Talk:List of topics characterized as pseudoscience

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Arbitration Committee Decisions on Pseudoscience

The Arbitration Committee has issued several principles which may be helpful to editors of this and other articles when dealing with subjects and categories related to "pseudoscience".

Four groups
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Traditional Chinese Medicine[edit]

Chinese medicine is a form of pseudoscience, based on totally unscientific principles. This should be added as a topic.Royalcourtier (talk) 06:20, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

Traditional Chinese medicine is included in the section Health and medicine. -- Black Falcon (talk) 06:22, 23 March 2014 (UTC)

Climate change[edit]

The recent attempts at changing the entry on climate change appear to be FRINGE violations that fall withing Arbcom enforcement. --Ronz (talk) 14:38, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

Possible sources[edit]

There are several reference works on the broad topic of pseudoscience including those at Wikipedia:WikiProject Skepticism/Encyclopedic articles. They might be potential sources for anything not listed yet I could myself check those listed to verify the description if someone were to ping me to do so. John Carter (talk) 21:05, 15 June 2014 (UTC)

Proposal to delete this article[edit]

Why is this an article in Wikipedia? Topics characterized by who? Mainstream medicine? Science? I highly doubt there is overwhelming agreement among doctors or scientists on almost any subject, much less agreeing which "topics" to consider "pseudoscience". Really, this article is just a list of things a majority of WP editors don't like or understand. Is there an article titled "List of Chicks whose Boobs are Considered Large"? Really the whole thing should be scrapped.Herbxue (talk) 22:50, 15 June 2014 (UTC)

Why? It's a useful article with sourced and attributed content... Zambelo; talk 01:21, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
It's obvious why User:Herbxue wants this article deleted, see Special:Contributions/Herbxue. • SbmeirowTalk • 01:46, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
How is it useful? Who is it useful to?Herbxue (talk) 03:57, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
It is useful as a handy list of woo stuff to be able to refer the gullible to on bookfarce and in internet forums when all the woo believing stupidity arises. Rather nicely, its form is tight and succinct, covering lots of ground, and pointing to bigger articles on the woo subjects. It is rather nice to get surprised responses along the lines of "Gosh, I had no idea that chiropractic was such nonsense (smiley face)" or "How on earth do they get away with conning people so easily with that rubbish !" from people who had previously been convinced about their woo of choice by those making money from them.
It is therefore a very useful article to me, and many others in a similar situation, and many of my friends. It is another small and potent weapon in the fight to educate and enlighten against those who promote this sort of nonsense. -Roxy the dog (resonate) 10:44, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
Rather than suggesting the list is impossible (and is just a list of things editors don't like or understand), perhaps you would identify a few items from the list which are not pseudoscience? What source verifies that? Johnuniq (talk) 11:11, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
Delete this article? That's a startling proposal. There is a great deal of material on pseudoscience on Wikipedia, and this is one of the root articles, the summary entry at the end of the Template:Pseudoscience navbox. As an article, it's dense with information, much more than a bare list, and it's heavily sourced. The associated Category:Pseudoscience and its extensive tree of subcategories organize many articles (I stopped counting at 1000). If your suggestion is that pseudoscience is an arbitrary label, are you also suggesting that its categories, its nav box, and all mention of the term “pseudoscience” be stricken from Wikipedia? And if not, why single out this one key article?
Pseudoscience(26 C, 274 P)
 Unician   14:06, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
I'm singling this article out because it is not an article about a subject out in the world, it is created within Wikipedia to lump together disparate subjects that are defined here by what they are not, or where some sources say they fail. It is a hit-list. Roxy exemplifies part of my issue with this - on the one hand the mission is to educate and enlighten (which is great), but the end result is that the casual reader just lumps all these subjects together as "nonsense" and dismisses them. Really the article does not seek to educate, it provides a conclusion and says "don't bother with any of these" - I don't think it is WP's job to do that.
Someone above asked for a source saying a topic in here is not pseudoscience. That's beside the point - sure any of them can be characterized as pseudoscience, but who is an acceptable characterizer? For example, Dermatologists routinely prescribe antibiotics for skin problems when they have no idea what microbe is at play or if there is even a bacterial cause. Sounds like pseudoscience to me, shall we include Dermatology in this list, since I just characterized it as such? I don't believe that would be appropriate for an encyclopedia, and I believe the creation of this article was an act of original research. Herbxue (talk) 14:58, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── It seems to have been to AfD three times. At the last one[1] the consensus was "quite clear, almost SNOW-worthy" to keep it. Don't reckon that would've changed. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 15:13, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

Thanks Alex, I probably should have looked for that first. I see the time is not yet right, but it is clear from that link that my concerns with this are shared by others. Dropping it for now…Herbxue (talk) 15:30, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
@Herbxue. Straw-man argument. We don't accept unpublished characterisations from random wikipedia editors. If you think that the article gives undue weigth to some characterisations, you could list them on the talk page and get them discussed. --Enric Naval (talk) 18:30, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
Again, my point is not that any one particular subject is being treated unfairly - its the creation of this list that is an act of original research.Herbxue (talk) 18:41, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
And I believe your point is specifically counterindicated by the existence of multiple encyclopedias of pseudoscience, lists of encyclopedic articles from two of which can be found at Wikipedia:WikiProject Skepticism/Encyclopedic articles. And others exist as well. The existence of those encyclopedias, which are effectively "lists" of pseudoscientific topics, is presumably sufficient to establish the notability of this list. John Carter (talk) 18:45, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
Yes, it's a list article, or index article, simply pointing to detailed material elsewhere with which it is in WP:SYNC. If WP categorized such indices as "original research" there would need to be a lot of deleting done! (Starting maybe with Glossary of alternative medicine – now there is an article which does need some attention ... ) Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 18:47, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

Wow you did it again, I had no idea that list existed. As I said, dropping it before I take us into forum territory.Herbxue (talk) 23:21, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

I've done a pretty miserable job of publicizing any of the pages in Category:WikiProject lists of encyclopedic articles, so I can't in any way criticize you on that score. John Carter (talk) 00:07, 17 June 2014 (UTC)