Template talk:Pseudoscience

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Arbitration ruling on "pseudoscience"

The Arbitration Committee has issued several rulings on guidelines for the presentation of material that might be labeled "pseudoscience":

  • Scientific focus: Wikipedia is an encyclopedia and its content on scientific and quasi-scientific topics will primarily reflect current mainstream scientific consensus.
  • Neutral point of view as applied to science: Wikipedia:Neutral point of view, a fundamental policy, requires fair representation of significant alternatives to scientific orthodoxy. Significant alternatives, in this case, refers to legitimate scientific disagreement, as opposed to pseudoscience.
  • Serious encyclopedias: Serious and respected encyclopedias and reference works are generally expected to provide overviews of scientific topics that are in line with respected scientific thought. Wikipedia aspires to be such a respected work.
  • 1. Obvious pseudoscience: Theories which, while purporting to be scientific, are obviously bogus may be so labeled and categorized as such without more.
  • 2. Generally considered pseudoscience: Theories which have a following, such as astrology, but which are generally considered pseudoscience by the scientific community may properly contain that information and may be categorized as pseudoscience.
  • 3. Questionable science: Theories which have a substantial following, such as psychoanalysis, but which some critics allege to be pseudoscience, may contain information to that effect, but generally should not be so characterized.
  • 4. Alternative theoretical formulations: Alternative theoretical formulations which have a following within the scientific community are not pseudoscience, but part of the scientific process.

Undiscussed deletions[edit]

Recent deletions by an IP have been reverted and BRD has been explained to the IP on their talk page. Hopefully they will come here and discuss, rather than edit war. That would be better than to have this template edit protected. -- Brangifer (talk) 03:21, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

Dear Mr. BullRangifer, I have been trying to contact you about your continued erasing of my edits to the Pseudoscience template. I am attempting to erase creationism, intelligent design, and climate change skepticism from the list as listing these issues as pseudoscience is offensive to the many religious readers on Wikipedia, is biased in favor of atheists, and is declaring issues that are still under debate as over. If you could respond on this page or open up a dispute page we could discuss this further. Thank you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by User: (talk) 23:08, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
(The IP's comment above was moved here by myself. It was misplaced at DRN. -- Brangifer (talk) 03:16, 29 July 2013 (UTC))
There are two things in what you say that need comment before further discussion:
  1. Offensiveness to anyone and bias in favor of anybody are not legitimate reasons for content decisions. Only when dealing with living persons do we take that into account, and even then only if the content is not properly sourced. If properly sourced, we include some pretty awful things in articles, and the subject of the matter has little recourse to get it removed. In fact, if they try to do it improperly, they are sometimes blocked from Wikipedia. I've seen it happen, so there is a proper way to do things here, and numerous improper ways.
  2. Stating that a subject is considered pseudoscientific is not the same as saying that there is no debate or that the matter is settled. There are some subjects which are in a state of flux, but they are still seen as pseudoscientific by many. Depending on who those "many" are, we may or may not mention, state, or even go so far as to categorize a subject as pseudoscience. Sometimes the debate is within scientific circles, and then we don't usually categorize the matter as pseudoscience, even if we mention that it's considered so by some scientists. In other cases the debate is between certain members of the public and scientists, such as is the case with creationism and homeopathy, to provide another example. There is no serious debate in scientific circles about either of them, and they are both considered pseudoscientific beliefs, regardless of how much debate occurs in public. Therefore we categorize them as pseudoscience. All of this is because reliable sources say so, and we follow the sources.
Edit warring, even when the editor is 100% right, is not allowed. That's been the main problem with your edits to this template. We need to discuss the matter. Now that we have gotten two of your objections out of the way, please explain. -- Brangifer (talk) 03:32, 29 July 2013 (UTC)

Dear Mr. BullRangifer,

Thank you for talking with me. I would like to discuss changing the Pseudoscience Template. I would like to erase Intelligent Design, Creation Science, and Climate Change Denialism from the list for several reasons:

1. Wikipedia aims to be as non-offensive as possible, but there are vast numbers of people who hold these positions and would find it offensive to list them as "absolutely and without question" pseudosciences.

2. These issues are still under debate and can therefore not be yet listed as pseudosciences.

3. Wikipedia has shown itself, at least in my opinion, to have a bias in favor of atheism and Darwinism. Erasing these items would be a step towards making Wikipedia more neutral.

4. In an extension of my concerns from #3, I am worried that people will see, both in this template and in others pages, creationism and climate change skepticism mocked and listed as false and then fail to do their own research to determine if these issues really are false.

Thank you for your time. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:45, 5 August 2013 (UTC)

(The IP's comment above was moved here by myself. It was located here. -- Brangifer (talk) 06:00, 5 August 2013 (UTC)

See my comments above before replying below. Currently Intelligent design, Creation science, and Climate change denial are all categorized as pseudoscience by reliable sources. This has nothing to do with Darwinism or atheism, but because of the scientific evidence and the failure of believers to follow the scientific method when conducting research and making claims. That = pseudoscience. -- Brangifer (talk) 06:00, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
But that is the problem. There are reliable sources who do defend those three issues and provide evidence for them. Why are they rejected and the pro-Darwinists and Climate Changes believers accepted? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:09, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
Is anybody there? Can I change the template? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:50, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
No, the appropriate place to discuss this is not here in any case, but at Talk:List of topics characterized as pseudoscience as they are in List of topics characterized as pseudoscience. You'll have to convince people to remove them from that list first. Dougweller (talk) 10:10, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for showing me the page. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:34, 13 August 2013 (UTC)


Chiropractic has been in and out a few times. I think it belongs in.

  • [1] - article about "serious pseudoscience" that is explicitly discussing chiropractic and identifying it as pseudoscience in the context of what is colloqiually known as "quackademic medicine".
  • [2] article explicitly identifyinf subluxation, the distinctive feature of chiropractic belief, as pseudoscience.
  • [3] Article by an academic again identifying chiropractic practices as psedudoscientific.
  • [4] Article at the Association for Rational Inquiry identifying precisely why chiro is pseudoscience.
  • [5] NCAHF article discussing PBS' identification of chiropractic as pseudoscience.

There are several books that also make the link, I believe this includes Ernst & Singh's "Trick Or Treatment", it's in the Encyclopaedia of Pseudoscience, also the new Philosophy of Pseudoscience.

I can't find any sources other than advocates that identify subluxation theory or any of chiropractic's distinct features as scientifically valid.

It's also clear that most of the "research" supportive of chiropractic follows the pseudoscientific method, seeking to confirm a hypothesis rather than test it. Guy (Help!) 09:40, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

It definitely belongs. It's already in List of topics characterized as pseudoscience#Health and medicine, which could probably be pillaged for more references. Kolbasz (talk) 16:10, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
Yes, JzG's case is convincing; this should be restored. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 17:01, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
Hmmmm. I just put the categorisation on our article, then saw this. --Roxy the dog (resonate) 17:03, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
Wasn't that Acupuncture? A different yet related case ... Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 17:08, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
Acupuncture, Chiropractic, lets call the whole thing off. --Roxy the dog (resonate) 17:11, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
Chiropuncturopathy? It never ceases to amaze me how many of these quacks actually offer several mutually exclusive forms of nonsense. Guy (Help!) 20:17, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done then. Guy (Help!) 21:00, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

Odd physics categories[edit]

Can someone explain why M-theory, Grand Unified Theory and Theory of everything are categories in the Pseudoscience template? None of those theoretical frameworks are called pseudosciences by a scientific consensus. The pseudoscience article makes no mention of those terms, and only the ToE article mentions in passing that string theory has been called a pseudoscience by some, and that others disagree. String theory isn't listed in template, I should add. Quaeria (talk) 19:28, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

I'd like to know this too. These are theories in the field of theoretical physics, but pseudoscience? Actually, I'll remove them until a reasonable explanation is provided. --Mg009 (talk) 20:56, 9 July 2014 (UTC)