (Take it from the top. The Panpsychism stuff is on a different subject.) Lou Sander (talk) 22:25, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
@MastCell - It would be VERY useful to a lot of us, (including Barleybannocks, but mostly the rest of us IMHO), if we understood in more detail just why he was banned. It is apparently obvious to some, but not so clear to others. Could somebody here explain it to us, or is there someplace we can go to learn more about it (hopefully without having to read and interpret walls of text), or is there maybe something else available???? Some of us are not exactly stupid, yet we don't grok something that is apparently obvious to others. Lou Sander (talk) 22:08, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

Comment by Littleolive oil[edit]

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))

  • An editor advocates removing and entire group of editors, and that rather horrendous comment in a community that is supposed to be collaborative is not a violation of an arbitration, nor are the implications of that kind of attitude discussed in terms of how that is disruptive, truly uncivil, and contributes to a poisonous talk page environment? Then an editor is sanctioned for writing too much on a talk page in a situation where a POV is so blatant that editors feel free to discuss removing editors they disagree with. I think there's something very wrong here.(Littleolive oil (talk) 22:38, 17 December 2013 (UTC)(
  • While probably not popular or even usual, and certainly idealistic; I wonder if editors who on either side of this argument, if they know, they either get along or face sanctions, and with a mediator present who can monitor the talk page and editing,whether there could be some peace on that article. This only works if all editors whose actions have not been, let's say helpful, face possible sanction. Better to retain editor input than sanction seems to me. This doesn't seem to be a one sided problem.(Littleolive oil (talk) 03:49, 18 December 2013 (UTC))


    • Hi Tznkai. Thank you for even considering that there might be another way of dealing with this than the usual sanction-an admin with a stick. I am asking for something that doesn't exist, but should because the present system cannot be fair. Unless, Sandstein has read through all of the article talk page, the article and its edits and the various user talk pages; he will not see what is really going on. And what is going on? Just the usual - ongoing argument about content on a contentious article, and in this case a BLP. To consider:
  • A very good. very mature, neutral editor aware both of what constitutes fringe and BLP left the article, not in a huff but hurt and maybe damaged by this process. That's not acceptable and points to more than one editor causing problems.
  • TRPOD asks for all editors on one side of this debate be sanctioned. How can such a statement be ignored when the stick falls. This points to an editor with an extreme POV. To make such a comment, he has to first delineate editors into two groups as for or against something, and in doing so, he has to be identifying what he thinks is acceptable content and then asking those who don't feel as he does to be removed. How is that kind action and thinking not hugely problematic in any discussion. How does that attitude not colour a talk page and how can that be ignored when looking for where the problems are?
  • An editor is at risk of a sanction based on his talk page discussion. What is the charge against him, the usual and highly nebulous tendentious editing? Who accompanied him on that journey? Are they not tendentious as well, but for another view. You can't be tendentious by yourself. Assuming one editor is arguing for something, while the others are arguing for what is right is another POV which a sanctioning admin should not have if a judgement is going to be fair.
  • Barney3 attempted to change the Fringe guideline recently. [98] I assume he meant well, but the changes indicate a strong POV and are changes that would impact the Sheldrake article in the midst of all of this squabbling. The changes were discussed here. [99]. Several editors, Mastcell, Dougweller (myself) did not seem to be greatly in support of the change so at this point the idea has been dropped.

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))


To Tznkai: Thanks for considering the points above and thanks for listening. Yes, I'll keep an eye on the article and post to you any concerns. What if Barley were to voluntarily take a week long break? Wikipedia is not punitive. If the community is suggesting that a break would be to his benefit unless Wikipedia is punitive, it doesn't matter how he takes that break. There may be others who could use the break too. How mature that would be if all editors took a break voluntarily. What a show of good faith in each other and what effect would that show of good faith have on the article environment.(Littleolive oil (talk) 21:15, 18 December 2013 (UTC))

PS If someone else wants to take this please feel free. Definitely not attached. :O}(Littleolive oil (talk) 00:17, 19 December 2013 (UTC))

    • To Callanecc : I'm surprised to see Tznkai's solution to this situation ignored. What happened to a few days article ban or if Barleybannocks is willing, he will take a break himself. Not only that, I don't see that Tznkai's solution was even considered or discussed. Perhaps I missed something. (I've checked Tznkai's talk and I don't see discussion there) If I've missed something I apologize , but I did want to make sure the best possible solution for an editor was not ignored. Finally there are indications that the problems on the article page include more than one editor. How is an indef article ban of any one editor fair or serve the article development. Again if I've missed something I apologize.(Littleolive oil (talk) 10:26, 19 December 2013 (UTC))
    • To Barleybannocks. Barley i doubt you made things easier for yourself by continuing to post, but I think its important for you to expect clear answers on what you did that precipitated a sanction.
    • To the admins: Wikipedia has a very set culture and a new user would probably not understand how it works and what is acceptable and what isn't. In life we tend to forget what it was like when we didn't know something or have something once we move beyond that. Had Barley been addressed directly and positions stated for him; this might have ended better. I hope in the future admins will consider asking questions first and shooting second so all editors can really understand what is going on. (Littleolive oil (talk) 17:03, 19 December 2013 (UTC))

Statement by Mangoe[edit]

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)

re Alfonzo Green's statement: This is a classic case of the kind of badgering the non-supporter side has had to put up with. A simple Google book search for "Sheldrake pseudoscience" provides ample evidence of the lack of regard that exists for his ideas outside the alt-med/pseudoscientific world, to the point where one can separate the sheep from the goats as to whether they say "scientists" or "some scientists". Most famously John Maddox, the editor of Nature at the time, published a scathing editorial assailing Sheldrake's ideas. There is no reason to expect that there should be long lists of people who can be cited on this, but both AG and BB incessantly hammer on the notion that we have to imply that there might be something to Sheldrake's notions because dozens upon dozens of scientists haven't taken the time to explicitly address them. The logic of this is obviously specious and would imply that we have to implicitly endorse every pseudoscientific and alt-med idea that comes along simply because large numbers of Scientists don't make room on their schedules to do rigorous rebuttals. The idea is ludicrous and its advocates need to be told to stop pushing it. Mangoe (talk) 14:15, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
@iantresman: Removed by an administrator as a discussion about content. Please limit statements to pertinent submissions of evidence about editor conduct.  Sandstein  17:26, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

Statement by The Devil's Advocate[edit]

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[edit]

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.

Please stop playing Solomon and try to keep this article from being a black eye for Wikipedia! Tom Butler (talk) 18:49, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

To the Administrators, please be mindful that much of BarleyBannocks' behavior can probably be attributed to a learned response due to the recalcitrance and bullying of other editors which has driven off most others. He has been patiently trying to explain a point that is simply being ignored. It is unreasonable to expect him to just give up but that is exactly the response expected by editors who stonewall. Tom Butler (talk) 03:12, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
To the Administrators, This seems to have turned into a lynching. What in the diffs is so compelling that you are willing to block a user who is so clearly willing to work with editors to improve the article? Compare how the article looked a few months ago with today. It is much improved as a "What it is and why, with moderate mainstream opinion" article. BarleyBannocks is much the reason for that. I can promise you that, with him gone, the article will quickly revert back to "What it is and why it is all crap".
Please explain your reasoning! What diffs? Tom Butler (talk) 20:24, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

Statement by Enric Naval[edit]

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[edit]

Given the sustained push by Barleybannocks to the Sheldrake article and talk page, I had expected an eventual AE (as suggested by JzG[100]), 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: [101][102][103][104][105][106][107][108][109][110][111][112][113][114] (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,[115] 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)

Speaking of manipulation, I was wondering why so many of the above statements were slanted in one direction, and found Iantresman's canvassing for this AE: [116][117][118][119][120][121][122][123][124] I was not notified by Iantresman, nor was anyone else who doesn't share Iantresman's point of view. This should be immediately actionable. (For context see JzG's AN on Iantresman, who has been topic-banned from other areas of pseudoscience.) vzaak 20:15, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Additional diffs: Here is Barleybannocks slow-warring on content related to the conversation mentioned above.[125][126][127]. With the last diff Barleybannocks actually violated the 1RR since this is also a revert:[128][129], wherein Barleybannocks removes the fact that the Journal of Consciousness Studies abandoned peer-review for its issue on Sheldrake. (Barleybannocks replaces it with a nebulous phrase "open peer-review process", which does not communicate the important point that the regular peer review was suspended.) vzaak 23:35, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
Second statement by vzaak[edit]

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:

  1. Iantresman provides the following quote in support of Sheldrake: "Granted its scientific" - Prof. Steven Rose.[130]
  2. Without even looking at the source, there is already something fishy because Steven Rose is Sheldrake's nemesis of old. Plus, the grammar in the quote is wrong.
  3. TRPoD responds, "are you purposefully trying to present things out of context?" and provides the full quote, "Granted its scientific and philosophical implausibility".[131]
  4. It is now established that Iantresman was quote-mining Rose's words to suggest the exact opposite of what Rose actually said.
  5. Iantresman pushes "Granted its scientific" again! He uses this quote-mine as evidence that other sources are unreliable![132]
  6. TRPoD responds: And i cannot believe that you are so blatantly misquoting Rose again!! He is NOT stating ""Granted its scientific." his full clause is "Granted its scientific and philosophical implausibility,..." You are either incompetent or trolling.[133]
  7. Iantresman finally recognizes the mistake and apologizes.[134]
  8. Incredibly, Iantresman is now citing TRPoD's well-deserved comment "You are either incompetent or trolling" as evidence of disruption.[135]
  9. In fact Iantresman's repeated quote-mining of Rose was disruptive and fairly called out by TRPoD.

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.[136] 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".[137] 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"[138] 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)

Statement of Liz[edit]

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)

  • MastCell, regarding your comment about single purpose accounts, does this judgment stand for SPAs who are in opposition to Sheldrake's views? Because if you look on the other side of this dispute, you will find ones that could be considered disruptive. AE should judge conduct, not points of view and use the same standards used to judge editors who hold different opinions from each other. Liz Read! Talk! 22:35, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

Statement of admin JzG[edit]

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[edit]

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

Alfonzo Green (talk) 12:59, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

@mangoe: Neither BB nor I have ever made the claim Mangoe attributes to us. What we do claim, and back up with dozens of sources, is that Sheldrake is generally referred to as a scientist. Alfonzo Green (talk) 14:52, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

Statement by jps[edit]

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 74[edit]

Exceedingly long (1800 words) and rambling statement removed by an administrator. Please be more concise.  Sandstein  21:29, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

Statement by User:EatsShootsAndLeaves[edit]

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? ES&L 12:10, 20 December 2013 (UTC)

Result concerning Barleybannocks[edit]

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.  Sandstein  06:05, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

However, after looking at the contributions of Barleybannocks, it is apparent that they are a single-purpose account and that they contribute a staggering volume of material to the talk page, such that it may in effect suppress productive discussion. I'm inclined to consider that in and of itself disruptive conduct, but would prefer to hear the opinions of others.  Sandstein  06:12, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
This discussion (the bit at the top with Barleybannocks) on my talk page might also be useful reading and background as well. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 06:21, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
There can sometimes be a fine line between an SPA and a bona-fide editor with a niche interest. In this case, however, the overwhelming majority of Barleybannocks's 555 edits (since he started editing about a month ago) appear to have been to Talk:Rupert Sheldrake — and this level of intense concentration on a single, highly contentious topic is a matter of legitimate concern. Even given a very charitable interpretation of the facts, Barleybannocks is clearly not getting any consensus supporting his viewpoint despite an exhaustive effort to discuss the subject in good faith. At this point, I would suggest he be instructed either to drop the matter for the time being, or else to take his concerns to other levels of dispute resolution (and be fully prepared to accept what uninvolved people have to say, even if they don't agree with him). If that simply won't work, then a topic ban or a block would seem to be an unfortunate necessity here. — Richwales (no relation to Jimbo) 08:04, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
There's nothing wrong with being a SPA, per se.. but I think I agree with Rich that Barleybannocks should either take it to formal RfC (and be prepared to accept the consensus of univolved editors), drop it, or risk a topic ban or block. SirFozzie (talk) 08:08, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
I'm waiting on Barleybannocks to address the above in their statement. In the meantime, Barney the barney barney: Iantresman is correct when they request that you withdraw your allegations of misconduct against Iantresman: they have nothing to do with the subject of this request, are not supported by evidence and should not have been made here in the first place. Casting aspersions of misconduct without evidence is itself misconduct, see WP:ASPERSIONS. I have issued you a warning about the discretionary sanctions in effect in this topic area. If you continue to accuse others of misconduct without appropriate evidence you may be made subject to sanctions.  Sandstein  16:26, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Barney had already been notified of the sanctions about a month ago by me. Not really necessary to notify him twice, although you added a specific comment in addition to the standard template.--Bbb23 (talk) 16:42, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
And, TheRedPenOfDoom: It is out of the question that "all the others that hold that Sheldrake's work is not generally considered pseudoscience should also be banned from the article", as you suggest. That you even suggest sanctioning users merely for disagreeing with you calls into question, in my view, your ability to collaborate effectively with others in this topic area.  Sandstein  16:40, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
TRPoD has requested Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Pseudoscience#Pseudoscience_2 as "Sanction or remedy to be enforced", but it isn't even a sanction, it is a finding; I think the sanction we should consider is Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Pseudoscience#Discretionary_sanctions. I think this line of reasoning is what accounts for the weakness of this filing that you noted before, Sandstein; in any case I agree with your point here—this is kind of a shocking request for TRPoD to be making. We want to tolerate people who don't endorse Arbcom's findings, and we can do that without allowing them to disruptively crusade against them. (TRPoD has been notified of DS here: by Bbb23.) ErikHaugen (talk | contribs) 20:42, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
Vzaak: This forum cannot be canvassed. It is not a consensus-based process, so there is no consensus to sway by piling up statements from one side of a dispute. Statements that do not help administrators resolve the issue are simply ignored.

Everybody: Administrators in this forum will not decide whether Rupert Sheldrake's work should or shouldn't be described as pseudoscience in the article about him, or how else the article should be changed, because the arbitration process and its enforcement part do not decide content disputes. We are looking for one thing only: evidence, in the form of dated and concisely described diffs that show that any editors involved in this request have recently acted contrary to any specific accepted rule of conduct of Wikipedia in relation to the topic of pseudo- or fringe science. Anything else will not be acted on and is a waste of your time to write.  Sandstein  20:42, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

I, like Sandstein, at first thought the supplied diffs were quite benign, but upon reading over Talk:Rupert_Sheldrake and various users' talk pages (User_talk:Callanecc#Sheldrake_2, User_talk:JzG#Warning) see quite a tenacious effort over a several day period in several forums about just the question of whether the lede should imply some level of support from mainstream academia. It is mostly civil, but this kind of dead horse beating can still be very disruptive, as I'm sure we've all seen in other cases. I think considering all the warnings this user has received, both the DS warning and the attempts by JzG and Callanecc, something probably needs to be done here. ErikHaugen (talk | contribs) 20:42, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
Agreed. OK, assuming they do not reply: the contributions of Barleybannocks show that they are 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. In response, I recommend that Barleybannocks is indefinitely banned from the talk page (and, as a necessary consequence, from the article) about Rupert Sheldrake. The ban can be lifted after Barleybannocks has established a record of productive editing about unrelated topics.  Sandstein  21:20, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Like the other admins who have commented here, I see the contributions by Barleybannocks (talk · contribs) as problematic. This is clearly a single-purpose agenda account which is suppressing reasonable discussion at Talk:Rupert Sheldrake through sheer volume of posting and inappropriate tenaciousness. His presence on the talkpage has been disruptive and counterproductive.

    Regarding single-purpose accounts, ArbCom has repeatedly held that "single purpose accounts and editors who hold a strong personal viewpoint on a particular topic covered within Wikipedia are expected to contribute neutrally instead of following their own agenda and, in particular, should take care to avoid creating the impression that their focus on one topic is non-neutral, which could strongly suggest that their editing is not compatible with the goals of this project." By those criteria, I see a clear problem with Barleybannocks' participation on this talkpage and would support a topic ban, as lesser means of guidance and persuasion have failed. MastCell Talk 21:33, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

    • The fact that Barleybannocks is being disruptive doesn't exclude the possibility that others are being disruptive as well. In general, the article and talkpage are chock-full of examples of poor editorial conduct, which are not limited to Barleybannocks by any means. I'm open to reviewing other editors' conduct, but Barleybannocks isn't a borderline case in any way in my view. MastCell Talk 00:02, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
  • As someone who has tried to find a way to resolve this, so I've seen the discussions up pretty close, without topic banning people (ie, the 1RR restriction) I originally came down the other way on Barleybannocks (that is, that he was a good-faith contributor being stopped unfairly), but as time went on I think it's become pretty obvious that this isn't the case. As well as being a single purpose account I think it is become clearer that Barleybannocks has difficultly getting the point and moving on from being told no. I echo Sandstein's recommendation that Barleybannocks be indefinitely page banned from Rupert Sheldrake, Talk:Rupert Sheldrake and subpages. Given that the disruption is confined (or directly related) to the page and talk page I don't see a need to topic ban, if the disruption spreads because he is no longer able to edit the article we (or almost any admin) can topic ban. @Barleybannocks: I encourage you take this ban as an opportunity to take a break from what seems like a high stress environment of the Sheldrake talk page and show us that you can work constructively in other areas, if you can I encourage you to appeal the ban in a few to six months. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 00:22, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
    • However I also think we should look at both sides of this dispute and if editors (User:Liz for example) could, in their statements, could point (with diffs and explanations) to other users they believe are being disruptive that would be helpful to resolving this. Thank you, Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 00:27, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Based exclusively on Barleybannock's response here and my review of Talk:Rupert_Sheldrake, I believe that Barleybannocks is demonstrating a battleground mentality (or perhaps, battleground posture), which combined with a narrow focus justifies a corrective response, either with AE tools or without. I have been away, so I leave the exact mechanism to the discretion of others. I also wish to note that I find the talk page an example of what not to do in pursing good article writing. There appeared to be some genuine attempts by various parties to come at an agreement that were immediately trampled over by someone else.--Tznkai (talk) 02:54, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
    • Littleolive oil, I provisionally agree that this is a multi-sided problem, but can you unpack your proposal a bit? Do you want an administrator shepherding a discussion along with his proverbial hand on his proverbial billy stick? Are you encouraging the disputants to go to mediation?--Tznkai (talk) 04:14, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
      • I agree that the response by Barleybannocks is disappointing: it focuses on the content dispute, which is not at issue here, and ignores their own conduct, which is. On that basis, I think we should be ready now to implement the discussed page ban (or topic ban, if an admin thinks it's needed, which I don't), unless there is forthcoming evidence of relevant recent misconduct by others.  Sandstein  10:45, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
        • Littleolive oil, given the evidence presented in this request, and my review of the situation, I do not think we can justify using the pseudoscience case remedies to institute the scheme you've suggested. If however, you or another editor agrees to keep me informed in a neutral, focused and concise manner, I will observe but not mediate the page to see if adminsitrative interference or even special measures are jstified. That is the best I will do at this point. As to Barleybannocks, I think a short (days, not months) but enforced break from the page could be good for both Barleybannocks and the editing culture on the page.--Tznkai (talk) 19:23, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
          • If someone wants to be spared the indignity of a logged sanction, I think we should all be willing to grant it, with the explicit understanding that voluntary can quickly become involuntary. However, Barleybannocks would have to him or herself volunteer the same in clear terms. As to everyone else taking a break, I agree they should, but I lack clear evidentiary grounds to enforce that belief.--Tznkai (talk) 21:43, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Beyond the one most problematic user, I am beginning to think that splitting the content out into Biography article and Theory article may be the only way to untangle some of the threads here. Georgewilliamherbert (talk) 08:15, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
  • I recommend not to pursue the issues of article splitting or content mediation further in this forum. These are matters of article content that are beyond the scope of AE. This forum is only concerned with whether discretionary sanctions are needed to prevent or deter misconduct by individual users.  Sandstein  10:43, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
  • If you will allow the analogy, we do not have jurisdiction to settle the underlying dispute of fact, but we may have the authority to order disputants into arbitration, and I do not see the harm in making limited non binding suggestions. AE's remit of power is limited, but we are not restricted for hoping things get better. Unfortunately, at this time, the only evidence I have seen demonstrates a single problem user and a thicket of grumpy editors that we cannot enforce away. Like every other AE old-hand knows, we do not have the experiences and memories of the disputants, so we need to be properly briefed.--Tznkai (talk) 17:45, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Let's cast a wider net. This forum is not empowered or authorized to serve as a content dispute resolution forum; we have no more authority there than anywhere else. That does not mean we cannot note and discuss how content problems are playing into behavioral problems brought to our attention. This is a fine line, perhaps, but can be managed. It would not hurt anyone if uninvolved admins from here were to waltz over to the article talk page and start up a discussion about incompatible policy and goals regarding handling of fringe science and handling of biographical articles, and starting up a discussion over there about whether a split is the best mechanism to stop having collisions in which we find no white and black, only odious shades of grey. It would not hurt for brief, non-executive-decisionmaking discussions relative to that to happen here in pursuit of starting that actual, local-consensus-prompting-and-seeking discussion on the article talk page.
We do need to stay mindful of this not being the place to decide. But we can do that. Georgewilliamherbert (talk) 08:09, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
  • If there are no objects or compelling evidence presented about other editors I'll close this with an indefinite page ban for Barleybannocks on Rupert Sheldrake, Talk:Rupert Sheldrake and subpages in the next few hours. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 07:53, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
    • Noting iantresman's comment, happy to give it some more time. But I'll enact the the ban against Barleybannocks in the next couple hours as there is pretty much unanimous agreement amongst admins. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 09:34, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
    • Alright, given the number of admins calling for action on Barleybannocks I am imposing the following sanction on Barleybannocks: [Barleybannocks is] indefinitely banned from editing: Rupert Sheldrake; Talk:Rupert Sheldrake; and all subpages of both the article and talk page. My current thinking is to leave this request open for around 24 hours to allow users to present evidence regarding other editors as requested. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 11:49, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
      • If you're going to wait for objection or comment, it might help to give more than 4 hours that most of the English speaking userbase, myself inclusive, typically spends asleep. With AE working the way it works, we have little control over each other, but we don't want to turn it into a first admin who pulls the trigger wins scenario. My belief is that an indefinite topic ban is unnecessary, especially since there is agreement that there are other problems plaguing the page, so removing one element indefinitely may not prevent harm.--Tznkai (talk) 13:36, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
        • Point taken, but we've been discussing it (and in mostly general agreement) for around 2 days that a ban is the way to go (and the discussion on my talk page is proving it to me at the moment). No it may not prevent harm given the other editors, but taking into consideration the evidence and general agreement we have so far it seems pretty clear that removing this one user will make somewhat of a positive difference. In terms of whether it's necessary, as pointed by a few admins there have been a number of attempts to resolve this informally including suggestions that Barleybannocks leave the article and talk page alone for a few days. In an a few weeks or a month or a few months Barleybannocks shows that they can edit constructively in other areas then I'll have no issues lifting the ban. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 13:58, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
          • I see fairly wide agreement for a ban, but not necessarily an indefinite one. As I indicated earlier in response to Littleolive oil vis-a-vis a voluntary break, Barleybannocks would have to request it him or herself. He or she did not. As to letting Barleybannocks apply to have the restriction lifted there is the issue of making a clear sanctioned users have that hope, and further the issue of Barleybannocks can apply to have the restriction lifted after some time, couldn't admins just reapply the sanction after the time lapses instead? Among the many reasons short, or at least sun-setting bans should be preferred is that ought not protect admin time over editor opportunity.--Tznkai (talk) 16:55, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Callanecc's action. But since being page-banned, Barleybannocks has continued their content arguments on the talk pages of multiple administrators who have commented about this request ([139], [140] [141], [142]). These arguments obviously do not belong there, and are attempts to evade the page ban. I suggest that the page ban be changed to a ban from the topic of Rupert Sheldrake.  Sandstein  16:21, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
No reason to escalate at this time. If the worst that happens is Barleybannocks wishes to proverbially scream himself hoarse at some administrators, --Tznkai (talk) 16:55, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
I don't have a problem with Barleybannocks posting on admins' talk pages, and it doesn't suggest a need to broaden the ban. But it does reinforce my view that an indefinite page ban is necessary here. Barleybannocks' behavior to date is textbook soup-spitting, and he's shown no insight into the ways in which his approach is counterproductive - instead, he's doubled down on it. This kind of behavior is poison to any sort of constructive talkpage discussion.

I don't think that further explanation is going to help right now, because he's not receptive (perhaps understandably, given the adversarial nature of this venue). I don't think we can reasonably expect his approach to improve in a week or two, particularly in the absence of any insight into why it's problematic in the first place. I also think he's also being encouraged to some extent by people who are particularly poor role models for how to edit responsibly on fringe topics, which isn't doing him any favors. He needs to learn how to use article talkpages properly in a less contentious environment, which is why I think a indefinite page ban is the most appropriate tool at our disposal here. MastCell Talk 21:49, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

I agree with Tznkai and MastCell on this one, let's just give Barley some time. Being banned from contributing to an area they have an interest in is hard. It's already an indefinite ban, and as I said the posts on various admin's talk pages shows me that the ban was necessary. It won't be hard for Barleybannocks to show that they can edit constructively over the next few months in which case I'll be happy to lift the ban. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 00:22, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
That's true enough, and over-reaction in the first hours and days of a topic ban is almost always a sure-fire route to escalation and drama, but he does need to understand that a topic ban doesn't mean he can continue to agitate for changes just not on the article's pages themselves. I've left a message on his Talk page, anyone else who want to clarify or add to it please feel free. Guy (Help!) 18:00, 20 December 2013 (UTC)

TheRedPenOfDoom[edit]

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.  Sandstein  22:34, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

I'm not saying that incivility doesn't justify a sanction, but, as a project, we have been all over the place when it comes to sanctioning editors for incivility, particularly experienced editors. Most of those discussions have occurred at venues outside of AE (usually ANI), but TRPoD historically has a tendency to lose his cool when he gets pissed. Other than the incivility, is there other evidence of disruption?--Bbb23 (talk) 01:39, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
Are you suggesting a topic ban or a ban with the same terms as Barleybannocks? I've also notified TRPoD that a sanction has been proposed against them. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 00:52, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
I am distinctly unimpressed with TheRedPenOfDoom's statement "regarding the outburst of colorful language" which seems to translate to "he totally deserved it" or "I should get away with it because he was annoying" instead of "sorry, I was frustrated." I understand the points made earlier vis-a-vis Barleybannocks and the indefinite ban, and willingly acquiesce to them. I would say, while the problems demonstrated in TheRedPenOfDoom's statement do not rise to that level, I am given similar concerns--Tznkai (talk) 04:48, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
I object to imposing a ban based on Barleybannocks' evidence and the others' above; there may need to be one, but we need a wider and more impartial review. I would favor filing a second AE request for TRPOD if the evidence is felt sufficient to pursue.
We also should keep in mind that if we enforce too strictly here, we enable off-Wikipedia activists to gang up and "peel away" Wikipedians who are "defending" pages such as this from improper editing, by taunting them offsides one at a time into incivility or abuse and then getting them topic-banned. Any given article has a finite number of Wikipedian "defenders" of NPOV etc, though more attention on problem topics may bring more. That is not to say that we can or should ignore actual abuse or long term patterns; WP participants are entirely capable of being the problems rather than the newcomers, in behavioral terms. But we should be paying more attention on divisive topics to such risks.
I am not by that statement implying we shouldn't investigate TRPOD for this; there are some fairly annoying diffs. But we should look at the totality of the situation, and be aware of structural issues and offsite activities and the good of the encyclopedia. Georgewilliamherbert (talk) 04:50, 20 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)

There is this, message I left him on the 7th. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 11:11, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for your offer to spend 6 months away from the article and talk page TRPoD. It demonstrates great maturity and an ability to step back and decide what's best for yourself and the article, thank you.

Given that TRPoD is the only other editor against whom we were considering a sanction I believe we can now close this request. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 12:14, 20 December 2013 (UTC)

I agree and also thank TheRedPenOfDoom for their understanding. I've also left them a warning in the form required by procedure.  Sandstein  12:44, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
Iantresman, I have read your evidence, but as far as I can tell (it's not presented well, lacking names and dates) it concerns only Barney the barney barney and TheRedPenOfDoom. Both of them have only now been given the required warnings, and so we can't do anything else about their earlier edits.  Sandstein  13:21, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
@Sandstein: Both Barney and TRPoD have previously been given logged notifications of the sanctions. Of the diffs presented only JzG hasn't been warned. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 13:36, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Iantresman, I did see those and thank you very much for collecting them all for us. At this stage I think it's best to close this with Barleybannocks and TRPoD away from the article more a time. And the other regular editors of the article and talk page will hopefully see this and realize that we'll intervene if there are conduct issues. But as I said, thank you for collecting the evidence. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 13:32, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
In response to Iantresman and Barleybannocks, the edits supporting the ban are all of Barleybannocks's contributions to Talk:Rupert Sheldrake. I'm closing this now as suggested above.  Sandstein  17:18, 20 December 2013 (UTC)

Alfonzo Green[edit]

Alfonzo Green is indefinitely topic-banned from Rupert Sheldrake, broadly construed. Zad68 14:50, 26 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.
Requests may not exceed 500 words and 20 diffs (not counting required information), except by permission of a reviewing administrator.

Request concerning Alfonzo Green[edit]

User who is submitting this request for enforcement 
Guy (Help!) 01:41, 24 December 2013 (UTC)
User against whom enforcement is requested 
Alfonzo Green (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log)
Sanction or remedy to be enforced
Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Pseudoscience
Diffs of edits that violate this sanction or remedy, and an explanation how these edits violate it 
  1. 23/12/2013 Attempts to rehash debate on long-setteld issues in tha rticle; Reverts admin closure of same; repeats same
  2. 23/12/2013 Reinserting disputed text, widely discussed with consensus against inclusion on Talk
  3. 21/12/2103 Reinserting disputed text, widely discussed with consensus against inclusion on Talk
  4. 11/12/2013 Reinserting disputed text, widely discussed with consensus against inclusion on Talk. Insistence on "some academic support" although the support is for Sheldrake's right to state his conjectures, not actualy for the conjectures themselves.
  5. 11/12/2103 Reinserting disputed text, widely discussed with consensus against inclusion on Talk. There is robust consensus that "morphic resonance" does not meet the scientific definitionof theory, it is a conjecture, and this has been discussed at length.
Diffs of notifications or of prior warnings against the conduct objected to (if required) 
  1. Warned on 23 December 2013 by me (JzG)
  2. Notified of prior consensus on 11/12/2013 by Vzaak
  3. Warned on 4/12/2013 by Callenec
  4. Prior AE request rejected due to lack of actionable material: [143]
Additional comments by editor filing complaint 
  1. 10:34, December 11, 2013 Callanecc blocked Alfonzo Green with an expiry time of 72 hours (Arbitration enforcement: breaking 1RR restriction on Rupert Sheldrake)
  2. 01:07, October 16, 2013 EdJohnston blocked Alfonzo Green with an expiry time of 31 hours (Edit warring on Rupert Sheldrake))
  3. 15:01, July 16, 2009 B blocked Alfonzo Green with an expiry time of 24 hours (3RR, incivility on Rupert Sheldrake)

Alfonzo Green (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) has been active on Wikipedia since April 2008, with 231 mainspace edits, of which 145 (63%) are to the article Rupert Sheldrake (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views), a further 28 directly relating to a wager between Sheldrake and Lewis Wolpert, inclusing creating Wolpert-Sheldrake wager (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) and Wolpert-Sheldrake Genome Wager (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views), 3 to Lewis Wolpert (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views), 14 to Michael Shermer (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) (a well-known skeptic, adding material supportive of fringe ideas.

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-banned Barleybannocks (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) for 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.

If this was a heavily-watched article we'd manage. It's not. This kind of obduracy fosters burnout and frayed tempers. I request a topic ban. Guy (Help!) 01:41, 24 December 2013 (UTC)

Notification of the user against whom enforcement is requested 

Notified [144]

@Johnuniq Precisely. There is an inequality of motivation. For Sheldrake's supporters this is personal and of paramount importance. For Wikipedia it is not. We have seen many good people burn out trying to hold back the tides of pseudoscience and other crank advocacy, for precisely that reason. Wikipedia's prominence makes it pretty much the single most important place to have your crank idea validated. That's why we have the discretionary sanctions (and @A Quest for Knowledge, we can't review that without fundamentally changing the character of Wikipedia - and most of us have no desire to be involved in a project that pretends creationism, homeopathy and psi phenomena are true). Guy (Help!) 10:49, 24 December 2013 (UTC)
Sandstein, he has had the template warning before and been linked to the decision (see his talk page) and also blocked for violation of a 1RR parole specifically referencing the case. This is Wikipedia, we should not be demanding shrubberies. The problem is clear: a WP:SPA demanding, yet again, that we remove the characterisation of Sheldrake's pseudoscience, which characterisation is supported by reliable independent sources, on the basis of WP:OR. We will never make any progress on the article if every time a new or re-emerging editor comes along, they insist on going right back to the beginning again. Guy (Help!) 10:55, 24 December 2013 (UTC)


Discussion concerning Alfonzo Green[edit]

Statements must be made in separate sections. They may not exceed 500 words and 20 diffs, except by permission of a reviewing administrator.
Administrators may remove or shorten noncompliant statements. Disruptive contributions may result in blocks.

Statement by Alfonzo Green[edit]

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:

Using reliable secondary sources, we find that The University of Binghamton refers to him as a biochemist.[145] He is also referred to as a biologist by the University of London,[146] the University of Arizona,[147] the Open University,[148] Institute of Noetic Sciences, [149] the University of Reading,[150] the BBC,[151][152][153][154][155][156] the Daily Telegraph,[157][158][159][160] National Geographic,[161] Discover magazine,[162] The Independent newspaper,[163] Scientific American,[164][165] Science,[166] Financial Times,[167] New York Times,[168] and in various academic/university textbook,[169][170][171] peer-reviewed journals, Trans. Institute of British Geographers, New Series, Vol. 37, No. 1 (2012)[172] --Iantresman (talk) 18:44, 26 November 2013 (UTC)

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, [173] and [174] 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, [175], 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:

These are a number of scientists who argue Sheldrake is doing science rather than pseudoscience and have offered support in various ways.
Marc Bekoff, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder. [176]
These four all signed an open letter to TED that was published in the Huffington Post [177] and which should be detailed in the section on the TED controversy. (Links to their credentials can be found above on a previous post.)
Menas C. Kafatos, Ph.D., is the Fletcher Jones Endowed Professor of Computational Physics and the Director of the Center of Excellence at Chapman University
Stuart Hameroff, MD, Professor of Anesthesiology and Psychology, Director, Center for Consciousness Studies, The University of Arizona
Rudolph E. Tanzi, Ph.D., Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology at Harvard University, Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital
Neil Theise, MD, Professor, Pathology and Medicine, (Division of Digestive Diseases) Beth Israel Medical Center - Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York.
Here's one who also explicitly rejects the accusation of pseudoscience in a letter published in nature:
Brian Josephson, Nobel Laureate in Physics.[178]
And here's an academic who argues, amongst other things, that books such as Sheldrake's, whatever you ultimately think about morphic resonance, are the "life's blood of Science" (thus not pseudoscience).
Theodore Roszak, Professor Emeritus of history at California State University, East Bay [179]
Here's a scientist who worked with Sheldrake in developing some of his theories.
David Joseph Bohm FRS - "American theoretical physicist who contributed innovative and unorthodox ideas to quantum theory, philosophy of mind, and neuropsychology. He is widely considered to be one of the most significant theoretical physicists of the 20th century." [180]

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). I support Sheldrake in part because morphic resonance offers a probabilistic rather than deterministic account of organic development and behavior. As to my recent focus on Sheldrake, this was made necessary by the takeover of the page by a clique of POV editors. If the same thing happened to the Prigogine page, I'd be devoting my spare time to fixing that article. Clearly I don't fit the standard profile of an SPA, unlike some of the anti-Sheldrake editors. That JzG labelled me an SPA is another indicator of his willingness to twist the facts so as to fit his agenda, whether here or on the Sheldrake page. Alfonzo Green (talk) 18:53, 25 December 2013 (UTC)

I have stricken a sentence from the above statement due to irrelevance. This is about actual edits, not opinions of editors. Alfonzo Green (talk) 20:28, 25 December 2013 (UTC)

Statement by User:Roxy the dog[edit]

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)

Seasons greetings ! Regarding recent proposals by an admin and a Sheldrake supporter to split the article, this suggestion is not new, as I have proposed it in the past, and it has been proposed by others on the talk page. It has gained no traction, probably because without "Morphic Resonance" Shelly has no notability of his own, and a bio would not meet WP notability requirements. The end result would almost certainly be a short piece about a crackpot fringe theory, and no bio at all. It would certainly solve our problems in regards to this issue, but I'm not sure Sheldrakians would approve. --Roxy the dog (resonate) 10:34, 25 December 2013 (UTC)

Statement by The Devil's Advocate[edit]

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)

Yes, NW, JzG's comments should be looked at in context. Above in his evidence, Guy refers to Alfonzo "reverting an admin closure" of the discussion as one of Alfonzo's acts of misconduct. The admin in that case was Guy himself as seen here and here. Other statements Guy has made over this period include "But you are a single-purpose advocacy account looking for ways to square your agenda with policy, and I'm an admin with a long history of dealing with sensitive biographies, fringe and pseudoscience advocacy and other issues. Of course you may choose to ignore my advice. I suggest to you that doing so will result in a worse outcome for you than following it. If you carry on like that, you will be topic banned." The context is clear. Guy is flouting his status as an admin on a matter where he is involved. This is not the first time it has been a problem either.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 21:27, 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[edit]

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[edit]

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)[edit]

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)

Meanwhile, in Alfonzo Green (talk · contribs)'s defence, instead of addressing the issues outlined above WP:SPA, WP:EDITWARRING, WP:IDONTHEARTHAT, he's posted a regurgitation of tired content-related arguments which have failed to gain consensus. We've been there and done that (I'm writing a summary elsewhere). This demonstrates that AG still doesn't get that this is a WP:FRINGE issue, despite the WP:REDFLAGS, (especially extraordinary claims that contradict accepted scientific knowledge and which are not published in peer reviewed journals) and that level of support for Sheldrake is more significant than it is (the supporters tend to be people with their own Fringe-related problems such as Deepak Chopra, and even then for the most part support his right to free speech/free inquiry rather than endorsing his views, some of which are plainly nonsensical.) Anything more than a cursory look at the references (many of which are contained within the article now) demonstrates this. Barney the barney barney (talk) 18:51, 24 December 2013 (UTC)
Finally, as with the previous case of Barleybannocks (talk · contribs), one senses that to quote Mastcell (talk · contribs) on Barleybannocks "he's also being encouraged to some extent by people who are particularly poor role models for how to edit responsibly on fringe topics, which isn't doing him any favors". The same seems to apply to Alfonzo Green (talk · contribs). Barney the barney barney (talk) 14:18, 25 December 2013 (UTC)

Statement by iantresman[edit]

  1. Alfonzo Green is not a single purpose account as evidenced by his contributions to (a) Genetic determinism (b) Creode (c) Scientific wager (d) William McDougall (psychologist) (e) Lewis Wolpert (f) Ilya Prigogine (g) Michael Shermer (h) Mae-Wan Ho. The argument seems to be, some SPAs are bad editors, hence all SPA are bad editors, irrespective of whether we can show it or not. You may notice the fallacy in this argument.
  2. Guy's description of the first set of diffs #1-#5 is misleading, where he states there is "consensus against inclusion", this is false. The fact is, "there is no consensus for either the inclusion or removal", of certain statements. For example, when the article was begun in Oct 2002, Sheldrake was described as a "biologist/biochemist"[181] a fact (not a truth) that remained stable for about a decade until around July 2013.[182] While there are indeed some editors arguing for a this change, there are other editors who are happy with the original.[183][184]
  3. Guy's statement that "The character of debate, being characterise by obdurate refusal to accept that Sheldrake's ideas are generally regarded by the scientific community as nonsense" is also misleading. There is not one editor that has refused to accept that some scientists have indeed characterise Sheldrake's work as pseudoscience, and they are all happy to include this fact in the article. This includes Alfonzo Green,[185] myself,[186] Barleybannocks,[187] Tumbleman,[188] Annalisa Ventola,[189] and Blippy.[190] The onus is on editors to provide diffs supporting this allegation. There are none, per WP:ASPERSIONS.
  4. I am also concerned with Guy's possible COI as an WP:INVOLVED Admin,[191] with strong opinions about the subject,[192] towards Barleybannocks and Alfonzo Green (2013):
    • 30 Nov: "one more black mark against you"[193]
    • 5 Dec: "You are now on notice"[194]
    • 25 Dec: "One of us is an admin. It's not you. I strongly suggest you take the hint"[195]
  5. Likewise, when Guy reported me to WP:AN"Sheldrake", for an experienced Admin, he offered not one diff in support of his allegation, that were misleading at best, and which I contradicted in my points #1-#9. I requested supporting diffs three times, and none were forthcoming. WP:ADMINACCT "Administrators are expected to respond promptly and civilly to queries about their Wikipedia-related conduct"

There appears to be a confusion that "disagreement" is tantamount to disruption. It isn't. And the description of this case is misleading. --Iantresman (talk) 19:11, 24 December 2013 (UTC)

@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)

@Guy. I have just read Tom Butler's posts where he points out that you allege that Alfonso Green "advocates pseudoscience" and you "can't find any edits [he's] made that don't", contradicted by, for example:[196][197][198][199][200] Your claim, has no diffs nor an explanation, and the suggestion that someone's edits is indicative of their belief in pseudoscience is an association fallacy. You made the same unfounded claims against me in your WP:AN "Sheldrake". WP:NOTPERFECT: "Administrators are expected to lead by example and to behave in a respectful, civil manner in their interactions with others." By the same logic, anyone who notes in an article that Vichy France and Mussolini's Italy supported Hitler must a Nazi sympathizer. Clearly nonsense. --Iantresman (talk) 01:10, 25 December 2013 (UTC)

Now that I re-read Guy's sentence again, it appears different to how I remember it. @Tom Butler: Is this how you remember it? Since the diffs show no changes, I must have gotten it wrong, so I apologise to Guy for making allegations that are not supported by the diff given. --Iantresman (talk) 11:53, 25 December 2013 (UTC)

Statement by Tom Butler[edit]

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)

@Tznkai I understand that a consensus to violate a Wikipedia rule, for instance, is not an acceptable concept. The point is that how the generally respected rules are interpreted is being contested. "Respect" is a subjective term, so how rules about a biographies of a living person are translated into edits needs better oversight. Here, some of the editors equate "consensus" with "fair treatment."
I also understand that Wikipedia is not able to address moral questions. However, and this is an important point--much of the fuss here is predicated on righteous point of views on both side of the issue. I for one am offended by the treatment of the man but I care less about the treatment of his hypotheses. (I expect only the pseudoscience treatment for all such frontier subjects in Wikipedia.) It is clear to me from watching banned editors that turning them out only releases them to attempt fair treatment for the man in other venues. Again, it is irresponsible for administrators to do things that further soil the already tarnished name of Wikipedia. Tom Butler (talk) 20:28, 24 December 2013 (UTC)
Now it appears Guy is gloating. Is it correct to say that anything we say about things deemed pseudoscience is advocating pseudoscience? If this admin is speaking for Wikipedia, it poisons the water for any free discussion about frontier subject content. Tom Butler (talk) 23:23, 24 December 2013 (UTC)
@ Iantresman the comment buy Guy at [201] is pretty explicit. He is saying that Alfonzo Green is a single purpose editor and that purpose is pseudoscience.
The irony is that, like Sheldrake's Hypothesis of Formative Causation, virtually all of the frontier subjects are predicated on the existence of subtle energy, mind separate from brain and the influence of intentionality. From my interaction with Wikipedia, Electronic Voice Phenomena, Spiritualism (beliefs) and Energy medicine are all considered pseudoscience and are subject to the same restrictions applied to the Sheldrake article of not allowing references from community of interest peer-reviewed journals, or any effort to explain in balanced terms the associated theory. Only people working outside of the community of interest can be used as references without a caveat implying: "the person said this but he is really a crackpot."
that comment from Guy to Alfonzo really applies to anyone who does not strictly adhere to the party line that it is all pseudoscience and therefore, one must not talk about it. Tom Butler (talk) 18:49, 25 December 2013 (UTC)

Statement by Mangoe[edit]

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[edit]

This section is to be edited only by uninvolved administrators. Comments by others will be moved to the section above.

If we are to see a succession of editors behaving this way on this article, I am prepared to article-ban until we run out of problem editors. This editor meets the criteria under which we article-banned the last one. The extenuating circumstances there seem missing here. I would propose moving relatively quickly to the same conclusion. Georgewilliamherbert (talk) 02:18, 24 December 2013 (UTC)
Agree fully and suggest an indefinite topic ban. He has had plenty of chances already. NW (Talk) 03:45, 24 December 2013 (UTC)
It would be nice if those filing requests, admins especially, would be so kind as to link to the remedy, and not just the case in general. I do see a prime facie case of edit warring, although I do not necessarily think that all or any of the substantive edits being particular are flawed. I also do not see it as AE's remit to enforce whatever operating consensus emerges on an article. What is demonstrated is edit warring - which is not only against whatever "consensus" exists, but demonstrates no attempt to collaborate, improve, or do anything beyond duck season/wabbit seasondiff=587565728.--Tznkai (talk) 04:55, 24 December 2013 (UTC)
TDA - I am personally conflicted on the status of comflating the BLP and fringe / pseudoscience into one article, as to the effects that that has on the BLP aspects. In the now closed incident above I mentioned that starting a discussion on if and how to split those into separate articles to solve that, with un-topic-involved editors and admins, would be helpful. I admit I have not moved on that yet and the situation is continuing to complicate matters. However - that cannot cripple us from continuing to enforce the pseudoscience case behavioral issues. We have an article; it has not been proposed for removal, and what's there has not been held to violate BLP. We have an arbcom case that clearly bears on the article. We have editors flouting the arbcom base decision. We have editors doing so who may well be associated with the off-wiki canvassing effort that was made earlier. There may be a neutral-er ground to find in the middle somewhere within the existing singular article, but without getting into the content fight in a 3-rd party manner I don't want to suggest it necessarily will work. It would be entirely proper for Shelldrake and his followers to hold our feet to the fire on trying to do something constructive out of this. Continuing to edit war in violation of the pseudoscience decision and Wikipedia core values isn't constructive, has been warned about, has had others sanctioned over recently, etc. Picking a fight going into Christmas when many people are away or busy seems poorly timed for a more sympathetic hearing.
TLDR - I'm up for enforcing here, even if we have to make a bigger fix in the next month with proper discussions. Georgewilliamherbert (talk) 05:02, 24 December 2013 (UTC)
We're talking about a single-purpose account who has racked up multiple blocks for edit-warring in service of his agenda. Once those boxes are checked, in an area subject to discretionary sanctions, an indefinite topic ban seems entirely appropriate. MastCell Talk 06:14, 24 December 2013 (UTC)
I agree that requests should link to the remedy to be enforced, in this case, Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Pseudoscience#Discretionary sanctions. It does not seem to be in dispute that Rupert Sheldrake is an article "relating to pseudoscience and fringe science, broadly interpreted", and is therefore within the scope of that remedy. Whether that remedy is still useful, as questioned by A Quest for Knowledge, cannot be examined here: it must be be enforced until it is lifted by the Arbitration Committee (which can be petitioned at WP:ARCA). But considering the recurrent confrontative behavior in this topic area, as seen in the number of AE requests it gives rise to, I think the remedy is useful and should be maintained. Contrary to A Quest for Knowledge's assumption, we don't need to make a content decision about whether something is pseudoscience in order to enforce the remedy. We only need to determine whether it is related to pseudoscience, such as because (as in this case) its classification as pseudoscience is disputed among editors.

At a first glance, it appears likely that there are grounds for a topic ban. However, I've not examined the case on the merits in much detail because a formal requirement for discretionary sanctions is not met: a warning that meets the requirements of WP:AC/DS#Warnings – that is, "a warning with a link to the decision authorizing sanctions" on the talk page of Alfonzo Green or in an edit notice active on the article at the relevant time. Unless a diff of a warning that meets these requirements can be provided, the most we can do is issue such a warning.

As concerns JzG's conduct, I agree that JzG's statement to Alfonzo Green ("One of us is an admin. It's not you. I strongly suggest you take the hint"), as mentioned by The Devil's Advocate, does not meet the expectations of civility I have in administrators. Because JzG has recently been active in an editorial capacity in the article, and has expressed opinions about the merits of Sheldrake's work, he should not act in an administrative capacity with respect to that article, per WP:UNINVOLVED. A case can be made that he has violated that policy, and has inadmissibly attempted to use his administrator status to gain an advantage in a content dispute, by archiving a discussion in his administrative capacity while involved in the content dispute, and by invoking his administrator status in the discussion with Alfonzo Green about this. On these grounds, I think a discretionary sanctions warning would be appropriate for JzG also.  Sandstein  10:06, 24 December 2013 (UTC)

I see now that Alfonzo Green did receive the required warning on 18 November 2013. This diff should have been supplied with the request.

On the merits, the contributions by Alfonzo Green show that they are a single purpose account dedicated only to promoting a particular point of view with respect to a single article, Rupert Sheldrake. Such conduct is disruptive on its face, see WP:SPA and particularly Wikipedia:ARBAB#Single purpose accounts. I support a topic ban from everything to do with Rupert Sheldrake.  Sandstein  12:01, 24 December 2013 (UTC)

A Quest for Knowledge, we're not determining whether or not Rupert Sheldrake is a psuedoscientist when we determine the article is within the topic of pseudoscience, because the topic of pseudoscience includes all things asserted to be pseudoscience beyond a common sense threshold. The same way the topic of "objective truth" would cover both assertions that objective truth exists, and that it does not exist. I think there is wide agreement there is a problem and on the remedy, but we're also coming up on the big finish of a busy holiday season, at least where I am. I suggest we hold for a few days to get Alfonzo Green an opportunity to respond, assuming no other edits in the meantime.--Tznkai (talk) 16:14, 24 December 2013 (UTC)
@Sandstein: In context, that single post is more understood. No need to issue a "formal discretionary sanctions warning." If you're concerned (I personally am not—it was a reasonable response to something User:Tom Butler said), then just drop JzG a note on his talk page and talk your concerns over with him. NW (Talk) 17:20, 24 December 2013 (UTC)
Given that Alfonzo Green has responded, I believe we have enough to move forward. I wish to point out that the issue before us is not on the substantive disagreement concerning whether or not it is proper to call those with science credentials engaged in what is broadly considered pseudoscientific research "scientists" "biologists" or related terminology. I think this is an interesting question with more than one reasonable answer. However, Alfonzo Green has failed to demonstrate that the edits aforementioned are not edit warring. In fact, the only defense raised here is that the underlying edits are supposedly in greater adherence to the content policy - and this is not a project where being right excuses you from having to do it right. Alfonzo Green's response raises strong indications of a battleground mentality - Wikipedia is not the right place to fight out over who carries forward the spirit of scientific inquiry the best. It is in fact, very much the wrong place. For purposes of full disclosure, I recently started pitching in on improving the prose at water memory which, given Alfonzo Green's response, is connected to this topic by a couple degrees through Brian Josephson, but do not believe that makes me an involved administrator. I will however step aside at the request of any administrator, JzG, or Alfonzo Green. Otherwise, I am willing to execute a decision at this point.--Tznkai (talk) 18:59, 24 December 2013 (UTC)
@Iantresman:, I take no position on what the so called "established consensus" is. I find the very concept useless or possibly even un-wiki like. That however, is a content matter. My belief is that a case of edit warring has been established, and it has not been refuted. As to @Tom Butler:'s suggestion for splitting the article, I share georgewilliamherbert's belief that it may be the best solution. It is not something I believe I, or any other administrator can enforce here. Wikipedia is not a place to exercise your moral principles in noble intellectual combat. If you're interested in that nonsense, join a political party or become an academic (with very few apologies to any politicians or academics who edit). Any further complaints about JzG should be itemized as an enforcement request in the proper format, so that they may be read, discussed, and acted upon if necessary. There is a draft guide in my users space if you need guidance.--Tznkai (talk) 19:49, 24 December 2013 (UTC)
You misspelled his name three times above. Please fix that, to avoid any implication of impropriety. --Joy [shallot] (talk) 20:35, 24 December 2013 (UTC)
Corrected, and my thanks.--Tznkai (talk) 20:38, 24 December 2013 (UTC)
───────────────────────── I don't see you have a conflict of interest (or involvement). Enact away. Georgewilliamherbert (talk) 01:00, 25 December 2013 (UTC)

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. Zad68 14:44, 26 December 2013 (UTC)

Post close note - Alfonzo took issue with Zad's close on his talk page, suggesting that the other reviewing admins had not had a chance to review Alfonzo's response to the AE filing prior to close. I would like to point to my note above re Tznkai which was after Alfonzo's main rebuttal response, and confirm for the record that I had read Alfozno's main rebuttal prior to posting the above, and have read his additional notes now. My opinions regarding the underlying facts and issues, the AE enforcement need, and appropriate sanction remained unchanged after reading Alfonzo's first post, and still remain unchanged now after reading the followup notes. For the record, I believe the close was and is correct. Georgewilliamherbert (talk) 21:14, 26 December 2013 (UTC)
Post-close note: Like Georgewilliamherbert, having read Alfonzo's responses in their entirety, my view remains that an indefinite topic ban is appropriate under the existing discretionary sanctions. I think the close by Zad68 was entirely appropriate and reflected a consensus of experienced administrators. MastCell Talk 01:57, 27 December 2013 (UTC)