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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White privilege[edit]

An editor thinks White privilege is violating WP:NPOV by giving insufficient attention to people who don't believe white privilege exists. This is, frankly, very deep into WP:PROFRINGE territory based on current social science. Any editors with a background in social sciences and an interest in fringe who want to help out would be welcome. Simonm223 (talk) 12:51, 14 August 2019 (UTC)

Has anyone found evidence for the existence of white privilege? For white privilege to receive protection under WP:FRINGE as a sociological theory, there would need to be scientific evidence for it. I don't think this is fringe. --Wikiman2718 (talk) 14:17, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
(Not cite-able in an article, constitutes OR, but... I am walking, talking evidence for the existence of white privilege. I think most people who deny the existence of white privilege fail to understand and fully grasp the concept.)~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs)problem solving 16:00, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
First of all, WP:FRINGE says nothing about whether ideas have scientific evidence or not. But, in this case: Yes, there is lots of evidence for its existence. As a heuristic, it was lately popularized by Peggy McIntosh and it has been subsequently verified by many sources you can find in the article. jps (talk) 14:56, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
The viewpoint that white privilege exists is hardly fringe. The problem is that neither is the viewpoint that it does not exist. The article needs to treat both viewpoints as mainstream. Blueboar (talk) 15:16, 16 August 2019 (UTC)

─────────────────────────I'm sorry, what scholarship is there that indicates that white privilege does not exist? jps (talk) 15:26, 16 August 2019 (UTC)

The OP suggested that the concepts was supported by social science as grounds to exclude dissenting opinion. From the article:
Long quote from article
In the late 1980s, the term gained new popularity in academic circles and public discourse after Peggy McIntosh's 1987 essay White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack.[27]In this essay, McIntosh described white privilege as “an invisible weightless knapsack of assurances, tools, maps, guides, codebooks, passports, visas, clothes, compass, emergency gear, and blank checks," and also discussed the relationships between different social hierarchies in which experiencing oppression in one hierarchy did not negate unearned privilege experienced in another.[1][28] In later years, the theory of intersectionality also gained prominence, with black feminists like Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw arguing that black women experienced a different type of oppression from male privilege distinct from that experienced by white women because of white privilege.[29] The essay is still routinely citedas a key influence by later generations of academics and journalists.[30][10] :::In 2003, Ella Bell and Stella Nkomo noted that "most scholars of race relations embrace the use of [the concept] white privilege".[31] Sociologists in the American Mosaic Project at the University of Minnesota reported that widespread belief in the United States that "prejudice and discrimination [in favor of whites] create a form of white privilege." According to their 2003 poll, this view was affirmed by 59% of white respondents, 83% of Blacks, and 84% of Hispanics.[32]
This looks to me like an unscientific idea that has gained prominence through philosophy and essays-writing. A fair article should represent this idea as a theory, not a fact. I see no evidence that this theory is so well accepted as that everyone who disagrees is pushing fringe. In my opinion, the NPOV tag was well-placed. --Wikiman2718 (talk) 15:32, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
No one has yet provided any evidence that the existence of white privilege is being denied by any relevant mainstream scholarship. What it looks like to you is irrelevant to our purposes. To be clear, the idea that white privilege exists is one that has been backed up by empirical papers including a number that are referenced in the article, so to claim that it is an "unscientific idea" is basically to broadcast a profound ignorance of the relevant literature. jps (talk) 15:49, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
Also, please try to avoid using the incorrect "theory vs. fact" dichotomy. It's tiresome when creationists pontificate on it, and it's not a welcome misconception to continue to promote. jps (talk) 15:54, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
I am currently looking at Google Scholar and not a single source so far looks like "white privilege does not exist". Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 15:58, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
Indeed. I can see some papers arguing that its impact is overstated and that other factors are more significant, but I can't see anything that argues that there's no such thing. (Nor, indeed, can I imagine any credible academic making such a claim, whatever their political position.) ‑ Iridescent 16:05, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
  • It is important to remember that “mainstream” is not limited to academia. While there may not be academic papers saying that white privilege does not exist, there are many non-academic sources that do say this. I can see the argument that we should give MORE weight to the academic sources, but that does NOT mean we should ignore the non-academic ones. Blueboar (talk) 11:54, 21 August 2019 (UTC)
    • It was for exactly this reason that we started WP:MAINSTREAM as a concept. For many claims, it is often very possible to find a lot of non-academic people who claim something doesn't exist which the academy essentially agrees does exist or vice versa. Wikipedia necessarily pays most attention to the best sources -- and those are the sources from the academy because those are the sources which follow most closely our rules for reliability and verifiability. It is the case here where WP:PARITY almost automatically works in a way to exclude the non-academic works. If someone thinks that a non-academic perspective is worthy of inclusion in an article on a technical subject like white privilege, then it is up to them to produce evidence that this perspective has been prominently noticed by people who are relevant experts (producing the sources that we are using in the article). If they cannot find such sources, excising is our only choice.
Let's take, for example, the case of redshift which was fought more than a decade ago at this point. In that conflict, the non-academic and pseudo-academic sources the WP:FRINGE proponents were arguing for were almost entirely unnoticed by the relevant academics who were explicating the subject. Our current article only mentions those very few interpretations which were tossed around for historical context. There is nothing left of the kinds of wacko redshift mechanism proposals that had once polluted the article because, in spite of the people who don't believe in general relativity and the expansion of the universe, there really isn't any reliable source paying attention to such claims. I think the parallels to this situation are clear.
jps (talk) 14:44, 27 August 2019 (UTC)

Section blanking: LessWrong and the neoreactionary movement[edit]

LessWrong (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) - advocates of the site want to remove the section on LessWrong's links to the neoreactionary movement, which have been exhaustively cited. There's an editor who comes by every few days to blank it under various spurious claims, and refuses to discuss it. More eyes would be appropriate - David Gerard (talk) 16:31, 15 August 2019 (UTC)

The section in question seems relevant and sourced. I noticed you brought it up on the talk page too - a good thing. If not good reason is provided for removal then it should stay.Ramos1990 (talk) 19:07, 17 August 2019 (UTC)
Ah, they're back, and for the first time they've bothered with the talk page. To make a bizarrely false claim about the sources, but anyway - David Gerard (talk) 18:46, 24 August 2019 (UTC)
It is not well sourced; as I have now said five or six times, all its sources derives their content from previous iterations of the Wikipedia page for the site, or less commonly from RationalWiki, which has a well-documented political grudge against LessWrong. There is long-standing editor consensus on Talk:LessWrong that this claim is baseless and the sources are weak; David Gerard is the only dissenter. It is shameful that he has been allowed to promote his personal view to this extent; repeating a lie often enough to get it into well-regarded sources does not make it become the truth. --PDVk (talk) 19:27, 28 August 2019 (UTC)
You're claiming conspiracy, then? You've provided no evidence the cited sources are derived from the Wikipedia article or the RationalWiki article. And if you claim literally a "well-documented political grudge against LessWrong", you really need to document that too. Then you need to document how that makes any claims from that source factually incorrect, or not reflecting the actual facts of the matter. You're leaping a lot of necessary steps to make your case that RSes you don't like should be impeached - David Gerard (talk) 23:34, 28 August 2019 (UTC)

A possible fringe theory about sexual behavior in animals and humans[edit]

Some comments are requested here:

Issues involved are the definition of a fringe theory/theorist, possible use of Wikipedia by a fringe theorist to promote their ideas, and whether or not that theorist's material is a reliable source or whether the content should be trusted. -Crossroads- (talk) 16:26, 20 August 2019 (UTC)

Update: this seems solved for now (with Wunsch's material considered fringe and points to detect future socks at the bottom of this thread (permalink)). —PaleoNeonate – 03:04, 27 August 2019 (UTC)

John de Ruiter[edit]

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

Postbiological evolution[edit]

Postbiological evolution (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)

This looks like WP:SYNTH to me. Is this SYNTH?

jps (talk) 19:03, 25 August 2019 (UTC)

And some...interesting physics. XOR'easter (talk) 19:41, 25 August 2019 (UTC)
The dictionary definition of Evolution is any process of formation, growth or development. This isn't an encyclopedia article; it's a school report that somebody put off until the last minute. I don't see anything in it really worth saving. XOR'easter (talk) 01:37, 26 August 2019 (UTC)
Concur with comments above; not only is it chock full of original research and inaccuracies, but even the stuff that could have citations added is still fringe futurological speculation. AfD probably warranted. -Crossroads- (talk) 01:54, 26 August 2019 (UTC)

─────────────────────────AfD initiated: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Postbiological evolution. jps (talk) 11:09, 26 August 2019 (UTC)

Lyle Blackburn[edit]

Non notable cryptozoologist. Also being publicized at Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp and Fouke Monster.-LuckyLouie (talk) 20:32, 25 August 2019 (UTC)

It continues. See Talk:Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp. -LuckyLouie (talk) 12:39, 27 August 2019 (UTC)


This is about [1], which two editors want to get it undone at the talk page. Tgeorgescu (talk) 18:48, 26 August 2019 (UTC)

Placebo is about as far from a "fringe" theory as is possible to get. The problem seems to be Tgeorgescu's incorrect belief that placebo is a fringe theory. --sciencewatcher (talk) 18:58, 26 August 2019 (UTC)
"Placebo does heal real illnesses" is the fringe view. Tgeorgescu (talk) 19:02, 26 August 2019 (UTC)
Let's keep this on the talk page. --Wikiman2718 (talk) 19:04, 26 August 2019 (UTC)
... This page is for notifying people who are interested in fringe topics that something fringey is going on somewhere. ... --Hob Gadling (talk) 06:33, 19 April 2018 (UTC) Quoted by Tgeorgescu (talk) 19:09, 26 August 2019 (UTC)
Well, "Placebo does heal real illnesses" is very vague, and isn't what anyone is saying on the talk page. What we are saying is that the placebo effect can have real objective effects, in terms of neurotransmitters, and changes to objective pain, depression and perhaps Parkinson's motor control and sleep. This is what the science says, and it isn't in any way fringe. --sciencewatcher (talk) 19:26, 26 August 2019 (UTC)
Slight correction: the evidence was inconclusive for sleep. —Wikiman2718 (talk) 19:42, 26 August 2019 (UTC)
Yes, the evidence may not be entirely conclusive for certain conditions. However it would be incorrect to say that it is fringe. --sciencewatcher (talk) 19:47, 26 August 2019 (UTC)
I agree entirely. Just trying to set all our facts straight. —Wikiman2718 (talk) 20:06, 26 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Had a quick look. Cochrane sources are regarded as strong and generally exempt from the "5 year rule" because they get updated when the underlying evidence changes (as MEDRS says). There are certainly a lot of fringe claims made for placebos, yes. Alexbrn (talk) 21:30, 26 August 2019 (UTC)

Response to WP:GOODBIAS[edit]

I got a response to my essay at WP:GOODBIAS in my email.

Here is is (with the identity of the sender removed -- newly created username, zero edits):

I'm bias too, I am bias against Earth only thinking:
Many extra terrestrial aliens on other planets in other galaxies and universes have unconventional cures for diseases that on their planets are as bad as cancer and AIDS is on our planet. You, your pro science Wikipedian friends and all of the mainstream doctors in the USA, Asia, Canada Europe and Australia would never believe that these extra terrestrials' unconventional methods would cure their diseases (but they do work and do cure those sick aliens on other planets). A lot of these methods are similar to Alternative Medicine. You can't disprove this Mr Science man can you? Try being a skeptic on their planets when their methods actually are proven to work and you'll look like a nut job.
There are many Earth like planets in other galaxies and universes that have extra terrestrials on them (about as advance as we are) and on some of those planets, their planets' scientists' predictions of climate change turned out to be wrong (with as much evidence or more evidence than our scientists have about our climate change, if there was a Wikipedia on those planets and you were an editor, you have been like you are here about our climate change but on those planets you would have been WRONG). So on those planets, that single digit percent chance that climate change wouldn't occur came true (like the 1993 Bills comeback in the playoffs over the Oilers that rare).I believe in climate change (where is my prize).
Some 'debunked' science methods may actually work on other planets in other universes (different laws of nature universes).
I am dead serious, there are billions of galaxies in our universe and billions of universes in our dimension.

I am certain that we are all relieved that that has been cleared up... :) --Guy Macon (talk) 20:29, 26 August 2019 (UTC)

You don't even need to invoke aliens.
What if Bottlenose Dolphins are reading Wikipedia? They're going to be really confused by our medical articles if they don't realize that their anatomy is different than ours. ApLundell (talk) 20:40, 26 August 2019 (UTC)
Not just me then!! -Roxy, the dog. wooF 18:55, 27 August 2019 (UTC)
Hmm. Does the fact that these extraterrestrial aliens have no Wikipedia help or hurt their case that they are roughly as advanced as we are? CThomas3 (talk) 21:48, 27 August 2019 (UTC)
What do you mean "extraterrestrial aliens have no Wikipedia"? I have long suspected that the WMF are all space aliens. --Guy Macon (talk) 14:34, 28 August 2019 (UTC)
This reminds me of [2] and [3] (hypothesis that climate change may play a role in other civilizations, making them even rarer and reducing the lifespan of their industrial revolution and space exploration)... —PaleoNeonate – 13:45, 28 August 2019 (UTC)

Draft:Dr. Mukesh Bangar[edit]

Looks fringe and COI-ful. XOR'easter (talk) 21:55, 26 August 2019 (UTC)

Thanks for sharing! Nominated it for deletion. -Crossroads- (talk) 23:50, 26 August 2019 (UTC)
It's been speedily deleted per WP:G11. XOR'easter (talk) 17:02, 27 August 2019 (UTC)

fringe edits relating to Pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact theories[edit]

I found this addition today to the main article on Pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact theories: "Adenostemma viscosum This plant, native to the Americas, was found in Hawaii by Hillebrand in 1888 who considered it to have grown there before Europeans arrived, because it was growing throughout the low-elevation woods on all the islands of the archipelago within 75 years after Capt. Cooks arrival. A legitimate native name and established native medicinal usage confirmed the pre-Cookian age.[1]"


  1. ^ Hillebrand, William (1888). Flora of the Hawaiian Islands. London: Williams and Norgate.

And then I found "Origins of the Hawaiian flora: Phylogenies and biogeography reveal patterns of long‐distance dispersal" [4] which lists its dispersal, by adhesion to birds, as "W(AU + EA + I + P)" - the W "indicates a lineage that arrived from a widespread species" and the regions are " Au = Australasian, I = Indo‐Malayan, EA = East Asian, NT = Neotropical, NA = North America." Plus our article on Adenostemma shows it is a widespread genus. I'm always concerned when it appears that someone is trying to make an argument but only uses sources that back their argument. I'm sorry, User:Geneva11, but your edits appear to be searching for proof of trans-oceanic contact without looking to see if anything contradicts it. See also this[5] - you haven't read that paper, right? And as it isn't published, how can it meet WP:VERIFY. I don't have time right now but there seem to be other similar edits.

I haven't reverted it because it may be better to leave it in with the evidence that it's wrong than remove it. Doug Weller talk 19:13, 28 August 2019 (UTC)


Some might be coming from this.[6] Doug Weller talk 20:30, 28 August 2019 (UTC)
And now I'm really pissed, or really wrong, because I added my source then wondered why Hillebrand got it so wrong, so looked at his book which is downloadable (you need to create a free account, then you can download a txt or pdf copy).] Nothing. Then I found John L. Sorenson and Carl L. Johannessen, “Scientific Evidence for Pre-Columbian Transoceanic Voyages” Sino-Platonic Papers, 133 (April 2004)[7] - fringe authors both, and they say
"Origin: Americas Summary: The plant was found in Hawaii by Hillebrand, who considered it to have grown there before Europeans arrived, because it was growing throughout the low-elevation woods on all the islands of the archipelago within 75 years after Capt. Cook’s arrival. A legitimate native name and established native medicinal usage confirm the age. Furthermore, Chopra et al. describe its distribution as “throughout India” with no hint that it could have been a modern introduction and still account for that distribution." but then:
"Hillebrand 1888, 192. A. viscosum, Forst. “A genus of few American species, of which the following is spread over many warm countries.” Under the species entry he also notes: “Common in the lower woods of all [Hawaiian] islands. Nat. name: ‘Kamanamana.’ An infusion of the leaves is used as a remedy in fevers by the natives. The species is widely spread over the Americas, Polynesia, N. Australia, Asia, and Africa.” Not marked to indicate a post-Capt. Cook import."
So I'm confused. Doug Weller talk 19:05, 29 August 2019 (UTC)
Hillebrand didn't have it wrong, one of the most renowned botanists of that century, George Bentham, identified it as a species originating in America, a few decades earlier than Hillebrand in 1866, and stated that Adenostemma was (p.462) "(a) genus of very few American species, one of which spreads all around the warm zone of the globe."[1]


  1. ^ Bentham, George (1866). Flora australiensis: a description of the plants of the Australian territory Volume III. London: L. Reeve and Company. p. 462. Retrieved 1 September 2019.
@Geneva11: indeed it does appear that it was native to the Americas - the problem is that its transfer to the Old World seems to have been millions of years ago.[8] Doug Weller talk 15:31, 3 September 2019 (UTC)


That article is talking about the genus Amaranthus. Adenostemma viscosum is of the Adenostemma genus. In order to avoid unnecessary reverts on this particular Wiki page, here is a proposal, in order for an item regarding a theory of pre-Columbian diffusion to or from North America involving flora/fauna to appear on this particular Wiki page, I would propose the following: 1. There must be some archaeological/anthropological/linguistic scientific research data underlying the theory 2. There must be an evaluation (if suitable scientific material is available) of the potential of non-human transport,and 3. There must be an evaluation and discussion (if suitable scientific material is available) of the potential of pre-human distribution of a genus or species. Is this generally suitable to those Wiki editors that police this particular page?— Preceding unsigned comment added by Geneva11 (talkcontribs) 21:39, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
If dealing with such old sources is needed, a more recent and reliable source that refers to them should probably be used... Said source must also make the conclusions so that the text of the encyclopedia can reflect it. Editors shouldn't do the science, original research or synthesis (WP:PRIMARY, WP:OR, WP:SYNTH). An old source is fine for an uncontroversial description, but not to support an outdated hypothesis, except in a historical context (i.e. "at the time, foo believed that ...", etc). —PaleoNeonate – 23:24, 3 September 2019 (UTC)

Warsaw concentration camp: Giant gas chamber in road tunnel killing hundreds of thousands[edit]

Did you know that 200,000 or possibly even 400,000 non-Jewish Poles were killed in a giant gas chamber in road tunnel under Warsaw as part of a huge Warsaw concentration camp complex? (for scale - would rank in top-5 in Extermination camp#Death toll). Well, the Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933–1945 (which covers the camp in Volume I, part B, pages 1511-1515) saw fit to devote precisely zero space to this conspiracy theory, and describes the camp (part of the time as a sub-camp) as operating for approx. a year (clearing the ruins of the ghetto) - with a total of 8,000-9,000 inmates (mostly Jews from outside of Poland) of which 4,000-5,000 died as victims.

The conspiracy theory is covered in this recent piece in London Review of Books - Under the Railway Line, Christian Davies, 9 May 2019. According to LRB this is advanced by proponents of "Polocaust" who try to create a parity or even "greater victimhood" of Poles in the Holocaust - Per LRB this related to the

"standard trope on the Polish nationalist right that Jews have exaggerated their victimhood in order to extort money from the Poles and obtain global power and influence"

LRB also notes:

"But the more Trzcińska’s claims were challenged, the more determined her supporters became. Marches, demonstrations, public meetings and religious ceremonies were held, bogus maps circulated, false testimonies promoted, Wikipedia entries amended. Worst of all, plaques and monuments bearing false witness to the secret genocide started to appear around the city."

Our Warsaw concentration camp contained this hoax for 15 years and 3 days. It has spread to other articles - for instance on German camps in occupied Poland during World War II it lasted for 13 years 3 months and 27 days (2006 diff, 2019 removal). This (will) top the list at Wikipedia:List of hoaxes on Wikipedia (current maximum is 13 years, 3 months).

I have rewritten the camp article based on mainstream sources. Credit here also goes to @K.e.coffman: who cut some of the un-sourced garbage (the whole article was mostly missing citations) in May 2019, and to an IP and @Paven1: who alerted in 2006 (see [9], [10], [11], [12]). I have also removed this from several articles throughout the English Wikipedia.

However, I am sure I missed some spots on English Wikipedia with this. Also - while the Polish Wikipedia is in a fairly good state (the Polish Wikipedia generally is in a fairly good state on this topic - often more mainstream than the English Wikipedia), this drivel has spread to other language Wikipedias - for instance the French, Dutch, Finnish, Chinese - all seem based on what was present on the English Wikipedia (the Chinene and French seem to be straight one to one translations). On English Wikipedia this got into more top-tier pages - e.g. German camps in occupied Poland during World War II and Extermination camp. Help checking where else this got to on English Wikipedia as well as spreading the word to other language Wikipedias would be appreciated. Icewhiz (talk) 09:15, 29 August 2019 (UTC)

The German Wikipedia had a paragraph about this claim - and how it is wrong - since 2009. Probably not surprising that the German and Polish articles about the topic are fact-checked thoroughly. --mfb (talk) 13:00, 29 August 2019 (UTC)

Hate speech[edit]

"Disagreeing with my beliefs regardless of evidence to the contrary constitutes hate speech" is, unfortunately, the way the wind is blowing. Given that The classic notion of an encyclopaedia and ‘universal knowledge’ needs to be discarded. Having top priority content about any group of people, nation,... is in this direction. The idea of encyclopedic knowledge feels problematic. What is a “universal knowledge”? Who gets to decide what is “universal”? We need to focus on moving from a single center to multiple ones." is about to be written into formal WMF policy, we're fairly soon not going to be allowed to label crank theories as "fringe", let alone refuse to give them equal billing with actual demonstrable facts. ‑ Iridescent 18:59, 29 August 2019 (UTC)
@Iridescent: I've seen that ridiculous proposal, but I don't fully understand the source of it. Does it have a realistic chance of passing? --Wikiman2718 (talk) 19:02, 29 August 2019 (UTC)
In a word, "no". (Actually, it's not even a recommendation itself, it's in the justification for a recommendation which is itself pretty anodyne.) As for the rest of this, I doubt that anyone on Wikipedia is going to accept a monograph by Stubblefield as a reliable source for anything. We've weathered similar storms (Wikipedia:Verifiability, not truth!, WP:CRYBLP, etc.) in the past and predict this pendulum swing too shall pass. jps (talk) 19:03, 29 August 2019 (UTC)
If you are concerned, you can speak out against it on meta:Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Working Groups/Diversity/Recommendations/2 I'd imagine. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 20:26, 29 August 2019 (UTC)
My impression was that it was not official and gathered no attention... To change or clarify policies, debates usually occur on the relevant talk pages, for each wiki (there are exceptions where the WMF can enforce actions and/or where policies should also comply for legal reasons, like for copyright, etc). —PaleoNeonate – 23:10, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  • 2011 - Fear mongering claims about FC and false sexual abuse allegations have been a staple of anti-FC rhetoric for years
    2018 - I admit that I had criminal sexual contact with a disabled man who was unable to speak and express his will.

    The story in a nutshell. WBGconverse 19:22, 29 August 2019 (UTC)
    I will just leave this here:[13] --Guy Macon (talk) 19:53, 29 August 2019 (UTC)

Most royal candidate theory[edit]

(This is not the type of fringe usually dealt with here but . . . .) Most royal candidate theory is about a genealogical/historical proposition conjured up by a self-promoting bond trader who became a media go-to genealogy expert by purchasing a prominent publication on the English Peerage. It proclaimed that every US presidential election up to the year 2000 was won by the candidate with the best/most-royal bloodlines in their ancestry. The theory itself has all the hallmarks of fringe (including made-up data, hand-waving, retrospective discovery of 'better' descents when the picked candidate lost, plus being demonstrably false) but it got reported in several successive election cycles by British and American news sources as a 'different take' on picking who was going to win the latest tedious American election campaign, along the lines of the octopus picking the winner of the World Cup.

A paragraph has been in the article for a while referring to a 2012 Daily Mail article about a tweenager who used online genealogies (which are of notoriously abysmal quality) to trace all US presidents to King John of England. The Mail story does not mention the 'most royal candidate theory' at all, but an editor is insisting that it is relevant because it deals with presidents and royal descents and thus cannot be removed, and if erroneous (which it is) it can only be countered by a WP:RS that addresses its accuracy. I would suggest that scholars don't take the work of 12-year-olds seriously just because the Daily Mail reported it, and neither should Wikipedia. Am I off base here? Agricolae (talk) 08:53, 30 August 2019 (UTC)

Pure fringe woo and not worth a mention. "Royal blood" is nonsense; over 40 generations almost anyone of European descent is descended from anyone who was living in Europe 800 years ago, provided that person had multiple offspring survive infancy. Almost anyone in the US who has a single white person in their family tree is a direct descendant of King John of England, Alexander Nevsky, William the Conqueror or whichever other medieval monarch takes your fancy. (Charlemagne is the usual example in discussions of this particular misreading of statistics.) The original paper proving that all Europeans share common ancestors once you go back 40 generations is here.
If you do want a genuine method of predicting US elections, then "tallest candidate (almost) always wins" is easily demonstrable (in the 20th century, "taller guy" won 18 elections, "shorter guy" won 6, with one dead heat in 1992). ‑ Iridescent 10:53, 30 August 2019 (UTC)
The proponent would never give what the actual descents were, just vague claims of 'President A descended from king Y, while defeated candidate B only descended from king X', and some of these were completely inexplicable, based either on long-discredited 19th century family histories, or completely made up - the pedigree of Andrew Jackson only has 4 known people, the earliest being his (non-royal) great-grandfather, so he couldn't have a more-royal pedigree than anyone. The media credulously reported it as a curiosity (like the football-picking octopus) each successive election cycle, whether his previous guess had been right or wrong (if wrong, he would retroactively 'discover' - make up - a superior descent for the winner). The media never fact-checked it or they would have immediately seen how ludicrous it was, with Adams beating Jefferson in 1796, then Jefferson beat Adams in 1800, so Jefferson must have changed his ancestors in between the two elections (the pattern repeats in 1824/28, 1836/40 and 1888/92). Proponent was also the person who kept getting 'Queen Elizabeth descends from Muhammad' stories reported, based on a completely confused pedigree. An obituary of him said "his great advantage for journalists was that he was always available to make an arresting comment; his disadvantage was that he was often wrong." Agricolae (talk) 11:40, 30 August 2019 (UTC)
By this tedious logic we could just as easily set forth that every US president is a legitimate successor to Ghengis Khan. Simonm223 (talk) 12:05, 30 August 2019 (UTC)
Just to be clear, though, the original claim was made by someone who was publisher of one of the premier scholarly works (even if he owed the credential solely to purchase), and was thus accepted by the media as an expert. He actually wasn't, just a self-promoting hack, but the papers were implicitly taking his word for it as an expert. That scenario is different in kind to the story about the 12-year-old, which is a 'look what the precocious kid has done' story, one that is claimed to demand inclusion by its very existence and require a published refutation to question. The favoring editor says today on article's Talk today that . . . it received considerable publicity. . . . We don't have any reliable sources discrediting the claim and so must be included and its accuracy can't be questioned. To me, this would be like insisting on including a 'teenager studying genetics in her garage claims Lysenko was right' newspaper story in a Wikipedia article about Lysenkoism - though the the theory itself was bogus it is noteworthy, but not what a 12-year-old thinks about it, no matter how many newspapers reported her conclusion. Agricolae (talk) 15:56, 30 August 2019 (UTC)

─────────────────────────Newspapers are not the epistemic communities where the political science analysis of who does or does not win elections is discussed. WP:FRINGE applies when a topic is ignored by experts. Self-proclaimed doesn't count. jps (talk) 01:10, 31 August 2019 (UTC)

  • I have initiated an RfC to merge to the article on Harold Brooks-Baker, as the content of this article is at least half about him, and the sources are all either about him or quote him. Guy (help!) 17:27, 8 September 2019 (UTC)

Deletion discussion for Category:Scientific racism[edit]

See Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2019 August 24#Category:Scientific racism and User:Johnpacklambert's removal of that category and Category:White supremacy from articles. Doug Weller talk 09:34, 30 August 2019 (UTC)

And an outgrowth from that?[14] Doug Weller talk 09:44, 30 August 2019 (UTC)
I particularly like the bit in the CfD where the nominator insists that Science is and has always been a detached and objective pursuit one sentence after invoking Lysenko. XOR'easter (talk) 16:02, 30 August 2019 (UTC)

Stephen C. Meyer[edit]

Is quoting David Gelernter appropriate here? See recent history. --Hob Gadling (talk) 10:12, 31 August 2019 (UTC)

  • Someone ought to inform User:Ricardo Ferreira de Oliveira of discretionary sanctions in the area of pseudoscience. It looks to me like we may have another white knight for the creationist cause. jps (talk) 11:55, 31 August 2019 (UTC)

Mickey Robinson has visited both Heaven and Hell[edit]

according to this new article. Doug Weller talk 15:04, 31 August 2019 (UTC)

Created by user AcceptJesus2020 (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) ("help create and improve articles of well known christian figures, pastors, and televangelists"). One that has been in hell and heaven, one that prayed for the death of Obama, one that wants to get rid of public schools. We'll get more of them. --mfb (talk) 00:54, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
Swedenborg claimed to have visited heaven, but at least there are plenty of sources about him. Xxanthippe (talk) 02:23, 1 September 2019 (UTC).
This user has a suspicious knowledge of page moves and infoboxes. Anybody up to creating a report at WP:SPI? Any idea who the sockmaster might be? --Guy Macon (talk) 04:58, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
No idea who, but I agree with you that his activity is suspicious. If anyone had similar interests and is now blocked, they could be a suspect. Also, this editor is likely to be a troublesome evangelist and their username may indeed be an issue, although it "helpfully" makes their agenda more obvious. -Crossroads- (talk) 18:31, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
There is also a pending draft by the same name.--Auric talk 11:11, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  • I wonder at the appropriateness of an explicitly proselytizing user name. GMGtalk 13:24, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Ripe for AfD. Xxanthippe (talk) 22:22, 1 September 2019 (UTC).
  • And I wonder about the spectacularly lousy sources, which are: the subject himself, YouTube, YouTube again, The Christian Broadcasting Network, and a credulous interview from 2001 in Charisma Magazine. Well, and something from The Post which I can't access because of the GDPR — I got a 451 — and I can't even figure out which Post. See our disambiguation page The Post. Perhaps somebody not in the EU could check that one? Link here. Anyway, I've PRODded. That's unlikely to stick, but I'll be glad to take it to AfD. Bishonen | talk 17:21, 3 September 2019 (UTC).
It's apparently the Brunswick Post, as in Brunswick, Ohio, population 34,255. GMGtalk 17:31, 3 September 2019 (UTC)

Autism causes vaccines![edit]

[15] I'm just saying. --Guy Macon (talk) 14:39, 3 September 2019 (UTC)

It's funny because it's true. --Wikiman2718 (talk) 15:49, 5 September 2019 (UTC)

Differential K theory[edit]

Differential K theory misleadingly implies that a fringe, racialist theory has academic legitimacy, and it seems to be getting worse. AndewNguyen (talk · contribs) recently added several obscure studies to the article, to flattering affect.

To briefly explain the topic, J. Philippe Rushton attempted to apply r/K selection theory to humans and human racial categories (specifically "Mongoloid", "Caucasoid", and "Negroid") starting in 1985. Rushton's version of this theory has been dismissed by biologists for multiple reasons. As one example, Joseph L. Graves describes Rushton's grasp of life history theory as "rudimentary", "amateurish", etc. As Graves explains, his work was rejected by evolutionary scientists on methodological grounds, which Rushton misrepresented as being ideologically motivated.[16] To put it more bluntly, when scientists began looking at Rushton's work, they found sloppy assumptions, not good scholarship.[17] Rushton's work on this theory is, however, still cited in some papers and textbooks, although these almost always either criticize the theory, or gloss-over Rushton's explicitly racialist conclusions.

Two of the recently added studies were published in Personality and Individual Differences, which is one of the very few legitimate journals that continued to published on the theory. These sources seem to make minute adjustments to a grossly flawed theory. None of them appear to be particularly significant, especially weighed against the many more substantial criticisms on a broader range of publications. The authors of the studies include Richard Lynn, Michael Woodley, Edward Dutton (twice), and Aurelio José Figueredo. All of these are contributors to Mankind Quarterly, among other fringe outlets. As one example of this walled garden, Figueredo's support for Rushton's theory has been specifically described as an example of scientific racism in academia. Dutton distanced himself from Rushton in 2019, although I don't think he's reliable either way, so I'm not sure if this matters. Grayfell (talk) 22:26, 3 September 2019 (UTC)

The sources added are from mainstream sources: one from Journal of Criminal Justice, and two from Personality and Individual Differences. These are both mainstream Elsevier journals. These articles were all recent, published 2016, 2018 and 2018. I saw this article, browsed Google Scholar for published recent work and came across these articles. User Grayfell apparently has some personal dislike for these researchers, perhaps he should excuse himself from such topics. AndewNguyen (talk) 07:31, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
The idea that the Elsevier imprimatur is some kind of quality guarantee is wrong: they publish some real shite (including, infamously, a journal devoted to homeopathy). If these academics' views have no independent secondary coverage they probably are not suitable for encyclopedic coverage. Alexbrn (talk) 07:35, 4 September 2019 (UTC)

AndrewNguyen has already received the {{subst:alert|r-i}} notice. That should suffice for now. I hereby additionally warn them to use the talk page to generate consensus for any disputed sources before reverting any removal of disputed material. Please return here if there are further problems. Please be patient and polite to one another. If the next person agrees this is enough, please close this thread. Jehochman Talk 02:04, 5 September 2019 (UTC)

User inserted non-RS Scientology source for tenth time, after prior ANI and sanctions alert[edit]

Iamsnag12 (talk · contribs), an eight-year-old account with less than 100 edits, has repeatedly added the same non-reliable source to multiple articles. The first four times on 14 August: [18] [19] [20][21]

Upon removal as a non-RS, user promptly readded without discussion on 15 August: [22][23][24][25].

User was reported to ANI and alerted to discretionary sanctions [26], and on 20 August, the material was removed from the four pages by admin User:JzG as a non-RS. [27][28][29][30]

On 31 August, the user re-added the same source for a ninth and tenth time.

In addition to other issues, the source has a reputation for financial entanglements with the objects of their study. In particular, the source (CENSUR) reportedly had financial ties to Aum Shinrikyo which led its members in 1995 to giving a public press conference, erroneously arguing that the group could not have manufactured the Sarin gas (which the group did in fact use in the Tokyo attacks). CENSUR had instead publicly claimed that the group was merely the victims of religious persecution. [1][2] Also posted to ANI and RSN Feoffer (talk) 07:04, 5 September 2019 (UTC)


  1. ^ "Tokyo Cult Finds an Unlikely Supporter", The Washington Post, T.R. Reid, May 1995.
  2. ^ Ian Reader, "Scholarship, Aum Shinrikyo, and Academic Integrity" Archived 2011-10-05 at the Wayback Machine, Nova Religio 3, no. 2 (April 2000): 368-82.


A newcomer called ProfZeit has claimed in a number of articles that Marxism influenced the philosophy of science as well as science studies. The only sources I can find to back this up come from Marxist authors. We could use some help to determine if this viewpoint is fringe. --Wikiman2718 (talk) 15:24, 5 September 2019 (UTC)

Well, it certainly influenced Trofim Lysenko when he invented Lysenkoism. I'm just saying. --Guy Macon (talk) 16:32, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
  • It certainly did. Loren Graham(bluelink I hope?) has written on this. Within the Soviet Union and its satellites, Marxism was seen as the ultimate and perfect theory of everything (because to say otherwise was an act of lèse-majesté against their hero Marx, and as Marx was now safely dead he could be idolised like this without any risk of him being denounced later). So Marxist theory (broader than Marxist economics) provided a framework for analytical thought, and that could be applied anywhere. In particular, historical materialism was seen as a Marxist theoretical justification of evolutionary theory and indeed almost anything. As Guy has mentioned, Lysenkoism is the most famous. I believe linguistics is perhaps the one where it had the deepest (and ongoing) influence. However Marx was applied to everything. To not apply Marx to one's own theory would be against the principles of the New Soviet Man and to suggest a theory which went against Marx would be a career-limiting move, at the least. Except in metallurgy, where Marxist metallurgy was something of a failure in the Soviet Union and famously utter chaos in China during the Great Leap Forwards. Cybernetics was another field with a deep literature based on sound Marxist principles, where reality showed a reactionary reluctance to comply with it.
Marxism, like many such things, can be applied to any field. A skilled Marxist, such as anyone who managed a successful career in local government or social services in London during the '70s or '80s, needs must be an accomplished duckspeaker. Particularly if one is a more skilled or knowledgeable Marxist than the others in the room, like being a more successful storefront preacher, one can turn the structures and orthodoxies of Marxism to excuse anything. This is how Marxism-Leninism, Marxism-Trotskyism, Marxism-Stalinism, Marxism-Maoism, Marxism-Hoxhaism and Marxism-Kim Il-sungism all manage to co-exist so happily with Marx, the complete and perfect guide to everything, yet seemingly in need of extension by every new leader. When the core theoretician is both verbose and dead (yet having only published three volumes of a promised corpus of about six), that leaves a lot of opportunity for commentaries and extensions upon it.
You can make much of the same claims for any set of theories. Postmodernism has made great contributions to astrophysics, as noted in the Sokal paper.
So Marx clearly can be, and has been, applied to these fields. It has even achieved influence. In a few it might have achieved useful influence. That doesn't stop it also having been applied nonsensically, by ignorant dogmatists who mistook conformity for accuracy. But we're not here to record accuracy of a theory, so much as the history of its development. Andy Dingley (talk) 17:12, 5 September 2019 (UTC)|}
I mean the ignorant dogmatists of Capitalism think it's the answer to everything too, so I suppose there's that. But as to whether the suggestion that Marxism influenced the philosophy of science? I'd suggest that it's not, in and of itself, a fringe supposition, but one where fringe views are likely to appear and as such great care in sourcing should be required. Simonm223 (talk) 17:45, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Postmodernism has made great contributions to astrophysics, as noted in the Sokal paper. ... Wait. Wut. GMGtalk 17:22, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
    • Precisely. Hyperbolick (talk) 17:45, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
      • Aaaanyway. Yes, Marx was pretty influential, and also in the philosophy of science (see also Dialectical materialism). But he was not this influential. We can talk about the influence he had, but we do not ourselves apply a Marxist interpretation of the history of science, which is what an edit like this appears to be attempting to do. GMGtalk 17:49, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Marx himself had almost nothing to do with dialectical materialism. He never referred to it himself, it's mostly a pastiche of Hegel's dialecticism, recycled by commentators on Marx. Andy Dingley (talk) 18:30, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Well, that's probably a matter of opinion to some extent. Surely we wouldn't be sitting here talking about Hegel were it not for Marx. GMGtalk 19:22, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
  • We might not be in a thread called "Marxism" talking about Hegel, but to think that Hegel would be unknown if it wasn't for Marx? Well, now that's a fringe view. Andy Dingley (talk) 19:33, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Not that he would be unknown. But anyway, at then end of the day, we can agree about post-modernism, and that's enough for me to buy you a drink should we ever meet. GMGtalk 19:58, 5 September 2019 (UTC)

Marxism is not a fringe theory. It is a major intellectual tradition with an elaborate body of adherents and respected texts. Its contribution to various disciplines, including science studies, is acknowledged by many who are not Marxists, such as Professor Loren Graham of MIT and Harvard, mentioned above. He does not reduce Marxism to Lysenkoism, which was definitely a complex, tragic and prolonged episode in this history. In mainstream encyclopedias, there are many entries documenting this. For example, the Encyclopedia of Science Technology and Ethics has a number of articles on Marxism and Marxists and their positive contributions to this field. Why should the status quo be Wikiman2718's dogmatic denial of this rather than my informed assertion of this? ProfZeit (talk) 09:40, 6 September 2019 (UTC)ProfZeit

@ProfZeit: Marxists have a strong tendency to be unreliable with respect to what they say about Marxism, so in general it is best to avoid pro-Marxist sources. If you want to add information about Marxism to these articles, it should be done with non-Marxist sources. --Wikiman2718 (talk) 13:35, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
What is Marxism other than what Marxists say? They can be wrong about the history of their system, and one faction within Marxism can be unfairly disparaging about another, etc., but there's no blanket reason to avoid pro-Marxist writers as sources for what pro-Marxist writers write.
Looking at the disputed edit, phrases like a seminal event and a major force are likely overselling and POV-pushing, but Among those influenced by a Marxist approach to science were J.D. Bernal, J.B.S Haldane,... is justifiable. We cover who influenced whom, without making a final judgment about whether that influence led to truth or error. XOR'easter (talk) 14:50, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
Marxist sources may sometimes be reliable sources for explaining Marxist philosophy, but not for explaining the role of Marxist philosophy on science and society. If I want to know the influence of the republican political philosophy on science, I probably shouldn't use the RNC as a source. --Wikiman2718 (talk) 14:59, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
The article in question is not science, but science studies, the field that investigates of the scientific process and community by sociological means, and which most scientists probably regard with the same level of concern that birds have for birdwatchers. That Marxist philosophy could have had an influence on such a field is not a remarkable claim. (One slice of history is given by The SAGE Handbook of the Philosophy of Social Sciences. [T]he excitement surrounding early STS fed off the frisson of radical critique associated with the rhetoric of 'alienation', which tapped into the rediscovery of the 'young' or 'humanist' Karl Marx, whose unpublished manuscripts were translated into English in the 1960s. [... Marxism] came back to haunt STS after the collapse of Communism and the onset of the Science Wars. [...] Bernal explicitly followed Marx in believing that something like a Lakatosian rational reconstruction of the history of science could provide guidance on science's future trajectory ]...] His Social Function of Science (1939) written at the peak of Western enthusiasm for the scientific promise of the Soviet Union, followed by the most comprehensive Marxist history of science ever written, the four-volume Science in History (1971), are worthy precursors of social epistemology and are among the earliest works in the sociology and social history of science. Sokal and Bricmont, neither Marxists nor sympathizers to most "science studies" practice, discuss Marxism and reactions thereto in Fashionable Nonsense (1998)'s exploration of how the political left embraced postmodernism. The influence has often been indirect; as Karen Barad said somewhere, New materialisms are of course deeply indebted to Marx, and to others indebted to Marxism, including Foucault and a generation of feminist engagements with Marxist insights that travel under the names “materialist feminisms”, “feminist science studies”, to name a few. Marxism indirectly influenced STS via Latour being upset with it, and Marxists of various stripe then being upset with Latour; the rabbit hole is arbitrarily deep.) XOR'easter (talk) 16:39, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
I agree that it is not remarkable to claim that Marxism influenced science studies. However, this particular account has also made a similar edit to philosophy of science, which is a different matter entirely. In general, I think it is best to avoid Marxist sources, especially in cases like these where they are not independent sources. --Wikiman2718 (talk) 19:17, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
To be fair, I'd prefer to avoid Capitalist sources when discussing economics. Sadly we live in the real world where you'll have to put up with Marxism not being a fringe philosophy until you can prove it in a way that doesn't depend on blatantly capitalist sources and where I'll have to put up with the orthodox school of economics for at least until the climate crisis completely destabilizes our civilization. I think my wait will be shorter. Simonm223 (talk) 19:20, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
That edit to philosophy of science seems OK to me, except maybe for the adjective "rich", which is perhaps on the POV-ish side. XOR'easter (talk) 21:44, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
Does anyone have an example of a contribution by Marxism to the philosophy of science? —Wikiman2718 (talk) 21:48, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
Off the top of my head, you can't understand the history of the interpretation of quantum mechanics without it [31]. David Bohm was a Marxist, and this definitely influenced the course of his career, if not his opinion about quantum mechanics; Jean-Pierre Vigier worked on hidden-variable models of quantum physics expressly because of his Marxism, and the view that French Marxist physicists had about causality accordingly sustained interest in Bohmian ideas against those of the previous generation. Lakatos' philosophy of mathematics descends in part from Hegel and Marx. An actual philosopher could probably come up with more examples; I just happen to have read what I have read for other reasons and have found French Marxism, Soviet Marxism, post-Marxism, counter-Marxism, etc., splattered all about the place. XOR'easter (talk) 00:01, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
I admit that I wasn't able to access that paper you linked, but these look like contributions by Marxists. I have no doubt that Marxists have made contributions to science, and that Marxists states have sponsored scientific research, but I still have not seen evidence that the Marxist philosophy itself has influenced the philosophy of science (maybe it's in the paper). We need to draw such a distinction, otherwise we would have to credit almost every philosophy as having contributed to science since scientists are such a diverse group. --Wikiman2718 (talk) 00:33, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
Apart from the biographical blurb on Bohm that sprang to mind, all of that was philosophy influencing the philosophy of science, not just scientists who happen to be Marxists doing science. In addition to the paper by Camillieri, there is a good deal on this in the works of Olival Freire, which I can dig up when I next get a chance (again, I'm just going by what I recall in references I read for other reasons and a long time ago, so my knowledge is not at all systematic). XOR'easter (talk) 00:49, 7 September 2019 (UTC)

It is not fair to assert that Marxists are unreliable in writing about Marxism and therefore cannot be cited. Are the authors I have cited unreliable? How? Are citations of Marxist texts to be be banned on wikipedia? How far to go with this? Are logical positivists unreliable when writing about logical positivism? Are members of the Edinburgh School unreliable writing about the strong programme? By the way, most Marxists were not born Marxists. They came to it in a search for truth. Many were eminent scientists: Bernal, Haldane, Langevin, Joliot-Curie and they wrote about science from a Marxist point of view. Is anybody with a world view banned from writing about it or only Marxists? --ProfZeit (talk) 09:52, 9 September 2019 (UTC)ProfZeit

So how to proceed with this? I propose that I reinstate my edits on the entries on philosophy of science and science studies. My one on philosophy of science is only one sentence. I can delete the word 'rich'. On both, I can add non-Marxist sources. It would not be a good idea to delete the Marxist ones I have chosen, because they survey the field in a relatively comprehensive way and lead on to many other sources. Otherwise, I'll take it to dispute resolution. I don't yet know how to do that, because I am new to Wikipedia editing and was only intending to make a few strategic edit, but I regard this as a matter of principle. --ProfZeit (talk) 09:50, 10 September 2019 (UTC)ProfZeit

  • Okay, I'll give a crack at this. I don't think this is necessarily an issue of reliability. Prominent Marxist authors are reliable for subject mater relating to Marxism. What this really is is an issue of WP:DUEWEIGHT, and specifically WP:PROPORTION: strive to treat each aspect with a weight proportional to its treatment in the body of reliable, published material on the subject (emphasis added). That last bit, "on the subject" means a lot when you are dealing with broad overarching topics.
To take a non-controversial example, if you're interested in the subject of WWI, then I highly recommend the writings of Peter Hart (military historian). So, he's got an entire book about the Battle of Passchendaele. That book is undeniably a solid source when it comes to Passchendaele. However, we ought not be using Hart's book on Passchendaele in order to judge due weight on the main article for WWI. Hart isn't writing about WWI. He's not making editorial decisions about the broad subject, which bits are more or less important relative to the others. He's not weighing Passchendaele against Verdun or the Somme. He's just writing about Passchendaele. In order to judge the relative weight that is due to the subject of Passchendaele on the broad article for WWI, we need to use sources specifically about WWI, where they have gone through this editorial decision making process. We should follow their lead when assigning weight, and we can use Hart's book when we get around to improving the article specifically about Passchendaele.
So I'm not saying that content about Marxism doesn't belong on the article for Science studies. But Science studies is a broad subject with surely many dozens of related articles nested beneath and around it thematically. What I am saying is sthat if we want to judge that appropriate weight, we need to be using sources about the broad subject of science studies, and if we want to use sources more specifically about how Marxism related to science, then those might be useful on an article specifically about the relationship between Marxism and science, but it's not necessarily helpful on the top-level article.
TL;DR DUEWEIGHT requires us to use particular sources on particular subjects, and broad sources on broad subjects. GMGtalk 11:52, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
It is notable that Marx already has a mention in philosophy of science were he is called one of the founders of social science. This mention may be due weight. I do think that Marx may deserve some weight in the science studies article, but we still need some sources to determine what that weight it. --Wikiman2718 (talk) 19:56, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
@Wikiman2718: See my note about relevant sources at Talk:Science studies § Marxism. Biogeographist (talk) 22:06, 10 September 2019 (UTC)

On the due weight issue, I have, if anything, erred on the other side, in writing so few sentences about such an elaborate intellectual tradition. As to whether it belongs in a general article on philosophy of science or science studies, I argue that it does. Marxists have taught in mainstream universities, presented at mainstream conferences, published in mainstream journals and publishing houses for decades now. They have interacted with and been respected by non-Marxists. There are many academics, who are not Marxists, who have nevertheless been influenced by Marxism, some knowingly, but others through the evolution of their disciplines, even if they are not knowledgeable about their disciplinary histories. I am for reinstatement of my edit, although I agree that the overall article is very poor, with or without it. --ProfZeit (talk) 09:41, 13 September 2019 (UTC)ProfZeit

The preceding comment was cross-posted to Talk:Science studies § Marxism, where I responded. Biogeographist (talk) 15:53, 13 September 2019 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Varadaraja V. Raman[edit]

Potentially of interest to the community here: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Varadaraja V. Raman. XOR'easter (talk) 19:20, 5 September 2019 (UTC)

Hinduism also asks a different set of questions and frames those questions in a different perspective. V.V. Raman, a physicist with a long-running interest in questions of science and religion, explicitly takes this on in his essay "Science and the Spiritual Vision: The Hindu Perspective." Using the Vedantic System to describe Hindu thought, Raman says:

"What makes the Vedantic System unique is that, unlike doctrines in some other religious systems, Vedanta is not simply based on the sacredness of this book or that. The Vedantic vision is not a theology or philosophy or even metaphysics. Rather, it is a formulation of a worldview arising from a unique mode of exploration."

  • Some might call that woo -- but no question he is noted for it. Hyperbolick (talk) 19:41, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
Being briefly quoted is not the same thing as being noted. XOR'easter (talk) 20:38, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
Why put this on this noticeboard? Is the existence of this person proposed to be a fringe theory? Is Hinduism? Hyperbolick (talk) 20:45, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
1. Because people who hang out here are generally familiar with the intersection of science and spirituality and can be counted upon to evaluate fairly whether an individual is noteworthy for their writings in that area, whether or not they personally agree with those writings. 2. No. 3. No. XOR'easter (talk) 20:52, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
Can't NPR evaluate fairly? They choose who they quote. Hyperbolick (talk) 21:05, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
NPR's standards on who to quote are not the same as Wikipedia's standards on who to have an article about. ApLundell (talk) 02:32, 6 September 2019 (UTC)

Have rewritten the article. You’d be surprised. If V.V. Raman were on this noticeboard he’d be joining in with those defending science against superstition. Hyperbolick (talk) 03:41, 6 September 2019 (UTC)

Hyperbolick, you do not have seem to have much of any clue about how stuff operates within the Hindutva echo-chamber. For all your aspersions of Eurocentrism, I am from India (as some previous versions of my u/p will allude to) and I have a keen interest (which may be academic or non-academic) in the domain, WBGconverse 04:53, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
Haven’t yet added 10% of sources available, this is a winner of national honors for his work. Why try to hide it? Emotionally driven bad judgment calls trying to strip away good sources. Step away. Hyperbolick (talk) 04:57, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
Hyperbolick, please resist from commenting on my emotional state or derivatives thereof, which might be construed as personal attacks. Rather than inserting sheer meaningless bloat in the form of his columns and other trivial coverage in local dailies, point me to source(s) that takes him past our notability guidelines in a bright-line fashion. WBGconverse 05:03, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
WP:NAWARD. Outstanding Educator award, presented in Washington D.C. by the American Association for Higher Education & Accreditation. Clearly an award itself notable, and independent of him. Think they hand those out like souvenirs? Hyperbolick (talk) 05:08, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
Hyperbolick, AAHEA is an unrecognized accreditation mill. Also NAWARDS is a failed proposal and I have no clue, as to your's pointing to it. WBGconverse 05:13, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
Doesn’t add up that his university president would nominate him for a bogus award. Article is 2009, award was in 1988. What was the status of AAHEA in 1988? Hyperbolick (talk) 05:18, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
AFAIK, it squatted over some erstwhile legitimate organisation based on DC. At any case, I don't care much and it's your business to prove the legitimacy.
Even if it were legitimate, we don't count such awards as propelling someone to notability. WBGconverse 05:24, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
This is the kind of thing you do. I added NPR as a source for his expertise in Hinduism, because it specifically notes his writing on Hinduism. You disagreed that it reflected that, but instead of FIXING it to reflect more accurately what you think it does convey you deleted it, as if it doesn’t discuss him at all. But it does. So why couldn’t you fix it? Hyperbolick (talk) 05:30, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
Hyperbolick, trivial mentions like that are not included in any encyclopedic article. Read this article for some interesting stuff on AAHEA. WBGconverse 05:32, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
Trivial mention would be his name on a list of people at an event. This describes who is and solemnifies that his writing is that significant. Cite NPR for this sort of thing is routine. Hyperbolick (talk) 05:35, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Note: Another substantial source. C. Mackenzie Brown spends a solid several pages of his book Hindu Perspectives on Evolution: Darwin, Dharma, and Design criticizing Raman's approach, noting that Raman has written that certain scientific truths "can also be apprehended through the mystical mode via meditation, prayer, or yogic exercises", and grouping Raman with Subhash Kak and Gopala Rao as "scientists [who] employ their expertise to confirm teachings of the sadhus and, not infrequently, to deplore the naturalistic theory of Darwinian evolution," concluding that for Raman, "the urge to lyricize and scientize tradition is clearly irresistible". Hyperbolick (talk) 21:18, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
    In short, Raman is another fringe. Thanks for digging that out, for me. WBGconverse 16:22, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
    • But widely published. Perhaps now delete the article to hide from the public that he's been called out as fringe? Or keep it for public knowledge? Hyperbolick (talk) 17:19, 7 September 2019 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Anachronisms in the Book of Mormon[edit]

This should be of interest here. Doug Weller talk 13:29, 6 September 2019 (UTC)

Roza Bal[edit]

New editor, eyes needed. I don't think it's another sock. Doug Weller talk 21:18, 6 September 2019 (UTC)

See my talk page where the new editor justifies their edits I reverted. Off to bed now. Doug Weller talk 21:33, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
Actually, I'm afraid it could be a sock. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 11:06, 7 September 2019 (UTC)

Bob Lazar[edit]

Someone who doesn’t understand our policies is contending on the Talk page that Benjamin Radford is an unreliable source for facts. - LuckyLouie (talk) 18:42, 7 September 2019 (UTC)

Editor adding original material - also pov, to Ivan Van Sertima[edit]

I've reverted and warned User:Olatunji Mwamba twice. I'm not sure that they are going to be reading their talk page but I'm obviously stopping at two reverts. A sample edit, added just in front of a citation from a reliable source:"These 'Meso-American' scholars act as if they have a monopoly on scholarship. The only thing necessary to this task on History is a command of the various Scientific disciplines necessary to the task. Those sciences are Archaeology, Anthropology, Linguistics, Etymology, Radio-Carbon Dating, and other scientific research. And last I checked, the mastery of these scientific disciplines are all that is necessary to the task of speaking with confidence on this topic." I may have to take him to ANI. Doug Weller talk 13:13, 8 September 2019 (UTC)

Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence[edit]

Both these articles were largely sourced to, which can hardly be considered independent. Every reality-based commentary in the main article had a rebuttal from or the Methuselah foundation or both.

I have redirected the SENS Research Foundation article to the main article. The small amount of content that wasn't self-sourced, is essentially there already, with better context. It was mainly added by a now-departed WP:SPA, Otvaltak (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log), and by a series of IPs. This is normal for anything to do with life extension, of course.

The Methuselah Foundation article is a wonderful advertisement for them, but looks very fringey to me. Guy (help!) 17:15, 8 September 2019 (UTC)

Pillars of Hercules[edit]

Editor adding OTZ(I think I must have meant OR), first as IP, twice with account. I've reverted twice myself and warned him. Doug Weller talk 17:52, 8 September 2019 (UTC)

Is that editor seriously pushing the theory that Plato knew about America, or is the person claiming that about him wrong? --Guy Macon (talk) 05:01, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
I think seriously pushing. Doug Weller talk 14:38, 12 September 2019 (UTC)

You won't find this sort of information in the mainstream media...[edit]

This just in: English language "is just a dialect of Chinese" say academics

Bonus info:

"Even more shockingly, Professor Zhai’s colleague Professor Zhu Xuanshi went on to say that all European history before the 15th century is a lie.
He claims that everything we are taught about Europe prior to the middle ages is 'fake news' designed to cover up Chinese domination of the world in previous centuries.
Because Europeans found the fact of a global Chinese empire 'humiliating' they agreed to edit history to hide the fact that they are just a 'sub-civilisation' of Chinese culture."

Related:[32] --Guy Macon (talk) 19:41, 9 September 2019 (UTC)

I see the Star has improved a lot since I last read it. That was possibly before the internetz. -Roxy, the dog. wooF 20:10, 9 September 2019 (UTC)

Parental alienation[edit]

Parental alienation (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs)

This caught my eye because it makes a bunch of what look like medical claims without anyh WP:MEDRS-compliant sources to back them up.

  1. There appears to be several editors editing the page who pretty much edit nothing else.
  2. There is a large motivation to insert bias into the article by those who are currently accusing others of PA or being accused of same.
  3. The lead says things like "It is a distinctive form of psychological abuse and family violence" and only way down in the history do you discover that Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders considered and rejected PA as a diagnosis.
  4. Some of the sources are pretty clearly advocacy books pushing a particular POV instead of scientific papers on a psychological topic.
  5. The article really seems to cover only one of the following possibilities:
    • Evil parent unfairly alienates child against good parent.
    • Good parent alienates child against evil parent, and rightly so.
    • No actual alienation, but one parent falsely accuses the other of alienation.
    • Both parents are evil and both are alienating the child against the other parent.

So, has this crossed the line into being a fringe theory? --Guy Macon (talk) 03:10, 11 September 2019 (UTC)

This page has some serious woo in it, and the editors working on it are really into walls of text. I could use some help here. --Guy Macon (talk) 18:17, 13 September 2019 (UTC)
@Guy Macon: I'm not willing to touch this myself since this particular rabbit hole is so deep, but I would suggest that keyword searches for "parental alienation" + politics would turn up relevant sources. I could be wrong, but my understanding is that this is a controversial and politicized topic. Biogeographist (talk) 18:38, 13 September 2019 (UTC)

Generic Objects of Dark Energy[edit]

Regulars here may be interested in this new article, which seems especially fringey. There's probably some inappropriate claims being made in Wikipedia's voice. I'm also unsure of the notability – some of the sourcing is questionable, including at least three cases of churnalism (, EurekAlert, and one other all republishing the same press release). –Deacon Vorbis (carbon • videos) 03:49, 11 September 2019 (UTC)

Looks too soon at best. XOR'easter (talk) 14:32, 11 September 2019 (UTC)

Zamzam well[edit]

New editor adding huge table and what looks like OR about health properties. Doug Weller talk 20:19, 11 September 2019 (UTC)

Theory of Phoenician discovery of the Americas and Phoenicia[edit]

User:Anacarolina13 is heavily promoting someone's PhD in both articles (and Here's the text: "Diógenes Silva completely denies the existence of Phoenicians in Brazil in his thesis [1], defended before 5 PhD members of the Thesis Tribunal in Madrid, Spain, at Complutense University of Madrid, on 15 January 2016, having as director: Carlos González Wagner. It received unanimous maximum qualification, “cum laude”, and recommended for publication. The text was previously approved by the Deptº. of History of the University of São Paulo - USP. And officially revalidated in Brazil by the Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro - UFRJ, in 2018.

Its 418-page text, containing figures, maps, photos, and transcripts, analyzes the reasons for the origin and permanence of the false theory of alleged Phoenician navigators of Brazil from the fifteenth century to the present. By explaining the true economic and political interests that false assumption has been able to cover up and perpetuate among Brazilian, American, and European intellectuals. From Christopher Columbus to the Internet. Involving to: Catholic Church; the Portuguese-Spanish dispute for control of the colonies; the missions of the Naturalist Travelers; the demarcations of the South American borders; the independence of Brazil; the reign of Peter II and slavery; advertising during the 1930 Revolution; the brazilian carnival; your songs; and popular movies. In addition to publications in world newspapers and magazines, fraudulent discoveries, fake rock inscriptions, and imagined abandoned cities plated with gold. As a result of fake news, the thesis proves that the Phoenicians never trod America."

He's right of course, but this doesn't belong in the article for various reasons including NPOV and WP:UNDUE and she's editwarring without any discussion. Doug Weller talk 14:43, 12 September 2019 (UTC)


  1. ^ Silva, Diogenes. " La literatura sobre fenicios en el territorio brasileño: orígenes y razones", 418 pages, 15 January 2016, University Complutense of Madrid.

Constitutional acupuncture[edit]

According to this (New?) article

"Differ from the form of Western medicine, constitutional acupuncture treats every patient and make the therapeutic remedy due to the patient's unique constitution, which contains the specific way his or her organs affect health, living habits, how he or she looks and behaves. Individualized approach of constitutional acupuncture, which including Saam acupuncture, Taegeuk acupuncture, eight constitution acupuncture and herbal acupuncture, is based on the theory called constitutional energy traits, and is able to assist to cure neurological disorders and analgesic"

I'd PROD it, but some charlatan would deprod, so I'd like some comment from here? It actually needs Jytdog to take a big fat red pen to it, nevertheless ... -Roxy, the dog. wooF 10:06, 13 September 2019 (UTC)

The first thing to do is strip out everything based on Chinese sources, per WP:MEDRS and the known issues with Chinese studies of woo. Do you have time? I don't right now. Guy (help!) 11:17, 13 September 2019 (UTC)
I voted at yout AfD, thanks, and I'll see how that progresses first! -Roxy, the dog. wooF 11:34, 13 September 2019 (UTC)
Yeah, this looks like a POV content fork. No not that Western "acupuncture" this article is about the real stuff. Have stated as much at the AfD. Simonm223 (talk) 12:38, 13 September 2019 (UTC)
This is acupuncture ordered by SCOTUS? Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 17:35, 13 September 2019 (UTC)
Because I'm a dog, I'll bite. I know what OTUS means ....? Roxy, the dog. wooF 18:52, 13 September 2019 (UTC)
The Supreme Court of 'Merca. Simonm223 (talk) 19:02, 13 September 2019 (UTC)
SCOTUS. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 20:28, 13 September 2019 (UTC)
See also: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Constitutional acupuncture. –LaundryPizza03 (d) 22:18, 13 September 2019 (UTC)
Weeeee. A Circle of Oroboros, from memory. -Roxy, the dog. wooF 01:17, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
The example paragraph quoted above is a typical claim of "holistic approach"... —PaleoNeonate – 16:14, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
We're gonna end up with a lot more of it if some at the WMF get their way regarding "eliminat[ing] the western points of view on what is universal knowledge." [33] -Crossroads- (talk) 17:29, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
Good luck getting that past Jimbo. Guy (help!) 17:42, 14 September 2019 (UTC)

Legitimate scientific papers of the month[edit]

--Guy Macon (talk) 22:02, 13 September 2019 (UTC)

Must be approaching the IgNobel season. Guy (help!) 22:20, 13 September 2019 (UTC)
Did I read somewhere that lovely tomato in its many forms has some value in protection against sunburn, et seq? -Roxy, the dog. wooF 01:19, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
+ + ++ clicks link ++ + + . Oh. Roxy, the dog. wooF 01:23, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
You foreigners may mock, but Australian bush-walkers and hikers have been puzzled forever by the cubic shape of wombat poo. This is an important discovery. More seriously, the mechanism inside the wombat's gut is being seen as a possible future idea for some manufacturing processes. HiLo48 (talk) 03:55, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
That's why I like the paper so much. It is serious research covering a very interesting aspect of the natural world, AND the title is really funny. --Guy Macon (talk) 05:03, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
Would make a good song title too. Hyperbolick (talk) 13:39, 14 September 2019 (UTC)


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

It appears to be a rejected article with the reject5ion notice removed by a naughty editor. -Roxy, the dog. wooF 04:59, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
<edit conflict> It was declined as an AfC, which the article's creator promptly moved to article space anyway. [34] -Crossroads- (talk) 05:01, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
Didn't notice that. Back at Draft:Ayurvastra again. CambridgeBayWeather, Uqaqtuq (talk), Sunasuttuq 06:55, 14 September 2019 (UTC)