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.
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  • 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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Materialization (paranormal)[edit]

The IP turned new user persistently adds a text which is irrelevant and in my opinion false. Could someone please have a look at the text and also at the talk page. They are at three reverts already.--Ymblanter (talk) 16:20, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

Doesn't this article come under discretionary sanctions? It is not flagged that way on the talk page. How does one verify that an article's subject matter puts it within the guidelines for DS and who can place the notification on the talk page? - - MrBill3 (talk) 10:47, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
New user trying to get LuckyLouie blocked at WP:ANI Dougweller (talk) 10:55, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
Filing at 3RR NB. - - MrBill3 (talk) 12:25, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

An editor is claiming that an author writing in a textbook, should be citing specific scientists when stating, "If it did so, then the mind would somehow have to introduce new energy and force into the physical world. But scientists tell us that this is impossible because it would violate the principle of conservation of matter and energy." It seems to me that it is not a common practice nor considered necessary to attribute basic laws of physics to specific scientists. The editor removing the content also did not respond to the explanation that the source and content are valid for the article per WP:PARITY. The editor also insists there is some differentiation between "paranormal materialization" from plain "materialization" and that the article should reflect that despite an acknowledgement of the lack of such by academia, "it is not logical to expect 'mainstream scientific view' to differentiate 'paranormal materialization' from plain 'materialization', considering its current position against such topics. As the editor has removed the content despite the lack of support on talk and I have restored it, I thought bringing the matter here might get a broader view. - - MrBill3 (talk) 10:11, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

Some more eyes would definitely be useful. Currently, the editor MrBill3 mentions is at 3RR. Dbrodbeck (talk) 14:28, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
See Is this topic notable enough for its own article? - LuckyLouie (talk) 12:32, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
Not notable enough to have an entire page, should be merged/redirected to the ectoplasm article. Goblin Face (talk) 23:46, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
We can't merge two different topic into one. When people do not have the necessary expertise, they should either try to gain some or stand back a bit. Logos (talk) 09:34, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
What would be considered necessary expertise to edit articles on paranormal materialization and ectoplasm, phenomena that have never been demonstrated. The article on paranormal materialization is almost entirely a series of frauds by people who have their own articles already. There is no reliable source on any actual paranormal materialization as it seems to have never actually occurred. Ectoplasm differs little except in the details of a phenomenon that agains seems entirely fictional, again a complete lack of reliable sources for such a thing ever existing. I'm pretty sure "channeled" self published material fails RS spectactularly. So we are left with parnormal materialization, a mythical occurence and the substance of a series of frauds by somewhat notable charlatans and ectoplasm a more detailed from of the same never actually occurring "something from nothing / spirit engery in the physical world". What reliable source discusses this topic as anything other than a slight variation of the same imagined but non existant stuff? - - MrBill3 (talk) 05:16, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
I see that your misinterpretations/misrepresentations have not ceased yet. Comments, edits, the sources added, reasoning, argumentation are trademarks of a user's expertise. For instance, apart from others and including above, your latest comment about notability of paranormal materialization is a good indicator of your lack of expertise both in paranormal materialization topic and in wp policies & guidelines. Logos (talk) 08:07, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── It may be helpful to get a wider opinion: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Materialization (paranormal) - LuckyLouie (talk) 12:32, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

Acupuncture[edit]

Sourced text was deleted. The Encyclopedia of Pseudoscience is a reliable source and infections is a common adverse effect. Specific examples is appropriate. This edit was counterproductive and the editor seems to not understand. See Talk:Acupuncture#Reliable_source.3F_-_.22From_Alien_Abductions_to_Zone_Therapy.22. QuackGuru (talk) 20:55, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

This editor seems to have a name I saw in a recent ARCA about this subject. I think you know that AE can be invoked if the problematic behavior continues.John Carter (talk) 22:36, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
Williams isn't a MEDRS, and there are already severe UNDUE problems with coverage of serious adverse events (which are very rare; we don't need to list every opportunistic pathogen). See Talk:Acupuncture#MEDRS_and_WEIGHT_issues_in_recent_edits. Why is this thread even here? Per WP:BRD I'd hoped that QuackGuru would at least attempt to justify his edits at Talk:Acupuncture, but he hasn't even posted there about this issue. Why complain in another venue before even trying to engage WP:DR? --Middle 8 (POV-pushingCOI) 01:49, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
Infections are one of the more common side effects. Specific examples of the infections benefits the reader.
The encyclopedia is a reliable source and used widely on Wikipedia. The comments at Talk:Acupuncture#Reliable_source.3F_-_.22From_Alien_Abductions_to_Zone_Therapy.22 are misleading. Editors are claiming the book is mainly about extraterrestrials to discredit the book. QuackGuru (talk) 02:06, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
Again this belongs at Talk:Acupuncture. (For benefit of readers here: Williams isn't a MEDRS. Infections are the most common SAE but SAE's are themselves quite rare, hence the UNDUE problem.) --Middle 8 (POV-pushingCOI) 02:28, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
That is your opinion the encyclopedia is not reliable. The source is used on many articles on Wikipedia. The source about safety says "infections were still the major complication of acupuncture."[1] We should give the source its due weight. QuackGuru (talk) 02:38, 27 August 2014 (UTC)

The editor stated "I haven't yet found where to access that book" but decided to delete the source along with other text. QuackGuru (talk) 02:06, 27 August 2014 (UTC)

Not only is the source not MEDRS compliant, but this noticeboard isn't the proper venue; WP:RSN is. Reflexively posting here is simply canvassing. TimidGuy (talk) 09:36, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
If you think the source is unreliable then you would have no problem with making an argument to delete the source from many Wikipedia articles. QuackGuru (talk) 16:11, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
IDHT much, QG? Williams can be an RS (depending on the claim of course) but is not MEDRS. --Middle 8 (POV-pushingCOI) 10:44, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
  • There is a lot of overlap between the various noticeboards. The reliability, or lack thereof, of sources is a very common issue when dealing with articles on WP:FRINGE topics. My feeling is you go to whichever board is going to best address the broader issues. But once a topic is raised on one board it should not normally be duplicated elsewhere unless there are very compelling reasons as it just confuses any discussion. With respect to canvassing, I'm not seeing it, though I might have missed something where !votes are being recorded. Is there a related AfD going on somewhere? If so then discussion should definitely be restricted to that venue. -Ad Orientem (talk) 14:10, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
In general, a posting to a WP:NOTICEBOARD can never be canvassing, since noticeboards are for widening consensus, which is after all how WP functions. The large number of eyes means the views expressed are always wide-ranging too (witness the responses in this very section!). The advantage of posting to a noticeboard is that it is likely to get input from editors who are experienced in a particula area - here, for instance, in the application of WP:PSCI and WP:FRINGE. Sometimes it's useful to post to a couple of NBs when the topic overlaps - personally, if I do this, I note the dual posting in the message text. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 14:20, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
Yet in this case, QuackGuru didn't even try discussing at the article talk page. He made two bold-ish posts, both of which were reverted by me with concerns over MEDRS and UNDUE. Then he posted here, and a small edit war ensued [2][3], with still no use of the talk page. That's exactly the opposite of what we needed. QuackGuru should simply have followed BRD -- D meaning Discuss at talk page, not Dash over to a noticeboard first. --Middle 8 (POV-pushingCOI) 10:44, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
Consensus is emerging/has emerged not to use Williams as a MEDRS (and to use a different source to support similar, uncontroversial wording). FWIW, further discussion of whether or not to include the list of pathogens at: Talk:Acupuncture#Infection --Middle 8 (POV-pushingCOI) 10:50, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

The larger point, re infections and adverse events, is that acupuncture is universally agreed to be safe (whatever else one can say about it). Serious adverse events, including infection, are rare. Five deaths from acupuncture are known worldwide from 2000-2009. Most serious adverse events are due to dirty/re-used needles, a problem common in the developing world with needles of all kinds. In light of that, isn't this section bloated? Acupuncture#Adverse_events --Middle 8 (POV-pushingCOI) 10:44, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

I don't think "universally agreed to be safe" is 100% right. If you're getting treatment for a minor complaint (a stiff shoulder say), you don't really expect to be exposed to a therapy which carries a risk of serious infection or death, even if that risk is very low. BTW, something that sticks out about the acupuncture page is that the primary photo shows somebody sticking needles into somebody while not wearing gloves. Is that how it's done, and is that okay (genuine questions)? Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 11:13, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
It's universally agreed to be a relatively safe treatment per sources, and intrinsically is very safe. Most adverse events are due to malpractice.
The whole section is plagued by UNDUE and poor prose, which is basically all down to QuackGuru incessantly pushing everything he can to make acupuncture look horrible. Yet it's used in academic centers all over the place, like Harvard Medical School [4] .... terribly fringe .... but seriously, it's not as hideous as the QG-dominated article implies, and that makes Wikipedia look dumb. (To answer your question: one doesn't need to wear gloves during acupuncture or e.g. intramuscular injections [5], but yes during venipuncture.) --Middle 8 (POV-pushingCOI) 12:22, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
It's also used at Yale Medical School, listed as an evidence-based practice, no less. [6] Ordinarily this would indicate some degree of mainstreamness -- but, we have WP:FLAT, which explicitly says that Wikipedia needs to depict things not as they're accepted in the world, but as we think they should be. Or did I misread WP:FLAT? --Middle 8 (POV-pushingCOI) 14:30, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
I couldn't find those words in WP:FLAT (which is just an essay, albeit a good one) - what do you mean? Just because something is at large in the world (even in a sense "mainstream") does not absolve it of (in WP terms) its fringeiness. Homeopathy is available from national health services; more people in the USA believe in alien abduction than evolution. We should simply reflect the content of the best sources. Having said that, I'm enjoying my break from the acupuncture article as it's a perma-wreck ... Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 14:37, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, I wish I'd used a sarcasm emoticon with my comment about WP:FLAT. Alex, of course things like homeopathy and creationism and global warming denial and the rest are all over the place. But they're not taught in mainstream academia. (Homeopathy is a very good way to leverage the placebo effect, and as such may have a place in an academic "integrative" clinic, but I seriously doubt you'll see them calling it "evidence based".) --Middle 8 (POV-pushingCOI) 15:16, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
As if we don't have a policy on WP:TERTIARY sources; you can't use a tertiary source when you should use a secondary in fact. Logos (talk) 12:16, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
The policy at the link posted, "Wikipedia articles should be based on reliable, published secondary sources and, to a lesser extent, on tertiary sources and primary sources." and "Policy: Reliable tertiary sources can be helpful in providing broad summaries of topics that involve many primary and secondary sources, and may be helpful in evaluating due weight, especially when primary or secondary sources contradict each other. Some tertiary sources are more reliable than others, and within any given tertiary source, some articles may be more reliable than others. Wikipedia articles may not be used as tertiary sources in other Wikipedia articles, but are sometimes used as primary sources in articles about Wikipedia itself (see Category:Wikipedia and Category:WikiProject Wikipedia articles)." and it does not say what Logos asserts, "you can't use a tertiary source when you should use a secondary in fact" as one can read it says something quite different. The statements "should be based primarily" and "to a lesser extent" are not accurately paraphrased as "you can't use" and "when you should use". "Useful in providing broad summaries when there are many primary and secondary sources" and "when primary or secondary sources contradict each other" seem to speak directly to this example. - - MrBill3 (talk) 02:37, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
"you can't use a tertiary source when you should use a secondary" refers also to the relatively low quality of The Encyclopedia of Pseudoscience, compared to other prominent ecyclopedias. Such a controversial element should be sourced better. If The Encyclopedia of Pseudoscience is not able to present any reliable independent scholarly citation for its remark about infections' being adverse effect, then it is not reliable for this specific case; remember WP:CONTEXTMATTERS. Logos (talk) 02:52, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Just to clarify, the proposal was to use Williams not for infection but for the statement about acu not having a long-term effect on any disease. That's a statement requiring a MEDRS, and Williams isn't one, and it looks like there's consensus to use a true MEDRS saying something similar. --Middle 8 (POV-pushingCOI) 06:07, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
I'd tend to agree with Middle 8, long term effect on disease could be better sourced and there are probably better sources that say something similar. - - MrBill3 (talk) 06:15, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

Infections included mycobacterium, staphylococcus, septic arthritis, necrotizing fasciitis, pneumoretroperitoneum, facial erysipelas, HIV, Listeria monocytogenes-caused arthritis, and infections via Enterococcus faecalis, and Pseudomonas.<ref name="Xu S" />

The reader will never know what are the risks of pathogens involved with acupuncture. Too bad. QuackGuru (talk) 05:14, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Acupuncture again[edit]

The tag was added to the article without consensus. There is a supposed list of problems on the talk page without a specific proposal. I disagree with leaving the tag of shame] at the top of the article. QuackGuru (talk) 03:03, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

Cosmological General Relativity[edit]

Cosmological General Relativity (edit|talk|history|protect|delete|links|watch|logs|views)

Stumbled across this recently created article. Just "Physicist John Hartnett and others have extended the theory and used it as the basis for a creationist cosmology" in the lead sets my warning bells ringing. The article's huge and I'm rather swamped right now, so I haven't even attempted to read through it all, but a quick skim through it hasn't eased my sense of alarm (carbon-14 decaying to carbon-12?). Furthermore, opening up the article for editing revealed a huge comment, including

WARNING! Do NOT make any substantive changes to this article UNLESS you have THOROUGHLY reviewed the source material in the references, and understand what you're doing. While CGR borrows terminology from the standard cosmological model, it defines many terms differently, and with different underlying assumptions. Most current understanding of modern cosmology is directly derived from FLRW/Lambda-CDM and most of it either DOES NOT apply or applies in a SIGNIFICANTLY DIFFERENT way.

(emphasis added)

Using established terminology to mean different things is another classic fringe indicator. I'd like some more eyes on this, please. Kolbasz (talk) 21:30, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

This is unusual. It seems that the theory has been published in the academic mainstream, and John Hartnett was one of the main researchers. But he also supports creation science, although does not publish anything about that in peer-reviewed sources. TFD (talk) 23:05, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
It has most certainly not been published in the academic mainstream. The entire article is junk and sourced to preprint servers. jps (talk) 01:00, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
See Moshe Carmeli, Cosmological Special Relativity: The Large Scale Structure of Space, Time and Velocity, Second Edition, World Scientific, 2002.[7] Also, Carmeli's "Cosmological Special Relativity", Foundations of Physics, 1996[8] Carmeli was the Albert Einstein Professor of Theoretical Physics at Ben Gurion University and President of the Israel Physical Society. What has not been published is Hartnett's use of the theory to defend young earth creationism. TFD (talk) 03:03, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
"World Scientific Publishing". Aren't they the guys who send loads of spam for vanity publications etc? I even have some in my spam folder at the moment which is trying to get me to read some of their crap, Second Quantization (talk) 19:52, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
You might be confusing it with "World Science Publisher." World Scientific Publishing jointly runs Imperial College Press with Imperial College,[9] which is certainly an academic publishing company. TFD (talk) 03:56, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────WP:REDFLAG on the FoP citation. That is not a very good journal on which to claim mainstream status. Also, typically people don't publish books to put forth new ideas in cosmology (I can name many monographs that are WP:FRINGE cosmology proposals though published by reputable publishers as tell-all "make a big splash" books). Rather, the currency is journal articles (and not those published alongside Einstein-Cartan-Evans theory papers). jps (talk) 04:19, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

FoP is published by Springer Science+Business Media, a highly reputable publisher of academic books and journals. It's chief editor is Gerard 't Hooft, who is a Nobel laureate in physics.[10] Google scholar lists over 5,000 of their articles, and the hits on the first page are all cited in hundreds of other articles.[11] They indeed did publish Evans' now discredited theories, and then retracted their support for publishing them. Academic journals have published many papers where methodologies were found to be inadequate or mathematical errors occurred or even where test results were falsified. Both SETI and CERN have made announcements they later retracted. None of that disqualifies them as reliable sources. TFD (talk) 18:38, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
FoP is supposed to be a journal on the bleeding edge of ideas, but that means it also suffers from the hazard of wandering into nonsense as what happened with ECE. That object lesson is enough to WP:REDFLAG an idea that is primarily sourced to that journal (and a book which probably did not see anything close to peer review). Note also the relevant publication date is nearly 20 years ago -- back before the current 't Hooft hammer had come down and before the housecleaning of all the nonsense had been undertaken at FoP. jps (talk) 19:42, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
To elaborate on what jps said: FoP for a long time had a reputation as a bit of a dumping ground, somewhat analogous to Medical Hypotheses. The current editor has done (so far as I have heard) a good job clamping down on the nonsense while still fulfilling the journal's mission to be a bit speculative out past the bleeding edge. Generally speaking, anything cited to FoP needs attribution and a good deal of care. - 2/0 (cont.) 22:08, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
There are also articles about the theory in the International Journal of Theoretical Physics,[12]] and Frontiers of Fundamental Physics[13] The theory is also briefly discussed in Space, Time, and Spacetime (Springer 2007), p.37.[14] Foundations of Physics continues to publish articles about it under the new editor. Obviously this is an article about a theory, not about a fact, and the requirement of reliability is that the sources accurately outline the theory, not that that the theory has been proved and is now generally accepted in physics. It is in the nature of original theories in cosmology and physics that most theories will not gain acceptance. There is a discussion about the article at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Cosmological General Relativity. TFD (talk) 18:26, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

After the disastrous AfD where it seems that people didn't bother to look at how this subject has received no independent journal coverage, I realized that this may be the answer. jps (talk) 10:14, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

As I explained at the AfD, "indpendent" does not mean that writers do not hold a position on the topic they are discussing. It means that the writer or publisher has no financial interest in what is published. For example a website financed by oil companies would not be an independent source for climate change. But it does not mean that articles by writers who hold a position on climate change cannot be used. Otherwise we could not have articles on climate change or would have to strike out most articles about science. Incidentally, there are a huge number of articles about theories in heterodox fringe economics that have only been sourced to publishers controlled by their adherents. It might be helpful for you to take a look at them. TFD (talk) 17:36, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
I don't think anyone can ever convince jps about that true nature of independency. Logos (talk) 17:57, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

Accelerated learning[edit]

A garden worth weeding?

jps (talk) 14:24, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

Good find. The "Quantum Learning Network" seemed to be an advert for something thoroughly unnotable, so I redirected it. I think a couple of others could be good AfD candidates too. bobrayner (talk) 19:21, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Suggestopedia appears to be the only subject that has gained notice in enough reliable sources to justify a stand alone article. The rest could do with merging, redirecting, or AfDing. - LuckyLouie (talk) 13:18, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

Ginkgo biloba[edit]

Is marketed in dietary supplement form with false claims it can enhance "cognitive function". I recently refreshed the medical sourcing here but the article is now seeing pushback. More eyes could help ... Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 15:24, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

Yech. I did this too: [15]. jps (talk) 00:31, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

Afterlife[edit]

Can someone please look at this. Two users keep inserting into the science section a load of fringe thinkers/parapsychologists like Raymond Moody etc. All unsourced as well. Goblin Face (talk) 06:50, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

The controversial content in question has been a bone of contention for a long time, and has been in and out of the article with no discussion on the talkpage as far as I can see. Nobody has responded to Goblin Face's lone talkpage post on 23 August; in other words the people reverting to keep the content in the article have zero input on talk. That's not how it's supposed to work. I've protected for a week to encourage discussion. Please try to reach consensus on talk. It'll clearly never happen through soundbites in edit summaries. Bishonen | talk 12:55, 4 September 2014 (UTC).
What really gets me is that there's an entire section on parapsychology, but everyone's ignoring it to shove all this content into "Science". Hell, the Parapsychology section is probably, in itself, in violation of WP:FRINGE as it stands. Adam Cuerden (talk) 16:33, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
What really strikes me, on the other hand, is that people have an ambition/passion to insert such sections labeled as science into the articles related to cultural artifacts, beliefs or paranormal concepts. If afterlife has such a section, then could christianity, Miracles_of_Jesus, etc. have also. We should move that section into consciousness after death. Logos (talk) 13:01, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
If it makes scientific claims - and by having a parapsychology section, it does - then WP:FRINGE literally requires the fringe section to be put into context. Adam Cuerden (talk) 19:12, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
Parapsychology section should also be moved to consciousness after death then. Logos (talk) 20:06, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
I don't see why there should be a split, though, in such a general article. Cut it down, sure, but they need to be linked by summary. Adam Cuerden (talk) 22:23, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
Because Andy has a point. Even if afterlife is a generalist topic, it should be confined to the beliefs. If a concept/subject is beyond the realm of science, then it is synth to report the scientific view about it. It seems that that section was labeled as neuroscience at the beginning. Logos (talk) 22:48, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
The problem is that charlatans from the field of parapsychology are always claiming they have scientific evidence for the afterlife from bogus mediums, NDE reports, alleged ghost sightings or haunted houses etc. If you remove the parapsychology section then yes the science section could be removed as well, that is only in there to balance all those woo claims from the parapsychology section. There is no scientific evidence for the afterlife, the whole idea of a metaphysical afterlife is outside the realm of empirical science. It is a religious/philosophical subject. Not all people understand this though and even if those two sections were removed then sooner or later users will just re-add content about silly studies of ghosts, mediums or NDEs. So the best thing in my opinion is to leave both those sections but remove many of the fringe claims from the parapsychology section. I will attempt this at some point. Goblin Face (talk) 20:02, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

Holotropic Breathwork[edit]

Oh my god is this article a mess. What do you think? Mass pruning? Adam Cuerden (talk) 01:29, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

#"a unified process of healing and personal empowerment". We've got a lot of pruning in the surrounding area too. jps (talk) 02:55, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
Has been with us since 2004, I see. Pure promotion, with no critical perspective beyond a pretty sad criticism section devoted mainly to complaints from representatives of other similar theories/therapies. According to this 2011 note by User:The Communicator, it was the subject of a request for arbitration around 2006, but I wasn't able to find that in the archives. (The user might have meant a request for mediation, because I did find that.)
I've redirected to Breathwork, merging the worthwhile content (a couple of sentences, complemented with a reference from the history and a sentence from Stanislav Grof). Even though Breathwork is a mere stub compared to the bloated Holotropic Breathwork, the reader who types in "Holotropic breathwork" will now nevertheless get better information and a more encyclopedic perspective, as Breathwork provides a helpful introduction to the concept of breathwork, which was sadly lacking in the rhapsodic Holotropic Breathwork. (Almost incredibly, it didn't even link to Breathwork, unless I missed it somewhere in the middle.) Breathwork's original paragraph about Holotropic breathwork was very crappy, by the way, sticking out like a sore thumb in an otherwise very reasonable article.
If/When my redirecting of Holotropic Breathwork gets reverted by the adherents who obviously wrote the article (not to lessen the work of the brave souls who have battled to NPOV it over the years), I suggest either a slash-burn stubbing, or AfD. Bishonen | talk 08:15, 5 September 2014 (UTC).

Near-death experience[edit]

I have improved this article in the last few days i.e. adding scientific references and this is something I will continue to do over the weekend. Before I started editing this article it was filled with fringe claims and loads of paranormal/spiritualist books being cited that the NDE is evidence for an afterlife. The mainstream consensus on this subject is that the NDE is a hallucination. I do not see why it is biased or not neutral stating this. A user not happy with what I have done has put a template on the article about neutrality, see comments on the talk-page etc. Goblin Face (talk) 16:43, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

Also a mess life review. Goblin Face (talk) 17:10, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

Esoteric cosmology[edit]

Are there any reliable sources for this topic? Goblin Face (talk) 20:58, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

If the definition can be cited, we can certainly get Gnosticism, Kaballah, Theosophy, Anthroposophy, and probably the other three bits I'm not as familiar with. So I think this one basically comes down to a notability test. Ignore the examples: Is the term/concept a notable way of collecting such ideas? If yes, keep, if no, delete.
A Google Scholar search causes me to lean delete; but before I prod it, I'd like to hear other views. It looks like it might be an anthroposophical term, which would be bad if we're trying to neutrally describe things. Adam Cuerden (talk) 04:00, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

Stone Tape[edit]

This is fringe idea that has run mad. No reliable sources on the article at all and the two scientific papers cited do not even discuss stone tape, so a case of original research. I think this should be taken to AfD. Goblin Face (talk) 21:00, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

It looks like it the article was bloated and padded beyond what has been covered by reliable sources. That this offbeat hypothesis was originated by ‪Thomas Charles Lethbridge‬ (there's a one line mention in our bio article) and a BBC TV show gave it cult popularity is really all that reliable non-fringe sources will support. The rest of the article is sourced to unreliable publications by parapsychologists and psychic researchers, and the unrelated but synthesized-in "Pottery hoax" section as well as the well-meaning scientific view section are classic OR. - LuckyLouie (talk) 17:29, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Aaron Kosminski[edit]

The dailymail newspaper have released a piece recently identifying jack the ripper as Aaron Kosminski, apparently this is based on alleged DNA evidence (which has not been confirmed by anyone, just speculated by a single author). There has been high amounts of traffic to this article recently. The recent fringe information added may need to be checked. Goblin Face (talk) 16:58, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Seems OK at the moment. The author's self-aggrandising claims of certainty are possibly problematic, but they are clearly presented as puff by the author, not as fact. The issues about handling and provenance, which have been repeatedly raised in connection with the shawl are clearly articulated. The identification of Kosminski as the suspect most favoured by researchers in recent decades is more or less correct. Paul B (talk) 17:06, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

List of participants in the creation–evolution controversy[edit]

I've raised pov issues there about the length and content of some of the entries on this list, as well as the inclusion of some with no articles. I think it should be more like List of scientists opposing the mainstream scientific assessment of global warming. The lengthier entries are mainly those of those who oppose evolution and such. Dougweller (talk) 08:01, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

  • Just the term "creation-evolution controversy" makes me a bit uncomfortable, TBH. I know we have other articles like MMR vaccine controversy, but in the specific case of evolution VS creationism, the term "controversy" is a classic creationist weasel word ("Teach the Controversy" etc) used to imply scientific controversy. Kolbasz (talk) 14:42, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
"debate" would be a more neutral term. I agree there is no "controversy". Bhny (talk) 15:49, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure that I'm convinced that "debate" is any different or better than "controversy". Both feel like they are giving too much weight to creationists. Beyond the fact that anything in science is technically up for debate, by mainstream standards, the debate between evolution and creationism happened over a hundred years ago, and the creationists lost. I think if anything I slightly prefer the "controversy" wording, since creationism is wrapped up in various legitimate political controversies about what will be taught to children in public schools and whether you can opt your children out of learning about evolution. I'm not even sure this is a significant controversy on the scale of the US, much less the whole English-speaking world, but at least there's a case to be made there. If this article is to be simply renamed, maybe we should consider dropping "evolution" and leaving it as "creationism controversy" or something of that nature, to indicate that it is very much a one-sided situation.0x0077BE [talk/contrib] 17:56, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Talk:Historicity of Jesus, again...[edit]

I know this was posted on less than a week ago (I actually saw that post here and went over there to help out).

But there's an uncomfortable number of users (at least two) suggesting we remove phrases like "most scholars" and "most historians". The fact is that 99.999999% of scholars in the relevant fields (New Testament studies, Historical Jesus research, etc.) consider a guy named Jesus to have at least existed. The majority of historians of other fields (Celtic studies, modern China, late-Heian period Japan, etc., etc.) have not stated an opinion on whether Jesus existed.

It's my opinion that non-specialist opinions from those in unrelated fields should not be taken into account in an encyclopedia article, per WP:WEIGHT, WP:NPOV, etc. This means that 99.999999% of scholars do indeed allow us to use phrase like "most scholars".

Thoughts?

Hijiri 88 (やや) 13:47, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

The relevant field is *history* (ancient history to be precise), not biblical scholarship, so Hijiri's argument does not apply. In addition, we have many sources both inside and outside historical scholarship that impeach the methodological soundness and impartiality of Historical Jesus research. (References supplied on the talk page). It is wrong to misrepresent HJ scholars as historians, quite independently of whether their conclusions agree with those of actual historians. And as it happens we already have authoritative quotations from actual historians that say yes, historians in general believe in the historicity of Jesus and do not take the Christ Myth Theory seriously, so we don't need any pretend-historians to make that statement for them. The views of biblical scholars remain notable of course, and deserve to be quoted, I don't think anyone is disputing that. They should just not be represented in Wikipedia voice. As for the CMT, we have several reliable sources who take it seriously, so whether Hijiri likes it or not, it is going to remain part of the page. I might add that running off to a noticeboard without notifying the editors on the page in question is bad form. This kind of attempted POV censorship needs to be slapped down and slapped down hard. Martijn Meijering (talk) 20:46, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Terms like "most" or "few" or "some" are a bit weasel-y and feature in WP:WTA. The real trick is to explain without begging the question Template:Whom. We have a few rules such as WP:ITA and WP:YESPOV which may provide some helpful guidelines on how to go about explaining what essentially is uncontroversial (the proposal that there was never any person as Jesus is a fringe hypothesis that borders on a conspiracy theory in the Dan-Brown-ish sense). I think the fringe hypothesis is worthy of at least discussion on the historicity of Jesus page, but it should be couched as such without appeal to who believes what necessarily. If I get a chance, I may take a crack at the wording to see if I can get to a point where this is less problematic. jps (talk) 13:58, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Oh, I agree completely. In fact it seems like the article itself exists to discuss the fringe conspiracy theory. But pointing out "there is virtually no independent, non-Christian evidence of Jesus' existence" (something that is indisputably true, and "the Testimonium Flavianum is a late Christian interpolation and Tacitus didn't actually talk about the person Jesus", while still fringe, is not quite on the level of "Jesus never existed" and is treated seriously by a number of scholars) and then not pointing out that 99.999999% of reputable scholars find the evidence for Jesus' existence fully convincing, gives the wrong impression to readers. Don't you think that if we have a huge number of reliable sources from the best scholars in the field that all say "virtually all scholars hold this view" we shouldn't go mincing their words and saying "some scholars present X, Y and Z evidence for this view"? Hijiri 88 (やや) 14:18, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
WP:WEASEL only applies when we say "most scholars say..." without providing a source. The fact is most scholars assume Jesus existed. The argument that most of these scholars are Christian or are descended from Christians is irrelevant. They base their arguments on facts, not their religious beliefs. Furthermore, scholarship does not exist in isolation. If one branch of scholarship is considered to use improper methology then it is not accepted by other branches. For example, pseudoscientific literature, even if accepted by fellow researchers, is not considered science by mainstream scholarship.
The argument for Jesus'; existence is that since numerous people with first or second-hand knowledge of him wrote about him, it is likely that they were writing about an actual person rather than inventing someone they knew never existed. That does not mean of course that the details of his life were accurate, and legends about him probably were invented and incorporated into writings about him.
TFD (talk) 17:16, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
What seems to be going on (and I confess that it's being a bit hard to follow due to the sheer volume of words) is that there's an attempt being made to suppress we-can-cite-this-with-a-page-number passages from the likes of Bart Ehrman and others of really unquestionable authority to speak for the field when they say that pretty much everyone in the field accepts that there was a historical Jesus (in the sense of there being a real person). As far as I can tell nobody has presented any conflicting authority on this, so I see no problem with leaving those statements in (with their citations). I cannot but conclude that there is some severe viewpoint-pushing going on but with the torrent of responses it's hard to get a handle on exactly what the point is. Mangoe (talk) 18:32, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
One editor said it was driven by Zeitgeist: The Movie, which ties together the creation of Jesus and 9/11, TFD (talk) 22:59, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

THE ARTICLE TALK PAGE DEFINITELY NEEDS MORE EYES. We've got at least one user trying (desperately...) to include the claim that the resurrection is a widely-accepted historical fact, and at least two users trying to change "most historians" to "a significant minority of historians" because (get this!) "most of the world's trained historians have not published an opinion on the historicity of Jesus". So far everyone here appears to agree with me, but right now it feels like I'm fighting a losing battle on the talk page itself. Can I ask a related question? How do we deal with editors who look like their trolling, asking the same question over and over again even though the page already has an FAQ that answers their question? Hijiri 88 (やや) 12:57, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Problems: It is true that exceedingly few people not writing about religion and religious history discuss Jesus at all. Christian scholars, amazingly enough, tend to regard the Resurrection as pretty much fact (with only a few exceptions), and Islamic scholars tend to go straight to the Ascension. I would state that the majority of historians who accept the historical existence of Jesus suggest his "mortal remains" (i.e. evidence of an actual death sans Ascension) do not exist. Is there a problem with such a position? Collect (talk) 13:05, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
We'd need a source that says that. Also so as not to prop up one religious view over another we'd need to point out that we don't have the mortal remains for just about any other 1st-century Galilean peasants either. Either way, discussion of the resurrection belongs in the other article. And it's technically not the case that Christian scholars assume the resurrection as a fact. Christians, by definition, believe Jesus was raised from the dead, but Christians who are also historians are not allowed use the resurrection as a historical explanation for the empty tomb, sightings by the apostles, sightings by Paul, etc. The reason is that historians are not allowed resort to miraculous explanations. Dale Martin teaches New Testament studies in Yale, he is a member of a liturgically conservative Episcopalian church, he believes that Jesus was resurrected, but as a historian he accepts the basic rule of his field that miracles are not valid historical explanations, since by definition miracles are the least probable occurrence, and history is defined as what probably happened in the past.
Christians who state that the resurrection is a historical fact are perfectly entitled to say that, but when they say that they are not doing history; they are doing theology. And there are apparently plenty of Christians who have degrees in history, but not tenured teaching positions, who publish books that claim to be historical studies but are in fact Christian apologetics. That's why we WP:WEIGH our articles based on reputable tertiary sources like widely-used undergraduate textbooks.
Hijiri 88 (やや) 14:14, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
While it is true that there are myths that Jesus left behind no mortal remains similar to Mary, Elijah, Rama, or even perhaps Enoch, these somewhat popular mythological claims don't belong in any historicity article -- inasmuch as they are generally considered ahistorical (I suppose that can be noted as it is a feature of higher criticism, but that's rather incidental to the major questions of historicity which involve what verifiable information about the past can be gleaned from a mythological text). That's about as far as we really should go. To claim that the mortal remains of a human who lived don't exist is a rather extraordinary claim, and we would require somewhat extraordinary evidence to isolate this as a relevant historical statement. jps (talk) 15:44, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
The fact that his mortal remains have not been identified does not mean they do not exist. They may well exist. Like the man said, "Alexander died, Alexander was buried, Alexander returneth to dust, the dust is earth, of earth we make loam—and why of that loam, whereto he was converted, might they not stop a beer barrel?". Paul B (talk) 17:03, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
The fact that Bigfoot's mortal remains have not been identified does not mean he does not exist. He may well exist. Like the man said, "The other night upon the stair/I saw a man who wasn't there..." — Preceding unsigned comment added by 103.23.134.190 (talkcontribs) 03:22, 14 September 2014
About Bigfoot we say "Most scientists discount the existence of Bigfoot and consider it to be a combination of folklore, misidentification, and hoax". I'd love to see the reaction if we had the equivalent sentence in Jesus. HiLo48 (talk) 03:29, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Helvie energy theory of nursing and health[edit]

I recently PROD'd this and that has been denied on account of the article being "well sourced". It seems to me this "theory" has no real coverage and the superficially big reference list is of no relevance (just checking the first, it appears that Helvie was cited in the cited chapter, but incidentally and for something other than this "energy theory"). Thoughts? Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 12:38, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

As you were - further probing of the references show some of them add-up ... Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 12:59, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

In need of a cleanup[edit]

UFO conspiracy theory.

Many of the citations are to unreliable sources and the rejoinders pleading with the reader to take the ideas seriously come in the lede.

jps (talk) 02:33, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Problems discussed here some time ago. Drop a note on the Talk page if you support a cleanup. - LuckyLouie (talk) 12:37, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Looks like a monologue to me, rather than a discussion. Logos (talk) 07:30, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Another "postural integration" type article[edit]

Newly landed Gokhale Method (edit | history) · Article talk (edit | history) · Watch. Not finding much/any mainstream coverage ... anybody know any different? Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 21:42, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Gokhale Method. The article was re-written by the creator, so I am still considering this. - 2/0 (cont.) 23:00, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Acupuncture! Again! Still![edit]

Acupuncture (edit|talk|history|protect|delete|links|watch|logs|views) is locked again (at my request), and we could really use a few extra sets of eyes to work things out over the next week. We have well sourced text being removed, {{cn}} tags all over basic material, disagreement over how to determine when a source is outdated, a passel of disruptive editors gaming around, and all the usual problems seen at articles on fringe topics. How exciting! - 2/0 (cont.) 21:45, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Earthing Therapy[edit]

Earthing Therapy (edit|talk|history|protect|delete|links|watch|logs|views)

This just popped up in the New Pages feed. Is this notable, or should it go straight to AfD? Kolbasz (talk) 22:33, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

There is a good example for why "indexed on PubMed" is necessary but not sufficient for being medically reliable. I have heard of this, and even heard of people selling devices based on the notion. Obviously the current article is completely unsuitable, but my gut says that a thorough search would turn up enough independent sourcing if someone is willing to wade through the Ground (electricity) confounders. A redirect to Electromagnetic therapy (alternative medicine) might work. - 2/0 (cont.) 22:58, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
I've heard of this before, but it seems all the commentary on it is either from fringe journals, new age websites/books, or skeptic blogs. Is that enough to write an article on the subject? Perhaps. jps (talk) 14:19, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Related to this is Stephen Sinatra and there is a section regarding "grounding" there. The following appear to be pop discussion in non-fringe sources: [16][17][18][19] Not sure about the reliability of Wikipedia purposes of ScienceBlogs.[20] - Location (talk) 16:26, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Just an observation: After looking at the article, I have no idea what this "therapy" even is. Is that intentional? Sławomir Biały (talk) 17:06, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
It's definitely been trimmed too much. An article that doesn't explain what it's about is useless. Kolbasz (talk) 13:51, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

UFOs crash in Missouri[edit]

Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Cape Girardeau UFO crash.

jps (talk) 22:14, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Close encounter of Cussac[edit]

Close encounter of Cussac (edit|talk|history|protect|delete|links|watch|logs|views)

Not sure what to do with this. Lots more in the French article.

jps (talk) 22:18, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Even if I could access the list of sources, I couldn't read them. Found an English source: [21]. - Location (talk) 22:32, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

That August discussion at Jimbo's page attacking FTN[edit]

I don't know if anyone saw that,[22] but it was started by a sock of Til Eulenspiegel, now again indefinitely blocked and again starting to sock. Dougweller (talk) 09:28, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Fringe theory[edit]

Actually, it would be more appropriate to file this at OR noticeboard, but since there are many fringe "experts/competents" following this board, their inputs will be valuable I guess. There seems no well established topic/concept of "fringe theory" in literature, other than wikipedia guideline WP:FRINGE. Neither other encyclopedias nor dictionaries have such entry in their databases. Google book search points either to a review (which means the book does not discuss such concept) or to wikipedia articles. The ones mentioning "fringe theory" seems as published after the birth of "fringe theory" topic/guideline/concept in wikipedia. Even encyclopedia.com does not have such an article. Per WP:TITLE, we/wikipedia should not manufacture topics/articles out of nothing, which would be either WP:OR or WP:SYNTH. If there is no source discussing such concept in a serious sense, then the most wise thing to do is to delete or rename the article pertaining to that concept. In addition to that, it would be better to rename WP:FRINGE guideline to "fringe views" or something similar, due to the scientific connotation of the term "theory". Logos (talk) 11:26, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

I tend to agree that fringe theory is WP:SYNTH. At the very least "theory" seems like it's not the correct word and we explain that in our guideline, in fact. jps (talk) 12:24, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
But, searching a little different brings more than thousand books. Despite the ones prior to 2000 prove might prove the existence of "fringe theory" concept before wikipedia, none of them seems non-trivial. Logos (talk) 16:55, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
I agree, it should be nominated for deletion. TFD (talk) 20:02, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Nevertheless, this source might be a good start to find out who coined this term first. Logos (talk) 20:16, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
I don't think so. We all know what a "fringe theory" means and might use it from time to time in polite conversation. That doesn't make it an encyclopedic topic. For comparison, look at this search for the term "foolhardy attempt". jps (talk) 12:13, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
I agree with that, but if there is any recognised/established definition/description of "fringe theory" concept in "expert witnessing" area of legal systems, then this might be a grounds for inclusion. Logos (talk) 15:00, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
In US jurisprudence, the relevant standards to consider are the Frye standard and the Daubert standard, neither of which refer explicitly to "fringe theories". jps (talk) 16:56, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Raw foodism[edit]

This article looks to me like it's in really bad shape: fringe ideas, poor medical sourcing and miscellaneous information giving a whiff of OR. More particularly, the terms "raw foodism" and its supposed alternative "rawism" seem to have little or no coverage in independent sources. Where to look? Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 16:55, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Majestic 12[edit]

This is a well-known conspiracy theory[23] based on forged documents[24] but you wouldn't get that impression from reading our article on it, which is stuffed full of iffily-sourced detail, often given without sufficient qualification. For a start, shouldn't this article be Majestic 12 conspiracy theory? Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 14:49, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

There may also be WP:BLP concerns over assertions that a named individual (apparently still alive) was involved in "an elaborate disinformation campaign", sourced only to MUFON documents. I somehow doubt that MUFON would be accepted as a reliable source for such contentious claims. AndyTheGrump (talk) 15:05, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
I brought this up last month Wikipedia:Fringe theories/Noticeboard/Archive 42#Majestic 12, and it looks like others have previously, too (i.e. [25]). I don't think renaming the article will make as much difference as will eliminating cherry-picked primary sources (used in violation of WP:SYNTH) and various fringe sources. As with anything alleged, the best bet is to start from scratch with discussion that occurs in reliable secondary sources (e.g. those cited in the OP plus things like [26], [27]). The FBI material is reliable primary source material but it must be used very carefully. There is probably a fair amount of fiction to be found in relation to Dark Skies (e.g. [28]). - Location (talk) 15:44, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
It's so bad it might even benefit from a WP:NUKEANDPAVE. From the good sources (e.g. Robert Goldberg) it seems the story here is that there were some forged documents describing an "inner circle" in government which - when revealed as clumsy fakes - caused recriminations in the UFO community, who nevertheless believed that even if the documents were fake they somehow betrayed a truth. Our article is full of guff. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 15:51, 16 September 2014 (UTC)