Talk:List of topics characterized as pseudoscience

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Arbitration Committee Decisions on Pseudoscience

The Arbitration Committee has issued several principles which may be helpful to editors of this and other articles when dealing with subjects and categories related to "pseudoscience".

Principles
Four groups
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Archive
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RfC - Should we change the focus & title of this article?[edit]

There's no consensus for the proposed revamp of the article. Closing per a request at WP:ANRFC. I would suggest that those wanting to change both the title and scope of the article may want to choose a horse and put it ahead of the cart. An WP:RM that implies a scope content can be the precursor to a change in content, and may yield a more focused discussion. --BDD (talk) 17:38, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Should this article be "List of pseudosciences"? (Note that this is not just a title change proposal - the content would need to change also). SteveBaker (talk) 04:00, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

Survey[edit]

  • Support (Nominator). SteveBaker (talk) 04:00, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
(Nominator:) I believe that the present title is a cop-out. Many people seem to think that the article is a list of pseudosciences - which elicits complaints that certain topics that are clearly NOT pseudosciences are listed here. However, the way this page is named (and the way we currently provide content for it) is such that non-pseudosciences may perfectly legitimately belong in this list. The present title essentially says: "If you can find a reliable source that says that someone characterized a topic as a pseudoscience, then it belongs in this list.". What I think we should have is "If there are reliable sources that say that some topic is a pseudoscience, then it belongs in this list.". The difference seems subtle - but it's really not.
I understand that changing the article to be a true list of actual pseudosciences will result in a much shorter list - and possibly we'll find ourselves unable to find WP:RS that say that some obviously pseudoscientific topics are indeed pseudosciences. However, I think that's a legitimate cost of making ourselves more honest.
It will certainly be more work to maintain this article should this change be approved - but it would be a vastly more useful article as a result.
From an encyclopedic standpoint, nobody really cares if Senator Joe Blow who knows nothing about (say) Climate Change or "The Scientific Method" happens to say to a reputable journalist that Climate Change science is really a pseudoscience. The Senator's opinion would not pass as a reliable scientific source within Wikipedia - but the fact of his comment, being reported in a reputable newspaper does constitutes a reliable source that someone characterized the subject thusly. Which is what makes many of the entries in this list be acceptable to Wikipedia even though they are not what we seem to be saying they are.
What readers really need to know is whether a particular topic is indeed a pseudoscience - and for that we really should be demanding reputable scientific sources that say "X is a pseudoscience" rather than "unqualified idiot Y says that X is a pseudoscience" (or worse still "Here is concrete proof that X is not a pseudoscience even though unqualified idiot Y says it is!" - which would still land a perfectly serious, respectable science on this list!).
So I strongly believe that we should retitle the article and ruthlessly prune entries that rely on "heresay" evidence or lack of scientific rigor.
SteveBaker (talk) 04:00, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Disagree. The current article under its more inclusive title is satisfying in that it allows WP:ATTRIBUTEPOV to bring some significant criticism down on certain topics that are borderline. The reader will want to know what is borderline and what is not. As well, the discussions here will get much more partisan and ugly if the label "pseudoscience" is given in Wikipedia's voice rather than in the voice of some observers. Binksternet (talk) 04:19, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
    It allows people who are sufficiently notable to be reported in the press - yet who are completely inexpert in both the subject and the scientific method to label things as pseudosciences and thereby place them on this list. That is a perversion of the WP:RS rules which would normally require reliable scientific sources to state as a fact that some topic is not following the scientific method.
  • Keep current title. I see that SteveBaker is playing WP:IDHT by ignoring my warning in the previous section that an RfC on this subject would be disruptive:
  1. I obviously think the current title is fine. The only ones who consider it problematic are usually those who object to their favorite delusion's inclusion. They refuse to understand the purpose of the list. The lead makes it plain. Don't overinterpret.
  2. We are deliberately and carefully treading a fine line between no list at all (which would leave a big hole in Wikipedia's goal of documenting the sum total of human knowledge) and violating the PSI ArbCom ruling. Push it too far one way and it gives pseudoskeptics and pseudoscientists an excuse to delete the whole list. We don't want that. Wikipedia's goal must be served. Push it too far the other way and we're violating the ruling by definitively categorizing in Wikipedia's voice many subjects which are borderline pseudoscientific. We shouldn't do that. That's why we limit content to "characterizations" found in RS. The source obviously believes it is pseudoscience, and so do we, but that's our own opinion as editors. We can't write that, except in obvious cases (see groups 1 & 2 above). We don't take a position as to whether a subject absolutely IS pseudoscience here, even if it really is, but we definitely do that in some of the articles. Here we abide by the ArbCom decision and limit content to the first three groupings seen at the top of this page.
  3. We have had many RfCs on this matter, and this title has always been the best solution. Since nothing has changed, and no new arguments for change have been brought forth, such an RfC would be disruptive. If you don't like the list, no one is forcing you to play here. Of course there is a better option. Instead of creating disruption, how about abiding by the inclusion criteria and improving it?
  4. His desire to have a different list does not require any change to this one. What he's proposing here would totally gut this one, to the great pleasure of myriad pushers of woo who have tried.
  5. SteveBaker's concern could still be met by creating a different list besides this one which only covers items in groups 1 & 2. Go for it., and withdraw this RfC. It's a disruptive waste of time already. -- Brangifer (talk) 05:11, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Your accusation of IDHT is unfounded - I launched this RfC before you responded (or possibly at the same time as you were responding - it took a while for me to rally my thoughts and type all of this stuff in). But in any case, I disagree with your assessment. SteveBaker (talk) 13:55, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
  • I then retract the IDHT. I can see how that might have happened. I'll take your word for it. That doesn't make this RfC any less disruptive and a waste of time. -- Brangifer (talk) 05:41, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Your accusation that "The only ones who consider it problematic are usually those who object to their favorite delusion's inclusion." is personally insulting to me - and I challenge you to tell me which topic is the one that I'm POV pushing or withdraw this personal attack (per WP:NPA). I assure you that there is none. My main concern here is to avoid having a rambling list that includes both legitimate pseudosciences and non-pseudosciences in order that editors can get away with reliable reports of unreliable people to (in effect) mislabel a topic. SteveBaker (talk) 13:55, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
  • I made no accusation or personal attack against you. I was referring to the many attacks we have had. "...usually..." is the key word here. There are exceptions, and I'm glad you are one. -- Brangifer (talk) 05:41, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
  • You keep mentioning non-pseudosciences which are included. Which ones are there? Oops! That's not for this thread. We need to stay on topic, but you're welcome to mention them on my talk page. I am curious and would like to fix that if necessary and proper. -- Brangifer (talk) 05:41, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
  • There has not been a recent RfC and the fact that people are still very unhappy with the list should be evident. No consensus is ever permanent and, IMHO, it's time to re-assess this one. I do not choose to close this RfC without adequate discussion. SteveBaker (talk) 14:04, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
  • The list has been quite stable, but it does get attacked, and that quite aside from the title. The attackers really want to do what you want to do....get rid of it. You'll find that your proposed list will also get attacked. That's the nature of anything using the words "pseudoscience" and "quackery". They will always get attacked. We can't change that, and your proposal won't change that. -- Brangifer (talk) 05:41, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Disagree. In a list article the inclusion criteria need to be set very carefully (as here) to avoid disputes about neutrailty and verifiability; the thought that we could change this article into being some kind of true judge about what "is indeed a pseudoscience" misses a central point about what Wiipedia does for non-trivial statements - it reports what others have said, and does not say things itself. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 07:34, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
    Your assessment falls short of what Wikipedia demands. It doesn't just "report what others have said". It repeats what experts in the field say. That's the core principle - and your misapprehension of how Wikipedia works is precisely the problem with this list. The way the list is named means that all that is required is to find a reliable source that says that someone, anyone, expert or non-expert, neutral enquirer or rabid rabble rouser - said that they consider the topic to be pseudoscience. If the person making the characterization is indeed an expert, making a fact-based appraisal, then their original statement is a reliable source for the list that I propose we should have in place of this one and nothing is lost. In effect, what I'm saying is that "List of topics characterized as pseudoscience by just about anyone" (which is what we have) is useless compared to "List of topics characterized as pseudoscience by experts in the field" (which is what Wikipedia demands of us). SteveBaker (talk) 13:55, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
    Wow, that strawman was soundly beaten there!! Obviously what we include needs to be reliable, but WP:PARITY is an important guideline for us here in choosing sources. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 14:28, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Support - I spent a long time trying to get a very well-referenced entry added to this article; a topic which was historically characterized as pseudoscience. It was positively undeniable that the entry belonged on this list (even though it is no longer considered a pseudoscience). Yet, a few vocal hardliners here just didn't want the entry here because, in the end, it just offended their sensibilities. In my limited experience here, what I've found this article to truly be is a list of items which the vocal hardliners here want to characterize as pseudoscience. This article is not necessarily inclusive of all verifiable characterizations. Instead, we have a very bespoke inclusion criteria, carefully tailored by the hardliner editors here, which attempts to weed out entries which offend them. Despite the craftiness of the inclusion criteria, the entry which I eventually navigated into this article revealed many holes and double-standards in the language, and the overall agenda dictated by the vocal hardliners here. As it stands, I don't know what encyclopedic purpose this article serves. The non-encyclopedic purpose is the hardliners' effort to corral all the things which they characterize as pseudoscience. If this is to be a list of topics which have been characterized as pseudoscience, then open up the gates and allow verifiable characterizations. If this is to be a list of things which are deemed pseudoscience by the scientific community at large, then rename it and make the inclusion criteria be just that. As it is now, however, the most appropriate title of the article would be: "List of topics characterized by some hardliner Wikipedians as pseudoscience so don't try to get your well-sourced, verifiable, notable entry included here or else you will be scrutinized, antagonized, ridiculed, and/or ignored... so good luck with that". That's probably too long of a title though. 172.250.119.155 (talk) 21:25, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose changes I'm not seeing any clear policy-based rationale for any changes, and the proposed changes need to be much clearer so we can indeed determine if they resolve any problems. The article has withstood close examination by a large number of editors over a long period of time, including a great deal of review in light of WP:ARB/PS. --Ronz (talk) 22:24, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Support One of the problems with this article is that it paradoxically includes items which are not pseudoscience. Instead, this article is being (mis)used as a dumping ground for anything that is wrong, regardless of whether or not each specific item is actually pseudoscience. I'm not sure how anyone can possibly defend a list which knowingly misleads our readers. It seems that we've forgot that our purpose as Wikipedia editors is to provide educational content. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 23:19, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
  • You too keep mentioning non-pseudosciences which are included. I suspect that you, considering your track record, would seek to exempt certain subjects which all scientific skeptics would consider pseudoscience, but which you consider to be true. Which ones are there? Don't answer that here, but in a separate thread. I am curious and would like to fix that if necessary and proper. We seek to be careful not to include anything in group 4, only groups 1-3, per the ArbCom decision.
    Your argument is NOT a reason for deletion, but for improvement. Seek to help with that goal. -- Brangifer (talk) 05:47, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
  • @BullRangifer: Your last post is so bizarre, I'm not sure where to even begin as it has nothing to do with the current discussion or anything that I've ever said. First, you begin by talking about my "track record". What track record is that? Second, you bizarrely claim that I would seek to "exempt certain subjects which all scientific skeptics would consider pseudoscience, but which you consider to be true." Where the heck did you even get that from?!? I am a scientific skeptic. I don't think that any of these items are true. Where in the world did you get such an impression? I've said nothing of the sort. Third, why are going on about deleting this article? This is an RfC, not an AfD, and the RfC is about whether an article about pseudoscience should also include items which are not pseudoscience. Seriously dude, your comment has absolutely nothing to do with this discussion. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 10:19, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
  • I too have a problem with Brangifer immediately assuming (against all evidence from edit histories, etc) that people who oppose his position are fringe theorists trying to push their pet theories off of this article. The true fact is quite the reverse. I want to give this article more teeth against the fringe theorists by making it clearly say "X is a pseudoscience" in a list where all of the entries are indeed pseudosciences. SteveBaker (talk) 16:02, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Mildly disagree It's worth noting that this was in fact this page's previous title. I think it more correctly describes the essential characteristic it takess to be on the list - i.e., rather than having editors verge on OR to demonstrate something's pesudoscientific nature, one needs to point to sufficient RSes to show it being described as such. I think it serves the reader fine. OTOH, I wouldn't object strenuously to it being moved back, it is a bit clunky - David Gerard (talk) 14:39, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Tentative Oppose - If the article is renamed, it's not so simple to just say "ok, well now we'll just include things that are pseudoscience" because Wikipedia remains truth neutral. The difference is effectively "topics characterized as pseudoscience" vs. "topics characterized as pseudoscience per the majority of reliable sources" (which can be implied in the titles of many WP articles). A new kind of criteria have to be developed first, or we're right back at the ArbCom issue. A central issue, I think, is that even the most outspoken skeptics don't always use the word "pseudoscience," but that seems to be what's required here. If someone like Dawkins, for example, picks apart someone's claims to extrasensory perception, he's not entirely likely to use the word, but in order for our article to be functional his criticism of the science would have to be taken to imply such a judgment. In fact, I'd bet that the majority of articles on "water fueled cars" don't contain the word pseudoscience even if they overwhelmingly agree that it is. ...So how can this be made clear for the purposes of inclusion? --— Rhododendrites talk |  16:51, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
  • So you'd advocate that "List of sports rivalries" become "List of sports discussions characterized as rivalries" and "List of natural disasters" become "List of natural events characterized as disasters"? I doubt it. We do label things as "truth" here in Wikipedia - but we define it to be "true" that a subject is a pseudoscience if an unbiassed, science-based, professional source says it is. It is "true" that a subject is characterized as a pseudoscience if a reliable source says that someone characterized it so. Introducing "characterized as" doesn't alter the truth or otherwise behind what we say - it only opens the gates to unqualified (but properly reported) people causing topics to be added to our list that don't belong here...and results in us making distasteful POV-based decisions to include "Climate change denialism" and yet exclude "Climate change" - when both of them have clearly been "characterized" as pseudosciences (the former correctly and the latter incorrectly). SteveBaker (talk) 03:40, 29 November 2013 (UTC)
  • weak oppose - "A pseudoscience is"? --- many reliable sources define pseudoscience - do the listed topics here meet those definitions? Can we imply the conclusion? Drawing conclusions that is evident in the reference would be the opposite of Wikipedia:No original research#Reliable sources. Thanks to POVPUSHing an article may not match the conclusion reached on this list, always worth checking but the articles themselves are not sources. Also an article may not not use the word "pseudoscience" because there is room to give readers detailed information about relevant controversies (WP:LABEL) Fountains of Bryn Mawr (talk) 16:06, 29 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Support - Current name of this article is ridiculous and was implemented as a compromise with pseudoscience promoters. We should not negotiate with terrorists. jps (talk) 12:45, 30 November 2013 (UTC)
  • jps, that's not true. It was the only way we could save this article from their deletion attempts, and by doing so it has survived three AfDs. This attempt by someone who claims to be an enemy of pseudoscience plays into their hands. He wants to get rid of the article. The replacement would be a shadow of this one. I don't think he realizes the consequences of what he's proposing. The ArbCom ruling comes into play and will need to be heeded. See my comments below (look in the edit history for my comments immediately before this one). -- Brangifer (talk) 07:10, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
  • I disagree with your position completely. Arbcom rulings are not meant to dictate content. We could keep this article as is with a new title. No problem. The title is not an inoculation, it's just a euphemism. jps (talk) 11:45, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
  • They don't rule on content, but they did rule on format and use of Category:Pseudoscience in their decision. Thus the title and content must match, and this proposal raises the bar so high that it would mean a number of items listed would have to be removed for lack of RS. SteveBaker's demand for sources from "a science journal or some qualified/reputable scientist saying it in print" would mean that the WP:Fringe and parity guidelines can't be used to allow sourcing from what are often the only ones dealing with such woo....scientific skeptics. Science journals don't mention woo, and in fact we'd have a hard time finding any sources to use. They ignore pseudoscience and rarely comment on it. Steve doesn't understand the consequences of what he's proposing, and his new list, although small, will constantly be a bloody battlefield.
    I know you're not a fan of ArbCom, after your bans, but you need to think a bit pragmatically. Your support for this proposition places you squarely in the side of pseudoscience lovers. Take a look at who's supporting this. You now are on the same side as A1candidate! You really need to watch the company you keep. -- Brangifer (talk) 22:16, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
  • When arbcom tried to rule on the use of Category:Pseudoscience, they were inappropriately making content decisions and there have been some clarifications by arbitrators since then that the opinion of Fred Bauder does not need to be taken as gospel. I simply and plainly disagree with your contention that this proposal raises any bar at all. As far as I can tell, we have a lot of "qualified/reputable scientists" who are identifying those items currently listed, though I agree the "journals" are red herrings completely. If the proposer has an ulterior motive to remove items on this list simply by changing its name, that's his own problem. The name "list of pseudosciences" does not immediately mean we have to change the inclusion criteria. jps (talk) 11:48, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Support - The current title is too long and needlessly introduces unencyclopedic vagueness with "topics characterized as" (Does the list deal with "topics" or does it deal with disciplines that have been presented as science and thus been labeled pseudoscience? Characterized by whom?). The lead section already makes clear the fairly obvious criteria that the list members have been so labeled. Astynax 17:56, 30 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Titles dictate content and must be accurate, and it must harmonize with the lead. The title is long, but there are many more that are just as long and work just fine. The references state who is characterizing what. Your reasons aren't good enough to justify destabilizing this article, or, as Steve Baker wishes to do, is to delete it entirely. See my comment below where I provide the diff where he said it. -- Brangifer (talk) 07:04, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose (changed my vote) Support - Support as long as people aren't planning to swing a big axe on the existing content.SbmeirowTalk • 06:03, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Unfortunately Steve Baker wants to get rid of this list entirely. He wants to replace it with a list where editors will be forced to settle the demarcation problem in a final manner for each entry, and the edit warring will be even worse than now. It would only, because of our ArbCom decision, be allowed to contain items from groups 1 & 2. We now include items from group 3. Those would all be axed. All content using scientific skeptical sources would also be removed because many of these sources are allowed by WP:FRINGE and parity. Those sources could no longer be used.
    We're looking at a major deletion of content and sources. This will leave a big hole in our coverage of the subject, and we will fail to fulfill our obligation as Wikipedians, to document the "sum total of human knowledge." That happens to also include characterizations as pseudoscience made in many RS which won't be allowed anymore.
    Lovers of the fringe, pseudoscience, quackery, and health fraud will vote for Steve Baker to be their patron saint, because he has done what they have tried but failed to do. -- Brangifer (talk) 06:59, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
Brangifer, you (appear to be) arguing from emotion here, and that's a bad idea, especially when we're talking about a topic so closely associated with rationality and science. You may disagree with Steve Baker, but I can assure you that he is at least as much a lover of Truth and the scientific method as you are. Please don't make wild claims contrary to fact ("wants to get rid of this list entirely") or use laden terms in a derogatory way ("patron saint") -- you denigrate yourself, this article, and the scientific method. —Steve Summit (talk) 20:31, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Disagree hugely with changes. I can point woolly thinkers at this list and the proposed changes will water it down. Bad idea. --Roxy the dog (resonate) 07:08, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Support - This article is a massive WP:COATRACK for promoters of pseudoskepticism. There is a lot of selective fact picking based on a deliberate misrepresentation of sources. What concerns me is how easily anyone can categorize an entire medical field as a form of pseudoscience even though is no consensus in the scientific community for this. The most recent research shwos that acupuncture, for example, is is not pseudoscience and is based on valid scientific evidence. Why not wait for someone to publish an article claiming that Wikipedia is pseudoscience so that we can add it to this nonsensical list of indiscriminate information? -A1candidate (talk) 12:15, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
And here we have a prime reason this article is a good one. Acupuncturists don't like it when their pet woo is declared to be woo. This is a great list as it stands. --Roxy the dog (resonate) 12:56, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
Just wanted to point out that the supposedly 'valid scientific evidence' supplied by A1candidate is nothing of the sort. --Roxy the dog (resonate) 13:06, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
A1candidate, I was wondering when you'd arrive to support the cause of pseudoscience promotion. I suspect you'll vote for Steve Baker to be the patron saint of woo lovers. He won't like that dubious honor, but he's your biggest ally right now. Your arguments really ring hollow, when there are abundant sources which do "characterize" various aspects of TCM and acupuncture as pseudoscience. Not having looked at the sources, I'm not sure whether they are in group 2 or 3. If in group three, then acupuncture will not be included in SteveBaker's new list and you'll be happy. -- Brangifer (talk) 22:25, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose for multiple reasons. First, the proposed change elevates each of the topics to the level of being individual pseudosciences, and I am far from certain that RS's will necessarily discuss whether these topics are each individual or not. Second, the proposed change seems to indicate that they all fall within one main topic, "pseudoscience," despite their often pronounced variation from each other, so the proposed title might be misleading in indicating that they all fall within a clearly defined area, which probably isn't really frequently defined that clearly. Lastly, honestly, the proposed change raises the bar for inclusion, demanding that anyone prove through RS's that the subject is pseudoscience, and most pseudoscientific topics will have at least some individuals calling it science, which would presumably possibly lead to interminable edit wars. And the current title, with the word "characterized", pretty much avoids all those problems, so I favor keeping it as is. John Carter (talk) 20:31, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
  • It's nice to see an admin who isn't a fuzzy thinker. Fortunately we do have many. You have hit the nail on the head. This raising of the bar excludes the use of policies and guidelines which allow for sources which we suddenly won't be able to use here. That's not allowed. All policies and guidelines govern this list, and we should be able to use all sources which are allowable under those guidelines. -- Brangifer (talk) 22:36, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose My apologies for being late to the party, but I wanted to add my vote. I believe that John Carter above stated my own views better than I did. TechBear | Talk | Contributions 03:36, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. If the title were changed the article would be deleting without an AFD discussion. The name change would essentially undermine the list of topics characterized as pseudoscience because only pseudosciences would be allowed in the list. Everything that is characterized as pseudoscience would be deleted. QuackGuru (talk) 19:22, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Keep title but be clear about which topics have a mainstream following -- Demarcation is always contentious. Perhaps we could somehow flag topics that are "questionable science", like psychoanalysis, polygraphy, and a handful of alt-med topics, aspects of which have a substantial mainstream following. That would accord with the ArbCom principles listed at the top of the page and at WP:FRINGE/PS. But there's no "best" way to do this. --Middle 8 (talk) 23:50, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment: I think a big part of the problem is that too many of the arguments for incusion of topics in this article boil down to "things we don't like" or "ideas that are obviously bogus". Pseudoscience is a very interesting phenomenon, but it has a much narrower definition than "obvious bullshit". We should make sure that the topics selected for inclusion here truly meet a fairly strict definition of pseudoscience (ideally, a definition that matches the one in the pseudoscience article). —Steve Summit (talk) 20:21, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
Based on the current inclusion criteria, I disagree that "we should make sure that the topics selected for inclusion here truly meet a fairly strict definition of pseudoscience". This is not a list of pseudosciences; rather, this is a list of topics which have been characterized (either historically or currently) as pseudoscience. This means that this list can include topics which do not meet a fairly strict definition of pseudoscience. This list can and currently does include topics which are not pseudosciences even in a loose definition. (some are "questionable sciences" ... some are now considered science but were once characterized as pseudoscience). Essentially, this is a list of notable opinions. If somebody or some body was/is notable in the field of science and had/has the opinion that foo is a pseudoscience, then foo can be included in this list currently.
Here's a thought experiment: Let's say that 100 years ago, a notable chemist published in a reliable source a treatise with characterized Atomic Theory as a pseudoscience, should we include Atomic Theory on this list? 172.250.119.155 (talk) 23:20, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
To your first point, I suppose you're right -- but if the incusion criteria aren't limited to pseudoscience, what are they? "A list of notably wrong ideas which we think it's really important to debunk again"?
To your second point, I'll see your Atomic theory, and raise you phlogiston, aether, and caloric. —Steve Summit (talk) 23:44, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
To your question following up to my first point: No. This list can contain ideas which are indeed correct, but they have been notably characterized not just as "wrong" but specifically as pseudoscience.
Which leads to your reply to my second point. Phlogiston, aether, and caloric are all obsolete theories and thus not analogous to the thought experiment about Atomic theory. However, if a source was presented which specifically characterized one of these obsolete theories as a pseudoscience, then the characterization should be added to this list. But let's return to the thought experiment. If we had a reliable source verifying that a notable scientist (or scientific body) once characterized Atomic theory as a pseudoscience, should we then include that characterization to this list? 172.250.119.155 (talk) 23:53, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
Echoing my comment below, WP:PARITY addresses the problem of a few sources calling something -- atomic theory, or climate change itself -- a pseudoscience when most sources do not agree. So this is actually a "list of topics characterized as pseudoscience by more than a small minority of sources (and highly fringe topics that attract no serious criticism but are patently silly)", but that title is a bit long.  :-) Plus, we can and do annotate entries, so if an RS calls phlogiston pseudoscience, we can add that it's a superseded theory. Or if there is some mainstream acceptance of an idea, such as psychoanalysis or acupuncture for treating pain, we note that too. I don't agree that our inclusion criteria here for this list are overly ad hoc. Yes, "obvious science" such as Time Cube and the like falls under editorial discretion, as it should since highly fringe stuff won't always attract RS attention. (That, and our other criteria here, are per WP:FRINGE/PS, i.e. the ArbCom advice at the top of this page.) But otherwise, we follow sources; most of the topics on the list are well-sourced. And our criteria don't have to be foolproof; we can intelligently apply IAR, a.k.a. common sense, and not include things that would make an encyclopedia look silly. Apart from things that might be on the list, which topics already on the list are problematic? --Middle 8 (talk) 01:24, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
The inclusion of well-reputed topics such as Psychoanalysis on this list makes this encyclopedia look silly. I don't believe that PARITY applies on a list article as it would apply on an article about any of these included topics. This is currently a list of notable opinions but not necessarily scientific consensus. Whereas, in individual articles, scientific consensus supersedes notable opinions, per PARITY. This should be a list of pseudoscientific topics per scientific consensus (which can simply be expressed as: List of pseudoscientific topics). That would be a lot more encyclopedic. 172.250.119.155 (talk) 00:39, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
Well, that's the thing: there is a divide in the scientific world over psychanalysis, and no consensus that it is either clearly pseudoscience or clearly accepted science (see category "3b" in discussion that follows). Here is where topics on the list fall according to Wikipedia's accepted demarcations (at WP:FRINGE/PS and the top of this page, per ArbCom):
  • 1. obvious pseudoscience: plainly absurd fringe topics for which little if any RS criticism exists, and which we include per editorial discretion; endless variants exist
  • 2. generally considered pseudoscience: topics like astrology, that have reliable sources indicating scientific agreement that they're pseudoscience, i.e. sources that meet WP:RS/AC
  • 3a. questionable science that is probably generally considered to be pseudoscience, i.e. most topics on the list: these topics lack reliable sources indicating scientific agreement that they're pseudoscience, but also lack evidence of significant mainstream following, and have reliable sources calling them pseudoscience (such as notable scientists, philosophers, or skeptical organizations; note that while RS, these don't meet the threshold for sci consensus-level sourcing, i.e. WP:RS/AC)
  • 3b. questionable science per se, i.e. a handful of topics including psychoanalysis, polygraphy, acupuncture for treatment of pain and nausea, and perhaps a couple others: these topics have evidence of significant mainstream following, and also have reliable sources calling them pseudoscience (such as notable scientists, philosophers, or skeptical organizations. The "pro" and "con" sources (or evidence, e.g. presence of studies in good peer-reviewed journals) for demarction are of roughly comparable parity.
That's the present situation. In the past, we organized the article so as to distinguish 1, 2, and 3. This annoyed some skeptics who felt (with justification) that 3a was not all that different from 1 and 2. However, it leaves us with the present situation in which we don't do a very good job of distinguishing 3b from the rest.
On your point about the list name, NPOV requires the "characterized" qualifier absent demonstrable scientific agreeement that every topic on the list is pseudoscience, and most editors have agreed it makes no sense to have a separate list for 1, 2, or 3, let alone exclude any from a single list.
A good solution has to be pragmatic. Honestly, I don't think the status quo is that bad. We could more clearly categorize 3b separately from the rest, and as long we we're clear about the threshold for evidence, we could avoid the POV-pushing situation I mentioned. --Middle 8 (talk) 08:17, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
The demarcation problem – and perhaps the reason why there is no consensus to maintain the status quo here – lays within squishy area of 3a / 3b (a separation which I don't see made at WP:FRINGE/PS nor at the top of this page so I wonder where I can read about this). If we limited this list to just the readily discernible categories 1 and 2, I see no reason why we would have to maintain the word "characterized" in the title. On the articles of the topics which fall into categories 1 and 2, we have no problem stating that they are considered pseudoscience (more definitive language than "characterized as pseudoscience"). By allowing for the inclusion of anything within category 3, this article will always suffer from a lack of consensus... and not just by people who want to see their pet topic removed from this list, but from editors such as me – an honest-to-goodness skeptic - who finds the inclusion criteria of this list to be based more on cynicism than skepticism. And for that reason, this list comes across as silly and unnecessary. I came to WIkipedia looking for a list of topics which are pseudoscientific and instead found a squishy list which I had to meticulously pick through and still couldn't discern which topics truly are pseudoscientific and which topics are just sort of characterized as pseudoscientific but might not be. And now I come to find out that the latter is broken down even further into "probably" generally considered pseudoscience and those which are just questionable but haven't been yet characterized by enough people to say that it is "probably" generally considered pseudoscience. Silly? Indeed.
To your point: "NPOV requires the 'characterized' qualifier absent demonstrable scientific agreeement that every topic on the list is pseudoscience..." - Exactly. So let's make the list just that because, ultimately, that is what is useful to a person researching what is pseudoscience. There are topics which undeniably fall into categories 1 and 2, and FRINGE/PS allows us to call, label, and list these topics as pseudoscientific — absent of the "characterized" squishiness.
To your point: "...and most editors have agreed it makes no sense to have a separate list for 1, 2, or 3, let alone exclude any from a single list." - I don't see how anyone can argue that it makes no sense to have separate lists, when clearly having separate lists drawing a distinction of which topics falls into which bucket would be vastly more useful to a user of an encyclopedia than one list with everything mushed together. I doubt this will annoy serious skeptics because this is a much more rationale approach. Likely, those who would be annoyed by such a logical and scientific demarcation are guided more by cynicism than skepticism. 172.250.119.155 (talk) 19:45, 6 December 2013 (UTC)


  • Weak Support. With the present name and description, climate change denial and climate change science both belong here. With the new name, arguably, neither would belong here. (It should be pointed out that a number of nominally reputable climatologists consider some other nominally reputable climatologists as being absurdly wrong; I don't know of any climatologists who consider some other climatologists as pseudoscientists, but I wouldn't be a bit surprised.) — Arthur Rubin (talk) 02:11, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
@Arthur -- AFAIK, we get to exclude climate change per se because of WP:PARITY: we exercise editorial discretion (common sense and IAR) and exclude topics that have substantially more evidence of mainstream support than evidence for classification as pseudoscience. I don't think we need to change the name, although we might tweak the description. Have you any thoughts on my comments above re Wikipedia's demarcations and that we might better meet NPOV by distinguishing topics that retain significant mainstream support (there are a few) from the rest? --Middle 8 (talk) 08:17, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
I don't know if it's a substantial minority, but the claim that climatology as a whole does not make accurate predictions (except on a gross scale) is a minority position, not a fringe position. I don't know if that makes it a pseudoscience.... — Arthur Rubin (talk) 01:56, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. If there's to be a list of pseudoscientific topics, it should be a list of topics that are truly pseudoscientific. If we find excuses to lard the list with other bad ideas we disagree with, it becomes (a) hard to give the list a proper title, (b) extremely difficult to define objective inclusion criteria and (c) impossible (to my mind, anyway) to justify the list's encyclopedic purpose.
If there's a bad idea out there which we can't authoritatively say is pseucoscience, such that it doesn't belong on this list, that is not a problem. We can still encyclopedically state the badness of that idea, to our heart's content, on that topic's own page. Moreover, the topic's own page is the first place readers interested in the goodness or badness of that particular idea are going to be going anyway.
The purpose of this page is not (or should not be) to say that ideas are bad. The purpose of this page should be to collect those bad ideas that meet the particular definition of pseudoscience. Lack of inclusion of a topic on this page does not mean that it's not a bad idea, and certainly does not mean that it's a good one. Adherents of a particular bad idea should derive no satisfaction, and we need feel no dismay, if for whatever reason that idea doesn't meet the criteria for this page.
Wikipedia aims to be a repository of the world's knowledge. Wikipedia has no particular goal to be a concise, one-stop shopping center for all the world's antiknowledge, and this page needn't try to achieve that (impossible) goal, either. —Steve Summit (talk) 20:31, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment Noting the clear dichotomy of this discussion -- one real issue is whether such a list categorizes topics in Wikipedia's voice -- which the proposal above clearly would do. Thus List of topics not generally considered as accepted science would seem a lot more neutral in nature, allow for the counter-positions to be included for each topic, and avoid the clear dysphemism "pseudoscience." Last year, a person who said black holes can emit light would likely have been considered "fringe" but times change, and so we should avoid making too many claims in Wikipedia's voice on this sort of topic. Cheers. Collect (talk) 21:38, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment and Support The title begs the question of what pseudoscience is, and does not even do so coherently. There are other problems as well, such as the continual bellowing of mutually gored sacred cows, but the use of the word pseudoscience as in this list and this discussion does not even properly reflect the concepts discussed in the article Pseudoscience, which it should, given that the two form part of each other's context. Consider polywater. When it first was proposed it referred to objective phenomena with reasonable theoretical support and a few proposals and hypotheses. The supporting hypotheses took some effort to dismantle, but they were not shouted down, but instead yielded to attack by reason and calculation of the energy levels entailed. Finally, when the support for the theory was in disarray, actual experiment demonstrated that the observed "polywater" was in fact not water, but more or less hydrated silica, so the theory was abandoned pretty well forthwith. To the best of my memory there were no parting shots (in contrast to "cold fusion" for example, though I must admit that I might have forgotten a few by now). Now, if someone nowadays were to resuscitate the polywater idea and insist on its reality and health benefits and claimed that it is an observable consequence of morphic resonance and that we need an institute... then we could call that pseudoscience, just as we now could call phlogiston theory pseudoscience if we resuscitated it today; however, it wasn't pseudoscience in its day, even though in its dying struggles supporters took some time to retreat or die off. In summary, the work done on either of those topics in their day was not pseudoscience. Fundamentally a major error in this article, and a possible criticism in the Pseudoscience article is the failure to distinguish between pseudoscience as a pattern of behaviour on the one hand, and in contrast, pseudoscience a term for subject matter that forms a topic for such behaviour (or study). Just because a theory deals with a new field and proves to be unsuccessful in its predictions doesn't make it pseudoscience. Even if a theory proposes hypotheses (successfully or not, and whether in an established field or not) and subsequently is rejected (successful predictions notwithstanding) because it proves to be based on errors or miscalculations, does not mean it is pseudoscience. Insistence on its validity in the face of subsequent corrections and evidence would be pseudoscience, but that is a different matter. Without flogging that horse any further, I reckon that such distinctions need clearer recognition in both list and article, and the title(s?) certainly needs adjustment. Possibly something like: "List of Pseudoscientific topics and scientifically rejected themes (or hypotheses?)"? That is just offhand as an opener; I am open to improvements and alternatives. JonRichfield (talk) 07:05, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment Given the description in the lede ("topics that have, at one point or another in their history, been characterized as pseudoscience by academics or researchers") one would expect to find many scientific theories that were at one time considered unscientific, like Semmelweis' antiseptic procedures to prevent Puerperal fever. Instead we get the moon landing hoax. So a few guys trying to prove we didn't land on the moon is more important than the reaction by the medical community to the publication of "Die Ätiologie, der Begriff und die Prophylaxis des Kindbettfiebers"? Ssscienccce (talk) 19:06, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
  • comment the issue with this article is not the title- it is with the criteria that violate WP:UNDUE. Having criteria wherein any mention of "pseudoscience" by anyone is given equal value is inherently inappropriate and encyclopedic. This is clearly a case where Ignoring policies like Wikipedia:V#Verifiability_does_not_guarantee_inclusion does NOT improve the encyclopedia. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 02:27, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The problem is not in the title. The problem is that some people see the title as justification to widen the article's scope. I was involved when the present title was found as a compromise. Background to this is that "pseudoscience" is not a precise term, and is essentially an invective.
    In many cases Wikipedia cannot decide whether something is objectively a pseudoscience. There is a huge spectrum of questionable, more or less superficially science-like activities:
Time Cube (pure nonsense using some scientific terms, no followers) – crystal healing (esoteric nonsense with some followers, no plausible arguments whatsoever) – homeopathy (established medical nonsense with many followers, arguments range from intriguing but false to totally implausible) – psychoanalysis (very well established psychological nonsense with many followers, arguments mostly not falsifiable, followers refuse to test their assumptions) – cold fusion (plausible scientific theory that might well have been true but probably isn't, followers isolated but still somehow part of the regular scientific community which they try to convince) – climate science (hard scientific field which is under attack for political reasons) and medical science (important scientific field with serious methodical problems, suffering from enormous amounts of corruption) – physics (mature scientific field with great research methods).
The demarcation line between pseudoscience and science is usually placed somewhere near psychoanalysis and sometimes near cold fusion. The problem with this article is that it is intended to list psychoanalysis and similar topics, whereas we definitely can't state in Wikipedia's voice that psychoanalysis is a pseudoscience. (Half the important authors on pseudoscience make it one, the other half explicitly don't.)
The compromise is to make an inclusive list together with a slightly understated title that is meant to vaguely describe but not precisely define the inclusion criterion. A more precise title might be "list of topics reasonably described as pseudoscience", but that would be problematic. The present title is an elegant solution to the problem and doesn't need fixing. Hans Adler 12:27, 12 January 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Arkeology (Searches for Noah's Ark)[edit]

Hello A Quest For Knowledge,
I noticed you reverted my previous edit about arkeology with the motivation "Not in referenced article and the link 3 cited sources apparently are not working". Did you mean by that first remark, that arkeology has not been characterised as "pseudoscience" inside the article Searches for Noah's Ark? You've got a point there, though it *is* listed "category:pseudoarchaeology", and Noah's Ark is listed in the article pseudoarchaeology as well. So basically, adding the characterisation of "pseudoscience" to Searches for Noah's Ark would satisfy you?
I don't understand your second remark; can't you access these URLs?:

Or do you think they aren't sufficient to call arkeology "pseudoscience"? Btw I found another mention here:


Note: "Arkeology" is a "mocking term" and the belief that they have found the Ark is "pseudoscience" but the "search" as such is not "pseudoscience." An assertion that Troy had been found would have been "pseudoscience" before Schliemann, but his "search" for a "mythical city" was not "pseudoscience." Collect (talk) 14:44, 24 December 2013 (UTC)

I'm fine with calling it simply "Searches for Noah's Ark" if you think that's more neutral. The false claims to have found the Ark are obviously pseudoscientific, so if we rephrase it like that, I'm also fine with it. But I would argue that even the methods used to research the Ark's location are not science: there is no way of knowing where the alleged "Mountains of Ararat" lie, let alone the specific mountaintop where the supposed Ark came to rest, and the current "Mount Ararat" is only a later Western tradition. That combined with the obvious mythical nature of such flood stories (see also flood geology) and the impossibility of taking literally the account of global repopulation with flora and fauna in just a few thousand years before today, which contradictics all well-established evidence of how life diversified, has led mainstream scientists, as exampled by the sources mentioned above, to characterise searches for Noah's Ark as "pseudoarcheology" ("arkeology") and therefore "pseudoscience". That is quite different from the Iliad, that can and has been at least partially verified to contain historical as well as legendary material about the city of Troy. The Schliemann argument is a common variant of the Galileo fallacy for biblical archaeology among fundamentalists which I'm inclined not to take very seriously. Nederlandse Leeuw (talk) 20:40, 24 December 2013 (UTC)
I think there is a problem in the sense that calling "religious beliefs" "pseudoscience" has met with in the past for Scientology and other belief systems -- and there have been enough discoveries of place names which were once thought "mythical" in the Bible being verified as real places that I am uncomfortable assigning "pseudoscience" as a label to them all. If it is "fundamentalist religion" which you wish to label "pseudoscience" then there is the problem that religion per se is not claiming to be "science." Collect (talk) 03:19, 25 December 2013 (UTC)
<Placeholder> I do plan to respond, but it's the holidays where I am, so my time on Wikipedia is limited right now. Bare with me for the next day or so.A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 05:47, 25 December 2013 (UTC)
When I first tried those three links, none of them worked. I forget what the error message was exactly. It said something about that there were too many views. In any case, the pages now load, and I'll keep them open for the duration of this discussion (or as long as I can). I did a quick glance and did not see where they said that this was a pseudoscience (I'm sorry, this topic is too boring for me to look into extensively). But even still, how is looking for the Noah's Ark a pseudoscience? Just because something is foolish doesn't make it pseudoscience. Pseudoscience is something that purports to be a science but isn't. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 02:20, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
If sources call the 'search' itself pseudoscience, I can't see the problem. Even when done by Creationists it's usually seen by them as a scientific enterprise using scientific tools. Dougweller (talk) 17:10, 25 December 2013 (UTC)

[1] says it skirts the domain of pop pseudoscience and the paranormal,; and Questia finds no academic articles linking the Ark and pseudoscience. O found no academic source or book calling the search qua search "pseudoscience." The problem here is that almost all acts based on religion could be called "pseudoscience" by someone, but Wikipedia has generally viewed "religion" as not "pseudoscience" to prevent religion v. religion edits on Wikipedia. Collect (talk) 19:05, 25 December 2013 (UTC)

Just to be clear, I'm not saying that all religious claims are by definition pseudoscientific; of course Collect is right that, for example, several Biblical place names have been authenticated. But as the article pseudoscience defines it, I would argue that so far, searches for Noah's Ark have been "presented as scientific, but [not adhered] to a valid scientific method, [lack] supporting evidence or plausibility, cannot be reliably tested, or otherwise [lack] scientific status". According to Prothero (2013), "Pseudoscience tries to masquerade as science (knowing the prestige that we now attach to scientific things), but when you examine the claims closely, they don't hold up to scrutiny." (p.13), which is pretty much in line with the definition used here on Wikipedia. He then goes on: "Creationist books are full of incredible mental gyrations needed to make the Noah's ark story remotely believable. However, as I found out from my encounter with Gish, creationists will avoid discussing it if it is brought up in debate because it sounds foolish and ruins their credibility with most audiences. A number of expeditions have been sent to Mount Ararat in Turkey (the supposed landing site) and made fantastic claims that they have found evidence of the ark, but none of these have stood up to scrutiny, despite the claims made by some creationist books and TV shows." (p.73) Although A Quest For Knowledge is correct that Prothero doesn't mention "pseudoscience" and "searches for Noah's Ark" or a paraphrase thereof in the same sentence, there can be no doubt that he regards it as pseudoscience as defined on page 13. The wording is exactly the same, it's clear that these claims, purported by some creationists to be "scientific", don't hold up to scrutiny and are therefore pseudoscientific. Moreover, the practice as a whole "lacks plausibility" according to Prothero ("incredible mental gyrations needed to make [it] remotely believable"; "avoid discussing it [to not ruin] credibility"). Nederlandse Leeuw (talk) 11:56, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
Long exposition:: Total gist: Religious claims are "implausible", therefore they are ipso facto "pseudoscience." Problem: The "search" appears to be just that - a "search", and however implausible, as long as scientific determination of the truth is sought, such a search is not "pseudoscience."
Using Prothero: (page 13 does not mention Noah - so I am using what he writes about it) page 29 goes into depth about the various sources merged into the Bible, but does not call it "pseudoscience." Page 73 says searches have not found the ark, but does not call the search qua search "pseudoscience."
In short -- a "belief in the Ark" is religion, a search for anything, no matter how impossible to exist, is not "pseudoscience" here. Heck, I recall when a belief that the universe was created out of "nothing" was "pseudoscience" of the first water. As long as the searchers do not assert the impossible, then the search qua search is not pseudoscience - even per Prothero. Cheers. Collect (talk) 14:59, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
I thought that the modern searches claim to use scientific methods to determine the position? That would put them right in the realm of pseudoscience.
And archeology is a science, last I heard. If they claim to be using archaeological methods to help with the searches, they they are using science by definition. --Enric Naval (talk) 18:27, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
By that standard, anyone using even arithmetic when "counting books of the Bible" is doing "pseudoscience" <g>. Nope -- the issue would arise if they asserted that they found the ark, but the search is not "pseudoscience" AFAICT. Nor does Prothero in his 2013 works state that the search is "pseudoscience." The idea is that by avoiding "religion is pseudoscience" we can avoid a lot of useless disputation. Cheers. Collect (talk) 19:12, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
I find that comparison to be falacious. It's called arkeology = ark + archeology. If the search for Noah's Ark was strictly religious, it wouldn't be covered in archaeological books as an example of badly-done archaeology:
and it's explicitly labeled pseudoarchaeology in RS (some editors insist in labeling everything "pseudoscience", when there are much more adequate categories, I wish they stopped doing that. Myself, I have fallen in that trap in my messages above):
  • "Another subset of pseudo-archaeology includes the attempts to force the archaeological record to conform and provide support for a literal interpretation of the Bible, especially the Old Testament (...) It is also maintained that archaeological evidence supports the view that the world was all but destroyed by a universal flood, that just a handful of people survived that flood, and even that remnants of the boat that served as their refuge - the Ark - still exist on Mount Ararat in Turkey." The Oxford Companion to Archaeology Oxford University Press, p. 582ç
  • "Already, educated laypeople are making spurious claimsof archaeology discovery from space (Taylor, 2007), such as the so-called "discovery" of Noah's Ark, to which the press and reputable publications gave sserious consideration. (...) One again, hype and the "story" triumphed over archeological method. Only making the science of satellite archaeology more acesible to the general public can prevent pseudoarchaeology from triumphing over good practice." Satellite Remote Sensing for Archaeology, Routledge, p.227
  • "A good example of the difficulties involved in finding archaeological evidence for events depicted in the early portions of the Hebrew Bible, and for the opportunities that this provides to the pseudo-archaeologists is that of the Flood and Noah's Ark, as described in the book of Genesis" Biblical Archaeology: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press, p 73
  • "Modern archaeology is highly technical and - let us be honest - sometimes rather dull. n contrast, the "pseudoarchaeologies" that have appeared in recent years (...) The Lost Continent of atlantis, the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, expeditions in search of Noah's Ark - all provide superb raw material for the armchair adventurer (Feder, 1996)" In the Beginning: An Introduction to Archaeology, Prentice Hall, p. 17
--Enric Naval (talk) 20:52, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

(od) "Arkeology" has been labeled a "mocking term" thus using it to establish that it is ipso facto "pseudoscience" fails. In fact, it is not found even in the Oxford book cited from the Spanish Google search <g>. So we might as well drop that term here -- it is improper to use a dysphemism to show how much one wishes to deride anything. BTW, googlemining for "pseudoarcheology + noah's ark" will generally find sources which use both terms <g> (first page asserting 122 hits ... actual total 65 hits in all og googlebooks ... using "archaeology + noah's ark" gets more than 9000 book hits) where the gist of the entire chapter is not about a topic tends to get interesting results -- one of the cites in fact is more about "commercial exploitation" of archeology than much else. What we are left with is the fact that the ark story is one of religion and thus not one of pseudoscience in itself, and second that archaeologists have frequently sought things everyone knew did not exist -- I rather think that where religion is concerned, it is best to consider tenets as being religion and not pseudoscience, and that where scientists seek facts to prove or disprove anything, that the process of so doing is not "pseudoscience". Cheers. Collect (talk) 04:05, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

First of all, I agree with not using "Arkeology", "Searches for Noah's Ark" is enough.
Second, you say that the story about the ark is about religion, but above we have several archaeology books saying it's pseudoarchaeology, and explaining why it doesn't qualify as "good" archaeology. Of course, you are free to have your own definitions for what can be considered as archaeology. But your definition seems to be at odds with the definitions held by reliable sources in the field of archaeology.
Third, the criteria for inclusion on this list is characterisation in RS. The search of Noah's Ark is characterised by several good-quality RS as pseudoarchaeology (a subset of pseudoscience).
--Enric Naval (talk) 14:51, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
A claim that the ark "has been discovered" (positing, of course, that it has not been discovered, of course) would appear to fall into that area possibly (and noting the actual wording of the sources you cite), but the actual scientific "search qua search" does not fall into that category. And to the extent that this is a religious issue and not one of science qua science, the ArbCom decisions on religious movements etc. would appear to delimit what it proper here. The safest course per those decisions is simply not to embroil this article in those decisions and sanctions. Your Oxford source does not specify that the search is "pseudoarchaeology" by the way - your Routledge cite specifies "spurious claims or archaeological discovery from space", the Cline cite deals with a possibility that devastating floods had occurred, but that charlatans did not use actual science and archaeological principles -- Cline thus does not support the claim you wish to cite him for. The EDS cite refers to hoaxes (page 54)(which clearly are not the topic at hand), "pieces of Noah's ark" (page 113) (also not pertinent), a specific dig (page 194) also not usable here, a debunking because of impossibility of an ark (page 195) which does not deal with archaeology or the possibility that the story referred to a local flood of immense proportions etc. and does not deal with any actual archaeological search for evidence of any such flood, and so on. In short - it rather specifies that hoaxes are "pseudoarchaeology" and that is reasonable. What we are left with is "The Finding of Noah's Ark" is likely pseudoscience - but that is not what you seem to wish. Cheers. Collect (talk) 15:13, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
I am starting to find your interpretation of sources to be very troubling. You seem to be twisting the context of every source to fit your preconceived idea that this is a religious topic. You are only seeing what you want to see.
You know what, I'm done with endlessly arguing in circles. I don't come to wikipedia to waste my time. I'll restore the search for Noah's Ark, with the RS that clearly support its inclusion. You are an experienced wikipedian. If you have doubts, you can go to WP:RSN is. If you remove again the entry, It you or A Quest For Knowledge remove again the entry, I'll just ask that your topic-banned from this page for tendentious editing. Idem for removing other sourced entries with convoluted arguments about them being religious beliefs. --Enric Naval (talk) 16:36, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
No, wait, first I'll see if other editors agree with Collect's assessment of the sources. --Enric Naval (talk) 17:32, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
Considering that Mt. Ararat is a volcano which has erupted at least once in antiquity covering the flanks of the mountain in pyroclastic flows, events which "arkeologists" blithely ignore when assuming a wooden object would survive on its slopes for thousands of years, renders any alleged scientific attempts to find the apocryphal ark pseudoscience. (And, really, why are we even discussing this at all when we had a pretty solid understanding of how sea-levels actually work these days. No boat is going be left 9,000ft up the slopes of some mountain by means of having floated there.)--Froglich (talk) 09:09, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
I didn't even know about those scientific impossibilities, Froglich, thanks for mentioning them. I think Collect tried to take Prothero's remarks out of context to deny he characterised searches for the Ark as pseudoscience, and like the previous Schliemann argument, I agree with Enric Naval that the comparison between ark searchers and theoretical physicists researching the origins of the universe is fallacious. Moreover Enric has delivered even better sources that quite unambiguously label it pseudoscience. Finally, I personally labeled "arkeology" to be a 'mocking' term, because that is how I assessed the way Dundes ("Sometimes archaeology becomes "arkeology" (...) instigated by dedicated amateurs"), Rickard & Michell ("Such breakthroughs [referring to false and hoax findings] have now become regular events in arkeology, each new discovery upstaging the last.") and Prothero ("Ship or Foolishness? (...) "[Let's] delve into the world of arkeology.") used the term, and I've not seen any people supporting the notion that searching for Noah's Ark is genuine science using it, but I could be wrong. Dundes claims the term "arkeology" was invented in 1971, but doesn't clarify by whom and in what fashion. Just to be on the safe side, I'll repeat that "Searches for Noah's Ark" will do fine for me. Nederlandse Leeuw (talk) 13:36, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
I grant the finding or assertions thereof are pretty much "pseudoscience", but it is also clear that there are "real scientists" examining a great many theories and postulates to account for the flood traditions found in almost every culture -- their work should not be so likely dissed here. Why not use "assertions of finding Noah's Ark" as being "pseudoscience", rather than lumping everything in together? Cheers. Collect (talk) 14:18, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Well, can you name a "real scientist" with scientific expertise in relevant scientific fields that have done research by following scientific methods? 94.215.26.254 (talk) 03:06, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
Major scientist expecting to find a wooden boat? Or scientists who routinely dig in the mid-East and finding "mythical cities" and names of Biblical figures who were deemed mythical? The latter has large numbers of "real scientists" and, in some cases, surprising results. Scientists working on ancient major floods? Scads. What exactly is your point? A decade ago would you have believed in asymmetrical crystals? Cheers. Collect (talk) 14:09, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
No need to beat around the bush, I think the question was clear enough. Just give us an example. Nederlandse Leeuw (talk) 01:03, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
See [2] for a very short list of recent articles thereon. I suggest at least one of them is "real" <g>. As I said before, the finding or assertions thereof might well be pseudoscience, but the study of ancient archaeology including strong evidence that pretty big floods did occur in a number of places is not "pseudoscience." Cheers. Collect (talk) 01:18, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
None of the articles there is about Noah's Ark; it's all about Biblical archaeology in Israel. Also, flood geology (which, by the way, has been thoroughly refuted and is already considered pseodoscience) is not what we're discussing here. You're dodging the question and trying distractive manoeuvres. Where is your "real scientist"? Give us a name. Honestly I don't think you really have one, or you'd given us one by now, and I'm starting to lose my patience. I invite Enric Naval to restore searches for Noah's Ark to the list, including the RS we've found. Nederlandse Leeuw (talk) 11:01, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
For everyone's information, discussion has continued on Enric's talk page. Nederlandse Leeuw (talk) 22:32, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
And has now degenerated from any pretense of collegial discussion, alas. Collect (talk) 22:41, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
On the contrary, I think we've been reasonable. All you need to do is provide evidence for your claims, Collect, otherwise you have no case. If you want to discontinue our discussion, fine, but then I suppose you will not object when we restore Searches for Noah's Ark to the List. Greetings, Nederlandse Leeuw (talk) 22:59, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
I suggest your mode of debate has been less than collegial, and indeed if oft sarcastic and dismissive.
You asked for scientists - I gave you scientists. A boatload of them. I gave you one acclaimed scientist who searched for Atlantis and the Loch Ness Monster -- and all you can say is "well you didn't give me someone I accept and since you didn't than clearly you can raise no objections when we add the material back unchanged."
I suggest in fact that this is not what WP:CONSENSUS contemplates, is not civil, and is an improper mode of "debate." Is this quite sufficiently clear?
And your discussion is quite clear -- you sarcastically posted So? What about Noah's Ark? Stop throwing in red herrings, please.' , and Collect? and Ok, in that case I suppose you will not object when we restore Searches for Noah's Ark to the List. Greetings.
I suggest that no editor should ever expect such "posts" to be considered as actually seeking agreement on wording -- and (expletive of your choice) I provided you with lots of proposals and all you can do is insist in using the exact wording which was problematic in the first place. Cheers. Collect (talk) 00:03, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
Enric and I have been very patient with you, trying to get you to do some hard work, too, to find RS on searches for Noah's Ark, and not just reject whatever RS we *do* come up with; I may have used some sarcasm to entice you come up with RS, but apparently that did not work. Where is your "boatload" of scientists who have expertise in relevant scientific fields and done searches for Noah's Ark? Though a genuine scientist, Edgerton simply does not qualify as such because he hasn't studied the Ark, and Livingstone et al. merely confirmed the dubious nature of the practice. We have clearly defined who would qualify and requested several times to name such a person to cite his/her work, but you've thrown in all kinds of red herrings, ranging from "only claimed findings are pseudoscience/"biblical archaeology" is genuine science" to "Schliemann found Troy/Edgerton searched for Atlantis and the Loch Ness Monster", all of which are irrelevant and we've explained why. Your previous move has been to personally attack me as if I'm less than collegial, not serious, as if I degenerated the debate, thereby indicating you no longer wished to participate. Fine, go ahead, you don't have to (even though I specifically asked you to), but that means this round of discussion is over and WP:BRD moves into the next phase, which is WP:BOLD, so that's what I did. You moved to the next phase –which is fine– by reverting my edit and removing all RS Enric and I have collected and adding your own unsubstantiated claims –which is not fine: a violation of the "NOTE ON SOURCES" stated above: "UNSOURCED entries WILL BE REMOVED in order to keep this list clear of original research and possible NPOV violations." You go on here with personal attacks against me, trying to play the victim; you're fortunate I've got a thick skin, and I could parry it and counter, but I will have none of it, no more unproductive distractions. This round will be brief: I will restore my previous edit, include your claim "Some scientists have searched for the ark without expecting success, using scientific methods", and until you can substantiate that with evidence from reliable sources from genuine scientists with expertise in relevant scientific fields who have specifically set out to find Noah's Ark, I'll give it a {{Citation needed}} template. I'm willing giving you a chance, but don't hold me responsible if someone else removes your claim again. So, good luck with finding those RS, colleague. Nederlandse Leeuw (talk) 01:50, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

(od) Your "patience" seems odd in its form. Other discussions pretty much decided "arkeology" is not a general term, and is dysphemistic. Sources will be forthcoming on some who have searched, albeit I suspect none expected to find the ark - but use of radar etc. is a scientific process and is not like using an E-meter. As for threats sabout unilateral action - that is not how WP:CONSENSUS works, and is unlikely to have a bemneficial effect on collegiality here. Cheers. Collect (talk) 02:19, 17 January 2014 (UTC) BTW, you set an absurd bar -- to find a scientist in your accepted list of fields who expects to find the ark when I specified that they did not generally expect to find any ark at all. Perhaps you should reread the claim as stated? Cheers -- but this is a fool's errand when two folks assert control to such an extent on any article. Cheers again - and please understand and deal with what my actual statements are and not what you wish to assert they are. Collect (talk) 02:37, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

I conceded about "arkeology" and have removed this redundant remnant of the original version. I'm curious about your RS and will comment once you've found them, I will not comment on other issues. Good luck. Nederlandse Leeuw (talk) 02:55, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

Traditional Chinese Medicine[edit]

Chinese medicine is a form of pseudoscience, based on totally unscientific principles. This should be added as a topic.Royalcourtier (talk) 06:20, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

Traditional Chinese medicine is included in the section Health and medicine. -- Black Falcon (talk) 06:22, 23 March 2014 (UTC)

Noetic Science[edit]

I assume Noetics, Institute of Noetic Sciences, I Am (2010 American documentary film) (watch video) all belong on this list. • SbmeirowTalk • 08:33, 12 March 2014 (UTC)