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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".

Four groups
Former featured article Parapsychology is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on August 11, 2008.

First academic institution[edit]

This article claims "In 1911, Stanford University became the first academic institution in the United States to study extrasensory perception (ESP) and psychokinesis (PK) in a laboratory setting."

It's also implying that modern parapsychology (Rhine era) started in United States. However, it seems to have missed European point of view (I guess most of editors are from US?). Sydney Alrutz from Uppsala university (Sweden) founded there Institute for psychology in 1909, where he did tests with telepathy under hypnosis. Some times ago this information was available in Uppsala university website, article which was covering history of psychology department. Now that article seems to be removed, but there is still several other reliable sources, which descibe his studies. There was also similar studies outside of academia before Rhine, such as in laboratory of Floris Jansen.

There was discussion above about whether or not parapsychology is pseudoscience. I don't take any part of that, other than noticing that major fource withing skeptical movement, Chris French, doesn't consider parapsychology as such. However, I couldn't resist to count up factually incorrect claims or implications people submitted there, because it is sometimes used as an indicator of pseudoscientist, and ironically I counted Hob Gadling as number one.

And second, I cannod understand when someone says: "Wikipedia is not the place where we do our own research, and investigate whether claims are true, or supportable. We simply represent what the sources say."

I think this cannot be literally true, otherwise Wikipedia would be rather unreliable source in some cases. Reliable source is something which most likely have correct information. But not always, there is no absolute truhts in there. Not even Skeptic's dictionary, which is not even peer-reviewed. That's why some homework is also required, if one aims to have reliable encyclopedia, instead of just making as much noise (edits) as possible in order to pick up some wiki-honor. Without proper homework, Wikipedia would end up with incorrect information from so called "reliable sources" which turn out not to be so reliable after all. Of course, those errors can be fixed by someone who has done their homework - that's the whole point of Wikipedia - but that process can be also stalled if the experts get too often offented without reason, and thus they find better things to do than bothering themselves with people who are so reluctant to use their help. (talk) 23:25, 16 June 2016 (UTC)

Good comment on older European laboratories before American studying the parapsychology - this does need to be mentioned on the article. As for your other stuff you misunderstand Wikipedia policies. See WP:WINARS and WP:Fringe. TreeTrailer (talk) 00:13, 17 June 2016 (UTC)
Thank you, I just hope that not everyone will base their actions on formal rules only. Every rule needs to be applied in to action, and it is better to do some homeworks while doing so. Undereducated people make poor decisions. Wikipedia is collected effort, but it is still however based on individual actions. And individuals should be encouraced to do their homework, instead of embracing so called "reliable sources". For example, I am tend to believe that there is much more expertice behind Journal of parapsychology than Skeptic's dictionary, when we talk about history of the field.
I said I won't take part on discussion whether or not parapsychology is pseudoscience. But since last discussion was closed, I think I have now responsibility to say something about that too, even when it is going off-topic from the historical details. Otherwise the actual problem goes "out of sight, out of mind" -mode. In pseudoscience section, one major reference is Finnish philosopher Raimo Tuomela. His article has been published in Finnish here, although I am not sure he has edited it since the engish version, as this version was published three years after english one (and as Finnish version says, original version of the article was published in 1983, in Finnish). Because I don't have english version, I will comment some details from Finnish version.
1) Tuomela's article has been published about 30 years ago. Since that time, I believe there has been major developments within both parapsychology and philosophy of demarcation problem (between science and pseudoscience). And information even from reliable sources can get and often do get outdated at some point, it is better to use more updated sources. 2) It was only an essay, not peer-reviewed study on this topic. 3) One of incorrect/outdated information is when he said "Parapsychology is a largely isolated research area", which seems not so much true anymore as it was 30 years ago, since parapsychology seems to have now significantly stronger connections with consciousness studies, transpersonal psychology, anomalistic psychology and maybe also thanatology. 4) In the article, after previous claim he said that Parapsychology is based partly on mythical ideas (which was one of his characteristics of pseudoscience), and justified his claim by saying "Myös parapsykologiasta löytyvä ajassa taaksepäin suuntautuvan kausaation ajatus – esimerkiksi unista ennustaminen – on selvästi epätieteellistä, myytteihin nojaavaa ajattelua" (meaning: also idea of retrocausality is clearly unscientific idea, based on myths). However, idea retrocausality is not entirelery pseudoscience and not based purely on myths as it is pointed out in Wikipedia article. Actually nowdays considerations about retrocausality within parapsychology seems to be based on ideas from physics, and experiments are justified by speculations called thought experiments, instead of questions related to precognition alone. I am not saying this is the good thing to connect two such a vague ideas in order to justify experiments, but I am questioning if Tuomela made his homework properly, because some of those ideas about retrocausality were around already 30 years ago. 5) Raimo Tuomela DID NOT use his claims to summarize why the majority of scientists consider parapsychology to be a pseudoscience. He doesn't consider scientific concencus at all, instead he is only evaluating if parapsychology is pseudoscience, by using his own expertice as a philosopher. 6) However, Tuomela said "Kaiken kaikkiaan on olemassa hyviä perusteita pitää parapsykologiaa pseudotieteenä. En kuitenkaan aivan yhtyisi Alcockiin ja moniin muihin, jotka pitävät kaikkea parapsykologiaa pseudotieteenä – sanoisin mieluummin, että osa parapsykologiasta on esitieteellistä." To put it short, he said that unlike some fellow skeptics, he was considering part of the parapsychology to be protoscientific (this is also indicated in this quote "...can at best qualify as prescientific.."). In other words, whether or not scientific concensus (or majority of scientists) is considering parapsychology as a pseudoscience nowadays, clearly the major source used to justify this claim is not one of them. (talk) 11:42, 17 June 2016 (UTC)

'Empathy' is a psychic phenomenon?[edit]

I've removed empathy from the introductory paragraph because it's an emotion, not a psychic phenomenon. -- Meticulo (talk) 04:52, 5 December 2016 (UTC)

Well done. --Hob Gadling (talk) 15:36, 5 December 2016 (UTC)