Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Alternative Views

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WikiProject Alternative Views (Rated Project-class)
WikiProject icon This page is within the scope of WikiProject Alternative Views, a collaborative effort to improve Wikipedia's coverage of significant alternative views in every field, from the sciences to the humanities. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion.
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Great Zimbabwe - Two rival theories?[edit]

Main article: Great Zimbabwe

It could perhaps be argued that there are two 'rival' theories for the origin of the Ancient Zimbabwean Civilization (with its drystone temples and fortresses, and its extensive network of gold mines) - namely, the "Shona" theory, and the "Semitic" theory. The overwhelming majority of modern-day academics support the "Shona" theory - but if we include laymen, then the difference in numbers becomes much less.

During the 40 years since the publication of Robert Gayre's 1972 book supporting the "Semitic" theory, almost every article on the subject which has appeared in peer-reviewed journals, subscribes to the "Shona" theory.

Despite that, it is still not clear (at least, not to me) how exactly the "Shona" theory can be regarded as proven beyond all doubt - which is what most of its adherents claim. As far as I can make out, their principal arguments are based on oral traditions, and on the fact that Shona-style dwellings and artefacts were found in and around the various stone ruins.

However, there is an alternative possible scenario - whereby the original civilization was created by people of Semitic stock, but was later conquered and overrun by the Shona. Some of the original Semitic inhabitants could well have been absorbed into the Shona population, such that not all the Semitic skills and knowledge were lost. Thus, the archaeological evidence really needs to be re-examined to see whether or not it could still be consistent with that alternative hypothesis. --DLMcN (talk) 19:26, 5 July 2012 (UTC)

Looking at this with no understanding of the details, it sounds like what you describe as "rival" theories are not being treated by mainstream scholarship as "rivals"; but as one generally accepted theory and an alternative theory which causes controversy. So I'm supposing your concern is that the article allows coverage of the alternative? According to the polices on "fringe subjects" WP:FRINGE:

"an idea that is not broadly supported by scholarship in its field must not be given undue weight in an article about a mainstream idea... [the page] should not make it appear more notable than it is... and reliable sources must be cited that affirm the relationship of the marginal idea to the mainstream idea in a serious and substantial manner.

These are policies that constrain all of us. I would interpret that to mean that some coverage can be given to the idea you describe as the "alternative possible scenario"; but it cannot be presented as an equally viable one. The article would need to be clear that Gayre's work has established the mainstream academic position, and give the alternative view as a minority opinion. That is, of course, if it is shown to have enough notability to have been discussed in reliable sources. Here's the policy that determines a 'reliable source'. -- Zac Δ talk! 20:03, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
See also WP:VALID. If being in the article unduly legitimized the fringe theory, it can be omitted from the main article. When you say "the overwhelming majority" it sounds like omission applies here. IRWolfie- (talk) 18:34, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
New evidence has recently emerged (namely, the Lemba genetic analyses) - which may now justify taking a fresh look at the topic. --DLMcN (talk) 19:48, 14 July 2012 (UTC)

Is this project dead?[edit]

I notice few members, and few of those are active in this project. WikiProject Rational Skepticism and WikiProject Paranormal, and specific projects such as wikiproject astrology etc already seem to cover much of the ground of this project. Is this project dead? Should it be marked as historical? There are about 4 members who appear to be currently active on wikipedia. IRWolfie- (talk) 22:59, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

I haven't been active lately, but for what it's worth, I do still check back here. I think this project does have a role to play. WikiProject Rational Skepticism and WikiProject Paranormal seem to be more about views beyond the mainstream of science, whereas this project encompasses alternative views in every field, from the sciences to the humanities. Tim Smith (talk) 06:10, 11 November 2012 (UTC)

Discussion at RSN about Robert Almeder[edit]

There is a discussion at the reliable sources noticeboard about whether an article on reincarnation by Robert Almeder, professor emeritus of philosophy at Georgia State University, is a reliable source for the article on Ian Stevenson (1918–2007). Several editors have objected to it because Almeder published it in Journal of Scientific Exploration, a journal that deals with anomalies (fringe issues). Uninvolved input would be very helpful. See Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard#Robert_Almeder. Many thanks, SlimVirgin (talk) 19:21, 18 November 2012 (UTC)

Periyar E. V. Ramasamy[edit]

Periyar E. V. Ramasamy, an article that your project may be interested in, has been nominated for an individual good article reassessment. If you are interested in the discussion, please participate by adding your comments to the reassessment page. If concerns are not addressed during the review period, the good article status will be removed from the article. AIRcorn (talk) 12:59, 30 November 2012 (UTC)

The Law of One book series AfD[edit]

The Law of One is a book series that presents alternative views of spirituality in a philosophical context. It has some similarity to A Course in Miracles but attempts to take a more philosophical approach (through it is certainly far from acceptable in almost all philosophy deptartments aside from some fingey continentals). It is up for deletion despite being notable according to my close reading of WP:FRINGE, WP:BKCRIT and WP:GNG. Could someone comment on this please? Being honest, it seems the admin that has targeted it for deletion is mainly objecting to the alternative views presented rather than to the notability of the book series itself.Bilbobagginsesprecious (talk) 10:32, 22 January 2013 (UTC)

Dark Waves and Ethereal Waves[edit]

I've noticed these terms used in metaphysics and alternative physics, so I thought I'd inform you of issues concerning these terms: talk:Dark Wave and talk:Ethereal Wave -- (talk) 05:19, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

Requested move: Alternative medicine → Complementary and alternative medicine[edit]

Requested page move from Alternative medicine to Complementary and alternative medicine initiated. Relevant talk page discussion can be found here. Defend us against the agents of intellectual hegemony! FiachraByrne (talk) 02:30, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

Alert bot?[edit]

WikiProject Australian Music has an article alert page for AFDs/PRODs/GA/FA nominations, updated by User:AAlertBot. Worth having here? - David Gerard (talk) 09:13, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

Nomination of Usage of acupuncture in the military for deletion[edit]

A discussion is taking place as to whether the article Usage of acupuncture in the military is suitable for inclusion in Wikipedia according to Wikipedia's policies and guidelines or whether it should be deleted.

The article will be discussed at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Usage of acupuncture in the military until a consensus is reached, and anyone is welcome to contribute to the discussion. The nomination will explain the policies and guidelines which are of concern. The discussion focuses on high-quality evidence and our policies and guidelines.

Users may edit the article during the discussion, including to improve the article to address concerns raised in the discussion. However, do not remove the article-for-deletion notice from the top of the article.-- Brainy J ~~ (talk) 15:06, 29 June 2013 (UTC)

Merge proposal[edit]

I have proposed to merge this wikiproject and 12 others to a new wikiproject. Please see the proposal. IRWolfie- (talk) 19:41, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

Ramtha's School of Enlightenment[edit]

Hi there! I came across this page while poking around on the discussion page for the New religious movements article and thought that maybe this would be a good place to ask for help with a project I'm working on. I am working on behalf of Ramtha's School of Enlightenment, which has been described as a new religious movement, to improve the entry about the school.

This page currently has some issues, including problems with how information about the school's beliefs and teaching methods is presented. I have now finished writing a new version that addresses these, and some other issues, that I would like other editors to consider.

On the discussion page you will find more information about what I suggest changing and why. You will also find a link to what I have written. Though I have written this on behalf of the school, I am not personally a member, however because of my "conflict of interest" I will not edit the entry myself. If what I have written is an improvement I hope that other editors will be able to make the changes to the entry for me.

If this discussion page wasn't a good place to leave this message could someone please point me to a Wikiproject where I might find someone to help? So far I've left messages at Wikiproject Religion and the subgroup Wikiproject Religion/New religious movements. Calstarry (talk) 15:37, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

RfC Notice Rupert Sheldrake[edit]

Please consider commenting here, if you're previously uninvolved. David in DC (talk) 13:38, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

Fresh start: Ramtha's School of Enlightenment[edit]

I posted on this page about six weeks ago looking for editors to help review a new draft of the Ramtha's School of Enlightenment article. Over the past few weeks the conversation has gotten very long and complicated so now, at the suggestion of several other editors, I would like to try and look at the article section by section.

I am looking for editors who can help review the page's current Research section and compare it to my suggested revision which I have named Research into Ramtha.

On the Ramtha's discussion page I've shared my concerns with the current section and some detailed notes that explain the changes I would like to make with my revision. If you can help you can see the message on the Ramtha's discussion page about this here. Calstarry (talk) 21:43, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

What are the definitions of "alternative medicine" by "major world health organization[s]"?[edit]

At Talk:Alternative_medicine#Reddit_discussion_on_Wikipedia:_Alternative_medicine_article I responded to a query from a user on Reddit about the state of the article. He says that the article's definition of alternative medicine does not reflect the definitions of alternative medicine from "major world health organization[s]".

I don't specialize in science-related articles, but I would like to know what these definitions are, and if there is a need to tweak the definition in the article. WhisperToMe (talk) 07:57, 22 December 2013 (UTC)

Popular pages tool update[edit]

As of January, the popular pages tool has moved from the Toolserver to Wikimedia Tool Labs. The code has changed significantly from the Toolserver version, but users should notice few differences. Please take a moment to look over your project's list for any anomalies, such as pages that you expect to see that are missing or pages that seem to have more views than expected. Note that unlike other tools, this tool aggregates all views from redirects, which means it will typically have higher numbers. (For January 2014 specifically, 35 hours of data is missing from the WMF data, which was approximated from other dates. For most articles, this should yield a more accurate number. However, a few articles, like ones featured on the Main Page, may be off).

Web tools, to replace the ones at tools:~alexz/pop, will become available over the next few weeks at toollabs:popularpages. All of the historical data (back to July 2009 for some projects) has been copied over. The tool to view historical data is currently partially available (assessment data and a few projects may not be available at the moment). The tool to add new projects to the bot's list is also available now (editing the configuration of current projects coming soon). Unlike the previous tool, all changes will be effective immediately. OAuth is used to authenticate users, allowing only regular users to make changes to prevent abuse. A visible history of configuration additions and changes is coming soon. Once tools become fully available, their toolserver versions will redirect to Labs.

If you have any questions, want to report any bugs, or there are any features you would like to see that aren't currently available on the Toolserver tools, see the updated FAQ or contact me on my talk page. Mr.Z-bot (talk) (for Mr.Z-man) 04:51, 23 February 2014 (UTC)

List peer review for List of awards and nominations received by Penn & Teller: Bullshit![edit]

I've started a list peer review for List of awards and nominations received by Penn & Teller: Bullshit!, feedback to further along the quality improvement process would be appreciated, at Wikipedia:Peer review/List of awards and nominations received by Penn & Teller: Bullshit!/archive1. — Cirt (talk) 11:27, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

Featured List nomination for List of awards and nominations received by Penn & Teller: Bullshit![edit]

  1. List of awards and nominations received by Penn & Teller: Bullshit!
  2. Wikipedia:Featured list candidates/List of awards and nominations received by Penn & Teller: Bullshit!/archive1

I've started a Featured List nomination for List of awards and nominations received by Penn & Teller: Bullshit!.

Participation would be appreciated, at Wikipedia:Featured list candidates/List of awards and nominations received by Penn & Teller: Bullshit!/archive1.

Thank you for your time,

Cirt (talk) 15:26, 13 March 2014 (UTC)

Discussion at Wikipedia:Categories_for_discussion/Log/2014_March_24#Category:Pseudoscience[edit]

You are invited to join the discussion at Wikipedia:Categories_for_discussion/Log/2014_March_24#Category:Pseudoscience. Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 18:04, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

Talk:Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 conspiracy theories[edit]

We are discussing what to rename this article and I hope for input on what words to use/not use in titles and subtitles of such articles. Please come and give your opinions. Richard-of-Earth (talk) 20:11, 12 June 2014 (UTC)

Leaflet for Wikiproject Alternative Views at Wikimania 2014[edit]

Project Leaflet WikiProject Medicine back and front v1.png

Hi all,

My name is Adi Khajuria and I am helping out with Wikimania 2014 in London.

One of our initiatives is to create leaflets to increase the discoverability of various wikimedia projects, and showcase the breadth of activity within wikimedia. Any kind of project can have a physical paper leaflet designed - for free - as a tool to help recruit new contributors. These leaflets will be printed at Wikimania 2014, and the designs can be re-used in the future at other events and locations.

This is particularly aimed at highlighting less discoverable but successful projects, e.g:

• Active Wikiprojects: Wikiproject Medicine, WikiProject Video Games, Wikiproject Film

• Tech projects/Tools, which may be looking for either users or developers.

• Less known major projects: Wikinews, Wikidata, Wikivoyage, etc.

• Wiki Loves Parliaments, Wiki Loves Monuments, Wiki Loves ____

• Wikimedia thematic organisations, Wikiwomen’s Collaborative, The Signpost

The deadline for submissions is 1st July 2014

For more information or to sign up for one for your project, go to:

Project leaflets
Adikhajuria (talk) 17:18, 27 June 2014 (UTC)


FYI, the scope and purpose of the anarchy article is under discussion, see talk:anarchy where it is proposed to be merged to stateless society -- (talk) 06:26, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

The merge proposal was rejected. bobrayner (talk) 11:31, 12 July 2014 (UTC)

Rescuing non-notable articles[edit]

There are places for Wikipedia deletia, particularly from this project. I've rescued a few AFD victims (noncontroversial deletions) to RationalWiki recently under CC by-sa 3.0: [1] [2] [3] If you've worked hard on a fringe-ish article for Wikipedia and it's about to get zapped, this may work for you ... though RW is a skeptical wiki and may be unsympathetic - David Gerard (talk) 15:12, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Comment on the WikiProject X proposal[edit]

Hello there! As you may already know, most WikiProjects here on Wikipedia struggle to stay active after they've been founded. I believe there is a lot of potential for WikiProjects to facilitate collaboration across subject areas, so I have submitted a grant proposal with the Wikimedia Foundation for the "WikiProject X" project. WikiProject X will study what makes WikiProjects succeed in retaining editors and then design a prototype WikiProject system that will recruit contributors to WikiProjects and help them run effectively. Please review the proposal here and leave feedback. If you have any questions, you can ask on the proposal page or leave a message on my talk page. Thank you for your time! (Also, sorry about the posting mistake earlier. If someone already moved my message to the talk page, feel free to remove this posting.) Harej (talk) 22:47, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

WikiProject X is live![edit]

WikiProject X icon.svg

Hello everyone!

You may have received a message from me earlier asking you to comment on my WikiProject X proposal. The good news is that WikiProject X is now live! In our first phase, we are focusing on research. At this time, we are looking for people to share their experiences with WikiProjects: good, bad, or neutral. We are also looking for WikiProjects that may be interested in trying out new tools and layouts that will make participating easier and projects easier to maintain. If you or your WikiProject are interested, check us out! Note that this is an opt-in program; no WikiProject will be required to change anything against its wishes. Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you!

Note: To receive additional notifications about WikiProject X on this talk page, please add this page to Wikipedia:WikiProject X/Newsletter. Otherwise, this will be the last notification sent about WikiProject X.

Harej (talk) 16:56, 14 January 2015 (UTC)

Lately I have removed[edit]

several pages from Category:Pseudoscience; on the grounds that ‘pseudoscience’ is a judgmental epithet; also it is, IMO, a very stigmatizing label, so it should be used sparingly. Spanish Wikipedia says it eloquently: “No olvide que para utilizar esta categoría debe de haber una referencia verificable, fiable en la materia y sólida que especifique que la disciplina categorizada es una pseudociencia.” Rough translation: “In order for a page to be placed in this category, there must be reliable sources specifying that said subject is pseudoscience.” I strongly support this policy; subjects should only be categorized as pseudoscience if a preponderance of reliable sources (as I pointed out on my User page, a source with a conflict of interest is not reliable) say they are such. In other words, the burden of proof should be on those who claim a subject is pseudoscience, not on those who claim it is not.

Some of the pages I removed: Continental drip, Steatopygia.

Okay?--Solomonfromfinland (talk) 23:34, 12 February 2015 (UTC)

No. Not okay. :: Solomonfromfinland, not so fast. You're removing the meta-category for many things which are obvious pseudoscience (like astrology), and which are in subcategories of Pseudoscience (like Alternative medicine). It's best to leave them as they are. You risk being seen as a vandal. I suggest you do some fast backpedaling and undo a lot of what you're doing. Keep in mind that we don't care whether something is a pejorative or judgmental epithet, although with BLPs were are more careful. -- Brangifer (talk) 06:53, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
I left Category:Astrology as well as the article Astrology itself in the ‘metacategory’ pseudoscience. However, a number of pages in the various subcategories of Category:Pseudoscience are placed in said category directly. To what extent should this be done? (Same applies to any other category; e.g. should New Horizons be placed directly in Category:Pluto? [Probably not, IMO].) Indeed, the heading of Category:Pseudoscience says, “Pages in this category should be moved to subcategories where applicable. This category may require frequent maintenance to avoid becoming too large. It should directly contain very few, if any, articles and should mainly contain subcategories.”
As a particular case, do you approve of the removal of articles Continental drip, Steatopygia, Meme and Macrobiotic diet from Category:Pseudoscience? Other Wikipedians, any opinions on the matter?
Words to watch says, “With regard to the term "pseudoscience": per the policy Neutral point of view, pseudoscientific views "should be clearly described as such". Per the content guideline, fringe theories, the term "pseudoscience" may be used to distinguish fringe theories from mainstream science, supported by reliable sources.” A reasonable interpretation of this passage is that subjects should only be categorized as pseudoscience if (a) they are "clearly described as such" by said article; (b) such a description is supported by (a preponderance of) reliable sources. (Some sources consider psychoanalysis a pseudoscience, but this may be a minority view.)
A slight mistake, for which I’ll forgive you, is that you apparently said Category:Alternative medicine is a subcategory of Pseudoscience. As of now, it is not, though the article Alternative medicine is placed in Category:Pseudoscience.--Solomonfromfinland (talk) 08:39, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I see that Obiwan removed it some time ago. Odd. -- Brangifer (talk) 15:20, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
Btw, BullRangifer, not so fast about calling me a vandal. Cutting the number of articles included directly in a specific category, which I’ve done before, isn’t necessarily vandalism; especially when the category page requests it. For a highly contentious label like “pseudo-”, articles that don’t belong should be speedily removed. Btw, I am not angry at you. Wikitalk pages (say nothing of Arbitration cases, Noticeboards, and RfC) are full of disputes; and I barely consider this a dispute, even.--Solomonfromfinland (talk) 01:28, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
Don't worry. I know you're not a vandal. You definitely mean well. I just wouldn't want you to be "seen as a vandal" by someone not familiar with the situation or with you.
I just feel that in some situations you're being hasty and also putting your efforts in the wrong place. Better to actually add the sources, or put a {{cn}} tag, or request that the needed refs are provided when the subject is obviously pseudoscientific. Most of these aren't BLPs, so there is no rush. BLPs are obviously handled differently. Otherwise I do understand your concerns. -- Brangifer (talk) 03:21, 14 February 2015 (UTC)