Wikipedia:Fringe theories/Noticeboard

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This page is for discussing possible fringe theories. Post here to seek advice on whether a particular topic is fringe or mainstream, or whether undue weight is being given to fringe theories.
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Sarah Wilson and vaccination[edit]

On 12 March I received a rather disquieting tweet from the subject of this article. The exchange can be seen here. This gained me a number of new twitter followers who seemed to approve of Wilson's tweet ("go get him!").

Our article is still pretty dire and the content in question possibly undue anyway - but Wilson seems very keen for our article to carry material countering press reports about anti-vaccination comments she made. To my mind the heavy use of her own blog to this end is unduly self-serving. Having been warned-off, I shall leave the content question to others.

As a "PS" I received a further tweet saying "a Group of media academics and I have been attending to the article repeatedly To update the information"[1] which piqued my interest. Whatever the state of the article, it cannot be right for article content to be decided by coordinating WP:MEAT and twitter. No WP:COI disclosures have been made. I notice in recent times the accounts Writingtask and Fransplace seem to have focused on the content Wilson is complaining about.

This may need to go to another noticeboard, but thoughts welcome - this reminds me of a couple of incidents in the past years where there have been issues with decisions about fringe content/BLP being taken off-wiki rather than thrashed-out transparently here. Alexbrn (talk) 08:17, 19 March 2019 (UTC)

Incredibly problematic. I will have a crack at cutting the promotional content when I can. – Teratix 10:55, 19 March 2019 (UTC)
Looks better now. --mfb (talk) 07:39, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
The vaccination section was removed on March 29 without discussion on the talk page. I've watched the clip cited as the source, and it does seem like it might be an edge case of endorsement of a fringe theory. If I had to guess, she might have just been playing devil's advocate to garner positive coverage for herself within the anti-vax community while simultaneously including enough equivocations to have deniability (please let me know if this type of conjecture is inappropriate to mention on a talk page). I'm not particularly familiar with the Australian media environment or the subject of the article. Doopwii123 (talk) 14:34, 6 April 2019 (UTC)
I unwatched the page - but didn't this incident get mainstream national media coverage. If so, removing it would seem a bit ... problematic. Alexbrn (talk) 14:47, 6 April 2019 (UTC)
I’ve replaced the section, removed with the comment “undue”. Probably ignorance on her part though, but that applies to any antivaxxer.Roxy, the dog. wooF 15:03, 6 April 2019 (UTC)
The thing is, she's not an antivaxer. She was asked to play devil's advocate when she appeared on the show - specifically, she was asked to explain why certain people did not vaccinate their children, shortly before going on. She did some quick research, read some antivax literature, and gave a couple of sentences about what their stance was. Since then she's come out and stated why she fully supports vaccination, but this remains here suggesting that she doesn't. Making one statement on a talk show when you were specifically asked to present the antivax view rather than your own shouldn't result in you being targeted as an antivaxxer for life. We have a tendency to focus on minor comments if there's any brief outrage about them, but we really should sometimes step back and acknowledge that it was a non-issue.
Had she used her platform to continue to make antivax statements the issue would be different, but all she has said since then has been entirely pro-vax. By giving weight to this we continue to give antivax positions oxygen. - Bilby (talk) 19:25, 6 April 2019 (UTC)

The Republican Party's rejection of climate change[edit]

There's a discussion about the Republican Party and whether it rejects the scientific consensus on climate change on Republican Party (United States). Editors are disputing that the Republican party and numerous GOP party members reject climate change (even though RS extensively document that this is the case and these RS are cited in the article) by citing the lack of any mention of climate change in the GOP official platform and by citing how Republican Senators voted for a statement recognizing that climate change is real (but also overwhelmingly rejecting a statement that humans significantly contribute to climate change).[2] Snooganssnoogans (talk) 12:57, 25 March 2019 (UTC)

Is "we don’t know to what extent humans are responsible" consistent with the scientific consensus on climate change? Snooganssnoogans (talk) 00:25, 26 March 2019 (UTC)
There are levels of disagreement, all of which are labled "climate change denial" by the other side.
In order of strongest scientific evidence/craziest opposition to weakest scientific evidene/ most reasonable opposition:
  • We are able to measure global CO2 levels, and there is no conspiracy to lie about them.
  • We are able to measure global temperature, and there is no conspiracy to lie about them.
  • Global atmospheric CO2 levels have risen from starting time X to the present.
  • Global temperatures have risen from starting time X to the present.
  • Human activity has caused CO2 levels to rise.
  • Rising CO2 levels and rising temperatures are correlated.
  • Rising CO2 levels cause at least part of the rising temperatures.
  • Rising CO2 levels cause most of the rising temperatures.
  • Rising CO2 levels cause almost all of the rising temperatures.
  • Rising temperatures have some bad effects
  • Rising temperatures have almost all bad effects and almost no good effects.
  • The only way to reduce temperatures is to reduce CO2 emissions. No possible geoengineering approach will ever work.
  • It cannot possibly be true that we have gone too far to reduce global warming.
  • Humans can not adapt to climate change.
  • No free market solution to global warming is possible. The only possible solution is to increase the size and power of the federal government.
  • Reducing US CO2 emissions while allowing China to increase CO2 emissions will reduce global temperatures.
  • Reducing California CO2 emissions while allowing the rest of the US to increase CO2 emissions will reduce global temperatures.
  • Reducing San Francisco CO2 emissions while allowing the rest of the California to increase CO2 emissions will reduce global temperatures.
  • It is absolutely true that many republicans are anti-science because they deny climate change. It cannot possibly be true that many democrats are anti-science because they are antivax or anti-GMO.
There are some Republicans who disagree with the things at the very top of the above list. but most do not. Most republicans (and some democrats) disagree with the things on the very bottom of the list. --Guy Macon (talk) 01:08, 26 March 2019 (UTC)
If many Democrats are against vaccinations or GMO against scientific evidence and make that part of their politics it should be mentioned in their article. Many of your bullet points are not binary things, which can make it difficult to judge. Take "Humans can not adapt to climate change." for example. We are certainly not unable to adapt to any change. But how much can we adapt, and to changes how large? Anyway, just 3% of Republicans in Congress (2014) accepting rising temperatures from human activities means 97% are in denial of very well-established science, no need to go to later bullet points. That is a very high fraction, and it is important to discuss this. --mfb (talk) 02:59, 26 March 2019 (UTC)
Here is the text that is under dispute:
The Republican Party is unique in denying anthropogenic climate change among conservative political parties across the Western world.
There has also been a dispute about whether a similar sentence should be included in the lede.
Also, please note that the article, in its current form, already contains a five-paragraph section that discusses the GOP position on climate change and other environmental issues in some depth (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republican_Party_(United_States)#Environmental_policies).
Finally, I do not see anything in the article that compares the GOP's position on ANY issue to the positions taken by conservative parties elsewhere in the world. SunCrow (talk) 04:24, 26 March 2019 (UTC)
That the GOP position on climate change is out of sync with all mainstream parties, including conservative parties, in the Western world is a notable fact - a fact covered extensively by reliable sources. If there are other policies that make GOP conservatism unique and RS cover those policies, then we can certainly add that as well. Snooganssnoogans (talk) 12:28, 26 March 2019 (UTC)
Are we talking about the Republican party here in USA? Because, if so, Guy Macon's description of what they believe does not match what you can often see them saying on TV with their own mouth. ApLundell (talk) 04:45, 26 March 2019 (UTC)
Maybe the problem is that the loudest Republicans are also the stupidest, the most corrupt, and those who have the craziest worldviews? From what all the big-name Republicans say, one definitely gets the impression that most Republican politicians are anti-science, especially anti-climate science. Also conspiracy-theory-touting, theocratic, pro-billionaire Bond-villain-like weirdos. But does the Party as a whole agree with the loudmouths? Does it still have a sane wing? Is it actually bigger than the loony one? That would be nice. But if that is the case, why don't they do something about it? --Hob Gadling (talk) 06:53, 26 March 2019 (UTC)
Hob Gadling, this is an encyclopedia, not a political blog. Take a breath. SunCrow (talk) 07:08, 28 March 2019 (UTC)
What is "the party has a whole" even? Do all its members agree on anything? The Republicans with the most influence are overwhelmingly denying reality. Here is another list. This is something I have never seen in that amount from other democratic parties anywhere in the world (but my personal impression is not a reliable source of course). --mfb (talk) 09:53, 26 March 2019 (UTC)
To get a sense of the views of any American political party “as a whole” we can look at documents called “party platforms”. These are formal statements created during party conventions outlining what the party (as a whole) stands for. Individual party members may disagree with specific “planks” of the platform, but they will agree with most of it. The current Republican Party platform does NOT deny the reality of climate change.
That said... I think it would be helpful to separate climate science from climate politics. The fact that that climate changes is science. The various theories as to how and why it is currently changing is science. But... the question of what we should do about climate change... that is climate politics. People can agree on the science, and yet disagree on the politics. Let’s not conflate the two. Blueboar (talk) 12:16, 26 March 2019 (UTC)
Platforms do not necessarily reflect what a party stands, just as campaign brochures for individual candidates do not necessarily reflect all that a candidate stands for. There are strong incentives to omit controversial items or to phrase controversial policies in vague ways. For example, the GOP platform calls for cutting taxes, yet the GOP in its tax plan raised taxes for some Americans. This is why we rely on reliable secondary sources about what parties and individual candidates stand for. Snooganssnoogans (talk) 12:26, 26 March 2019 (UTC)
e/c Shouldn't the text under dispute say "anthropogenic global warming" rather that "anthropogenic climate change". -Roxy, the dog. wooF 12:28, 26 March 2019 (UTC)
I believe that they changed "global warming" to "climate change" back when they were warning about the coming ice age, and have largely gone back to "global warming" as the climate has warmed instead of cooling. IMO we should do the same. --Guy Macon (talk) 15:55, 26 March 2019 (UTC)
See Frank Luntz for the reason "they" changed the terminology. . . dave souza, talk 17:33, 10 April 2019 (UTC)
This right here is a myth. There was never a widespread scientific belief that human activity was causing an ice-age. A few scientists discussed this, and headlines ran with it, as they do, but it was nothing like the current understanding in global warming.[3] (However it's a useful myth for the denyers that like to portray scientists as not really knowing anything and constantly changing their mind.)
In any case, the alleged belief in a coming ice-age was supposed to have been in the 70s. Completely the wrong decade for the fad of calling "Global warming" "climate change".
ApLundell (talk) 23:57, 26 March 2019 (UTC)
I agree; I don’t remember seeing “anthropogenic” anything from that era. IIRC the talk of a coming ice-age was mainly premised on the observation that the current interglacial period (assuming that’s what it is) has lasted longer than average, so might be expected to end soon. On the question of political parties, my (scarcely informed) impression is that the American Republicans are by no means unique. Canadian conservative leaders generally pay lip-service to the science while allowing (or tacitly encouraging) their members to dissent from it; their party platforms tend to ignore the question except that they generally oppose any political & economic measures intended to mitigate it, in similar fashion to the Republicans quoted below.—Odysseus1479 01:00, 27 March 2019 (UTC)
See global cooling for the origins of the media myth. . . dave souza, talk 17:33, 10 April 2019 (UTC)

There was a question above about what the loudest republicans believe vs what the party believes. The party as a whole decided on a platform before the last election. The only place it mentions climate change is here:

From the Republican Party Platform:

"The current Administration’s most recent National Security Strategy reflects the extreme elements in its liberal domestic coalition. It is a budget-constrained blueprint that, if fully implemented, will diminish the capabilities of our Armed Forces... the strategy subordinates our national security interests to environmental, energy, and international health issues, and elevates 'climate change' to the level of a 'severe threat' equivalent to foreign aggression. The word 'climate,' in fact, appears in the current President’s strategy more often than Al Qaeda, nuclear proliferation, radical Islam, or weapons of mass destruction."

Compare this with the Democratic Platform from the same year:

"Climate change is an urgent threat and a defining challenge of our time... Climate change poses an urgent and severe threat to our national security, and Democrats believe it would be a grave mistake for the United States to wait for another nation to take the lead in combating the global climate emergency. According to the military, climate change is a threat multiplier that is already contributing to new conflicts over resources, catastrophic natural disasters, and the degradation of vital ecosystems across the globe.
"Democrats recognize the catastrophic consequences facing our country, our planet, and civilization... We believe the United States must lead in forging a robust global solution to the climate crisis. We are committed to a national mobilization, and to leading a global effort to mobilize nations to address this threat on a scale not seen since World War II... Our generation must lead the fight against climate change and we applaud President Obama’s leadership in forging the historic Paris climate change agreement. We will not only meet the goals we set in Paris, we will seek to exceed them and push other countries to do the same by slashing carbon pollution and rapidly driving down emissions of potent greenhouse gases like hydrofluorocarbons... The best science tells us that without ambitious, immediate action across our economy to cut carbon pollution and other greenhouse gases, all of these impacts will be far worse in the future. We cannot leave our children a planet that has been profoundly damaged."

So the actual republican party platform doesn't actually deny climate change, but does question whether it is as important as the Democrats say it is. I personally am pretty much with the democrats on this, with the exception of not believing climate change to be more important than nuclear proliferation. The Paris agreement? Not so much. None of the major industrialized nations implemented the policies they agreed on and none have met their pledged emission reduction targets. Which just might have something to do with the lack of any enforcement mechanism or penalty for failure. --Guy Macon (talk) 15:55, 26 March 2019 (UTC)

I have read a lot of the sources and the debate among editors. It appears to me that the accurate portrayal of the Republican Party's position is that they agree that human activity is causing some of the current warming, but that there is doubt as to how much, that a few degrees more would not be a huge problem for humanity anyway, and that massive CO2 reduction would kill global prosperity, so that no drastic action is warranted. That some people want to call this position "denialism" is a testament to the current hysterical political climate about our planet's climate and how it changes. — JFG talk 08:45, 29 March 2019 (UTC)
Fortunately, we have a rule that says that your opinion does not count, and that we have to report the far more reasonable views written in reliable sources.
When science comes to the conclusion that it will be a huge problem, denial of that conclusion by financially and ideologically interested uninformed/disinformed laymen is correctly called denial. --Hob Gadling (talk) 17:00, 1 April 2019 (UTC)
See climate change denial for more on the topic. The Republican War on Science is a polemic with some credibility, considering the high position of James Inhofe and the present batch of fossil-fuel lobbyists in position of policy implementation, but there have been and are Republicans with mainstream scientific views: Sherwood Boehlert had a honourable part in the hockey stick controversy . . . dave souza, talk 17:33, 10 April 2019 (UTC)

Patrick Moore, Donald Trump, and Fringe Anti-Climate Science Industry Interests[edit]

There's an going attempt to get Patrick Moore (consultant) switched back to Patrick Moore (environmentalist) over here. Environmentalist was clearly widely rejected on the talk page. Keep also in mind that both Moore himself and his many Twitter followers have been plaguing this entry since Moore asked them to do so and especially since Trump tweeted a promotion of Moore's anti-climate science and pro-industry comments. A major proponent of fringe ecology pseudoscience, this guy is as much an environmentalist as an ExxonMobil CEO is, folks. Sometimes a duck is a duck, and this certainly needs more eyes from users watching this board. :bloodofox: (talk) 21:55, 30 March 2019 (UTC)

Please see ongoing discussion over at this talk page thread. :bloodofox: (talk) 00:14, 15 April 2019 (UTC)

Answers in Genesis[edit]

Need more eyes at Answers in Genesis (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) -- recently protected for three days because of edit warring, protection about to expire. --Guy Macon (talk) 00:25, 31 March 2019 (UTC)

Pre-Big Bang physics[edit]

Pre–Big_Bang_physics (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)

I stumbled across this stub today which appeared to be a poorly executed POV-fork in my judgment. (White hole cosmology is an Answers in Genesis argument, incidentally.) I think the easiest thing to do is to redirect to our main article on the subject, so I did that: [4]. Hopefully no one objects, but thought I would post here for transparency.

jps (talk) 14:17, 31 March 2019 (UTC)

Failed predictions in Arctic sea ice decline[edit]

Can someone take a look at Arctic sea ice decline, in particular this series of edits by XavierItzm, which puts a lot of emphasis on purportedly failed predictions of "sea ice-free summers" in the Arctic?[5] The section seems intended to highlight how climate scientists are alarmist and repeatedly fail to predict the climate. I don't know enough about the section to gauge whether the text is compliant with WP:DUE and WP:FRINGE. Snooganssnoogans (talk) 23:18, 31 March 2019 (UTC)

I think the use of news media sources here is a problem. One, such sources tend to prioritize the most dramatic claims irrespective of whether they are widely held or not. Two, mostentimes when I see news media discussing Arctic sea ice they still are more hedged than the sample presented by that editor. Seems like the edits should be reverted as they rely on not tip-top and apparently cherry-picked sources. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 05:27, 1 April 2019 (UTC)

Cataclysmic pole shift hypothesis[edit]

See [6]. Not fringe? Doug Weller talk 05:18, 1 April 2019 (UTC)

That's clearly out to lunch. The only source added for any of these changes was this, which they called a "CIA source". I have reverted pending discussion on the talk page. Bradv🍁 05:44, 1 April 2019 (UTC)
I struggle to understand why we have true polar wander separated from this article. This article appears to be a WP:POV fork of the less well-developed article on polar wander. Should we merge and cull? jps (talk) 10:44, 1 April 2019 (UTC)

Scientific studies performed on private revelations and visionaries[edit]

New article uses some combination of WP:OR and WP:FRINGE in an attempt to to connect science with various religious miracles. - LuckyLouie (talk) 14:29, 1 April 2019 (UTC)

cryonics[edit]

Hi Arbitration Committee

Thank you for pointing out where I have gone wrong. My apologies, I am new to this.

My reason for joining was to learn how to create an article for our non-profit arts foundation. A colleague of mine has had dealings with the Cryonics Institute in the US. I was talking to him about how I intend to create a Wikipedia article and that I was learning how to do it. I then had an email from one of the people at the Cryonics Institute asking me if I could assist them, purely voluntary.

I did not realize that the subject of complementary and alternative medicine fell into a special category and I underestimated the sensitivity of the subject and its controversial content.

There is no conflict of interest as I am not doing this for myself, family, friends, clients, employers, or your financial and other relationships. I do not have any external relationship with the institute or its members.

I was just asked if I can make the following changes: Replace corpse with body - I don't see the problem here as the definition of a corpse is a dead body "Corpse and cadaver are both medical/legal terms for a dead body. ... Although cadaver is the older word, it has come to refer in particular to a dead body used for medical or scientific purposes". Removing the sentence containing the word 'quackery' seems acceptable as by your own definition "A quack is a "fraudulent or ignorant pretender to medical skill" or "a person who pretends, professionally or publicly, to have skill, knowledge, qualification or credentials they do not possess". From what I have read the Institute is neither fraudulent nor an ignorant pretender. The other changes follow the same reasoning as above.

If you believe that I am treading on thin ice then please tell me and I'll walk away from helping the Institute!

Mbark22 (talk) 01:38, 2 April 2019 (UTC)

Being asked to edit by someone connected with the subject does count as a conflict of interest; even if it’s not for any tangible consideration, you’d presumably be at least ‘owed a favour’. (Commendable of you to disclose the fact, regardless.) Regarding “corpse”, see the fairly recent discussion at Talk:Cryonics/Archive 2#Terminology. Feel free, however, to bring any new arguments you may have, that are backed by what WP considers reliable sources, to the article’s Talk page. (BTW there’s no need to address the Arbitration Committee: they made the ruling that enabled discretionary sanctions on these topics, but the special rules are enforced by administrators at large.)—Odysseus1479 03:15, 2 April 2019 (UTC)

Is revival unlikely ?[edit]

  • Now have have issues at Alcor Life Extension Foundation‎, where an editor is taking objection to Wikipedia saying that future revival of pickled brains is "unlikely" (in the cited source, a neuroscientist points out that it's a bit ridiculous to expect much of a brain which has had anti-freeze pumped at pressure into it!). More eyes from fringe-savvy editors could help. Alexbrn (talk) 13:07, 4 April 2019 (UTC)
  • The editor has now violated 3RR, but nobody had warned them about it. (I have done so now.) Bishonen | talk 18:44, 4 April 2019 (UTC).

Deletion discussion for E. Michael Jones[edit]

Based on some of the things the fellow has written, Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/E. Michael Jones may be of interest to the community here. XOR'easter (talk) 18:58, 2 April 2019 (UTC)

Five Percent Nation[edit]

The Five-Percent Nation is a New Religious Movement[7][8] (although the article doesn't call it one and I think they deny it) with categories and a portal that are relevant to it being related to Islam and religion. I'm having a problem with OR and NPOV as are others, see the talk page. Twelve Jewels of Islam may need to be a redirect, and Supreme Understanding needs work. The article on its founder Clarence 13X seems better. Doug Weller talk 11:56, 5 April 2019 (UTC)

Acupuncture again (bangs head against wall...)[edit]

[9] :(   --Guy Macon (talk) 08:22, 7 April 2019 (UTC)

Obviously people selling homeopathy have no financial relationship to homeopathy and so on... --mfb (talk) 08:46, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
Here is a direct quote: "it's not possible for an acu'ist to have a COI for acupuncture"[10]
OK, who wants to take this one to WP:AE per Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Acupuncture#Standard discretionary sanctions? --Guy Macon (talk) 08:56, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
See my talk page for related discussion Roxy, the dog. wooF 15:27, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents#Acupuncture: not sure what to do here --Guy Macon (talk) 18:06, 7 April 2019 (UTC)

Graham Hancock's new book America Before may impact our articles[edit]

Jason Colavito has a column Graham Hancock to Archaeologists: "You Guys Are the Pseudoscientists".

Jason says "With the publication of America Before this week, Graham Hancock has launched a major publicity push, larger than the one accompanying Magicians of the Gods four years ago and rivaling his media ubiquity in the late 1990s. According to his U.S. publisher, St. Martin’s, the American part of his marketing campaign will include an initial print run of 125,000 copies, a fourteen-city national book tour, a national media tour, a marketing campaign aimed at scholars and college instructors (!), a featured-title selection at TheHistoryReader.com, and “extensive history blog outreach.” They even offer mail-in prizes, giving early buyers an enamel lapel pin of the book’s logo." See also this. Doug Weller talk 18:48, 7 April 2019 (UTC)

There are two other Jason Colavito blog posts associated with the above post that you mentioned. They are In "America Before," Graham Hancock Attacks Archaeology 4/2/2019 and A Blast from the Past: "America Before" vs. "Atlantis: The Antediluvian World" 4/4/2019. Both are also worth reading along with the comments of all three. Paul H. (talk) 20:14, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
Ah, that Graham Hancock. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 06:35, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
Now this is new to me! Seems like another instance of a once-brilliant academic arguing against now-unpopular theories that were prevalent the last time they took classes in college. Doopwii123 (talk) 16:56, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
"once brilliant"? Please. -Roxy, the dog. wooF 17:01, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
You're right -- one of my professors incidentally told me today what a "First Class" degree means across the pond. Not what I thought! Doopwii123 (talk) 18:51, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
@Doopwii123: Graham Hancock was a journalist. But I know what you mean. Doug Weller talk 14:41, 9 April 2019 (UTC)

Fringe at Attack on Pearl Harbor and Pearl Harbor advance-knowledge conspiracy theory [edit]

POV and unsourced, although the editor vehemently disagrees.[11] Doug Weller talk 14:35, 9 April 2019 (UTC)

I add my support to Doug Weller's actions. Fringe and unsourced theories have no place in Wikipedia. David J Johnson (talk) 14:38, 9 April 2019 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Nature therapy[edit]

For info. I wanted to publicise this AfD debate in a neutral manner to get independent eyes on the discussion, but then I thought bugger that, and came here. -Roxy, the dog. wooF 11:38, 10 April 2019 (UTC)

Sahaja Yoga[edit]

A cult? A religion? Certainly a load of hooey within scope of this Project. There has been a ton of editing activity here recently and more eyes could help. Alexbrn (talk) 07:50, 12 April 2019 (UTC)

The main issues:

  • 1. A section in a previous version of the article made some bold medical claims, and I felt that this violated WP:MEDRS. I removed it, others added it back, and so forth. Currently it's not in the article.
  • 2. Sourcing for the article relies heavily on primary sources, so it reads a bit like an ad for the group.
  • 3. New religious movement is a neutral term, that is typically what we use. See Providence. I don't like calling things a "cult" in the opening, though we should cover the controversy over these new religious movements. Calling it a cult is using the factual neutral voice of Wikipedia and "cult" is a slippery term, hard to define, and often used as a pejorative.
  • 4. The movement's founder and others have made bold claims about being able to treat a variety of diseases with Sahaja yoga. That is definitely a fringe claim. I'm not sure how to handle this however on Wikipedia. Harizotoh9 (talk) 08:21, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
I agree we probably don't want to WP:ASSERT this is a cult. However, having an article which doesn't even mention the cult controversy in the opening would seem to be a WP:NPOV violation, since this is one of the key aspects in independent sources. The founder said they were Christ and had superhuman powers ... which is why this topic is apt for discussion here. Alexbrn (talk) 08:26, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
I myself know comparatively little about them. I just came across their article recently randomly. I'm learning as I go. Harizotoh9 (talk) 08:35, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
This has come up here before.[12] (Thought it seemed familiar). Alexbrn (talk) 08:46, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
  • I don't think removing[13] the mention cult allegations from the lede is a good idea. Ledes are supposed to summarize bodies so when we have an entire section on "Cult allegations" in the article the fact the lede doesn't mention them would seem not to be WP:NPOV. Alexbrn (talk) 09:20, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
Cult allegation is in the lede, just not first sentence. Harizotoh9 (talk) 04:43, 13 April 2019 (UTC)

I've seen multiple editors try to remove the designation that it's a New Religious Movement. It's sourced, and a pretty neutral term, so I don't think it should be controversial to designate it as such. So far I've seen an IP and a SPA do this. I know we should assume good faith, but I do suspect this is an attempt to white-wash the article. Harizotoh9 (talk) 05:45, 13 April 2019 (UTC)

  • I think we need more than just "It has sometimes been characterised as a cult" as the last sentence of the lead. That's not due summarisation of a fairly hefty section at the bottom of the article. DaßWölf 00:15, 14 April 2019 (UTC)
@@Daß Wölf:, there should probably be a short paragraph in the lede summarizing that section. Overall, the article is rather poor so expanding the lede is low on my priorities. It first needs to be trimmed of primary sources, and then built up using secondary ones.

One of the big problems is that the article has too few people watching it, so the page tends to be ran by proponents of the religion. I've noticed a few SPA and IPs outright trying to white-wash it and remove information on the page that's cited. We need more people to add the page to their watchlist. Harizotoh9 (talk) 03:59, 15 April 2019 (UTC)

Fringe theory of the week: Crude oil touted as health cure in Azerbaijan[edit]

"Immersed up to her neck in a dark viscous liquid, Sulfiya smiles in delight, confident that the fetid substance will cure her painful condition.

Sulfiya, a Russian woman in her 60s, has travelled to Azerbaijan's north-western city of Naftalan in the hope that crude oil baths at a local sanatorium will end her years of suffering from polyarthritis, a disease affecting the joints...."

Source: [14]

Well when you've got a hammer 199.247.44.10 (talk) 06:07, 14 April 2019 (UTC)

Koot Hoomi[edit]

Some alleged "ascended master" theosophist whose existence as a real person is doubtful. IPs keep deleting the categories, and the writing in the article is a bit weird. Anybody know more? --Hob Gadling (talk) 22:56, 13 April 2019 (UTC)

Concerns about Inference: International Review of Science [edit]

I found this being used as a source after reading "Junk Science or the Real Thing? ‘Inference’ Publishes Both." Here is its "about" page[15] which I see has a rebuttal to criticism by astrophysicist and science writer Adam Becker (see here).Becker's piece is discussed here and here. On my talk page I'm being asked to reconsider - the issue is can this be handled case by case as some famous scientists write for it, and links have been given me: "On Inference" by Peter Woit and "Something I wrote…" by David Roberts for some alternative points of view. Comments? The article by Roberts response by Sabine Hossenfelder to Woit's post is a bit worrying if it actually means that an author's work might be changed before publication. Doug Weller talk 14:12, 15 April 2019 (UTC)

I also found this blog post[16] discussing Inference's response to Becker and comparing their position to that of the Heterodox Academy. Doug Weller talk 14:15, 15 April 2019 (UTC)
Something looks off with the formatting of your second "here" link. Isn't the Mother Jones piece just a republication of the Undark piece, not a separate discussion? Also, I don't find anything in David Roberts' post about an editor changing the work prior to publication. Are you possibly referring to Sabine Hossenfelder's comment to Peter Woit's post? Will Orrick (talk) 15:23, 15 April 2019 (UTC)
Also, no link to the blog post in your follow-up comment. Will Orrick (talk) 15:27, 15 April 2019 (UTC)
Sorry, the link is this one. And yes, I got turned around somehow about the changing of work. I wasn't suggesting the Mother Jones piece was anything but Becker's article, the other two links discuss it. Doug Weller talk 18:02, 15 April 2019 (UTC)
In the "About" page of the Inference: International Review of Science, I found the below statement.

Although the editors have every intention of appealing to experts for advice, Inference is not a peer-reviewed journal.

Paul H. (talk) 17:14, 15 April 2019 (UTC)
Yes—the question is whether it can be used as a source in the way Scientific American might be used—for example to document the development of a scientific idea, or to back up a non-technical description of a scientific breakthrough for the layperson. As an example, the current issue contains a reply by John Cardy, a leading expert in statistical physics, to an earlier article by Édouard Brézin in which Cardy outlines the history of the ideas that led to the work that was recognized by the 2016 Nobel Prize in physics. Could that be used as a source? Inference also publishes book reviews. I've seen book reviews used on Wikipedia as sources for biographies of academics. Would Inference's book reviews be allowable? Will Orrick (talk) 18:54, 15 April 2019 (UTC)

The Exodus[edit]

The lead (and more) changed today,

Scholars are broadly agreed that the Exodus story was composed in the 5th century BCE.[5] The traditions behind it can be traced in the writings of the 8th-century BCE prophets,[6][7] but it has no historical basis.[8] Instead, archaeology suggests a native Canaanite origin for ancient Israel.[9]

became

The consensus of modern scholars is that the Bible does not give an accurate account of the origins of Israel, and instead, archaeology suggests a native Canaanite origin for ancient Israel.[5][6] This, however, does not mean that the Exodus narrative lacks any historicity.[7] Scholars are broadly agreed that the Exodus story in its final form was composed by the 5th century BCE,[8] but the traditions behind it are older and can be found in the writings of the 8th century BCE prophets.[9][10] It is unclear how far beyond that the tradition might stretch.[11] Scholars posit that the Exodus narrative may have developed from collective memories of the Hyksos expulsions of Semitic Canaanites from Egypt, possibly elaborated on to encourage resistance to the 7th century domination of Judah by Egypt.[11][12][13]

If someone wants to look into that. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 17:08, 15 April 2019 (UTC)

Photon belt or band, a ring maybe, and lots of other crank terms[edit]

While reviewing photon sphere with the intent of adding a note about the M87* feature termed a "photon ring" I stumbled upon "The Photon Belt (also called the photon band, photon ring, manasic ring, manasic radiation, manasic vibration, golden ring, or golden nebula)" (Not to be confused with the indie band.) Looks like non-notable nonsense to me. Either that, or the recently imaged black hole is undergoing a spiritual transition as there is literally a ring of photons enveloping it. Thoughts? I plan on adding a redirect from photon ring to photon sphere after updating the latter. Given the extensive usage of "photon ring" in the Event Horizon Telescope papers readers searching for a definition are likely to land on a rather poorly sourced article here instead. --mikeu talk 18:51, 15 April 2019 (UTC)

Photon Belt nonsense is certainly not new. Cecil Adams had a go at it in 1996.
http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/963/is-the-earth-about-to-enter-the-photon-belt-causing-the-end-of-life-as-we-know-it/
Notice that he can't seem to trace the chain of nonsense further back than a 1981 article in a UFO magazine. Read carefully, the history section of our article also doesn't go back farther than 1981, except second-hand from this no-doubt amazing work published in 1994.
ApLundell (talk) 20:30, 15 April 2019 (UTC)
I've done some minor cleanup on that article, but I still think the "history" section is largely fantasy.
I'm particularly suspicious that the beliefs of a prolific author (Weor) is referenced only to a book by a nobody.
ApLundell (talk) 21:21, 15 April 2019 (UTC)

FYI, the article started as recreation of Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/The Photon Belt by a long since indef blocked user. --mikeu talk 21:47, 15 April 2019 (UTC)

Hmm... Then it should probably just go. There's not enough good material here to justify overturning an established consensus. ApLundell (talk) 07:10, 16 April 2019 (UTC)
Yeah, the original page is clearly an OR pet project. Interesting, but there are remnants of that lingering in the text. This page is a magnet for unsourced fringe material and there are few watchers to curate the content. I can't imagine the trimmed down sourced material meeting GNG. --mikeu talk 09:36, 16 April 2019 (UTC)

Please see Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Photon Belt (2nd nomination) --mikeu talk 10:04, 16 April 2019 (UTC)

EFT[edit]

There's new activity at Emotional Freedom Techniques. Not misbehavior, nothing that I'm complaining about; it may even be an improvement. But it should be watched (and I have to absent myself to attend to my paid job). -- Hoary (talk) 21:55, 15 April 2019 (UTC)

Doesn't look like an improvement to me. From the title I was wondering why effective field theory would pop up here. --mfb (talk) 00:39, 16 April 2019 (UTC)
Me neither. Two of the three sources newly adduced are from Explore: The Journal of Science & Healing, whose didjaknow read '... that the Elsevier publication Explore: The Journal of Science & Healing has been described as a "sham masquerading as a real scientific journal" that publishes "truly ridiculous studies"?'. -- Hoary (talk) 06:32, 16 April 2019 (UTC)
WP:REDFLAG applies. All the proposed sources are too flimsy for claims about therapeutic efficacy, especially given the exotic nature of EFT. Alexbrn (talk) 07:27, 16 April 2019 (UTC)

Health at Every Size[edit]

Is HAES a fringe theory or pseudo-science? Is it mainstream? It has certainly entered the mainstream (alongside Fat Acceptance), with multiple opinion pieces in the NY Times and other major publications. I can't find anything from a RS actually calling it a pseudo-science. Though that should not be a shock, as actual scientists are often too busy doing real science than responding to pop theories.

I think the page is a bit neglected and at least needs more to add it to their watch list.

Right now, there's a dispute on NPOV on the talk page:

Harizotoh9 (talk) 07:17, 16 April 2019 (UTC)

Specifically I can't find a source that says that HAES directly is pseudo-science though. The claims they make seem to be wrong, but few if any sources seem to directly criticize them or that phrase. Real scientists are often too busy doing real science, and often don't want to get drawn into public debates, so they often don't talk about public theories like HAES.
My instincts says this is a pseudo-science. It looks like a debate that's occurring in the public and not in the scientific community. They don't publish findings or do any research, and instead write op-eds in Huffpost, NYTimes, NatGeo, and other places. It looks like ideology trumping facts. Harizotoh9 (talk) 23:54, 16 April 2019 (UTC)
Yeah, that's one problem. Another is that this is not a scientific term. It's more of a catchphrase. The scientific topic that refers to this most closely would probably be metabolically healthy obesity. Natureium (talk) 00:12, 17 April 2019 (UTC)
Should the articles then therefore be merged? Harizotoh9 (talk) 00:31, 17 April 2019 (UTC)
If it's merged, Fat acceptance movement might be a better target. Natureium (talk) 00:46, 17 April 2019 (UTC)
Talk:Health_at_Every_Size#Merge? Harizotoh9 (talk) 01:59, 17 April 2019 (UTC)

WikiLeaks / murder of Seth Rich[edit]

More eyeballs would be appreciated; the relevant article talk page section is here. Neutralitytalk 21:03, 16 April 2019 (UTC)

Also, Julian Assange.[27] Snooganssnoogans (talk) 21:08, 16 April 2019 (UTC)

Template_talk:Alternative_medicine_sidebar#Medical_conspiracy_theories_—_alternative_and_pseudo‑medicine[edit]

If you have an opinion on the title/content of this sidebar, please share. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 12:58, 18 April 2019 (UTC)