Talk:Erich von Däniken

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22 September 2007 Skeptic magazine[edit]

It seems that the 22 September 2007 issue of Skeptic magazine contained a number of short articles by Daniel Loxton on the subject of von Däniken, including:

If anybody can get access to this issue (either electronically or hard copy), it might help fill in some holes in the article. HrafnTalkStalk(P)

Differences between English and German versions[edit]

There are serious differences between English and German versions, especially covering Erich's earlier life - when and why he went to jail including other, less important details. So unless you keep the facts straight there is no reason to deduct from the significance of Erich's contribution to research on alien species, astrology, astronomy, philosophy, archaeology and the history of early mankind and related species. Its a sad fact that Wikipedia in some sense has become the bullhorn of the detractors and those that are playing the anti-scientific field. Lets not fall prey to the sensationalists and leave out the jailbird stories! Thank you. -- (talk) 15:03, 29 October 2013 (UTC)

What contribution are we talking about? According to reliable scholar sources (which are cited in the article), van Däniken has only managed to damage the field archaeology... From those sources, he just made up spurious theories, arguing from misinterpreted evidence and flawed logic; and misguiding people who don't have access to serious archaeology.....
If you want the article to speak about von Däniken's wonderful contributions, you better provide some reliable sources for them...... --Enric Naval (talk) 16:19, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
The English-language article mentions von Däniken being arrested for theft in his teens, convicted for fraud and embezzlement in Egypt before becoming a hotelier, and later being arrested for fraud and falsifying hotel records. The German article doesn't mention the first two crimes, and only mentions the second without context. We could expand von Däniken's early biography with some of the details from the German version, but I don't see anything contradictory here, and apart from the unexplained Egyptian embezzlement, his criminal record seems strongly tied to his life story (leaving school early, writing a best-selling novel while in prison, etc.). --McGeddon (talk) 16:29, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
If what happened with Wolfgang Werlé and Manfred Lauber is anything to go by, the German language Wikipedia may have decided that it is too risky to mention von Däniken's past convictions. Since they are in English language reliable sources, there is no problem with mentioning them here.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 16:34, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict)There are some basic differences between the German and English Wikipedias on handling and sourcing BLPs as I recall, which may explain these. In any case, we aren't the German Wikipedia. Dougweller (talk) 16:41, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
The German wikipedia has much stricter rules on BLP. Anything negative gets nuked unless it has immaculate sources with exquisite pedigree. --Enric Naval (talk) 12:38, 31 October 2013 (UTC)
Yes, and they aren't keen on citing opinions. Dougweller (talk) 13:05, 31 October 2013 (UTC)

On the other hand, von Däniken has made a positive contribution to one field.... to the field of pseudohistory... by popularizing theories that already existed, and making up "evidence" to support them.

This should be easy to find in reliable sources, and it would be a good addition to Erich_von_Däniken#Popularity. --Enric Naval (talk) 13:36, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

Biased/undue weight[edit]

I just came here clicking through another Wikipedia entry and, although I knew his name and general reputation (a sci-fi fantast), I don't think the article is balanced. Whilst I fully appreciate that his work is not scientific and might be labeled as "mumbojumbo", I still feel that when 80% of the text is about criticism of his work and labelling him as a criminal, this is not an encyclopedic article. Too much skepticism.... Niels? en | nl 01:32, 7 June 2014 (UTC)

"Labelling"? He *is* a convicted criminal - a repeat offender - which is a matter of public record. More significantly, he has multiple convictions for fraud and forgery. This is important and relevant information when judging the credibility of somebody who has made controversial claims. He's not being labelled, he's being described accurately. That said, the article would probably be better with a section simply presenting the arguments made in his best known works, before following it up with the criticisms. Itsbruce (talk) 23:16, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

I totally agree with Niels. I'd like to add also that the man never pretended to do science or scientific research. He used the term "research" in connection with his books. Advancing hypotheses falls under the heading of constitutional right of expression. Hypotheses, mind, that to the present day are NOT disproved, on the contrary, they were considered interesting enough for some scientists to include them into their research objectives, this time respecting thoroughly the scientific method. And confirming that, to date, there are not viable answers for the absence of the Keops name in the Great Pyramid, for the absence of trees for rollers on Easter Island and on the Puma Punku altiplano for moving blocks of 10-12 tons, for the three decimals precision in carving the Puma Punku blocks. Insisting on his convictions for embezzling is irrelevant, and the attempt of connecting him with a nazi editor is downright pathetic. After all he has paid for his misdeeds and whatever criticism might be thrown at him, nobody can deny the sincerity of his writings, nor his dedication. He did put an enormous amount of work in his books and had the curiosity and common sense to go and see for himself, his works are not compilations. His Mystery Museum at Interlaken, another considerable investment, is a great initiative, attracting thousands of visitors each year and teaching them to think outside the box. Personally, I like him, he showed me interesting things, he made me wonder. The debunkers, on the other hand, had not. GPintea (talk) 22:19, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

I realize the above post is several months old, but I feel an obligation to respond to these sorts of arguments when they come up. GPintea, you should peruse some of the published analyses of von Daniken's claims. A good place to start is Space Gods Revealed, by Ronald Story, which demonstrates in detail (with good references) why the WP article is a fair reflection of mainstream scientific consensus (which is WP's standard) on von Daniken's theories. Unproven claims may be "interesting", but lending them undue weight in a WP article violates WP:UNDUE. To your point that von Daniken's "hypotheses to the present day are not disproved": (1) yes, they are, actually, for the most part (see Story's book, and various sources cited in the article); and (2) it is not our job to disprove fringe theories -- it is up to those proposing them to prove them. The fact that von Daniken has, so far, failed spectacularly in that regard is accurately (and I believe, fairly) reflected in the article. There is no question that the article could be improved substantially (I have yet to run across a WP article that could not), and I and others will be working on it, as time and reliable sources permit. DoctorJoeE review transgressions/talk to me! 17:48, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Name in main text - should be "Däniken" or "von Däniken"?[edit]

Does WP have a policy about whether we should include "von" in sentences like "Däniken was born in Zofingen, Aargau."? DenisMoskowitz (talk) 18:19, 16 February 2016 (UTC)

Personally, I would support making it "von Daniken". (talk) 19:25, 11 December 2016 (UTC) Regardless of any standard usage in his native language, he has generally been referred to as "von Däniken" in English. --Khajidha (talk) 15:11, 24 February 2017 (UTC)

Von Daniken's Proof[edit]

Shouldn't the list of books include "Von Daniken's Proof" published in 1978? (talk) 19:28, 11 December 2016 (UTC)