Wikipedia:Fringe theories/Noticeboard

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Welcome to the fringe theories noticeboard
This page is for requesting input on 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.
  • Questions related to articles on fringe theories may also be posted here.
  • The purpose of this board is not to remove any mention of fringe theories, but rather to ensure that neutrality is maintained.
  • Familiarize yourself with the fringe theories guideline before reporting issues here.
  • To aid in promoting constructive dialogue with advocates of a fringe theory, {{talk fringe|fringe theory name}} may be added to the top of the corresponding talk page.
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  • If your question regards whether material constitutes original research or original synthesis, please use the no original research noticeboard instead.
  • Discussion of fringe theories will depend entirely on their notability and reliable coverage in popular media. Above all, fringe theories should never be presented as fact.
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GodBlessYou2 (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log)

I just had to dramatically change or revert a number of this user's edits.

I'm afraid there is little regard for WP:FRINGE or other policies dealing with the promotion of pseudoscience and creationism. We may need to ask for arbitration enforcement if this behavior doesn't stop.

jps (talk) 18:02, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

JPS, I realize you have a POV that you want to see reflected in the above articles, but these articles are precisely about issues around which there is controversy and lack of consensus. Your opinion that they are "fringe" does not mean that they are not notable issues and that the sources cited are not reliable. The threat of "arbitration enforcement" is also out of place.
Regarding the Fermi paradox, Bernard Haisch is a clearly a notable author and astrophysicist. While I point to a particular article that he has self published See WP:SPS: "Self-published expert sources may be considered reliable when produced by an established expert on the subject matter, whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications." I'm sure that others hold the same opinion and it is likely that a secondary source could be found, but that's not necessary and I don't have the time to pursue it. Instead of reducing material in the article, your efforts would be better spent adding a source in place of the Haisch post if you feel it is a better source. Actually, it's my understanding that he does not believe in UFO's but is, in this article, simply playing devil's advocate regarding why the claims of UFO sightings cannot be completely ruled out by the Fermi Paradox.
Regarding the Fine-tuned_Universe edit, I think it very rude of you to accuse me of "Creationist POV-pushing" simply because I add a cite to Haisch's "The Purpose-Guided Universe: Believing in Einstein, Darwin, and God," a book by a highly qualified astrophysist who, very pertinently, wrote his book to address the fine-tuned universe issue in a way that denies creationism yet argues for the existence of God. FYI, perhaps you disagree, but I consider the accusation of "creationism" to imply a belief in a literal interpretation of the Genesis and six day creation myth. I also think it's rude to call someone a creationist unless they describe themselves that way.
Regarding the God of the gaps edit you reverted, I did not even introduce new sources. I simply fixed two incomplete citations then corrected the sentences citing these sources to make them actually reflect what the sources were saying. If you believe I did not correctly summarize these sources, fix my summary, but do not revert to the badly summarized content. Don't you have something constructive to contribute? Why are you following me around to undue my contributions? Please assume good faith and try to work with other editors to build up articles rather than trim them down to some POV which best suits you. You are not the editor-in-chief or final arbiter of reliable sources. -GodBlessYou2 (talk) 19:22, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
The Haisch source is fringey as fringe gets. SPS only applies if he were discussing his scientific work that had previously been published in a reliable third-party publication. Here he's giving an opinion on something that has nothing to do with his prior published scientific work, or scientific work at all for that matter. And the book you cite pretty much only shows up on creationist or fringe websites. I'm also not sure what you added it in to cite. Also, I have to note, we don't "build up" articles for the sake of doing it. They'd get prohibitively long and be filled with all types of undue cruft. Indeed, the opposite is true. Wikipedia has a POV and that's the POV expressed by mainstream reliable sources. Capeo (talk) 19:49, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
The "controversy" and "lack of consensus" you are claiming exist are themselves WP:FRINGE claims that are promulgated, mostly, by religious believers, ufologists, and pseudoscientists. Your edits seek to promote these fringe viewpoints as being equally footed (e.g. your appeal to Haisch as a "highly qualified astrophysist". Be aware that we are intimately familiar with Haisch and his claims at this website: Talk:Bernard Haisch#Some background: Three sections from Paul_August's talk page). Trying to claim some level of mainstream acceptance for these ideas is exactly the problem with your edits. jps (talk) 19:51, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
I reverted a contribution by this editor that should be taken into account if discretionary sanctions are on the menu. -Roxy the dog™ (resonate) 21:26, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
They used Expelled as a factual source? Yeah, not good. Capeo (talk) 22:01, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
The bigger problem was that he consumed a great deal of editor time at Talk:Creation-evolution controversy, had a major case of WP:IDHT, and appears to be incapable or unwilling to understand, never mind abide by our policies because of their zealous ideological stance. If he/she is continuing his disruptive behavior on other articles, then it's clear that WP:NOTHERE and WP:CIR apply. Maybe a discretionary indef would save both us and him/her a world of anguish. I just don't see a ray of hope here based on their interactions with other editors at the talk page on Creation-evolution controversy. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 22:47, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
I see. I wasn't aware there was prior history involved. I only came to notice their recent edits from checking out the FTN yesterday. Maybe a creationism/evolution TB might do the trick? Capeo (talk) 23:02, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
That would be a good start. It's worth considering. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 00:27, 7 January 2015 (UTC)
The references recently added to Stephen Barr look rather dodgy and coatracky. Certainly, if a scientist has notable fringe views, these should be discussed, sourced to independent sources with weight as appropriate. But also the subject's scientific work should remain the focus of the article. Sławomir Biały (talk) 00:17, 7 January 2015 (UTC)
Honestly I don't even see how Barr meets any notability claims. He hasn't published a significant scientific paper since the 80s and his work amounted to nothing. Today searches bring up nothing but religious and fringe websites at best where he gives an interview. His books are limited print with no notable reviews. And I know Google hits aren't a good argument for inclusion but that's when we're debating tens of thousands of hits. Barr doesn't even seem to have a single page to himself before random Stephen Barrs start popping up completely unrelated to the subject of the article. Is this person notable? Capeo (talk) 00:38, 7 January 2015 (UTC)
Barr's work on grand unified models is extremely well-known. He passes WP:PROF#C1, with 30 scientific papers cited more than one hundred times on Google scholar, and WP:PROF#C3 as a fellow of the American Physical Society. So he is notable as an academic. I don't know what the appropriate weight is to assign his personal views on religion, but I suspect it is not much. In particular, I object most strongly to the recently-added "references" at the article. They portray the subject in a false light, as a crackpot, and arguably violate WP:BLP and other guidelines. Sławomir Biały (talk) 12:26, 7 January 2015 (UTC)
If the criteria is that lax than I guess it is what it is. But given that criteria there should tens of thousands of articles on just about anyone who has published. #3 is particularly lax. Here's the list of fellows added to the APS just in 2014:
Pick anyone on that list and plug them into google scholar. Out five I tried four of them were cited more than Barr though they, rightfully I'd say, don't have articles here. I'm having a hard time finding a paper of his that has been cited in the last 20 years and most cites are much, much older than that. As for his personal views on religion? Today at least, that's by far what he's best know for. He's written a book on the subject, given interviews and even has a substantial section about it on the front page of his personal website. I'd think those views should get at least some weight in his article. Capeo (talk) 18:41, 7 January 2015 (UTC)
Notability isn't temporary. I'm sure you'd have a tough time finding articles authored by Albert Einstein in the last 20 years too :-) But there is no serious debate that he passes the guideline for scientists. He has written an impressive number of papers cited in the hundreds. Presumably, that is a high citation area, but even so he clearly passes C1. However, unless he is specifically notable for his views on religion, the article's very existence relies on WP:PROF, so it seems to me that it would be more in keeping with that guideline to emphasize his role as a scientist rather than a Christian apologist. But I don't really know what the relevant guideline is for such things. Sławomir Biały (talk) 19:12, 7 January 2015 (UTC)

And now, forum shopping. Ugh. jps (talk) 15:32, 7 January 2015 (UTC)

And the refusal to accept a consensus clearly and unambiguously established in the recent RfC at at Talk:Creation–evolution controversy continues. [4] AndyTheGrump (talk) 21:03, 11 January 2015 (UTC)

Okay. Enough is enough. Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Enforcement#GodBlessYou2. jps (talk) 17:32, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

More forum shopping [5][6]... the guy simply WP:DONTGETIT and won't drop the WP:STICK. WegianWarrior (talk) 12:28, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
Really wish you hadn't done that -- this had someone politely (if a bit much) going up dispute resolution processes to RFC and instead of getting external input to the question it aborted into rewarding the approach of snarking responses about toilets and holocaust and then banning the poster. Winds up nothing produced at the article or RFC conduct that could be held up as admirable. Now seems a shameful #fail at WP:RFC, WP:CENSOR, WP:SHOOT, and effectively exemption for some on WP:POLITE, WP:SOAPBOX, and WP:OUTOFSCOPE. I will see what I can do. Markbassett (talk) 17:52, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

Rex 84[edit]

Rex 84 (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)

The only sources I can find for this are in fringe sources concerned that the government out to control us. Are there any reliable sources that discuss it? Thoughts? Thanks! - Location (talk) 01:58, 9 January 2015 (UTC)

I would very much support an AfD on this. BlueSalix (talk) 13:40, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

RfC notification[edit]

Current text in the lede is: TCM is described as "largely just pseudoscience, with no rational mechanism of action for most of its therapies."[7] Some editors think it is inappropriate to suggest that Traditional Chinese medicine is pseudoscience. There was a previous DR. See Wikipedia:Dispute_resolution_noticeboard/Archive_92#Traditional_Chinese_medicine.

Hello everyone, there is an RFC that editors from this noticeboard may be interested in commenting on: Talk:Traditional Chinese medicine#RfC: Is the Nature article an appropriate source for the claim it is attached to?. I added a quote instead of the previous text and I proposed on the talk page if the quote is still not satisfactory it can be rewritten. Thank you for your feedback. QuackGuru (talk) 02:18, 9 January 2015 (UTC)

Thank you for this notice.--LarEvee (talk) 17:56, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
User:LarEvee, please read the specific question for the RFC. Please note that this is not a discussion of whether TCM is pseudoscience, whether the source meets WP:MEDRS, or anything else like that; the question is whether the article even says what it is being used to say. QuackGuru (talk) 18:52, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

Near-death studies[edit]

Near-death studies (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)

The proposal of this article is that "near-death studies" as promoted by IANDS is an academic discipline in the same way that, say, reincarnation research may have been so considered in the past. I think this is way oversold and rather unbalanced. In fact, I think that the claim that there is an academic "discipline" should be handled under the parapsychology umbrella in the same way we handled reincarnation research. Redirect to Near-death experience#Near-death studies might work well. Thoughts?

jps (talk) 20:25, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

Without having time to look at any of this, the balance point to me is, are there enough reliable sources to make 'near death studies' an actual article, regardless of its categorization? And then link it into the appropriate other articles (such as the suggestion by jps. --Rocksanddirt (talk) 18:05, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
Near-death studies is a name for a field of Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience. According to Bruce Greyson, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Connecticut Health Center, Psychiatry, vol. 56, November 1993: It is of interest to mental health professionals because these experiences produce widespread and long—lasting changes in values, beliefs, and behavior that dramatically affect the experiencers' attitudes toward living and dying.
It is about what the patient under care claims to experience for the purpose of treatment. While scientists clearly have a hard time containing their curiosity the primary purpose of the studies arises from an interest in what happens if the patent doesn't die. (As oppose to Parapsychology that is interested in what happens after death)
Our job is not to ignorantly second guess the merit of scientific investigation but to establish if such research happened and if the field of study received enough coverage. After doing so we should consider if there is value in having a separate scientific context besides from the pop culture, the level of content replication and how big the articles are. Ignorantly blending science with pop-culture is a terrible idea but given the terrible state of the article it is an understandable mistake. You probably thought the scientists are looking for god or something like that.
There are sufficient sources to satisfy notability of the scientific field. Notability extends infinitely far into the afterlife: If it ever was a notable field it will be notable forever. If the field is abandoned doesn't mean we should delete the article. This same mistake is indeed to be found in : Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Reincarnation_research_(2nd_nomination) That topic unquestionably has been subjected to serious research by researchers with respectable academic posts. In this AfD we also get to see the POV fork fallacy repeated: WP:POV fork: Since what qualifies as a "POV fork" can itself be based on a POV judgement, it may be best not to refer to the fork as "POV" except for in extreme cases of persistent disruptive editing.
For a scientific article, beyond establishing notability, we want scientific sources from proponents and deniers alike. I can see how the Skeptic dictionary editors don't like that idea, they want to use ignorant blog postings that fit their already made up believe system, not scientific objectivity. Clearly what we have here is editing to advance a specific view.
Thanks for your time,
P.S. Kindly restrain yourself from subscribing me to any of these unscientific believe systems and/or considering me a proponent of any of this. (talk) 00:54, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

Lee Carroll[edit]

See [8] Dougweller (talk) 08:55, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

See what? (talk) 01:47, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
Well cited criticism being removed. Bladesmulti (talk) 06:05, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
I can see that but why is it here? Why cant you/Dough just restore it and use the talk pages? At the top of the noticeboard I read: "This page is for requesting input on 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." The contribution seems wrong enough not to merit a discussion here. What part am I missing? (talk) 19:18, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
Just hoping for more eyes. I don't really have a lot of time for editing and am gradually removing most articles from my watchlist. Dougweller (talk) 13:47, 19 January 2015 (UTC)

Potential revision to Template:Fringe theories?[edit]

Has anyone ever considered altering the above template in such a way as to allow it to not use the words "fringe theories" in the template as it appears, but rather the phrase "minority theories"? There is currently discussion about the definition of "fringe theories" here at Christ myth theory, where some individuals are advocating, I think not necessarily wholly unreasonably, that the "minority" theory that Jesus never existed might not qualify as a "fringe theory" the way that phrase is ordinarily used in everyday speech. Given the somewhat perjorative nature of the term fringe theory in a lot of circles, I can see potentially other instances in which the latter phrasing might be more reasonable than the former. Any ideas? John Carter (talk) 21:13, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

If something is truly a minority theory, isn't that different than fringe? Over at WP:WEIGHT there are three bullet points. I was always under the assumption that the third bullet point was in essence our definition of what fringe material is. It seems like the folks in your example are claiming it's the second bullet point. If that's the case, I'm afraid changing the phrase to minority theory would only confuse that matter since it would categorize a wider array of things as fringe material. I think it'd probably be better to point folks to the distinction between fringe and minority views instead. Kingofaces43 (talk) 21:23, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
I agree with Kingoffaces, a minority view is substantially different than a fringe one. --Rocksanddirt (talk) 23:31, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

Targeted Individual[edit]

Resolved: Article deleted and salted. Kolbasz (talk) 23:13, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

Article and deletion discussion relevant to this noticeboard: Targeted Individual (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)

Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Targeted Individual (2nd nomination) Kolbasz (talk) 19:34, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

This is not a fringe article, either it can be sourced and written properly or sources are insufficent and it should be deleted. (talk) 19:35, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

Jesus the Man (book)[edit]

Fringe, POV, and OR edits[9]. Dougweller (talk) 19:53, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

New category for Hyperdiffusionism in archaeology suggested[edit]

See Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Archaeology#Should we create a new category for articles relating to Hyperdiffusionism in archaeology? Dougweller (talk) 15:16, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

The category seems at least justifiable (where it is used properly - which will mean according to cited sources). The Hyperdiffusionism in archaeology article clearly needs work though. AndyTheGrump (talk) 16:20, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

Felix Moncla[edit]

Lack of good sources and probably biased towards UFOlogy. Leave alone or nominate for deletion? Geogene (talk) 02:22, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

Electronic harassment[edit]

Eyes may be needed on the Electronic harassment article - a contributor has been adding the same fringe-conspiracy-theory-promoting nonsense that was previously in the now-deleted Targeted Individual article. AndyTheGrump (talk) 04:40, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

I personally would retain something of the "media" section (though not in its current proxy-for-inclusion form) and something like the last paragraph of the lead. Mangoe (talk) 17:45, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

Soft tissue creationism[edit]

It seems there are some creationists who think that soft-tissue preservation is their ace in the hole for supporting Young-Earth creationism. I just did this revert because it seems to me that since Ken Ham has supported a huge number of peculiar reinterpretations of mainstream ideas highlighting just soft-tissue is the bugbear WP:COATRACK of this particular creationist editor. YMMV.

jps (talk) 15:44, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Note also this section. jps (talk) 15:45, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

The better solution is to simply avoid letting that section turn into Creationism arguments/debates by proxy. As a BLP, Ham is the article's focus, hence it is sufficient to say "Ham believes X" in a non-argumentative fashion, give the cites that support it, and not make it the issue whether or not X is true. I'll make an edit to remove that sentence accordingly, then we'll see if editors insist on forcing the debate back in. Regards, AzureCitizen (talk) 16:21, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Nice change jps. Azurecitizen, it is correct that it would still sound like a coatrack as it is still going to provide extra push it doesn't deserve. Bladesmulti (talk) 16:29, 25 January 2015 (UTC)